Sunday, March 20, 2011

To Phrase A Coin

The motto is “In God We Trust”;
Display it everywhere, we must!
In doing so, recall, it’s just
A hollow little phrase.
It’s on our money, even though
It lost religion long ago—
Rote repetition made it so
It’s meaningless these days.

If you’re like me, you find it odd
That those who claim to love their god
Would fight to keep this cheap façade,
Especially on money!
But now, in congress, start the fight
To grow the phrase in public sight—
Replacing God with new “God lite”
You must admit, it’s funny

Remember Teddy Roosevelt
Opposed the motto, cos he felt
It sacrilege to put on gelt,
Insulting the creator
But that was then, and this is now;
We’ll push our god; we don’t care how,
With every method we allow.
And jobs? Well, maybe later.

According to CNN, the crazy season is upon us the House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote this thursday, reaffirming "In God We Trust" as our national motto. The Supreme Court has held that ceremonial use of religious language does not constitute a violation of the establishment clause, in cases where rote repetition has rendered the language meaningless.

That is, the phrase is legal if it is meaningless. If lawmakers wish to argue that "In God We Trust" actually refers to their particular choice of god, their usage would apparently violate the First Amendment.

Of course, the real motivation is likely to be considerably more secular; the brilliant legal mind of Michele Bachmann, with the tenacity and quickness of a barnacle, has latched onto President Obama's use of E Pluribus Unum as more representative of our nation. It is, of course, more inclusive, and less pandering toward any particular religious view. Which makes it utterly unacceptable to Bachmann.

Plus, of course, it's much easier to score points with one's constituents this way, than to tackle the important issues.


Melissa said...

I really want to know what's wrong with e pluribus unum? It's a wonderful motto.

I never understood this whole pushing your god down someone's throat. If it's such an all powerful deity, it really doesn't need coinage.

Cuttlefish said...

It's very simple, Melissa--e pluribus unum would prohibit them from excluding those godless bastard atheists, polytheists, and anyone who doesn't consider this one nation under god.

Actually, in this case I suspect that a good portion of the energy behind this is pure tribal discrimination; Obama said X, so they have to say not-X. It doesn't really matter what X is.

The Ridger, FCD said...

"We insist on keeping it because it's meaningless!"

The fervor with which they fight to keep it proves it's not meaningless. Just consider the concept of a quarter series with various gods mentioned...

Cuttlefish said...

I remember discussing just that concept with my dad, Ridger--he was amused by the concept of "In Thor We Trust", but found the idea of "In Allah We Trust" offensive. Particularly funny because his own god and Allah are both Abraham's god!