Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some facts that I became apprised of today

There are many people out there who insist that the United States of America is a Christian country and was created as such by its founding fathers. Some of the lengths they go to make this claim are simply ridiculous. Others are aspects of our culture that they can point to and say, "Look! That proves we were founded as a Christian country!" For instance, the phrase "one nation, under God" in the pledge of allegiance--this, despite the fact that this phrase was only inserted in 1954.

Others can point to the phrase "In God We Trust" that's printed on our coins and is the national motto. Except, as I found today, the phrase never appeared on coins until 1864, and it wasn't mandated until 1908. Really interesting, here's an 1861 letter from a concerned Christian bemoaning the lack of the word God on our coinage, sent to the Secretary of the Treasury:
Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.

One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.

You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.

This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.

To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.

Yep, we were a heathen nation up until 1864, since until that point we hadn't turned these little metal disks into fetishes. It's really amazing that our country lasted even that long without adding the magic word "God" to our pocket change, since we weren't under "Divine protection" without that.

Even more interesting, the phrase "In God We Trust" wasn't declared the national motto until 1956.

Yeah. Real strong evidence that we were created a Christian country... in the middle of the Cold War.

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