“But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
to tell of all your works.”

Psalm [73:28]



In A recent Gallup poll, ninety percent of American’s stated they believed in God. In a different poll by Gallup, ninety percent of all Americans support having “In God we trust” as a national motto and its inclusion on our currency. A remarkable finding in an age of political correctness.

Much has been discussed about the first amendment and its statements about freedom of religion. Some have used it to prevent prayer in schools, elimination of faith expressions in the work place and in municipal offices. But we are a country that largely believes in God. These poll results are similar to how Americans felt the spirit of God from decades ago and even centuries past. As a country we have long felt God a guiding force.

Specifically the first amendment states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

These few simple words make a powerful two fold statement. The first is that the country would not have a state religion, such as Catholicism, Methodism, Baptist or any other form of organized religion. The second; that the citizens of our country would not be prevented from having the right to practice their religious beliefs. In short, all Americans can practice their beliefs without interference of the government.

This inclusion made by our founding fathers arose from their knowledge of the past persecutions and wars that occurred in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Our founding fathers sought to prevent this activity in America.

They knew about the Thirty years, which was fought in the century before the creation of our constitution, saw twenty percent of Germany killed. The Puritan revolution in England during the 17th century saw the only beheading of an English king and two hundred thousand Britons killed. These debacles of human loss were simply a fight over belief in Protestantism or Catholicism. Seemingly simple differences in belief that escalated into full scale wars.

Our forefathers knew this and sought not to define how to believe in God, but that it was okay to believe in God. Washington, Jefferson and Adams, the principal architects of the constitution understood that belief in God was good, but specifically by individual very unique. As such, offered our country the opportunity to experience God uniquely, citizen by citizen.

Over the last few decades, there have been misinterpretations of this part of the constitution. Which has led to pupils being suspended for praying. The sanitizing of religious statements. No longer is it okay to say Merry Christmas or Happy Easter. In our zeal to be politically correct we have limited the practice and freedom of religion.

This doesn’t mean that we should or must say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Merry Christmas. It says we should be respectful of their beliefs. It also doesn’t mean, Christians can not say Merry Christmas to each other. It means we should be thoughtful and respectful. It says we should recognize that each individual feels God differently and responds to God with different practices.

Recently, in Florida, state representative Kimberly Daniels sponsored a bill to put “In God we trust” in all public schools. When the bill passed she stated, “I believe with all the negativity going on, our children need to know the foundation of what this country is all about and what it was founded on.” Her view of history and the creation of our republic is correct.

She further stated, “God is positive; I put that forth like that because people want to make God a negative thing; God is good. And God is the Creator; He’s the Initiator; He’s the Alpha; He’s the Omega, and our children need to see that because the eyes are the gateway to the soul.” And so they need to see that symbol, and it needs to be imprinted in their minds and in their hearts what it meant to the people who came to this country for religious liberty,” 

Florida isn’t the only state pushing back on the false interpretation proposed by some; other states like Arizona, Alabama and Arkansas have passed similar bills. God is making a come-back and our national voice is being heard. Spurred on by grass roots efforts.

We are a country that believes, “In God we Trust.” It is how our country was created many centuries ago. The vast majority of Americans believe in God and want our society to feel that this belief is acceptable. Not that it is politically wrong, because it isn’t.

This doesn’t mean we should be disrespectful of those who don’t. It strongly states we should be respectful. It doesn’t mean we should use religion as a tool of power to control. It means our belief in God is our right and we should be accepting of all expressions of faith.

But God is making a comeback, as always happens!

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Madison Kaminski

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