It’s time to drop the God talk and face reality with a steely-eyed visage of the modern understanding of the origin of freedom on which the United States was founded and continues to be secured. God has nothing to do with it. If you want freedom and security, you need the following:

The rule of law; property rights; a secure and trustworthy banking and monetary system; economic stability; a reliable infrastructure and the freedom to move about the country; freedom of the press; freedom of association; education for the masses; protection of civil liberties; a clean and safe environment; a robust military for protection of our liberties from attacks by other states; a potent police force for protection of our freedoms from attacks by people within the state; a viable legislative system for establishing fair and just laws; and an effective judicial system for the equitable enforcement of those fair and just laws.

With these in place the citizens of a nation feel free and secure. Why? The answer is in the final word of the motto: Trust. Claremont Graduate University economist Paul Zak has studied trust among nations and found that the more of these components that are in place, the more citizens trust one another. Zak even computed the differences in living standards that trust can affect, demonstrating that a 15% increase in the proportion of people in a country who think others are trustworthy raises income per person by 1% per year for every year thereafter. For example, increasing levels of trust in the U.S. from its current 36% to 51% would raise the average income for every man, woman and child in the country by $400 per year. Trust pays.