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Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye to God

In preparation for a sermon recently I ran across an interesting bit of information. I learned something about the word “goodbye.”

Now this got me to thinking. An awful lot of people seem to want to remove all vestiges of God from our society. For a nation built upon the Judeo-Christian scriptures, this would be no small undertaking. Reasonable people would see God-references and accept it as part of life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unreasonable people who are so doggedly determined to relegate God to the “Once Was” category, that they have lost touch with reality.

Let’s just suppose for a moment that we attempted to rid our nation of anything that smacks of God – anything that makes any reference to the Almighty. What sort of things would we need to erase or eliminate in order to not violate someone’s sensitivities? Let’s make a list, shall we?

 Money – Good place to start. Everyone likes to have money. Everyone wants money. Most everyone works for money. So we’ll need to scrub our money. After all, it does say, “In God We Trust.” Every coin. Every bill.

 Pledge of Allegiance – Big brew-ha-ha over this patriotic declaration. Scrub this too. In the Pledge we intone, “Under God.” Can’t have that anymore. Of course it has always been implied in the Pledge, even though it wasn’t added until 1954 by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

 Jewelry – Bet you hadn’t thought about this one! Crosses in particular would be scrubbed, along with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets and other decorative items.

 Bumper Stickers – Think of the impact on this huge, lucrative industry! No more “God Loves You!” pronouncements from the rear bumpers. This, too, must be scrubbed.

 Music – Whoa! Here’s a problem. How would we rid ourselves of “God language” in music? Would Lee Greenwood no longer receive royalties from “God Bless the USA”? And I remember the members of Congress standing on the steps of the Capital Building on 9-11 singing “God Bless America.” Sorry! They have to be scrubbed.

 Geography – Now here’s a massive undertaking! Imagine having to scrub our maps of anything making reference to the divine? Say goodbye to American cities Saint Louis, Saint Petersburg, and Saint Paul. California? No more San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The list is endless.

 Oaths – If those wanting to rid our culture of “God” references, then, to be fair, we must eliminate using God and Jesus as swear words, such as “Good God Almighty!” or “Jesus H. Christ!” Good luck scrubbing the potty-mouths out there!

 Language – Most of us don’t realize how many references we make to God, divinity, religious beliefs, and scriptural references every single day. No more “God Bless You” and “I hope to God.” No references to the Bible such as “Going the extra mile” (Matthew 5:41), “He’s a water-walker” (Matthew 14:29), “It’s like manna from heaven” (Exodus 16:31), “It’s a miracle!” (Psalm 77:14), “They nailed him” (Acts 2:23), and “Out of the mouths of babes” (Psalm 8:2), etc. Scrub it.

 Buildings – Travel to our nation’s capital and begin taking note of all the God references on the buildings and monuments, usually chiseled into granite. Even the layout of the capital has a religious significance. For instance, as you walk up the steps to the Capitol Building which houses the Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view — it is Moses and the Ten Commandments!

You must think I’m overplaying this issue. I am not. There are efforts made
continually to remove all references to God wherever it resides. You may be thinking, “That can’t possibly happen in America!” Really? May I remind you that it only took one very determined atheist to have prayer legally removed from our educational system?

With the ongoing criticism of religion and religious groups, such as Jews and “Born Again Christians,” it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a charismatic figure could convince the masses that any references to religion and faith is a bad thing. Then what will you say?

You wouldn’t be able to use the word “goodbye.” That’s right! Goodbye is a contraction of an old English phrase, “God be with ye.” So, you see, no longer will you be allowed to intone this beloved term.

If you can no longer say “God be with you,” then say goodbye to God.

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