Militant secularists were horrified, along with liberal loonies who look for any reason to knock the new administration.
God? Please. Who needs God? What’s He got to do with the well-being of America today?
Don’t the Trumps know that references to faith are seen as bad form in America these days?
That is, of course, unless we face a crisis like 9/11, after which members of Congress joined arms on the steps of the Capitol and earnestly sang, “God Bless America.”
That was different. We gave God a visitor’s pass that day. Even the ACLU remained mum, because at times like that it knows it has nothing else to offer.
Times change; we all know that.
But are they changing for the better?
This Presidents Day provides a handy barometer now that we’ve allowed ourselves to become a nation where public prayer is seen as inappropriate and where you can be reprimanded for wishing someone a “Merry Christmas!”
It wasn’t always this way.
The lion of all Oval Office liberals was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd president, the only one to be elected four times. His incumbency began (1933) in the Great Depression and ended with his death (1945) in the waning months of World War II.
FDR’s way of fighting rampant poverty and unemployment was to establish government programs (Civilian Conservation Corps; Works Progress Administration) that provided municipal jobs and paychecks for down-and-out Americans.
That clearly would have gone over very big in liberal circles today.
But imagine what today’s reaction would have been to this inscription he provided for Bibles distributed by the Gideons to World War II troops: “As Commander-in-Chief, I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. It is a fountain of strength … ”
Better yet, imagine if President Trump were to send a similar salutation to American GIs today.
Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president, sounded evangelical in declaring the Bible “is the only guide which leads the spirit in the way of peace. America was born to exemplify devotion to elements of righteousness derived from revelations of Holy Scripture.”
Today’s ACLU would have been apoplectic.
Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, confided in the midst of the Civil War, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
Just before his assassination, Lincoln signed his final Act of Congress, placing “In God We Trust” upon our national coinage.
Today there’s a move afoot to remove that official motto because some find it offensive.
Times have changed indeed.
While America’s war with other Americans was raging, Lincoln was asked if he believed God was on the Union’s side.
“I’m not concerned about that,” he replied, “for I know the Lord is always on the right side. My constant anxiety and prayer is that I and the nation should be on His side.”
OK, you say, but who wants to hear Bible thumping this morning?
It’s not Bible thumping.
It’s American history, our history, and the question remains, “Are we’re better off today for having pretty much washed our hands of it?”
What do you think?
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