NYCA Joins in Suit to Get ‘In god We Trust’ Off Our Money

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FLASH!

NYCA Joins in Suit to Get ‘In god We Trust’ Off Our Money

Why Shouldn’t Atheists Use the Tools Society Provides To Set Things Right?

New York City Atheists is joining Dr. Michael Newdow, the California-based Atheist physician/lawyer, in a suit to get the words “In god We Trust” off our American coins and currency. NYCA president Kenneth Bronstein has recently joined Dr. Newdow as one of the plaintiffs in the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Believe it or not, there are a number of Atheists in our community who are opposed to our filing of this suit. A few have even tried to dissuade us. Why? We’d like to know why, because we think that these opponents among us have been totally indoctrinated by the reactionary elements in our society to be fearful of bold moves on the part of fighters for secular justice.

We feel that the American court system was put in place exactly for this purpose, to petition within the means provided by our democratic legal system to enforce our constitutional rights.

We Fight Legally & Honestly

We are fighting legally, honestly and with all the resources available to us–indeed, available to everybody–to right the wrongs that the religious community is perpetrating on what we know our forefathers intended for us: a constitutionally secular society!

Are you with us? Then come on Tuesday to back us and show your support! Are you against us using the court system to seek our rights? Come and tell us why you feel this way! Come to our informal public forum on this topic, hear both sides, and then decide!

Leading this most-certainly heated discussion will be Michael Dorian, a feisty fighter himself, never loathe to voice his strong opinions. Dorian is a documentary filmmaker now in the process of making a film on the Atheist movement. Come, lend your support for our new challenge to religion on what we feel is the strongest, the most public, the bravest stage in the nation: our nation’s legal system.

EVENT SUMMARY

WHAT: “Dare We Sue to Get ‘In god We Trust’ Off our
Nation’s Currency?”–a NYC Atheists’ discussion
led by Michael Dorian, documentary filmmaker.

WHEN: Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: The Stone Creek Cafe
140 East 27th St. (3rd/Lex)
Back Room

COST: FREE. But you are expected to purchase food and/or drink to compensate Stone Creek for use of their space. The reasonably priced knoshies are better than in most bars.

Go to the event and map on the new RDF beta site

Written By: New York City Atheistscontinue to source article at

57 COMMENTS

  1. “in god we trust” is pretty low on my list of priorities. That is just symbolic. I am fed up to the teeth with Christians meddling in my life. Where do you go to vote them off the island? They are obnoxious busy bodies. They have to go. Here are some of my complaints with them in descending order:

    1. Discrimination against gays must stop. It is illegal. We must not continue to let Christians get away with advocating murder and hate speech against gays. Just because they break the law out of religious hatred should not give them a get out of jail free card.

    2. Christians must stop interfering with marriages between gays. Christians are not affected in any way so have no right to meddle. They have no right to cherry pick their bible and use it as an excuse to persecute minorities, originally blacks, now gays. We have freedom of religion and freedom from religion, and that includes freedom from the most hateful religion of them all — Christianity.

    3. Christians must stop interfering in other people’s end of life decisions.

    4. Disband churches that aid and abet threats and violence against children to force them into sexual acts.

    5. Christians must stop interfering in other people’s abortions. Their objections are based on a religious superstition that a disembodied consciousness, a ghost, called a soul, possesses the body at conception and leaves it at death. There is not one iota of evidence to substantiate this nonsense.

    6. Christians must stop interfering in other people’s contraception. It is none of their business.

    7. Christians must stop teaching junk science in public schools.

    8. The government must stop giving religious lobbyists, i.e. politically active churches, tax breaks than other lobbyists do not get.

    9. Churches should get the exact same tax breaks other organisations get, only breaks for their charitable works, not just for being a church.

    10. Full disclosure of how religious donations are spent.

    11. Protect children from Christian parents doing harmful things to them for religious reasons, such as denying medical care for snake bites.

    12. Prosecute faith healers for false claims, just as any other false advertiser.

    13. Make it illegal to proselytize to other people’s children without their parents’ explicit signed permission.

    14. No circumcision male or female without consent.

    15. The Pope must formally disown the parts of the bible that demand criminal behaviour or that encourage hate to various minority groups.

    16. A moratorium on Christmas music and Christmas programming one day in seven during December. It is nauseating, like a diet of pure high fructose corn syrup. It in unfair of Christians to impose the torture on others without relief.

    These reforms apply mostly to Christians, but of course any changes in law would not single them out.

  2. You might wonder why I focus on child molesting involving threats and violence. It avoids the question of the variable definition just how old a child is, who was the aggressor, what is the age of consent for what, boundary conditions, just what constitutes a sexual act… If someone wants to claim a 21 year old is a child, if they were forced into anything remotely resembling sex with threats or violence I have no great problem with that.

  3.  “these opponents among us have been totally indoctrinated by the
    reactionary elements in our society to be fearful of bold moves on the
    part of fighters for secular justice.”

    QFT

    Also having sequential prirorities list doesn’t make any sense, there are enough people around for multitasking.

  4. All those issues are of course very important. Some can be tackled legally, some will require decades of labor lobbying, arguing, ridiculing, etc., before they are solved. The “In God we trust” motto on our currency is, however, a written violation of our constitution that one would think would be struck down by any sane federal judge. This would appear to be a very simple case to win. However, many of America’s federal judges right up to the Supreme Court are insane. If I may copy and paste form Wikipedia:

    “The motto was first challenged in Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: “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.”

    The US Supreme Court has recently refused to consider anti-motto cases. I think that the atheist movement has gotten a lot more traction recently, and we should go after the motto again and again. If you will excuse me, perhaps a miracle a la Roberts/Obamacare may someday occur.

  5. Arguing in favour of the lawsuit:
    1. if it is won, it would be like a pail of cold water on the Christians. It would remind them they do not own the country.  It would remind them that cannot do whatever they please without opposition.
    2. It would be a precedent useful in dismissing religious legal arguments.  What the bible says about X is clearly irrelevant.
    3. it would stimulate a national discussion about separation of church and state and why it is a good idea.
    4. Christians thumb their noses at separation of church and state.  A ruling would make clear they are scofflaws.

  6. “The motto was first challenged in Aronow v. United States in 1970, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled: “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.”

    Hardly…

    First it isn’t ‘god(s)’, it’s ‘God’.  The wink/wink kind.

    Secodly, I doubt any court or the fed would ever admit to ‘God’ being the equivalent of ‘Satan’.  This would be the easiest route to getting it removed (equal protection)… have the fed admit that it also includes Satan and the religious right would be tripping over themselves spending their own cash to have it removed rather than have it seen as that.  It would be cheap enough to rub their faces in it by putting ads or billboards up reminding them that it legally would have to mean God=Satan.  Why waste good money when the religious could be wasting their own.  Heck, you make the fed admit that it means ‘Allah’ and I have some kooky relatives that would want it removed.

    Third, if it has nothing to do with establishment, then why was it even added.  I did’t think it could be argued given the history to get it put on.

    Fourth, it IS used by religious nut jobs to promote further intrusion into the schools and government because they claim we have a history of government sanctioned entanglement and a lot of ignorant people fall in line with this.

  7. or perhaps the religious (christians mostly) would feel that yet another activist judge is trying to legislate their atheist agenda from the bench and should be promptly removed for going against the intentions of the founding fathers who in the great wisdom established this nation on good sound Christian principals.

  8. Please put a petition on line, then we non- Americans can support you! 
    And while you’re at it, how about including the repugnant “under God” 
    (sounds like he’s screwing you, and he is)

  9. I hate to be the wet blanket here, but I think that lawsuits such as this go after the low hanging fruit, yet stir up a hornet’s nest against the secular agenda. Christians already feel that there is a war going on against them and when people who believe in god feel threatened, they band together and the hatred comes out. This is just stirring an already boiling pot, IMHO. As much as I’d love to see the US as a secular republic, I think these “attacks” on god won’t accomplish what is trying to be accomplished. Remember fear rules these people and if you take away the god who “blesses” America…well, you’ll have a fight on your hands the likes of which you won’t believe.

  10. America is a multi-faith society, with a rising atheist groundswell, so it should be changed to “In Gods we trust, probaby, well at least for the time being”.

    Would that fit on the coinage?

  11. The whole idea of a lawsuit in this economy….Yes, this will stir up
    the “evil atheist” haters. Regarding petitions for foreigners who
    support this action…it makes me wonder why we are so quick to sign a
    petition…are they effective anyway?

     I think our money needs to be changed anyway. Additions of a watermark and thread were an attempt at curbing counterfeiters. Recycled one dollar bills can be used for printing up twenty dollar bills. After using the attractive Canadian money – multicolored, acetate windows, metallic ink…We can do better. Keep one bill primarily green for the people who cannot bear to give up “the greenback.” While they are at it, get rid of “In God we trust”

  12. What about the God language in the Declaration of Independence and other American historical documents?  Will you work to get ride of clauses like “inalienable rights endowed by their Creator?”  The facts of the matter are that most of our founding fathers believed in God in some form (and did us a great favor by separating churh and state) and most Americans, either passionately or nomially, do trust in God.  Should you guys ever become the majority, you can try to win these little “moral” victories, but despite all your rhetoric, I highly doubt America will become an atheist nation anytime soon.

  13. This lawsuit has zero chance of ultimate success. The people fighting it have much deeper pockets than the atheists and will keep fighting all the way to the supreme court if they have to. And looking at the curent supreme court we can say with virtual certainty how a majority of the justices will vote. All the conservatives (Scalia, Thomas, etc.) will obviously vote to keep it. Assuming that the liberals vote to remove it (a big assumption, I doubt they all would but if) then it comes down to the swing vote Kennedy. His record on these kinds of things is clear. When its a question of the state investing money to buld some new structure or change some existing motto in favor of a God oriented one (especially one that leands toward some religion such as putting up the ten commandments) he may vote against it. But when its a question of something that has been existing and well established and that people can argue is non-denominational (I agree under God really isn’t but lots of people don’t see it that way) he will vote to keep it.

    I’m not saying that these kinds of fights are never worth making even when you know you will lose. Sometimes they are. Whether a long lawsuit for a certain defeat is worth it in this case is another discussion.

  14. “And looking at the current supreme court we can say with virtual certainty how a majority of the justices will vote.”

    Right, CNN, just like when the SCOTUS struck down the Affordable Health Care act…

    Take this to court, it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

  15. The affordable care act was nothing like this issue. The act was actually a conservative solution to healthcare, in many ways as much in line with the philosophy of people like Roberts as with the iberal members of the court. The law was dreamed up by The Heritage Foundation and other conservative think tanks, that’s why it was first implemented by a Republican governor (Romney). The amazing thing about that decision was that Kennedy went the other way. Going into the hearings most supreme court watchers were sure the law would be ruled constitutional. It was only based on the discussions in the court that people began to think it would go the other way. The reasons Roberts switched his vote (its pretty clear he was leaning the other way for quite some time) are subtle.

    But none of that is remotely analogous to the issue of In God We Trust. As I said, Kennedy is on record as supporting other religious issues and his decision criteria are clear based on what he’s written. If its an established law (this is) and if its non-denominational (he would clearly say this is) he will support it. Frankly, I doubt it will even make it to the supreme court. My guess is that the case will get thrown out by a lower court and the supreme court will consider it such an obviously settled issue (in their mind not saying I agree) that they won’t even bother to hear it, but if they do hear it there is no question our side would lose.

  16. Who is the “We” anyway? Isn’t the note just a promissory document from the treasury guaranteeing its worth? If it’s anything like UK currency it bears a signature on behalf of the issuer, so any preamble text must refer to the issuer, not the public. While it’s interesting to know the views of the treasury on this matter, I can’t help thinking that blind faith may be what had lead to them messing up the economy in the first place, like the good bankers they are.

  17. I used to be impatient with what I took to be the ‘merely’ symbolic tokenism of Michael Newdow’s campaign. But when I said as much at an atheist conference in America I was roundly rebuked by Edwin Kagin, and with good reason. He pointed out that Christians in America POINT TO the “In God we trust” on banknotes as EVIDENCE that the USA was originally a Christian foundation – apparently ignorant of the fact that it goes back only to the 1950s. I am now a supporter of the campaign.

    Richard

  18. I personally agree that In God We Trust is a clear violation of the separation of church and state. But I repeat my earlier observation that there is no chance this will succeed. Your reference to Newdow reminded me that the US courts have already ruled on this issue:

    http://pacificjustice.org/news

    A lower court struck down the case and the Supreme Court refused to hear it. Can anyone provide some logical argument why this new case is in any way different? If not then this case is clearly symbolic. And frankly, with all the incredible problems the US is facing right now, with Christian fundamentalists attacking women’s rights to abortion for example and even sponsoring so called personhood legislation (which Romney supports) that would make a fertilized egg a person and would outlaw not just abortion but many forms of contraception, with real things like that this seems like a frivolous waste of time.

  19. I’ve met my creators and they’ve endowed me with all sorts of things.  

    As one of ‘you guys’  I don’t desire an ‘atheist society’, I want the secular one laid out in the constitution, not the theistic one that Christians have been pushing on the USA ever since the ink dried.   “One Nation Under God” & “In God we trust” were not part of the Declaration or Constitution, they were foisted on America in 1954 & 1956 as a lucky charm to protect the US from the Godless Communists (like sprinkling Holy Water on a vampire).  If the Founding Fathers and the Constitution are important to you then the original motto  ‘E pluribus unum’ represents the founding father’s beliefs and desires – ‘In God we trust’ doesn’t.  That the motto is religious is obvious, since you only have to look at who promoted it and who screams in protest whenever it is proposed to revert to the original secular one.

  20.  Ditto, Canadian here, we got the effin queen and a nice haida image on the flip side of the $20 bill.  No sign of god anywhere that I can see.  But with that xtian tosser Harper in the PMO I imagine there are plans to add god somewhere to our currency as well.  That said, I’m not sure the US is ready to remove “In Dog We Trust” from their money, religion (and hatred of atheists) is just too prevalent, even by seemingly reasonable people.

  21. @rdfrs-074596f2944ba2b35e080177d533733d:disqus We already have a fight on our hands. There are religious politicians trying to get creationism into biology textbooks. We have gender inequality because of religious influence. We have discrimination against homosexuals because the bible essentially tells us to do so. The religious assault on our freedom has already started. What we need are people willing to fight back.

  22. “Believe it or not, there are a number of Atheists in our community who are opposed to our filing of this suit. A few have even tried to dissuade us.  Why?”
    —————
    I am even surprised that Christians would oppose the removal of that slogan on U.S. currency. In the first place, they would certainly deem “In Allah We Trust” or “In Zeus We Trust” or “In Thor We Trust” offensive. Yet even more importantly, I thought that their religion admonished them to “render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar.” Why would they want to stick the name of their god on mammon? Filthy lucre? To be passed around from hand to hand among believers and infidels alike, impregnated with dirt, grime, and germs, for both legitimate and criminal transactions? Talk about “taking the name of god in vain”! They might as well want it printed on every doormat.

  23. As an American, I have to say “In God We Trust” is not high on my list of concerns. I can appreciate the movement to remove it, but doing so would certainly provide another reason for the religious people around me to dislike atheists – and yet another reason for me to keep my convictions quiet (I’m from the Midwest). I’m in favor of removing “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, seeing as it’s an oath, spoken aloud (and by children in school), but I frankly don’t care what my money says. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s an endeavor that would unnecessarily stir up anger against atheists – for very little in return.

  24. Exactly. Your comment gets to an issue that most people here are ignoring, the question of strategy. I don’t think many atheists would disagree that “In God We Trust” on our currency is a violation of church and state. The question though is, is this a good use of our resources? Is this a fight we want to take on?

    In war, business, or politics the basic strategic questions are the same. The first of course if “how likely are we to win?” Given that the courts have recently ruled against us on virtually identical cases (see some of my previous comments) the answer to that one is almost certainly no.

    However, it can sometimes be worth trying even if you have little chance of success. For example, you may win allies or help build your movement. Is that likely to happen here? Again, I think almost certainly not. Given that almost identical cases have already been recently tried and lost, no one will be impressed by this case. If anything, it will further convince people who are on the fence that athests are yet another special interest group interested in wasting the time of the courts with frivolous lawsuits. In the mean time as aaron987 said there are very real issues (gay rights, women’s rights, creation taught in schools) that impact real people much more than what it says on our money. And on those issues we could win and even if we lose we could form allianes and help show the real harm done by religion that is so much worse than a slogan on currency.

  25. Yes, they take out their money and point to “In God We Trust.” My 92 year old father did this in response to my comment that this is not a Christian nation. I googled a few quotes from the founding fathers and pulled up the 1950s date. He quickly agreed. (If it were only this easy.) But this is from a “Catholic” man who never went to church (my entire life) and doesn’t believe in the Bible.

    Why not take it a step further and try to get rid of “one nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in any public forum, school, etc.?

    Personally, I think the money needs to change again anyway and getting rid of “In God We Trust” is a side benefit.

  26. At the start of the war in Afghanistan I watched a video in which one of the Taliban guys held up a U.S. Dollar bill and pointed to the “In God We Trust” and called us hypocrites for challenging their religious righteousness. It played right into George W. Bush’s foolish use of the word “Crusade.”

  27. Nordic11, we have been over this many times, here, over the years, but as it may be new to you or some others, here we go again. The Declaration of Independence was a statement of seperation by the Colonies from England before the formation of the United States of America, which happened later with The Constitution and the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights). The Founders had to get past the religious differences in the different Colonies and they did that by setting up a secular government in which there would be no religion. The Constitution mentions no deity or deities, and the First Amendment keeps Church and State seperate. Later in 1797 the Treaty of Tripoly stated specifically that the U.S. government was not Christian so as to avoid a presumed conflit with Muslims. It was only when anti-communists in the 1950s wanted to use religion for political ends, that these religious references where (unconstitutionaly) brought in. 

  28.  From Richard Dawkins’ comment

    He pointed out that Christians in America point to the “In God we trust” as evidence that the U.S.A. was originally a Christian foundation- apparently ignorant of the fact that it only goes back to the 1950′s.

    Rarely can an arguement, let alone a single sentence, alter my opinion, but that one did. I can not understand why Mr Newdow didn’t use it, because I can’t imagine his O.P making many new friends.

    From the O.P

    Believe it or not, there a number of athiests who are opposed to us filing this suit.

    I read that as- It’s incredible that not everyone agrees with me, even though I haven’t put forward a single reason not to think of this as a petty battle in a serious war.

    Why? We’d like to know why, because we think that those opponents among us have been totally indoctrinated by the reactionary elements in our society to be fearful of bold moves on the part of fighters for secular justice.

    So, I don’t agree because I’ve been brainwashed and I’m lacking in balls. Maybe insulting people to win them over works for some but it doesn’t do it for me. Furthermore, it’s pathetic when these ‘bold fighters for secular justice’ are simply going to be asked for cash to pay legal bills, rather than to march for Atheism in Tehran or Tennesse.

    Now that I’ve had my little rant, I do wish Mr Newdow all the best.   

  29. We have freedom of religion and *freedom from religion, and that includes freedom from the **most hateful religion of them all — Christianity.

    *Not sure what you mean by this- certainly not true

    **I think you are overlooking Islam 

    (am I cherry picking??)

  30. Since the presses are kept hot with “quantitative easing” (weasel words, anyone?) now is a great time to update that antiquated paper currency. Australian bills may be of interest as 1. virtually indestructible and 2. worth more than the USD… sorry, couldn’t resist! 
    Stir up? In the name of Thor (pbuh), could they be any more stirred up than they are? The more angry, the more irrational they become which makes the secular argument stronger. Go for the jugular. 
    Petitions? Who knows, but they do show support and cost nothing so I don’t see your basis for objecting

  31. I feel reubuked by both aaron987 and Richard.

    I just fear that the hatred and vitriol that hasn’t yet come out in the regular guy will get whipped into a frenzy by the haters that are already out there. The sleeping MAJORITY if you will. If the average christian feels threatened they’ll start hunkering down and start up the shit with all the other issues aaron987 named. I don’t disagree that this is an important issue, I just think it is less important issue to go after if you want a fight.

    Maybe as a part of a multi-pronged attack?

  32. “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.” 

    ‘quite obvious’? to whom? arrogant presumption is a virtue to American judges, apparently…

  33. You may be right about the hatred and vitriol. But I think its a mistake for atheists or any political group fightng for justice and civil rights to base their strategy on what the irrational and hateful people on the other side will do. African Americans faced a lot worse than we ever have and they went forward all the same, gay rights as well.

    However, for the same reason I’m not impressed by the “my crazy Christian uncle holds up a coin with In God We Trust on it” argument either. For the same reason. In both cases its a reaction to irrationality. Strategy should be based on priniples and goals that we want to achieve not based either on fear of or knee jerk reation to irrationality and hate.

  34. I was also put off by the “believe it or not some atheists don’t agree with us” argument. In fact there is a very rational argument to oppose this. Not because “In God We Trust” belongs on our currency, I haven’t read a single comment here by an atheist that supports that.

    But because this case will almost certainly lose. There was an almost identical case brought to the courts in Northern CA (probably the most liberal courts in the US) and it was thrown out and the supreme court refused to even hear the case. Its almost certain that the same thing wil happen here. That is the discussion we should be having, not does “In God We Trust” belong on currency, we all agree it doesn’t, but is another lawsuit that will fail going to accomplish anything for atheism in the US?

  35. Although I do support the removal of the phrase ‘In god We Trust’ completely off the US currency, I also think this lawsuit will not be successful. Not because religious citizens and conservatives will be ‘up in arms’ about it, but because the United States government has no control or say whatsoever in regards to its monetary system. The Federal Reserve is the private institution that has power over the money supply, and despite popular belief, this private institution is not associated by any means to the US government or treasury department.

  36. O/T- a bit ignorant of US politics & law but am confounded that the death penalty is left to State Legislatures. WHY is this most vital judgment not the sole prerogative of the Federal Government rather than some of the (dare I say it) redneck states? 

    Can you reply outside this thread? 

  37. Chemist53, the Federal Reserve may control the monetary system, but they do not control the making of physical currency. That is the job of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Mint” rel=”nofollow”>U.S. Mint for coins and the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Engraving_and_Printing” rel=”nofollow”>Bureau of Engraving and Printing for paper currency. Neither of those are run by the Federal Reserve. If http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust” rel=”nofollow”>the law passed in 1956 that put the religious message on the currency was thrown out, those two agencies of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Treasury” rel=”nofollow”>Treasury Department would change the currency back to “E Pluribus Unum” without any involvement of the Federal Reserve, except for asking the Federal Reserve to ship back gobs of currency for replacement.

  38. I can’t see how to reply except for here. That may be because I’m on my iPad, I know that other features of disqus aren’t working for me on iPad either. I’ll keep the answer short. Essentially anything that the federal government doesn’t explicitly define is open for the states to legislate. At one point in the 70′s the US Supreme Court actually ruled that the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment hence forbidden by the US constitution. Unfortunately, a few years later, a more conservative court reversed that rulling so its up to the states. Its actually a bit more complicated than that but that’s the basics.

  39. I  am most definitely not excluding Islam in my evaluation of Christianity as the most hateful. I spent a year studying them from the inside.  Overwhelming US  propaganda has framed them as bad guys to provide excuses for illegal invasions.  Also I am primarily talking about how they behave in Canada and the USA where they are orders of magnitude better behaved than Christians. Islam itself is not the culprit. The Qur’an is much more moderate and sane than the bible. The problem is patriarchic cultural traditions in the middle east and Africa.  Islam in Indonesia is very laid back in comparison. Female circumcision is not an Islamic custom, though it is practiced by some Muslims. The Qur’an itself was a huge leap forward for women’s equality.  It is still ahead of practice.  However, as a holy book, it is frozen in amber and cannot evolve.

    As a faith-based religion I would like to see it go, just like Christianity.  It is even more fear-based that Christianity.  I had nightmares for months after reading the Qur’an cover to cover. However, the Christians are a much higher priority for combating since they are making active war against me as a gay man and are doing all they can to meddle in my life. You fight the devils on your doorstep.

  40. I see someone has already made the point about the Federal Reserve. This campaign is worth supporting. However, without wanting to change the subject too much, I think it’s important to end the private ownership of money. The monetary system has become like a religion – roundly accepted and it goes unquestioned. This legal challenge could well fail on the basis that money has nothing to do with the state and is instead a private industry.
    Luke 

  41. I’ve mentioned a few times that this case has essentially been brought and dismissed already. I just noticed the name of the author of this article, its the same guy who brought the case that I’ve been referencing, which was dismissed by a lower court.

    IMO, this is shoddy journalism and also pathetic standards of the RD site. One of the most essential requiremnets of a journalist, even a web journalist, is to be up front about your bias and history. If you are writing an article about someone bringing a case that you have already brought to the court and lost you owe it to your readers to be honest about the history. And if you edit a web site and someone submits an aritcle you owe it to your readers to make clear the bias.

    http://pacificjustice.org/news

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E

  42. I studied this first hand.  In my view that trumps anyone who just watched TV. The picture painted in mass media is as off base as the picture of the Japanese was in WW II. I am certainly not trying to sell anyone on Islam, the very opposite. I am just pointing out the picture most people have is not accurate.

  43. Regarding the hate and vitriol something like is sure to stir up — perhaps that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Surely a court would find hundreds of thousands of protesters screaming and holding billboards saying, “Don’t take Jesus off our money!” a persuasive argument that the wording is not, in fact, ceremonial and meaningless. The majority themselves would bear witness that they aren’t interested in the historical meaning from the 1950′s, but rather the current ramifications of being able to claim the U.S. government is inherently Christian.

    Alternately, a more subtle approach might be to sue to have the wording changed to “In gods we trust.” This stresses the multi-cultural nature of American society, and a reasonable case could be made that using “God” with a capital letter refers specifically to the Christian faith, in exclusion of other Abrahamic faiths and in exclusion of all other non-sky-god faiths, too. The proposal could even suggest a round-robin approach, with each new issue celebrating a different god from the previous one. We already do this with coins and stamps to a degree.

  44. “Not a US citizen so none of my business, but would like to remind you that a British £ 10 note has the Queen on one side and Charles Darwin on the other”

    This is not exactly the same issue; both the Queen and Darwin are actual characters: the former, Britain’s Head of State, the latter, a famous XIX century thinker and scientist. Their pictures on the bank notes do not represent any religious creed and give the image of a secular state. The motto “in God we Trust” give the image of a theocratic state.

  45.  @ DallasDad

    Alternately, a more subtle approach might be to sue to have the wording
    changed to “In gods we trust.” This stresses the multi-cultural nature
    of American society, and a reasonable case could be made that using
    “God” with a capital letter refers specifically to the Christian faith,
    in exclusion of other Abrahamic faiths and in exclusion of all other
    non-sky-god faiths, too.

    There could be “In bankers we trust” or in “politicians we trust”, but that would show more gullibility than those who think gods are guarantors for currency!

  46. No one has yet been able to explain to me how this would truly advance our cause. Yes, it’s a huge symbolic victory — accomplishing this would show that we’re a force to be reckoned with [... with which to be reckoned?? -- sorry.... I digress.... ]. But how is it anything more than symbolic? What would really be accomplished? I see “In God We Trust” as a symptom of the illness, not the cause of it.

    IMO, instead of removing an inscription from our currency, a better use of our limited resources would be to work towards removing religion from our laws.

  47. Win or lose, this effort should do well to inform the public of the recent addition of “In God” to our bills, and why it was done.

    Another fact that ought to be broadly exposed is the introduction of the requirement of celibacy for clergy, and the reasoning of the church in doing so.  Hint:  it has to do with the church reducing its financial burden to families of the clergy.  Most church-going people think that this mantra, which has ultimately caused untold harm to minors since inception, is something from the Bible,or otherwise ordained in ancient times.  Nonsense.  With abundant clergy abuse cases, I hope that this fact becomes more widely known, as it speaks to the fickleness of belief when the fiscal integrity of the institution risks harm. 

  48. Yes, I believe that those words, added to our currency in the 1950′s, have been both cynically and mistakenly used to support the “Christian Nation” origin myth in the United States. I believe that many of the founding fathers may have been christians, but our Constitution and our currency were created by human blood, sweat and tears.

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