In God We Trust?
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 070201)

Which god? All gods? Some gods? Any god?

Does every American trust in god, gods, some gods,
any god?

Should every American trust in god, gods, some gods,
any god?

What about atheists and other non-trusters in god?
Are non-trusters in god to be dismissed by a national
motto of all things, treated as lower class citizens, mar-
ginalized, and diminished for freely choosing, as is
their right as American citizens, to trust in no god?

What about the god of hell, the god of damnation, the
god of revenge, the god of hate, the god of 'believe or
else', the god of disease, the god of torment, the god
of pain, is that the god Americans should trust?

Of course not, as that's merely a call to slavery and
authoritarianism and, at its worst, fascism.

Should our national motto be about god/religion or
should it be about human beings/human rights?

Should our national motto be about god/religion or
should it be about love and caring and sharing with
one another, as free and sentient beings, in a world
of wonder?

Should our national motto be about god/religion or
should it be about values and goals that *all* citizens
have in common?

Should our national motto encourage delusion and
promote religion or should it hold in the highest esteem
the human desire to reason, investigate, explore, and
responsibly address the challenges and solutions to
our plight on this earth, at this time, in this life?

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http://www.religioustolerance.org/nat_mott.htm
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Excerpts:

"...

o In 1956, the nation was suffering through the height
of the cold war, and the McCarthy communist witch
hunt. Partly in reaction to these factors, the 84th Con-
gress passed a joint resolution to replace the existing
motto with "In God we Trust." ... The new motto was
first used on paper money in 1957, when it was added
to the one-dollar silver certificate. By 1966, "In God
we Trust" was added to all paper money, from $1 to
$100 denominations.

o The motto is, in fact, untrue. An accurate statement
would be "In God, Some of Us Trust." Followers of
Agnosticism, Atheism, Deism, Humanism, and some
traditions within Buddhism, Satanism and Unitarian Uni-
versalism do not believe in an intrusive, omni-present
personal deity. Thus they could not trust such a God.

o The motto refers to "God," not to Gods, a Goddess
or Goddesses. Thus it marginalizes followers of most
Aboriginal religions, Goddess religions, Hinduism, San-
teria, Vodun, Wicca and other Neopagan religions who
believe in more than one deity and who believe that both
male and female deities exist.

o The motto does appear to promote theistic religions as
superior to those non-theistic religions as listed above. It
also seems to promote a religious approach to life in favor
of a secular lifestyle. It would appear to be in violation of
the principle of separation of church and state. Yet it has,
so far, been consistently declared constitutional by federal
courts.

..."

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In general, litigation-to-date to alter the God stuff has faltered
because God has been treated as a non-religious entity -or-
religious only in the 'ceremonial deism' sense (whatever that
means as that phrase has been used in some judgments, as
evidenced in the following example):

Appeal Denied - In God We Trust Suit,
Freedom From Religion Foundation, May, 1996
[link no longer available]
-http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/may96/igwt.html-
Excerpt: "... The District Court dismissed our complaint
without trial," Tiernan said. "That court said that 'In God
We Trust' is a form of 'ceremonial deism,' that it does not
constitute prohibited government endorsement of religion. ..."

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Therefore, in the interest of balance/liberty/fairness/equality,
henceforth, the word God shall be construed (by those dis-
quieted by the traditional notions of God) to represent "Good
ol' [ ______ pick one - disbelief, delight, debauchery, desire,
decadence]" offering a bit of irony and opposition to the tradi-
tional God thoughts.

The traditional God thoughts in no small measure include de
facto support for traditional religions and opposition to athe-
ism (as well as opposition to religions which don't pay homage
to God in any way in any printed or spoken words) on U.S.
currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance to the painted cloth
known as the U.S. flag.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under
Good ol' disbelief, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Ahhh, the pleasures of promoting disbelief ... (-:

Whatever, use your imagination for the initials G.o.d., and
have fun with it. When you look at it that way, hey, it kinda
becomes a rather fun mental game of opposition to the tradi-
tional God notions that disbelievers can play until the tradi-
tional God fans in the courts and legislatures come to their
senses.

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*** satire follows - keep that in mind, please ***

I can see the litigation now ... "Student brings suit against
school for being punished for treating G.o.d. as initials rather
than God, while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The student
mouthed the words "Good ol' disbelief" in place of God
while reciting the pledge.

School officials responded with this statement: "It is school
policy to only allow God to be said and to disallow the inter-
pretation or use of those letters to symbolize anything but the
God (of state-approved ceremonial deism) that all *decent*
Americans love and cherish, in their own ways. Therefore,
we feel justified in defending our God and in banning any
non-traditional God, such as that by this student, when recit-
ing the Pledge."

Later, as the litigation winds its way through the courts and
finally ends up on the footsteps of the Supreme Court, the
Court issues this ruling:

"The student must say God rather than using G.o.d. as initials
for something other than God, as the God of "ceremonial deism"
is the one and only God allowed to be used as God of these
United States of America ...

... and know this, that God is not an endorsement of God and
any and all Americans have the right to "Good ol' disbelief" or
any God for that matter, just don't use G.o.d. as initials and
say words for those initials while reciting the pledge, as that
would be "freedom of speech" and we cannot, we will not
tolerate freedom of speech in our Pledge of Allegiance to the
flag, with one small area of discretion ...

... and that is, know this, one exception is that God may be
used as initials if the "G" of those initials is used to convey
the one and only God of America (the ceremonial deist God,
you understand) and the o. and d. initials are used respect-
fully, like "God of Drug-haters" or "God of Destruction",
you know, concepts all *decent* Americans delight in ...

... Thank God (God of ceremonial deism, don't forget) that
God is God and only God or "the approved" G.o.d., not any
non-God G.o.d., is on our currency and is used while reciting
a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Amen."

*** end satire ***

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Most of us in the Freethinking, Nonreligious, and Humanistic
communities have concerns regarding the "In God We Trust"
phrase that's on U.S. Currency.

We feel that Americans can agree on many inspiring ideals
to place our trust in, but "In God We Trust" is contrary to
the principal of separation of church and state and is not
consistent with the values and principles of all Americans.

In what do all Americans trust?

Here are a few ideas consistent with the values and principles
of all Americans:

"In Freedom We Trust"

"In Liberty We Trust"

"In the Pursuit of Happiness, We Trust"

"In Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, We Trust"

"In Truth We Trust"

"In Pursuit of Truth We Trust"

"In Ideals We Trust"

"In Tolerance of Ideals We Trust"

"In Human Principles We Trust"

"In Humane Principles We Trust"

"In Education We Trust"

"In Knowledge We Trust"

"In the Best of Humankind We Trust"

"In Wisdom We Trust"

"In Human Potential We Trust"

"In Each Other We Place Our Trust"

"In Goodness We Trust"

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Related Reference:

Court Decisions on religious liberty
http://atheism.about.com/library/decisions/indexes/bl_l_DecisionIndex.htm

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