Pro Aris et Focis—it’s the motto of many military regiments and an oft-adopted motto for military families. It’s a Latin phrase meaning “For God and Country.” The English translation is the motto for the American Legion.
Throughout over 238 years of our nation’s history, we’ve easily acknowledged God and our dependence upon Him. It’s in our pledge, in our national anthem, and on virtually every national monument in our capital. It’s also in our enlistment oath for the armed services. Or at least, it used to be.
A recent news article reported that, under threat of a lawsuit from the American Humanist Association representing an atheist member of the air force, the final four words of the enlistment oath—“So help me God”—are now optional.
I am 100 percent for religious freedom. Every human being has a God-given freedom to choose to receive or reject the knowledge of God and the truth concerning Christ.
But I am also 100 percent for national acknowledgement of and dependence upon God. Our nation was never “Christian” in the sense that every leader was a born again follower of Jesus Christ. But we never shied away from acknowledging our national need for God either.
I’m sure the United States military will want to continue recruiting Christian young people to their ranks. I’m less sure our young people will want to serve in such God-rejecting institutions. (Earlier this year, another article reported the Air Force Academy scrubbing a Scripture verse from a cadet’s hallway whiteboard.)
An honest historian cannot look back over 238 years of American history and separate “God and country.” But humanist and atheist activists are doing all they can to rewrite tomorrow’s history so the same could not be said in another 238 years. Actually, in another 20 years.
And yet, we are “one nation under God”—not because our pledge of allegiance says so, but because whether or not we acknowledge God, we remain accountable to Him. We cannot help but be “under God.” Even if we don’t want to say the words.