Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is 'In God We Trust' a New Concept

Some people object to the use of the word "God" in conjunction with our national identity in any way. As I have pointed out many times in this blog, there is a strong thread of religious faith and recognition in our history back to the earliest days. But, for example, one argument against such recognition is that the words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950's. It is very easy to be cynical of modern-day political activities. Adding God to the Pledge was indeed a modern change, but it was at least partly inspired by the words of President Lincoln in the 1860's.

Another action from around that time, specifically between 1861-64, is the addition of "In God We Trust" to our coins. As often happens, when people are facing strife they feel more of a need to turn to God. There was evidence of this after the attacks of 9/11/2001. Churches saw a large upturn in attendance. The same feeling existed during our Civil War. Salmon Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, received a letter suggesting the addition of such wording to our coins. Chase then wrote the following to James Pollack, Director of the Mint at Philadelphia. It said in part:

 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.

After that Congress created the proper acts and it became official. That stands through the current day.

Read more at the link to the U.S. Treasury below:

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