Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In God We Trust?

Today in my communications class, the topic of the dollar bill came up. How we got there, I don’t know. Paying attention in that class has never been my strong point. But regardless, I was shocked as people around me started to argue that having “In God We Trust” on the back of the one dollar bill did not present any problem. They said, “it doesn’t say in Jesus we trust, so it’s not like we’re targeting one religion. It can apply to any belief” and “its monotheistic, and not many people are polytheistic so it doesn’t leave anyone out”. How about those of us who don’t believe in any god? We’re just supposed to suck it up so the majority of Americans can feel good about their money? Yes. Yes we are.
But when has the opinion of atheists ever influenced the decisions of politicians? As someone in my class brought up, as a counter to my separation of church and state argument, candidates always end speeches with “God bless you, and God bless America”; we don’t call for it in our constitution, but its there so your argument sucks.
Well excuse me. I thought the point of the first amendment was to ensure this kind of logic wouldn’t work. Sure it happens, but shouldn’t this be an argument to end the calling-on of God at the end of every speech as opposed to an argument against the bill of rights? Just because it’s happening doesn’t give it superiority to what my country was founded on. 

Speaking of, another popular argument was that our country was founded on religion so we should just go with it. Well our founding fathers thought to separate church and state… so I’m not really sure how that applies. Maybe our original 13 colonies were founded with Puritanism in mind, but 100 years kind of squashed that out of the New World. However, since “under God” in the Pledge of allegiance is “good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for [Sarah Palin]." You know, the pledge that was written in 1892. And the under God that was added in 1952.

Weird as this may seem, I just don’t feel like lying any time I want to pledge allegiance to my country. I don’t believe that we are a nation under God, so why put words in a national pledge that don’t apply to 100% of its population? When I brought this up to my boyfriend he said that taking it out would anger too many people, as would taking “In God We Trust” off money. However, Jeff, I have to respectfully disagree. We don’t mention God in the star spangled banner, nor is God plastered over all our stamps. No one gets upset that God isn’t mentioned on license plates. So really, respect the atheists among you and get God off my shit!

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