Field of Science

USA National Motto funny business

The current House of Representatives having found nothing useful to do wants to pass a non-binding resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto. Funny that because all the people who are so eager for this reaffirmation also argue for the original intent of the constitution worshiping what they think the nation's founders meant. Well, the founders were clear on one thing, the motto they adopted in 1782 as part of the USA's great seal is E pluibus unum, an affirmation of a nation built of states. In God We Trust was a political gesture born of the cold war and the communist scare of the 1950s. The Phactor clearly remembers when it became necessary to become a deist to pledge allegiance to our country ("one nation under God") which guarantees your freedom of religion by making you say something religious to be patriotic. Of course it just meant memorizing new words back then. Supporters argue that this motto is not promoting religion, and its secular nature has been upheld in the courts, so how can anyone be upset? If you want to test the idea that "In God We Trust" and "one nation under God" are secular in their intent, whether they promote religion or not, then why not be more inclusive and just make a tiny editorial change: "In gods we trust" and "one nation under gods". What to bet what will happen? No of course not. The howl would be enormous because those mottos don't wink, wink, nudge, nudge affirm the right religion. Secular my foot. Go ahead, test the hypothesis. Oh, yes, tried this one out on a Lutheran minister who was arguing that the slogan on our money was of a purely secular nature. He became purely purple.

1 comment:

Eric said...

I was barely old enough, but I remember those 1950's changes, too, and thought then it was repressive (though I may not have known the word). Re "In God We Trust", however, it was Teddy Roosevelt who put that on our coins, first appearing on the Lincoln cent in 1909, thus giving the phrase currency (sorry). Something about those breast-beating periods of our history that bring this godfulness out. Personally, I still drop those extra two words that were added to the pledge, and I don't recite it in that mindless, sing-song kindergarten style, either, that makes adults sound so silly.