In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.
"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."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
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.
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.”
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.
…the entire idea that we should create a small army of minimum-wage mercenaries to guard schools, which LaPierre promoted today, is certifiably stupid. As Salon’s Alex Seitz-Wald reported, ABC News undertook an experiment back in 2009 where they demonstrated that you could arm people, train them to use their weapon, put them in a school, warn them that there would be an attack on their school, and they would still massively fail to stop the armed assailant that they knew was going to arrive.
Beyond the practicalities, however, the idea is pretty nuch a political non-starter, as the party that likes guns does not like spending tax dollars (least of all on public schools), and the party that likes public schools does not like handing out guns willy-nilly to glorified rent-a-cops.
In case you were wondering, the cost involved with putting an armed guard in every single school in America would be around $18 billion…