November 6, 2011
Amen!<br><br>As a country, we do not trust in God. We trust in our military, the free market, government beneficence, or any number of other things.<br><br>We might stick a motto on our currency, but we don't show faith, love, or self-control as our defining characteristics.<br><br>This, like sticking "under God" in our national pledge, really just encourages a whole lot of people to take God's name in vain. I'd rather we stopped the empty national acts of piety and showed some real devotion.
Indiana started offering an "In God We Trust" license plate in 2007. It inspired an ACLU lawsuit because the plate, unlike other specialty plates, does not require the $15 administrative fee. <a href="http://www.theindychannel.com/news/17999573/detail.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.theindychannel.com/...</a> (The other "free" specialty plate, Lincoln's Boyhood Home, that helped win the lawsuit switched to a fee just one year later.)<br><br>So these plates are everywhere.<br><br>Whenever someone cuts me off in traffic, I always check their plate. More often than not, their plates proclaim "In God We Trust." I now associate the plates(and the phrase) with entitlement thinking and bully behavior.
For any Canadians feeling left out today, FYI:<br><br>"From Sea to Sea." Canada's Motto comes from Psalm 72:8Â <br><br>Â "May He have dominion fromÂ sea to sea,Â and fromÂ the RiverÂ to the ends of the earth!"<br>It was adopted after BC joined the Dominion of Canada it I remember rightly.Â <br><br>Excellent article Bethany. Brings to mind the old adage "Put your money where your mouth is." When we put an affirmation of God's sovereignty on our money should we not be obliged to do his will with it? Render unto Ceasar... Only this money is stamped "Property of God"
Can we consider the phrase aspirational? God required the Jews to wear the 10 commandments, to "tie them to your hands and wear them on yourÂ foreheadÂ as reminders" (as it says in Deuteronomy) whether they lived up to the commandments or not. Of course, when we don't live up to them, they are a reminder that we have fallen short and Isaiah 58 is the corrective. Personally, I don't think we will ever live up to the standard of piety some here express. However that does not preclude us from identifying our national values and aspiring to greater things.
Matthew 6:1-6 comes to mind.
I think the archeologists imagined by the 19th century pastor will now look at the "In God We Trust" motto on our coins, think of the wars and poverty from our history, and come to the conclusion that our "God" was the money itself.
I am somewhat dismayed by the position taken in this article (and most of the letters).Â I think it's irrelevant that we are poor standard-bearers for God.Â I think that, as Christians, and even more as honest historians, we should be appalled at the concerted effort to erase the faith of our forefathers from the history books.Â George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, the whole lot of them were cracked pots, just as we are today.Â But they still allowed their faith and Biblical principles to inform the documents we call The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights and many more of the words that became the legal foundations of this country.Â The relics of that faith should not be allowed to be wiped clean from our memories or our textbooks...and not even from our postage and currency.
That would be fine... except for the fact that the addition of the phrase "In God we trust" wasn't added to currency during the founding of the U.S. - in fact, it was far later in the future, in the 1950s. Also, of the two persons you mentioned, Jefferson and Franklin had theologies that would not be considered orthodox by most Christians today, and they were not inspired by "Biblical principles". They were inspired by 18th century Enlightenment values, for better or worse (as far as it pertains to governing a country, I'd say for the better.)
I suspect most of us, deep down, know this resolution was a waste of time (Justin Amash, a Christian Republican, cast a dissenting vote, in part, for this very reason); yet, if it were to be voted down, we would've been deeply distressed. When we hear, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD," we want to think we're included. But God reads our hearts, not our coins.
Now if only Christians would spend their money as if it is God's.
<i>But they still allowed their faith and Biblical principles to inform the documents we call The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights and many more of the words that became the legal foundations of this country. </i><br><br>There's a whole lot more John Locke in those documents than the Bible. Quite frankly, none of the three people you name was particularly known for being a man of faith, or at least of Christian faith... Washington held a subscription to a pew in Falls Church but was very rarely seen in it; Jefferson produced a version of the Bible that reflected his admiration of Jesus as a moral teacher but not the Son of God, with all the miracles and resurrection cut out of it; and Franklin was pretty strongly deistic, with a smattering of providence thrown in here and there for the occasional rhetorical flurry.<br><br>Those who claim otherwise will need to present more than the work of pseudohistorian hacks like David Barton to justify their claims.
It may seem completely obvious to everyone else, but it only recently struck me that all the arguments about religion and government and/or politics in the U.S. ring fairly hollow.Â As Christians, we are not called to trust in a generic, one-size-fits-all kind of God.Â We trust in God - Father, Son, Spirit. <br><br>If the founding fathers had meant to establish a Christian nation, there would at least be some reference of Jesus Christ in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.Â There is no Christian without Christ.<br><br>There has only ever been one "Christian nation" and it has no political or geographical boundaries (1 Peter 2:9).
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