In God We Trust?

Four out of five US currency bills in circulation have traces of cocaine on them. This isn’t one of those Facebook fear-mongering statistics either, it’s verified by! If Snopes says it’s real: IT’S REAL!

The main reason for this is that cocaine is a very fine powder and sticks to everything. It’s also because people use cocaine.

Our dollar bills have “In God we trust” on them along with cocaine. I love the irony.

Congress decided to put “In God we trust” on our currency in 1957. I recently read a fascinating account of 1950’s patriotic Christianity, which traced this phrase along with “under God” in the pledge (added in 1954), back to Republicans trying to defeat FDR’s New Deal.

The book is called One Nation Under God by Kevin Kruse. It’s a fascinating glimpse into American Christianity and the glory days of Christianity in the 1950’s. Or at least the glory days of white Christianity in the 1950’s.

People who lived in the 50’s have fond memories of the time. Or at least white people who lived in the 50’s have fond memories. They often wish we could go back to when white Christians were on top of the heap.

People tend to forget that the 60’s followed the 50’s. There was a reason for this. Much of the Christianity of the 50’s was fake. It was surface, which lead many of the kids living in the hypocrisy to rebel like crazy in the 60’s.

Many Christians opposed using “under God” in the pledge and putting “in God we trust” on the currency. They had a point. I would have been on their side.

It was proposed to Theodore Roosevelt in 1907 to put “In God we trust” on newly minted $10 and $20 gold coins. Roosevelt said,

“My own firm conviction is that such a motto on coins not only does no good, but positive harm and is in effect, irreverence, which comes close to sacrilege.”

Many of the same Christians who think we should have Ten Commandments monuments that say “thou shalt not use the Lord’s name in vain,” supported putting “in God we trust” on our soon to be cocaine infused currency!

The urge to make our faith normative for people who do not share our faith will never work. Symbolic Christianity is worse than no Christianity. It really is. Because Symbolic Christianity gives people false assurance and, more importantly, is hypocrisy, which is one of the main irritants of God.

Israel had Symbolic Judaism. They had corrupt government with awful kings, yet the people maintained their symbolic faith until God wiped them out because He couldn’t stomach fake religion anymore.

I’m all for the separation of church and state. I’m for keeping the state out of the church and keeping the church out of the state. It’s like mixing fire and water. The Church’s fire will always be quenched by the flood of the state.

Christianity is about winning souls; not running states.