Should "In God We Trust" remain the USA's motto?
I was just looking at a dollar and I realized that there is a numerous amount of people residing in the US that do not believe in God, so should IGWT remain our national motto?
Side Score: 54
Side Score: 76
Yes, I think it should remain so. Our founding fathers had God as their guiding light in much of what they did even though the God they spoke of was the Anglo God. Our currency doesn't specify which God to believe in so I don't think it's an insult to anyone. This is, after all, America and it's history bears tribute to God...any God.
It doesn't specify gods either. To be totally fair you should include every god - including the non.
If someone had put "One nation under gods (possibly)" on there, I bet this debate would overwhelmingly be voting to remove it. Clearly no one cares whether minorities are insulted, as long as the majority think it's OK to have pseudo-state-acceptance of their beliefs. Which is shame, because the consistitution specifically tries to stop this. But what can you do against a majority rule? - apart from get on a boat, colonise a far away land and try and right these wrongs?
Yes, it should. A majority of Americans still believe in God. And besides, it is not hurting or injuring anyone. I don't see what the big deal is. If you don't like looking at your dollar bill, use a credit/debit card instead. You have a right not to say the pledge of allegiance if you don't want to.
"And besides, it is not hurting or injuring anyone. I don't see what the big deal is. If you don't like looking at your dollar bill, use a credit/debit card instead."
Come on. By that logic we could put "I love it when Satan licks my butthole" on our money and that would be peachy-keen too, since you can just not look at it. I bet if you took a poll, you'd find a majority of Americans also believe in practicing oral sex, but that doesn't mean "Eat Me" would make an appropriate national motto.
It's a tradition. God is in the Pledge of Allegiance and "God Bless America". So should we cater to the atheists and remove these things for them? No. If we start changing things like these, some of the backbone of this country, for groups of people, then it would seem like the government can get stepped on like a doormat.
1.) "In God We Trust" was not our original national motto. The nation's motto was "E Pluribus Unum" (out of the many, one). The notion of "In God We Trust" as a motto came out of the final verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner", written in 1814 (during the war of 1812, which lasted well beyond 1812), which WRONGLY identified "in God we trust" as the national motto. In fact it was not adopted as a national motto until 1956, more than a century later, as part of a McCarthy-sponsored anti-communist push. The change was motivated by a desire to differentiate between communism, which was seen as promoting atheism, and Western capitalistic democracies, whose citizens were, for the most part, at least nominally Christian.
2.) "In God We Trust" was not put on our money by the Framers. Our earlier money was inscribed only with the "liberty goddess" figure, who we know as Lady Liberty. "In God We Trust" was put on U.S. coins by banking mogul Salmon P. Chase (for whom the ubiquitous Chase banks are named) during the Civil War, and it wasn't put on paper money at all until 1957, at the height of McCarthyism and again as a reaction against the "communist threat".
"The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. [Letter reads]: Dear Sir . . . You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation? What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have [a Christian text] . . . This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters."
-- U.S. Dept. of the Treasury Fact Sheet, http://www.treas.gov/education/
3.) Several prominent Americans, including Teddy Roosevelt, thought that putting "In God We Trust" on our money was a crappy idea.
4.) There's nothing about our governmental tradition that rests on Christianity. In fact, separation of church and state was a pretty basic principle of our government. The Founding Fathers and Constitutional Convention delegates were an eclectic bunch that included deists, a few atheists, and multiple Christian faiths including Quaker, Episcopalian, and Congregationalist. Many of these folks were also heavily influenced by Enlightenment thought and there is considerable debate as to whether they were (as a group and as individuals) more "devout" followers of religious thought or of early secular humanism.
5.) "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950s. Like putting "In God We Trust" on our paper money, this was part of a McCarthy-era response to the communist scare. "God Bless America" is an Irving Berlin tune written originally in 1918, revised and published in the late 1930s. So those are hardly bastions of our government, not are they necessarily very apt reflections of our national identity.
6.) We are not a Christian nation today and we never have been. Christianity may be the faith to which a majority of our citizens ascribe, but we've also got that whole First Amendment thing about Congress making no law respecting the establishment of religion. We also have a diverse population whose members may believe in a god, no god, lots of gods, a goddess, a "force" or "spirit" or "cosmic intelligence", or any number of theological constructs. The plain fact is that we are not a nation who does, or is required to, "trust in God" -- and especially not in any one particular god. So it seems a bit idiotic to keep it on our money, knowing that it stems from nothing but a pair of reactionary Christian wartime traditions and given that it seems to undercut far more central principles of our political and national identity.
Backbone of this country? If we didn't have the word God printed on our money this country would fall apart? This country is made up of many different groups of people that do not believe in your God, since the USA is a melting pot we have countless religions in this country and we should not all be subject to Christianity.
You know what was also a tradition? Slavery.
If we didn't have the words God printed on our money we would be going against the whole base of this country.
The country wouldn't fall apart but why change something that doesn't hurt anyone? Is there someone out there who becomes angry at the site of the IGWT written on their money?
In God We Trust was what the founding fathers believed in and its what I believe in, its the USA and thats our motto.
Slavery was a practice done long ago that hurt people both physically and emotionally. It demeaned people as if they were vermin.
"In God We Trust" doesn't hurt anybody- except for self-righteous atheists who are just pricks to begin with and get "offended" by nearly anything.
I don't think we should do something simply because it is tradition. However, you can not wisely say that slavery is a tradition because it never was.
Forced slavery has existed since the beginning of time. That doesn't make it right, but it has always been around. Americans didn't invent slavery, nobody honestly knows who did. Thousands of years ago, the Jewish race were slaves in Egypt. Before that other countries would invade their neighbors and often make the losing country's people into slaves. Only a handful of leaders allowed the invaded people to become part of the new country as equals.
Also, America was founded by Christians. We are a Christian nation. If you don't like this, you can always go to another country that doesn't identify with or believe in Christian beliefs. I suggest Iran or Saudi Arabia.
Freedom of religion is a right invented by who? Christians. You didn't see those Romans looking around thinking, "Well... Jesus of Nazareth claims to be the son of God but... that's his right as long as it harms nobody else."
Nor do the Chinese accept Christians today. Try going over there and 'converting' people to anything other than the government approved religion.
I do believe in limiting the use of religion in government however. Public schools should teach every major religion, not exclude them. Knowledge of other nations beliefs is sadly lacking and we need to stop keeping our children in the dark.
I do support "In God We Trust" This motto is to remind us that GOD who spoke things in existence is the GOD that we need to trust. Its just a reminder to the almighty GOD who loves us all that there are still some believers. Just a reminder who was the cause for everyone existence yea Adam and Eve.
Why should it not? It is historically our motto, is not oppressive, and does harm to no one. It is not taken literally by the government or the population, and destroying this motto would do no particular good. Why should time and political capitol be wasted on a motto? Is there no other, more pressing issue facing the world? We can right petty wrongs when there is nothing better to do- which is no time in the near future.
America was founded on religious principles; should that not count for something? Besides, most Americans believe in the Christian God (http://www.gallup.com/poll/109108/
"E Pluribus Unum" (out of many, one) was our original national motto, and it is and has always been a far better one than "In God We Trust." "E Pluribus Unum" is much more reflective of our national and governmental character. It suggests our diversity as a people, our divided-yet-unified system of government, and our emphasis on the importance of individual liberty to the body politic; it even alludes to the Roman roots of our governmental and social system. "In God We Trust" is just something we picked up in the 1950s because our government was a-skeered of commie Russia. Both commie Russia and our fear of it are things of the past, and so should be the motto we picked up as a part of our cold-war mentality. "E Pluribus Unum" has a much longer tradition of use as our national motto, and is much more reflective of our nation.
This always bothered me. I was raised an atheist and raised not to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school (not only because of 'God,' but because it always seemed like some insane fascist ritual, I don't know). It makes assumptions about the American public. I dislike it.
I had a similar experience in high school. I wasn't raised an atheist but I ended up one anyway. In school I felt more of what you are talking about with regard to the Pledge as a nationalistic thing and I didn't mind the God thing so much. I used to just sit out, but eventually I just amended the Pledge for my use.
"I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic upon which it stands, one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I believe that under no circumstances should the Americans that do not believe in 'God' be subject and forced to this motto "In God We Trust". So what if that what the founding fathers wanted, its not what I want. Change is good sometimes and I think that this needs change.
The same goes for saying the pledge of allegance, if my child does not want to say this ode to America and God she shouldn't have to.
So what if that what the founding fathers wanted, its not what I want. Change is good sometimes and I think that this needs change.
Your personal beliefs do not justify widespread change and reform. You still pay taxes even though you do not want to.
The same goes for saying the pledge of allegiance, if my child does not want to say this ode to America and God she shouldn't have to.
If your child does not want to say the pledge then tough. If they want to live in the US, then they will say the pledge.
These things are what this nation was founded upon.
They are what made this nation great.
You want to live in the land of the free but only as it suits you.
1.) You DON'T have to say the Pledge. In West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (319 U.S. 624 (1943)), the Supreme Court ruled that requiring the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools violated the First Amendment. THAT'S one of the things our nation was founded on, and one of the things that made this nation great.
Check it out, every state law allows students to NOT say the Pledge: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/
2.) The Pledge is hardly something on which "the nation was founded." The Pledge didn't even exist until more than a century after the nation was founded. "The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898). Bellamy's original 'Pledge of Allegiance' was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day . . . Bellamy [ ] had initially also considered using the words 'equality and fraternity' but decided they were too controversial since many people opposed equal rights for women and blacks . . . In 1923 the National Flag Conference called for the words 'my Flag' to be changed to 'the Flag of the United States'. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag a reference was being made . . . the phrase 'under God' was officially incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954." (Wikipedia, the convenient summation tool.) So, it's hardly something our nation was "founded on."
I'm not convinced that the founding fathers wanted the God thing at all. In fact, the evidence I've read says just the opposite.
Every man "ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." - George Washington (Letter to the United Baptist Churches in Virginia in May, 1789)
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god." - Thomas Jefferson (letter to Peter Carr, 10 August 1787)
"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, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." - Benjamin Franklin (from a letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780;)
"Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error
all over the earth"- Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 363.)
"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." --- Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1810
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." --- Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813
Yeah...Jefferson is especially harsh. Nonetheless, the argument stands true that your personal beliefs do not justify imposition on others.
You want to live in the land of the free but only as it suits you. Isn't that freedom at its finest? Living as it suits you (so long as it doesn't harm others...)?
While I agree that we shouldn't spend a penny on unnecessary overhaul to the monetary system, upon the next necessary update of each form of our nation's currency, the phrase should be removed. Since this process of making new money is cyclical, that would mean that the phrase would gradually phase out.
In short, they're going to be printing new twenties in not too long anyway, may as well finally make them without religious insinuation.