I'm an Atheist, but I like most Theists. Really, I do. Admittedly I don't agree with them, but I'm also strongly for the idea of to each his own. But, sometimes some of them can be real pains in the tuckus.
Fundamentalist Christians complain incessantly about how the 10-15% of the non-Christian naysayers of this nation have them on the ground with the jackboot of oppression on their necks, poised to prevent them from saying Merry Christmas or some other form of "oppression". Having overwhelmingly fewer jackboots than God-fearing necks is mathematically impossible. Perhaps it's a modern-day expression of the Loaves and Fishes School of Math Theory.
But oppression? Really? Syria is oppressed. Most of Africa is oppressed. A good number of Americans are oppressed. Hell, China is so oppressed they almost stamp out all religion. In some places on Earth oppression comes at the point of a gun. Asking to simply let government be government and religion be religion isn't oppression, even if people scream it in frustration over the unending need to label everything on God's (their opinion, not mine) green earth with a religious creed.
The 'Reaffirmation' Commeth
The latest example is Rep. Randy Forbes' (R-VA) - and the 64 co-sponsors of his bill - legislation to "affirm" In God We Trust as the national motto. Apostle Randy wants to encourage public buildings, schools, and government facilities to carve the motto into whatever stone is available in their crumbling, under-funded, spending-cut hallways.
Personally, I don't think we even need a national motto and if I did, I'd rather have something like No New Taxes or Capitalism Uber Alles, even though I don't agree with those sentiments either.
In God We Trust is already on our money and the official US motto by law. I'm not agitating to remove it. If a dollar is still a dollar (adjusted for inflation) I don't think it's worth the trouble. Besides, when people throw it in the collection plate it's labeled so God can easily find his money among the assorted socialist Canadian nickels.
This whole reaffirmation concept is a bit weird. Do we go around reaffirming other laws? How about the tax code? De we need to carve it into the walls of the Republican National Committee's walls? Was the failure to reaffirm prohibition what eventually led to its downfall? C'mon.
How 'bout a Few Props for the Rest of Us?!
This bill, “sends a message that 'In God We Trust' is not only written in the halls of our federal buildings, but it is a bedrock upon which our nation is built." Forbes explained. “...in times of national challenge or tragedy, the people of the United States have turned to God as their source for sustenance, protection, wisdom, strength, and direction.”
Fair enough. I feel that if you want to turn to God when things go to Hell, smite yourself out. Whatever gets you through the dark ride of life is a good thing - God or otherwise. The problem is that not all of "...the people of the United States" turn to God. It's also true the "bedrock upon which the nation is built" was mostly Christian. However, it ignores the work of those who didn't believe in God. Hey, how about a few props for the rest of us?!
In God We Trusters, here's a little experiment. Ask yourself how you'd feel if I authored legislation that said, "You know, those God-fearing folk were a bunch of goldbrickers. Here I was, off building some bedrock, and they were spending all their time carving mottos into every available flat surface. No wonder it took so long to build the intercontinental railroad."
Yeah. It doesn't feel quite right, does it?Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!