I reached into my pocket the other day to grab some loose change for a donut at Big O’s. I looked at the ten dimes I was holding and realized one of them had been severely scraped on the part that usually says: “In God We Trust.” The scrape was so severe I couldn’t see the slogan on the coin. And you know what? It didn’t bother me. It didn’t do anything to the value of my currency or my personal trust in God. Plus, I kind of liked it. I mean, collectively as a nation we don’t trust God with our money, our lives or anything else. I don’t want “In God We Trust” on American currency. I think we’re living in denial.
I’d like to be able to put “In Christ I Trust” on my debit card (I don’t ever use cash anyway). If you’re an atheist you could put “I Don’t Think God Exists” or if you’re a humanist you could put “In Me I Trust” on your card. If you’re a hedonist your card could say “In My Own Pleasure I Trust” and if you’re an agnostic it could say “I’m not really sure one way or the other.” The list goes and on and I think this is the way to do it. Not everyone puts their faith/trust in God or anything else, so let’s just remove the slogan from our currency and move on.
Same thing with the pledge. We are not one nation under God. We are multiple nations that have various beliefs about God. If you want to take God out of the pledge, go ahead. That doesn’t remove His presence from the lives of Americans that choose to worship Him. I’m cool with it and other Christians might be too. I pledge my life to Christ first and foremost-the American flag and pledge can’t interfere with that.
While we’re at it, let’s remove the 10 Commandments from all courtrooms. Seriously, taking the “stone tablets” out of American courtrooms isn’t going to nullify them in God’s court room, so as a Christian I don’t care if they’re on the American courtroom walls or not. The apostles weren’t really concerned with having the commandments on all the courtroom walls of Italy, Greece and the Middle East in the first century, so why should I be concerned about having them on the courtroom walls of America in 2009?
I think prayer in schools should be encouraged, but I don’t want Judeo-Christian prayer in schools to be the forced “standard.” (I want individuals to desire to pray on their own every day). I think we should just have a few moments of silence so students and teachers alike can pray to whoever they want to during that time.
If you’re a Christian, pray to Yahweh and Christ. If you’re a Muslim, roll out your mat and face whatever direction you please as you pray to Allah. Seriously, I think that’d be cool. If you’re an atheist…well then just take the time to collect your thoughts for the day. Optional prayer in schools in whatever quiet, personal manner the individual desires. No big deal. I think academic scores would go up, but I have no data to support that claim, it’s just a hunch.
Those aren’t extreme solutions and I think they generally adhere to the constitution. They don’t change whatever the truth about God is. Somebody is right about the nature and existence of God (whether he/she/it exists or doesn’t exist) and I’m pretty confident taking His name off of currency, His commandments off a wall and name out of a pledge of allegiance won’t change who He is.