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A campaign to blitz the country with ‘In God We Trust’ laws takes root

Jennifer Marshall, with the Heritage Foundation, and Summer Ingram, with the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, who said they support "traditional marriage" hold balloons that says "protect religious liberty" outside of the Supreme Court Friday June 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(RNS) — As the summer heat waxes and state legislative sessions wane, the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation has scored a few small but significant victories.

This year, five state legislatures passed laws mandating that every public school prominently display the U.S. motto, “In God We Trust.” The addition of Arkansas, which passed such a law in 2017, brings to six the number of states with public school mandates, including Alabama, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Those laws, mostly sponsored by legislative prayer caucuses in about 30 states, were inspired by the foundation’s 2017 manual known as Project Blitz, a 116-page guide for state legislators listing 20 model bills of which “In God We Trust” is the first.

For a foundation begun in late 2005 as an offshoot of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, that’s an impressive start.

The list of “In God We Trust” legislation doesn’t count states like Minnesota that passed a law allowing but not mandating that public schools post the motto, or a new North Carolina law requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue optional “In God We Trust” license plates.

Project Blitz has been likened to the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which brings conservative state lawmakers together with corporate sponsors to draft model legislation. The model bill project was conceived by the foundation based in Chesapeake, Va., alongside two partners: WallBuilders, the group headed by Christian nationalist David Barton, and the National Legal Foundation, a Christian public interest law firm.

The project is intended to protect religious liberty, which the foundation says is a key American principle that has “weakened and come under increasing attack.”

But the way Project Blitz defines religious freedom is misleading, said Frederick Clarkson who first wrote about the project and works as a senior research analyst with Political Research Associates, a social justice think tank based in Somerville, Mass.

“Religious freedom in the sense that Project Blitz means it is not what the rest of us understand as the revolutionary aspiration of religious equality for all,” Clarkson said. “It’s more of a cover for some conservative Christians to promote their religious and political views via public policy and public institutions, and as a justification for broad exemptions from the law.”

In addition to the “In God We Trust” model bill for public schools, the Project Blitz manual offers a raft of other bills, including:

  • A Religion in Legal History Act that endorses an “appropriate presentation of the role of religion in the constitutional history of the United States” to be placed in courthouses and other public institutions (Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed such a law in May);
  • A state resolution on marriage that says the state “supports and encourages marriage between one man and one woman”;
  • A Child Protection Act that allows religious exemptions for adoption and foster care agencies from serving same-sex couples (both Kansas and Oklahoma passed such laws this year);
  • A Licensed Professional Civil Rights Act that would exempt “pharmacists, medical personnel and mental health practitioners from providing care to LGBTQ people, and such matters as abortion and contraception”;
  • A Student Prayer Certification Act that would require states to certify that they are not preventing students from engaging in constitutionally protected prayer.”

Repeated email and phone calls to the foundation were not returned.

Wyoming State Rep. Cheri Steinmetz,R-Lingle, on March 6, 2018, shows an example of an “In God We Trust” placard in Cheyenne, Wyo. Steinmetz sponsored a bill that would allow people to donate such placards for display in prominent places in state buildings and schools. The measure died in the state Senate. (AP Photo by Bob Moen)

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been keeping track of Project Blitz legislation. It found that there were 76 bills introduced in state legislatures nationwide in 2018 that were either identical or used similar language to the Project Blitz manual.

Many legislators said they saw no harm in “In God We Trust” measures.

“Our national motto and founding documents are the cornerstone of freedom and we should teach our children about these things,” said Tennessee State Rep. Susan Lynn, who sponsored the bill that passed in that state in March.

Project Blitz writers acknowledge that “In God We Trust” bills may seem symbolic, but they serve a larger purpose, which is to lay the foundation for future efforts. “Despite arguments that this type of legislation is not needed, measures such as the ‘In God We Trust’ bill can have enormous impact,” reads the manual. “Even if it does not become law, it can still provide the basis to shore up later support for other governmental entities to support religious displays.”

Some religious groups have begun to push back. In North Carolina, where an “In God We Trust” bill passed in the state House in June but stalled in the state Senate, the executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches went on record opposing such a bill.

“For those who have no religious tradition, whose beliefs also are protected by the First Amendment, the motto is an affront,” wrote Jennifer Copeland in a blog post. “For those who DO believe the tenets of Trinitarian Christianity, we don’t need a sign at school telling us who we trust.”

Other liberal Christians are also objecting to efforts to use religious freedom as a ruse.

Last month, the Presbyterian Church (USA) passed by consensus a resolution at its General Assembly that said it will “stand against any invocation of ‘religious freedom’ (in the public sphere) that deprives people of their civil and human rights to equal protection under the law, or that uses ‘religious freedom’ to justify exclusion and discrimination.”

Regional affiliates of Americans United — including one in North Carolina — are watching developments closely.

“They’re destroying the integrity of religion in America,” said Rollin Russell, a retired United Church of Christ minister active with the Orange-Durham chapter of Americans United in North Carolina, referring to the prayer caucus groups. “It makes me crazy that people with that understanding of Christianity are enforcing their theological perspective on everybody else.”

About the author

Yonat Shimron

Yonat Shimron is an RNS National Reporter and Senior Editor.

313 Comments

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  • “A Licensed Professional Civil Rights Act that would exempt ‘pharmacists, medical personnel and mental health practitioners from providing care to LGBTQ people.'”
    Remember when conservatives claimed that all they wanted to do was to allow “free speech” exemptions for vendors not to have to serve gay weddings? They lied to you.

  • No, I can’t say that I remember that.

    The Project Blitz Manual is not actual legislation proposed by any “conservative” or “middle of the road” or “progressive” or “communist” legislator(s).

    It is a document put together by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation with one (1) congressman on the Executive Board and a handful of members of Congress as “advisors”.

    I believe in most states at this time doctors and lawyers are not compelled to provide care to anyone, LGBTQ or not.

    This is the sort inflammatory and generally inaccurate stuff Yonat Shimron fronts for different outfits, this time for Americans United for Separation of Church and State in support of the mantra “It makes me crazy that people
    with that understanding of Christianity are enforcing their theological
    perspective on everybody else”, this time dutifully provided by Rollin Russell, a retired United Church of Christ minister active with
    the Orange-Durham chapter of Americans United in North Carolina.

    The fact that people with his understanding of Christianity are trying to enforce their theological perspective on everybody else makes me crazy.

  • Here’s a challenge for all the Christianists out there who demand that I, as an American, “trust” their deity: I will not do so. Ever! Not for any reason. No matter how many signs you make me see. No matter how many other ways you try to force me to do so. 

    I absolutely, categorically, eternally refuse to “trust” the malevolent creature you worship. 

    You’re free to try to change my mind, if you want. Track me down and force me to “trust” your deity. Go ahead! I dare you to give it your best shot. Lock and load … you have no reason not to, after all, since you believe that I, as an American, already live under a mandate to do so. I won’t fight back and I won’t turn you in to the police … so you may as well go for it! 

    Right? 

    If none of you is willing to show up and try your best, well, that’ll just prove you’re nothing but a rabble of craven chicken-hawks — sure, you talk a good game, and use government to push yourself and you deity on me, but you won’t get off your sniveling, infantile backsides and actually make me “trust” your deity. 

  • Why would anyone try to change your mind?

    Admittedly it’s a small project, but what would be the point?

  • If the law doesn’t require doctors and lawyers to provide services to LGBT persons, then why the suggested law (which is being promulgated by a conservative group, be serious)?

  • The supposed suggested law which you mention (I have not researched it to find out if like some of the other parts of the article it is inaccurately reported) as reported does not cover lawyers and does not cover doctors per se (“medical personnel” is a bit fuzzy).

    I only mentioned that – seriously – it is not legislation and I am unable to find it actually proposed as legislation by anyone, be they conservative or Lambda League, in any state legislature.

    The article is just a plant to get donations for Americans United for Separation of Church and State as I read it.

  • “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, ’tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin

  • More diversionary tactics designed to distract the Republican base with red meat so they won’t notice that not much has changed for them since those great tax cuts for millionaires went into effect. It will also help distract them from the severe sticker shock they’ll soon be experiencing at Walmart when all those cheap, poorly-made Chinese products they’re so fond of buying suddenly aren’t so cheap anymore as a result of Trump’s trade wars. But they’ll be happy as long as “In God we trust” is plastered all over everything, right underneath where it says:

    TRUMP, INC. ™️

  • There is nothing more pointless than mandating by law signage that purports trust in God. And I say this as a Christian who, by the way, trusts in God.

    We’ve had “In God We Trust” on our currency for a very long time, but I would wager a hefty amount that, if forced to make a choice, more Americans would put faith in the money itself before they’d put faith in the inscription. In fact, I doubt most people are even aware the inscription exists.

    I oppose such laws not because I’m offended by the signage but because my faith means more to me than a cheap slogan. Public, mandated expressions of faith only render them trite and meaningless.

  • News article: 5 states have laws designed by a group that has designs for other laws, too.

    You: fake news!

    Me: what is wrong with you?

  • It is not protecting religious liberty but forcing particular ideas on everyone. Any student is free to stand up at school and proclaim their trust in god. They can pray at anytime during the school day. Or not, like the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m sure the more enthusiastic of we atheists will take it to court – with a fair chance of it being struck down. So tiresome!

  • Me:

    – Why doesn’t the content match the supposed source?

    – Why does the article rely on Americans United?

    – Why can’t I find “pharmacists, medical personnel and mental health practitioners from providing care to LGBTQ people, and such matters as abortion and contraception” except in the article?

    And so on.

    Do feel free to answer any or all of the three.

  • If WE really trusted a god, there would be no need to display “In God We Trust” in every nook and cranny across the nation. If people trusted a god along with the legendary “power of prayer,” they would certainly not need health insurance, for example.

    So, if we feel the need for a motto to be displayed everywhere, an honest one that’s grounded in reality would be “In God We Fantasize.”

  • It’s been taken to court:

    https://openjurist.org/432/f2d/242/aronow-v-united-states

    “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.”

    On December 4, 2007, Michael Newdow argued before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit to remove both “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance (Roe v. Rio Linda Union School District) and “In God We Trust” from United States currency.

    The Ninth Circuit rejected Newdow’s challenge. In a decision published March 11, 2010, the court held that its earlier decision in Aronow, which “held the national motto is of a “patriotic or ceremonial character,” has no “theological or ritualistic impact,” and does not constitute “governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise,” foreclosed Newdow’s argument. In an opinion concurring only in the judgment, even the extremely liberal Judge Stephen Reinhardt agreed that Aronow was controlling precedent.

  • The organization that put whatever this is together does not appear to be Republican.

  • Since you don’t believe in a deity, you really don’t have a dog in the hunt.

    If there is a deity, I wonder if it believes in Richard Rush?

  • None of the “proposed” laws appear to call for support.

    They appear to call for protection of religious scruples from government overreach.

    That’s pretty consistent with the Second Amendment.

  • It hardly matters. Soon there will be little distinction between the Republican Party, the Federal Government, and Jesus, Inc.

  • The truth sets us free. Having ‘In God We Trust’ on coinage or on a school house wall doesn’t make it true. Therefore, I oppose it.

    On the other hand, those who sincerely trust in God will do so without signage.

  • Traveling down memory lane? Well, I can remember when gay rights laws were being sold to the voters and legislatures as reasonable employment and housing measures, rather than as gay sleeper weapons designed to repeal the constitutional religious freedom of uncooperativre American citizens in the event that gay marriage was legalized.

    Having said that, Projet Blitz would do well to drop this one paragraph.

    Medical, pharma, and psych assistance for all regardless of label, is a genuine humanitarian gig at all times.
    Also. the last item plays directly into no-good efforts to criminalize professional, psychological, secular and church-based services for those wanting to escape gay slavery.

  • Actually Richard, that’s a very good, simple and strategic emphasis of Project Blitz. Change the daily national secular narrative, using four little words that every kid remembers seeing on their money.

    Just plant a simple soundbite seed, “In God We Trust”, into the national conscience again. The greatest two-second advertising meme ever conceived. In chess notation, you would write two (probably three) exclamation points. It’s just that good.

  • Its truth is independent of it being on a school house wall.

    1 + 1 = 2 is also true independently of being on a school house wall, but I have no objection to it being there.

    If the government took the position that those who sincerely trust in God will do so without signage, it would be violating the First Amendment since it would be making a religion decision.

    Since the courts have found it has a ceremonial purpose, I have no objection to it at all.

  • It already does not matter to you.

    That says something, and it is not very favorable, about your analytical talents.

  • So, Christians want to shoot anyone who doesn’t repeat their government-mandated religious endorsement? That’s a violation of free speech!

  • I’m aware of the situation regarding our currency. Making this mandatory in schools is something else, in my opinion. Of course its the court’s opinion that matters.

  • Christians just got through refusing to repeat government-mandated support for gay marriage and abortion, and here they are seeking to force students and teachers to read and repeat speech endorsing the Christian god, in violation of their own sincerely-held beliefs. Such hypocrites.

  • As a former JW I am sure you aware that no child is compelled to recite “In God We Trust”, “one nation under God”, or anything of that sort.

  • I understand that you have no objection. I picked up on that pretty quickly.

    Going by your logic, we should also post “Mohammed is Allah’s prophet” since failure to do so is making a religion decision.

    Moving on.

  • Posting “In God We Trust” in public schools is merely a sneaky attempt to proselytize a captive audience of impressionable school children. IGWT is divisive and a slap in the face to the sizable portion of the population who are non-religious.

    The phrase “E Pluribus Unum” also appears on our money and our national seal. So why aren’t they promoting the prominent display of “E Pluribus Unum” in public schools? Could it be that certain politicians just want to pander to their religious constituents by using government to selfishly promote their religious beliefs?

  • Let me guess. You also hate the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public school (even with appropriate religious freedom exemptions for parents). Is that correct?

  • Wow, whatever he posted at me must be good! (FYI, I blocked the cretin so I can’t see the comment. Not that I want to know what it is. I’m just noting it elicited responses from others.) 

  • Worth repeating: “Why would anyone try to change your mind?

    Admittedly it’s a small project, but what would be the point?”

    Good question, Bob…

  • Re: “Any student is free to stand up at school and proclaim their trust in god.” 

    Yes: “With God’s help, I’ll finally finish this English paper! I certainly couldn’t do it on my own.” 

    Re: “They can pray at anytime during the school day.” 

    Yes: “A pop quiz in algebra!? God help me!” 

    Indeed … happens all the time, every day, constantly, in schools around the country. 

  • If it’s a “small project” to change my mind, it’d seem to be easy, so it could be done quickly and with little effort. 

    Right? 

    … Like I said, chicken-hawks, every single last stinking one of them. 

  • No, that would be adding something that is not part of our culture.

    Different reason, and that probably would be a violation of the First Amendment.

    You are apparently completely unfamiliar with the case law on “In God We Trust”.

    Sadly you seem dedicated to staying completely unfamiliar now that your mind is made up.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlINa24CUAA-3zV.jpg

  • But the Pledge can be made voluntary if need be (thus staying legal even in very liberal districts) and enough kids are okay with reciting it voluntarily that the remainder will wind up remembering the words anyway..

    So let’s be honest. Your anger ain’t about any illusory “compelled speech” either with the Pledge, or with “In God We Trust” (which is voluntarily viewed and not recited). For you, it’s about the actual message , right?

  • Oooh! The Big Challenge! Ah just loves a big angry challenge. (You say you won’t even snitch on us nasty evil Christianists to the State Police, after we get done? Oh you’re such a sweet little angry anti-Christian!!)

    So, what evil sicko torture strategy am I gonna do to stop your brassy sass against God? Very simple: I’m going to stick a plate of fresh Schwan’s Chicken Bites into the microwave, and then eat a new package of Starburst Jellybeans while I relax and surf the EarthCam Network, especially the warm, inviting Bali Elephant Park.

    Works every time, honestly. You ain’t got no chance. Ya might as well make plans NOW to show up at the nearest Bible-believing 6:00 AM church service next Sunday. (Also be on time for Sunday School, please!)

    You see, it ain’t me you gotta worry about. Nor the other posters. Nor Project Blitz. You already KNOW who’s on your tail, who’s in your bizness, who’s gonna blindside you just like he did Saul of Tarsus. You may have ditched Him, but he never ditched you. Still loves you, it seems. So all I gotta do, is sit down and eat fresh Jelly Beans and Chicken Bites with a shot of Apple Juice. The End!

  • Maybe we should wait until we get the check from Mexico before we start proclaiming our national trust in God. Then we can put in in big letters all along the wall. After all, if God can’t Make America White Again, should we really trust Him?

  • If that’s the kind of meaningful they want, they are free to write it on the currency itself. There’s no reason the government should do it.

  • No, that would be adding something that is not part of our culture.

    Sorry, Muslims are part of American culture.

    And your defense of “in god we trust” as meaningless ceremonial pablum reminds me of Peter denying Jesus three times.

  • even with appropriate religious freedom exemptions for parents

    No, it’s not parents who get an exemption, it’s the students.

  • But the Pledge can be made voluntary

    It’s already voluntary. It’s still coercive religious jingoism.

  • How’s this for compromise language? Post this: “In God We Trust, But The Devil Is To Pay.”

    Print it on the money from now on, while you’re at it.

  • I fail to see the logic of claiming that the phrase, “In God we trust” is so devoid of meaning that it isn’t religious.

  • Except certain western states if you’re a Christian and don’t want to be involved in a same sex marriage.

    Then it’s a tyranny.

  • Re: “You already KNOW who’s on your tail, who’s in your bizness, who’s gonna blindside you just like he did Saul of Tarsus. You may have ditched Him, but he ain’t never ditched you.” 

    You must be referring to an almighty cosmic terrorist. You know, the one who threatens his/her/its own creations with eternal perdition, if they don’t believe what s/he/it wants them to believe but will never make clear to them. Got it. But … having said that … now you understand why no moral or ethical person has any business complying with his/her/its demands, delivered under threat. 

    Re: “Still loves you and watches over you, it seems.” 

    Telling me your almighty cosmic terrorist “loves me” doesn’t actually mean s/he/it does. It just means you’re trying to paper over his/her/its true malevolent nature

    Re: “So all I gotta do, is sit down and eat delicious Jelly Beans and Chicken Bites with a shot of Apple Juice. “ 

    So … that’s why your ilk keeps slapping “in God we trust” banners all over the place? Gee, I’d just assumed it was a form of public piety that your deity supposedly forbid you ever to engage in. But hey, what could a cynical, cold-hearted, godless agnostic heathen possibly know about such monumentally sacred things … right? 

    Just to be clear: I’m still laughing at you and your threat to sick your supposed big bad almighty cosmic terrorist on me. 

  • The funny part is how they have to pretend they’re not promoting Christianity when, of course, that’s exactly what they’re doing. But if being liars and hypocrites bothered these nuts, they wouldn’t be “Christian nation” activists in the first place.

  • When Christianity was relevant in American society there was no need for government supported signs in schools and license plates for cars. Now that a growing number of Americans are opting out of religion, Christians are using the government to force their teachings on others. That is a true sign that you are no longer relevant.

  • If their deity exists, s/he/it is probably laughing at them for having knuckled under to his/her/its malicious whims. 

  • A minority of people do not respect the foundational concept of the separation of church & state. As a rule they are not Christians, but Calvinists and would like to convert the US into a theocracy and rule it with their demented heretical version version of the KJV of the Bible. I don’t know exactly what it will take, but patriotic Americans who respect and support the Constitution must stand up and force these anti-Christian and anti-American individuals back under their rocks.

  • This particular group is promoting Christianity.

    Try the urls in the article next time.

  • “In God We Trust” arrived during the Civil War.

    Apparently, then, your hypothesis that this is “a true sign that you are no longer relevant” is hogwash.

  • I am rather hoping it’s rubbing its cosmic hands together looking forward to your shocked look when you exit this mortal coil and find out where you’re heading.

  • Actually it appeared during the Civil War, so “a shady attempt to proselytize a captive audience of impressionable school children” seems rather unlikely.

    As to “E Pluribus Unum”, a substantial portion of the populace find English a stretch, let alone Latin.

  • “Separation of church and state” was not a foundational concept.

    Non-establishment and neutrality were foundational concepts.

  • As indicated in numerous dicta of the Supreme Court (and in appellate courts), the god of In God We Trust is not the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is instead the god of ceremonial deism as described by Dean Rostow of Yale Law School. This ceremonial deism (not to be confused with actual deism) permits the theocratic proposal to include “God” in the National Motto in a way that permits its use with what is believed to be minimal Constitutional offense.

  • “For those who DO believe the tenets of Trinitarian Christianity, we don’t need a sign at school telling us who we trust.”

    First, I suspect a devout Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, and even many Christians would be surprised that the motto applies only to Trinitarian Christians. Second, I suppose Copeland thinks we should take down all the flags flying in front of government buildings and private residences — after all, we KNOW who we are, we don’t need the constant reminder … right?

  • I don’t doubt you are hoping for such a thing. More’s the pity.

    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

  • Uh huh. Not having “In God We Trust” in public schools is right up there on my list of America’s biggest problems, too.

    I wonder if Christians ever think how weak it makes their faith look that they have to strongarm the government to help proselytize their religion. It can’t stand on its own?

  • Thank you for this. You put all of the sarcasm I was intending into an extremely well reasoned and reasonable approach.

  • So, it’s really is about power, money, and dominion. Who knew?

    As one of my favorite hucksters, P.T. Barnum said,

    What a shoddy defense of flim flam.

  • I should block the Mouth of bob— a reference he will never, ever get— But I don’t think I have ever encountered such a mix of obvious stupid, malice, and a reasonably bright intelligence. It simply boggles the mind.

    I don’t read but one in 20 of his posts. I see his name, and my mind glazes over. I don’t respond to but one of 50 of the ones I do read. And he never seems to notice it. And yet, he won’t block me. I assume it is because it feeds his ego. Or there could be darker reasons, but I don’t want to tell him what they are.

  • Thank you for your progressive views on the subject. Other conservative commenters on this site are on record as favoring the right of doctors to refuse care to gay men out of AIDSphobia.
    The only legislative attempts to ban conversion therapy are consumer fraud statutes focused on services provided by professional therapists for profit , so to say that “church-based” services are being banned — as though the laws seek to ban any religious viewpoint — is not accurate.

  • Project Blitz is a fraud. It has nothing to do with real religious liberty but, rather, is designed to weaken it and to undermine the constitutional principle of church-state separation that our country’s Founders (Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams, Franklin, Paine, etc) designed to protect real religious liberty. Americans need to wake up and fight back against this sleazy campaign. Real religious liberty needs for government to keep its nose out of religious matters. — Edd Doerr

  • Do you think “Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” means “Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our naiveté.”?

    Or perhaps “”Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our inspidness.”?

    Or did you park your sense of humor and forget where?

  • Bob has made it abundantly clear in many postings that he is no friend of religious liberty and thinks that his regressive opinions are better than the great writings and efforts of Madison and Jefferson.

  • Edd, your entire spiel rests on the insertion of post-Constitutional remark by Thomas Jefferson into the spot currently held by the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment relative to religion is anti-establishment and neutral.

    Your rewritten version is anti-recognition and negative.

    And the Supreme Court does not see it your way.

  • I’ve noticed that you play the sense of humor card when it suits you, but your default mode is general nastiness toward those you disagree with. While I’ve enjoyed some of our conversations, I really don’t find that sort of thing enjoyable, so I’m done.

    Now, if you follow your usual pattern, you’ll insist on having the last word and it’ll be a put-down masquerading as concern for my well-being. Make it a good one since this is the last time you and I will be corresponding.

    I wish you well.

  • I’ve noticed that your standard pose is with your hands on your hips and your right index finger waving in the face of those with whom you disagree.

    You then pretend that this is somehow an improvement on “general nastiness toward those you disagree with”.

    This is at least the sixth post you’ve ended with “you’ll insist on having the last word”, which appears to go along with the pose in the first paragraph above.

    Since my comments are for general consideration, the fact that “this is the last time you and I will be corresponding” is of zero consequence.

  • “Church-state separation” as you espouse it is a non-American non-traditional contrary to Supreme Court decisions fraud.

  • Poor Edd has been at this for several years.

    It is too bad as he approaches 90 the Supreme Court keeps seeing it differently.

  • The original motto given to us by the Founders was uplifti g and unifying. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin designed the Great Seal of the United States and it carried the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of Many, One”). Congress officially adopted the Great Seal with its motto of “E Pluribus Unum” in 1782.

    In fact, “E Pluribus Unum” was considered the motto of the United States for nearly two hundred years, until it was replaced with a divisive religious message and changed to “In God We Trust” in 1956.

    The Founders, who also created a god-free Constitution, would be dismayed to learn that their all-inclusive, national motto was dropped in favor of a motto that divides citizens along religious lines.

  • I wouldn’t put thoughts in the heads of the Founders that were not there because you happen to like the way they sound.

    “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! “
    – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1783)

    “Some have made the love of God the foundation of morality. This, too, is but a branch of our moral duties, which are generally divided into duties to God and duties to man. If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such being exists.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Horatio G. Spafford (17 March 1814)

    And so on.

  • Whether one favor the right of doctors to refuse care to anyone, as a matter of law except for some very tightly drawn conditions involving life and death that is the law of the land.

    If consumer fraud statutes are placed on professional therapists – and I don’t oppose that – about 2/3 of their income will disappear.

  • How can IGWT be “voluntarily viewed” if it’s mandated to be placed prominently in every school? The Pledge has been voluntary in public schools for nearly a century.

  • How is the government mandating every public school to post IGWT “protection” from government overreach? It *is* government overreach.

  • No, it isn’t. No more than heterosexual sex, anyway. You should hate heterosexual sex.

  • Turning “In God We Trust’ into a bludgeon to whack Americans wherever they go…will hardly endear anyone to religion — especially the brand of political Christianity that is pushing this.

    People, especially young people, have become keen marketing BS detectors, and that is what they will see here. Also, sincere religious believers will likely be embarrassed by the “God We Trust” platitudes.

    They don’t know it, but evangelicals and their political allies have become street-corner sales hucksters.

  • Your quote from Jefferson’s letter to Horatio Spafford, taken out of context, does not support the idea of “In god we trust.” Jefferson is arguing just the opposite in his letter. He is arguing that morality does not come from a god, it comes from within us, what he called our “moral instinct.” In that letter, he was explaining how even atheists can be “the most virtuous of men” :

    “If we did a good act merely from the love of god, and a belief that it is pleasing to him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? it is idle to say as some do, that no such being exists. we have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit, their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed indeed generally that, while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, Dalembert, D’Holbach Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. their virtue then must have had some other foundation than the love of god.” – Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Horatio G. Spafford (17 March 1814)

  • There are 27 members listed on the “non-partisan” Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation’s list of Congressional Advisory Members. All 27 are members of the same political party. Do you want to guess what it is?
    Although, in fairness, they do need to update their list. One of those “non-partisan” members recently was forced to resign after sexually harassing two female staffers.

  • Exactly, but I don’t think these kind of Christians believe their religion can stand on its own…they are afraid their faith can’t compete.

  • False as usual from Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca. Bob, more advanced societies than our current US one have become increasingly more secular, and that advance is headed to the US too. The present shameful, dishonest leadership of America with its pandering and bending to ignoramus evangelicals won’t last.

    Despite the frantic efforts by backward, deluded people such as yourself and Shawnie and floydlee to force your Christian agenda on the rest of America, even the US is, overall, gradually leaving your idiotic Christian fairy tales behind. It’s high time you did too.

  • Bob, your attack on Ed by referring to his “spiel” is typically insulting of you. Regardless, the present shameful, dishonest leadership of America with its pandering and bending to ignoramus evangelicals like you won’t last.

    Despite the frantic efforts by backward, deluded people such as yourself and Shawnie and floydlee to force your Christian agenda on the rest of America, even the US is, overall, gradually leaving your idiotic Christian fairy tales behind. It’s high time you did too.

  • Bob is wrong, as usual. Jefferson was right in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists (which he cleared with his attorney general) and his religious liberty section in the Virginia constitution. But more important is Madison’s 1885 Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (which got Jefferson’s VA constitutional model passed), Madison’s work as the main force at the 1787 constitution convention and his work in leading Congress to pass the First Amendment, plus a whole raft of his lifelong writing on the subject. Bob also overlooks what Ben Franklin wrote on the subject. When the SCOTUS has deviated from Madison, Jefferson and Franklin it has been wrong and has weakened religious liberty. Bob needs mre education — Edd Doerr

  • False as usual from Bob Jose Arnzen Carioca. Bob, more advanced societies than our current US one have become increasingly more secular, and that advance is headed to the US too. The present shameful, dishonest leadership of America with its pandering and bending to the backward evangelical agenda won’t last.

    Despite the frantic efforts by backward, deluded people such as yourself and Shawnie and floydlee to force your Christian agenda on the rest of America, even the US is, overall, gradually leaving your idiotic Christian fairy tales behind. It’s high time you did too.

  • Yes, the national motto should be “E Pluribus Unum” — the best description of the USA !! And then, all Americans could also learn a bit of classical Latin….

    …Would please my RC father who resented the end of the Latin Tridentine Mass on Sunday mornings.

  • About 2/3 of Christians will disappear, once they finish drinking that fancy Kool-Aid of theirs. Bye-bye, LOL!

  • You forgot about how the government shouldn’t be allowed to force religious viewpoints on its citizens.

  • By making abortion and gay marriage legal, over the objections of Christians, you mean?

  • It’s not a matter of trust. It is a matter of enough evidence to support a theory. There could be serious flaws and errors in either theory that would require a rethink but as of now both are holding up. So I don’t trust in science. I have confidence in the scientific process and its willingness to correct itself if wrong. You, on the other hand, trust in the deity of the Bible, a book of mythology and so flawed when it touches on science matters and yet you put 100% trust in it.

  • When the SCOLTUS wanders away from the plain words of the Constitution, even it does so citing Madison, Franklin, or Jefferson, it is wrong.

    The states approved the Constitution as written, not the scribblings however profound by pundits of any stripe.

  • Poor Edd is so distressed by the Supreme Court not seeing things his way, he writes “When the SCOTUS wanders away from Madison, Franklin and Jefferson it is wrong.”

  • No he’s not. Until the 1830s states had state-supported religions and bans on the practice of certain religions. Nearly all states banned atheists from holding elected office. We have House and Senate chaplains, religious displays on state and federal properties for hundreds of years and have ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency. The Federal Constitution was more of a goal at the beginning and when we no longer have a christian majority things will improve.

  • It was founded on freedom but true freedom of religion took a few decades to be realized at the state level.

  • Edd disregards the Supreme Court, preferring HIS interpretations of Thomas Jefferson.

  • Since the SCOTUS represents the final word at law on the subject, that is where my focus is.

    I leave other interpretations up to the zanier element in our population who are still chafing that JFK cheated his way to the Presidency.

  • Always desperately attempting to use the machinery of Gov.’t to give the appearance of legitimacy to religion which without Gov.’t promotion it has none.

  • If they were all left-handed, would you claim that this was a left-handed lobby group?

    You do understand that a basic platform plank in the Democratic Party is that abortion is a basic human right, eh?

    You do understand that elected Democrats who have declared themselves in favor of some of the positions this group apparently endorses have lost all party support?

    The actual Foundation’s 990 indicates no political affiliation and it is in fact a 501 (c) 3.

    https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/203780955

    I believe them.

  • When you hear “TRADITION”……………..watch out. It’s always a cover and an excuse. The same way “FAMILY” is used in the names of religious right hate groups. Only religion needs the machinery of Gov’t to help give it the appearance of legitimacy. Reason, logic and the reality of our natural world does not .

  • Please cite the case where SCOTUS determined that mandated IGWT signs in schools were not government overreach.

  • The Supreme Court has not addressed this legislation. It has addressed IGWT on our currency.

  • If everyone was left-handed in a group that focuses on handedness issues and advocates for issues that left-handed people would naturally favor, then yes I would claim it was a left-handed lobby group.

  • The IRS does not believe it to be a Republican organization, its charter does not state it to be allied with either party, and the advisors are just that – advisors, not the Board, not the executive officers.

  • It has addressed the use of ceremonial and civic religious slogans and the like repeatedly.

    What distinguishes placing it on the classroom wall from placing it on coinage and currency, or from opening the Supreme Court with “God save this honorable Court”, or from the words “under god” in the Pledge particularly?

  • It has addressed the use of ceremonial and civic religious slogans and the like repeatedly.

    What distinguishes placing it on the classroom wall from placing it on coinage and currency, or from opening the Supreme Court with “God save this honorable Court”, or from the words “under god” in the Pledge particularly?.

  • The more Bob posts, the goofier he gets. And what’s with the JFK nonsense? And since Bob brought up JFK, we might note that JFK agreed with Madison, Jefferson and Franklin on church-state separation.

  • Au contraire, mon ami. I follow Madison, Franklin and Jefferson. Why do you think the SCOTUS is necessarily right, just because they have power?

  • Yes, some states did screw up. After all, the 14th Amendment was not passed until after the Civil War. The Torcaso case after WW II ended mandatory oaths of office. And the motto was not added to the currency until the Cold War after WW II.

  • I hate any sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Its the safest and moral of all.

  • Signs always matter. They are like tiny seeds or soundbites that you plant in a nation’s conscience, in the young people’s assorted worldviews.
    Simple, familiar, non-threatening. “In God We Trust.”

  • Bob, when it comes to law, has a pathological love for the Constitution, which means the Supreme Court trumps Edd’s panoply of alleged pundits.

  • It has nothing to do with me not liking it. What is the purpose of the proposed legislation? No one actually believes it’s to teach children about the national motto or “our founding documents” (which makes no sense, inasmuch as IGWT is not in our founding documents), anymore than anyone believed Child Molester in Chief Roy Moore’s (R-Alabama) Ten Commandments pessel was about “history.”

  • Then, by all means, feel free to place that sign in your home. Put it in your car. Have it tattooed on your forehead if you like. But don’t put it in public places where it doesn’t always reflect the truth. “We” is a lot of people and they don’t all feel the same. And, as you so eloquently pointed out, God loves them regardless.

    As for me, God knows my level of trust without signage and I’m content with that.

  • What is the purpose of “IN GOD WE TRUST” on currency and coinage?

    “IN GOD WE TRUST” is the national motto:

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/302

    In Florida it is also the state motto:

    http://dos.myflorida.com/florida-facts/florida-state-symbols/state-motto/

    The last poll I can find on it indicates 90% endorse it:

    https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/polls/tables/live/2003-09-29-religion-poll.htm

    “‘In God is our Trust” is in our national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

    It is going to be mighty hard to make a case that it violates the First Amendment or anything else beyond personal sensibilities.

  • What “proselytize”? Nobody’s calling for John 3:16 in school. Every atheist, teen or adult, is okay with “In God We Trust” in their wallets, and at their shopping mall. Even the quarters & dollars they plunk in the school vending machines. So a little extra visibility won’t hurt anybody.

  • Now how do we get them to admit this to themselves? That might make this more a personal thing (which is fine) rather than something they think would be fun to impose on the rest of us (not so fine).

  • a slap in the face to the sizable portion of the population who are non-religious.

    As well as those who believe in more than one god. As well as those who can see through the handwaving to know that “God” means Christianity’s “Yahweh,” not Allah or any other god.

  • I suspect a devout Hindu and Wiccan would likely be polytheists, so the motto doesn’t apply to them.

  • Precisely.

    All this bloviating about “separation of church and state” in this context is just silly.

  • Not if the relationship is abusive, it’s not. I suppose you hate divorce, as well?

  • Noboidy’s calling for John 3:16 in school.

    You’re adorable! Yeah, you just keep thinking that.

    Every atheist, teen or adult, is okay with “In God We Trust” in their wallets, at their shopping mall.

    No, I’m afraid not. It’s a slap in the face of the First Amendment.

    But hey, maybe you’re on to something. What if we made it “In Allah We Trust”? Would that be just as good for you? If not, then perhaps you see where we’re coming from and that separation of church and state is the best friend of the Christian as well as the atheist.

  • Given its presence on our coinage and currency, in the classrooms of at least two states, and “In God is our Trust” in our national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the ship you’re concerned about sailed some time ago.

    Sincere religious believers were not embarrassed, young people did not detect BS, nada.

  • Given the precipitous fall of religion and rise of atheism in this country, the ship is now sinking.

  • No, coins aren’t “currency”, that’s only paper money, and “in god we trust” wasn’t on paper money until 1957.

  • It’s been litigated.

    The uber liberal Ninth Circuit said no problemo.

    No court has ever found it “a slap in the face of the First Amendment” since the first coinage with the motto began near the end of the Civil War.

  • I wonder if those opposed to “In God We Trust” ever think how petty it makes them look to kvetch and complain about a phrase that has been on our coinage for over 150 years, when our national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” contains “‘In God is our Trust”?

  • Umm, nobody agrees with every positive, motivational or ethical signage or symbol you see in public school or public offices.

    High schoolers have even done kneel-downs and “die-ins” on the Flag and National Anthem, symbols which were supposed to unify all of us. So people “won’t all feel the same,” regardless.

    BUT that don’t mean we reduce the visibility of those national symbols. We push them publically, all the same. “In God We Trust” is an equally good and historic national gig to promote.

  • The courts have failed to address the religious message contained in the national motto from 1956 (In God We Trust) and the words added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1955 (under God). These words are given a constitutional pass by saying such generic religious references fall under the category of “ceremonial deism” and therefore “lack religious significance.” That just shows their cowardice, similar to Peter denying Jesus. I think these religious messages have religious significance (as do many Christians) and therefore violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

  • “IN GOD WE TRUST” is the national motto:

    https://www.law.cornell.eduhttps://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/302

    In Florida it is also the state motto:

    http://dos.myflorida.com/florida-facts/florida-state-symbols/state-motto/

    The last poll I can find on it indicates 90% endorse it on coinage:

    https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/polls/tables/live/2003-09-29-religion-poll.htm

    “In God is our Trust” is in our national anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

    Where does what you are personally content with fit into all of this?

  • We are certainly not ok with it. It was forced upon us by fascist theocrats, like yourself.

  • Sorry–I’m not quite understanding your point.

    Tell you what: you live with “In Allah We Trust” (or something equivalent) for a decade and then let’s revisit this conversation. I just have this nagging feeling that you’re A-OK with the situation because your supernatural views are supported by the country and that you’d kvetch and complain yourself it he tables were turned.

  • I don’t care what the Ninth Circuit court thinks; I care what you think.

    You explain it to me. And tell me if “In Allah We Trust” should be an acceptable motto or if that would run afoul of the First Amendment.

  • Sorry–I’m not quite understanding your point.

    “In God We Trust” is the national motto, the motto of the state of Florida, and has been on our coinage for over 150 years.

    I have this nagging feeling that people who are not on the fringe have better things to do with themselves then consider “In God We Trust”, which has been cleared by multiple courts, some sort of religious conspiracy.

  • I’m not sure what your point is. You’re saying that Muslims born in America are fine with “In God We Trust”? You think that they feel included?

    I’d be curious to see the results of that poll.

  • As the world enters the last day of mankind on earth, all these things are expected to happen. Even though these things are prophesies in the bible, it is dumbfounding to watch the greatest country in the world fall apart. What we have witnessed in recent years is that no one of wealth, position or power has a clue to what is going on.
    .
    Like Noah Webster said: when no one understands the word equality, the republic will be lost.

  • Seen several articles about Muslims concerned with deportations, or acts of anti-Muslim violence.

    Seen **none** regarding any Muslim complaints about “In God We Trust.”

  • Using God as a means of strong-arming the minority with majority opinion is obscene. It also smacks of desperation, as if those promoting the signage can only force by law that which they couldn’t achieve by persuasion.

    I can’t imagine the God I believe in being so insecure as to insist on signs claiming a trust that may or may not exist just to win a socio-political point. It’s the most absurd of hills on which to take a stand.

    Cosmetic public displays of religiosity are pathetic and counterproductive, and I oppose them.

  • And I don’t care about personal opinion concerning in “God We Trust”.

    I’ve already told you what I think – it’s a tempest in a teapot.

  • An imaginary man in the sky who supernaturally impregnated a virgin who birthed a son who died and came back to life and talking snakes and prophesies…………………….They don’t call it the BUYBULL for no good reason.

  • “In REASON is our Trust”, unless you are a holy, howling kook who spends their life PRETENDING (which is dishonest) to believe imaginary BS.

  • Doesn’t matter. It’s always been unconstitutional. It was added to sustain christian privilege.

  • The notion that “In God We Trust” is “a means of strong-arming the minority with majority opinion” is absurd.

    The courts have found it absurd.

    Your pathetic counterproductive opposition is duly noted.

  • It was not clear that the First Amendment applied to the states, so “screw up” is a bit strong.

  • You’re wasting your breath arguing with Professor Purity. S/he detests all sex in which a can of spray disinfectant isn’t involved.

  • The SCOTUS made it clear in 1833. That is why the 14th was added after the Civil War.

  • Any sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is abusive.
    Divorce has done untold damage to families and children.

  • Wrong! It began on the currency during the Eisenhower admin. It appeared on one coin during the Civil War, but not on all coins until the 20th century.

  • “The reverse of the seal on the left features a barren landscape dominated by an unfinished pyramid of 13 steps, topped by the Eye of Providence within a triangle. At the base of the pyramid are engraved the Roman numerals MDCCLXXVI (1776), the date of American independence from Britain. At the top of the seal stands a Latin phrase, “ANNUIT COEPTIS,” meaning “He (God) favors our undertaking.” At the bottom of the seal is a semicircular banner proclaiming “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM” meaning “New Order of the Ages,” which is a reference to the new American era. To the left of this seal, a string of 13 pearls extends toward the edge of the bill.”

    So there is a lot of godly/mythical stuff on our money et al besides “In God We Trust”.

    Personally, tis a minor issue considering all the other problems in today’s world.

    And of course many consider our current and many ex-presidents to be gods e.g. Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Obama and now Trump.

  • My good friend writer Paul Blanshard met with JFK in the WH and assured me that JFK was sincere on the matter of church-state separation.

  • Well good for Paul Blanshard.

    I totally believe that JFK was sincere on every single position he took to get elected.

  • So, you equate the Supreme Court and the Constitution with Hitler?

    Looking at a recent photo of the Court I see no mustaches.

  • Depends on what is meant by “prominently.” Doesn’t mean plastered on every door, chalkboard, and toilet. Legislatures can tweak this to keep it reasonable.

  • That is so weird. You’re determined to avoid my question about “In Allah We Trust.” It’s almost like you instinctively know that it’s a rock on which your argument will crash.

  • My thoughts exactly! And since you don’t much care about the issue, let’s put “In Allah We Trust” in public schools. When you back that proposal, it’ll show that you think it truly is a tempest in a teapot.

  • Wouldn’t “Allah” be introducing a term unknown in American civic religion and practice, a term only associated with Islam?

  • No, I know you’re jerking a chain, not serious, not attentive, not much of anything worth responding to.

  • Jefferson made the following recommendation to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787: “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

    Jefferson was a deist (deism is a philosophical belief that posits that God exists and is ultimately responsible for the creation of the universe). The philosophy rejects divine revelation and direct intervention of God in the universe by miracles. Therefore, any reference to a non-Deist type of god was likely an attempt to convince his audience (mostly Christian) of his proposal.

  • You want “In God We Trust” because you believe in God (Yahweh). Not everyone does. To illustrate the problem, I proposed Allah instead of “God,” and you ran away from the comparison. It defeats your position.

    Clearly then you just want to have the government encourage Christianity. Not religion, not belief in general, but Christianity. Tell me how the First Amendment is OK with that.

  • The same way the supreme court found voluntary prayer in school to be coercive, such as Lee v. Weisman (1992):
    The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause. It is beyond dispute that, at a minimum, the Constitution guarantees that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which “establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so.”

    Voluntary, yet coercive.

  • Your speech is 100% politically motivated, designed to defuse objections to a fascist, theocratic president.

  • 1 – I have no problem with “In God We Trust” for exactly the same reason the Ninth Circuit and every other Federal court has had no problem with it. None of them have suggested it is because they “believe in God (Yahweh)”.

    2 – You proposed Allah which is a non-English word for God with zero history in Anglo-American history and jurisprudence. Without some explanation, I have the same problem with that I have with Gott, Dios, Zot, Աստված, Tanrı, Jainkoa, Mulungu, Bog, ღმერთი, Vaj tswv, Pengeran, Xudo, Dievs, Atua, 하나님, Thượng Đế, Бог, Mwari, or a host of other direct translations of “God” into various languages.

    3 – If I wanted the government to encourage Christianity, I would favor “In the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost We Trust”.

    Apparently you really don’t have much of a point.

  • Of course none of his letters were run by the states for ratification, so the only thing we have to go on is the written document, the Constitution, and any actual discussions of the Constitutional Convention and the state legislatures which ratified it.

    You have put your finger on one of Edd’s problems: Madison, Franklin, Jefferson et al were after the Convention trying to sell ratification, and prior to and after that period simply thinking out loud.

  • Your question to floydlee:

    “You’re saying that Muslims born in America are fine with In God We Trust’?”

    Apparently it’s what they believe.

  • How petty it makes you look to kvetch and complain about “same sex activity”.

  • The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the constitutionality of the religious motto, and the two lower-court cases you reference decided the plaintiff lacked standing to sue.

    But no matter how you try to spin it, “In God We Trust” discriminates against the millions of non-religious citizens who don’t believe, let alone trust in any god or gods. To claim that the God motto “lacks religious significance” (as the courts have done) is the height of hypocrisy, like Peter denying Jesus over and over. When local governments announce they are removing the religious motto from their police cars and courtrooms, it is Christians who take to the streets to protest that “Christianity is under attack.” It’s too bad you don’t belong to a religion that teaches lying is wrong.

  • Gay slavery? No, your ilk would refuse me the right to marry my wife of eleven years and counting. Your ilk would like to see people refuse me and the rest of my brothers and sisters whatever your ilk thinks simply because we love the same sex.

  • One more reason why younger people are not buying into organized religion. One more nail in the coffin. With friends like these Krishtuns, who among Christians needs more enemies???

  • You win the Internets for today! The never seem to “get” that all their strong-arm tactics do is to make themselves and their deity look weak.

  • Just because it’s one state’s motto or has been on our money does not make it right.

  • I’ve never felt 100% comfortable with that motto. “E Pluribus Unum was fine, but Christianists wanted this nonsense and they got it.

  • I am not going to go through the bother of citing the various Circuit courts’ decisions, over and over and over again, that “In God We Trust” is not a religious endorsement, including the uber liberal 9th Circuit.

    The Supreme Court has consistently refused to hear the issue.

    But no matter how you try to spin it, “In God We Trust” does not discriminate against anyone except the zany few who belong to organizations like Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the like who hew to an oddball theory of the First Amendment which avoids what it says in plain English and prefers this or that comment from this or the other luminary or sage.

    Unless and until you get a court to see it your way and run it all the way up to the Supreme Court victoriously, like Edd Doerr you’re howling at the moon.

  • His suggestion was substituting “Allah” for “God” in the motto “In God We Trust” by law.

    Since it’s not there now, it can’t be thrown out, and no one is disparaging it.

  • The fact that the courts have no problem with it makes it right.

    It does not make it palatable to you.

  • “Progressive”, hmm? Well, okay, but I still get to attack progressives. Mustn’t disappoint Charlotte.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been wanting to respond to your second paragraph. Something like this:

    “California AB 2943 makes it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that helps someone overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. As a result, it could be a violation if a pastor encourages a congregant to visit the church book store to purchase books that help people address sexual issues, perhaps including the Bible itself, which teaches about the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.” — Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Matt Sharp.

  • Gay slavery. Many LGBT are tired, they seriously want off the Plantation. But Gay Goliath says no way, you ain’t leaving. Once gay always gay. I’m your boss, or you’ll be sad & lonely for life.

    But Jesus says come on, I got power, I’ll break your chains, I’ll stay with you, I’ll make you free & make you whole. It’s a choice. Always, for all of us, in one area or another, it’s a choice.

    But like the Ramsey Colloquium said, this isn’t just a private 2-person gig. The institution of Marriage impacts the larger community, so we ALL got skin in this game. This stuff either strengthens, or else rips, the inner fabric of society. Gay Marriage rips it up, and deprives all our kids too, for men and women are not interchangeable. So we collectively gotta insist on law & public policy that supports opposite-sex marriage but ditches same-sex marriage. (Which is gay scholar and gay marriage opponent Paul Nathanson’s point as well.)

  • But that’s not really how the coinage turned out. Even as a child, I could easily notice and understand the message, and see that somehow the message was important enough to stick on all the money.

    Little things like that, are NOT meaningless. Could change a young kid’s perspective on life, and boost his developing character & ethics.

  • Of course, it’s no accident that 5 of the 6 states involved are hillbilly states.

  • As usual, an allegation by Mr. Arnzen without a shred of evidence or citation to back it up.

  • Conservatives lie with every word out of their mouths, including ‘the’ and “and”.

    Remember when konservatives used to talk about “getting government out of our lives”? Of course, that did not include the bedroom or the doctor’s office (abortion).

  • They are not “conservatives” but reactionaries. They want to turn the US into a theocracy, AKA religious dictatorship. It’s just that simple.

  • Roger Williams, early advocate of separation of church and state (to protect the former from the sullying effects of commerce and politics and preserve the church’s purity, divided the Ten Commandments into those which serve god and those which reflect good human relationships. He stressed the latter, considering the former a commerce between a man (sic) and his (sic) god. This in the 1630’s and 1640’s. He was far in advance of his time in speaking (from lived experience) of the violence religion can do.

  • Growing more into a fascist dictatorship, Poland (much admired by Trump) just threw out the rules governing their Supreme Court, thoroughly defanging them as an independent judicially.

    Bob, if you but admit it, the Presidency is ascendant in all things, the GOP Congress supine in all things before our Despot-in-Waiting, picks for the SCOTUS are given to Herr Trump by the Heritage Institute and other far right orgs.

  • it happens every day, in myriad ways…
    Religious demagoguery dressed up and a spurious form of ‘religious freedom’.

  • The First Amendment is being transformed into whatever the Funda-gelicals want it to say. They don’t care about Thomas Jefferson or the Constitution. They would swear an oath on the bible and leave it to that. These undemocratic thugs care nothing for Constitution.

  • Name one Supreme Court case which transformed or is transforming the First Amendment into “whatever the Funda-gelicals want it to say”.

    There is not one.

    What appears to be happening is that the knitting of new Constitution out of Kennedy’s fortune cookie aphorisms is hitting a bump in the road with his departure.

    Good.

  • A fascist dictatorship would disregard the laws, issue Executive orders in lieu of passing laws, and dissemble before the American people rather than lay the facts on the line.

    Oh, wait!

    I just described the last administration, your boys and girls, your heroines and heroes!

  • Roger Williams (1603 – 1683) was not an author of the Constitution.

    Roger Williams was not a participant in the Revolution.

    Roger Williams was not a member of a state legislature which ratified the Constitution.

    In short, he has nothing to do per se with the First Amendment as it was finally written and ratified.

  • Bob is certainly a trip. I wonder if he has a psychiatric disorder. Yeah, he’s smart … but there’s clearly something wrong there. And being smart doesn’t make one impervious to mental illness. 

  • They are neither conservatives nor reactionaries.

    They appear to be a Christian organization advocating lawful constitutional state laws based on reviewing their website and their Federal 990 returns.

  • Had you bothered to read the exchange, you’d have noted I responded promptly to him yesterday.

  • PsiCop is an amateur psychiatrist.

    She/he/it quickly imputes disorders to others while exhibiting class OCD overlaid with what in minors is called Oppositional defiant disorder.

  • ah, Bob. There is no need to read you closely. You repeat your points endlessly.
    I do read those who rebut you. They are so much move informed and intelligent
    in their writing than you.

  • Religion is such a waste of good brains. No one said it better than

    American philosophy professor Andrew Bernstein:

    “Here is the tragedy of theology in its distilled essence: The employment of high-powered human intellect, of genius, of profoundly rigorous logical deduction — studying nothing. In the Middle Ages, the great minds capable of transforming the world did not study the world; and so, for most of a millennium, as human beings screamed in agony — decaying from starvation, eaten by leprosy and plague, dying in droves in their twenties — the men of the mind, who could have provided their earthly salvation, abandoned them for otherworldly fantasies.”

  • I think you can find the answer in his recent boast that he has replied to some 200 of 400 of my recent posts– usually with an ad hominem but nevertheless… I Simply delete the emails as soon as i see his name and ignore them 95% of the time. Im sure it makes him crazier.

    What fun. I doubt he has actually blocked anyone.

  • So, here’s what you do:

    You stop reading me and starting reading them.

    Then you can write them and tell them how much more informed and intelligent in their writing they are, and I won’t be reading your nonsense.

    It’s a win-win.

  • .
    Congressional Prayer Caucus: “Project Blitz RESOURCES:
    Report and Analysis on Religious Freedom Measures Impacting Prayer and Faith
    This Report has been made available to legislators and Coalition partners nationwide. It has been reviewed by legislators, professors, attorneys, litigators, and religious liberty defense firms. It includes best practice Legislation, Resolutions, Talking Points, Notes, and Legal Cases.”

    “Best practice legislation”.

    http://cpcfoundation.com/first-freedom-coalition-project-blitz/
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwfCh32HsC3UYmV0NUp5cXZjT28/view?usp=sharing
    .

  • Well, glory glory hallelujah!!!!

    I think this must be the very first time we are in agreement.

  • I can only imagine how much $ ADF has made from scaring Christians into believing utter falsehoods. The California statute bans conversion therapy only as a commercial service in exchange for monetary compensation. It does not apply to the sale of any “goods,” including books such as the Bible. It applies to “services” only, for sale. Even if a pastor’s mere recommendation of a “good” could be said to be “advertising,” that does not transform it into a “service.”

  • silly man. You’re so much fun to tweak. An ignoramus is a waste of brainpower–and the humanity you might live out in your life, which for now, is severely lacking. But I suppose you get your jollies with your pathetic drivel.

  • This is a disgusting action from churches. Are they actually trying to start a culture war? This is in violation of the Constitution, and will cost the state millions of dollars to lose. But since we now have Theocrats on the Supreme Court; who knows what will happen.

  • Not actually too bright are you? Mottoes are traditionally in Latin, This is the most anti-American thing Republicans have done this week.

  • Have you read the Jefferson Bible? Go read it; or at least read about it. Then you will not make such ignorant posts.

  • Which, of course, does NOT contain the phrase “separation of church and state”.

    That was NOT what the founders were trying to accomplish. It is what the French in the 20th century were trying to accomplish.

  • Ah, yes, Thomas Jefferson.

    He was NOT a theologian.

    He was NOT always right.

    We have a very nice written Constitution, scrutinized by the states’ best legal minds, tweaked with the Bill of Rights, and interpreted by the Supreme Court.

  • As I look above, I see that you are quoting Jefferson out of context to prove your point. Now that I ask you to go read the source, you change your tune. This is just the behavior we have come to expect from religious hypocrites and bullies.

  • In God We Trust (a motto adopted in the 1950s), was a reaction to atheistic communism and not a foundational principle of our democratic Republic. So, there’s that. And, anyway, which “God” among the multitudes that ever existed; or that current organized (monotheistic) religions tell us exist (Hebrew, Gentile, Arabic?). SMH. Read it and weep: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1877733113

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