Recently, one of the first pennies ever produced by the U.S Mint was sold for over a million dollars. What’s interesting about this penny is what it says and how it contradicts what some extreme elements of Christianity often say – that America is a Christian Nation.
The coin reads: “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”
It doesn’t say “In God We Trust” or “Christianity Parent of Liberty” or anything of the sort. I think that’s very telling.
From the article:
Todd Imhof at Heritage Auctions told ABC that unlike today's legal tender which bears the inscription, "In God We Trust," the copper-silver penny reads "Liberty Parent of Science & Industry."
"At the time, industry and science reflected an enlightenment mindset," Imhof said. "People believed freedom of thought and industrial growth would bind and unify the new country, not religion or God."
Todd is basically echoing what secularists have been saying for a very long time. But like many things, facts are routinely ignored to maintain the notion of America being a Christian Nation.
I have to admit that what stirred me to write this article was one that I just read right here on News Vine entitled, “Atheists Show Their Bigotry And Prejudice…..Again”.
While it may have motivated me, this article shouldn’t be viewed as any sort of attack on that piece. I mention it merely because the author uses the same sort of reasoning that I’m talking about in this article. Here’s an example from that article:
What we have is a country primarily populated by Christians hosting three groups which could arguably be shown to hold, and wish to promote, views which are certainly not always in line with traditional Christian teachings. As a reward for this tolerance, it seems that all of these groups have no higher objective than to destroy this system of tolerance anyway they can, and then to replace it with their particular brand of intolerance. This can only mean that they are not fighting for “tolerance”, rather they are fighting for dominance and the ability to impose their brand of intolerance on all the rest of us.
The author says Christians are ‘playing host’ to three other groups (in this case, the author is talking about homosexuals, atheists and Muslims) in a country that is populated by a majority of Christians, which then somehow points towards Christianity as being the ultimate bringer of democracy, liberty and freedom.
Australia – like America, Canada and other Western countries – are made up of different religious and non-religious groups. Christians aren’t ‘playing host’. They are part of the whole. Just because Christians are the majority, doesn’t make it their country and the rest be damned. It means Christians are one part of a diverse community.
I would argue that liberty, freedom and democracy didn’t happen because of Christianity (although many Christians were involved in it happening) but in spite of it. It was the enlightenment that really birthed the idea of liberty.
I recently seeded an article that shows this magnificently. You tell me whether this sounds like a man who believes in freedom, liberty and democracy:
"The larger concern with secularism is that it damages people, and that it actually keeps people from being reasonable with one another," said Chad C. Pecknold, assistant professor of systematic theology in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
"It creates a great level of intolerance for people of faith. I think secularism for Pope Benedict is a feature of this growing bifurcation between faith and reason," he told Catholic News Service.
Does that sound like the source of liberty to you or the cry of freedom? Or does it sound like the theocratic mind in full swing?
Christianity wasn’t the ultimate source of liberty any more than Islam is the source of liberty in Turkey as they try desperately to become a secular nation and join the EU. They had to be fought tooth and nail and that fight continues today – here and abroad.
And if Turkey or other Muslim countries eventually succeed in breaking away from the tyrannical yolk that their hysterical clerics have placed around their necks and become liberty loving secular countries, how much do you want to bet that a hundred years or so from that point, some Muslims will try to take credit for that freedom by saying their religion was the basis for it?
Maybe the penny should say ‘In Reason and Open Dialogue We Trust” instead.
It’s very ironic that a penny minted in 1792 that reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry” is an improvement on the ones minted over 200 years later.
I'd like to leave you with this Hitchens quote, which sums it up well in my opinion:
“Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.”
― Christopher Hitchens