"In God We Trust" and the Dollar Coin
Many of you may recall the U. S. Treasury stamping "In God We Trust" on the edge of the recently released dollar coins of the Presidents rather than the face of the coin. I recall thinking "They are slowly pushing God right off the coin by moving it to the edge." Ironically, a news story surfaced that the U. S. Treasury had mistakenly minted coins that has failed to have this slogan on the edge. After so much propaganda by secularists trying to distort history by claiming the Founding Fathers desired to create a religious neutral government, I was irritated that it appeared yet another inch was being yielded to a vocal minority. It is a historical fact that the Founding Fathers desired to create a government that did not interfere in church government, but they in no way sought to remove Christianity from the national government. One wonders what the Press would say if they were treated the same way the secularists desire to have religion treated? The same Bill of Right that gives the Press its freedom gives religion free exercise! It seems many have forgotten that the Bill of Rights was to avoid government overstepping its bounds and encroaching on individual freedom and liberty! For those who have not read the Bill of Rights in a while, the first bill reads as "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I did some additional research on the motto "In God We Trust" and found the following information intriguing.
The exact source of the phrase "In God We Trust" is generally believed to have originated from the fourth stanza of the poem upon which our national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner" is based. The verse reads as follows:
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
The motto "In God We Trust" was officially adopted as our national motto in 1956, although it first appeared on U. S. currency by act of Congress in 1864 on a two-cent coin. The earliest known record of the promotion of adding recognition of God on U. S. currency is 1861. The U. S. Mint has not always utilized this motto on coins. In 1907 the slogan was removed from the gold Double Eagle coin. A point of intrigue is that Theodore Roosevelt opposed having "In God We Trust" on U. S. currency, but the reason does not fit the secularist motivation. The secularists believe having God in government harms the government. What Theodore Roosevelt felt, as do some other theists, was using God's name on the symbol of money was irreverent to God, not the nation. In a letter to William Boldly on November 11, 1907, President Roosevelt wrote: "My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege ... it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements." The public outcry was so great that Congress on May 18, 1908 passed an Act to have it restored. Apparently the outcry was effective since all U. S. coins have included our national motto since 1938. The slogan did not appear on paper money until 1957.
Did you notice what was the driving force in having "In God We Trust" on our currency? The public outcry! Sometimes things are discouraging, but that is the time to rise up and be heard. We are blessed to live in a country where we can tell our elected officials exactly what is on our minds. Time and time again it has been demonstrated that when "We the People" speak out strongly, the government responds. It reminds me of the maxim--"All that it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Maybe you think, "It is hopeless. We live in a far more dark time than in days of old." Wake up! With the Internet, you can go to www.senate.gov, www.house.gov, and www.whitehouse.gov and type an Email message directly to your Representative, Senator, President and Vice President for free. Sure, many of us do not like to get involved in politics; however, rest assured that if we do not speak out for the morals our country should have, the secularists will - but it won't be the morals of the Bible.
Can we make a difference? Yes. In fact, Senators Brownback (KS) and Byrd (WV) on December 5, 2007, introduced S.2417 which reads basically as "To amend title 31, United States Code, to require the inscription 'In God We Trust’ to appear on a face of the $1 coins honoring each of the Presidents of the United States." Why was this legislation introduced? Because concerned religious citizens spoke out. Why not write your Senator, Representative and President urging them to support this effort?
This is still a free nation. The destiny of this nation will continue determined by the very principles Abraham Lincoln stated at the conclusion of the Gettysburg Address:
"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
God has blessed us with living in a free nation. May we do all that we can to work while it is yet day to keep the nation free and spread the gospel.
"In God We Trust", Wikipedia.
"'In God We Trust' to Resume Prominent Place on $1 Coin" Family News in Focus, 12/21/2007.
"U.S. Treasury - Fact Sheet on the History of 'In God We Trust'", http://www.treas.gov.
"S. 2417", 110th Congress, 1st Session.
Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, February 2008, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 6.