News and Tribune


July 29, 2013

CUMMINS: In whom or what do we trust?


In this eternal religion-in-education conflict, it’s interesting to learn what the founders believed and said. On July 4, 2013, two organizations ran full-page ads in the Louisville Courier-Journal. One was from Need Him Ministry, an advertisement quoting what the founding fathers said about “In God We Trust.” The other ad was sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation that preaches, “In Reason We Trust.” You can send money to both organizations, and as an added benefit, if you need to know Him, call Need Him at 1-800-Need-Him. If you don’t need Him at this time, send money to the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

In establishing our nation’s foundation, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and others referred to the Almighty. Washington said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly implore His protection and favor.” John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” And James Madison believed, “Before any man can be considered as a member of a civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” Jefferson and others made similar statements.

The trust-in-reason people use their own quotes from the founders. Washington also said, “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those from other causes.” Washington refused to take communion or kneel in prayer in churches. Jefferson wrote, “Question with a boldness the existence of a God; because if there be one, he must more approve the homage or reason than that of blindfolded fear.” Franklin suggested the motto on currency should be, “Mind your business.” He also asked if the founders wanted to pray before the proceedings, “The Convention, except three or four, thought prayer unnecessary.”

It seems to me that we can trust in reason and God, who is reasonable enough. He created a fantastical world for us, and said to take care of it and love all people. How can you split down the middle on that, but we do. If we don’t trust in reason, there is no God.

— Contact Terry Cummins at

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