In today’s world, many couples are not married, they are just living together. This may be little more than their way of saying, “If the milk’s free, why buy the cow”. Some look on the failed marriages of their own loved ones and the hurt that was involved in the divorce and are unwilling to take the chance of a full commitment. “It’s only a piece of paper”, is tossed around as a solid argument for the ‘live in’ arrangement.
I’m looking at our marriage license and the signed witnesses involved. It’s not the paper, but what the paper says, declares, commits. It is a legal registered document and is intended for life. ‘Living in’, ‘sleeping around’, ‘shackin’ up”, are all terms without commitment. Those who choose this route have no legal foundation to stand on. They have not publicly pledged themselves to each other, and as the ceremony goes, “Do you vow that you will keep yourselves to each other alone, till death do you part?” It’s not the paper, but the integrity of words and a full commitment of heart that is important.
You that are fortunate enough to have a hundred dollar bill, look at it. It’s just a piece of paper. Read the words that are printed on it. “Federal Reserve Note, $100.00; serial number AD60798566B; Signed by Robert E.Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury, In God We Trust”. It has a picture of one of our founding fathers (Franklin), and states, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” Now look at your five dollar bill. It has a different serial number, but it is much the same, with the exception, it has a picture of a President Lincoln on it. “It’s just a piece of paper but what’s written on it is what really counts!
Take out the deed to your house, or car, or furnishings. Look at the deed that declares your rights to a parcel of land, or the building that houses your business. They are all pieces of paper, but it is the power put into words printed on the paper that makes it powerful.
On July 4, 1776, the delegates to the Continental Congress voted to accept the wording declaring America’s independence from Great Britain. It was the “Give me liberty or give me death” issue, signed, sealed, and delivered that gave the paper power to begin a new independent nation.
The document recognizes the presence of God in human affairs in these words: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. . . appealing to the supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions. . . and for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually PLEDGE (emp. mine) to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”
Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator from West Virginia, delivered a message in Congress, on June 27, 1962, in which he said, “Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no doubt about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, dare to do less?” He continued, “In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidence of deep and abiding faith in God on the part of Government as there are in Washington”.
The phrase, “In God We Trust”, appears opposite the President of the Senate. The same phrase, in large words inscribed in marble behind the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is also clearly seen.
The crier who opens each session of the Supreme Court closes with the words, “God save the United States and the Honorable Court”.
Abraham Lincoln, in his Gettysburg address stated the case, “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth’. Next time you visit our nation’s capital, spend some time reading the entire address chiseled in marble, on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial.
God spoke through Jeremiah, and said, “If a nation, against whom I have pronounced (Judgment), turn from their evil, I will repent (change my mind) of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it” (Jeremiah 18:8-9). Solomon declared, “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
When the Wall came down and the door was opened to Russia, I asked a large gathering what they wished. “We want to be the 51st state of the United States of America!” Godless Russia wanted the Constitution of the United States and the simple pledge of allegiance, “One Nation, Under God”. God bless America.