Monday, March 30, 2009

God and the US of A

From time to time, usually from atheist circles we run across what I call nit-picking atheism. The little things, like a nativity scene or "In God we Trust" on the money. Or a lunatic calling The Atheist Experience to complain that a living waters ministry bumper sticker offends him and should be illegal.

Honestly, I couldn't care much less about most of these things. I mean, the pledge of allegiance deal, yeah, I dislike mostly because "under God" was a later addition, but some things really are kind of trivial. "In God We Trust" for example. Its innocuous, trivial, and barely worthy of note. This is in stark contrast to, say, ten commandments displays in court houses, which shows a bias. Money isn't biased in and of itself, only the holders can be.

Would i be sad to see all these things change to perfect adherence to the establishment clause? No, not at all. But do I think its worth fighting about? Not really. I think once Atheism is better known, and not considered by many to be a league of immoral reprobates who hate God, it might be worth addressing some of these things. But really, some of these things are so insignificant that its ridiculous to waste the time of people, oganizations, and the courts about them.


  1. I hear ya. Unfortunately, many theists use these things to make the case that America is a Christian nation. The first amendment is quite clear, and yet our currency has the words "in god we trust" on it, and the pledge of allegiance "one nation under god." We both know that these were later additions to what the forefathers had in mind. I admit it's frustrating to me, but I completely agree that atheists who get out of hand on the little issues are making us look bad.

    Bigger issues in my mind are things like Congress saying prayer before session, or Bush claiming that he believes god told him to be president, and his religious beliefs play a part in U.S. foreign policy. These are outrageous in my mind. We're a secular democracy, and we're praying in congress? To which god might I ask? I'm with Jefferson and Locke on this one, religion should be taken off the political table whether or not one believes in god.

  2. I agree. I'm with you on Jefferson and Locke as well.

    Although I should say as long as the Constitution is on the side of separation of church and state, any claim of Christendom is ludicrous at best. Sure, the nation was founded mostly by Christians and deists, but the constitution is not in the least ambiguous about whether or not there is or was a state religion.

  3. I'm not about to fight the "in god we trust" thing (I cross out "god" and write "gay"), because it is viewed as trivial and inane. However, when a christian complains that religion has been entirely marginalized in this country, I do like to point out that our money is covered in it.

  4. Its a valid point at that.

    Money as an item really is too trivial to make a big deal over. But using it in the way you do makes a good deal of sense.