Under God or Not?
You will not hear any of the following emphasized or even taught in most USA public schools or churches; so, I offer it to friends, family, and strangers for private consideration and reflection.
RIGHTS: Even in the primitive "law of the jungle"...believe it or not, each human had three rights..."rights" = an immense and overwhelming desire...the right to  life (the right to stay alive),  the right to liberty (the right to not be captured), and  the right to possessions (such as some stored up food and maybe a shelter)!
The Way: Choices result in consequences & produce some repeating cycles (Deut. 30:15-20) in the history of mankind. Around 2000 years ago, Jesus came to (1) proclaim & clarify the truth about the one true God and to shed His blood in an atoning death to save mankind and also to offer The Way.
Initial Pilgrim Socialism: On 12 Oct. 1492, Columbus discovered America. Jamestown, Virginia began on 12 May 1607. Not having sufficient funding for their journey to the New World, the English " pilgrims" came in Nov. 1620 on the Mayflower, the planned destination being Jamestown. This group received financing from two businesses, the Virginia Company of London and the Virginia Company of Plymouth. The Virginia companies were known as “Adventurers.” And the deal imposed Socialist principles on the colonists. The “take it or leave it” contract the Pilgrims entered into with the adventurers called for the colonists to “to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock and goods of the said colony.” It also called for “all profits and benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means of any persons, remain still in the common stock until the division.” In other words, the Pilgrims were to live in what is known today as a Socialist commune. “The Pilgrims accepted the socialist principle, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’ Each person was to place his production into the common warehouse and receive back, through the Governor, only what he needed for himself or his family.” For whatever contested reasons, a second accompanying ship did not get out onto the Atlantic Ocean.
In November of 1620, they dropped anchor at Cape Cod, in what is now Provincetown Harbor, Mass., being unable to get winds southward to Virginia. In Dec., they made it to the mainland at what is known as Plymouth Rock. But things didn’t work out as planned. In fact, the harvests were extremely poor in 1621 and 1622. It was normal to be hungry. The reason: there was little incentive to work the fields. So, the Pilgrims scrapped the deal they had made with the Adventurers and adopted a free enterprise attitude, allocating to each family in the colony their own parcel of land. Interestingly, as Patton explained, “in 1621, the Pilgrims planted only 26 acres. Sixty acres were planted in 1622. But in 1623, spurred on by individual enterprise, 184 acres were planted! Somehow those who alleged weakness and inability became healthy and strong. It’s amazing what incentive will do to improve bad attitudes!”. Details HERE. A US HISTORY TIMELINE.
America = Equal Opportunity: The story of America is Judeo-Christian. Even so, it was never about "equality". Humans are not fully equal; but, America was founded on the belief of equality UNDER THE LAW. The Founders did believe that all humans were born to be free as individuals. And, so, for the first time in human history, they created a government & leadership that recognized and established this goal via the Declaration and the U. S. Constitution. The United States did not create religious liberty; the intense thirst for religious liberty by generationally persecuted European colonial settlers created the United States. And they, thereby, created the first nation guided by a Constitution and free of the law of & by Rulers and Tyrants: American Exceptionalism (NOT meaning America or American citizens are better than all other humans). Further, the USA was about equal opportunity (1) at life, (2) liberty, (3) freedom of expression and speech, (4) & the freedom to "rise" to the heights of your legal dreams & aspirations (to include the opportunity to acquire as much stuff & status as you are legally able to acquire)...IF you desire so. Within the USA culture, it is best to think in terms of citizenry oneness, unity, and partnership...as in a "melting pot"...rather than on equality of citizens, which leads to the concept of a "salad" with identifiable components of which we exhaust ourselves trying to talk about how different a tomatoe piece is from a celery piece in order to come up with some legalistic scheme to "say" that the two are equal.
Every four years, the rest of the world witnesses the recurring miracle of (by the standards of human history & man's inhumanity to man) the peaceful transfer of power between presidents of the USA!
When America launched after the revolution to be independent from Britain, the system was set (Divinely, in my opinion) to allow a constant flux & reflux of citizens and family generations between the strata of citizen social classes...without restriction...as people took advantage of the open OPPORTUNITY (not a guarantee) to all. That "rise" by anyone is only possible in a "free market" capitalistic society (such societies are for ANYONE to rise up...not just the wealthy). All other societies exclude just anyone rising up by having fixed classes of subjects/citizens. To assure the national ability to morph advantageously as a country over time, the USA needed (5) a free press, (6) and the right to free speech so that Congress could hear from the people and modify laws. To assure the above (1)-(5), citizens MUST have the (6) right to bear arms. (7) Finally, believing that humans have natural RIGHTS, the U. S. Constitution exists (was not pre-concieved...it was dynamically hammered out during the founding time of the USA, HERE) to frame a limited government so that those God-given ("natural") rights can be exercized as freely as reasonably possible! The Constitution DOES NOT exist to GRANT rights as society evolves over the generations. While America (USA) functions largely as a meritocracy, human nature does not confine a person's rise and fall by "merit" only. All societies evolve a ruling class within the population of any country. To see a GREAT write-up about how this works, read the Oct. 2016 opinion piece in the [UK] The Guardian by Thomas Frank, "Forget the FBI cache; the Podesta emails show how America is run".
In Feb. 2016, the first Italian-American justice of the U. S. Supreme Court died. Justice Antonin Scalia liked to say that his immigrant father used to say, "In other countries, if your father was a shoe maker, you would likely be a shoe maker. In America, though, the son can become anything that he has the desire and talent to be!" While it implied equal rights toward opportunity, the American Idea was never about attempts to actually guarantee equal opportunity. Opportunity must be looked for and striven for and seen. Opportunity cannot be equally "dished out". But it may be possible that opportunity can be pretty much nearly equally available. [SKIP to MAJOR point of the essay & then return here to paragraph #2]
In 2016, Gen. Colin Powell (son of two poor Jamaican immigrants) wrote an opinion piece in whic he noted, "We [USA citizens] are all immigrants, wave after wave over several hundred years. And, every wave makes us richer: in in cultures, in music, and dance, in intellectual capacity."...HERE. The idea of America is to assure "ladders of opportunity" to the heights of opportunity (only this has the dual benefit to both the individual and society as a whole) which each person can and/or desires to go after. An individual's efforts going up such a ladder are enhanced as they use the principals of right relationships to build networks of positive relationships that are mutually positive and beneficial. "Give-aways" without "skin in the game" generate a degrading sense of entitlement and ingratitude.
This link is to 13 bullett points, each a very short paragraph about key points to the critically vital US Constitution, HERE.
Check this "Did You Know?" quick visual review of our USA nation's Godly inscriptions in government places, HERE.
RELIGION: If you want to fundamentally transform the American USA (as it has been up to, say, the 1950s), you have to undermine three things: the prevelant spiritual life, patriotism and morality found & practiced in largely intact families. A Harvard business school professor tells of the biggest surprise a marxist economist from China said he saw about America. He pointed out to this HBS professor in a 90 second video that he was surprised to find out how vitally & continually important the underlying foundation of voluntary non-violent religion is to the ongoing success of America (VIDEO), "If you take away religion, you cannot hire enough police."
The earthly component of Jesus' Gospel (the "good news") focuses on "right relationships" (righteousness). In ancient times, ruling power was considered to be from the God(s) or was by a human god. Conquest was the name of the game. In the Age of Reasoning of the 1600s AD (The Enlightenment), thinkers attempted to sever that idea. Rousseau described, rather, a social contract, "...democratic governance, in which individual citizens exchange individual freedom for shared state protection...". Barter
(I'll swap this of mine for that of yours) is a system that goes back to the beginning of mankind and could be viewed as the earliest form of free trade capitalism. As the thinking on governance has evolved, there is always tension between those who resist giving up freedoms and those who want more "protection" (usually failing later to discern that they got promises rather than actual, real protections in the exchange). From those earliest times, a focus on right relationships is central to making capitalism work well...making freedom work well...between parties. While "majority rule" is a principle of the USA, the U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights mean to assure rights for (1) individual persons, (2) minorities, AND (3) the majority. This is why states rights and elections rarely operate by pure numerical majorities.
As William Barclay (1907-1978; learned Scottish commentator) noted, "If God is our [mankind's] Father, then our fellow man is our brother. The only possible basis for [any variant of] democracy is the conviction of the fatherhood of God." This was previously reflected in The US Bill of Rights & the US constitution which set the tone that would ultimately end slavery in the USA. In the opposite direction, when there is no belief in God or no belief in absolute right and wrong (the "no difference" being by definition), the ends always justify the means; & narcissism then arises. Narcissism requires a belief ONLY in oneself, and no higher code to live by or be governed by & no really true interest in others (unless those others can advance your position). Roger Williams (1603-1683), theologian and a founding spirit for the state of Rhode Island, championed separation of church and state for fear of the corrupting power of governments on the church. USA President Abraham Lincoln is quoted: "Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere."
The family, schools, churches, and many other arenas impact children to form strong, positive character (or weak, defective, dysfunctional character). Character factors include a willingness to work hard, to have tenacity, to have & value self reliance, and to value and work for freedom and liberty. Character, know-how, and skills come together as "human capital". Human capital plus financial capital can combine to create a business, a church, and other entities and to sustain our nation. As George Will put it in a June 20, 2013 Op Ed piece that ran in our local newspaper [HERE], paraphrased & condensed...my words, "The Family is the primary transmitter & incubator of human capital, the key to upward mobility in a free country. And, for such a country to continue & thrive, upward mobility is essential." Right relationships begin in their importance in the nuclear family and extend outward.
History is an ongoing testimony as to the playing out of the general status of the quality of relationships at different times. Mankind, biblically fallen, is innately self-centered. Trouble & distress are, therefore, woven into the fabric of life on Earth. The quality of life in different times and different places depends on the general quality of a population's relationships. Relationship quality depends on the general awareness of the people as to the tie between (1) actions or inactions and (2) resulting future consequences. That awareness depends on (1) the general knowledge of the people, (2) the general vision of the people, (3) the general ability of the people to delay gratification, and (4) the general ability of the people to see that each one's own best self interest is most enhanced when attending to the best interests of the greater community. Then, the greater the level of all of these, the greater the overall wisdom of the people at large. Elevations of general societal well being (incuding such as social justice) NEVER happen by force or legal systems. Rather, elevation of betterment ONLY happens by a general societal will to do so...and then the elevated interpersonal skill at right relationships. Especially with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, people have the means to truly see, when mature, that their OWN best self interest is greater served when folks do what it takes to have the best outcome for the greater general community!
The battle: whether you, the
reader, know it or not (or even care), the Bible has a lot to
say about the fact that the real battle in the greater world is
between (1) the forces of good (God inspired) vs. (2) the forces
of evil (Satan-inspired). And, let's not
forget that satanic influence can infiltrate or undermine
good, just, and godly efforts, organizations, or
movements. [even atheists must admit
to the human battle
between good & bad; and psychologists live their careers dealing with the aftermaths of
these struggles] Humans tend to focus on a smaller scale, a smaller "slice", a "tribal"
portion of the world. There is a determined secularist (non-religious)...secular progressive
(post-modern)...movement in America to blot out God. It seems to me that
the fundamental drive of the secularists is that "secularists" want to
be able to do what they want to do without guilt. The secularist-mind
(1) focus is legalistically on
self & issues of money, and (2) their root concerns revolve around rich and poor issues
(though they may be high-profile vocally in favor of abortion and homosexuality) and various
other "rights" (such as the "right" of all to top-dollar
health care). The secular progressive movement (and its spin off
influence in the culture) seems
melded by the glue of a focus inward on self (eliminate self-feelings of guilt) rather than truly
outward on others. The traditionalists are at least culturally/philosophically "religious" (along
Judeo-Christian lines) and have personal root concerns about right
& wrong (and, therefore, all of the ramifications of what leads to personal...not
legal-based...standards & judgments of right & wrong & service & stewardship
to the greater good). Whether actually practicing the
Jewish or Christian religions or not, Christian-practiced
attitudes accrue to a betterment of society, the root attitudes
being all about positive relationships ("right"
relationships) and community cohesion, no matter how complex
the set of social strata or pigeon holes.
Though the reasons explorers and nations sought
America may have been different, a huge majority of the actual immigrants came for religious freedom (plus many other side
issues). As Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, has noted, "The painful
irony is that it was our Christian roots in America that created an environment supportive of
free thought and behavior that has resulted in tolerance (as it is now [2002-2014]
Being "under God" is a great part of our USA history and cultural tradition.
"Under God" fundamentally underpins the fact that the original idea of America was never
about a utopia. It was (and most certainly should continue to be) about equal opportunity. A "fully just" utopia quietly or forcefully enslaves & does not
free people. And, because of the flaws of the fallen human nature
of mankind, a true utopia, socialism, or
communism...though sort of a laudable dream or "rose colored glasse" view...is humanly impossible. Anything that removes the responsibility & motivation
of an individual to admit their role in the consequences of his/her behavior undermines such
a person's possibilities to live a fulfilled life at any economic
level. Remember, there is a moral difference between fighting and war for conquest vs. for the purpose of liberation and keeping liberty and offering ladders of opportunity!
Government UNDER GOD, my MAJOR POINT: In fact, being "under God" implies a mankind-God contract (covenant) and is the key to our covenantal view of (USA) a representative democratic
government: a government form hinged, not
on the idea of a rootless freedom of process, but on the belief that
power is from God to the
people (the people being endowed equally with some fundamental rights). And the people loan it to "government" (expecting government to be good & efficient stewards of
that loaned power). This is the key to assuring true and enduring freedom. Democracy is controlled at first by the rooting in a moral background founded on Judeo-Christian teachings. Additional controls are placed by the fact of "representation". And futher controls are exerted through the balance of powers between the three branches of government as defined in the Constitution of the U. S. The 3 branches are equal and they...along with the citizens...are accountable to the constitution which protects the people from their government. With laws and various government regulations and policies, we begin to hit a point where "controlled democracy" runs a real risk of being a stifled democracy with small business creation and survival becoming VERY difficult. Other governments simply
arise, take power (or have an implied contract with the people), and view the people as
subjects (no matter what words might be used to mask the
subjugation). A plain, un-rooted, representative democracy is "just another" form of
government. The preambles to the
constitutions of all 50 states reference God or The Divine (this impartial "urban legends" website certifies this to be so). As you consider "under God", consider this Rev. War "Miracle in the Mist"! [BACK to beginning of this essay]
THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM that a government uses makes a huge difference in the lives of the people. Socialism systems (entitilement societies) attempt to assure equal benefits and jobs for all. There are 3 types that come to power: (1) progressives attempt to sneak and trick the people into becoming a socialistic system by voting it in; (2) socialists attempt to openly persuade the people that there really are advantages to voting in favor of the system of socialism. (3) Communists take over the current system by force...not by vote. But, in the history of the world, such socialism systems have never succeded without oppression of the resisting, freedom-loving people. At the opposite end of the spectrum of possible systems is pure, unregulated meritocracy called capitalism. Unregulated, monopolies arise in pure capitolism. An uncertain degree of regulation is needed (but, too much stifles). In capitalism, the people are constantly voting with their money. Central planners do not tell them what the "should" like. Somewhere in between communism/socialism and properly regulated capitalism is the attempt of the government to assure certain things to all. But this fails because it causes divisiveness & envy within the citizenry which socialist political parties exploit. Ironically, the societies of entitlemen only arise within rich societies (poor societies cannot support a large entitlement ["parasite"?] class.
Reflecting this sense of divine foundation of the
USA society, the vast majority of modern US citizens still profess a belief in God (in truth,
some percentage of them may actually just believe in a Judeo-Christian philosophy reflective
of The Golden Rule & the desire, thereby, to voluntarily live in
rather than be forced by law toward "just" relationships). But, on 26 June 2002, the 9th US
Circuit Court in California declared that the words "under God" in our nation's pledge of
allegiance are unconstitutional. The U. S. Supreme court
subsequently ruled that the case had been
misfiled. And, that 9th Circuit court reaffirmed its decision in 2004 when the case was
re-filed. The issue has never gone much further in the legal system or Congress. Here
is a web timeline of the issue (HERE). And, here are some notes:
the correct Mayflower Compact of
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are
underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of
God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith.
Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and
Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant
the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and
mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together
into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the
Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal
Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought
most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due
submission and obedience.
In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed
our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King
James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno
NOTE: There has been an alleged movement to have school books
use a revisionist copy of the Compact (devoid of God & Christian)...as if this document
never originally said what it said.
United State's Declaration of Independence
4 July 1776:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes
necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which
the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
George Washington & USA Hire Chaplains
Great Seal of the USA
The "annuit coeptis" shows an unfinished pyramid. Above it is the eye in a triangle
surrounded by radiant light. This all symbolizes recognition of the need for the favorable hand
of Providence in the bold experiment of the USA.
1790 U. S. Supreme
Since 1790, and including its first opening session,
this court always opens any session with the Marshall shouting, "God save the United States
and this honorable court!"
Ben Franklin (1706-1790):
ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants."
Patrick Henry 1736-1799):
"It is when people forget God that tyrants forge
United State's National Anthem,
It was the valiant defense of Fort McHenry by
American forces during the British attack on September 13, 1814 that inspired 35-year old,
poet-lawyer Francis Scott Key (in 1814 or 1815) to write the poem which was to become our
national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem was written to match the meter of the
English song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." In 1931 the Congress of The United States of America
enacted legislation that made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national
can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the
William Penn (1644-1718):
"Those people who will not be governed by God will
be ruled by tyrants."
1830, Alexis de
This great French scientist, historian, and
politician visited America. Upon his return, he commented, "I went into the churches of
America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness...I understood the secret of her
genius and power. America is great because America is good; and if America ever ceases to be
good, America will cease to be great." [I, Ervin Shaw, submit that the foundation out of which "good" comes is the conscious personal & citizenry concern & focus on creating and maintaining "right relationships"...as linked to several times, above.]
Presidential Inauguration Swearing-in
The 35 word pledge (U. S. Constitution, article 2, section 1) ends the term of the prior president and begins the term of the new one. Beginning with Abe Lincoln in 1865, many presidents include an ending, "so help me
God." [see the "so help me God" discussion section in Wikipedia, HERE]
United States Supreme Court
displays the 10 commandments of the
United States Library of Congress
When you enter, you will see the words, "In God we
Trust" [posted in the Cox Corridors, Prayer Room]; (2) and, "In God we trust" [posted in both the House and Senate chambers].
United States Congressional Capitol
(1) quoting Psalms 16:1, "Preserve me O God: for in
thee do I put my trust." And, (2
"In God We Trust" inscribed on
coins (begin 1864):
In a first such letter dated 13 Nov.1861 (after onset of the terrible War Between the States), the
Reverend M. R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pa. urged the secretary of the Treasury to try to
introduce something as to God, Liberty, and Law on the coins of the land, arguing on the
theological premise that in a Judeo-Christian nation, "There is but one God." Congress, then
beginning to be more responsive to the religious community, passed the Coinage Act of April 22,
1864, which designated that 'In God We Trust' be put on coins "when and where sufficient
space in the balance of the design" would permit it.
Rev. Watkinson's letter was directed to Secretary
of the Treasury Samuel P. Chase. It read:
"Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual
report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances.
One fact touching our currency has hitherto been
seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our
You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic
were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries
rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of
the goddess of liberty we shall next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words
PERPETUAL UNION; within the allseeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye the American
flag bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the
bars the words GOD, LIBERTY, LAW..." "...This would relieve us from the ignominy of
heathenism..." "...This would place us openly under the [hope of] Divine protection."
Seven days after the transmittal of Watkinson's
letter, Secretary Chase, in a letter dated November 20, 1861, wrote to James Pollock,
Director of the Mint at Philadelphia. He instructed Pollock to prepare a motto, declaring "No
nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust
of our people in God should be declared on our national coins..." A design was submitted in
December, 1863 proposing OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY, or the alternative of GOD, OUR TRUST. On
December 9, 1863, Chase formally approved a third slogan in a letter to the Mint
"I approve your mottoes (sic), only suggesting
that on that with the Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so as to
read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the shield, it should be changed so as to
read: IN GOD WE TRUST."
"In God We Trust" thus appeared on the short-lived
1864 two-cent coin. In 1865, Congress passed another act allowing the mint director to place
the motto on all gold and silver coins. At times, the motto was dropped. It has been
used continuously on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on dimes since 1916. It
disappeared from the 5-cent piece in 1883 and reappeared on the Jefferson nickel in 1938. In
response to a citizenry outcry in 1908, President Teddy Roosevelt ordered the motto restored
to the $20 gold piece. Since July 1, 1908,"In God We Trust" has also been stamped on gold
coins, silver dollars, quarters and half-dollar coins
Watkinson's effort with the coinage was part of a
larger campaign waged by a coalition of eleven Protestant denominations under the umbrella of
the National Reform Association (NRA). Disenchanted with the secularism of documents such as the
Constitution, the NRA sought to amend that instrument to "indicate that this is a Christian
nation." Petitions were raised and formally presented to Congress. They proposed a new
preamble to the Constitution which read:
people of the United States, humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority
and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, His
revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian
The petition failed despite the membership of powerful and wealthy
men in the National Reform Association. They included Supreme Court Justice William Strong, a
handful of governors and prominent businessmen.
USA National Motto: The next similar event with the national currency
had to wait nearly a century, when on July 11.1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed
Public Law 140 making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display a new national motto "In God We Trust." The following year, Public Law 851
was enacted and signed, which officially replaced the national motto "E Pluribus Unum" with
"In God We Trust".
NOTE: All of this occurred at the
height of cold war tension, when political divisions between the Soviet and western block were
often portrayed as a confrontation between Judeo-Christian civilization and the "godless" menace of
atheistic communism. Indeed, the new national motto was only part of a broader effort to
effectively reflect the national foundational fact of God in civic ritual and symbols. On June 14,
1954, Congress unanimously ordered the inclusion of the words "Under God" into the nation's Pledge
of Allegiance. By this time, other laws mandating public recognition Of God had also been enacted,
including a statute for all federal justices and judges to swear an oath concluding with "So help
me God." This was all largely to clearly indicate the real difference between our "free" society
and the atheistic, suppressive & murderous communistic societies.
All paper currency issued after October 1, 1957
included the IN GOD WE TRUST national motto.
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving
forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied
and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our
hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of
redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made
Washington Monument, finished 1884
The aluminum apex on the capstone at the top is inscribed "Laus Deo", meaning "praise be to God". Therefore, when dawn breaks in Washington, D. C., the first thing that the rays of the sun hit is that very top part of the monument.
"One nation under God" added in (1954) to USA 1892 Pledge of
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United
States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [see brief note above and more several paragraphs down below]
from/after a web file, copyright Dr. John
Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was
a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward
Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).
Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and
Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could
create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government
would run a peace time economy similar to our present (2000) military industrial
The Pledge was published in the September 8th 1892
issue of The Youth's
Companion, the leading family magazine (and the Reader's Digest of its day). Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had
hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his Baptist
church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had
enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall
Forum, located in downtown Boston.
In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a
committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its
chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for
Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony
and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'
His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge
allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge,
but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality
for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]
Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last
living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas
in his book, The Six Great
Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are
'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting
goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'
In 1923 and 1924, following WWI (the war to end
all wars), the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the
Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of
the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was
The US government officially recognized the Pledge
of Allegiance in 1942.
1954: Following WWII and during the early phase of "the cold
war" between God-fearing America (and much of the rest of the world) and Russia, and after a
campaign by the Knights of Columbus, the words, 'under God,' were proposed . Worried that
orations used by "godless communists" sound similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, religious
leaders lobbied lawmakers to insert the words "under God" into the pledge. Former WWII Supreme Allied Commanding General, President Dwight
D. Eisenhower, fearing an atomic war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, joined the chorus
to put God into the pledge.
President Eisenhower, said "In this way we are
reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this
way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our
country's most powerful resource in peace and war." Congress did what he asked. The Pledge
had now become more than just a patriotic oath.
Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have
resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of
his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he
disliked the racial bigotry he found there.
What follows is Bellamy's own account of some of
the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his
"It began as an intensive communing with salient
points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the
makings of the Constitution...with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the
The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the
'republic for which it stands.' ...And what does that vast thing, the Republic, mean? It is
the concise political word for the Nation - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to
prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster
and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?
Just here arose the temptation of the historic
slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty,
equality, fraternity.' No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in
realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for
The Lincoln Memorial, completed 1922
This was the president's second inaugural address, 4 March 1865, as the Civil War ended. It is said that this speech was theologically intense and remains one of the most remarkable documents in American history. It is only 4 paragraphs in length; quickly check it out, HERE.
The Jefferson Memorial, completed 1943
There are many God referencing inscriptions within this monument; quickly check it out, HERE.
The Capitol Building, currently, over the podium for State of the Union Speeches:
In God We Trust
United State's current National
It was Jefferson who suggested the national slogan
"E Pluribus Unum" [from many, one]; and that slogan (created by
committee in 1776) was adopted in 1782, five years before the Constitutional convention of 1787
(about 2000, Al Gore has tried to promote that it means "from one, many"). In 1956, Congress
passed a resolution declaring "In God We Trust", the national motto. The use of the phrase has
since withstood at least three federal court challenges, including one that led to a 1996 ruling
by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the
case. "It's been tested for its constitutionality in federal court," said Michigan state Rep.
Stephen Ehardt, a Republican. "It is secular. It's not a religious statement and it's something
we should be proud of -- it's our national motto."
The 26 June 2002 Decision Sparking the
Sacramento, California physician atheist activist,
Michael Newdow filed suit some time ago against his daughter's school district and against
the U. S. Congress to overturn the 1954 law that added "under God" to our pledge. He claimed
that his then-8-year-old daughter, whom he claimed he was raising as an atheist, was injured
whenever she had been compelled to watch and listen as her teachers and classmates recited
the Pledge of Allegiance to the USA. It recently emerged that his daughter and her mother
(they never married) are God-believer members in good standing of Calvary Chapel in Cosa
Mesa, California. When confronted with this apparent fraudulent implication, Newdow has
been quoted as saying, "This is more about me than her. I'd like to keep her out of
***give me your comments about this
A short, interesting You Tube video, HERE.
check out the Highest
(posted 27 July
2002; latest update 10 December