In 2016, Mark Twain will be featured on a U.S. commemorative coin.
Twain said this about the motto’s use on coinage, in a speech he gave May 14, 1908:
“Some years ago on the gold coins we used to trust in God. It think it was in 1863 that some genius suggested that it be put on the gold and silver coins which circulated among the rich. They didn’t put it on the nickels and coppers because they didn’t think the poor folks had any trust in God. … If I remember rightly, the President required or ordered the removal of that sentence from the coins. Well, I didn’t see that the statement ought to remain there. It wasn’t true. But I think it would better read, ‘Within certain judicious limitations we trust in God,’ and if there isn’t enough room on the coin for this… enlarge the coin.”
(The New York Times says Twain made a slightly reworded version of that same statement.)
The point was as clear then as it is now: The phrase just doesn’t belong on our currency.
Maybe someone with a sense of humor will create a design with Twain’s profile laughing in the direction of where the phrase is located.
Now that would be funny.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)