'In God We Trust' Motto Is Un-American

in god we trustIf you were one of the only 9 percent of Americans who said recently that they're not fed up with the job that Congress is doing, the latest announcement from Capitol Hill may just push you over the edge. The House voted yesterday to reaffirm "In God We Trust" as the nation's motto. Really guys and gals, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, you think bogging us down in another religious debate is the best move for our country right now?

Because make no mistake, this is a religious issue. In a country that claims a separation of church and state (it's in our Constitution, those Congresspeople may have heard of it?), the US Treasury itself acknowledges that In God We Trust is tied directly to the influence of religious ideology on the government.

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According to the Treasury's official history:

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins.

Devout person. Deity. Religious sentiment. You don't have to read between those lines. It's a blatant example of the state allowing itself to take direction from the church.

And yet numerous attempts mounted to set aside the motto have been answered with explanations that it's based on tradition rather than religion ... despite those exact words on the treasury's own website. As recently as this past spring, the Supreme Court refused to hear an atheist's argument that the motto's printing on our money violates the Constitution, based on an appeals court's explanation that the words are "ceremonial and patriotic" rather than religious.

Apparently, those judges -- all of them -- think we can't read. And now 396 members of Congress are essentially telling us we're idiots too. As sponsor Representative J. Randy Forbes (a member of the Congressional PRAYER Caucus), told The New York Times, "If you look at the debates, they clarified that the motto had spiritual and psychological value."

Riiiiiiiight.

They can keep their trust in God, but I have no faith in Congress if they can't follow their own rules. How about you?

 

Image via adamentmeat/Flickr

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