A National God?

Congress recently passed a resolution affirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto, not because there was an effort to change it, but apparently to embarrass the President. Never mind that to turn a statement about God into an official motto is to create an establishment of religion, my question is: Is there really a National God?

I’ll conveniently side-step the issue of whether there is a Personal God. After all, a lot of people claim that God has intervened in their lives, so who am I to challenge their beliefs? But if there has been divine intervention affecting America as a whole, it would be a matter for public record, not just faith.

I don’t recall any episodes from our history indicating that God is trustworthy and uses His magic to help out the United States. Sure, good things have been done by movements claiming to be working in the name of God. But then again, the Confederacy believed that God was on their side, religion played a significant role in our subjugation of Native Americans, and no one was more religious than the people who attacked us on 9/11.

And does God punish us collectively as a nation for things like tolerance of homosexuals, as some people claim? What are the facts regarding these kinds of supernatural claims? And what has God done for us lately?

Would it be possible to see the text of the resolution?

Statistically, he keeps people from committing suicide at a higher rate. Of course, whether that’s actually a good thing is open to debate. On the other hand, he didn’t do diddly-squat as concerns advancing technology, arguing for basic human rights, setting up governments as the representative of the people, establishing equality between the races and sexes, etc.

What are his views on the 2nd Amendment and tax reform?

It was reaffirming that “In God We Trust” is the national motto (adopted in 1956). And it was a non-binding resolution. They wanted to make sure everyone knew that was the motto because apparently some people confused something else for the motto (like Obama). It was a big huge waste of time if you ask me.

See Huffington Post article HuffPost - Breaking News, U.S. and World News | HuffPost for details.

Separation of Church and State doesn’t mean pretending religion and/or God doesn’t exist in the public sphere.

Ambivalent on the first since he doesn’t care what weapon you use to commit murder, just whether you did it.

As to tax reform, he simply feels that you should give to Rome what Rome is due. But if you have enough wealth to be happy and fed while there is someone out in the world who doesn’t have that much wealth, you should be giving away your wealth. We should all starve together than have one man be full and satiated.

A wily and singular species, Deus Americanus, is most likely to be found at rodeos, stock car races, and air shows featuring “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” Conspicuous in his long white beard, camouflage painter’s cap and American flag short-shorts, he can be tempermental if provoked by excessive talk about Canadian healthcare or the European Union.

He is unavailable from September until late January, as he is busy helping professional football players score touchdowns.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Awesome. I pick one of those big stone heads from that island. Stolen from that comic strip “Red Meat,” but it would be killer awesome to have one of those.

I’;m assuming “we” could buy one, chopper it into DC. It wouldn’t have to do anything, just be like a mascot or something.

Reconstruct Ozymandias according to the standards of the NEA is a very weak second place. Besides the militia would be all like “sic semper tyrannus” and all that jazz, whereas the head is just a big head.

It seems to me that it does mean that governmentally declaring the existence of a particular form of deity, as well as attributes such that it may be trusted, on behalf of the entire population - does rather run afoul of idea of Church/State seperation, though.

You’re correct that such ideas don’t mean utter feigned ignorance. But if the cause is that no religion is placed on an inherently higher or lower pedestal, then that would seem to have been breached by this.

Which has what exactly to do with the OP?

Would you have a problem with “Praise Be To Allah” being adopted as the national motto?

The issue isn’t whether it bothers you when the government supports your own religion. The issue is whether it would bother you to see the government giving the same support to a religion you don’t follow. And if you find what they’re doing would bother you in such a case, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Because there are atheists and Buddhists and Hindus and Wiccans and whatever else who are just as bothered by “In God We Trust” as you would be by “Praise Be To Allah”. And they have the same rights regarding religion that you have.

It is not. In England in the 18th century there was an established religion, namely the Church of England, meaning that one members of that church could vote, hold office, teach at university, or exercise certain other rights, all over Britain. This fact was a sore point for many of the groups that fled to the colonies and later founded the United States. To ensure that the federal government wouldn’t restrict the right of individuals based on their religious beliefs or states based on their religious policies, the establishment clause was placed in the Bill of Rights, but those who wrote it would be baffled by claims that it was intended to censor aesthetic decisions such as what can be displayed in or on government buildings.

Some persons certainly thought so.

it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor - George Washington, 1789

As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredations on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas – under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants. - John Adams, 1798

It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe signal victories to the land and naval forces engaged in suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the same time to avert from our country the dangers of foreign intervention and invasion. - Abraham Lincoln, 1862

So what?

It does, however, mean refraining from government endorsement of god’s existence or whether it should be trusted.

Yeah, but various Presidents sure did a lot as concerns that – and, according to them, God helped.

Or is that not what “so help me God” means?

I say that it is the official position of the United States that God exists. That fact is at the foundation of this country. Take away “God” and you have no inalienable rights, you have the whims of monarchs:

The Declaration of Independence is not any official statement of the government or of the state. It is a statement only of the individuals who signed it, who were not acting under the colour of any authority at all, and certainly not under the colour of our government or state, which did not exist at the time. The government and the state were created by the Constitution, which makes no such kind of statement.

Which “God” is the official deity of the United States?

To be admitted, when the Constitution was written, the intended meaning of Freedom of Religion was the freedom for your Christian beliefs to co-exist with another sect of Christianity, not for Hinudism to co-exist with Christianity. But the reasons for enshrining that decision into the Constitution stand regardless of which version you look at. Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia contains an explanation of this reasoning. (And of course Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was at most a Deist and more likely an atheist.)