In God We Trust - Why is it on US money?
According to this page on the US Treasury site, the following letter is the reason for the motto, the weird "all seeing eye" and the bizarre pyramid design on modern US dollar bills. Pictured here are comparisons, the relatively benign version and the modern, superstitious, religiously adorned version c.1956.
Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.
One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.
To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.
So it stands. While fighting this nonsense is likely a near impossible battle, the truth of history bears repeating loudly and clearly from all who find religious symbols emblazoned on public property offensive and anti-humanist. Why must we preserve our uncivilized, ignorant religious roots? Why can we not move past them and embrace our future?
Superstition: literally, to stay still, to be fixed, unmovable. To cling to cherished ideas and beliefs in spite of new contradictory knowledge and evidence.
Get them to believe absurdities, and you can convince them to commit atrocities. - Voltaire (paraphrase)
The above letter was written to Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania.