Recently I was watching a clip from a McCain interview.  I’m not sure but it might have been from The View.  In any case, when asked about issues related to Separation of Church and State, he resorted to an old argument about how the founding fathers based the Constitution on Christian values, and specifically mentioned how “In God We Trust” (IGWT) is on the currency.

I’ll save the topic about the founding fathers motivations for another time.  There is good evidence to suggest that Jefferson in particular favored a secular state, but let’s just talk about the US Currency.

Many people cite the IGWT motto and attribute it to the founding fathers.  The FACTS are that the first instance of IGWT being on currency was in 1864 on a two cent coin.  According to the Wikipedia entry, this was in response to growing religious sentiment after the US Civil War.  IGWT first appeared on paper money in 1957.

In 1956, Congress adopted the phrase as the official motto of the United States as a Cold War measure: measure: “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper” to “remind all of us of this self-evident truth” that “as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.” (see Wikipedia reference [7])

So next time you hear someone making the IGWT falicy, feel free to correct them.  It’s not a matter of opinion.  It’s simply a matter of historical facts.