God and the Fifties

On November 1st, the House of Representatives voted to reaffirm the national motto, “In God we trust”.  The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the move, making it a rare bipartisan vote. 

 “In God we trust” became America’s national motto in 1956, just two years after “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.  It had been added to the currency and coins of the United States in 1955.  So, for three years running, you could say that God was discussed favorably in the halls of the U.S. Congress. 

 The reason for this was because America was facing communism and its threat to  gain worldwide power.  In the 1950s, this was deadly serious business. 

 Communism was to the 50s generation what radical Islam is to this generation of Americans. 

 The Elvis generation seemed to understand that communism threatened not only America, but western civilization as well.  That included the Judeo Christian principles on which America was founded. 

 If you were to read the pages of the Congressional Record during those years, especially in 1955, (I know no one is crazy enough to do such a thing. But, yes, I have read them and still do from time to time. The Congressional Record can be found in any federal courthouse; they are still being digitized, so you have to read an actual book.) you would discover that Christianity was not only recognized by Congress, it was applauded, defended and honored.

 Here is just a sample of some quotes:

“Our Nation is founded on a fundamental belief in God, and the first and most important reason for the existence of our Government is to protect the God-given rights of our citizens.” ~ Senator Homer Ferguson (R-MI), February 10, 1954

 “Communism has a theory and a practice; it wishes to be not only a state but a church…”  ~ Representative Clyde Doyle (D-CA), as read into the Congressional record, February 12, 1955

 “For under God this nation lives.” ~ Representative Louis Rabaut (D-MI), August 20, 1954

 “What better training for our youngsters could there be than to have them, each time they pledge allegiance to Old Glory, reassert their belief, … in the all-present, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Creator.” ~ Senator Alexander Wiley (R-WI), May 4, 1954

 Today, while attacks rage against the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and while bipartisan votes to reaffirm the national motto barely get a minute’s mention in the news, we would do well to study this era of our history and teach it to our youngsters.  Whether it’s a radicalized version of religion or a political system that takes away individual freedom, America’s heritage, most especially its embrace of Christian religion, is certainly worthy of passing along to the future generation, both for its educational value as well as its ability to renew the American principles that have strengthened us in times past.

Please go to my Facebook page to continue learning about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Thanks!

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