Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In God we trust?

Apparently some of the new dollar coins are circulating without the "In God We Trust" legend (link) This excites the coin collectors as did the famous "inverted Jenny" stamp:

But this is more than just a screwup at the mint. This is an opportunity to examine something that is just flat-out wrong. The "In God We Trust" line dates from the Civil War. It has withstood constitutional challenge on the incredibly shaky ground that it is "ceremonial" or "patriotic" rather than religious.

In effect, the federal courts are allowing it to stay because it is meaningless. So if it is meaningless, then why not just get rid of it?

I don't want to see poor municipalities like Zion in Illinois forced to spend tax dollars that could be used to teach kids and fix potholes to sandblast religious symbols off public building or re-order all the village stationery, etc. This one is simple. The next time we need to update the die for minting coins or the template for printing bills--just remove it. Almost no cost would be involved and we would honor the Constitution and the nation we are today.

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