That’s how the currency of the United States started out, you know — without that godawful “in God We Trust” marking. That didn’t start until during the Civil War, as some of the country’s leaders decided to cave in to pressure from the rising “religious sentiment” of certain groups.
And that slogan on our paper money wasn’t added until the 1960s. (See link above)
Now, onto the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Francis Bellamy (1855 – 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).
In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools’ quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute – his ‘Pledge of Allegiance.’
His original Pledge read as follows: ‘I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ He considered placing the word, ‘equality,’ in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * ‘to’ added in October, 1892. ]
In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the ‘leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge’s words, ‘my Flag,’ to ‘the Flag of the United States of America.’ Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.
In 1954, Congress, after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, ‘under God,’ to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.
Bellamy’s granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.
And now, in the 21st century, Americans with political power continue to stuff religion down the throat of government because those with other kinds of power refuse to acknowledge the facts of history.
So, to those who claim god was a part of it all from the start, I say read up on your history. Check out the facts.
We don’t need god to make us good Americans, good citizens, good people. If believing in your god helps you to be the best of these that you can be, well that’s just great. For you.
As for me, I find inspiration, motivation, and hope in the best of the facts of our human history. Just the facts.