These four words first appeared on coins in 1864, and on paper currency in 1957. The words “In God We Trust” was first used by the 125th pennsylvania Infantry. For them it was a battle cry as they plunged into the midst of fighting on September 17th, 1862 during the battle of Antietam of the American Civil war.
It is a motto that was posted up around the American nation after the September 11 attacks. Public schools across the United States put up those framed words in libraries, caffeterias and classrooms. The American Family Assocation vowed to defend any legal challenge in displaying the posters.
Yet not everyone takes those words as a power to comfort or strengthen the weary. For all that the free Christian world receives those words as a benediction, a blessing, if you would, the word “God” to some is like the proverbial red flag and the bull. I read a post by someone who stated that for decades they had used their pen to deface the belief, in a daily fight. When you consider that currency is used, spent, passed on, I cannot help but think that this disgruntled “patriot” was doing no less than what he was fighting against. In other words, trying to enforce his own personal belief on a nation. That’s pretty much like me trying to push open your door and tell you to accept the love of God, albeit in not quite so altruistic terms.
For it seems to me that the word “God” has become something akin to a swear word in the greater community. In fact saying “@#$% you” doesn’t raise nearly as many eyebrows as the ire raised when it comes to speaking about the big guns in question.
I wonder if the words “In God We Trust” was replaced with “In the Universe We Trust” or even “In Creation We Trust”, or, “Trust No One” or, better still, “Every Man For Himself” would make the refrain a little more palatable. But I can tell you that every man on the battlefield of Antietam was not thinking of himself. I would say that there wasn’t a man standing in those buildings on September 11 who didn’t send up a prayer to the Almighty. And for all that this post might be politically incorrect to some, you can bet that “God” will facilitate higher viewer statistics on this post than any I’ve shared so far. Now for an arguably non existent entity, that’s pretty powerful.