Two and a half years ago, the American Religious Identification Survey noted that religious belief is becoming much more diverse in the United States, and that the number of Americans who don’t consider themselves to be religious at all has been steadily growing.
So, an honest answer to the question “What do Americans trust in terms of religion?” would be twofold: 1) More Americans don’t trust religion than before; and 2) More Americans don’t trust the idea of God than before. The answer “In God We Trust” would not be honest or accurate.
Yet, just yesterday, that’s the answer that the U.S. Congress decided upon. The House of Representatives approved H. Con. Res. 13, a bill to declare that the national motto should belong to just one kind of religious belief: Theism, belief and trust in a deity called “God”.
Lots of Americans believe in this God and trust in it, and that’s okay. But, more and more Americans don’t believe in that God, or trust in the idea of such a deity. American government belongs to them, just as much as it belongs to the God-trusters. That’s what democracy, and freedom of religion, is all about.
Declaring for everybody that “In God We Trust” just isn’t respectful, and it doesn’t recognize the reality that the idea of God is simply irrelevant for millions of Americans.
Sadly, only nine members of Congress had the strength of character to reject an attempt to shove all Americans into the God Box. Only the following nine U.S. Representatives voted against H. Con. Res. 13. They deserve our thanks.