Wednesday 22 December 2010

In Darwin We Trust

The First Amendment of the United States of America reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ....". 

While there are crazy loonies in America who believe this message of a deliberate seperation between church and state was not intended by its writers, most well-educated Americans acknowledge our Founding Fathers formed the United States government as a secular institution.  

In contrast, there is no seperation of church and state in the UK, but surprisingly in my experience, the role of religion in government and politics is much more of a bit part as compared to the starring role religion seems to play in the American government.   

This is a UK £10 note...
Does that bearded man look familiar to you?  
That's Charles know, the guy who came up with the theory of evolution by natural selection?  Yeah, him... on official currency!

Mr Darwin was born in 1809. In commemoration of his 200th birthday (and because his beard is too awesome to be on only one piece of currency), The British Royal mint struck a limited edition £2.00 coin in 2009, of which I have only ever come across once.  

Let's compare this to the good 'ol American one dollar bill...

And American coins...
Yes, I realize this is just one example, but I ask you - which government actually is allowing their people to live seperately from the church?

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours".
~ Stephen Henry Roberts


  1. Amen, sista. (actually the amen is a bit ironic)

    I. love. this. post.

    I never understood why America claims the church and state are separated (besides the being free to choose religion which I think was their original intent, because I feel "religion" as a whole is much more prevalent in American politics and households than elsewhere. That said, I have never lived anywhere else (so I am *so* informed..... What do you think?)

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  3. My son did a report on that note for school. I guess there is a 'mistake' that there is a hummingbird on the note, being that he studied the finch. But the hummingbird is prettier, and therefore on the note. It is a nice piece of artwork :)

  4. But he loved mockingbirds, not the finch!! I agree its prettier though!
    I dont know, i think countries where the head of state isn't the same head of state work out better than this one. No matter who is on a bank note.

  5. I sincerly hope you kept said coin, and if ever one crosses your path again, it would make an excellent Birthday present for me! :)