LIMA — Our money says “In God we trust.”
Our public servants give oaths ending in “so help me God.”
A popular patriotic song sung today in honor of Independence Day will be “God Bless America.”
Religion and the United States government are deeply intertwined, even if the separation of church and state says they shouldn’t be.
A series of recent decisions at the federal level, including Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage and health-care laws involving birth control, has some local residents expressing their concerns about the country’s direction on The Lima News’ Facebook page.
“It will be interesting to see how people trying to follow their beliefs and God’s laws will be forced to make decisions between their beliefs and the laws of the federal government,” Steve Bockbrader wrote. “For example, look at the problems being experienced by Hobby Lobby. They may be forced to violate their beliefs to satisfy the requirements of Obamacare. This dichotomy will not last. There will be a breaking point.”
Others see the recent social movements in the government will actually bring the country closer to God.
“Jesus said all are welcomed, all are loved,” Pam Walker Makowski wrote. “An era of acceptance and law is trying to be ushered in. Hate and fear should have no place in the United States. We should respect one another. Divisiveness and hate-mongering should have no place in these United States.”
Ellon Carpenter agreed with the direction of the country, but not with Makowski’s reasons.
“The United States of America does not have a ‘relationship with God.’ We as a nation embrace freedom from religious persecution, and so all people, whether religious or not, are welcome,” she wrote.
Others worry the nation turned its back on the founding fathers’ religious principles.
“The nation’s footing is on shaky ground,” wrote Linda Yokel McKowen. “This country was founded on Christian principles, which can be seen in all the founding documents. Over the past few decades, the American society has turned its back on God and denied Him. They do not like what God has said is good and right because it conflicts with what they want to do.”
Joe Harbert added, “We as a national are headed down the wrong road.”
The trouble with any government discussions involving religion in America is the variety of religions represented, wrote James and Misty Mathias.
“Which God are you referring to? There are many different religions in America. Talk of religion only causes more issues because everyone thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong. Considering our ancestors fled to America to get away from religious persecution, I don’t see how the Fourth of July celebrating our nation’s independence and a relationship with God relate.”
Some people see the duel between God and country coming to a violent end.
“The only thing that is going to come from all this is another civil war, and it’s not going to be too far off,” Danielle Koenig wrote. “You can only take so much from people before they begin to take back.”
The country should continue to keep moral principles out of its decisions, Matt Winkeljhohn suggested.
“Religion is a personal choice, and it should stop being pushed on to everyone else,” he wrote.
You can comment on this story on LimaOhio.com.
Residents wonder what happened to God and Country