Special Edition: Historical Analysis of the American Civil Liberties Union “In God We Trust” and the ACLU, 1955-1959

Randy Kamcza, Bowling Green State University

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/aclu/kamcza.html

Introduction The founding fathers created the framework for our country that would not be controlled by religion. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, only seven percent of the people in the thirteen colonies belonged to a church. Yet, by the 1950s the country they had created was so controlled by religion that a vote against “In God We Trust” as the national motto or a vote against “Under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance would be confused with a vote for communism and a vote against America. The Founding Fathers’ first amendment to the constitution stated, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus creating what is commonly called the Separation of Church and State (also known as Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause). Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States exclaimed,


I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites, to support roguery and error all over the earth.

 

Read the full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/aclu/kamcza.html