~ In God We Trust ~
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
This Superlative Sanctuary Sunday Open Thread, with full respect to those who worship God on the Sabbath, is a place to reaffirm our worship of our Creator, our Father, our King Eternal.
It is also a place to read, post and discuss news that is worth knowing and sharing. Please post links to any news stories that you use as sources or quote from.
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In The Q Tree, we’re compatriots, sitting around the campfire, roasting hot dogs, making s’mores and discussing, agreeing, and disagreeing about whatever interests us. This board will remain a home for those who seek respectful conversations.
~ In God We Trust ~
As we grew our nation from the Pilgrims to today, a national recognition of and reliance on God’s Providence has been a hallmark of our national character. From William Bradford to Donald Trump, with exceptions, we have thanked and praised God for His powerful and merciful hand as He has aided and dealt with us as a nation.
It is entirely fitting that we have chosen “In God We Trust” as out national motto and the words “one nation under God” in our pledge of allegiance to our flag and country. May our recognition of and dependence on God grow ever stronger in the coming days.
The following are some short history and quotes of this relationship:
~ In God We Trust ~
“No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense,” Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase wrote to U.S. Mint director James Pollack in 1861. “The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.”
. . . one nation under God . . .
On February 10th, Senator Homer Ferguson from Michigan introduced a Senate Joint Resolution (S.J. 126),  explaining to the Senate:
“Our nation is founded on a fundamental belief in God, and the first and most important reason for the existence of our government is to protect the God-given rights of our citizens. . . . Indeed, Mr. President, over one of the doorways to this very Chamber inscribed in the marble are the words “In God We Trust.” Unless those words amount to more than a carving in stone, our country will never be able to defend itself.”
These resolutions were passed, and on June 14, 1954 (Flag Day), President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law, officially adding the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, telling the nation:
“From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning. . . . In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”
The Mayflower Compact:
“In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.:
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith, and the honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.”
“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.”
“My fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge.”
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”
“And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.”
“And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God … and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
“That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
“I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism. The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us.”
Donald Trump (from his Mount Rushmore speech, 3 July 2020)
“Our Founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights – given us by our Creator in Heaven. And that which God has given us, we will allow no one, ever, to take away – ever.”
“We are proud of the fact — that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and we understand — that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world.”
“We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed. Every child, of every color — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of God.”
“We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God.”
“This has been a great honor for the first lady and myself to be with you. I love your state. I love this country. I’d like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July. To all, God bless you, God bless your families, God bless our great military, and God bless America. Thank you very much.”
I’d like to add a few more quotes from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln that are particularly appropriate on this Sunday following the day we celebrate our independence, and even more so in view of the struggle currently taking place in our nation:
“If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself.”
“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
“Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it.”
“Nations do not die from invasion; they die from internal rottenness.”
“In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.”
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
“We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”
And so, on this Sunday, perhaps particularly on this Sunday, can we pray together as George Washington prayed –
“Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in Thy fear, and dying in Thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy son, Jesus Christ.”
“Almighty GOD; we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection, that thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States of America at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of The Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.”
“Grant our supplication, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen”