I never get tired of stumbling upon something that makes me go “huh”. Most of my ponders grow from “huh” moments; that split second when “holy crap, I didn’t know that” fills your head. Theodore Roosevelt is responsible for tonight’s “huh” moment. Still rattling about, I confess to writing this before giving myself a day for the dust to settle. Being a simple “huh” rather than the meaning of life I’m ignoring the dust, adding Roosevelt to my list of heroes, and forging ahead.
Roosevelt; a Republican, for those who liken Democrats to Satan’s army, wanted to remove “In God We Trust” from American coins.This was in 1907; over 100 years ago and people still don’t get it. We all know it didn’t happen, the battle still rages today with Obama in the cross-hairs. Roosevelt recognized the weight of the constitution, bill of rights, and religious freedom. He asked how it was appropriate for legal tender to discriminate against those of other faiths.
“My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege…”
“I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be non-sectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.”Theodore Roosevelt, Address, New York, October 12, 1915
“Discrimination against the holder of one faith means retaliatory discrimination against men of other faiths. The inevitable result of entering upon such a practise would be an abandonment of our real freedom of conscience and a reversion to the dreadful conditions of religious dissensions which in so many lands have proved fatal to true liberty, to true religion, and to all advance in civilization.”
“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience, which is one of the foundations of American life.” – Roosevelt’s letter on religious liberty.
Teddy; Christian , Republican, and above all American said it better than I ever could.