Friday, March 12, 2010

Know Your History: In God We Trust

There was an interesting ruling today from the Federal Court system that upholds the inclusion of "one nation under God" in the U.S. pledge of allegiance and the inclusion of "In God We Trust" on our paper money because, in the court's assessment, these things do not violate the separation of church and state.

One might argue that premise, but without getting into the issues, I thought it might be worth a reminder that the "one nation under God" phrase of the pledge was added in the 1950s. Same with putting "In God We Trust" on our paper money.

That's right. Not at the founding of the country by the Founding Fathers...the 1950s. These religious phrases were added at the height of the Cold War as a way of "differentiating" the good old USA from the "godless communists" over in the USSR. That's it.

Often times people who don't know much about US history try and claim that our nation was founded and should be ruled under "God's laws" or that we are in some way "God's chosen" nation or similar. Without knowing their real history, things like the "In God We Trust" line or "one nation under God" passage serve this inaccurate notion all too well.

So, I thought I'd point it out.

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