I ran across a news flash on the web about Congress planning to put “in God we Trust” on the walls in the capitol. That Congress is doing this is old news by a few days, but the latest piece of that news is that the “Freedom From Religion” group has filed a lawsuit to stop this religious action by Congress.
I thought as a Christian and a minister and an American I would add in my thoughts on this in the form of some questions.
My first question is what god are we plastering tribute to in the US. Capitol?
I realize the historical value of the official motto of the United States. But both the appearance of the phrase on U.S. Tender in 1864 and the act of Congress that made it our “motto” in 1956 were very different days culturally than the days we are now living. In those days, while there was probably some who were atheistic or agnostic, but the numbers would have probably been much less. But today, we find that the numbers of people who don’t share a belief in a “god” have grown and I can see their point of not wanting to have theism shoved down their throats. But back to my question, is this marking the capital really about our history, or is it what the opposition feel it is, a further push of theistic values?
What is the value of putting that on the wall of the Capitol? Are we afraid that someday the country might turn against its religious freedoms and this will be a reminder of something? Is it tribute to someone’s personal God? Then it doesn’t belong on the Capitol does it? Why are we Christians so fired up about monuments to our God? In Boise we had a big fuss a few years ago over the 10 Commandments monument. I never really caught the reason folks were protesting and getting arrested. Do we think that these monuments represent God in our culture? Aren’t we supposed to represent God to our culture and by our love and kindness? What need is there for a symbol of a belief if our lifestyles reflect that belief? I just can’t see Jesus forcing the issue, so we probably shouldn’t either.
I don’t know how others from other faiths feel about the engraving. Do the muslims feel like “In God We Trust” is about Allah or the Christian God? That would be a great Question to ask. If any one from another religion is reading this post, please comment about how you view that phrase.
Personally, if the issue to stop the capitol engravings were a petition, I would sign it. It wouldn’t be because I don’t believe or serve God as I understand him, I do. It would be because I don’t think we should dominate and cram our perspectives down the throat of people who don’t share them. I stand with Freedom From Religion group on this one.
I plan to live for God, attempt to live like Jesus, yet I appreciate those who don’t share my belief and I choose to love them not intentionally offend them.