A letter from Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, to Secretary Chase in 1861. The following letter is a copy of sent which was the direct cause of adding "In God We Trust" to our currency. I only bring this up because the arguments in favor of the coinage are going to be pretty clearly along the lines of "ceremonial deism" which is to say just little God comments that we do, ceremonially... like stamp and engrave on our money.
Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.
One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL UNION; within the ring the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW.
This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.
To you first I address a subject that must be agitated.
We need to put God on our money to save us from the ignominy of heathenism. We wouldn't want the future generations to believe us to be heathens, would you? What about the future heathens who like to be heathens? Jackass.