Program to Discuss Links between Religion, U.S. Public Life

By Pohl, Laura Zahn | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 2, 2002 | Go to article overview

Program to Discuss Links between Religion, U.S. Public Life


Pohl, Laura Zahn, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Laura Zahn Pohl Daily Herald Correspondent

God's presence and Christianity are evident in many aspects of America's culture, from coins and bills to the Pledge of Allegiance and "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Those many connections between the practice of religion and American public life will be explored during the free discussion "One Nation Under God?"

The program is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Batavia and Williams roads, Warrenville.

Mark Noll, a Wheaton College professor of Christian thought and a teacher in the history, Bible and theology departments, will share his expertise and research about North American religion. He wrote a book by the program's same title in 1988.

Noll added that while issues change from time to time, the questions remain the same. An issue that inspired this program is the recent controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance and its words, "one nation under God."

"That part of the pledge was actually added as recently as 1954, while the rest of the pledge dates back earlier in the 20th century," said Noll, who is a member of Immanuel Presbyterian.

He also will discuss the presence of the words, "In God We Trust," that appeared on coins as early as the Civil War, as well as the religious references in the fourth and fifth verses of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"These phrases tend to become most important during times of national crisis, like the Civil War, the Cold War and World War II," he said. …

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