This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Non-qualifying Article ... but a good one

Here is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that explains how “In God we Trust” ended up on U.S. currency (“The Currency of Faith,” 11/20/07).

John Andrew Murray, the author, explains:

Fifty years ago, the phrase "In God We Trust" first appeared on our nation's one-dollar bill. But long before the motto was signed into law by President Eisenhower, it was considered for U.S. coins during the divisive years of the Civil War.

On Nov. 13, 1861, in the first months of the war, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase received the following letter from a Rev. M.R. Watkinson: "Dear Sir, 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 now shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation?"

The clergyman surmised correctly. Chase was indeed a Christian.
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While this well written and educational piece includes quotations of prominent U.S. officials and other commentators at the time and explains that it was President Lincoln’s desire to see U.S. currency bear the God-fearing inscription, Murray’s brief text does not include any identifiable scripture, which means it doesn’t qualify for the Amy Writing Awards.

I will email Murray and encourage him to keep writing and explain the criteria for the awards, so that might one day qualify and win.


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