NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Cynicism and skepticism may run high in our post-modern culture these days, but thankfully, negative attitudes like these haven’t made us completely faithless.
Over the years, the pollsters have asked the question repeatedly, but the result is the same — the majority of Americans still say they believe in God. And, despite the recent attempts we’ve seen by some to take God out of our schools, our pledge and even our national motto, God remains very much a part of our country’s makeup.
As the publisher of a faith-based military news site, I’m well aware that there are some who consider faith and any form of government an oxymoron, but I have to disagree. There’s a reason why “In God We Trust” has been around for 50-plus years. In fact, I can think of five:
1. Evil still exists.
The media went crazy in the days after 9-11 when our president brought the term “evil” to the forefront, talking about the “axis of evil” and those in our world who are, well, evil. Hard to comprehend for people who refuse to believe that someone else could actually want to hurt and harm. After all, the “evil” people can’t help how they feel, right? And who am I to tell them they can’t do that? So they want to destroy, control and rule without regard for human life –- let’s send Cindy Sheehan over, I’m sure she can reason with them. Something tells me, though, they won’t listen.
Whether it’s been David and Goliath, FDR and Hitler, or today’s match-up between Bush and Osama, there have always been evil men out doing evil things and good men out to stop them, and it has always been God we’ve turned to as a nation during days of crisis. Why wouldn’t we, especially when we have seen first-hand why we should? Which brings us to our second reason….
2. Good still exists, too.
How many times have you seen a prayer answered? How many people have you talked to who have a story of faith, where God is the only explanation? I know in my own life I have seen the good that God has done, and I’ve heard countless stories from other people, including soldiers and sailors and Marines. They see God’s goodness through His protection from a mortar strike that doesn’t hit anyone, they’ve seen His goodness in coming home to be with family and friends, and they’ve even found His goodness in the darker moments, when they discovered unexplainable strength to keep going, despite being wounded or losing a buddy.
God is good. And He is also kind, and loving, and we can pass on those qualities as we work to spread hope around the world, whether in bringing aid to tsunami-stricken countries or freedom to the oppressed.
3. We also trust in God for history’s sake. Let the naysayers deny it all they want but our country was built on Christian principles and led by people who honored and respected God, and dare I say it, one of the reasons America has been blessed as a nation.
— George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”
— Benjamin Franklin said, “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.”
— Abraham Lincoln said, “I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”
— And more recently, Ronald Reagan said, “I’m convinced more than ever that man finds liberation only when he binds himself to God and commits himself to his fellow man.”
4. We trust in God for our future’s sake.
It’s clear that the world is a different place than 50 or even 20 years ago. Disturbing ideologies exist that don’t promise to go away any time soon. The global war on terror is very real, the terrorists are real, and they’re not going away, either.
Patrick Henry said, “It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.” There’s a lot of truth to this –- as a nation, we have forgotten God in a lot of ways. When we argue over Christmas trees in store windows or graduation prayers on high school football fields, we have forgotten God. And yet, our future is fragile without Him. And most of us, hopefully, still know that.
5. We trust in God for God’s sake.
If a tree falls in the woods alone, does it still make a sound? If everyone chooses not to believe in God, is He still really there? Yes! When God feels far away, it certainly isn’t because He backed up a few feet. We’ve left Him in the dust to do our own thing.
This of course doesn’t give us license to beat those who walk away over the head with our Bibles –- ultimately, it is God who is going to show Himself to someone, not us. But we can reflect His love. And we can be an example of His goodness. And we can share His joy and care for others.
This is why we can say, “In God We Trust.” For as the Scripture says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” That’s the best freedom of all.
Sara Horn is the editor and publisher of AGreaterFreedom.com, a faith-based military news site that offers positive stories about America’s military. She can be contacted at email@example.com.