This is last week’s story and we political junkies know all about it: Congress voted 361-9 to re-affirm that the motto of the United States is still In God We Trust. But did you know that our ever-vigilant congress critters took time to do it five years ago too? I guess we can’t be too careful. This time, they had a thoughtful debate, but we may assume that this is the sentiment that carried the day:
“Is God God? Or is man God? In God do we trust, or in man do we trust?” said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). He was laying out the deeper meaning behind this debate — saying it was a chance for the House to reassert that it believes there is divine goodness and order in the universe.
If there isn’t, Franks said, “we should just let anarchy prevail because, after all, we are just worm food. So indeed we have the time to reaffirm that God is God and in God do we trust.”
I was in school when the beautiful motto of this nation was tossed aside for a cheap political point. E Pluribus Unum – Out of Many, One. Probably the finest most aspirational motto of any state in history.
But there were Commies out there in the ’50’s and they were – gasp! – godless! And atom bombs would not be enough to protect us; only a deity could do that. So we shielded ourselves with a completely unoriginal, generic motto, one that would make any theocracy proud: In God We Trust. Which means exactly nothing.
That wasn’t enough of course, because maybe Uncle Joe Stalin wouldn’t bother to read our motto. So to be really really safe, we added a little protection into the Pledge of Allegiance as well.
One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all would no longer do. To assure full-fledged homeland security, it had to be One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (God’s justice or man’s?)
I never say it. I like the old one.