I’ve always been irritated with the ‘In God we trust” on our currency. Getting past the obvious hypocrisy and camels and eyes of needles, I felt like it was another attempt by religion to infiltrate governance. Niall Ferguson has changed my thoughts on the matter. In this clip on the Colbert Report, he explains the concepts of trust, and money in a fiat system.
This got me thinking and I did a little research:
In 1862, due to the Civil War, paper money was issued without the backing of precious metals.
In God We Trust first appeared on our currency in 1864.
Coincidence? I think not. God was not put on the currency to make people who have money believe in God, it was put there to make those who believe in God extent that belief to the value of worthless paper; to give it the divine aura of trustworthiness. We didn’t need to trust God before fiat currency, we could trust silver and gold. No one was going to trust government, so the big G lent a hand.