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God on the Edge (of a coin)

John on November 27, 2006 at 11:39 am

The new one dollar US coin has the national motto and “In God We Trust” moved from the face to the edge. You can view an artists’ rendition of the entire coin here. Is this a sign that Michael Newdow is having an affect? Maybe.

I think Newdow and his ACLU-ilk want the public square to be a religion free zone. But why should religious values be excluded from public support while values which don’t claim to stem from any religion are not? For instance, E Pluribus Unum is just as much a value based statement as In God We Trust. Both are statements of moral-laden sentiment which are acceptable to the vast majority of Americans. Why is one, stemming from a certain strain of 18th century humanism, acceptable and the other, stemming from mid-20th century ecumenical pietism, not? It just shows that Newdow doesn’t really care about logic or fairness. He cares about eradicating religion.

That said, I find it hard to get worked up about this issue. As I said several months ago:

On the narrow issues to which he [Newdow] has devoted himself, he has the winning hand because theists do not have a divine right — nor any Biblical expectation — to have a supportive slogan printed on every piece of U.S. currency.

There’s an even bigger problem with this that goes way beyond Newdow. Fighting guys like him over things like “In God We Trust” suggests to everyone watching that Christians are just one more lobbying group. Over the last year we’ve seen numerous high profile liberals express their fear of a coming THEOCRACY (gasp!). This is laughable in the extreme, and yet, what are non-believers supposed to think when we hold on to things like “In God We Trust” with a white-knuckle death grip? It comes down to this: Do we want to influence people or to control things? A high profile fight against Newdow makes it seem the latter is our priority, which also serves his purpose and not ours.

[HT: Wizbang (I give hat tips when I use something!)]

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Category: Secularism & Socialism |

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