In God We Trust?

July 22, 2008 at 12:22 am 197 comments

As I was leaving a grocery store recently, I noticed a display that was stuffed and overflowing with Christian pamphlets. One of them was entitled, “In God We Trust: What Does It Still Mean?”

Many atheist bloggers and podcasters have explained why they find this motto offensive and have argued that it should be removed from American currency. In response, or perhaps as a pre-emptive move, many theists have claimed that the motto is merely a reference to something they call “ceremonial deism.” Atheists have generally countered this statement with something like, “If it’s merely ceremonial, then what’s the harm in removing it?” To my knowledge, theists have not had an effective response to that query.

For the sake of argument, and also because it’s probably true, I will concede that many people, Christians, Jews, Muslims, probably don’t really care one way or the other whether the phrase remains on American currency. But, as the pamphlet I am about to deconstruct demonstrates, there are some Christians (I have no way of determining how few or how many) who take the phrase seriously and who consider it to be much more than just a “ceremonial” statement.

The pamphlet opens with these statements:

Printed boldly on the back of the United States currency is the motto “In God We Trust.” We have seen it so often that it may have lost its meaning to us. But found in these words is the secret to national and personal greatness.

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word trust as “a firm belief or confidence in the honesty, integrity, reliability and justice of another person or thing.”

When our founding fathers put their names to the Declaration of Independence, they believed that God was the only sure foundation upon which to build a nation that would endure. These men knew that this unique experiment in freedom would only stand the test of time by God’s grace. George Washington stated it simply, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”.

These paragraphs clearly demonstrate that the Christians who print and distribute this pamphlet don’t view the phrase, “In God We Trust,” as a simple perfunctory, “ceremonial” statement; they view it as an explicit declaration of Christian faith. Following a dictionary citation that clarifies the author’s use of the word “trust,” he pulls out the old “Christian nation” rhetoric and appeals to the authority of George Washington – Father of Our Country – as if his statement represents the ideals, intentions and beliefs of all of the 56 men who signed the Declaration. Anyone who has read the writings of any of the founding fathers, and read historical and biographical accounts of their lives, knows that some of them were Trinitarian Christians, some were Unitarians, some were deists, etc. There was no singular doctrinal position that encompassed all of them, just as there is no singular doctrinal position that encompasses all Christians today.

The pamphlet goes on:

Reliance upon God was deeply rooted in our country’s important documents and institutions from the beginning. But today confidence in God and His Word is no longer the foundation of society.

If the USA’s important documents are so saturated with statements of reliance upon God, as the author claims, then why doesn’t he cite some statements from the documents to support his assertion? We all know why: because the statements do not exist. Therefore, the author must rely on the ignorance of his audience to accept his authority without question. And why shouldn’t he? Such unquestioning acceptance is drilled into many Christians from their early childhoods. Many children of conservative, evangelical, fundamentalist parents quickly learn what sorts of questions are acceptable and which ones are out of bounds.

Moving on, the pamphlet cites several examples to demonstrate that “confidence in God and His Word is no longer the foundation of society:”

In our schools the God of Creation has been replaced by the “god” of evolutionary chance. Truth has been replaced by relativism. Morality has been replaced by expediency.

In our homes we nightly view things that were unimaginable on television and in movies only a decade ago. Violence, sexual perversion and obscene language spill off the screen.

In the political arena God’s principles of truth and justice have often given way to expedience, personal profit, and compromise.

As we have departed from God, life has been devalued. The lives of unborn children are snuffed out in abortion clinics and the number of robberies, rapes and murders increases daily.

Wow! Homosexuality is the only hot-button issue that the author failed to integrate into this little diatribe. The old creation vs. evolution argument comes out and, no surprise here, evolution is misrepresented as a random, “chance” process. The truth vs. relativism argument is laughable, as science has done more to uncover “truth” than religion ever did. Science has been the key to learning, with great precision, how the universe operates. Religion, with its widely divergent explanations of the universe and humankind’s place in the cosmos is far more relativistic than scientific rationalism. Oh, yes – the pamphleteer will quickly point out that I’m placing all religions on the same plane, which is a grave error. Only one religion is right – and we all know which one that is, don’t we boys and girls? The morality vs. expediency dichotomy is rhetorically clever but substantively empty, as the author does not cite any examples to back up the claim.

Okay, I’ll do the author a favor and cite a couple of examples:

  1. The current Presidential Administration’s justifications of the use of torture strikes me as a glaring example of tossing aside morality for the sake of expediency.
  2. The current Presidential Administration’s use of faulty “intelligence” to justify invading and occupying a country that did not, in any way, threaten American security was another morally questionable move. Yes, I know there’s some uncertainty regarding whether the administration’s “intelligence” was merely flawed or faulty, or, more egregiously, completely false. For the sake of argument, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

Well, well – look at what we have here! The first two examples of morality being dumped for the sake of expediency that came to my mind were cases in which our nation’s outspokenly evangelical Christian president, aided and abetted by cohorts who may or may not share his faith, committed the offenses. Does that mean that Christianity is the source of expediency rather than morality? That goes against the grain of the usual argument doesn’t it? Maybe the pamphleteer was wise not to cite examples.

Moving on, we get to the old “sex and violence in media” complaint. Well, guess what? No one is forcing Christians to watch late night soft porn on HBO. No one is forcing them to line up at theaters to watch violent, sexually explicit or linguistically profane movies. The availability of those things to the public at large does not impinge on the rights of Christians to refuse to participate in them. We are not responsible if Christians can’t “resist temptation.” Maybe they need to pray harder for their God to “deliver them from evil” rather than insisting that the rest of us cater to their sensibilities in unreasonable and unnecessarily restrictive manners.

The pamphleteer next cites the flaws of the American political system as evidence of a nation that has wandered from its mooring in “God’s principles of truth and justice.” I’ll just cite my previous discussion of George W. Bush’s Christian principles in action. I believe that passage is all I need to say on this matter at this time.

Next, we get a favorite hot-button issue: the value of life as seen through the lens of abortion. Ah yes, those of us who oppose the war in Iraq, support stem-cell research and believe that women should control their own bodies certainly value life far less than those who support an unjust war that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and mutilations, who support torture of fellow humans as a combat tactic, and who value blastocysts and embryos more than adult women. Contrary to what our pamphleteer wants readers to believe, believers and nonbelievers alike are represented at all points on the political spectrum on these issues. A comprehensive view of the value of life, human and otherwise, cannot be reduced to one issue, nor can any Christian properly claim to have the one, true Christian view of the issue. Unfortunately, it appears that such complexities and subtleties are beyond the intellectual grasp of our pamphleteer.

The pamphlet winds up to its big finish, the literary “altar call:”

It is time that we return to the values of God’s Word in our public and private lives so that He will heal our land. We must begin person by person on our knees, confessing our failure to trust God fully in our lives.

Today you can affirm your trust in God if you will:

1. Acknowledge that you need salvation: The Bible says, “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
2. Recognize God’s love for you: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
3. Receive Jesus and His forgiveness, the only basis for encountering God. “As many as received Him [Jesus], to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12).

God is calling you to put your trust in Him today! Don’t ignore His call!

Ah, the old appeals to guilt, fear and Christian elitism. All have sinned…. Even those of who don’t believe in the Christian concept of sin can look back with regret and wish we’d done something differently. It’s easy to feel guilty and it’s easy for religions to build that guilt and feed off of it. And God’s love…. Yeah, he loves me so much that, if I don’t believe and behave exactly has He prescribes (but which of the thousands of “authoritative” prescriptions is the right one?), I will be tortured forever. Nice. Finally, Jesus and His forgiveness form the only basis for encountering God. If one adheres to any religion other than Christianity, regardless of how sincerely that person believes, regardless of how morally that person lives, that person will be tortured for eternity. On the other hand, if one believes the Christian gospel, then one can become a “son” of God. I guess women need not apply.

There you have it – a typical Christian move from “ceremonial deism” to the Christian gospel. It’s clear that, regardless of the sincerity of those who believe that the motto, “In God We Trust,” is simply harmless sentiment, the phrase should be removed from American currency. First, it is not a statement that captures the intent of the founding fathers, and it is erroneous and misleading to present it as such. Second, it is a phrase that some outspoken Christians will continue to use as a bludgeon to beat their view of life into the heads of those who disagree with them. Third and finally, it is not a statement to which all Americans adhere. The right to dissent from such belief should be acknowledged and respected, which is precisely why the founders did not establish a theocracy. They established a secular republic. Secularism has been, and must continue to be, the key to American political, social and economic success. Accordingly, there is no place in a secular republic for a government-sanctioned declaration of trust in God. The sooner we all acknowledge that, the better off all of us, theists, deists, agnostics, atheists and wooists, will be.

– the chaplain

Entry filed under: thechaplain. Tags: , , .

Thoughts on my de-conversion, one year later I never wanted to be an Atheist

197 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TheNerd  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:02 am

    Slightly off-topic: Does anyone know a person who has been converted (or even slightly moved emotionally) by a pamphlet/tract? I’ll take my answer in the Forum.

  • 2. John Morales  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:22 am

    TheNerd: No. But consider, were the tracts/pamphlets useless, they would unlikely have persisted.
    Off the top of my head, I suggest that at least they project a brand awareness and image (cf advertising).
    I am willing to be disabused from the plausibility of my conjecture, however.*

    Chaplain: It’s nice here in Oz, we don’t have religion in our face. :)

    * Sorry to say I’m unlikely to find time for the forum, thus I answer here.

  • 3. rover  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:04 am

    TheNerd

    There are a couple of people at my church who have been “saved” by way of a tract. God uses many ways to bring people to Him. The tract was never my style, but there are some good ones (from a christian perspective) and some really bad ones.

  • 4. John Morales  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Rover, yeah maybe, you make me think of Anthony Flew. His material was higher-class than the average tract, that’s all. ;)

  • 5. John T.  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:44 am

    There are many things that make reference to a creator that is littered through your emblems and money.

    On the back of your dollar there is a pyramid with 12 levels and then “Gods eyes” totalling 13 levels. By the way 13 is considered a very spiritual number.

    You have 13 original states that are shaped into a star, which is comprised of 2 triangles dissecting each other. One signifying the physical realm, the other the spiritual realm.

    Your emblem, with the eagle, has in its claws, 13 arrows and 13 laurel leaves. Arrows signify war, laurel leaves peace. In times of war the eagles head is turned towards the arrows.

    Seems the American forefathers had quite a sense of God. Not necessarily a Christian one though.

  • 6. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 9:35 am

    JohnT-
    Well, the pyramid is just as likely to be a Masonic symbol as a christian one. Both Washington and Franklin were high-ranking freemasons, and they weren’t the only ones amoung our founders. Not that I’m one of those “masonic conspiracy freaks”, its just that, when they were setting national symbols, they probably put in elements of symbols they already liked.

    And I don’t get your reference to “13” being considered a “very spiritual number” Since we had 13 original colonies, putting the number 13 into our national symbols is ubiquitous. It’s on the money, in our seal, in the flag – it shows up all over the place in official art. Apart from that kind of use, the number 13 is generally considered an unlucky number – so unlucky that most of our tall buildings omit 13 from their floor numbers.

    So I don’t think our forefathers were that concerned with “god”. There’s not a single mention of god in our entire constitution, and that was on purpose.

  • 7. John T.  |  July 22, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Ubi

    Read some stuff from a man named Joseph Campbell on the symbols. It is interesting.

  • 8. Jim J  |  July 22, 2008 at 9:48 am

    From the post: “then why doesn’t he cite some statements from the documents to support his assertion? We all know why: because the statements do not exist. ”

    “We” is making a very untenable, and clueless, declaration. The declaration of Independence, the very first document of the republic, is theistic. We are endowed “by our Creator”:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    And that’s from every liberal’s favorite suspected secularist, Thomas Jefferson. The genius of our sytem is that God gives his sovereignty to the people and we lend our sovereignty to the government; God-People-Government whereas the traditional role was God-King-People.

    The atheist complaint is mere effete whining in any case. What harm does it do to atheists that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in a greater good above themselves? If atheists have literally nothing to offer in it’s place, and it serves the common good then what good does the whining do?

  • 9. Plokmaster  |  July 22, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Nice post! Thanks for the info… Have a nice day!

  • 10. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:13 am

    JimJ –

    If atheists have literally nothing to offer in it’s place, and it serves the common good then what good does the whining do?

    Serve the common good? How can what phrase we put on our money “serve the common good?” The only thing about currency that is there for the “common good” is what the value of the currency is, what country issued it, and enough detail to thwart counterfeiting. I’ve even heard some christians say that they thought it was disgraceful for god’s name to be placed on “the root of all evil”.

    And don’t get me started on Jefferson. I have a copy of the “Jefferson Bible”, which he put together from what he considered the worthwhile bits of the gospels. It has all of the teaching about kindness and forgiveness, but left out all of the miracles. what he left was a biography of a wise teacher.

    JohnT – I’ve read a ton of Joseph Campbell. Any particular book you were referring to?

  • 11. LeoPardus  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    John T:

    You have 13 original states that are shaped into a star, which is comprised of 2 triangles dissecting each other.

    Huh??? Have you actually looked at a map of the 13 original colonies? If so, what lets you see them as a six-pointed star?

  • 12. Ted Goas  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Will we ever live to see the day that pamphlet reads:

    “In God We Trust. Here are my reasons for believing, feel free to take a look. If you believe in them too, great! If not, well that’s OK too. I won’t condemn you to Hell on the spot.”

    Christianity…

  • 13. LeoPardus  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Just FTR…. I don’t give a flying fart what they put on our money. As long as I can use it to buy stuff, the motto can be “Eat shit and die!” for all I care.

  • 14. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Leo –
    No – he’s referring to a design on the Great Seal on the obne-dollar bill. It’s a six pointed star made out of 13 smaller stars.

  • 15. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Oops

    thanks for the clarification Ubi

  • 16. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Ubi

    I believe I read much of it from his Power of Myth series with Bill Moyers.

  • 17. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Thomas Jefferson refers to rights endowed by our Creator. He does NOT say “by God”. This language is intentional. Jefferson, like many of the founders, falls clearly into the Deist philosophy, the belief that a Creator created the universe and left it running. The Creator is not necessarily the God of the Bible. The Creator does not intervene in daily life.

    This was before science had well developed theories regarding the origin of life, the universe, and everything. The Deist Creator filled in the gaps where science had not yet reached.

    Saying our rights were endowed by our Creator was an arguement against the school that held that our rights were given by the King and could be taken away at the King’s pleasure.

  • 18. Griffin  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Jim J:

    “endowed by their Creator”

  • 19. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I just looked up Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration.

    Remember that the final Declaration is the work of Jefferson changed by a committee of 5 Congressmen and then changed by the rest of Congress. Many, but not all of the words are Jefferson’s.

    In the rough draft, he does refer to the Creator at all. Here is the phrase: “that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable” Does anybody know who initiated the change to Creator?

  • 20. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I just looked up Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration.

    Remember that the final Declaration is the work of Jefferson changed by a committee of 5 Congressmen and then changed by the rest of Congress. Many, but not all of the words are Jefferson’s.

    In the rough draft, he does not refer to the Creator at all. Here is the phrase: “that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable” Does anybody know who initiated the change to Creator?

  • 21. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:22 am

    John T:

    I have a copy of The Power of Myth, so I looked it up. His argument seems to be that all that symbolism is a reflection of the founding father’s belief in “Reason”. That “Reason” is the way people achieve knowledge of god. And he holds that the “god” referred to is the Deist idea of god, and very much not the god of the bible. He also acknowledges that these are also masonic symbols, that learned men of the age would already be familiar with. (pages 24-30)

  • 22. Griffin  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:31 am

    Jim J:


    “endowed by their Creator”

    Jim, our founding fathers were very smart men. They chose their words very carefully, knowing that the words of our Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc. would be closely parsed for meaning.

    Notice that our rights do not come from GOD. In fact, our rights don’t even come from THE creator – a stand in for GOD. Rights are endowed by a creator that is defined not by government or church or society but by the individual who is the recipient of those rights.

    The word “God” or “Christian” appears nowhere in our Constitution. In the Declaration of Independence, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” is referenced, but that seems a far cry from a Christian conception of God.


    “The atheist complaint is mere effete whining in any case. What harm does it do to atheists that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe in a greater good above themselves? If atheists have literally nothing to offer in it’s place, and it serves the common good then what good does the whining do?”

    If you’ve got a thing against whining, I suggest that you reread our Declaration of Independence. What a bunch of whiners those guys were!

    The fact that most Americans believe in “a greater good above themselves” is certainly no injury to me. I’d be willing to bet that most Atheists believe in a ‘good greater than the self.’ Ignoring your conflation of ‘greater good’ and ‘God,’ I’ll go as far as to say that a belief in a supernatural deity by most Americans does nothing to injury me either. When they start trying to pass laws based on their sacred texts, that’s a different story.

    As to why “In God We Trust” is insulting, one must remember the “We” in that statement. “We” is America. To be an American, I must “Trust in God.” I am an American. I do not “Trust in God.” That creates a problem – either for my membership within the “We” in question of our government’s definition of what it is to be an American.

    Imagine if Christians were the minority and our money was printed with “Americans: Humanists, Rationalists, Secularists.” How would you feel?

  • 23. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Let’s put “Happy Holidays” on all the money!

  • 24. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Why the change from Ubi Dubium to Ubi Dubius?

  • 25. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Not a change. That’s my spouse.

  • 26. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Ubi

    I never referred to it being God of the bible, I think lol.

  • 27. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    john t.

    Oh, that’s right, you’re a Deist. (Which is fine by me.) So then the symbolism on the money might be especially relevant for you, since it was established by a group of men who were also mostly deist.

    What galls me are the efforts by modern Fundies to co-opt the old Deist symbolism, and claim that it’s proof that the U.S. is some kind of “christian nation”.

  • 28. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Ubi Dubium ≠ Ubi Dubius.
    Ubi Dubium is a little smarter and much more attractive.

  • 29. Jim J  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Griffin, you must be kidding.
    “Rights are endowed by a creator that is defined not by government or church or society but by the individual who is the recipient of those rights.”

    How can you receive rights from something you invented??

    Here’s where you disappear into the black hole; we RECEIVED the rights. All of us; Christians, Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc. It’s done. We’ve gotten our rights. No government – no one -can take them away; not the government, not Christians, not the rich, etc.. Now let’s move forward. That is what the document is saying.

    So you want to go back and pooh-pooh about Jefferson mentioning a Creator. Then you have to GIVE THE RIGHTS BACK, don’t you? You’d have to start all over again. How is that good? It’s not even relevant to your worldview, morally speaking. It’s an aesthetic, not a moral…and, therefore, a whine. The Founding Fathers were not whiners, they were moralists, challenging moral wrongs.

    They did not piss and moan about being “insulted”. That’s your ego hurting, not a moral injustice.

    I’d be willing to bet that most Atheists believe in a ‘good greater than the self

    I wouldn’t. If “being insulted” is so darn important, I’d say the ego of the Atheist is his god. [Note: Christians fall into the same trap when they get outraged about an "insult". It is the ego who is "insulted" always.]

    Thus, the mere appearance of “In God We Trust” on our money should not offend the moral atheist.

  • 30. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Thus, the mere appearance of “In God We Trust” on our money should not offend the moral atheist.

    Sorry, but it does offend me. You mention a “good greater than the self”. Well, the “good of my entire species” might qualify as that, but what does that have to do with whether I trust in some god? I don’t believe in any higher power, and I resent the implication that I do.

  • 31. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    So you want to go back and pooh-pooh about Jefferson mentioning a Creator. Then you have to GIVE THE RIGHTS BACK, don’t you? You’d have to start all over again.

    How the heck did you reach this conclusion? I don’t follow the logic of “we don’t believe there is a creator, therefore we have to give the rights back.” As was pointed out, the original draft of the Declaration of Independence didn’t mention a creator at all.

    I agree with Leo, though; I really don’t care what’s on our money. I do think most of the Christian defenses for it are incredibly weak, though.

  • 32. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Ubi D.

    I like some of the ideas represented by some of the people from that era. Much of their writings are quite enlightened. Now as far as being offended by whats on the dollar bill, dont you think theres more important things to get offended by?

  • 33. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Griffin

    “Imagine if Christians were the minority and our money was printed with “Americans: Humanists, Rationalists, Secularists.” How would you feel”

    Isnt this the essence of a Democracy, majority makes the rules?

  • 34. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    John T:

    That may be the essence of a pure democracy, but the US is a democracy with protection for minority rights. In the US, the majority does not make the rules if those rules conflict with the rights of minorities.

    Also, should the motto be something that reflects the views of a bare majority, or should it be something that brings all of us together? Our other motto, E Pluribus Unum, reflects the idea of many becoming one. I like it much better.

  • 35. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Now as far as being offended by whats on the dollar bill, dont you think theres more important things to get offended by?

    Oh, definitely. Or, at least, there are more important causes to work for. Things like preserving the “science” in science class, and putting more intelligent and tolerant politicians in office. But if you ask me “Do I find ‘in god we trust’ on the currency offensive?”, I will have to answer that I do. It’s meaning has been so far removed from the intentions of those that put it there that I’d prefer it be dropped. It may be a small thing, but it’s a symptom of the way the fundies are trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Like the “under god” in the pledge of allegiance. Or the ridiculous “moment of silence” that they got imposed on our public school students.

  • 36. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Ubi S

    Thanks for the lesson. Being Canadian, I am not that well versed on much of your system. Mine either for that matter. ;)

  • 37. truthwalker  |  July 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I generally dress like a homeless person, so I got handed those tracks a lot. It was always really confusing for me, since I was generally more conservative than the person who gave it to me. Chick Tracks are my favorite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick_Tracks. The seem much funnier now that I don’t keep them in my glove box.

  • 38. pantheophany  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Just to add to a good deconstruction, religioustolerance.org provides a good debunking of the Washington quote. Washington never said it, and it’s out of character for him to have.

  • 39. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    10 people are sitting at a table. They are going to eat hamburgers and fries. The host put napkins and a packet of salt and ketchup beside each plate.

    Suddenly, one of the ten stands up and says “I don’t eat salt!! Why are you giving me salt!! Just because you eat salt doesn’t mean I am going to eat salt!! Stop imposing your diet on me!!”

    The host wasn’t “imposing” anything—MOST people eat salt and kethcup on their fries–so the host gave “everyone” salt and ketchup—those who don’t want it, don’t have to use it.

    When someone says that having “under God” in the pledge of Allegiance is fundies “imposing” their beliefs on others I have to laugh. The majority of people believe in God—do we remove the reference just so a “few” don’t get upset? That’s nonsense.

  • 40. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I suspect we are the victims of a drive-by posting. I don’t really expect globaby to be back… Though I’d love to be proved wrong.

    For the betting, I’m gonna have to go with $10 on the Olsen Twins.

    As for Joe’s analogy: I can see it, though somewhat strained, applying to “In God We Trust” on our money. For “Under God” in the pledge, I would say it’s more akin to shoving the salt in someone’s mouth. I suppose you can just opt to not say that part of the pledge (spit out the salt, if you will), but then you awkwardly single yourself out.

  • 41. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Joe:

    10 people are sitting at a table. They are going to eat hamburgers and fries. The host put napkins and a packet of salt and ketchup at each table.

    Suddenly, one of the ten stands up and says “I don’t eat salt!! Why are you giving me salt!! Just because you eat salt doesn’t mean I am going to eat salt!! Stop imposing your diet on me!!”

    Joe – not the best metaphor. Salt is a nutritional requirement. A better comparison might be cilantro, which many people like, but a sizable minority absolutely cannot stand. (Myself included – to me it tastes like soap.) And our complaint isn’t about when it’s “on the side”.

    So the host brings your fries, and they have been doused in cilantro. I would protest and say – “Why did you put something all over my food without checking whether I wanted it! I can’t eat this!”

    Like the pledge of allegiance. In my state, all the public schoolchildren stand and recite the plege every morning. My wonderfully heathen kids are expected to recite it, with its “under god” part included. That’s not “on the side” mate, it’s in our faces.

  • 42. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Ubi—

    You are getting way to specific here. All I was saying (change the ingredients to whatever you want them to be) is that the Majority thinks one way—everyone at the table received what MOST people would eat with fries. One person “takes it” as those it is being “imposed” on them—-when actually, they can just toss away the salt or kethchup without making a stink.

    The same with television—-it is programmed for the “majority”–the majority may like one type of humor that I find to be boring—I simply have to change the channel. The same applies to a lot of things in life. MOST people believe in God—-if you don’t want to say “under God” then don’t say it—-don’t make everyone else refuse to say it so YOU can be happy, and not offended. Do you catch my drift?

  • 43. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Joe – I catch your drift, but I don’t agree. Religion needs to be voluntary. “Having faith” isn’t very meaningful if it’s mandatory. I don’t mind religious programming, because I can just change the channel. But when a judge tries to post the ten commandments in the courthouse, an evangelist tries to have the genesis mythology included in public school science class, or my children are expected to recite something implying religious belief, then I can no longer “change the channel”, because it’s moved outside of the realm of “voluntary”.

    My kids just skip the “under god” part of the pledge, and are just quiet about it. And I hate having to ask them to do that. If somebody told you that, to show your love of country, you were expected to recite something that said you didn’t believe in god, you’d be furious. I’ve thought of advising them to change it to “One nation, under Canada”, but they’d probably get in trouble. :)

  • 44. Sue Ann Edwards  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    They key to many of our ‘christian cults’ is DENIAL of responsibility for our shortcomings in substance of character, an excuse for being unprincipled people.

    Whatever “Ideal” we idolize is the kind of individual we will strive to be. So when we choose an idol that is emotionally insecure and retarded, then we will also grow up to be emotionally insecure and retarded.

    I point to our lacks in emotional coping skills. In defining our mistakes as ‘sins’, then we deny being able to learn from them and in that learning, the ability to make corrections.

    I am a fundamentalist’s worst nightmare . For I will look at all the shallow superficial ceremonial crap and ask questions about the actual character expression being expressed. Pointedly citing bias, prejudice and arrogant attitudes of supremacy as deficits in character.

    Then will go on to say that “liberty” is the freedom of choice while being responsible for the costs and consequences of those choices, while “license” is the demand for freedom of choice while DENYING responsibility and accountability for the costs and consequences. Then I apply the slam dunk…

    Choosing a conflicted and limited idol, leads to psychologically conflicted and limited people. All judgments of condemnation and rejection indicate, are LACKS in our character and emotional coping skills.

  • 45. Ubi Dubius  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    Joe-
    The salt metaphor relies on us being guests receiving a gift from a host. In this great nation, I am not a guest and what I am receiving is not a gift. I am entitled to equal respect.

    A better metaphor might be a co-op dinner. We’ve all paid our share, we even made an agreement that members may drink alcohol but that the co-op may not make an establishment of alcohol. Then, a majority has decided to serve liquor anyway, adopt, “I drink therefore I am” as the co-op motto, use co-op funds for liquor, even though some members do not drink liquor and object to paying for others’ imbibing. Also, the majority makes sure that members who do not drink are almost never elected to leadership.

    The analogy works because both liquor and religion make people silly.

  • 46. Cthulhu  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Ubi,

    “One nation, under Canada”

    You made me spew Mountain Dew all over my monitor – no fair!

  • 47. arensb  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    In our homes we nightly view things that were unimaginable on television and in movies only a decade ago.

    Hm. maybe it’s time I got TV. Can someone tell me what’s on that was unimaginable in 1998?

  • 48. Derek  |  July 22, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Hm. maybe it’s time I got TV. Can someone tell me what’s on that was unimaginable in 1998?

    The glamorization of teenagers engaging in risky behavior. Oh, wait…

  • 49. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    My kids just skip the “under god” part of the pledge, and are just quiet about it. And I hate having to ask them to do that

    Ubi—

    Are you “imposing” your unbelief on your children, or are you letting them decide for themselves? What if they WANT to recite the whole pledge just like everyone else, but know YOU would disapprove?

  • 50. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    arensb

    Can someone tell me what’s on that was unimaginable in 1998?

    Oooh! – Try “Torchwood” season one, episode 2. You can find it on YouTube, no need to get a TV. Torchwood was on BBC America, so I think that counts.

    Welcome Derek. You’ll get it right next time, never fear.

  • 51. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    The salt metaphor relies on us being guests receiving a gift from a host. In this great nation, I am not a guest and what I am receiving is not a gift. I am entitled to equal respect.

    If a person from France becomes a citizen they should be treated with equal respect also. But do they have the right to ask everyone not to speak English so they will not be offended? The
    United States has a huge Majority that believe in God. Do a tiny minority of “atheists” have the right to ask that “In God we Trust” be taken off of money, or that the pledge not say “under God” so they will not be offended?

    Ubi— I really don’t care if evolution is taught in schools. What is the big deal if a judge wants to put the ten commandments in a courthouse? Much moral law is based on them—what’s the big deal? If religion is just “bunk” they should be able to figure that out right? What’s everyone so afraid of?

  • 52. UbiDubiKid #1  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Are you “imposing” your unbelief on your children, or are you letting them decide for themselves? What if they WANT to recite the whole pledge just like everyone else, but know YOU would disapprove?

    Excuse me?!? I decided to be a heathen on my own thank you very much! In real life I’m often more open about my lack of belief than my parents (ubi dubium & ubi dubius)! I wrote a civics essay about how stupid the plegde of allegiance was. And what if I wanted to say it? Trust me, I’d let them know, I’m not exactly shy about that kind of thing. Actualy most kids my age just mumble the pledge of allegiance anyway, so I’m not sure I’d be that broken up about being discouraged to say two words.

  • 53. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    UbiDubiKid#1–

    Great—I’m glad it was your own decision. Atheists can and do impose their “unbelief” on their kids much the same as religious people impose their “beliefs” on their kids. That’s why I asked. Madlyn Murray O’Hair’s son was made to protest at school, not say the pledge, etc. etc. —-and it was all because of his mother—not of his volition. He is now a Christian. I know the same can be said of the other side of the coin, where someone like Marjoe Goertner was made to be a child evangelist and later became an atheist.

    Both examples are equally repugnant.

  • 54. LeoPardus  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Wow. We’re getting the whole UbiDubiFam in here.

    Once we get to know them, we’ll make a show about them, with a theme song…..

    They’re crispy and their kooky…. something like that

  • 55. Obi  |  July 22, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    Joe —

    Your comparisons aren’t making any sense. “In God We Trust” being on our currency explicitly states that “we”, the people of this country, have trust in “God”. Since this does not represent the views of the entire country, it is only fair that it be removed. To be honest, any and all references to any God(s) should be completely removed from public places in the United States (and all countries, for that matter), because religion should be a personal issue and not one that any government should endorse, implicitly or explicitly. We elect humans, are governed by humans, and are humans ourselves. When God decides to show up and represent himself, maybe we can talk.

    Would you not be offended if the company you worked at used as its motto “We Are Pedophiles”, when that doesn’t represent your views in any way, shape or form?

  • 56. john t.  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Leo

    Just so long as there not like the Mansons. You know how nasty you Atheists can get ;)

  • 57. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Yay! We want a theme song! (Crispy?)

    Once UbiDubiKid#2 is a little older, I’ll have to get her to post something also. Right now I’m not sure whether she has entirely made up her mind about the Tooth Fairy.

    Joe, I agree that pushing small children to become either evangelists or anti-religion protesters is not a good idea. We’ve tried to expose our children to many different ideas, including those we don’t agree with. What they finally decide to believe in is up to them. And, as you can see, UbiDubiKid#1 is quite outspoken on her own behalf.

  • 58. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Would you not be offended if the company you worked at used as its motto “We Are Pedophiles”, when that doesn’t represent your views in any way, shape or form?

    Well, as is usually the case you are not reading the examples. pedophiles happen to be an very small minority of the country, so of course I would not “we are Pedophiles” plastered on our money. But a HUGE majority of the country believes in God and has for a very long time. References to God are everywhere on monuments, in courts, in state constitutions—every one of them has a preamble that mentions God in one form or another. For all of that to be removed due to the complaints of a very small minority of people would not make sense. It is better that the small minority of people just “change the channel” or look at the other side of the dollar bill if they don’t like the logo.

    Looking at a bill that says “In God We Trust” can’t be that big of a thing to deal with—–it’s not like they’re making every atheist eat a plate of jalapenos or something. :>)

  • 59. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Joe, I agree that pushing small children to become either evangelists or anti-religion protesters is not a good idea. We’ve tried to expose our children to many different ideas, including those we don’t agree with. What they finally decide to believe in is up to them. And, as you can see, UbiDubiKid#1 is quite outspoken on her own behalf.

    That’s great and a very good answer. I’m glad to hear that—really.

    Theme song? how about:

    Ubi Dubi Du where are you? Or is that already taken? :>)

  • 60. Ubi Dubium  |  July 22, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Well, Joe, we’re not that small a minority any more. And according to recent polls, our numbers are growing. (Religious Landscape Survey shows 16.1% religiously unaffiliated.) And I think the people who believe in a Goddess, and also the Polytheists, might also appreciate it’s removal. (My spouse says he knows Jews who don’t care for it either.)

    I was thinking our theme song might be something Sinatra-ish. Maybe along the lines of “Shubi Dubi Du….” I like your suggestion, but I bet I’d wind up having to be Velma. And we don’t have a dog, just birds.

  • 61. Obi  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Joe —

    This country wasn’t founded to protect the rights of the “majority”, it was founded to protect the rights of everyone — there’s a difference. For example, Caucasians ( “white people” ) are the majority in the United States. I’m a Nigerian, meaning that I’m brown-skinned. If the currency of the United States had the motto “We believe blacks are inferior” or “Only whites are to be trusted”, and the majority approved, does that mean that this is right? It obviously misrepresents the views of the minority, but it is also approved by the majority. According to you, this is perfectly alright. Those silly minorities during the sixties should have simply sucked it up and continued to be mistreated by the majority in the country. Is that really so, Joe?

    By law, the government has no right to endorse or promote any personal belief (system) more than another. Every one of those mentions of God should be taken out, to be honest.

  • 62. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    According to you, this is perfectly alright. Those silly minorities during the sixties should have simply sucked it up and continued to be mistreated by the majority in the country. Is that really so, Joe?

    Obi—

    I’ve got you figured to a tee. I knew you were coming back with a comment based on race—I could see it coming. No—
    I am not saying that at all. But let me ask you since you brought it up Obi—-do you, or anyone else have the guts to remove “In God We Trust” , or references to God, from the rights of so many black people, and other minorities who suffered so much in this country? The slaves, famous for “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and so many other hymns, suffered, believing in the very God whose reference you want to remove from coins and money, or from courts or other structures. Do the majority of blacks want “In God We Trust” removed from coins? Do the majority of Hispanics? Absolutely not!

    The “minority” you mention is made up of a HUGE majority (one of the biggest majorities of believers there are) of believers in this country. Are you going to tell black people that you are removing reference to the very God they believed in through all those years of suffering? Are you going to be the one demanding that Obi? Is anyone else? The belief in God is what sustained them—-kept their very hope alive—it is reflected in all of the famous hymns, and even in the music today that came from that old Gospel singing.

    Obi—if you are going to talk about minorities—-go and ask them first if they want reference to God removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, or from money, or from anything else.

    Where do you seriously get off asking such a question of me Obi? We’re not talking about races—we’re talking about belief in God—-and the MAJORITY of EVERY RACE believes in God. And for one small group of atheists to demand that the majority of people relinquish their desires so the atheists will not be “offended” is actually quite selfish indeed. “I don’t like a cross on the hill–so I am asking that the whole town relinquish the cross so that I will not be offended”. That mentality is very selfish, and without logic also.

  • 63. Joe  |  July 22, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    silly minorities during the sixties should have simply sucked it up and continued to be mistreated by the majority in the country. Is that really so, Joe?

    Obi—

    I really wish you would like at a statement like this you made above. You are implying that I see other races as “silly minorities” by ending the sentence with “”is that really so, Joe?”

    It causes me or others to go on the offensive because you are being very insulting. And it is all because of something you “disagree” with. I don’t understand why you cannot have a civil conversation? I apologized today for some of the stuff I said—-but often it is because you make statements like the above, and who isn’t going to get offended when you are indirectly inferring that I don’t give a damn about minorities, and think they’re “silly”. It’s unfair and I seriously wish you would stop it.

  • 64. Mike aka MonolithTMA  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    The funny thing is that “In God We Trust” bothered me a lot more when I was a Christian. The politicization of Jesus made me want to puke. Jesus said “Render unto Caesar…” and then we spit in his face and put his father’s name on the money!?!?

    Of course..I don’t even think about it much now except that it does bother me that something from our government references religion.

  • 65. Obi  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Joe —

    Please. Toss aside the histrionics and focus on the comparison. The fact of the matter is that you defended the “In God We Trust” motto by stating that the majority approved it, and that the minority should shut up and deal with it. I countered by stating that that is the exact ideal that many of those who supported segregation and slavery used to keep down blacks — by stating that we the whites are the majority, and that the “coloreds” should deal with it. This country is supposed to provide equality for all, and not simply favor the majority when it comes to rights such as these. Nowhere did I state that anyone should “relinquish their desires” as you so stupidly put it, I stated that all mentions of any God should be removed from the public sector, to be left in the private sector where they belong, because that is the right that one receives as a citizen of this country.

    I won’t even begin on the subject of why the blacks had that religion, because you sincerely don’t want me to. Remember how I stated that I am a Nigerian? My family and the rest of the African continent as well as African-Americans in this country are Christian and worship that “God” because it was the one the Europeans forced upon us at sword/gunpoint. They justified slavery by stating that it was called for in the Bible, and stated that they were even doing us favours by converting us from our “heathen” religions. I suggets you read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart for a Nigerian perspective of these violent conquests and mass conversions. If you really want to delve into the dark past of this country and your religion, so be it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • 66. John Morales  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Joe:

    Obi—I’ve got you figured to a tee. I knew you were coming back with a comment based on race—I could see it coming.

    Great. Walter Mitty fantasies, as well as inanity.

  • 67. John Morales  |  July 22, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Hey Joe, why don’t you just wait until Obi is about to post, then post what he’d post so they come out at the same time. No problem doing so for someone you’ve figured out to a T, right?

  • 68. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:44 am

    it’s not like they’re making every atheist eat a plate of jalapenos or something.

    Mmmmm… Stop, you’re making me dribble… I love jalapenos so much…

  • 69. globaby  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Yes, we must keep believing, trusting for the faithfully day, the day of reckoning

    http://globaby.wordpress.com

  • 70. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Obi—

    I appreciate your sentiments. I do realize that slavery was a horrible thing. And it is
    true, the slave-traders did force people at gunpoint onto boats. But I must say Obi,
    the wonderful old “spirituals” that the slaves wrote and sang were not “forced out of
    them at gunpoint”. As I mentioned, their hope and faith in God was extremely strong,
    as is seen in their songs and their testimonies. There is a lasting legacy from that also,
    as many black churches still reflect that same hope and faith.

    My point Obi is that you can use minorities as an “example” of our topic—however, it really
    is not valid, as within this same “minority” is a HUGE “majority” of people who would staunchly disagree
    with you. The majority of blacks would not agree with removing “In God We Trust” from coins or
    paper money. In fact, within their own “minority” exists a much smaller”minority of black atheists”.

    The “majority” of black believers would not want to give in to demands of the “black atheists”, even if the “black atheists (like yourself Obi) used past “racism” as an example of why ALL people should be treated the same. Black believers would not want to remove “under God” from the pledge, or “In God We Trust” from coins, just because some of their own race are atheists. Neither would any other race. So the argument is really not a good one.

  • 71. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Joe:

    The “majority” of black believers would not want to give in to demands of the “black atheists”, even if the “black atheists (like yourself Obi) used past “racism” as an example of why ALL people should be treated the same. Black believers would not want to remove “under God” from the pledge, or “In God We Trust” from coins, just because some of their own race are atheists. Neither would any other race. So the argument is really not a good one.


    Whether or not black people want “In God We Trust” on our money is completely irrelevant to Obi’s argument. He’s using one minority as a stand-in for another.

    If you can understand why putting “America: We’re White” on money would be problematic, then you can understand why “In God We Trust” is problematic.

  • 72. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    Joe —

    Griffin is absolutely correct. You’re missing the point so completely that I’m absolutely sure you’re doing it on purpose. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, because I truly believe no one can be that dense.

    However, to make it abundantly clear to you, let me quote one of your previous statements, and then rephrase it so show you the comparison explicitly.

    Joe said, “The United States has a huge Majority that believe in God. Do a tiny minority of “atheists” have the right to ask that “In God we Trust” be taken off of money, or that the pledge not say “under God” so they will not be offended?

    A white supremacist during the 60’s said, “The United states has a huge majority that are white. Do a tiny minority of “coloreds” have the right to ask that segregation be abolished, or that schools be integrated and explicit racism be ended so they will not be offended?

    That should be much better.

  • 73. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Obi—

    I am not missing the point at all. Please read this post entirely, and you will see the argument I am making. If you will read it through first I think you will see the difference between the two arguments, and how you are off-base. I actually can’t believe you are missing the point so completely here.

    Whether or not black people want “In God We Trust” on our money is completely irrelevant to Obi’s argument. He’s using one minority as a stand-in for another.
    If you can understand why putting “America: We’re White” on money would be problematic, then you can understand why “In God We Trust” is problematic.

    Griffin— Please try to read this all the way through if you can before posting a response. thanks.

    It is not irrelevant. Obi is using past minority treatment as an example and asking if those minorities

    should have “kow-towed” to the treatment they were receiving from whites. He is saying they had the

    same “rights” and needed to fight for them, etc. I agree 100% However, we are asking about a very small minority (comprised of all races) of atheists who are saying “everyone should be treated fairly”, and because they don’t like “under God” in the pledge, it should be removed because of their disapproval and offense.

    Using past treatment of “race” as a way to show that the country should be “all-inclusive” of any “kind” of minority is a bad argument though. The reason being, as I stated, that within these same “races” are a HUGE majority that would totally disagree with that argument. Atheists already HAVE all the rights that everyone else has in this country. They are JUST AS FREE as believers are. Their argument is that they are “offended” by something the Majority willingly accepts. Atheists are not like the blacks of the 50’s and 60’s—-they don’t have to go to separate restrooms, nor are they kept out of restaraunts, etc. because they don’t believe in God. Using past treatment of races is a very bad argument to use for such a comparison with how atheists are “treated” today.

    Atheists basically want the “majority” to remove everything they believe in from money, coins, buildings, etc., so they won’t be “offended”. It is not because they are being treated with discrimination—they are not being “discriminated” against—they just don’t like to see God mentioned in things, because they don’t believe in him. It is a totally different argument, and a totally different experience than the blacks lived through (and sometimes continue to live through) back then. Blacks were fighting a very real discrimination, atheists are fighting the mention of “God”—–HUGE diffference.

  • 74. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Joe —

    So the fact that atheists are seen as the least trusted group in the U.S. isn’t discrimination? The fact that a marine recently left the armed forces because he revealed to his peers in the marines that he was an atheist and he subsequently received death threats isn’t discrimination? The fact that one must profess a Christian faith to even have a slight chance of being elected to public office isn’t discrimination?

    Joe. Read my post, number 82, again. That should fully illuminate to you the parallels between your thought processes and those of white supremacists in the 60’s. The only difference is now that you’re a “theist”, or more specifically “Christian supremacist”. The only thing that changed is that it went from race to belief. This isn’t even considering the fact that the United States isn’t supposed to promote any type of religious belief in any way, shape or form in the public square; meaning that any references to god(s) should be removed from all public/government buildings.

  • 75. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Joe —

    Oh, and watch this video and see if the events don’t seem rather familiar.

  • 76. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Obi—

    You are giving an example of (1) marine of which I have no idea about not knowing the circumstances. Since the Majority of people believe in God, it’s only natural that they would vote for another believer. That’s not discrimmination Obi—that’s just human nature. I am not a “Christian Supremacist” (there you go with the insults again–oh well)—as I mentioned the Majority of the country would express the same sentiment I do about removing “under God” from the pledge, or “In God We Trust” from coins. That’s because the Majority of the country are believers. But for you to attempt to say that Atheists in any way suffer discrimmination at the same level races did in the past is completely ludicrous.

    I get the analogy you are using about blacks in the past being a minority, and “trying” to
    say it is the same type of “unfairness” atheists are suffering today, and how the United States
    should be “all-inclusive” of any group, no matter how small. Believe me, I get it. I understand
    what you are trying to say, but I still think it is a bad argument.

    But again, atheists are in no way suffering anywhere near the same discrimmination those groups
    in the past were going through. To try to make that comparison is futile. Obi–you are freely making
    your argument on-line, with no repercussions—the same here. We BOTH have the same rights. The Majority mentions “God” in the pledge. Is that affecting your rights? Are you not as free as believers are? Yes–you are indeed. You just don’t like the mention of God, and want it removed, no matter whether it will affect the majority or not. It is not a matter of “discrimmination”—-it is a matter of
    religious belief—and you are FREE to believe and publish and proclaim atheism all you want to. But
    you are asking millions of people to “kow-tow” to you now–not because of discrimmination—but because you take “offense” at the mention of God. I may take “offense” at some of the stuff Howard Stern says—-but I can just change the channel—I don’t need to ask that he be removed from the air because “I” am offended.

  • 77. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Joe:

    You’re still missing the point.

    “Atheists basically want the “majority” to remove everything they believe in from money, coins, buildings, etc., so they won’t be “offended”. It is not because they are being treated with discrimination—they are not being “discriminated” against—they just don’t like to see God mentioned in things, because they don’t believe in him. It is a totally different argument, and a totally different experience than the blacks lived through (and sometimes continue to live through) back then. Blacks were fighting a very real discrimination, atheists are fighting the mention of “God”—–HUGE diffference.”

    First, we’re not asking the majority to remove “everything the believe in.” That claim comes dangerously close to ‘straw-man’ levels.

    Second, I’m not angry that I “see God mentioned in things.” I’m angry that the government is spending my tax dollars to mint coins and print bills that actively seek to exclude me from America. I am just as American as every body else and my First Amendment rights state that The Government has no business making my religious decisions for me. When my tax dollars are spent to endorse a religion I do not adhere to, I am being punished for having the ‘wrong’ religion.

    While it may not have been first in the minds of Civil Rights leaders & marchers, do you think that they were happy that their tax dollars were paying the salaries of the police officers that beat them? Do you think that they didn’t mind that their tax dollars paid for the judges and courthouses that refused to protect their rights?

    Just because I have not faced the same level or type of discrimination that was (and is) faced by African Americans doesn’t mean that I’m not being discriminated against.

    Joe, I don’t know whether you live in the United States and if you do, which state you happen to live in. If you happened to live in a part of the country where the majority decided to put the phrase “Reason Above Belief, Science Above Religion” on all of their court houses and license plates, how would you react?

  • 78. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Joe, I don’t know whether you live in the United States and if you do, which state you happen to live in. If you happened to live in a part of the country where the majority decided to put the phrase “Reason Above Belief, Science Above Religion” on all of their court houses and license plates, how would you react?

    Griffin—

    If I’m at a Raiders game in Oakland, and the huge majority of fans have on “Raiders Jersey’s” and I am a Kansas City Chiefs fan, whom they happen to be playing that day, what do you think I would do?

    I would realize I am completey outnumbered, but still HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS EVERY OTHER FAN IN THE STADIUM HAS.
    I would wear my Chiefs Jersey, cheer the Chiefs on—-but I would also realize that asking the majority of fans to take off their Raiders Jerseys because they “offend me” would be both futile, and unreasonable.

    So to answer your question—-If I was in a very small minority of believers, my rights in every day life were unaffected, and they had “Reason Above Belief, Science Above Religion” on Billboards due to a HUGE Majority of people wanting that put there—I would live with it. I am not being discrimminated against—I am only being asked to look at something I don’t agree with. The Majority are paying THEIR taxes to do this, so my complaint about MY tax dollars would hold very little water now wouldn’t it?

  • 79. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Griffin —

    Just stop, mate. I think it would be evident to anyone reading this what the real deal here is. Arguing here is an exercise in utter futility, so I suggest we duck out of this one while we still have our sanity.

    Joe —

    In case you don’t want to scroll back up to #82, here’s the comparison I made. These are your exact words from post #60, so you can refer back to them if you like.

    Joe said, “The United States has a huge Majority that believe in God. Do a tiny minority of “atheists” have the right to ask that “In God we Trust” be taken off of money, or that the pledge not say “under God” so they will not be offended?

    A white supremacist during the 60’s said, “The United states has a huge majority that are white. Do a tiny minority of “coloreds” have the right to ask that segregation be abolished, or that schools be integrated and explicit racism be ended so they will not be offended?

    See the parallels? Of course you do. Your mindset is exactly how racists in the past thought. You may not have the extremely malicious intent, but it’s right there for all to see. The Youtube video I posted was a report on how an atheist child was threatened and hated at her school because it was predominately Christian, and she wouldn’t participate in prayers before basketball games. As for the discrimination against the atheist soldier, click the following link: http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/08/atheist.soldier/index.html

    Discrimination is wrong, and this country was founded to provide equality for all, and not favor “the majority” in the dispensation of rights. Our government is a completely secular one by law, and therefore any promotion of mythical/religious beliefs is not allowed by law, which means that more atheists should fight for their constitutional rights to have these mentions removed from all government property, currency included.

    Good day, mate.

  • 80. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Obi—

    I know exactly what you are saying. I have explained the comparisons you are making—-and mate, they are not valid.
    Atheists in no way have the same discrimminatiion against them that the grioup you are trying to use in your “example” has suffered. I really and truly do not understand how you can read through my detailed posts explaining that I SEE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING—-but it is off-base.

    I think maybe the wise thing for you to do is to “duck out” because, once again you are not opening up your eyes. Obi—once again—I SEE

    You keep repeating yourself as though you have not read a thing I have put in the posts, still thinking you are making a valid point, but you are not. As always, Obi, you will not allow yourself, even for a minute, to consider things in any different way than you are thinking.

    Obi—I SEE THE PARALLELS but they are not valid—because atheists cannot be compared to those people at all. you are giving (1) time examples of “discrimmination against atheists” abnd trying to compare them to the “actual discrimminatiion against thousands and thousands of people.

    Again—-I SEE what you are saying, and I UNDERSTAND what you are saying —but the comparison is not a good one–it really isn’t. If you want to “duck out” with Griffin that’s fine with me—-the analogy I gave of the Raiders game above—–which is actually quite simple—-shows exactly what I am trying to say. I also explained to Griffin with his question exactly what I would do if they posted the things he asked me about if I was in a minority of believers. I really am beginning to believe you read one paragraph from a response and then respond to it without even reading the full post someone has made.

    No need to post your two “quotes” once again—-I get it—I get it—-but it is not valid.

  • 81. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Again—-I SEE what you are saying, and I UNDERSTAND what you are saying —but the comparison is not a good one–it really isn’t. If you want to “duck out” with Griffin that’s fine with me—-the analogy I gave of the Raiders game above—–which is actually quite simple—-shows exactly what I am trying to say. I also explained to Griffin with his question exactly what I would do if they posted the things he asked me about if I was in a minority of believers. I really am beginning to believe you read one paragraph from a response and then respond to it without even reading the full post someone has made.

    No need to post your two “quotes” once again—-I get it—I get it—-but it is not valid.

  • 82. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Your Raiders analogy is incomplete, Joe. Let me fill it out for you.

    Not only are you in a stadium full of Raiders fans, but it turns out that all clothing in the nation has Raiders logos emblazened on them. Clothing from other nations are not considered legal for use in the U.S. So no matter if you are a Raiders fan or not, you have to wear clothing that claims you are a Raiders fan.

  • 83. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Joe said, “The United States has a huge Majority that believe in God. Do a tiny minority of “atheists” have the right to ask that “In God we Trust” be taken off of money, or that the pledge not say “under God” so they will not be offended?”

    A white supremacist during the 60’s said, “The United states has a huge majority that are white. Do a tiny minority of “coloreds” have the right to ask that segregation be abolished, or that schools be integrated and explicit racism be ended so they will not be offended?”

    Obi—

    These are two completely different things. You don’t seem to understand my point here. A white supremacist is making a statement about a group of people who are complaining for extremely valid reasons. They can’t use the same restrooms, go to the same beaches, eat in the same restaraunts as white people do. For him to ask “do a tiny minority of coloreds have the right to ask that schools be integrated..etc”

    The answer is “Yes” because THEY ARE being discrimminated against and have every right in the world as CITIZENS OF THE U.S. to ask for EQUALITY OF LIFE.

    But atheists CANNOT be compared to this statement at all!! They DO HAVE the same rights as believers do! The two quotes you are using are not REALISTIC Obi—they really are not. Atheists have every right I do right now—they are not being “discrimminated” against. You can bring up instances—but it is not a “generalized” discrimmination anywhere near the likes of the race discrimmination years ago.

    Obi—for the last time—–we are talking two different things here—-though you keep TRYING to use the same two quotes as though they are somehow similar—-they are similar in appearance——but in morality and today’s reality they are not similar at all.

  • 84. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Not only are you in a stadium full of Raiders fans, but it turns out that all clothing in the nation has Raiders logos emblazened on them. Clothing from other nations are not considered legal for use in the U.S. So no matter if you are a Raiders fan or not, you have to wear clothing that claims you are a Raiders fan

    Why can’t an analogy just be an analogy here? Man, yesterday I used “salt” in an “analogy” as someone comes back saying I should have used “cilantro”. Why doesn’t anyone just listen to a valid argument—-you don’t have to agree with it—-but come on—you understand the analogy I was making. No one is making anyone wear “Raiders” clothing Snuggly—-no one is “making you” believe in God or go to church.

  • 85. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Not only are you in a stadium full of Raiders fans, but it turns out that all clothing in the nation has Raiders logos emblazened on them.

    This is untrue though Snuggly. You are able, at this moment to post right here on this board “There is no God”. You could go outside and scream it. I’m not sure of the reception you would get for that—-it’s not discrimmination—it’s human nature–MOST people believe in God. Some would laugh, others might yell back—but the fact is—you could do it. You’re not going to go to jail for it.

    So, in other words, you don’t “have to” wear a Raiders Jersey (as in my analogy above)—-you can wear any type of jersey you want to. The Majority WILL be wearing Raiders jerseys, true. But you have the same rights they have—all you have to do is ignore the jersey, or realize they are not that big of a deal, and cheer on your own team. That’s my point.

  • 86. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Joe:

    “I SEE THE PARALLELS but they are not valid—because atheists cannot be compared to those people at all. you are giving (1) time examples of “discrimmination against atheists” abnd trying to compare them to the “actual discrimminatiion against thousands and thousands of people.”

    We are, apparently, working with different definitions of ‘discrimination.’ So that we can try to have a constructive discussion, please let me know what you think discrimination is.

    Now, to your Raiders analogy. First, you go to the Raiders game by choice. You wear the Chiefs jersey by choice. I am a native born American with all the rights that go along with that. I have NO CHOICE but to use the money that my government prints. That money is printed/coined with my tax dollars as official legal tender of my elected government. That government legally has no business to dictate my religious choices – yet “In God We Trust” is right there on the bill.

    And by the way, if you want to talk about discrimination, check this out:

    Tennessee’s constitution says:

    ARTICLE I
    Declaration of Rights
    Section 4. That no political or religious test, other than an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of this state, shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state.

    But it continues…

    ARTICLE IX
    Disqualifications
    Section 2: No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

    Other states with laws – LAWS – baring people like me from holding office include:

    Texas
    Tennessee
    South Carolina
    North Carolina
    Arkansas
    Maryland
    Pennslyvania

    But no, don’t worry, we’re not ACTUALLY discriminated against…

  • 87. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Joe, you state:

    “But atheists CANNOT be compared to this statement at all!! They DO HAVE the same rights as believers do!”


    Really? I beg to differ.

    Arkansas Constitution:
    Article 19, § 1

    No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court.

    * * * * *

    South Corolina Constitution:
    Article VI, § 2

    No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.

    * * * * *

    North Carolina Constitution:
    Article 6 Section 8

    “The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God….”

    * * * * *

    Texas Constitution:
    Article 1 – Bill of Rights: Section 4

    “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

    Care to try another argument?

    And if I don’t have to wear the Raiders jersey, go try to pay for something at 7-11 in Euros.

  • 88. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Why can’t an analogy just be an analogy here?

    Because your analogies suck, Joe. They are almost invariably inaccurate to life.

    We don’t have a choice of what money we use. We have to use money emblazoned with a theist motto. Everyone, whether or not they are a Raiders fan (i.e. a theist) has to use clothing (i.e. money) emblazoned with Raiders logos (i.e. “In God We Trust”).

  • 89. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Snuggly—

    At least you live in a country where you can openly (like on this blog) complain about what’s on the money, and openly state you are an atheist. You’d most likely be put to death in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. That’s at least one plus isn’t it? Wear the Raiders Jersey and root for the Chiefs.

  • 90. KC  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Snuggly Buffalo:

    Showing up at 7-11 with Euros. Hilarious.

    But wait, since European currency hasn’t been vehemently discriminated against, your argument is lacking. I can’t even understand your analogy. Haha.

  • 91. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Yes, we’re not being killed so we should just consent to our marginalization.

  • 92. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Joe,

    When you make an analogy, and it’s not a good comparison, we are going to point it out. You compare our country to a football stadium. (Which is not a good analogy, since football games are optional activites that you only spend a short amount of time at. Nobody makes you go. I live in my country full time.)
    You compare it to being offered a salt packet as a dinner guest. (I’m not a guest in my country, nor are the things we find objectionable being offered as options on the side). Make a good analogy and we won’t rip it up.

    Taking a situation as is exists now, and reversing it, is a better analogy. If you were expected to show your patriotism by reciting a pledge that included belief in Zeus, you would be upset, and rightly so. You probably woudn’t like singing “Thor Bless America” at patriotic events. And I think you’d balk at being asked to swear an oath on a copy of “The God Delusion”. You would expect to be able to participate as a citizen of this country without the beliefs of others being stuffed down your throat. All we are asking is that same right.

    I’m with Obi on this one. There is discrimination against atheists in this country. It may not be on the scale of the discrimination against blacks in the early 20th century, but it’s still there. If I, or my spouse, ran for office, and were the best qualfied candidate, our chances of winning would be almost zero. Because we are atheists. Out of all 535 members of Congress, exactly one is openly non-religious. In a country where 16% of the population is non-religious, there is only one non-religious legislator. The current government is using “faith-based initiatives” as an excuse to funnel public money to church activites. In such an atmosphere, we have to be vocal about maintaining the wall of separation between chuch and state, because no-one in the Federal Government is going to do it for us.

    I know you don’t see it, but your rationalization that the majority doesn’t object does sound like the excuses that have been used over the years to excuse other prejudices. The “majority” favored slavery, Jim Crow laws, and “separate but equal” education standards, but that didn’t make them just. There’s a reason we have a Bill of Rights in this country.

    Why do you need religious mottoes on money, or in the pledge of allegiance anyway? Aren’t the fervent prayers coming from the homes and churches enough for your god? Is he going to be mad if you take “under god” out of the pledge? Is everybody in America suddenly going to stop believing if you take “in god we trust” off the currency? You don’t actually think that these things have ever converted anybody, do you? Having this stuff in there makes us non-believers feel excluded in our own country, and there is no harm done by removing it. So why such a strenuous defense?

  • 93. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Joe:

    “At least you live in a country where you can openly (like on this blog) complain about what’s on the money, and openly state you are an atheist. You’d most likely be put to death in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. That’s at least one plus isn’t it? Wear the Raiders Jersey and root for the Chiefs.”

    You realize that this isn’t actually an argument. At best, you’re simply expressing your jealousy that the Saudis get to ‘properly deal with’ the minorities that make too much noise.

    Clearly, the fact that the benevolent Christian Majority has allowed me to live means that I should be grateful for my mere existence and should gladly endure any other discrimination they may dole out.

  • 94. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    You’d most likely be put to death in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. That’s at least one plus isn’t it?

    Being a more tolerant society than Saudi Arabia isn’t very hard, is it? In England, I understand that it’s really taboo for a politician to talk about their religious preferences while in office. There’s a goal to shoot for!

  • 95. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    KC:

    “Showing up at 7-11 with Euros. Hilarious.

    But wait, since European currency hasn’t been vehemently discriminated against, your argument is lacking. I can’t even understand your analogy. Haha.”


    Way to parachute into a thread and make an idiot of yourself.

    Go back, re-read the posts from the beginning and – actually, never mind. I’ll just explain. It’ll be easier.

    Joe compared Theists to people wearing Raiders gear. He maintained that atheists still had the ‘choice’ to wear Chiefs gear if they wanted to.

    Clearly, no such choice exists when it comes to money in the United States. If I want to pay for a candy bar, it’ll be in currency that says “In God We Trust.”

    Now, I could try to use Euros – the non-theist “Chiefs gear” of Joe’s analogy but – SURPRISE – it wouldn’t actually work. Euros aren’t accepted here.

    This shoots down Joe’s analogy.

    But you would have understood my analogy if you had bothered to read the thread…

  • 96. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Griffin—

    You are pulling up state articles and sections, etc.–I have never heard of any of these being enforced. I could be wrong. If they do enforce them, then being “elected” could be affected if you wanted to openly declare “I am an atheist running for Governor”.

    What I was referring to though was your daily rights—–you can go anywhere, do anything, post on this blog, scream in the streets, etc. You are complaining about a motto on a piece of money for Pete’s sake, not being incarcerated for saying you are an atheist. I have yet to hear an atheist running for office challenge these articles—have they? If they have I haven’t heard it yet—getting those types of requirements should be far easier than getting the motto off of money. Start there first—-I don’t think believing in God should be a “requirement” for running or being in office—-maybe many more would agree. I would oppose taking “In God we trust” off of money. Start with getting the state articles changed first.

  • 97. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    You realize that this isn’t actually an argument. At best, you’re simply expressing your jealousy that the Saudis get to ‘properly deal with’ the minorities that make too much noise.

    Griffin—

    That is a ridiculous statement. Are you related to Obi? “Expressing my jealousy that I can’t properly deal with atheists?” Come on! In fact, maybe Griffin IS Obi—that sounds too much like him. I don’t wish ill on atheists in any way. I told you they have the same rights. I’m just saying that while you are complaining remember that you are in a country that is so free you can basically say anything you like—-you have all the same rights believers have—I am posting, you are posting. Greatest country in the world. I just mean, in the midst of complaint, be grateful for where you are. I am—and I don’t mean just for “belief”—I can literally spout off about anything I want to–politics, religion, government—-and so can you. Be thankful you live here is all I was saying.

  • 98. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    When you make an analogy, and it’s not a good comparison, we are going to point it out. You compare our country to a football stadium. (Which is not a good analogy, since football games are optional activites that you only spend a short amount of time at. Nobody makes you go. I live in my country full time.)

    Ubi—

    I’ve come to realize that ANY analogy made here by a Christian is considered stupid and unintelligent. Unless the analogy leads to an end that stands in the way people reason on this board it is ridiculed, and mocked. I have seen it enough times—-not just with me, but several others. Many times I come into the blog in the morning and see another Christian being mocked, and his ideas being completely misunderstood, and taken completely out of the context he intended.

    Here on the board the habit is not to look at the “analogy” but to pick something “out of” the analogy and tear it to pieces. I have had plenty of political arguments, and other discussions where the analogies were just as simple, and easy to understand——but you are willingly ignorant here–meaning that if the “thought” at hand does not match your conception of it, it is immediately ridiculed. Several people do that here—-and it is being done again right now. It truly is impossible to have any kind of reasonable and sane discussion here as you are so set in your “way of thinking”. You are literally Pharisees, but the non-believing kind.

  • 99. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Clearly, no such choice exists when it comes to money in the United States. If I want to pay for a candy bar, it’ll be in currency that says “In God We Trust.”

    Here is an example of what I am saying. Griffin has shot down the whole analogy because it doesn’t represent “money”—when the analogy has to do with the rights of atheists vs. believers. We are all in the same stadium (the stadium representing the U.S.) where the majority wear Raiders jerseys (they are believers). Yet a “chiefs” fan (an atheist) comes in wearing his/her jersey (their set of beliefs). They can continue to cheer on their team (their set of beliefs) all they want to. They can choose to complain about all of the raiders jerseys around them, or just live with it, continuing to cheer on the chiefs. You have ALL the rights the raiders fans have, you just want to wear a different jersey. Don’t expect or ask that the raiders fans take off their jerseys for you—–keep cheering for the chiefs since you have that right.

  • 100. Griffin  |  July 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Joe:

    “What I was referring to though was your daily rights—–you can go anywhere, do anything, post on this blog, scream in the streets, etc. You are complaining about a motto on a piece of money for Pete’s sake, not being incarcerated for saying you are an atheist. I have yet to hear an atheist running for office challenge these articles—have they? If they have I haven’t heard it yet—getting those types of requirements should be far easier than getting the motto off of money. Start there first—-I don’t think believing in God should be a “requirement” for running or being in office—-maybe many more would agree. I would oppose taking “In God we trust” off of money. Start with getting the state articles changed first.”

    First, it’s not just “a piece of money.” It’s an official document from my elected government. It’s a ‘reserve note’ that derives its worth from my nation’s credit. It also has a statement on it that discriminates against me.

    Second, it doesn’t matter if a law is enforced or not. It’s still THE LAW and it still bars me from a right extended to theists. If that’s not discrimination, I don’t know what is. Just because I’m not being beaten in the street doesn’t mean that I don’t have every right to stand up against discrimination.

    You still haven’t given me your definition of ‘discrimination.’

    “I don’t wish ill on atheists in any way. I told you they have the same rights. I’m just saying that while you are complaining remember that you are in a country that is so free you can basically say anything you like—-you have all the same rights believers have—I am posting, you are posting. Greatest country in the world. I just mean, in the midst of complaint, be grateful for where you are. I am—and I don’t mean just for “belief”—I can literally spout off about anything I want to–politics, religion, government—-and so can you. Be thankful you live here is all I was saying.”

    You told me I have the same rights – I don’t – and you say that I should just be happy that I already live in the amazing-super-best nation to ever exist and not bother to try to make sure that I have all the same super-great-wonderful rights that most of the other people living in America have.

    Maybe you’re right. I shouldn’t try to make sure that my country makes good on the promises it makes. I should just be happy with ‘half-way-there.”

    And I promise you, I’m not Obi. But then again, I’m an atheist so I MUST be lying…

  • 101. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    This shoots down Joe’s analogy.

    The use of Euros shoots down my whole analogy. Well done. Just ignore the true analogy and think about Euros. Good job.

  • 102. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    I retract my previous statement about Joe not having malicious intent. After he has been presented with laws regarding the banning of atheists from holding office in multiple states, obvious comparisons between his mentality and those of white supremacists, and numerous examples of discrimination against atheists still going on today, he still has the gall to say “Well, at least you aren’t dead!” or “Well, at least you can get off with saying proclaiming your atheist belief without being censored!”.

    Joe, that isn’t the point of wanting equality. We won’t settle and “be fine with what we have” when what we have is less than what others have, and when that is clearly immoral, and illegal according to the documents layed down by the founders of this “great country”. From the discussions here, I think I can safely assume that Joe would be fine if “Whites are the superior race” was printed on every coin, as long as the majority approved it. I mean, it isn’t hurting anyone, right? It’s not like it makes minorities feel marginalized in their own country, and if it does, they need to get over it and be thankful that we haven’t killed them for being what they are or believing what they do. Right?

    I won’t even comment on your “Griffin is Obi” statement, because I sincerely hope you were joking when you made it. Everyone here just wants you to acknowledge that you were clearly wrong in what you’ve said Joe, because doing so will help you to grow as a person. And trust me, judging by the things you’ve said here, you could use a little growing.

  • 103. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Or maybe, Joe, people keep using flawed analogies, so we rip them apart? The analogies you make never line up with the situation you are comparing them to.

  • 104. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    We are all in the same stadium (the stadium representing the U.S.) where the majority wear Raiders jerseys (they are believers). Yet a “chiefs” fan (an atheist) comes in wearing his/her jersey (their set of beliefs). They can continue to cheer on their team (their set of beliefs) all they want to. They can choose to complain about all of the raiders jerseys around them, or just live with it, continuing to cheer on the chiefs. You have ALL the rights the raiders fans have, you just want to wear a different jersey. Don’t expect or ask that the raiders fans take off their jerseys for you—–keep cheering for the chiefs since you have that right.

    This is exactly what I’m talking about, Joe. Your analogy doesn’t have an analog for money, the very issue we are talking about. Imagine that all money in the world has “We Love the Raiders” printed on it. I think those Kansas City Chiefs fans have a right to complain about it.

  • 105. Bobbi Jo  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    “I have NO CHOICE but to use the money that my government prints. That money is printed/coined with my tax dollars as official legal tender of my elected government”

    Griffin, actually you do have a choice. just use your debit card or write a check. You don’t actually have to use any cash in this country anymore. :)

  • 106. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    From the discussions here, I think I can safely assume that Joe would be fine if “Whites are the superior race” was printed on every coin, as long as the majority approved it.

    Obi—

    You are really something else. So, after all of the discussions, analogies (even if you thought they were incomplete or lacking) and numerous posts you come to the conclusion I would be fine with “whites are the superior race” printed on every coin huh? That’s what you arrive at after I bitterly told you NOT TO USE the blacks suffering of the past as a comparison with atheist discrimmination today?

    That is absolutely incredible—really. You say some of the most incredibly assinine things I have ever heard. So you want to call me a “racist” after all of this discussion huh? You know what Obi—I will NEVER address you on this board again. That is a complete and unnecessary insult. If any of your “friends” on the board here think it is just fine to label someone a “racist” or even make an inference to that effect then you are just as blind as Obi is. And please do not try to make excuses for him, or try to say he is “joking around”—-I have seen his posts all day and he is not “joking around”. Read the post at the top again—I have made no denigrating statements about anyone’s race on this board—but Obi is saying I would be fine with a racial expression being put on coins. Obi—take a long walk off a short pier.

  • 107. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Griffin, actually you do have a choice. just use your debit card or write a check. You don’t actually have to use any cash in this country anymore

    Now there’s a better argument! I actually am using less and less cash, in favor of electronic alternatives. If cash becomes outmoded, then it really will become irrelevant what it says. Now if I can just get a credit card with the FSM on it…. :)

  • 108. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Ubi —

    Don’t they have Capital One credit cards that you can put custom images on? That sounds like a great alternative…!

  • 109. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Joe –

    I don’t think Obi has called you racist. I think he has said that the logic you are using sounds like the logic that was used to justify racism. You are using the same type of arguments. (Majority wants it, be happy with what you have, other countries are worse, etc.)

  • 110. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    That’s what you arrive at after I bitterly told you NOT TO USE the blacks suffering of the past as a comparison with atheist discrimmination today?

    Discrimination is discrimination. I agree that atheists in the U.S. today do not suffer nearly the same degree of discrimination as other groups in the past, or even as much as other groups today may face.

    None of that justifies discrimination against atheists, though.

  • 111. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t think Obi has called you racist. I think he has said that the logic you are using sounds like the logic that was used to justify racism. You are using the same type of arguments. (Majority wants it, be happy with what you have, other countries are worse, etc.)

    From the discussions here, I think I can safely assume that Joe would be fine if “Whites are the superior race” was printed on every coin, as long as the majority approved it.

    Ubi—

    I’ll run this by Al Sharpton and see what he thinks. If the shoe were on the other foot and I made a statement like this to Obi you’d all be screaming your heads off—and you know it too.
    I can just imagine it. :>)

  • 112. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Obi

    Don’t they have Capital One credit cards that you can put custom images on? That sounds like a great alternative…!

    Oh, yes – I might have to try that. And there are websites where you can print your own custom stamps. Now what we need is a website for the Bureau of Pinting and Engraving where you can select the picture and motto on your currency! That would sure be fun!

  • 113. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    And people wonder about my troll-bashing techniques.

  • 114. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I agree that atheists in the U.S. today do not suffer nearly the same degree of discrimination as other groups in the past, or even as much as other groups today may face.

    Snuggly—-

    You know what? Look at your statement above. This was all I wanted Obi to admit. Really. Don’t try to “compare” them. I wasn’t saying there is “no” discrimmination of atheists. I said “don’t try to compare that past discrimmination with discrimminatiion against atheists”—that was my WHOLE point.

    There is so much unneeded argument here. Obi argued with me all day long, and in one paragraph you admit what I wanted him to admit in the first place.

    None of that justifies discrimination against atheists, though

    That’s a fair statement. Many would not consider “under God” in the pledge, or “In God We Trust” on a coin as “discrimmination” though. YOU would define it that way—I’m not sure the Supreme Court would though.

    But thank you so much for at least admitting that discrimmination against atheists and discrimmination against the races are two different things, and cannot be compared on the same ground—though admitting that discrimmination against atheists can occur.

  • 115. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Obi —

    I actually have a few designs lined up from an art project in my freshman year, haha.

  • 116. Obi  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Hah, I meant Ubi. Talking to myself…

  • 117. Ubi Dubium  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Joe –

    If you are OK with the logic of “Any motto the majority wants is fine by me” then Obi’s example just follows your logic. By your arguments, it should be OK to put something clearly objectionable on the money, as long as the majority favors it. That’s the point here. The example could just as well be putting “Raiders fans are losers” or “god hates everybody except us” on money. The point here is that you are using similar arguments to those that were used to justify other kinds of discrimination.

  • 118. Derek  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Now what we need is a website for the Bureau of Pinting and Engraving where you can select the picture and motto on your currency! That would sure be fun!

    Too bad I rarely carry cash…

    I blogged a while back about the hysteria surrounding the mint accidentally leaving the motto off the presidential 1-dollar coins. I really couldn’t care one way or another on this particular issue but I understand the frustration coming from the nonbelieving crowd…

  • 119. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Essentially, Obi’s arguments boil down to: blacks were discriminated against in the past using similar justifications as what is used to discriminate against atheists today. The level of discrimination is worlds apart, but the justification is the same, and is equally unjust in both cases.

  • 120. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    If you are OK with the logic of “Any motto the majority wants is fine by me” then Obi’s example just follows your logic. By your arguments, it should be OK to put something clearly objectionable on the money, as long as the majority favors it. That’s the point here. The example could just as well be putting “Raiders fans are losers” or “god hates everybody except us” on money. The point here is that you are using similar arguments to those that were used to justify other kinds of discrimination.

    Snuggly seems to be the only one who saw where my argument was. Everyone is turning this into what is on “money”. The argument I was making all day long was you cannot compare the discrimmination against race in the past on equal terms with discrimmination against atheism. That was the main thrust of my argument. Atheists do not have to use separate restrooms, avoid restaurants etc.—Obi kept using a statement by a white supremacist as an example why atheists should have the right to complain about discrimmination also. I said the two forms of “discrimmination are totally different. Money was a very small part of that argument—now everyone is trying to make the whole argument about what is on money—-it wasn’t. Check the posts—“money” may be mentioned—-but the MAIN part of the argument was about discrimmination, not money.

  • 121. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    There is so much unneeded argument here. Obi argued with me all day long[...]

    ahem.

  • 122. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Essentially, Obi’s arguments boil down to: blacks were discriminated against in the past using similar justifications as what is used to discriminate against atheists today. The level of discrimination is worlds apart, but the justification is the same, and is equally unjust in both cases.

    Snuggly—

    That’s a very good way of putting it. As long as you keep the “The level of discrimmination is worlds apart” we would be in keeping with the argument I was making. The “justification is the same” is OK—-but “equally unjust in both cases”? No—-it isn’t. Why? Because “The level of discrimmination is world’s apart” when comparing the two just as you stated. You cannot say it is “equally unjust”—because the blacks of the 50’s and 60’s were asking for rights that YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW (caps to emphasize–sorry). Discrimmination against atheists may be unjust (especially in your opinion of course)—but it is no where near “equally unjust”.

  • 123. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    There is so much unneeded argument here. Obi argued with me all day long[...]

    ahem.

    John—–

    He did. He argued about one point I was trying to make all day long. I outlined it above in my last post. It was a simple thing to admit—“blacks were not discrimminated against in the same way atheists are, and you should not try to compare the two”—that was my whole argument. He chose to argue with me on this point. That’s the truth.

    John–by the way, why do you always immediately side with the deconvert/atheist on everything? I never see you mocking or belittling atheists (unless I’m just missing it). I did see a post by an atheist though asking if you were OK due to your hostile nature lately. Not saying you’re being hostile here, but you seem to immediately become sarcastic with Christians, or take a mocking manner with them. Just curious—it is very noticeable, and I did want to ask. By the way, You have only been like that with me a few times—I usually notice it with any other christians attempting to make a point—they wind up being called “fools” or “idiots” usually.

  • 124. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Joe, did I say you’re an idiot?

    130. SnugglyBuffalo at 6:25 pm
    The level of discrimination is worlds apart, but the justification is the same, and is equally unjust in both cases.

    133. Joe at 6:39 pm
    Discrimmination against atheists may be unjust (especially in your opinion of course)—but it is no where near “equally unjust”

    He’s talking about the justification, not the degree of discrimination.

    I used to think you were intentionally disingenuous, but I’m coming to believe you’re merely challenged.

  • 125. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Joe, you still didn’t get it. It takes two to argue.

    And, no, I side with myself and I challenge or concur with opinions as written.

    When I fall prey to the genetic fallacy (as I probably did in another thread) I acknowledge it.

    Not that I’m so much writing to you, but to others who may grok what I’m saying.

  • 126. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    BTW Joe, you say I‘m belittling you, when an hour ago you posted it?

    No matter how slow you are, you must see the incredible hypocrisy you’re exhibiting.

  • 127. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    He’s talking about the justification, not the degree of discrimination

    John—

    You’re right. I stand corrected. Snuggly was referring to the justification for discrimmination was unjust, and equally unjust in both cases. I did get the scope of what he was saying wrong.

    But I’m still not sure whether I agree that the justification for discrimmination for both is equally unjust though either. One is dealing wtih skin color, the other with belief. Is having black skin justification for having to eat in another restaraunt? No–absolutely not. But I’m not even sure if I can see a “justification for discrimmination” against atheists. All I see is a motto on money, and having to say “under God” on a pledge. One other person showed how a few states say an elected official should believe in God—but I’m not sure they enforce it, as I have never heard anyone complaining about not getting elected due to being an atheist (unless you can provide a case that I could read from).

    So I am not really sure what the statement “The are equally unjust” really refers to. I am not being disingenuous, I am asking a real question.

  • 128. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    BTW Joe, you say I‘m belittling you, when an hour ago you posted #117?

    John—

    I didn’t say you were belittling me. I asked why you seem to attack Christians so quickly. My post #117 is serious—I will not be addressing Obi on the board again. This was after hours of argument John—I didn’t just “come into the blog” and start insulting people. You seem to come from nowhere and immediately start making remarks—before you have even had a chance to discuss anything. I think that’s why others have asked if everything is OK—because you seem to lay into people after reading one post—-hardly even understanding what the conversation is about sometimes, and already they are a “fool” or something. That’s what I meant. But post #117 was made after being called a racist, and I never intend to address that person on the blog again.

  • 129. Joe  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    No matter how slow you are, you must see the incredible hypocrisy you’re exhibiting.

    See—you didn’t even have a chance to read through all of the posts and you accuse me of being “slow” and displaying “incredible hypocrisy”—it would have helped if you had taken the time to read the long series of exchanges before making a statement like that.

  • 130. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you, Joe.
    I suggest you go back, read Obi’s post, and think about what he wrote. It might just be you made a similar error.

    So. You are asking an ontological question.

    The short answer is, the referent is the category denoted by “discrimination”.
    It may be the case* that that category includes sub-categories, one of which is religious intolerance, another other racial intolerance.

    As a simple analogy, consider apples and oranges.
    Both are fruit.

    Now, you’ve said you acknowledge discrimination exists, but you feel it’s not significant.

    That latter is what you have been challenged on (when you weren’t writing at cross-purposes) and it is that which you should sustain.

    * which is an epistemological question.

  • 131. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    Joe: I did.

  • 132. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    See, what you just did was an argument from personal incredulity. Informally invalid, and functionally so here.

  • 133. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    You seem to come from nowhere and immediately start making remarks—before you have even had a chance to discuss anything.

    You do know what a discussion is, right?

  • 134. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    John M.

    Hey hows it going. So are we up for the beer?

    John T.

  • 135. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    PS Joe: compare the responses to #139 and #141.

    You have the power to choose how it goes.

    Be honest, engage the topic and the argument and you will achieve that which you claim to desire.

  • 136. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    John T: depends.

    The thread has gone like this: the consensus is that, in the USA, atheists are discriminated against.

    For some strange reason, atheists feel that’s unjust.
    However, others on the board (ahem) dispute this and claim it’s just no biggie.

    Got anything of substance to add to this?

  • 137. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Ok

    Of course atheists are discriminated against. Youre the minority, and regardless of what your constitution says, you guys dont favour the little guy.

  • 138. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Of course atheists are discriminated against. Youre the minority

    That is a flawed argument.

    To sustain it, you need to justify how being a minority “of course” leads to being discriminated against.

    Counter-example: Are billionaires discriminated against?

  • 139. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    BBL

  • 140. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Ah right……..minorities lacking any actual power.

    I like Keiths Red Amber Ale by the way.

    And by the way Atheists technically stand for nothing……..

  • 141. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Back.

    Ah right……..minorities lacking any actual power.

    No John, it remains as flawed after your emendation.
    Counterexample: babies.

    And by the way Atheists technically stand for nothing……..

    And this is relevant how?

  • 142. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    re: #149:

    I didn’t just “come into the blog” and start insulting people.So what? Neither did I.Perhaps you don’t consider the below an “insult”–but most people do John.

    Actually, it’s a riposte.

  • 143. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    John m.

    I had to look that word up(emendation) lol and im still not sure what the f… you mean. Anyways I digress

    If you stand for nothing, I have nothing to connect to. So why care ?

  • 144. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Whatever have I said that you consider that “I stand for nothing”?

    #

    Re: What I mean.

    Did you look up how it’s flawed? I took the trouble to link.

    Oh yeah, you’ve just run away (again!) from directly confronting the challenge to your claim.

    Regarding the irony of it:

    If you stand for nothing, I have nothing to connect to. So why care ?

    No discrimination against atheists, no sir!

  • 145. SnugglyBuffalo  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    But I’m still not sure whether I agree that the justification for discrimmination for both is equally unjust though either. One is dealing wtih skin color, the other with belief. Is having black skin justification for having to eat in another restaraunt? No–absolutely not. But I’m not even sure if I can see a “justification for discrimmination” against atheists. All I see is a motto on money, and having to say “under God” on a pledge.

    You’re getting right back into the degree of discrimination again. Is non-belief in God justification for having to eat in another restaurant? Of course not. Luckily, the degree of discrimination atheists face is not that great. Non-belief in God is not justification for discrimination of any level, however.

    Non-belief in God is an equally unjust justification for discrimination as one’s skin color.

  • 146. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    John M.

    Sorry life with the kids eh lol. Anyways, what I meant is. How can I emotionally connect to someone who thinks that life has no actual originator. In other words an atheist connects only to their tangible experience of life. It seems that it leaves no room for an experience outside of what they can quanitfy. And in my mind, and I stress “my mind” lacking spirit.

  • 147. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    John T.,

    How can I emotionally connect to someone who thinks that life has no actual originator.

    Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question?

    In case it’s not: one answer is don’t bring up the topic of life’s actual originator and judge them by who they are.

  • 148. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Though for the life of me I can’t see why someone not having any reason to believe that life has no “actual originator” has any relevance to emotional connection between humans.

    <headshake>

  • 149. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    John M.

    Why not? This is the way my brain works. I know yours doesnt, but hey I still invite you out for a beer.

  • 150. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    John T, again you retreat into how your personal psychology justifies your viewpoints.

    We accept you have a warped view.

    Thing is, you make claims, you get challenged, and then just wave your hand airily and claim that’s just your opinion and imply “we’ll agree to disagree”.

    Well, yeah.

    But we disagree because your contentions are flawed. Fractally flawed in general.

  • 151. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    John M.

    But we disagree because your contentions are flawed. Fractally flawed in general.

    Thats why there called Opinions.

  • 152. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    You’re digressing even further. Remember your original point?

    Let me remind you:

    Got anything of substance to add to this?

    151. John T. | July 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm
    Ok

    Of course atheists are discriminated against. Youre the minority, and regardless of what your constitution says, you guys dont favour the little guy.

    So. I shot down your contention, you say yeah but that’s just me. So why even bother posting it?

    What substance did you produce? None that I can see.

  • 153. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    BTW Your contention is a grammatical abomination and I really had to be charitable to merely parse it.

  • 154. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Ok John

    I believe, that someone who is an atheist, who thinks that there is no originating force for the world is very strange. Hows that? And because of this belief they alienate most of the population of most countries. This is the reason they get discriminated against.

  • 155. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Whyever would you think there’s no originating force?

    Science breaks down at the Singularity.

    We simply have no idea.

    There might be, there might not be.

    The unspoken cultural belief that any causative agent is a deity is a meme.

    There are uncountably many possibilities. I find the need to invoke the supernatural unnecessary.

    You are mistaken in your belief you in any way understand my mindset.

  • 156. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    This is the reason they get discriminated against.

    I grant you this is of substance.

    Atheists are misunderstood.

  • 157. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    John M.

    We simply have no idea.

    There might be, there might not be

    But because people see parents as their “creators” they naturally extrapolate. Im sure you understand that.

  • 158. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Yes. That’s exactly what children do.

    We, however, are supposed to be adults.

  • 159. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Ah but most if not all never move past what their originating ideas are. Adults or not.

  • 160. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    OK. Are you justifying the misunderstanding of and concomitant prejudice of and discrimination against atheists on the basis that “most if not all never move past what their originating ideas are”?

    That shows what is.

    It doesn’t relate to whether it’s in any way justified.
    And no, since you apparently don’t take the effort to actually read and think about links I post, I’m not linking to this particular fallacy.

  • 161. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    PS I did already allude to said “originating ideas” being a meme in the first place. They are not self-generated ideas.

  • 162. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Let me ask you this John. Have you moved past your childhood experiences? Are you no longer emotionally connected to the images or ideas of your youth?

    “Would the boy in you, Like the man that you have become?”

  • 163. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    John T, on the contrary. Many a time have I mused on how at times I indulge in that which would, as a child, have pleased me.

    I think it’s human instinct to not only wish you could please the child you were, and I think it’s tied in to the parental instinct.

    Anyway, you’re avoiding the issue.

    Do you admit your contention was flawed, inasmuch as the conceded discrimination is unjustified?

  • 164. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    Discrimination doesnt need justification. Thats one reason why its discriminating.

  • 165. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    So you acknowledge it’s unjust?

  • 166. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    [meta]
    BTW, you’re (whether you know it or not) playing semantic games. “discrimination” is :In general, discrimination, in a non-legal sense, is the discernment of qualities and recognition of the differences between things.” (source:Wikipedia) but you’re using it in the sense of instantiated prejudice.

    Do you admit it’s unjust?

  • 167. John T.  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Nope

  • 168. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    Do you care to justify how it’s not?

  • 169. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    If you don’t care to, it’s merely your (admittedly warped) opinion and nothing more.

  • 170. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    John T.’s reponse.

    I’m not quite sure how the hell John T. thinks butting in, making a contrarian assertion, then handwaving any challenges as “it’s my opinion” in any way contributes to a discussion.

  • 171. John Morales  |  July 23, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Mind you, it takes the cluebat to get him to admit it’s just his opinion.

  • 172. John Morales  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Oh yeah, UbiDubiKid #1: you rock.

  • 173. John Morales  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:43 am

    Obi

    Griffin –

    Just stop, mate. I think it would be evident to anyone reading this what the real deal here is. Arguing here is an exercise in utter futility, so I suggest we duck out of this one while we still have our sanity.

    Obi, the only thing you did wrong was to be so enabling for so long. You spent time and effort being reasonable towards someone who was not honestly engaging you.
    I commend your patience and restraint, but you saw what it took to get him to back off.

  • 174. John Morales  |  July 24, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Joe, if you have any human decency you will reconsider and apologise to Obi.

    You got upset because you didn’t get Obi’s (entirely valid and relevant) point, and as it happened he brought up race as an example.

    See, African Americans and atheists are both minorities in the USA. They both belong to the category “minority”.

    You took umbrage because you imagined Obi was somehow implying you were racist (and the fact that your conceptual flow was so diverted indicates some significance to this) and in the end insulted him maliciously.

    Joe, you can’t deny what is there in front of you in black and white.

    Show us you have some decency.

  • 175. John T.  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Everybody

    Now I know most here have de converted, but dont you think it would be great if we all had a collective prayer for John M. He seems to be pretty distressed.

  • 176. John Morales  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:21 am

    John T., crickets chirping, remember? ;)

  • 177. Griffin  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Joe:

    “Many would not consider “under God” in the pledge, or “In God We Trust” on a coin as “discrimmination” though. YOU would define it that way—I’m not sure the Supreme Court would though.”

    Sure, because relying on the ‘majority’ to decide what is moral and/or legal has worked out so well in the past. And the Supreme Court has certainly proved it’s ability to turn a blind eye to discrimination too.

    In the end, all that really matters is that you don’t think it’s discrimination, right?

  • 178. John T.  |  July 24, 2008 at 8:55 am

    John M.

    If I am to be a bug, make me a praying mantis.

  • 179. KC  |  July 24, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Griffin:

    That was a joke, mate. I guess my sarcasm doesn’t translate effectively.

    I actually had read the entire thread before “parachuting” and I completely agree with you.

  • 180. Griffin  |  July 24, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    KC:

    My apologies. I missed the sarcasm. The internets are tough like that. It’s happened to me a few times too. Anyway, I came down pretty hard on you. I’m sorry about that.

  • 181. Joe  |  July 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Well, yesterday I apologized for some posts I had made the day before,
    and then immediately proceeded to do just the same thing again yesterday.
    I thought about it last night and realized I am making several mistakes, and
    again want to apologize for it. I realized these things clearly:

    1. A lot of the time I am posting when I should be working (I post from my computer
    at work). I normally don’t do this, but started up when I came into this blog. Entirely
    my fault—-and unethical too.

    2. I am being an absolutely terrible representative of Christ on the board. I come in as
    a “Christian”, then become argumentative, sarcastic, and have literally attacked one person
    repeatedly for his stubborness—–yet I am “stubbornly attacking” him also, which is hypocritical.

    3. I am not good at intellectual conversations–especially when “argument” is involved, and really
    should not even be attempting to be involved in such things. The Bible itself says to not be involved
    in “endless disputings which lead nowhere”(paraphrase).

    4. I am dealing with a group of people who once believed, but no longer do. Perhaps in my zeal, or
    thinking perhaps someone will “turn back” I will spend much time trying to convince someone who
    no longer believes to believe once again. I have to come to the conclusion this futile. I will spend part
    of the evening praying for people on the board (and I know most of you don’t even appreciate that as you do not believe in God, and see it as almost “condescending” for me to do so) and then come back
    the next day and act in an insulting manner. I want to apologize once more—-especially to Obi–who
    is actually quite young and has a lot to learn (though now he thinks he knows it all in a sense—don’t most teenagers?). Obi is a very intelligent person though, and does not deserve to be upbraided–even if he is responding in a less than gracious manner. :>)

    Not that it really matters, but a Christian should be far more gracious than I have been, and I truly apologize when looking back for a lot of things I’ve said. I’m going to keep my mouth shut today, and just listen—something I should have been doing a lot more any way. I am going to post a short article I also read last night, for the benefit of Christians who somehow may think they are on a mission of salvation or reclamation on this board.

    Thanks, Joe

  • 182. Joe  |  July 24, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Here is the article. One needs to be careful not to associate the word “swine” as a reference to any “person or their character”–
    but to how they are receiving your message.

    Casting Pearls Before Swine
    by David Padfield

    Sometimes preachers, elders and other concerned Christians spend too much time on those who do not appreciate the gospel. We are often hesitant to “give up” on someone whom we believe to be a good prospect for the gospel. However, when our Lord sent out the apostles on the limited ommission He said, “And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them” (Mark 6:11).

    In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces” (Matt. 7:6).

    “The Christian must not be censoriously judicial, but he should be discriminatingly judicious. He must know dogs and swine when he sees them, and must not treat them as priests and kings, the fit objects for the bestowal of holy food and goodly ornaments. Dogs and swine were unclean animals.

    The ormer were usually undomesticated and were often fierce. In the East they are still the self-appointed scavengers of the street. The latter were undomesticated among the Jews, and hence are spoken of as wild and liable to attack man. Meats connected with the sacrificial service of the altar were holy. Even unclean men were not permitted to eat of them, much less unclean brutes.

    What was left after the priests and clean persons had eaten was to be burned with fire (Lev. vi. 24-30; vii. 15-21). To give holy things to dogs was to profane them. We are here forbidden, then, to use any religious office, work or ordinance, in such a manner as to degrade or profane it. Saloons ought not to be opened with prayer, nor ought adulterous marriages to be performed by a man of God.

    To give pearls to swine is to press the claims of the gospel upon those who despise it until they persecute you for annoying them with it. When such men are known they are to be avoided. Jesus acted on this principle in refusing to answer the Pharisees, and the apostles did the same thing in turning to the Gentiles when their Jewish hearers would begin to contradict and blaspheme.” (J. W. McGarvey, The Fourfold Gospel, pp. 263, 264).

    How can we tell when it is time to “give up” on someone and turn to other fields? It should be after we have taught, prayed and exercised all longsuffering — but remember that even the longsuffering of God has limits (cf. 1 Pet. 3:20).

    We need to realize that, despite our best efforts, many people will perish “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10). Some people simply prefer their own way to the Lord’s (Matt. 15:8-15). Other people will simply close their eyes to the truth (Matt. 13:15). Some Christians will fall away and it will be impossible for us to “renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame” (Heb. 6:6).

    The kingdom of God is precious indeed — our Lord compared it to a treasure hidden in a field and a pearl of great price (Matt. 13:44-46). The Jews in Antioch of Pisidia rejected the gospel and judged themselves “unworthy of everlasting life” — so Paul turned to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47). When people ask for us to leave them alone we need to respect their wishes and move on. I believe that we degrade the gospel when we take the very best that we have and lay it at the feet of swine!

  • 183. Ubi Dubium  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Joe

    To give holy things to dogs was to profane them. We are here forbidden, then, to use any religious office, work or ordinance, in such a manner as to degrade or profane it. Saloons ought not to be opened with prayer, nor ought adulterous marriages to be performed by a man of God.

    And likewise, god’s name should not be placed on money, the root of all evil, neither should his name be invoked at government meetings, or other gatherings of a profane nature!

  • 184. Joe  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Ubi—

    Had to respond—actually the Bible doesn’t say “money is the root of all evil”—it says “THE LOVE of money is the root of all evil”. The Bible also says to pray for those in government authority—so it isn’t calling government profane either. I’ll shut up now.

  • 185. Obi  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Joe —

    See, this is the problem with you. You always come in here with your head down and your apologetic facade erected, but you’ll always duck under it with a snide remark that makes me question the sincerity of what you’re actually saying, such as this statement…

    I want to apologize once more—-especially to Obi–who
    is actually quite young and has a lot to learn (though now he thinks he knows it all in a sense—don’t most teenagers?). Obi is a very intelligent person though, and does not deserve to be upbraided–even if he is responding in a less than gracious manner.

    Really Joe? I have a lot to learn? I find this lack of respect for me simply due to my age disgraceful. I think it’s safe to assume that if I hadn’t disclosed that information about myself to you, you would have assumed that I was an adult and wouldn’t dare dole out these silly and condescending remarks. However, don’t think that your remarks about my age (or even your post regarding “swine”, which was quite distasteful, by the way) agitated or even affected me in the slightest, because even at this age I’ve realized that allowing people to “get to you” or anger you often times rewards them with a sense of triumph. So, because I want to prevent you from attaining that, I’ll tell you now that none of your comments had any impact on me, and I hope they didn’t have any impact on the others who regularly comment on this blog. So please Joe, keep your prayers, advice, and lessons to yourself, because you need them more than any of us.

    This post wasn’t written with any malicious intent, I’m simply telling you how I see it. Good day to you.

  • 186. Joe  |  July 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Obi–

    Sorry if you took it the wrong way. I was fully admitting I was in the wrong. I mentioned your age as many people in their “teens” think they have all the answers, then later admit they didn’t know as much as they thought they knew. This is common—I think a lot of people would admit that. Didn’t mean to be demeaning towards you. I remember being 17–I was “sure” about different things than you are now—-but had to ‘experience’ life a bit before I realized how wrong I had been. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to avoid that—that’s all I meant though.

    The article about “casting pearls before swine” was not written by me–it is advice from a Pastor—-and was meant for Christians–sorry if you found it you found it “distasteful”–it is just giving advice to others, such as myself, who keep talking when they need to shut up. And speaking of shutting up I better do that and get the heck out of here.

    You may not believe me—-but all the best to you Obi. Sorry for all the misunderstandings, and nastiness on my part at times.

  • 187. Obi  |  July 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Good to hear.

  • 188. John Morales  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Good.

    Now things are calmer, may I quote

    To give pearls to swine is to press the claims of the gospel upon those who despise it until they persecute you for annoying them with it.

    Joe, do you not see how that is disparaging and offensive to us?

    Are you somehow being persecuted when all you have to do is not load the page and refresh?

    Be honest.

  • 189. John Morales  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Shorter version: you came here. Here did not come to you.

    You have the power.

  • 190. John Morales  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:31 am

    To drive it home: it’s expressing no noble sentiment; it’s an apologia couched in euphemism.

  • 191. BigHouse  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Joe, you have an “interesting” way of using quotation marks.

  • 192. John Morales  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:43 am

    ;)

  • 193. orDover  |  July 25, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I realize that this thread as been throughly troll-ized, and that this comment will probably go unnoticed, but I thought it would be worthwhile to add that “In God We Trust” was not added to US currency until 1864, and was not adopted as our motto until 1956.

    I read the first 60 comments or so and heard several people refer to the founding father’s as those who “put that on our money,” and things to that effect. The Founding Fathers had nothing to do with it.

    The Wiki page on this subject is really fascinating, and it shows how “In God We Trust” refers unequivocally to the Christian god:

    “The motto In God We Trust was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the American Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout Christians throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize God on United States coins.”

    “A law was passed by the 84th United States Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by the President on July 30, 1956. President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved a joint resolution declaring In God We Trust the national motto of the United States.[1] The same Congress had required, in the previous year, that the words appear on all currency, as a Cold War measure: ‘In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper’ to ‘remind all of us of this self-evident truth’ that ‘as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.'”

    So there you have it, trauma of war and fear of materialist Communists.

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

    (I hope not one else mentioned this. I did a search for the various dates, but I didn’t feel like skimming through all of the comments, most of which are likely off-topic.)

  • 194. Bobbi Jo  |  July 25, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks orDover, I read it, even if no one else did. And I did not know that. I learn something new every day.

  • 195. Ubi Dubium  |  July 25, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    OrDover,
    I was aware of that, but thanks for the reference. Also, “Under god” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, for much the same reasons.

  • 196. pankaj gupta  |  August 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    ganje ke sir pe bal uga de god

  • 197. Eve's Apple  |  March 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Remove “In God We Trust” from our money? Au Contraire! I can’t think of a more appropriate place for it! I would just add one word–“this.” “In this God We trust.” Because, let’s face it, Money IS God.

    If you don’t believe me, the next time someone challenges you and says that is not true, pull out the largest bill you have and threaten to set it afire. I bet, even if you did have the courage to go through with it, the other person would break in and say, no, no, no . . .

    Yeah, money is God.

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Attention Christian Readers

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Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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