I’ve found myself asking this question quite often, but it appears that the question in itself is a bit touchy due to semantics. Even with that though, it lingers on my mind due to the implications it has on American society as a whole.
When you look at any common United States Dollar note, you’ll notice that it has inscribed on it “In God We trust.” Well, here’s the problem I have with this. This is on all of the United States Dollar notes within the country now. In what, or which God, do we place, as a society, as a people, in? Is it a religious entity or is it a set of beliefs based on the acronyms of “God?”
What happens if that were true? What would the acronyms translate out to? Good Ol Democracy? Golden Oligarchy Dragon? (I know those are silly) Now wait a second, Gold would actually make sense, would it not? As the backing of the currency is done so the most via gold reserves. That would make the most sense as far as the “G” part of this acronym.
***(I’d also like to add here that when reviewing the font and size of the words “IN GOD WE TRUST” it’s done so in all capitals, meaning that if an acronym were at play here, there’s an extreme difficulty in seeing it as acronyms are dependent on being capitalized to demonstrate they have contextual meaning)
Let’s continue trying to define “G” part of the acronym. Before that though, did you know that American culture absolutely loves the use of acronyms? Even so much so that it can be a fault? Well, as the link below goes over, Americans very much do enjoy using and even at times abusing the use of acronyms:
Failure to define acronyms is all too frequent and reflects inconsiderate writing, careless editing, and irresponsible publishing. 2 As an example, the following sentence appeared in the abstract supplement of a major cardiology journal: “The study population comprised 2,950 patients (3,549 lesions) prospectively enroled [sic] into 4 restenosis trials (MERCATOR, MARCATOR, CARPORT, PARK).” 6Nowhere were these acronyms defined, leaving readers to wonder whether they were looking at a used-car advertisement. Moreover, 70 other abstracts in that same issue contained undefined acronyms. And in one recent review article alone, we counted over 90 undefined acronyms, including some that appeared more than once! 7
I’m sharing this as a point of my article to demonstrate the fact that the overuse of acronyms often leaves important information or a contextual basing on what the acronyms actually mean. (API [a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system, application, or other service] is a fantastic demonstration of this despite the fact that API’s are being a fundamental piece of the American Economy) as this is extremely important in my overall point and question proceeding forward.
What does “G” translate to?
To get back on track though, let’s expand on the “G” translating out to gold. When one looks back at United States politics since the 60s, there’s been a growing currency war on whether or not to continue backing the currency with other resources away from gold. This can be seen to an effect with Exutive Order 11100 which was signed into law June 4, 1963 by John. F. Kennedy.
Executive Order 11100 is the reason why the rich (in terms of those who have large investments in gold) still have power over everything in society. The common person cannot afford to hold excesses of gold, so the next best common metal (silver) to back a currency behind had a paramount resistance from those within the government federal government at the time. The signing of this executive order overturned laws that had the Federal government buy into silver and back the currency behind it, including the Silver Purchase Act of 1934.
What does “O” translate to?
So far so good for “G”, right? Well the fun part about this is by defining “G” as “Gold” it gives us the opportunity to define “O” rather effortlessly. “O” translate to oil, or rather, the petrodollar. Think I’m making this connection up? Well, please do feel free to review the article below which goes in detail about how during the 1970s the Federal Reserve and by extension the Federal Government started backing the currency via the petrodollar:
“Faced with mounting inflation, debt from the Vietnam War, extravagant domestic spending habits and a persistent balance of payments deficit, the Nixon administration decided to suddenly (and shockingly) end the convertibility of U.S. dollars into gold. In the wake of this “Nixon Shock,” the world saw the end of the gold era and a free fall of the U.S. dollar amidst soaring inflation. According to, Dr. Bessma Moomani in the article, “ GCC Oil Exporters and the Future of the Dollar,” through a series of carefully crafted bilateral agreements with Saudi Arabia beginning in 1974, the U.S. was able to promote bilateral political and commercial relations, market imported U.S. goods and services, and help recycle Saudi petrodollars (more on this later).
What does “D” stand for?
So now we’ve defined what the “O” means. So far so good, right? Fun little exercise/activity for everyone thus far? Good. I will say now though, the problem I’m encountering at this point in time is what exactly “D” would translate to. It could be “debt”. Debt in today’s society means that the average American has financial liability to the federal government. That could be a possibility as said financial leverage can force them into cooperating with the federal government and their new policies. This can be noted in the amount of debt the average American citizen has to their name in terms of medical costs/expenses, student loans, car or house payments, the works.
So could “drugs”, as since the 20th century saw a myriad of new prohibition periods which created black markets and destabilized other countries, much the way controlling oil production does. This can be most notably noticed in Latin American countries where drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and other substances/resources are banned or outright illegal. How does this play into defining “D” though? Well, when looking at the economies of Latin America, those resources/substances offer a large upside for what is essentially agricultural products/resources.
What would controlling these market achieve for the American Government, and more curious, why is it the “D” in “God”? Since the phrasing was added to the American Dollar note, it’s worth mentioning that healthcare has shifted drastically in terms of how the average American is treated in terms of expenses. Before the Gold standard failed under Nixon [details above] and the silver standard was shot down, Americans essentially were viewed more as patients than they were as customers. Due to the American Drug wars of the 20th and 21st century, natural competitions for healthcare related expenses has dramatically increased over time as there is no natural forces within the industry to drive down alternatives for treatment offered under the Federal Government. Even if said alternatives do not always work, the fact that they are being stripped from the market due to the government thinking “People are too stupid to choose or make their own drugs.” only worsened the overall effects of these alternatives being banned or made illegal.
Not only that, but as noted above, those alternatives are coming from Latin America more often than not. Except for…hm. Well. This is strange… Why is Afganistan on this list..oh right. Except for opium, which contributes to opioid prescriptions and substances such as the likes of heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, oxycotin…etc. The good news here is the DEA wants to reduce/limit opioid products (see article https://www.dea.gov/press-releases/2018/08/16/justice-department-dea-propose-significant-opioid-manufacturing-reduction). That still has little to no bearing on the opiod products still on the market though. The Opioid Crisis has even been declared by some to be national emergency.
It could be “drugs” or “debt” as the two, despite often not being tied together most definitely are.
In closing, what are American politicians swearing an oath to? What does an oath mean if it’s based on not believing in what you’re swearing upon?
Language and psychology are vital tools to leading people to believe in something or staking faith in it. This is very much true in regards to the definition of “God” on all monetary notes within America. What is God in the sense of it being on the currency? What is “God” in the sense of taking pledges and oaths on a bible that presents an entity or deity which holds absolute power over us all? Is the oath to “God” an oath to a deity or is to a set of beliefs? If it’s the latter, the one can only assume that the folks that created this phrase knew that it would be loosely defined, and since this was done in the days of the Cold War, no one thought anything about the future ramifications as it was a response to the “Godless Soviet Union” which was predominantly atheist.
That needs to change though. We cannot allow our current and future politicians to pledge or take oaths on ideas that they do not actually believe in. This is essentially the same things as crossing your fingers when you take the oath to protect the country and her people.
It is in my deepest and most professional opinion that “God’ needs to be defined. What do we, as a people, pledge our loyalty and trust towards? What do politicians pledge their loyalty towards when taking an oath?
How do you define the “God” you insist all of America should pledge allegiance to?