Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Ungodly Coin

In my crusade against misinformation being sent through e-mail, I wrote this article this morning, hoping to end the debate.

Rumors have been spreading for years about the fact that the new U.S. Mint coins are omitting the phrase "In God We Trust," thus indicating a government plot to "phase God out of America." This rumor has some in the the Christian community in an uproar, with some religious people indicating that they'd refuse to accept or spend these "atheist" coins.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Well, actually, there is a little sliver of truth, about the size of the edge of a $1 coin. In early 2007, the U.S. Mint admitted that an unknown amount of George Washington dollar coins were minted missing the "In God We Trust", which should have appeared on the edge of the coin.

Truth is, the phrase was never intentionally omitted. This new series of $1 gold coins, similar to the popular state quarter program, are to honor U.S. presidents, starting with George Washington. These coins feature a new bold design with the figure of the honored president much larger then in previous designs. In order to make room for this large design, the phrases "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" were moved to the edge of the coin. Some people, seeing only a head-on photograph of the coins and not seeing the edge lettering, might have become outraged and spread the rumor through e-mail.
Three stacked Presidential $1 coins showing the complete edge incusion: E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, 2007, and P

The government has taken measures to help make heads and tails of the situation. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, that was signed by President George W. Bush on December 26, 2007, changes the design of the coin. H.R. Bill number 2764, Section 623 "Modifies the edge-incused inscription on $1 coins minted and issued honoring each of the Presidents of the United States to remove "In God We Trust." Requires the design on the obverse or the reverse of the coins to bear such inscription." In other words, the phrase "In God We Trust" will be required on the front (obverse) or back (reverse) of the coin.

Starting in 2009, the $1 coins will have "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum" printed on the front or back of the coin instead of the edge. Hopefully this will satisfy some in the religious community that the government is not trying to phase out God. But if you do happen to stumble upon a coin with the Ungodly error, they are worth a lot more than $1!



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