Guess God Was Only Ceremonial, After All

When grinding the “God” off your money, it’s funny,
It really brings home how the whole thing’s absurd
It’s patently clear—as I’m grinding, I’m finding
They think “God” is special; it’s only a word.
The metal where I am engraving’s behaving
Exactly the same as the rest of it does—
No magical force to make God’s word the odd word
As strong or as weak as the rest of it was.

Some see what I’ve done to a dollar, and holler
“Defacing our currency’s wrong, don’t you know?”
I’d call minting wrong in the first place the worst case
“God” didn’t belong, and so “God” had to go.
True, Congress won’t give God’s removal approval
But this is a cure that the law does allow
So these are the coins I’m intending on spending…
I like them much better the way they are now.

Pile of de-godded dollar coins

If the last post was “Before“, I suppose this one is “During”. “After” comes when these puppies are in circulation, which might be a bit harder to get pics of–or at least, more awkward. Again, greater context here.

This was trivially easy to do–on brand-new coins, it’s actually difficult to see that anything has been done at all; the coins are shiny enough that the freshly-exposed metal doesn’t stand out. On the older Sacajawea dollars (you can see one in the middle of the pile), the de-godification is a little easier to see, at least until the metal oxidizes again and it will look like regular wear.


  1. fastlane says

    That’s a lot of work. I do this to most of the paper money that comes through my hands, though. Sometimes, I put snarky comments, like changing ‘God’ to ‘Thor’, but usually, I just write in ‘E Pluribus Unum’.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    It wasn’t nearly as much work as I expected it to be. Took me longer to write the verse.

  3. Synfandel says

    Does this slight reduction in mass affect the coins’ acceptability to vending machines and self-checkout tills?

  4. Cuttlefish says

    There is essentially no reduction in mass–doing sixty coins left me with just a trace of metal dust on my workbench. Mostly, it’s just that metal is malleable, and I have re-shaped it rather than removed it. On top of that, it’s such a small area of the coin–I have seen a good many coins in the wild that have been dropped on a street, run over by cars, and have far worse scratch damage… but they still have worked in parking meters.

  5. Synfandel says

    The only God reference on our Canadian coins is in the words “ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA”, which means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God (“dei gratia”) Queen. They took “ET IMPERATOR” off when India got spun off as an independent in 1947.

    I guess I don’t feel annoyed enough with that to bother grinding the “D. G.” off, because it doesn’t make any claims about my beliefs.

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