Week of July 15, 2018
“In God We Trust.” These words are written on every coin and every paper currency printed here in the United States. Beginning in the 1860s after the experience of the Civil War, the 1 and 2 cent coins were the first to be minted with these words. Over the course of the next 90 years or so, various other coins began to have these words printed on them as well. It wasn’t until 1956, under President Eisenhower, that the U.S. Congress voted overwhelming to have these words enshrined on every coin and currency in the United States. They wanted every American to have these words in their purse or pocket. They did this for 2 reasons: 1) They knew that our Constitution was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic and they felt it was important to uphold this. 2) They knew that without God, the value and dignity of any human person would be dictated by the State, a dangerous proposition indeed, given the experience of the Nazi concentration camps.
As of late, especially in the last 30 years, some people have been trying to take God completely out of our Nation. What they don’t realize is that without some sense of God, a nation has no basis for the value of each person from conception to natural death. There would not be what we call, “inalienable rights” or the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Faith in God and Religion informs, guides, and critiques a nation to ensure it is on the right path. This is why we as Christians can and should always pray for our country and our leaders no matter who they are.
Recently, you have heard in the news that a new member of the United States Supreme Court will be appointed. The steps taken are these: The U.S. President first nominates a candidate after consultation with his top advisors. This nominee is then presented the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation hearings and review. That nominee is then voted on by the whole Senate. If that person gets more than half the Senate votes they are appointed to our nation’s highest court, a court than makes important decisions which steer our nation’s values, politics, and direction. Historically, Senates have rejected about 20% of presidential nominees. If that is the case we start the process all over again.
This said, I encourage everyone to pray not only for our U.S. President, but also for our Senate that they will make the right choices and decisions. We, as believers in Christ should always pray that our political leaders, that they live, pass on, and protect all good religious values. Not long ago (July 4th) we celebrated our country’s independence as a nation, yet as Christian we do so by also acknowledging our “dependence” on God.
“God and Nation,” is something we should always uphold and not forget. Although it is true that “politics should never become our religion” nor “religion our politics” (that is the purpose of ‘separation of church and state’) we as followers of Christ acknowledge the important relationship or connection between the two with the understanding that God and Nation belong on same level as one. God bless our great nation and God bless our leaders (political and religious) who help ensure our human dignity and freedoms.
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl