Monday, November 14, 2005

In God We Trust

In 1967 when I was in first grade we said the pledge of allegiance before we sat in our desks for the first time each morning. That same act was being played out at thousands of schools, government offices and business around the country every morning. At some point that ritual lost favor and that’s unfortunate. We all may not believe in a God, and for those that do not the same God, but God is not just a part of our country's founding history. It is a core foundation of our founding. The notion that we are united by a creator, by something more noble than us, a God. This is fundamental to the spirit and the principles our founding fathers signed their names to in 1776. The Declaration of Independence isn’t a long document and so each word has more power. At the start of the document our founding fathers make the point that their “equal station” exists by the “Laws of Nature and of Nature's God” and that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This declaration was really the “kiss off” letter to the King of Great Britain and yet the importance of God and the inference that no man is God was clear.

A few quotes from some of our Founding Fathers:

“The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of Man to alienate this gift, and voluntarily become a slave.” John Adams, Rights of the Colonists, 1772

“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men.” Benjamin Franklin, To Colleagues at the Constitutional Convention

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

“But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain...let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

So, fast forward to today…and we have this misguided God-hater Michael Newdow who led the effort to ban reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools at it again. This time it’s the words “In God We Trust” on our currency. Where would it end? The cleansing of the reference to a God, to a creator, would be an acid wash over the very spirit that makes us great and attracts those that come to partake in that greatness.

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