Though the ideas of a government with a Christian agenda began in the early times of our settlers, it has continued until this very day with the printing and coining of all American currency. “IN GOD WE TRUST” appears on all forms of American money from the penny to the one-hundred dollar bill. Similarly to the pledge of allegiance, the U.S. government began printing “In God We Trust” on all American legal tender as a way to increase religious sentiment in a time of conflict. This addition to our currency was added during the civil war as the nation’s Christian population increased dramatically. According to the Secretary of Treasury in 1861, he began to receive an influx of letters demanding that the union make a coin recognizing their faith. The first of these letters was written to secretary chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Pennsylvania. In this letter, Reverend Watkinson states that by producing such a coin “This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed.” The “IN GOD WE TRUST” motto first appeared on an American two-cent coin in 1864.
In 1837, an Act of congress declared that any motto printed on American currency is the sole decision of Congress. This means that the mint could not make any changes without additional legislation through the legislative branch. The legislative branch of our federal government controls the printing of money and, though it raises much controversy, the presses continue to print the phrase on all American legal tender. This is a true example of Christianity in the American federal government. Congress has upheld its decision of printing the phrase as an American tradition.
Though it may be less clear at times than “one nation under God” or “IN GOD WE TRUST”, the more controversial issues continue to rise from the Christianity based moral fabric that is woven into our society. Because America is a democratic nation, majority rules; therefore it is not surprising that everything from the laws that we make to our everyday life choices are somehow connected with Christianity. It is because of our Christian majority in America that we continue to see a lapse in separation of church and state through our federal laws involving abortion, the definition of marriage, and embryonic stem cell research.
“A woman’s right to choose,” The right for a woman to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy while it is in a non-viable state. Abortion laws are, at this time, determined at the state level as opposed to the federal level. This means that each state may create its own laws determining who should be able to receive an abortion, at which time an abortion should be legal, and spousal and parental consent on the matter, as long as the states abide by the federal constitution in not restricting abortions during the first trimester. Many Christian politicians find this practice “against God” and therefore would never condone such a program. Yet abortion continues to be available for women who seek it during the first trimester and with some exceptions into the second trimester. During the second trimester of pregnancy, because the risk to the mother’s health grows larger for an abortion during this time, the state “may regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health” During the third trimester, because the Supreme Court has determined that a fetus become viable at this time, the state may choose to regulate or even prohibit abortions.
Traditional Christian values promote peace, love, “turning the other cheek”, and following the life of the Christ. This is all too often forgotten when Christian EXTREMISTS and fanatics take their personal beliefs too far. This is extremely obvious in the fight against a woman’s right to choose by extremist “pro-lifers”. Women have been killed, abortion clinics have been bombed, doctors have been attacked, and in some cases women have been denied medical care because they terminated a pregnancy. This act of “Christian terrorism” is the same terrorism that we fight against in the Middle East. America is blindly in denial to these acts of terrorism and violence in our own country and refuse to acknowledge these Christian terrorist extremists as such.
Many Christian protest groups have lobbied for a change using graphic images and referring to any type of abortion, no matter the reason, as an act of murder. This is a very hot-button issue because of the extreme circumstances that the act of abortion sometimes attract. In many cases, a pregnancy could become a threat to the health or even the life of the woman. There are also some cases in which the pregnant woman has been a victim of a rape may not want to continue the pregnancy. Abortions in the first trimester, though continually and heavily protested by many Christian activists, continue to be protected by a broad definition of America’s constitutional rights to personal privacy found in the 4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments.
Gay marriage is one of the most controversial issues that our nation faces today.
The truth is, that the source of this ban of homosexual marriage originated from the Christian Bible that states in Leviticus 18:22: “Do not lie with a man as you lie with a woman – that is detestable.” Christians in America today feel that, because the bible states that homosexuality is a sin, that it is immoral and hence should be illegal. So far the union of two same-sex partners remains illegal in most states, but the debate is still very much alive throughout state and federal governments. This connection between homosexuality being “wrong” and the Christian Bible is actually a fairly stated truth, even then President Bush in 2003 stated “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another,” …”Yes, I am mindful that we’re all sinners,” when he was asked his view on homosexual marriage.
By David McAfee