Posts Tagged ‘Founding Fathers’

In God We Trust

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Yes, In God We Trust belongs in America today, just as it did at the founding of our nation.

Now, there are facts and there are Facebook facts.   True facts are those that can be proven true through independent evidence.  Facebook facts are evidently true because there are so many people on Facebook, that everyone you talk to saw the same thing and will back you up on the validity of the Facebook Fact (FBF).  It must be true because it’s on Facebook. ;)

Here’s a couple of those Facebook Facts (FBF) that showed up in my timeline last week.

Rubio igwtEvidently we are supposed to take as fact that “In God We Trust” came to life in 1956 and that Marco Rubio is a nincompoop.   I don’t think either is factual, but given the speed at which false information travels on the internet,  both may already qualify as FBF.

One commenter on that timeline image even added their own twist to this FBF.

I bet his crazy ass father taught him that. The only reference is in the Declaration of Independence that refers to “Nature’s God” and the “laws of nature.”

Now I don’t know Marco Rubio, so he may be a fatuous nincompoop with a crazy ass father(don’t really think so), but I believe him to be correct in his sentiment that trust in God is foundational to out nation.  As for the words “In God We Trust” as a slogan and or motto here are a few real facts:


  • In 1956 congress did actually pass a law declaring “In God We Trust” as our national motto, but trust in God didn’t suddenly poof into existence in 1956.
  • During the 1860’s the US was minting coins with the inscription “In God We Trust”  I don’t know if it a motto, a slogan, or what, but by my crude math skills I put the 1860’s almost 100 years before 1956.
  • In 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote a poem while held as a prisoner by the British during the War of 1812.  His poem contained the line, “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.”   That poem, set to music is now know as the Star Spangled Banner.   Again with crude math 1956 was some 150 years later.

Clearly trust in God as a part of our nation predates 1956 and in reality goes back to the very foundation of our nation.  When the commenter mentions our Declaration of Independence they were ever so close to proving Marco Rubio true, they just were looking at the wrong end of the Declaration.

In opposition to the King of England our Declaration of Independence declared these important things,

  • that we would no longer be governed by England
  • that people had inalienable rights bestowed upon them by their Creator, not government.
  • that we were starting our own government.

Our Declaration was a hugely important document in it’s time, as well as now.  Anyone signing the Declaration would have been hung by the British as traitors had they been caught.  I’ve read that 5 signers were actually caught, tortured and subsequently died, but that may just be a FBF.

So what made our nation’s founders believe that they had a chance in heck of being successful in their endeavor of creating the United States?  Well it’s all there in that last sentence of the Declaration,

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

In order to break from England and start this new nation called the United States, our founders mutually pledged to each other: their Lives, their Fortunes and their sacred Honor, but most importantly they did so “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence .”   They knew that for this nation to succeed they needed to rely on each other and firmly rely on the protection of divine Providence or in other words they had a complete trust in God’s will.

“firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” = Trust in God

“In God we Trust” was most certainly not a motto dreamt up by Christian zealots in the 1950s’ or 1860’s or whatever era, trust in God was part of our nation before we were a nation.  In God We Trust was not some catchy phrase to our founding fathers, it was what they did, they trusted in God.

Motto, slogan, or whatever, I don’t think anything could be more “American” than Trust in God.


School of thought

Monday, December 21st, 2009

bible school good Irony is at the root of the some of the best humor, which would explain why I laughed while reading Group: Bible clubs back in Seattle schools yesterday in the Herald.

The Good News Clubs are the product of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) who describe “these clubs provide opportunity for children in the public schools to hear the Gospel and learn truth from God’s Word.” Incidentally, the CEF and their Good News Club is very active here in Whatcom County and run by an awesome woman, mom and Christian.

And the ironic humor is multi-level to boot.  First, it’s ironic because the argument is about the bible being “back” in a strictly voluntary afterschool program when the bible was originally often part of public school curriculum

“I have always said, and will always say, that studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.” Thomas Jefferson
While President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson was elected the first president of the Washington, D.C. public school board, which used the Bible as a reading text in the classroom.

Historical Revisionism from the National Council On Bible Curriculum In Public Schools

and secondly it’s ironic because Bible use in public schools would be common knowledge if the religious part of our history were actually taught in our public schools.

But before we go deeper on the ironic humor, I did read some of the comments and found them per somewhat humorous but mostly per usual, a Christian bash fest which blames many historical ills on Christianity while ignoring that faith’s positive influences in our nation and world.

There is also a smattering of secular humanist thought

I lead a moral, honorable life and it was all done without the teachings of your fairy tale hero, Jesus

and an oddly wonderful indictment of Christianity

But those of you that walk your talk are few and far between; hope, mercy, grace, forgiveness and peace are merely talking points for most of you, not an actual belief system.

which I think that all Christians should read and spend a little personal reflection time with because the author made a point, albeit probably not the one he was thinking.   We Christians must speak and act out hope, mercy, grace, and peace or they are just talking points.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25 NIV

Then their are the comments from wannabe history scholars that include outright wrong interpretations

Because freedom OF religion also includes freedom FROM religion.

as well out of context quotes cherry picked to downplay Christianity’s role in the forming of our nation.

“The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian Religion.” 1797 the treaty of Tripoli, signed by President Washington, and approved by the Senate of the United States.

The intention of our nascent federal government was only that they not dictate a national religion and it was never their intention to protect their citizens from all forms of religious trappings.  And upon reading the next line of President Washingtion’s quote

as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen;

we see that by personifying the US, he was very diplomatically saying that our nation was not a legal Christian theocracy while not making any comment on the role that Christianity  played in the formation and continuance of our nation.

And now back to the subject of ironic humor and the final irony of this situation which comes via this line in the article:

the newspaper reports that a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that religious organizations can be allowed on public school grounds.

The irony being, and again probably not taught in public schools, that religion in the public schools was originally preferred.

In fact it was part a litmus test applied to territories who desired statehood and served as a common template for our growing nation of independent states.  This fact is found in a document known as the Northwest Ordinance  which, with the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence are considered the top 3 documents drafted by our nation’s founders.

Sect. 14, Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

So in our modern language that translates as the drafters of our nation intending that schools and other means of education should forever encourage the teaching of religion, morality and knowledge because they felt it necessary for good government and our happiness.   I grew up in the generation that saw the bible, prayer, and religion leave our schools and I sit here today thinking that we could and have done a lot worse than to have the Bible as a text in every classroom as was the intention for our nation.

God + school = good

And when you go quoting this fact to others, don’t let them try and play this down as some obscure quote from a minor document.

Even though the Northwest Ordinance has not been ivory towered the way the other 2 documents have been, it is known as the precursor to the Bill of Rights and is the first place that many hallmarks of our nations are addressed.

Sect. 14, Art. 6. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory

Sure it took another 80 years for this idea to come to full fruition during the Civil War, but the intent was there from the beginning and it inclusion speaks to the profound nature of this document.

Now that you know the truth, have yourself a good laugh next time someone tells you that the Bible doesn’t have a place in public schools.

What were they thinking?

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

NH PlateSome times we have to dig into history to find out what our nation’s founding fathers and mothers were thinking.  Other times we might find their thought staring back from the car in front of us at a traffic light.  Such was the case the other day as I was behind a vehicle licensed  in the great state of New Hampshire.   “Live Free or Die” was the state motto staring back at me from one the first states to join the union.  There seemed no question what they were thinking oh so long ago.

And it got me thinking,  so I looked up the first 10 states.

Delaware Liberty and Independence
Pennsylvania Virtue, Liberty, and Independence
New Jersey Liberty and Prosperity
Georgia Wisdom, Justice, and Moderation
Connecticut He who is transplanted still sustains ”referring to God who brought us from Europe still with us in this land.
Massachusetts By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty
Maryland Manly deeds womanly words or Strong deeds, gentle words
South Carolina Prepared in mind and resources /While I breathe, I hope
New Hampshire Live free or die
Virginia Thus Always to Tyrants or stick it to tyrants

Nope you don’t have to go too deep to understand that our founding fathers and mothers were all about liberty, independence, prosperity, and virtue as well as standing up against anyone that was going to take these from them.

Not a one of those mottos spoke to redistribution of wealth nor collectivism.  What a good lesson to be learned.  I think President Obama needs to go out and play in traffic ;)