U.S. Coins Free from God-pimpin' Propaganda
An unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions, including "In God We Trust," and made it past inspectors and into circulation, the U.S. Mint said Wednesday.
* Actually U.S. paper money didn't start sporting IGWT until after Congress passed a law in 1954 saying that it would be on all U.S. money.
Prior to this action, the phrase had appeared only on some coins but not on paper currency. The first dollars bearing the religious motto were printed in October 1957. In 1956, Congress changed the national motto from E Pluribus Unum ("out of many, one," which still appears on the presidential seal) to In God We Trust. Original coins did not bear this motto. The first coin to bear the phrase was issued in 1864 at the request of the Baptist minister Mark R. Watkinson who suggested the addition would "relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism." Gradually the religious phrase was added to other coins, although President Theodore Roosevelt officially objected to the practice, regarding it as sacrilegious.
You can easily buy "God-free" pre-1957 U.S. paper currency on eBay for only a tiny mark-up over its face value. The currency is, of course, still good. SSA Executive Director August E. Brunsman IV carries a God-free 1950 series $5 note just so he can show it off to people who like to use IGWT as proof that America is a Christian Nation.
To learn more about this issues, and learn how to engage in guerilla activism to support separation of religion and government in the U.S. visit www.godoffmoney.com.
Btw, thanks to Tom Wilcox for his "God-pimpin' Propaganda" phraseology.