The Free Money Movement

Here’s an interesting new little “movement” that might interest some of you guys. It’s called the “Free Money Movement“, which admittedly is a little less awesome than the name suggests. The idea is to cross out the words “in God We Trust” from all US currency as an act of civil disobedience. As many of you may already know, the addition of this phrase is a relatively new phenomenon; Congress only made the motto “official” in 1956. It’s clearly a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, but the Supreme Court in their infinite wisdom, declared Government recognition of God does not constitute the establishment of a state church. Right, and including it in the pledge of allegiance must also not violate the establishment clause, right?

It’s supposed to be a federal offense to deface money, but from everything I’ve read, no one has ever been arrested for this act of defiance (presumably because of the degree of press it would generate). The debate about the use of God on American Currency needs be re-opened. For a country that prides itself on the separation of church and state, this motto is an insult to your Constitution, to your Founding Fathers, and is generally an embarrassment. There might be more important issues to tackle, but I’m always up for a little social upheaval. Bring on the Sharpies, people!

Comments (18)

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    I really hope this catches on. I could see this as the kind of thing that would really irk the fundies. Who knows, maybe it will be popular enough to have people start throwing accusations of atheism at everyone with one of these bills. That would be priceless.

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    Angela Grace

    I think it would be a fun thing to do at a local atheist get together, and then see how long it takes to finally get a god-free dollar bill back some place.

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    My friends and I have been doing this forever and I’ve yet to get one of the marked bills back. Also, it stands out a lot more if you use a red sharpie.

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    Canadian here, with some leftover money from a trip across the border. Had 5 ones, and a ten left…and now “defaced”. That was fun! They’ll go back into circulation at the end of August.

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    dont forget three things if they do manage take you to court for defacing the moneys.
    -one they can prove you did it unless you admit to it.
    -two this is freedom of speech and is a protected right
    -three the U.S constution still says only gold and silver count as money and the dollar bill is infact not leagal tend under the constution and therefore any law to prevent you defacing it is infact illegal law and therefore null and void.

    i live in australia so unfortunally i cant join in your efforts being so far away but you all have my full support.

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    I’ve received a quarter back as change that had the word ‘god’ drilled out.

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    Here’s the official definition of defacement:

    The key phrase in there I think is “..with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued..”

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    According to the law basically, its only a federal offense if you have marked out the serial number or other key information.

    And Here is their video:

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    I dont think its so much about having the word god on the currency as much as its about ousting god from our government, policies and outward appearance to the world. When laws or decisions are made on a theistic level whether its Christianity, Muslim or whatever. When religious wars are fought under false pretenses and our country is attacked presumably because of our religious beliefs. Then people are being effected. There is no place for god in our governance now just as there was no place for god when this country was founded, why it was founded. It was Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptists, who referred to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as creating a “wall of separation” between church and state. Its not about defacing money or even getting the word god off the money, thats just a small step in a bigger picture. Its the awareness to the larger issue that is there is no place for any god in any government thats making decisions for the masses. I am all in.

  • avatar


    I’ve been doing this for ages now. I generally write something like “ourselves,” “science,” or “reason” above the sharpied-out “God”

    People give me strange looks sometimes, but I haven’t had anyone actually ask me what I’m doing yet. :D I live in Mississippi… not exactly the safest place to do this, but it’s a great idea in my opinion.

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    I have always overwritten it as “Bob” with the quotation marks included as a homage to the Church of the SubGenius. It is also nice to give whatever president is on it a pipe full of frop.

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    I’ve also been doing this since before I knew there was a movement to do it. I usually just cross out the entire motto, or just the God part of it (making it seem like maybe we don’t trust anyone?) I think crossing out just the “God” sends a clearer message, and will do that from now on.

    Unfortunately, I let a few bills slip through my atheistic fingers without besmirching them. They bought me some alcohol, though, so I guess it’s just as well.

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    I too have been doing this for a while. Count me in as somebody else who marks out the whole wretched phrase.

    I got my brother to start as well.

    Nobody has ever asked me about the, “improved bills,” yet. That’s too bad because I am itching to tell them exactly what I feel regarding having god shoved in my face every freaking day.

    I will also add that I look forward to the day we all (possibly) move to an all electronic currency. That way there will be one less media where assholes can slap “god” on.

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    If you want to keep a low-profile to avoid angry encounters with theistic cashiers, I suggest using a metallic silver sharpie.

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    I am of no religion, just to let y’all know upfront. I am also not an athiest, but have friends who are, and I think it is a very fascinating and valid philosophy to have.

    I find this movement interesting, though I would not partake in it personally. However, I have no qualms with those who do-I just wouldn’t care to, for I am on yogi and shamanic spiritual paths (you know, “plant medicines” or “natural drugs”-that path). I would view it -personally (this de-facing of money)- as a waste of time, for others perhaps it is not a waste of time.

    My bro is really into politics, and I might direct him to your page. Mostly, he’s into the constitution, and sticking to what it says. :)

    Just want to state my position here, for what it’s worth. I just am really writing to point out that the Founding Fathers were Masons-I’m sure you know, but please hear me out here. Maybe that is written in the First Amendment, but it seems that is perhaps a contradiction too. The Europeans came here because they wanted to have freedom of religion, not freedom from the idea of a “Supreme Being”, and Masons call that God. I’ve looked at the Mas. Bible, I know. In some other countries the Mas. Bible does not exist, it is the Mason Quran, or what-have-you instead. In the Masonic Bible there are a multitude of names for God, from the Teutonic “Goth” to “Elohim” to “Allah”, etc. etc. There are Masonic symbols all over the dollar bill, and they believe in a Supreme Being, which is a required belief if one is to enter into a FreeMasonic organization. Almost every president has been a Mason. So, yeah, I guess the constitution may be a bit of a contradiction in regards this fact. Hmmm… Just my two cents, I’m not that into politics, but very into “hidden truths”… I’ve seen all this info with my own eyes, in this book that women aren’t really allowed to see-w/ the exception of certain parts of Europe. :)

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    The FMM site you linked to said that it’s not technically illegal to cross out the word “god” on money; it’s only illegal to alter serial numbers or other official markings. I love this movement, and every dollar bill that passes through my hands gets cleansed of its religious baggage…and I even go one step further; I use a home-made tazer I built to burn the word “god” off of coins as well.

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    I just thought of this myself. Then I decided to google it to see if it were illegal, and i found this site. There is truly nothing new to do in the world. I still love this idea even though i was just saddened to find out that it wasn’t mine. Cross out god.

  • avatar

    Sharpie man

    I either cross out god and print gold above it or I try to squeeze a L in between o and d, depending on my mood, hopefully some bible thumper somewhere is slamming his head against a wall when he see’s it.

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