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I wrote this in response to some remarks about the words "One Nation Under God" and "In God We Trust" being meaningless in the US society. I take the position that they are not meaningless, but instead, they reflect a presence of a value system that exists within the United States, outside of organized religion. As usual, these are my views and do not represent those of anyone else. I am posting this on a scouting forum for two reasons: 1) The BSA encourages the study of good citizenship, and an understanding of one's nation is the first step in good citizenship. 2) The BSA requires a Duty to God, but is not sectarian and does not define what God is. I feel the BSA is reflecting this official, and very real, American value system. SOME HISTORY A concept of trusting in God is evident throughout the history of the United States. On June 14, 1954 (flag day) the US Code was changed to add the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. Upon signing the bill into law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower said "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war." The Declaration of Independence makes four references to the dependence of our nation on God. General George Washington, after being inaugurated as the first President of the United States (1789), offered this prayer: "Almighty God, we make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. President George Washington established November 26 as a national day of "public thanksgiving and prayer." We continue to honor this wish today. According to Thatcher's Military Journal of 1777, the first prayer in the American Congress was given by the Rev. J. Duche in December of that year. Prayers have continued to be offered up on the hallowed floor of both chambers ever since. Daniel Webster (1782-1852), affirmed: "God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it." Abraham Lincoln proclaimed: "We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God...." President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in a speech to Congress on January 6, 1941, outlined the Four Freedoms considered essential to mankind -- "The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way, everywhere in the world." "In God We Trust" was first placed on US two cent pieces in April 22, 1864 in response to low morale of the Union forces during the Civil War.