Disturbed by God column

By Matt Luedke

I read Dan Streib’s “In God do we really trust?” opinion right after opening the DI because of the word “God” in the title. I have a lot of respect for anyone who’s willing to take on religious issues publicly, considering it’s such a verbal minefield. However, I have to say that the opinion presented and the history used to defend it disturb me. When he says “there is no controversy” about our national motto, it summons to my mind an argument I myself once made. As a white male who grew up as a Christian, I had no reason to suspect that the history and current state of our society were heavily tilted in my favor. Anyone who disturbed my peace was simply “playing the race card” (or, in this case, the “religion card”), and everything could continue being fine if “they just stopped complaining.” However, Christian privilege in the U.S. is real, just as racism is real. The history Dan cited is new to me and an interesting viewpoint, and another is that success in America has historically been tied to religion. Networking that can land jobs occurs in church, Christian holidays are taken off at work and school and Christian symbols are easier to find in stores. Candidates such as Mitt Romney or Joe Lieberman have to answer for their “nonmainstream” religions, and Obama is “accused” of being Muslim, suggesting that it’s impossible to be a “real” American and a Muslim at the same time. Our national motto may only be a small cause of religious oppression here, but it is one of many results of underlying social norms that prevent everyday Americans from feeling welcome in our country.

Matt Luedke

Junior in Engineering