If you haven’t yet heard, Representative Randy Forbes (R-Va) has put forth a House Resolution to reaffirm the national motto as ‘In God We Trust’ by posting this motto on many public buildings including court houses, schools, and practically all governmental buildings. The bill has over sixty co-sponsors and is advancing to the floor of the House of Representatives for discussion and a vote. Forbes has declared that he introduced the bill (several times at this point) because:
This sends a clear message to all these government departments and agencies that it’s all right to put up the motto on our buildings and in our classrooms. And I think it will stop the tide of the chilling effect over the past several years.
[...] We’re not forcing anybody to do anything, but at the same time, we want to stand there to protect people who want to say God in a public building. And we don’t want some government agency telling them that they can’t put the national motto in their buildings or classrooms.
This should strike anyone with even a modicum of sensibility as a morbid idea. Not only should the ‘motto’ of the United States not have any religious connotations (whatever happened to the good ol’ E Pluribus Unum?) but there is absolutely no reason for it to be ‘reaffirmed’ except as a means do to some trolling for Christianity. But what about those 34+ million Americans who express no religious affiliation whatsoever? Put even more bluntly, what about those citizens who downright don’t believe in a god or gods, are they to be forced to endorse an opinion they cannot believe simply so they can enter a court of law? [Stay tuned for the article that follows, showing that in quite a few states, said individuals are not even allowed to hold office...]
All this bill does is reinforce the stigma of atheism, play up a religious streak which has no business in politics, and make its co-sponsors look like nuts. However, this stupidly divisive piece of legislation will at least be doing one good thing: wasting the time of politicians that might otherwise be doing other terrible things, like increasing tariffs or mandating healthcare.
Other than that silver lining this bill is still just a turd shaped cloud that’ll hopefully just go away before it makes a real mess of the place…