Chronicling the follies of religion and superstition, the virtues of skepticism, and the wonders of the real (natural) universe as revealed by science. Plus other interesting and educational stuff.

"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."

-George Carlin

“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.

-Albert Einstein

“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”

-Carl Sagan

The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.

-Christopher Hitchens

 

Of Course 'In God We Trust' is Religious

americanhumanist:

Former AHA President David Niose argues at Psychology Today that “In God We Trust” is inherently religious, and that proposed laws forcing districts to display it in schools constitute a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

What do you think?

I’ve said it befor and maybe I’m wrong, but an under-recognized aspect of “In God We Trust” is that it’s inherently divisive, especially when compared with the original motto of the USA, E Pluribus Unum, which means “Out of many, one”. In God We Trust, on the other hand is more suited to the opposite mindset of “Out of One, many”. We all come out of god and then you’re on your own. As a national motto, it can only unify people who believe in the God implied, or a god at all.. Imagine the country we’d be living in if people fought as passionately for the unifying message of the original motto instead of the superstitious and exclusionary new one.

Pennsylvania bill would require schools to display ‘In God We Trust’ motto

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania public school districts would be required to post “In God We Trust” in every school building under legislation that advanced out of a committee in the state House of Representatives this week.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Allegheny, passed the House Education Committee on Wednesday by a 14-to-9 vote, with only one Democrat and one Republican crossing party lines.

The National Motto Display Act, as it is titled, credits James Pollock, a 19th century Pennsylvania governor, for putting the term on coins while serving as director of the U.S. Mint. The measure would require schools to post it by using a mounted plaque, student artwork or some other form.

Saccone said the motto would fit well with the state’s local history curriculum and appears to be widely supported by his constituents.

“It’s 500-to-1 back home, people are for it,” he said Thursday, adding that he believed it also would pass the Legislature overwhelmingly.

“I’m sure the media’s going to try to beat it down,” he said. “That’s par for the course.”

Saccone is a Baptist who also sponsored a “day of prayer” resolution in the House earlier this year to make April 30 “National Fast Day.” It was patterned after a similar designation by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago.

During the committee hearing, he said, opponents raised questions about whether the measure would withstand a court challenge and concerns that it might trivialize the motto.

“This isn’t about evangelizing,” Saccone said. “This is about celebrating our national motto.”

“In God We Trust” became the national motto under a 1956 law signed by President Dwight Eisenhower.

Janice Rael, vice president of the Delaware Valley chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the proposal promotes religion over the absence of religion. She opposes the proposal.

“The last time I checked, God was religious,” Rael said. “The government should be neutral, and with this legislation the government is not neutral, the government is taking a position.”

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I am just blown away by what guys spend they legislative time on. This is their nonsense idea to help our ailing schools? Bring back E Pluribus Unum as the national motto and put that up for kids to see. That’s actually a message worth teaching them. Out of many, one; as opposed to In God We Trust, which is essentially the opposite sentiment.

(Source: foxnews.com)

christinsanity:

dendodge:

christinsanity:


Look USA, Canada is doing it right.


On an only slightly related note, I’ve always wondered why Americans have “In God We Trust” on their banknotes, ever since I noticed it in Miracle on 34th Street.
I thought y’all had some kind of separation of church and state thing, where the government was supposed to be all secular and shizz. (That’s my best attempt at US vernacular)


Generally speaking it is because of the Red Scare in the ’50s. 

christinsanity:

dendodge:

christinsanity:

Look USA, Canada is doing it right.

On an only slightly related note, I’ve always wondered why Americans have “In God We Trust” on their banknotes, ever since I noticed it in Miracle on 34th Street.

I thought y’all had some kind of separation of church and state thing, where the government was supposed to be all secular and shizz. (That’s my best attempt at US vernacular)

Generally speaking it is because of the Red Scare in the ’50s. 

smokingcraterofmymind:

55 years ago today, “IN GOD WE TRUST” was added to the currency of the United States. This driving force for this act was caused by the single worst motivating force known to man, fear.

"The Red Scare", to be precise.

smokingcraterofmymind:

55 years ago today, “IN GOD WE TRUST” was added to the currency of the United States. This driving force for this act was caused by the single worst motivating force known to man, fear.

"The Red Scare", to be precise.

atheist-overdose:

My 95 year old great-grandfather, who is atheist, have this to my brother.  inside was a one dollar bill from 1935 and a ten dollar bill from 1950.

atheist-overdose:

My 95 year old great-grandfather, who is atheist, have this to my brother. inside was a one dollar bill from 1935 and a ten dollar bill from 1950.

atheistoverdose:

Helped with the designs for the original american currency. would be disgusted that it says “in god we trust” on the back of the $100 dollar bill that bares his portrait.

atheistoverdose:

Helped with the designs for the original american currency. would be disgusted that it says “in god we trust” on the back of the $100 dollar bill that bares his portrait.

ih8religion:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… “I love Bill Maher!”
I H8 RELIGION

ih8religion:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… “I love Bill Maher!”

I H8 RELIGION

nonplussedbyreligion:

I’m not sure if I ever talked about Atheist Oasis, but I love that blog.  This is the latest post and it just highlights why the guys over there were good resources when I was a “new” atheist.  ~ Kim

*****

In WHO Do We Trust, Exactly? More Nonsense From The Religious Right

Recently, due to a bad run, I’ve had to move in with a friend while I scavenge at the bottom of the abysmal job market. And yes, he’s a Christian (and a creationist to boot), but he’s an old and dear friend. We assiduously avoid religious discussions (as they end in loud acrimony), but we co-exist, which is the way it should be. He’s thoroughly familiar with my position on religion long before he agreed to help me out.

So Saturday morning, I’m awakened by his loud neighbors at 8 (why people feel the need to carry out conversations at the top of their lungs regardless of the hour, is beyond me. Nobody cares but them.), so I clamber off the inflatable bed in the corner and start cruising the channels (I didn’t have TV at the old apartment, so it’s kinda a treat), when I come across a listing on C-SPAN title ‘In God We Trust’. So I flip to it, with frighteningly predictable results. (see video)

Mind you, this is just a taste of an hour-long waste of our taxpayer dollars. And they pulled out all the old (re)tired tropes. Here’s a smattering of the oldies-but-moldies:

1. Our founding fathers created this country because of their belief in god.

This is just a stupid argument: it’s an argument from tradition, and it relies on the deification of the founders as some sort of saintly GODSQUAD. The simplest counter? They also ‘believed’ in: slavery, leeches, that water was bad for them (a good percentage, likely 100, is that they were soused most of the time anyways), Benjamin Rush thought that being born non-white was a congenital defect (he also used to tie down patients on a board and spin them, to cure what I don’t recall), Washington wanted to be king, Hamilton was a raging asshole (Burr did us a favor there) – the litany goes on. The point is that they were wrong about a great deal of things. They were correct about many other things. Why? Because they were human beings. We could go over an exhaustive list of their flaws, but for the sake of brevity, I shall move on.

2. The Declaration of Independence speaks of a ‘Divine Judge’, that every man is given their rights by their creator.

This is by far one of the more obnoxious of the litany of tropes. The word ‘Creator’ is obviously deliberately left ambiguous.Why? Because some of the founders were Deists. I couldn’t tell you the demographics of the period, i.e., how many Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims were extant at that time. Obviously there were some around. That one of the rethuglickans actually interpolated the word ‘divine judge’ in his nonsense was offensive as well as egregious. By modern standards, I can claim my rights derive from my parents, fer FSM’s sake. I illustrated in one of my essays from 2007 that five of the big founders would not be elected by neo-cons today.

3. It’s on the walls, it’s on our currency, etc.

The first time the ‘logo’ showed up was in 1864. I’m fairly sure that all the founders were deceased by then. So the founders argument flounders on this point, because that’s 88 years AFTER this country was founded. It didn’t even show up on our paper currency until 1964, which is 288 years after our inception. Republicans don’t fact-check. How is this not a surprise?

The other issue is that our actual motto (until Eisenhower passed that law in 1956, due to McCarthyism and the Cold War) was E Pluribus Unum, which was actually approved by the founders, and means “Out of many, one“. Never mind the infamous Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, which unequivocally states that, “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” This was also passed unequivocally by the senate in 1797, and signed by the president (Article 11 included).

(The argument usually used, is that this a sovereignty treaty, and therefore doesn’t apply. However, such treaties are as a rule represent the state of law in said country.)

The Constitution nor the Bill of Rights state any of the key points of Christianity: there is no declaration of Jehovah or Yahweh (or whatever ‘name’ the Christian would provide); there is no declamation that “Jesus is our lord”; nor is there any mention of the alleged resurrection. Those are the big three points, any of which being present would prove that this is a ‘Christian nation’. Historically, the Christians were excessively intolerant of other faiths, ergo there would be no First Amendment statement tolerating any other religion.

And the repercussions were ridiculous for the few who dissented.

“Fox Nation’ immediately posted the names of the nine people who voted against Resolution 13. Keith Ellison, the only elected Muslim representative, voted ‘present’, and abstained. He spoke to it later, stating that “We’re out of our lane. We’re in their [The American People’s] private religious affairs, not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, which is getting the economy working.” (Good advice, I say.)

The rest of the nonsense can be found here, if you have the stomach for it.

What none of these pandering politicians get, is that the language is demonstrating an exclusivity in an inclusive society. When one stipulates “In God We Trust”, it is a clear violation of church and state: that in referring to “God”, it is clearly bent in favor of the Judeo-Christian deity: the Jews spell it “G_d”, the Muslims holler “ALLAH AKBAR”, the Hindus bring up Brahma, etc..

The free pass is over, folks. Your two hundred years of domination is over. Time for a level playing field.

Get used to it.

Till the next post, then.