Yesterday the House of Representatives voted to “reaffirm” “In God We Trust” as the nation’s motto.
Today Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel took to the floor of the House to say that Congress had in reversed.
“The real question, I would think, is, does God trust us?” Mr. Rangel said. ” Does God trust us to do the things that every religion says we should be doing? Aren’t we trusted to provide care and compassion for the vulnerable? Aren’t we trusted to know that we have a responsibility to the sick, to the aging and the disabled? That’s where God really counts no matter what your religious background is.”
Mr. Rangel also noted that he voted in favor of the resolution yesterday, but that he was a reluctant yes vote: “I didn’t want anyone to believe that I didn’t trust God. But I felt awkward because I didn’t see where that was the question,” he said.
Mr. Rangel has been invoking The Almighty more and more these days. Earlier this year he debated religion with Mike Huckabee in a dialogue that Mr. Huckabee framed as a question of “Does God Want Higher Taxes?” He also said that Congress should ask itself “What Would Jesus Do?” as they debated raising the debt ceiling. Last year Mr. Rangel said that he didn’t accept a plea deal on his ethics charges because God told him not to.
Today, Mr. Rangel invoked God as the Super Committee completes its work on dealing with the nation’s debt problems.
“Yes, in God we trust,” he said “But we have a few days left [before the Super Committee reaches its deadline] to see whether we can have God trust in us.’”
Congressman Rangel’s few remarks below:
“Mr. Speaker and my Colleagues, as we see the nation going through such pain, I rise once again to ask why we can’t get along — why Republicans and Democrats find it almost impossible to try to raise some solutions to the problems we face.
There are many Republicans in the House and Senate who believe that the most important contribution that they can make to our country is to get rid of the President. However at the same time we have 14 million people that have lost their jobs, many who have lost their homes, their savings, and their hopes for the future. Probably double that number are underemployed and the millions of people in Districts like mine who are actually giving up hope of restoring the dignity and getting the resources necessary to provide for their families.
Yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would support the motto, “In God We Trust,” and I reluctantly supported it because I didn’t want anyone to believe that I didn’t trust God. But I felt awkward because I didn’t see where that was the question.
The real question, I would think, is, does God trust us? Does God trust us to do the things that every religion says we should be doing? Aren’t we trusted to provide care and compassion for the vulnerable? Aren’t we trusted to know that we have a responsibility to the sick, to the aging and the disabled? That’s where God really counts no matter what your religious background is.
I don’t think our motto has to be challenged. What is challenged, is what are we going to do about it? Why do we find people young and old around the country protesting against the disparity that exists between the poor, who God said through his son, Jesus, they should be taken care of?
Common decency would expect that there would be fairness in the resources that this great nation would have. But we find that less than 1% of Americans control 42% of the national wealth, that our educational system is definitely not going to allow us to be competitive in the future, and we see that the American Dream — which to me is the most important part of my pride in being an American — is fading.
You don’t have to succeed in America, but the hope and dream that people from all countries can come here and have an opportunity to break out of their class system, out of poverty and join the middle class is what makes this country so great. Even those who came as slaves and had their backgrounds eliminated, their names, their culture, their songs, their history, all taken away; nevertheless because of the Congress and trust in God, they too have been able to achieve even to the extent of becoming President of the United States and honored Members of Congress in the Congressional Black Caucus.
But once that hope is challenged by anybody, it means the whole world loses that the symbol of what America is supposed to be. People are losing hope in the system. With the fact that we don’t speak out when thousands of young Americans, brave warriors are being killed in countries where their families have no idea where it is located or what the issues are and the necessity of protecting oil is no longer the issue, I say, ‘Yes, in God we trust. But we have a few days left [before the Super Committee reaches its deadline] to see whether we can have God trust in us.’”
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