In God We (dis)Trust?

Here’s a brief list of recent events:

  • NBC edits the Pledge of Allegiance leaving out the words “under God”.
  • In Georgia, the new design for the license plates must be changed, removing the phrase “In God We Trust”.
  • In Texas, Governor Rick Perry is being sued for organizing The Response, a day of prayer and fasting.
  • the list goes on…

Freedom of religion and separation of church and state are constitutionally guaranteed rights provided in the First Amendment.(Interesting fact: The actual phrase “separation of church and state” is attributed to Thomas Jefferson in a letter dated January 1802.) The founding fathers knew that both of these rights were of such magnitude and importance as to protect all from religious persecution that these were some of the first rights to be included in the Constitution. But never could the founding fathers have imagined these very rights being taken to the extreme as shown in the examples above.  It seems that the political and judicial pendulum has swung so far in the attempt to protect citizens from any hint of religious display that American government can make no mention of God in a government building or event without voices of vigorous opposition being raised. A recent Gallup Poll showed that 92% of American adults believed in God.  The same poll found that young Americans, defined as those under the age of 29, and liberals were least likely to believe in God. Has American jurisprudence gone too far with litigation and activist judges? When witnesses are sworn in, they must place their hand on a bible. Is this custom to cease and desist? At a time when our nation is fractured along so many demographic lines, it is notable that on any subject, especially one as potentially contentious as faith, that 92% agree.  Can a government make any mention of God in today’s litigious society? Should the nation’s currency be printed leaving out “In God We Trust”? When an elected official is sworn in and takes the oath of office, should “so help me God” be left unsaid? Should those who believe in God (whatever their God’s name may be) or follow a path of faith tradition (any faith tradition) be marginalized despite being the overwhelming majority? Why is a topic that just may be a singular area of national agreement be repeatedly beleaguered? Another founding father, Benjamin Franklin, once wrote, “many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.” Well said, Mr. Franklin

Alessa Caye

Founder, Caye Street

Follow me on Twitter @CayeStreet