A Black Sharpie

Yesterday I paid for my coffee and was handed back a dollar bill and three quarters. As I went to tuck the bill away in my wallet, I realized there was a big, bold line of permanent marker on the back, blacking out the words, "In God We Trust". It caught me so off guard I actually startled when I was given my coffee. All day I thought about the simple gesture that carried a heavy burden of significance. To me it was more than the feeling of one person, but the general consensus of a nation.
In God We Trust became our national motto in 1956 by an act of Congress. From that time forward, by law, all coin and paper money has carried this phrase. At one time, that was the hope of the nation, "..one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The phrase first came into effect around the time of the American Civil War, when an increase of religious sentiment swept our country and letters began pouring in urging a recognition of God on American coins. The people were weary of war, ready for peace, and looking for a source of hope. How familiar that sounds.

Hundreds of years after our founding fathers placed the faith of a new nation in God's hands, we find ourselves facing a society they never envisioned. The nightly news is full of disasters and crime. Drugs, school shootings, gangs, and war have become commonplace, yet instead of looking for a good to cling to, we'd prefer to abandon faith and place our hope in other vessels.

What others though? Surely not the politicians who lead this country, promising but never delivering. Surely not the almighty dollar, even now showing it's ugly nature as we head into a recession of our own doing. Science? A god that creates medicines and technology to make lives easier, but somehow always seems to complicate the situation further, advancing the need for more and more of it's kind?

Have we as a society become so morally and socially bankrupt that we would cling to these false gods and their temporary relief over a lasting promise that simply requires, dare I say it, a little faith? Perhaps this was a simple protest about separation of church and state. It could have been a joke, even, but there's an important message all the same. We need to take a good long look at this muck we've created out of our world, so puffed up and filled with our own importance that we destroy the simple pleasures and take pleasure in that which destroys us. And once the harsh reality has been realized, perhaps then we will remember that we should put our trust in He who delivers if we'll only have a little...faith.

In God I Trust.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I really enjoyed this post. You're right. Our nation is so morally deprived that it's horrible... it's disgusting.

    In God I Trust, Too!


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