The conversation about the so-called separation of church and state is about to get pretty awkward, with the Pew Research Center releasing a new analysis showing that God or the divine is mentioned at least one time in every U.S. state’s constitution.
And perhaps a more stunning fact is that, overall, there are nearly 200 references to the Almighty in those 50 constitutions — a pretty stark fact, considering the ever-growing battles over the presence of religious sentiment in the public square.
Just consider that the preamble for New York’s constitution reads, “We The People of the State of New York, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this constitution.”
Pew found that there are only four U.S. states — Washington, Hawaii, Iowa and Colorado — that don’t explicitly use the word “God” in their constitutions, instead relying on derivatives such as “Supreme Ruler of the Universe,” “Supreme Being” or “Divine Guidance.”
And, for anyone assuming that God references are just a quick, singular constitutional blip, consider the fact that 34 states have a constitution that mentions God more than once, with the word appearing a total of 116 times, according to the analysis.
Additionally, the word “Creator” gets seven mentions, “Supreme” or “Supreme Being” gets 14 and “Almighty” makes 46 appearances. Read more about God’s appearance in state constitutions here.
It should be noted that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention the Almighty, though the Declaration of Independence certainly does. Either way, the fact that every U.S. state has chosen to acknowledge God will certainly stun some observers.