Aug
6

IN GOD WE TRUSTED?

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In the days before credit cards were commonplace in North America, many shopkeepers hesitated to extend credit to customers.  So this sign became very popular:

“In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”

Many Canadians do not realize that according to Parliamentary rules, no official business, debate or deliberation (including question period) may begin in the House of Commons until the daily prayer (below) has been recited.  So before the doors of the Chamber are open to outsiders, the Speaker takes the Chair and reads the prayer with every Member of Parliament required to stand.  The prayer is then followed by a moment of silence for private reflection and meditation.  Only after this are the doors opened for the public to sit in the visitor’s galleries and the media to televise the proceedings.

Almighty God, we give thanks for the great blessings which have been bestowed on Canada and its citizens, including the gifts of freedom, opportunity, and peace that we enjoy. We pray for our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, and the Governor General. Guide us in our deliberations as Members of Parliament, and strengthen us in our awareness of our duties and responsibilities as Members. Grant us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to preserve the blessings of this country for the benefit of all and to make good laws and wise decisions. Amen. …

But now there is a movement against this simple spiritual procedure (established by the founding Fathers of Confederation back in 1867).  And how far a political party wants to get away from it depends on how far left that particular party is.  The Liberals want to start by doing away with the word “Amen”.  The NDP wants to do away with “Amen” and the reference to “Almighty God”.  And the Green Party wants to do away with the prayer in its entirety.  On the other hand, the Conservative position is to keep the prayer and those things surrounding it exactly as it is.

How different things are south of the border.  This month, South Dakota became the tenth state in the Union to require that all public schools prominently display the phrase, “In God We Trust” in all of their education facilities.  The Governor signed the bill (supported unanimously by Republican state legislators and opposed unanimously by Democrat state legislators)  that such displays must be bold in size and prominent in display.  The legislation also includes full funding both for the signs themselves and for any court expenses from potential legal challenges.

The bottom line?   Do not be holding your breath in expectation of seeing such a sign at F.E. Madill.