Friday, May 18, 2007

Holy national currency Batman!

Here’s one possible scenario: In God We Trust will be removed at the federal level when the Christian majority decides that America is too wayward to deserve being associated with “God.” Once the Christian right comes to the opinion that retaining the deity’s name on our coinage is comparable to a prostitute wearing a Jesus Saves shirt, they’ll decide the coinage and motto is blasphemous. Just think about it, when they decide that officials who have extra-marital affairs, support abortion, etc… are only giving God a bad name by association, we’ll see IGWT stripped faster than a bisexual at a bondage party. This is making the assupmtion that the politicians will change their values faster than the church, a gap in beliefs is necessary. Definitely not synonymous, but not a far cry from what Teddy Roosevelt's belief, that IGWT on currency “cheapens” the motto (quote at bottom).

Switch gears...
IGWT usage is upheld by Supreme Court decision Aronow vs 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."

It seems the supreme court evaluated the case in today’s setting rather than evaluating the validity of the legislation. Historically IGWT was added to coinage and as our motto for less than secular reasons. Effectively, they have supported the tenet that if you do something wrong long enough, it becomes ok. Luckily, history is on my side; most of these things eventually are overturned (and then heralded as conquests of progress by the same people that prevented the change). There’s a lesson about how to change people’s minds packaged in there somewhere.

A popular argument is, “it’s history.” One problem with IGWT being truly historical is that it's printed, therefore implying validity, in present tense... those who say it's strictly historical are effectively making a stance that In God We Trust = In God We Trusted, this is simply errant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we change IGWT to IGWTed… that would just be silly. However, IGWT as our national motto is always going to be in the present, it's our national motto now, not our national motto for some times other than now. Ike really brought God to the Nation during the Red Scare... I guess that's why we ended up winning the Cold War (Ike added God to Pledge of Allegiance in ’54 and IGWT as motto in ’56).

IGWT on coinage, I think it’s wrong. I feel more strongly about IGWT as a motto that needs to be changed. Let’s get back to the “out of many comes one” days. IGWT on coins is something I can easily ignore for exactly the reasons Teddy foresaw, the national motto is something that encompasses me as a proud America, and I don’t trust.

Coming soon... Ike's Pledge of Allegiance

References:
Lemon vs Kurtzman and the Lemon test
IGWT wiki
Well referenced history of United States mottos
-TR's 1907 quote "My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege...It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in building such as those at West Point and Annapolis -- in short, wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements."

1 Comments:

Blogger Cassy said...

I think you should really push that whore/abortion viewpoint to get your message across. Go ahead and mention the drug trafficking, and let's test some dollar bills for traces of cocaine while we're at it. Well, I guess god loves sinners too.

8:33 AM  

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