Without God, democracy will not, cannot endure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 7, 2012

“In God We Trust” – these four words are engraved on the wall of the U.S. House of Representatives and above the south door of the Senate Chambers, as well as our coins and currency.

Our national motto, “In God We Trust,” dates back to 1814 when Francis Scott Key composed a poem called the “Star Spangled Banner.” After watching the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, he saw that the flag was still flying the next morning. One line of his final stanza says, “And this be our motto – ‘In God is our trust.’”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Printing and Engraving, the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST” was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins.

“From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated Nov. 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania.”

In 1865, Congress enacted legislation authorizing the phrase “In God We Trust” to be placed on certain coins. Then, by a joint resolution of Congress approved by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, “In God We Trust” was declared the national motto of the United States. “In God We Trust” was first used on paper money in 1957.

In November 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 395 to 9 for a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. Representative J. Randy Forbes, the measure’s sponsor, stated, “Some public officials have stated incorrectly that there are different national mottoes.”

Forbes noted that in 2010, President Obama referred to “E Pluribus Unum” as the nation’s motto during a speech in Indonesia. It’s a Latin phrase meaning “out of many, one,” which is also printed on our coins, but, it is not our national motto.

News articles in recent years report, “The U.S. Supreme Court has denied an atheist’s legal challenge to the national motto ‘In God We Trust’ being imprinted on U.S. currency, thereby letting a federal appeals court ruling that the references to God are constitutional stand.”

Psalm 118:8 tells us, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Our government, financial institutions, entertainment industry….these do not have the solutions we need. They will let us down, people will let us down. Proverbs 3:4-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

President Ronald Reagan once said, “Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience. Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive. Without God, there is a coarsening of the society. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”