God is worried about the American economy , but he is concerned on how Congress spends it's time .
Congress ( **** ) has time to debate , and time to "reaffirm" : (1) ' In God we Trust' . Unemployment is at 9 percent, about 50 percent higher than what we used to consider a national crisis. The national debt is at $14 trillion, (approaching 15 Trillion as of this writing ) ( 2 ) but that's as of Thursday afternoon, so don't hold me to that number. The national budget year started a month ago, but a budget is somewhere in the pile of things that Congress, with a record-low 109 House of Representatives work days this year, somehow can't manage to consider. But fortunately, on Wednesday, the House found time to debate and pass a bill declaring the national motto to be "In God We Trust." It passed 396-9, though God doesn't even have a political action committee. Admittedly, there are groups claiming to be God's political action committee, but so far none have produced their client for a news conference. What's curious about the action is that "In God We Trust" already is the national motto, and has been since 1956. You can find it on the money, and everything -- although maybe the House is worried that people now have so little money they've forgotten. House members said they wanted to reaffirm the national motto, although that's already been done, too, in 2002. And in 2006, the Senate voted, all by itself, to reaffirm "the concept embodied in the motto." This week's motto moment did give several members the chance to offer the almighty their personal endorsement. "Is God God? Or is man God? In God do we trust, or in man do we trust?" asked Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. Unless we're clear on that, he suggested, "we should just let anarchy prevail because, after all, we are just worm food. So indeed we have the time to reaffirm that God is God and in God do we trust." So the House got that straightened out. Still, you might wonder why this came up now, whether the nation faced a sudden motto shortfall, like the repeated financial crises requiring Congress to pass continuing resolutions to keep the government in business. It was more serious than that. "Unfortunately, we've had a number of key public officials who -- even after the 2002 vote -- apparently were confused about what the national motto was," indignantly explained Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va. Specifically, in November 2010, President Obama, told a crowd in Jakarta, Indonesia, "In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum -- out of many, one." The phrase is also on the money, and on the Great Seal of the United States, and was proposed as the motto by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, but is not, at least since 1956, the national motto. Congressmen leaped to face the emergency created by the president's comment. In December, 42 House members wrote the president seeking a correction. In March, the Congressional Prayer Caucus officially demanded a retraction, but somehow it didn't rise to the top of the White House to-do list. So this week, a year afterward -- if the mills of the gods grind slowly, they have nothing on Congress -- the House debated and affirmed that the national motto is "In God We Trust."Thus far, God has had no comment. "I suspect if the almighty had something to say, it wouldn't be pretty," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. "It's hard to think of a better metaphor for why nothing's happening, how we're filling up time, picking up absolutely pointless issues." But Thursday, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, explained on Fox News that the whole effort had been worth it to "remind the president what the motto of our great country is." So the core mission of the House of Representatives these days is to say to the president, "Nyah nyah." Still, Forbes sees a vital point to "In God We Trust" getting a renewed House OK. In these economic times, he explained, "Our citizens need that kind of hope, and that kind of inspiration." So there's a deeper message to the House urging people to trust in God. The members are reminding Americans not to count on Congress.
NOTES & COMMENTS:
At least we are clear that the House trusts God. It is fitting, because almost nobody in the country trusts the House.
I like to imagine when, sometime in the future, members of House find themselves at the Pearly Gates in front of St. Pete. I expect there will be statement to each, reminiscent of the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, "Lucy, you've got some explaining to do.
(1) The phrase 'In God We Trust' first appeared on U.S. coins during the Civil War in 1864. . (2) Yes, this is how Congress spends it's time. Re-affirming something that is already in place. Anything to avoid the real problems.