by Gray Graham
To some this may sound like a strange question, but to those that not only study their religion but the religion of others it is a perfectly reason question to ask. In the United States people just use the term, God, to refer to their religion I am sure never thinking for a second that others are referring to something else.
In our country many seem to forget it was not that long ago, when no one would say they had a different God in public especially political figures or celebrities. Everyone lived in the homogeneous society where Jews, Muslims, and Atheists would gladly sing Silent Night and say Jesus was the reason for the season.
Fast forward to today where we have too many different religions in this country to name. Celebrities today proudly say how they don't believe in God and will even mock those that do. Politicians on the other hand still understand that while that may work for celebrities it does not work for them especially if you are a Republican. Their base still remembers those homogeneous times and get offended if someone says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". Democrats found out the hard way that many in their base too still love religion even though just as many probably have no use for it.
So which God are they really talking about when they say "In God We Trust"? I am willing to bet that most of the people saying this can not tell you. As someone that regularly talks to many people of different faiths I can tell you there is not much that they agree. Does anyone really think that a Mormon and New Age follower are really talking about the same God? Not even close.
Even when you ask a person about their own religion most still can not tell you what it stands for and what it means. At most they can provide a few Bible verses they have heard and know that when a discussion comes up to say those. Ask them the background then they are totally lost and then just go back to I believe, which is really what it all boils down to.
So while many will say that God is the driving force in their lives, what they really mean is that their personal interpretation of God is their driving force in life. People are not going to do anything that they do not want to do even if their religion says that it is wrong. If they did then we would not have tens of thousands of versions of religion in the world today.
This is why those people that transcend their personal religion inspire us so much. You can just feel the spirit of God in them and the decisions that they make, that is if you are in-tune with the spirit of God yourself.
A saying I use often applies to this situation and I will paraphrase. Saying in God we trust does not mean in God we trust anymore than saying I am a car while standing in a garage means that I am a car. Funny thing about that, it is the central message that all faiths teach also. Actions speak louder than words.