The Secularization of God

In the United States, our currency and various national icons have the clause, “In God We Trust” emblazoned on them for all to see. This clause has become a sort of Maginot line for the cultural conservatives who are trying to preserve the country’s identification with its religious heritage.  Atheistic evangelists who want to spread the gospel that God doesn’t exist are of course “offended” by this clause.  So they initiate lawsuits in an effort to get the government to remove this clause from government entities.  The atheistic case goes like this. The Constitution says that the Federal Government is not to establish religion. God is a religious entity. Therefore, the statement, “In God We Trust” is an establishment of religion because it gives government recognition that God exists.

While many problems with this understanding of the constitution could be noted, such as the Constitutional Framers were looking to prevent the Government from embracing a particular faith (i.e. England and the Anglican Church) not the banishment of religion from interacting with Government. However, that sort of response has been better handled by others and frankly most secularists don’t care about the historical facts anyway because they believe the Constitution is a “living document” whose truth changes with time. What I am interested in is reasoning behind the recent decision of a Sacramento, California district judge who dismissed a lawsuit against the “In God We Trust” clause brought by the atheist Michael Newdow.  On the basis of a higher court ruling, the district court determined that the clause was in fact constitutional because it was a secular statement.  How ironic. International students conjure up scenario about more helpful tips the first-class custom paper writing site. The way one protects the role of God in a country is to say that God is a secular idea, maybe like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. You protect the idea of God by relegating it to the area of myth and fairy tale. By the way, this is the same sort of argument used by people who want to separate religion from science. Science is real and religion, well, to put it in a less offensive and less accurate way, is different.

Ultimately, the debate over the clause “In God We Trust” isn’t that important other than what it tells us about the national conscience. What the issue does tell us is that Christians need to rely less on slogans and more on living a life that Christ can be pleased with, full of the power of the Holy Spirit. When people see vibrant Christians living a life of holy obedience and servanthood to Christ, the Church and to a lost world, then more people will have as their personal motto, In God I Trust.  And when that happens it won’t matter what is on a coin.

  1. I agree, it is the Christian church that needs to have the message “In God We Trust” on display.

Leave a Comment