A California atheist, Michael Newdow, will be in a federal court in Cincinnati arguing that the presence of the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 by infringing on his religious freedom.1,2 He’s ignoring the prominence of religious belief in our republic since its beginnings. As George Washington said in his farewell address:
“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports… Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”3
The courts will continue to ponder this thorny issue of how to allow expressions religious belief in our public lives without violating constitutional rights.
Putting that aside, a review of where our U.S. culture is headed strongly suggests that using the motto “In God We Trust” is giving ourselves more credit than we deserve. Oh sure, we made slavery illegal in this country in the 19th century – a mere eight centuries after “both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Anselm successfully campaigned to remove the last vestiges of slavery in Christendom” 4 (unfortunately, it resurfaced later in more “enlightened” times). And we started allowing women to vote in 1920, or twenty-seven years after New Zealand did the same and we were also later than ten other countries.5
But, we have had legalized murder of the unborn for 44 years resulting in about 59 million victims6 not counting the physical risks and emotional scars suffered by the mothers.7 And our latest creation, where we think the state can redefine the institution of marriage (something not created by the state in he first place) and toss Natural Law out the window with same-sex “marriage.”
These are strange ways to prove we believe “In God We Trust.”
1 – “Does God have a place on money?, by Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/18/2017.
4 – “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.
5 – “First 15 Countries To Grant Women’s Suffrage, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/first-15-countries-to-grant-women-s-suffrage.html
7 – “In a series of 1,182 abortions which occurred under closely regulated hospital conditions, 27 percent of the patients acquired post-abortion infection lasting 3 days or longer… Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of the operation’s latent morbidity… Other countries which have legalized abortion have seen the same dramatic increase in ectopic pregnancies…
“Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor… Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.” From The After Effects of Abortion,” http://www.abortionfacts.com/reardon/the-after-effects-of-abortion