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One nation under God? - The Galveston County Daily News: Letters To Editor

July 26, 2016

One nation under God?

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • carlosrponce posted at 9:36 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    Grade school history emphasizes our leaders' virtues and glosses over their vices. During the time span mentioned by Jim Bagg, 1757 to 1775, there was no nation, no United States of America. As Benjamin Franklin faced his mortality (1790) he seemed to draw closer to God. The son of Puritans, he developed his plan of 13 virtues: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. But like all men he would fall short of perfection. There is only one man found sinless but He was the son of God. So Jim Bagg finds Benjamin Franklin more like Ted Kennedy than Jesus; let him who is without sin, cast the first stone. Although flawed, I will continue to honor Benjamin Franklin.

  • gecroix posted at 10:36 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 5830

    I can't quite figure out what Franklin's prior behavior had to do with what it was at the Constitutional convention.
    People change.
    Some even 'evolve'.
    One thing that has not changed or evolved in more than a while is In God We Trust on literally billions of pieces of United States currency and coin.
    It's a compelling argument for...itself...

  • isleshire posted at 1:04 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    One very serious aspect the Three Stooges left out in their description of God and Government. Being in favor of God, even during the Constitutional Convention, was politically correct. Always will be, right up through the time they wrote their column.

  • Jbgood posted at 1:09 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Jbgood Posts: 2471

    Aaaaaaaah mazing grace ..howwww sweet the sound
    ...that SAVED AHHHH WRETCH...like meeeeeee I once was lost but now I'm found....was blind but nowwwww IIIII SEEEE!!!
    Ole Jbg has some things in his past which won't pass scruitny too! However, as the Word Of God states ....AS SIN ABOUND GRACE MUCH MORE ABOUNDS!!!!!! His grace is,suficient! Remember this, "In the fullness of his GRACE and the POWER of his name......Is FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION!!!!

  • Jbgood posted at 1:11 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Jbgood Posts: 2471

    Say Amen to that!!!!!

  • kevjlang posted at 1:19 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    kevjlang Posts: 4036

    I didn't realize how religious of an act it is to collect US Currency and Coin. No wonder Warren Buffet, Mitt Romney, et al have collected so much wealth. It's a sign of their devotion to our National Religion. I guess that since I haven't accumulated a pile as big as theirs, my religious credentials should rightly be questioned.

    I guess I also didn't realize that just stamping "God" on a piece of paper or metal would give it religious significance. I think I'm going to start stamping "With God's Blessing" on all of the checks I write from now on.

  • isleshire posted at 1:23 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    Amen, brother.

  • isleshire posted at 1:25 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    And miss the point apparently.

  • carlosrponce posted at 1:28 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    I just saw the movie "God's Not Dead" at the Cinemark 12 in Texas City and you have to admit it, God's Not Dead!

  • gecroix posted at 1:50 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 5830

    You need to use that BVD de-wadder again.
    Only YOU have referred to money as 'religious'. And referring to a 'National Religion' is a bit over done...actually, a lot of over done...
    My discussion has been whether this is one nation under God.
    It has not been about any specific religion and certainly not a 'national' one. Nor has anyone but you gone over the edge and tried to equate accumulation of money as some indication of religous 'credentials'.
    In fact, you've yet to give one single counter to my assertion that In God We Trust on all the money is an indication that God is certainly on the playing field of this nation and has influneced it, even unto this day, as we have one national currency. You've chosen instead to poke at the messenger.
    I have tough skin, so poke away, while I wait, so far in vain, for how you figure In God We Trust has NOTHING to do with our One Nation.
    But, hurry up...I'm running out of peanuts to put in my Diet Cokes...

  • kevjlang posted at 2:00 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    kevjlang Posts: 4036

    My point is that stamping "In God We Trust" means absolutely nothing. Whether we're a nation under God is much more up to God to decide than us. Being that the Kingdom of God cares nothing about the boundaries we humans put up, I'd have to assume that our nation, as an institution, means next to nothing. Now, we as people, that's another story.

    What we choose to stamp on our money means absolutely nothing to the debate.

  • Island Runner posted at 2:10 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Island Runner Posts: 401

    The three blind mice are just that BLIND!!!

  • isleshire posted at 2:32 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    I saw it yesterday. It didn't prove anything. All claims that this is somehow 'scientific' proof is just silly. You can't prove God with science.

    What this movie did prove is that if you are dying you wish to get as close to God as you have to.

    But I am glad the two gay guys got together.

  • carlosrponce posted at 2:46 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    Three Blind Mice -
    The mice were Lattimer, Ridley, and Cranmer, Protestant Bishops who were burned at the stake by Queen Mary I- the farmer's wife in the rhyme. Their "blindness" was a reference to their Protestant faith. Your reference to them is interesting but not in keeping with the topic "One Nation Under God".

  • carlosrponce posted at 2:56 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    And what point is that, isleshire? That Benjamin Franklin was a human with flaws like most of our leaders or that this is not taught in grade school? Or is it that The Three Musketeers failed to point out the Benjamin Franklin of Colonial America? Does this mean that every time we mention President Bill Clinton we must point out HIS womanizing and drug taking? I think not.

  • carlosrponce posted at 3:26 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    You must have missed the part when Shane Harper's character (Josh Wheaton) tells the class in his debate with Kevin Sorbo (Professor Jeffery Raddison) that you cannot prove God's existence with science nor can you disprove it with science. Josh Wheaton and Martin Yip, played by Paul Kwo do seem happy at the Newsboys Concert. Josh was happy that he had won his debate with the professor and Martin was happy that he had found Christ. Both were happy to be at a Christian concert. I am glad to read you are using the traditional definition of gay = happy.

  • isleshire posted at 4:20 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    Indeed. And Josh did win the debate. But he didn't prove anything. He did convince the class that the debate was worthy of having and that defeated the Professor's little game.

  • isleshire posted at 8:15 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    isleshire Posts: 611

    The point being that Franklin was just as likely as making a politically correct statement to deflect the attendees as he would have been making some kind of religious statement producing a miracle.

  • carlosrponce posted at 9:17 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    From the Library of Congress:
    The eighty one year old Franklin asserted that "the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth--that God governs in the Affairs of Men." "I also believe," Franklin continued, that "without his concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better than the Builders of Babel."
    If you look at Benjamin Franklin's character he never acted "politically correct" as understood in the modern vernacular. More than likely he was facing is own mortality in 1787 and was making peace with God. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17, 1790, three years later.

  • gecroix posted at 10:56 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 5830

    So, then, if labeling our currency is just a matter of happenstance, and proves nothing related to the thought processs(s) or design(s) of the labelers when they decided first to do so, then that must carry over to other government related insignia and entities. Must it not?
    Tell ya what. Tomorrow, ring up the IRS and tell them you ain't paying because their name on the tax documents and laws means nothing, and is just a random stamp placed on an official government item...
    Let us know how that works out.... [beam]
    BTW, God gave Man free will, and as such it's Man's call as to whether to accept or reject God. The United States is a nation founded by, populated by, and run by humans, members of Mankind.
    You'll note that the human minds making the decision chose NOT to use the phrase 'In God We DON'T Trust' when stamping the motto.
    Means nothing?
    How about our flag. Does that mean nothing, too, and is just a random conglomeration of colors and shapes, giving no hint as to why it came to be as it is, and offering no insight into the minds of those who first designed and flew it?
    What about the term 'endowed by their Creator'...who was that supposed to mean, when used by the writers of the document that led to the birth of this nation? Why didn't the writers simply say that 'we got these rights from somewhere and it doesn't matter where', if it simply 'doesn't matter'?
    No, symbolism details the core beliefs of not just this nation, but of others, and always has.
    Think not?
    How about the swastika, and the hammer and sickle...are they 'meaningless' as to the beliefs of the folks putting them out there, those official governemnt and national symbols? Did they reflect nothing of the country over which they flew, and the people therein, for better or worse?
    Some are past. Some still here.
    If we disallow the fact of God in our nation's core values, how long then before the secularists turn us into a nation believing in nothing except government? Got a helluva start on that already.
    IMHO, stamping 'Entitlement Nation' on all the money would be a big step backwards... but it certainly WOULD be indicative of the type nation we would have become, and of our 'evolved' core beliefs...
    I need more peanuts....

  • kevjlang posted at 12:32 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    kevjlang Posts: 4036

    Did the founding fathers encode it in the founding documents that our Pledge would say "One Nation Under God" and that our money be minted with "In God We Trust"?

    Were we founded as a Clerical State with Clergy having having the role of checker and balancer? Or, were we founded as a nation where we were free to behold the god of our choosing with no interference from the nation?

    I guess that since we stamp "In God We Trust" on our money that means that we have re-written the 1st Amendment to give the government the power to bestow religion upon us?

    No, we put that on our currency to satisfy some special interests, figuring that everyone else would just accept it without reading too much into it. Evidently, it's now convenient for the special interests to read too much into it and conclude that we are a Christian government.

    Our Western laws have their roots in just about all human civilizations regardless of religion practiced. Yes, the Christian influences of many of our founding fathers meant something, just as it does today. Yes, our guiding principles are somewhat aligned with the Christian principles, but they're also aligned with the principles of many other cultures, too. You don't have to be a Christian or a Religious Scholar or priest in order to understand what the Constitution means.

  • carlosrponce posted at 6:43 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    "In God We Trust" Comes from the fourth verse of the "Star Spangled Banner" penned by Francis Scott Key:
    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    The 1st Amendment gives us Freedom of Religion, not Freedom from religion. Read the writings of our forefathers. This nation was was founded on Judeo-Christian values. The establishment phrase of the First Amendment was to insure that not one sect took preference over another. We were never meant to be a godless country

  • sverige1 posted at 7:14 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    sverige1 Posts: 4054

    We may want to ponder this question:

    If the majority of the "founding fathers" were deeply Christian and/or religious, then the statement "freedom of religion" statement in the Constitution needs to be analyzed.

    That is a rather weak and tacit reference to religion as a whole. There is preponderance of evidence that simply concludes that the majority of the founding fathers were "Deists". They may have had Christian origins, but realized that in their "old countries" oppression was rampant. The oppression included ill treatment toward people of minority religions, second/third born sons, et cetera.

    The adding on of "In God We Trust" to coinage in the later decades only adds to the
    theory that our founding fathers were cautious about having religion encroach on the government. Ipso facto, money became more "godly" by the mid-1800s. To tie money coinage to God was very likely not the intent of our first US leaders.

    Hey, carlosrponce, I was listening to the story of passover this AM on KSBJ radio. A very interesting story where Israelites had to mark their home doors with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb so that the spirit of the Lord could "pass over" the 1st born in these homes. Well, I wasn't a first-born so I might be susceptible to the Plagues. LOL

  • carlosrponce posted at 8:07 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    Actually the blood of the lamb was placed in the lintel and doorposts. Picture that, placing blood on the lintel, then the left doorpost and finally the right doorpost. They were making the sign of the cross long before Jesus' crucifixion.

    The term "Deist" had a different connotation in the 18th century than in the 21st.
    Prior to that the terms deist and theist were considered the same adding to today's confusion as to what our founding fathers really believed. An 18th century deist believed in God but did not follow a specific sect but was not far removed from Judeo-Christian principles.

  • gecroix posted at 9:24 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 5830

    There you go with that religion thing again.
    I believe in the Texas aggies, and have their name plastered all over the place, and a couple flags, too.
    They are not my religion, but are definitely indicated by me to eb something I believe in.
    With all due respect for someone who at least has the stones to print under his own name, I cannot type any slower, so if that simply cannot penetrate, that a belief, and putting it out there for all the world to see, is separate from a religion, then I cannot help you fix that.
    Stop by for a cold Diet Coke some time (bring peanuts - Planters - salted...), and I'll try in poerson...my two index fingers beg relief...

  • kevjlang posted at 9:36 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    kevjlang Posts: 4036

    The founding fathers didn't want the government to be subject to any religion. They witnessed first hand the issues that caused in the Old World, and didn't want the same to happen in the New World.

    Please tell me one thing in our Constitution that is derived UNIQUELY from Judeo-Christian values. Yes, our founding fathers were quite versed in Judeo-Christian values such as not killing your neighbor, not stealing from the guy on the corner, respecting each other, etc. However, those are not uniquely Judeo-Christian values. The intent was to not declare any religion as our national religion, but to create a nation where people of any faith would have a nation where they could thrive.

    Certainly not Freedom From Religion, but Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness regardless of the role of religion in your life. If you want to pray, pray away. If you don't want to pray, the government isn't going to obligate you to.

    According to my recollection, Francis Scott Key was not one of the Founding Fathers, his work was not commissioned by the government, and Key didn't even envision that his poem would go on to become the National Anthem. It hadn't even been adopted for any official use until 46 years after his death. It didn't become the National Anthem until 117 years after he wrote it.

    Is it your belief that Key's poem only became the National Anthem because of one phrase tucked into the end of the last verse that isn't even part or the routine presentation of the song? Are you saying that the first verse--the verse we hear all the time--is insignificant to the selection?

    Why is it so important for people in this country to think that our government specifically sanctions their religion over all others, when, it's clear from a study of American History that the oppression that follows government sanctioning of religion is one of the very important reasons that they set sail for this great land? Our religion was born in, and developed within, countries that did not sanction it, and generally regarded it as a cult. We have our kingdom waiting for us. We don't need no stinking kingdom here. Just give us a country where we can freely develop and practice our faith with no government meddling.

    A truly unbiased government is definitely not attainable, but one that recognizes the boundaries and avoids stepping across them seems to be the goal of the founding fathers.

  • sverige1 posted at 12:09 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    sverige1 Posts: 4054

    Response to kevjlang posted at 9:36 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014,
    Response to gecroix posted at 9:24 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014,
    Response to carlosrponce posted at 8:07 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014:

    I just get the feeling that more and more that it simply irks carlosrponce and geocroix that our country isn't like Ivory Soap, that it's not 99.9% pure Christian.

    You do know that someone you're going to have to be OK with that. We are not like Iran, with our own Christian Ayatollah and all his cronies making sure that each citizen is in line with the prescribed faith-based characteristics, that we're all Anglo-cized, Christian, saying prayer every 4 hours.

    And that the downfall of our society was twice electing that person of color with the "funny un-Christian sounding name". All I can say is that it's a good feeling to not be tied down to the 1950s mentality. To be taught that diversity is an asset, not a sin. Sakes alive.

    My question, then, is what was it in those days that made Americans think that life was so rosy? What were folks "on" when they made "Father Knows Best" and the "Danny Thomas Show"? Did folks really think our country was all Christian white-bread suburbia?

  • kevjlang posted at 1:04 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    kevjlang Posts: 4036

    Are you saying that we're a nation under God--not necessarily THAT God, nor the God of THAT religion, but just a nation under some generic God that bears some resemblance to the Christian God, but isn't necessarily such, that guides us to have some common set of beliefs shared by most human societies?

    If so, then I think we might be pretty close to the same wavelength.

    I'm just cautious about a declaration that somehow the Constitution is possibly incomprehensible, and perhaps not completely applicable, to those that don't believe in the Judeo-Christian God the way some voting block defines Him. As long as we can agree that regardless of whether you're an atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jew, Christian, etc., you are welcome in the US, and if you want to be an American, your religion will neither help nor hinder you in that endeavor.

  • gecroix posted at 3:03 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    gecroix Posts: 5830

    Perhaps a good retirement venture to make a little pocket jingle would be to start a guide service, leading people through all the darn trees, until we get to the forest...

  • carlosrponce posted at 4:24 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    carlosrponce Posts: 5949

    Danny Thomas was born in America to a Lebanese couple. The fact that he was Lebanese was often used in the story lines. The Danny Thomas Show ran from 1953 to 1965. Another series we grew up with was I Love Lucy (1951-57) which featured Desi Arnaz, a Cuban born band leader who spoke Spanish frequently on the show. And we saw people of color on "Amos and Andy" which ran from 1951-1953 and then on syndicated re-runs until 1966. Although some frown on their antics it was considered entertaining. Yes they Danny, Desi Amos and Andy were probably portrayed as Christian this represented the vast majority of the target audience. But I would hardly classify them as living in "white-bread suburbia".