Footsteps in Faith: Chaplain offers seasonal reminder of divine blessing

| November 18, 2016 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) James Fryer
84th Engineer Battalion Chaplain
“Never Daunted.”
Certainly there should be and could be endless items that the people of our nation should be unduly grateful for during this Thanksgiving holiday season.

From religious liberty and on to include the constitutional rights of all citizens, our country has profited much in our modern times. As well, for many, more recently, it has been an emotional time to experience, as well as a potential time to celebrate refreshing changes that may befall us.

Throughout our colorful history as a nation, many have been comforted by awareness that we have enjoyed much blessing and ought to give thanks to our benevolent creator and sustainer of life.

Several decades ago, it was recognized that our nation would benefit from giving honor to God in our national pledge. In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

As well, in another earlier time, our nation has asserted an observance of the Divine, in a desire to recognize God as the one who provides us with the most basic things in life, including money.

Footsteps in FaithCitizens with a proper reverence for God have, at times, initiated a societal influence. As one record chronicles, “From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated Nov. 13, 1861.” It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pa., and read: “Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances. One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. – I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.

“What I propose is that, instead of the goddess of liberty, we shall have next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words Perpetual Union; within the ring the all-seeing eye, crowned with a halo; beneath this eye, the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars, the words God, Liberty Law.

“This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could object. … This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.”

It is remarkable that we have such matters in our heritage, to cherish. The outcome of the situation was that, “A law passed by the 84th Congress … and approved by the President on July 30, 1956 … declaring “In God We Trust,” the national motto of the United States. In God We Trust was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate.

The ancient Psalms in the Bible, as well, remind us today that a proper and humble reverence to the Almighty is a blessed posture for our people to assert.
Psalm 33:12 extolls, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
(Editor’s note: The 84th Eng. Bn. is part of 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.)

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Category: Community, Footsteps in Faith

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