In God We (might not) Trust
This page has information about our national motto “In God We Trust”
Please go to http://www.petitiononline.com/igwtrfc/petition.html and sign the petition to remove this religious phrase from our secular government money. Its interesting reading to see the notes attached to the “view signatures” list
For information on the lawsuit to remove INWT from our money:http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Michael-Newdow
Register’s article of the city of Los Alamito’s to add ‘In God We Trust” in their city council chambers.
Is This a Christian Nation?
Most Christians think that it is, although a few minutes of study will prove them misguided. The real truth is that we are a Constitutional and Secular Nation. In the Supreme Court’s 1892
Holy Trinity Church vs. United States , Justice David Brewer wrote that “this is a Christian nation.” Many Christians use this as evidence. However, Brewer wrote this in dicta, as a personal opinion only and does not serve as a legal pronouncement. Later Brewer felt obliged to explain himself: “But in what sense can [the United States ] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all.
And if you think about it, the founding fathers wanted this country to be free for all religions – so why would anyone think they would have wanted it a Christian nation? Why would anyone think that they would like any particular religion promoted over any other belief system? ”
Treaty of Tripoli 1796″As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
Ordered by George Washington, Signed by President Adams
Ratified by the entire senate – unanimously
This statement is definitive and absolute proof that our founding fathers did not think of the new nation as a Christian nation – they thought of America as a Constitutional and free nation. Notes on the Founding Fathers and the Separation of Church and State http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm
Most people do not know that there are two national mottos. The original was “E Pluribus Unum” and is Latin for “One from many” or “One from many parts.” It refers to the welding of a single federal state from a group of individual political units — originally colonies and now states. The second is “In God We Trust”. The IGWT phrase was first written into the Star Spangled Banner in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, and appeared on coins off and on from 1892. The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was brought up again in 1955 by the Knights of Columbus, a Christian group. This was a turbulent time in America
with paranoid feelings and members of congress misunderstanding communism as atheism. (Communism was a political system and had nothing to do with atheism) It was also a time of Mccarthyism where many citizens rights were violated. There was NO OTHER time before 1955 that our bills had any motto. The argument for the motto being part of our heritage is absolutely false. Our heritage is based from HUMAN rights and religious freedoms.
Later developments in our government have clouded early history. The original Pledge of Allegiance, authored by Francis Bellamy in 1892 did not contain the words “under God.” Not until June 1954 did those words appear in the Allegiance. The
United States currency never had “In God We Trust” printed on money until after the Civil War. Many Christians who visit historical monuments and see the word “God” inscribed in stone, automatically impart their own personal God of Christianity, without understanding the Framers Deist context. The Framers spoke of a ‘natural God’ or a ‘creator’. The Framers did not believe God had supernatural powers that could change men’s minds. Please read the quotes below from our founding fathers to get an idea of what type of God they were referring to when they created this country.
Does this motto have a Religious Foundation or a Patriotic one?
It is absolutely religiously based. It was added due to increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War.
The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, and read:
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.
As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated November 20, 1861:
Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.
It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837, prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the coins of the United States. This meant that the mint could make no changes without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress. In December 1863, the Director of the Mint submitted designs for new one-cent coin, two-cent coin, and three-cent coin to Secretary Chase for approval. He proposed that upon the designs either OUR COUNTRY; OUR GOD or GOD, OUR TRUST should appear as a motto on the coins. In a letter to the Mint Director on December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated: I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST. The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin.
The United States Constitution
The Constitution reflects our founders views of a secular government, protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief. The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “the idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety. Several times, more religious senators wanted to pray when they Framers came to a struggle in the wording of the document. All attempts to pray for guidance was stuck down. This sends a message that our government is not based on religious values, but humanistic values.
The Establishment Clause was placed in the FIRST amendment, not the second or third. This sends another message that the Framers wanted future generations to know that this was a very important amendment – it is before all the other amendments.”
The most convincing evidence that our government did not ground itself upon Christianity comes from the very document that defines it– the United States Constitution.
If indeed our Framers had aimed to found a Christian republic, it would seem highly unlikely that they would have forgotten to leave out their Christian intentions in the Supreme law of the land. In fact, nowhere in the Constitution do we have a single mention of Christianity, God, Jesus, or any Supreme Being. There occurs only two references to religion and they both use exclusionary wording. The 1st Amendment’s says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . .” and in Article VI, Section 3, “. . . no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States .”
The Declaration of Independence
Many Christians who think of America as founded upon Christianity usually present the Declaration as “proof.” The reason appears obvious: the document mentions God. However, the God in the Declaration does not describe Christianity’s God. It describes “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” This nature’s view of God agrees with deist philosophy but any attempt to use the Declaration as a support for Christianity will fail for this reason alone.