A story claims that people are stamping "No God But Allah" on dollar bills, right next to the "In God We Trust" line on the back. But is this true? This story originally cropped up last summer and has resurfaced, so we thought it was time for a Waffles treatment of it.
First, let’s take a look at the story itself. It is accompanied by a photo as evidence, with a caption that reads:
These are starting to show up around our country! After dinner she took a $1 dollar bill out of her purse and displayed it on the table. Underneath the words “In God We Trust” someone had stamped the dollar bill in red ink—NO GOD BUT ALLAH.
We asked her where she had gotten this dollar bill. She said it was part of her change in Alamosa , CO .
We took a picture of her dollar bill. If anyone tries to give you one of these dollar bills as change, please refuse it and ask them to give you a dollar bill that has not been defaced.
Send this on to everyone you know, please. God bless our USA !
Because we have a photo, we can’t completely discount the story. Someone obviously has stamped a dollar with this sentence, but there is exactly one report of this incident. And the photo included here is the only photo to date offered as proof that the story is real. It’s most likely an isolated event, perhaps with only one such bill in existence.
Is it illegal to deface money?
Rendering a dollar unfit for circulation is illegal. Writing on it, however, is not. If it were illegal, chances are the Where’s George campaign of the late 90s (which continues on a much smaller scale to this day) would have been shut down by the feds long ago.
Reject the bills out of principle?
The caption suggests that readers should not accept one of these bills, should they see one. It’s most likely that you’ll never see one, but it does pose a good question. Would you refuse a bill because someone wrote an offensive message on it? Certainly some atheists have claimed that all currency contains a message offensive to them. Me? I don’t care if religious groups wage war on the back ever dollar bill. It’s still worth a dollar and I’ll still spend it. If I were to see one and felt highly offended, I supposed I’d just get a sharpie and black out their stamp. Problem solved!
If this story were true as presented, why would these people focus on one dollar bills? Why not pick on higher denominations that people will be less likely to crumple up and throw in the trash if so offended?
As an isolated event, the story is true. As a large-scale incident, it’s a hoax.
Life is too short to get sucked into frustrating debate by those who merely seek to upset you.