Thursday, February 2, 2012

Did you know?

I stumbled across this at Think Atheist. Nice, huh? (Click image to embiggen.)


Jim Harris said...

Is all that true? I didn't know that.

WCG said...

All true. Well, I don't know why they changed the Pledge of Allegiance and our nation's motto during the McCarthy Era. I suspect that Communism was just an excuse for doing what they wanted to do, anyway.

Which part didn't you know, Jim?

Jim Harris said...

I just assumed "In God We Trust" was always on the money and was always the motto. I knew about the pledge of allegiance. I would never imagine they would change the motto so I never thought it would have been different.

WCG said...

No, Jim, I'm sure our Founding Fathers would never have put "In God We Trust" on our currency. But believers have been chipping away at that "wall" of separation between church and state almost from the beginning.

"In God We Trust" was added to some U.S. coins in 1864 "largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War" (that from the Treasury Department).

It required an act of Congress, but back then, politicians tended to be almost as cowardly about anything popular as they are today. Later, additional Congressional acts allowed the phrase to be placed on all coins (though it wasn't always done).

And yes, it wasn't until 1956 that Congress made it the national motto*, and not until 1957 that it first appeared on paper money.

* (Nice, huh? They abandoned a motto which united all Americans and adopted a motto which divided us, instead.)

Jeff said...

I read somewhere that there were only two other countries that had a "pledge of allegiance:" Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy.

I can't vouch for how accurate that information is, though. Somebody will have to dig deeper than I can to verify that.

I wonder what will be next? Maybe we'll have to scream "UNDER GOD" like all the Tea Partiers want us to do. Kind of like the story out of North Korea that, supposedly, if people didn't display the sufficient amount of grief at "Li'l Kim's" funeral, they would get six months in a hard labor camp.

WCG said...

No, I don't think that's right, Jeff. The Philippines apparently has a Pledge of Allegiance, for example. And plenty of countries have "oaths of allegiance," especially when swearing in political leaders. (And that's after just a very cursory search on Wikipedia.)

Ironically, the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance always reminded me of the Soviet Union and Red China, where ostentatious displays of patriotism were pretty much mandatory. Or like North Korea, as you say.

I used to think it was a strange thing for a free nation to promote, even when we were reciting it in grade school. If your nation really is worth defending, you shouldn't need to brainwash kids into it, should you?

But conservatives really value obedience to authority. It's kind of funny that these are the same people who keep threatening secession, isn't it?