Jones 1

Lina Jones Professor Randa Hist- 1700-075 29 September 2013 Three Mentions of Deity in American History Throughout the different time periods of American history there is a mention of a deity. There are three main mentions of this deity in American history, which are “In God We Trust”, “Under God”, and “Creator”, all with different reasons for being mentioned. Reasons varying from showing how our country got its freedom, to wanting to show our nation is different from the common enemy. All these reasons have made our country what it is today and shows other nations how united we are. The first deity mentions in American history is the word “Creator” in the declaration of independence, written by Thomas Jefferson. Near the beginning of the declaration he wrote “endowed by their creator.” Originally Jefferson did not add the words creator to the declaration, but with Jefferson being a representative of the enlightenment the word creator to him was equivalent to the God of Israel, Father Almighty or even Allah (“Jefferson’s original declaration…”). The Creator Jefferson referred to is the one behind all of that on earth which is created. Adding the word creator makes a powerful statement about the country itself. It states that the new country is essentially free due to the rights everyone has been born with by the power of the creator (“Thomas Jefferson:…”). The creator gave everyone equal rights that no one can take away no matter how much power they have.

Jones 2

The second deity mention is the words “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance. The words were added to the pledge on June 14, 1954, which just happened to be flag day. Around that time segregation in school had just ended and the U.S. was planning an intervention in Vietnam. The words were proposed to be added on February 8 which was the day after the mass celebrating Lincoln’s birthday. Lincoln’s birthday was on February 17th that year. The mass had a big impact on Eisenhower, which is what convinced him to have a bill proposed to congress. The Knights of Columbus are the main ones for reasoning to add under god in the pledge of allegiance (“Pledge of Allegiance”). In Lincoln’s Gettysburg address it is believed that he said “that the nation shall, under god, have a new birth of freedom.” Although there is no official proof as to if it was in the address or not many people felt it was only fitting to add under god to the pledge. In present time there are people trying to take the words out, but every year the Knights of Columbus fight to keep it in the pledge. The last main mention of a deity in American history is the placing of “In God We Trust” on money. The motto changed from “Our Country, Our God, Our Trust” to” Our God and Our Country”, and finally to “In God We Trust” (“About.”). It first appeared on coins in 1864, but it was officially adopted as the official motto in 1956. After it was adopted it was placed on paper currency in 1957(“In God We Trust”). Although it was officially adopted in 1864 there are many coins that do not have In God We Trust on them. The motto was not placed on them due to the congress not requiring it and also due to design changes. At the time of the adoption of the motto the U.S. was currently fighting the cold war against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union promoted state atheism. The U.S. adopted “In God We Trust to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union.

Jones 3

All these mentions of deity in American history have shaped us and shown the world what America is all about. Whether it be from showing our sense of freedom, to trying to connect with the past, or to show that we are against a common enemy. All three mentions prove to be important and are still within our society today. Although some mentions are being protested against they have proven to be strong because they still exist and have not changed. Just because there is a mention of a deity it doesn’t make our country a Christian country it just unites us through a higher power and shows how we differ from other foreign countries.

Jones 4

Works Cited "In God We Trust." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, modified 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. "Pledge of Allegiance." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, modified 27 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. "Thomas Jefferson: “We Are All Endowed by Our CREATOR with Certain Unalienable Rights”, etc." Kingdom Economics The Future Is Now. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. "Jefferson's Original Declaration of Independence Did Not Use the Word "Creator"" Jefferson's Original Declaration of Independence Did Not Use the Word "Creator" N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013. "About." History of 'In God We Trust' N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2013.