House Takes Up 'In God We Trust'
Should the phrase be the U.S. national motto?
- Duration 8:03
- Date Nov 2, 2011
Should the phrase be the U.S. national motto?
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And joining us now talk about.
Here in studios rabbi Brad -- field was a foxnews.com contributor and author of you don't have to be wrong for me to be right finding phase.
Fanaticism thanks for being went -- good -- The -- I joining -- out of Washington DC reverend Barry W Lynn executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
And reverend thank you for being with this as well to be fair and balanced yellow book I can -- Sure you could plug the plug my book piety and politics.
Piety and politics I don't like it.
I'm always big on a -- rationed so thank you it's absolutely our right now listen.
Congress yesterday decided to reaffirm.
In god we trust as the national motto gimmick that violates the establishment clause.
Of the First Amendment.
Well I certainly think it violates common sense and probably the establishment clause -- can you imagine last night in heaven.
God saying to the heavenly host.
Good grief I've been waiting for over fifteen years for -- reaffirmation by the United States congress that I'm good enough to stay NN national model of course not.
This trivializes religion it is is the one Republican who voted against this said it is just playing politics with this issue.
We've got substantive things to deal with.
This in motion to pass this kind of sense of congress that we should -- reaffirm in god we trust.
Didn't create one new job didn't help one person.
Who is in need of medical care it is just nonsense that the congress would waste its time on this unless.
For some reason I didn't notice maybe they solve the debt crisis.
Good healthcare good education -- -- -- and got to this Saturday afternoon a rabbi your response look if it's a matter of timing -- -- politically substantive I think the -- and I -- -- agree but that's not the question at hand the question at hand is it a legitimate authentic model for the nation.
And I think the answer is yes.
I think it's precisely because we don't have to imagine a particular understanding of god and have been thinking about this in fact the reason this is not an establishment issue.
It's simply a reflection of -- more than 90% of Americans feel.
More than 90% of Americans a firm belief in some higher power the word most of us use for that it's got.
The brilliance of this motto is that -- -- narrowing itself to any one particular faith the religion which is why does not establishment clause issue.
It reflects what the majority the vast majority of us.
Have felt NFL since the founding of this nation that being said you can absolutely protect the minority.
Without silencing the majority.
Which is why I think it's entirely appropriate to have that is a national motto.
You know rabbi if this -- something that the public was just putting up -- people who believed in god.
In one god not -- no -- not a multiple gods if they put that on their front lawn nobody would have of any concern about it it would raise any question but this is an official act of congress which does put it -- the constitutional arena.
-- -- said 90% of people -- some belief in god so them motto isn't even accurate it it's not that everyone believes in god because -- clearly -- twenty million free thinkers don't.
But if we wanted to be candid about it we should simply acknowledge that there is a better model there's a better standard it was people service -- Developed in the eighteen hundreds out of many one that's what the Americans look I agree -- -- it was.
And is critical it's actually 1782.
Adopted as an act of congress and I believe -- and I believe we needed more.
But I think what's critical here is it to say that we can't speak of will we until it's a 100% of us is a complete misnomer -- actually undermines the basic premises of a democracy.
We can actually talk about a week and we must be able to talk about a we in this country.
Before we get a 100% agreement.
Waiting for 100% agreement will lead to paralysis the real issue is when you're part of a majority how do you respect the minority and I will fight long and hard to respect that minority but.
I'm not prepared to see 90% of -- silence is the only form of expression forever.
-- only an hour and let me jump me up for -- -- -- with a strategy do you think he he he didn't suggest that you think it violates constitution.
And by the way let me just read the First Amendment congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting.
The free exercise there are off now.
There have been several lost -- over in god we trust the most recent of which.
I was decided by federal court judge -- -- Amaral junior who said.
Quote the words in god we trust does not pertain to any one religion and amounts to a national motto.
Or slogan -- -- -- does not violate.
The establishment clause so -- -- are you saying reverend you think that good federal judges wrong.
Oh yes he's absolutely wrong -- and I'm sure is a nice fellow but he's wrong about this because he he doesn't seem to get one important point.
When you talk about god if you are talking about -- supernatural.
Divine being a rabbi and I believe there is a god.
But plenty of people are skeptical on a lot of people of already decided that there isn't.
So this is an official declaration about theology why should the congress of the United States take a position.
On the existence of god is this -- -- reverend has said that in nation need not our nation need not be devoid of religion.
-- we're just not give preference of one religion over another.
Well I have to say that that that these Supreme Court of the United States has also made it clear that.
Giving a preference to all religion over no religion also can violate the establishment clause but Mike my question I guess is why would.
Why is it necessary for the government remember the congress is part of the government they may not do too much but they are part of the government why would they did Claire.
The existence of god when in fact that is a matter of great theological -- -- has -- for Ralph and I.
He would not declaring existence of god I think they're reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans.
Whether the timing is right or not we can talk about I happen to the timing and this is not great they're more substantive issues.
But I hear these arguments coming from reverend -- and it sounds like I think it's how it sounds to many Americans.
Not like concern about church state establishment that hostility to religion overall.
Congress I don't let it go out and do this they chose to reaffirm something that the vast majority of Americans are interest and in and believes in.
I don't know I don't -- still -- for anybody let me finish.
I think if the call was how are we going to be more attentive to the needs of that 10% minority.
I'm all for that but not the price of -- the 90%.
Every utterance of god is not a profound theological statements certainly not establishments we make it illegal to say oh my god -- by -- -- her -- -- -- getting moderate and god.
Is the way most of us use language to reflect the most intense and powerful emotions that we have into if you are -- that -- -- -- powerful stuff rabbi.
-- I think it -- -- -- make it let me make one more point the point is that the courts in general do not holding god we trust to be a violation of the establishment -- they should but they don't and they -- say.
The reason it's not is because it's it's used so much it loses its religious significance is that a good trajectory for those of us who believe in god yeah I would hope they would I you know I wouldn't I on widening the definition of religion.
And people's ability to believe in -- -- got multiple ways is really positives with this really comes down to is if you insist that god the only your way this is a problem.
But if you take an American approach knowing there are many paths many understandings of god this is not only say.
But a beautiful car I don't -- affirming it gentlemen it's a great.
Issued to it to talk about and debate we had to find people here to giving us their versions rabbi Brad -- field thank you reverend.
Barry W Lynn thank you as well -- you refuted it and -- on.