Jar of American Gods

A Redditor posts photos of a jar of American gods, hole-punched out of the US dollar bills that an atheist friend receives as tips in his job as a valet.

My atheist friend has worked as a Valet for over a decade. He uses a hole-punch to take out the "god" on US dollars. Here is a picture of his collected "gods". (imgur.com)


  1. Your friend has defaced currency, compromising their structural integrity which will cause them to deteriorate and need to be replaced faster (which costs more money).

    Your friend is also a wanker who is no better than a book-burning zealot: “I don’t like this, so I will deface it to show my superiority and contempt!”


    1. Your friend has defaced currency, compromising their structural integrity which will cause them to deteriorate and need to be replaced faster (which costs more money).

      Oh my GAWD!

      What ever you do, don’t read about the monsters out there that make cute little origami things out of them…there will be epic pearl clutching.

      1.  Yes, erskine certainly does sound ‘concerned’. Duly noted.

        (epic pearl clutching ftw!)

      2. And whatever you do, don’t consider the horrifying possibility that someone who disagrees with you isn’t simply “trolling.” 

    2. Well, at least you signed your post with the appropriate moniker at the end, there.


      Anyway, it’s a little more than “I don’t like this,” isn’t it? More like “My government should not be using my tax money to endorse a religious concept on money.”

      That whole “church and state, separation of” thing.  I sincerely doubt the couple hundred dollars he’s hole-punched are gonna drag down the economy much.

      1. I ran into a claim once that the white house has on their payroll two priests (one of them Catholic) and a rabbi.

        1.  That’s just so they can do the “Two priests and a Rabbi walk in to the Oval Office” jokes.

    3. Yep, great to see another story about an angry, god-hating atheist.

      Shame it’s hard to write a story about a reasonable, amicable atheist while retaining any reason whatsoever to even mention they’re an atheist.

      1. Well, I’m a reasonable, amicable athiest (I even go to church every sunday: UU, of course), but when people get all pearl-clutchy and red in the face about *any* sort of expression of athiestic philosophy (like, you know, separation of church and state) I do tend to get a bit snippy. 

        And it’s kind of hard to hate something that doesn’t exist.

      2. Those of us who weren’t led up the garden path when being taught how to think are so tired of you defective units and your fucking malware.

        You might think it’s hard to write about a reasonable and amicable atheist, but try imagining a reasonable person who’s always the last to believe the evidence – sometimes centuries late. Or try to conjure up an amicable person who believes some folks have no right to their own sexual identity, or that everyone who thinks different is in for an eternity of torture.

        What am I saying. You do it all day, every day – cognitive dissonance is the name of your game.

        1. Are you claiming that an atheist is required to have some objectionable habits, as a necessary condition of having no god?  I don’t get it.

          1. I’m merely pointing out Lobster’s implication that ‘atheist’ activities aren’t particularly amicable or reasonable is pretty rich coming from a position of religious hubris.

  2. “My atheist friend has worked as a Valet for over a decade. He uses a hole-punch to take out the ‘god’ on US dollars. Here is a picture of his collected ‘gods’. ”

    I’m not sure that “atheist” is the most apt label. Passive-aggressive douche-nozzle? Unstable obsessive-compulsive? Immature twenty-something with a persecution complex? Self-righteous and sanctimonious boor?

    If I find the perfect label, I’ll come back later and post it.

    1. Looking at this and noting that he has been a Valet for a decade, I’m going to guess that the label should be “artist”.

      1. Ah, yes, the “E) All of the above” in the world of the multiple-choice personality defect questions.

        Good call.

    2. Sorry, Erskine Calderon already used douche-nozzle.  As for you: Sock-puppet?  Dittohead?

  3. You know what universally-adored fantasy novel I couldn’t get into and abandoned after 75 pages?

    1. I actually preferred the sequel, “Anansi Boys.”  You might give that a try!  Does not require prior knowledge of American Gods.

  4. Endorsements of religious belief do not belong on our currency, whatever the 9th circuit appeals court says. Christians and other religious believers are of course welcome to voice their opinions and participate in public life, but our government is secular in nature, and must remain so in order to ensure representation of all Americans, believers and nonbelievers alike.

    I much prefer the old “unofficial” motto, translated from the Latin — “out of many, one.”

    1.  Even if you are an atheist, you should recognize that a country whose three mottos include “Liberty” had darn well better have “In God we trust ” as one of them, because otherwise you end up with the guillotine.  As I recall, one of the three French mottos was also “liberty.”  But for liberty to work you either need a mighty God or a mighty government, or the people will eat each other up.  Out of many one is the third motto, and you can hear Dennis Prager explain this “American Trinity” on Youtube.  Out of many one means that I’m not a Slovak American and my wife is not a German American, and for that matter you are not an African-American.  You’re an American–something new, something permanent, something stronger, something better than its component parts, just like an alloy (Alnico, for example) is much better than the aluminum, the cobalt and the nickel that go into it. 

      1. Even if you are an atheist, you should recognize that a country whose three mottos include “Liberty” had darn well better have “In God we trust ” as one of them, because otherwise you end up with the

        Apparently you have a much better command of history than I do, because I never heard about the guillotines that plagued America until 1956.

        1.  “In God We Trust” has always been on our money, since the beginning of time.  6,000 years ago.

        2.  The US didn’t use guillotines – they used nooses.  But lynching stuck around at least a decade past 1956.

      2. Dennis Prager is to enlightened political commentary as Douglas Corrigan was to navigation.

        As for three mottos, let’s go with:

        E Pluribus Unum.  Sulcus est in cor.  Non violare hircos.

        1. E Pluribus Unum.  Sulcus est in cor.  Non violare hircos.

          Google Translation: On the search results. Groove is in the heart. Not to violate the goats.

          @Google Translate – Seriously, WTF?

      3. Why would something that does not exist help prevent the atrocities of the French Revolution? “In Superman We Trust” would work just as well. 

      4. Even if you are an atheist, you should recognize that a country whose three mottos include “Liberty” had darn well better have “In God we trust ” as one of them, because otherwise you end up with the guillotine.

        This is looking glass/Glenn Beck territory.  Without God, no morals.  Just like all the non-Christian societies up to the present day are Mad Max/cannibal/rapist societies.  Oh, wait, they’re not any worse than our God-fearing Conquistadors, Inquisitions, pogroms.

        Look if you’re a troll, good job.  If you’re sincere, our educational system has failed you.

        Since christians would object to “Allahu Akhbar” being on the currency, and they pass laws against non-existent sharia in the US, they should realize how ridiculous and offensive it is putting “God” on US currency.

      5. I have a few corrections to point out, if I may.

        1. The ONE AND ONLY motto of France is still, to this day, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Just because there are several words does not mean there are several mottoes.

        2. This motto was only adopted as the official French motto in the end of the 19th century. It did exist during the French revolution, I’ll grant you that.

        3. This motto is still the motto of France. France is very much a secular country – one of the few countries in the world that officially are. (Along with Turkey and… Mexico, if memory serves – I’m not sure myself.) Unless something has changed in the last six hours, to the best of my knowledge, there are no working guillotines in France, nor are there riots demanding the blood of the nobles outside my window. I would urge you to research French history more thoroughly for next time. I’m sure the idea of a strong, functional secular state is terrifying, but ignoring it and speaking in stereotypes is not going to make it go away.

        4. Not a correction, but a question: what is it that people living in the US (a country which still has the death penalty) have against the guillotine? Why should hanging or the electric chair be superior methods of killing? Surely they look more painful – the electric chair especially. Is it because the lack of blood makes it more palatable?

    2.  But it’s the only thing keeping Communists out of the country!

      Without it all we have is the garlic ink infusion that keeps vampires at bay and that silver security strip for werewolves.

    3.  The coins used to say “99.?% silver” on them, and the notes were redeemable for real silver.   Now they’re not.   The reason the cheap-metal coins now say “In God We Trust” is that “We’re the Government, Trust Us!” would just get laughed at.

      1.  I would be very interested in seeing a US coin that said “99.?% silver” on it.  As far as I know, there has never been any US coin that had the metal content explicitly stated on it.  Please post a link to a photo!

  5. Speaking as a passive-aggressive, douche-nozzle, unstable, obsessive-compulsive, immature forty-something with a persecution complex, who often presents as a self-righteous and sanctimonious boor, I think it’s pretty funny.

  6. Someone might want to point him to US Code Title 18 Part I Chapter 17 Section 333 : “Mutilation of national bank obligations”

    1. Someone might also want to point out it’s only illegal to deface the currency if you show “…intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued….”, according to US Code Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 17 Section 333.

      1. And any piece of money comprising more than 50% of the bill is spendable, and if you can provide 4 corners it can be redeemed for fresh money. The replacement policy for burned, rotted, shredded money is surprisingly generous, although you may have to send the debris to the mint for forensic counting. 

  7. Unfortunately he failed in his task.  Everybody knows that in order to kill the mystical spirits that reside within the currency, one must also poke out the “All Seeing Eye of God” that sits atop the pyramid…

    1. Yeah but that’s  not Yahweh, it’s the Eye Of Horus (don’t tell the kids it’s all the same thing)

  8. I change my bills with a pencil to read “IN GOP WE TRUST” because it’s the only party who can be counted on to build a great, big, large fence — 50 or 100 mile long — put all the atheists in there, and drop some food down. In a few years, they’ll die out.

      1. Why, I did it this morning! Before you know it, we’ll be breeding just to spite those Abrahamic religions!

    1. Will there be room in there?  I thought things were already going to be pretty full with just the homosexuals?  Granted, the demographic overlap will mitigate the overcrowding a bit.

    2. Well, yeah, if the Grand Old Party supplied food with the same level of effectiveness as they’ve governed lately, the atheists would definitely die out.  But if the party built a fence with that level of efficacy  it wouldn’t hold anybody in!

      I apologize for the grammar in the preceding paragraph.  It’s probably because I’m a registered Republican theist – we are all iggernant, y’know.

    3. That’s the homosexuals you are thinking of – the atheists keep breeding, so you have to keep feeding.

    4. Make it a bit larger and this religion-free sanctuary actually sounds quite appealing to live in :)

  9. I just cross out god and write in Greed…In Greed we Trust = much more honest.
    Also, there is no god.

  10. I can certainly understand having a philosophical opposition to having ‘God’ mentioned on one’s national currency, and even actively protesting against it. However, the effort involved here just sounds a little too “doth protest too much.” If you genuinely, sincerely, without any reservations don’t believe in a supreme deity, giving this much attention to the mention of Him seems a little odd.

    1. I would have similar reservations, and I suppose you would too, if it said “In Thor We Trust”, or “Allahu Akbar”.  You could argue that “Thor” was a generic term standing in for all gods, or no gods, or the spirit of the universe or some such, but as long as there are asshole politicians claiming that it means that Yahweh is the God of America, we have to fight the symbology. Getting rid of it would mean one less way for the jerks to justify theocratic laws on the secular populace.

      1. It’s an interesting point.  Some people take those words as evidence that the founding fathers wanted us all to be Christian.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  They explicitly asked for separation of church and state. 

    2.  I look at it as evangelizing – spreading the word by removing the word.

      I hope to find one of these bills in my change one day.

    3. Well understood “philosophical oppositions” aside … yes, that and a little something called, Separation of Church and State.

  11. I’ve always enjoyed the cryptic notes scribbled on paper money. Often it seems like someone has scribbled “100” on a dollar bill so it can be used as a gambling marker in a poker game.

  12. There is just something strange and awesome about this jar. Some where, there is an art opening with gold covered poo that would have been better off with a jar of gods instead.

  13. As a non-believer, I know that if I found a dollar bill where the “GOD” had been snipped out by some fellow awesomethinker, I’d feel empowered.

    To say, “Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

  14. If GOD had a problem with it, he should have done something about it. I guess he is cool with it.

    Also “In GOD we Trust”, well who else are you going to trust? The Government?

    When you have more trust in a bearded bathrobe wearing magic sky zombie, than the elected people who are supposed to lead your collective group, things may have gone terribly awry.

  15. While I normally consider things like this not worth making a fuss about, my problem with “In God We Trust” and “One nation under God”  is that they are used by the ignorant to justify their support of religiously motivated laws that erode church and state separation.

  16. Multi-model agnostics wouldn’t cause such controversy, yet I have NO idea what kinds of things such people would collect in jars. Anyone?

  17. This is hilarious. I’ve got to see if there’s anything worth punching out of Canadian bills (not the Queen – I like our archaic, pointless monarchy).

  18. I like this concept.  Having these hole-y dollars circulating from hand to hand works as a kind of low-key protest.  I think I just might start doing it myself.

  19. “Holy dollar,You’ve worked too long on the midnight shift,Oh what’s becoming of me…”

      1. Ok, there needs to be a bigger ‘like’ button on this comment..

        ..now where the hell did i set my sharpie?….

    1. (*punch*) what a punched hole…

      fixed that for you!

      Ah! Now that my work is done, all there is left to do is to sit back and wait for some concern trolls in this thread to either call me a douche-nozzle or to bluster about with some equivocal language condemning me as “militant atheist.” 

  20. In order to make it a positive, I cross out and replace wording, so that the bill I’m handing over reads “In Us We Trust” – please, let’s at least get past the point that we think we need to teach religion, which is divisive, in order to lead ethical lives.  Atheism is the future.  We have only each other.  

  21. People are really psyched on defending currency. 

    Weren’t you people ever children? Didn’t any of you ever draw a ‘stache on George Washington or fold it to make the word “boobs?” Even Christian kids do this – I should know, I went to a Fundie institution where children gleefully defied authority with wanton abandon. 

    Besides, aren’t you allowed to rip a certain percent of the bill and it is still usable as currency?

    Perhaps if Theists are too principled to accept these bills we can all at least agree to lobby for some wider adoption of coinage for all currencies under $10? 

  22.  I am surprised that no one here has pointed out that the guy has a hole puncher, I assume a standard one, which punches a hole that perfectly fits the “GOD” on the bill.  That’s one hell of a coincidence.  Or is it Intelligent Design?

  23. Atheist frothing aside, can I just make the practical point that this jackass is costing us all money in replacement currency (the Fed removes all damaged bills from circulation) without being called a douchenozzle? 

    Edit: also a good argument for dollar coins, but the US seems to hate those for some reason.

    1.  We heard the rumors about England and their coins. Our senators can’t throw dollar coins at strippers. They need to slip ones into the g strings.

  24. Over 100 comments and nobody sees the contradiction of an atheist amassing a huge collection of the word GOD?  Any christian with that many pieces of paper with GOD on it would be considered a hyper-religious kook.

  25. I think one commenter in the r/atheism thread said it best:

    In r/Christianity they just raised more money for whatever cause. r/atheism has a thread about a dude defacing money.

    Please stop showboating, Internet atheists. You’re getting your ass kicked by people who are trying to mold the world into something that their ideology demands.

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