By god, this has to be a confused rationale for a poll

Some days, I feel like the whole issue of the mention of God on our currency is trivial and stupid, and I really don't care anymore. And then I see an 'argument' like the one in this argument defending keeping "God" on our money, and I realize that…YES, I DO CARE. I care very much that people are so deeply infected with religion that they actually think this is a clever defense.

The word "God" is not comparable to an organization, a building, a philosophy or a religion. God, unlike an establishment of religion, is a concept to atheists and believers alike. The believer perceives God as the living creator of all. The atheist perceives God as an unfortunate fictional concept that causes war. Either way, this country was founded on respect for a higher power than man — an entity generically referred to as God in the English-speaking world. The laws of our land protect our right to revere or disavow God, but they do not protect us from hearing and seeing the term. Believer and non-believer alike make up one nation under God, because the first law of the land protects belief or disbelief in God, the right to talk about God, and the right to make God the highest authority in one's life.

Because we're a nation under God — with God as a concept we are free to love as truth or disavow as fiction — we have never been one nation under Washington, Lincoln, Reagan or Obama. We are a nation that elevates God — whatever God means — above any human authority because we are a nation that elevates an individual's choices above the agendas of authorities.

Get that? Believers like God, atheists think god is an "unfortunate fictional concept", but either way, we have respect for a higher power. And because we are free to disbelieve in God, it is symbolic of our freedom to honor God. His god. That Abrahamic tyrant.

If they're all interchangeable and we just need to honor a generic concept, then why not have alternating mintings where "God" is interchanged with "Allah" and "Cthulhu" and "Satan" and "Mammon" and whatever? It shouldn't bother this author. After all, he suggests we just use our imaginations to insert whatever meaning we want.

When annoyed by currency, atheists have the option of interpreting "in God we trust" as "in a fictional concept we trust" for the sake of limited government.

I don't care what you think of the issue, but you should vote for reason and against sloppy supernaturalist lunacy.

Should "God" be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?

Yes, lose the references to God
43%
No, keep God on currency and in the Pledge
53%
I don't know
0%
I don't care
4%

If it helps, you can try interpreting "Should 'God' be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?" as "Should gibbering lunatics like Wayne Laugesen be stricken from the editorial pages of the Colorado Springs Gazette?" For the sake of liberty, freedom, and justice for all. Amen.

More like this

The whining about where the new dollar coins will contain the word "God" is too silly for words. Consider the opening sentences of a letter in today's Journal World: I would like to know whose stupid idea it was to take "In God We Trust" off our new dollar coins. Yes, it is still on there, but why…
Austin Cline is one of the more incisive regular writers on atheism. This week he discusses a Paula Zahn show on CNN that begins with a brief vignette about couple in a small town in Mississippi who complained to their son's public elementary school principal about time spent in bible study and…
I love getting these "action alerts" from religious right legal groups. At least once a week I get a breathless, hyperbolic email designed to push the emotional buttons of their followers and get them worked up into an unsightly froth. The Thomas More Law Center's latest news alert takes aim at an…
American currency uses the phrase "In God We Trust" which is a clear violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. This is to the First Amendment roughly like saying "No Guns Allowed" everywhere would be to the Second Amendment, but if we did that to the Second Amendment people would be…

Colorado Springs... The town the xtian Taliban is most successfully dragging back to the Dark Ages.

By DeadGuyKai (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Just a little bar over the "D" in the middle and it would say:"IN GOB WE TRUST"

ALL BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP GOB!! ESPECIALLY WAYNE LAUGESEN!!

Yes, lose the references to GOB
47%
No, keep GOB on currency and in the Pledge [WHAT?!?]
48%
I don't know
0%
I don't care
4%
Total Votes: 1690

By aratina cage (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Because we're a nation under God — with God as a concept we are free to love as truth or disavow as fiction — we have never been one nation under Washington, Lincoln, Reagan or Obama.

Silly me, I thought we not a "nation under" the various presidents because of the rule of law.

How much better it would be to trust a fiction!

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

By Glen Davidson (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Would the money be acceptable if we crossed out the word god before spending it? Cashiers probably wouldn't notice. Might make a good YouTube video: "spending godless dollars"... stay tuned!

By bulletproofcourier (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

This is a popular argument -- that God has nothing to do with religion, because He's real, and religion is interpretation. The atheist acknowledges God, by denying Him.

I thought it was all ceremonial deism -- you know, like saying "Oyez, oyez" before court opens, or swearing by Apollo in the Hippocratic Oath. Now it turns out to be about God really existing, and the atheists being wrong, and the government recognizing both facts.

A nation under God will never be a nation under some corruptible man or woman in power.

It's not somehow better if we become a nation under some corruptible man or woman in power who thinks that they're only humble servants carrying out the will of God. It's worse, for now dissent to power means questioning God -- and God has already been established.

Perhaps this is the rationale that Obama should try to get the Teabaggers behind him?

In Iluvatar we trust.

By Donnie B. (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

as "in a fictional concept we trust" for the sake of limited government.

Urgh. The waters of idiocy run deep with this one.

Voted, 53% for losing it; 43% for keeping it.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

It funny, how in the same paragraph, one can say two completely opposite statements, and not get called out on it. Religion is one of the only things that blinds people to absolute stupidity. It is funny to me how someone could ever believe that the word "God" has nothing to do with religion, let alone "under god". By saying "under god", it automatically assumes a god exists to be under. Amazing.

By burgerboy06 (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I always thought "in god we trust" to be such an ironic thing to be written on currency, as both only exist as conventions.

By evandrofisico (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

When annoyed by currency, atheists have the option of interpreting "in God we trust" as "in a fictional concept we trust" for the sake of limited government.

I can't wait to see "In Harry Potter we trust" on our money.

The word "God" is not comparable to an organization, a building, a philosophy or a religion

Yeah, and antisemitism isn't "comparable" to Hitler or the third Reich either. That doesn't mean they aren't HIGHLY entangled to a point that neither exists without the other.

Err... why would we trust in a fictional concept? That interpretation is half a notch above word salad.

By tdcourtney (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

DeadGuyKai, once you get past the uber-fundies, COS is a pretty nice city, especially if you like the outdoors. That being said, our local paper is barely fit to line bird cages. Its editorial pages are even worse.

By rachel.wilmoth (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

llewelly:

I can't wait to see "In Harry Potter we trust" on our money.

I think In Dumbledore We Trust would be better, seeing as he has passed on to "another realm" and all that. ;p

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Accusations of hacking the poll in 3... 2... 1.

By Mike Wagner (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

We have to have God in government because he exists, even if it's just as a fictional concept.

Oooookay...the list of things that could replace "God" in his premise would be absurdly long, even if you limit it to things that fit the qualifier of "a significant number of people believe in them."

Astrology, Bigfoot, aliens, Shiva, a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, ghosts, etc...

By JagyrEbonwood (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

"There’s a phrase we live by in America: 'In God We Trust'. It’s right there where Jesus would want it: on our money." - Colbert

By Feynmaniac (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

In Go D'Wet Rust.

One nation, under duress...

By Randomfactor (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I used to have a green permanent marker I bought just for defacing currency. I read about some fellow that would publicly cross "God" off of bills, and I decided that it was a good thing to do. It is easy and fun, but I always kept it furtive, and have given it up now that I am in one small town in the Bible Belt.

Oh, the heck with it, I am gonna start crossing "In God We Trust" off money again. Where's my marker?

(I used green just because it blended into the background better. Actually, I used black for opacity, then put green over it for camouflage. Your mileage may vary.)

By Menyambal (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

America: We trust in a mundicidal detached space-monkey mind.

By aratina cage (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I just can't make myself care. On my outrage meter this issue registers somewhere between the fact that they made a sequel and prequel to Cube and the fact my roommate's dog took a crap in my shoes last night.

Carlie, that's perfect! How could I have forgotten GOB from Arrested Development (a series that was cut far too short)?

By aratina cage (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Jordan:

I just can't make myself care.

How utterly amazing that you bothered to rouse yourself from the depths of apathy to write a post to tell us how apathetic you are. I'm sure we're all enlightened now.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Yes, lose the references to God
67%
No, keep God on currency and in the Pledge
30%
I don't know
0%
I don't care
3%
Total Votes: 2691

Sometimes I believe PZ should host a poll or two every week himself. Some really pointless ones like this:

"Should gibbering lunatics like Wayne Laugesen be stricken from the editorial pages of the Colorado Springs Gazette?" .

-Yes!
-Yes, but also tar and feather him
-No, hes a sweet one
-Why bother?
-I like monkeys!

My Gob! I had to recommend the following comment because it is impossible to tell if it was meant seriously or not:

delihla wrote:Wish I could be a fly on the wall when Newdow comes face to face with his fictional concept.

Now either that is someone with a great sense of humor, or delihla is fucking nuts.

By aratina cage (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

They're basically telling us that our currency is worthless

By SplendidMonkey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Our currency is worthless, as a fiat currency it has NOTHING backing it. Can I get a bowing of heads for the death of the Gold Standard. Thank You.

By sandiseattle (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

69% Lose it.

They put a code in. I wonder if they really think it's just atheists who use bots, and not... godbots who do. You could say the whole situation is all...
*Puts on shades*
Irony.

By Rutee, Shrieki… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

But GOB spelled backwards is BOG, and I don't want a BOG for a pet!

If it helps, you can try interpreting "Should 'God' be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?" as "Should gibbering lunatics like Wayne Laugesen be stricken from the editorial pages of the Colorado Springs Gazette?" For the sake of liberty, freedom, and justice for all. Amen.

A-fucking-men.

(Drinks to that...)

It's a fair enough point, I guess, and one occasionally raised, that we don't technically know what a world without religion would/will actually be like*...

I mean, insofar as I can't actually say, anyway. Never lived in one of those myself, true enough...

That said, if it's one in which braindead twits annoy me with rationalizing highgrade stupid like Laugesen's even a little less, sign me the hell up.

(*/Mind you, I've also always sorta considered that a rather academic concern. Insofar as I'm not so much expecting ever to get one. I'm more just working on the 'less is generally good, anyway, in this department' principle.)

#31:

Can I get a bowing of heads for the death of the Gold Standard

I'm glad we're off the gold standard, though I'll admit to a fondness for some of the weirder denominations of currency, in all metals - quarter eagles, 20 cent pieces, three centers, and even the 2 center that got us into this trouble to begin with.

Our currency is worthless, as a fiat currency it has NOTHING backing it. Can I get a bowing of heads for the death of the Gold Standard. Thank You.

Everything is worth what it's purchaser will pay for it. By the way, there isn't enough gold to operate a global economy anymore, putting aside that we need gold for use in engineering and electronics purposes.

By Rutee, Shrieki… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

@28-
Newdow ain't imagining any fictional being when he dies, but that delilah is one vengeful bitch (if actually female) to be sure.

But GOB spelled backwards is BOG, and I don't want a BOG for a pet!-DagoRed #33

And I probably don't have to tell you what a BOG is (in Russian). It does kind of make it a little more tolerable to think of it your way, actually, as in "My pet Bog".

By aratina cage (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Is it illegal to deface or countermark American currency?

By salon_1928 (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

United States Code
TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I - CRIMES
CHAPTER 17 - COINS AND CURRENCY
§ 333. Mutilation of national bank obligations

?Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or
unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill,
draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking
association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System,
with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=426715

By sandiseattle (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

sandiseattle #31

Our currency is worthless, as a fiat currency it has NOTHING backing it.

Fortunately for you, I'm going to bed in a couple of minutes or else I'd give you an essay on monetary policy.

By 'Tis Himself, OM (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Please recall that according to Conan the Barbarian, the name of God was "Bog."

AnneH @ 23,

Sam Harris expands brilliantly on that point in his recent TED talk:

Disclaimer: I actually like a lot of what Sam Harris says.

However having said that,what he has to say about morality seems to fall short due to the fact that he lives in a society that steals the future from our children while living in denial of this basic fact.

A society that consists of 5% of the global population and consumes 25% of the globes resources has nothing really significant to add to the discourse about morality.

The only real currency is energy. We are currently heading into uncharted territory. We are living in very interesting times, as stated in the proverbial Chinese curse...both god and money are complete fictions.

Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production - Part 1 - Summary
http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6309

When TSHTF there will about as much morality amongst people as there is amongst a sack full of cats flung into a river. Good luck with that.

Cheers!

By Fred The Hun (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

"...with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued..."

That clause sounds like a get-out-of-jail-free card. My intent, in crossing out God, would be to render the bill more user-friendly.

By Disturbingly O… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I feel the same way about the term “god” in the Canadian national anthem. That we have more pressing concerns is the only argument in favour of its inclusion worth considering. Every other line of reasoning is asinine. It would be nice to have no other political burdens so that wretched phrase can be excised.

#42: Conan the Barbarian spoke Russian? (Well, something Slavic at least...) I didn't know he was that firmly rooted in the real world.

By the same token, we all respect the higher power of Zeus by not believing in him.

In Zeus We Trust!

Heh: Gob.

"Shut your festering gob, you tit!" Works for me.

As to fiat currency not backed by gold: What is gold worth? It's only worth something because people agree that it is. Same with currency.

77% Lose it.

I remember when the Pledge of Allegiance did NOT include the words "under God." I also remember when the teacher told us to include those words, and when asked why, she just said "because the government said so."

I always stumbled over that part of the pledge and never was able to say it naturally, as it seemed somehow unnatural.

A few years later after moving to a different state (Texas), I refused to bow my head and pray at the public school's daily prayer administered by the principal over a PA system piped into every classroom. At a hastily arranged conference in the principal's office I told him I was an atheist and that it would be hypocritical to join in prayer. He asked me to be "reasonable" and bow my head anyway, that I didn't have to pray, just bow my head. I told him that would also be hypocritical and submissive to a doctrine in which I had no belief.

I suggested that I be excused from class during the prayer so that I would not upset the other students.

The principle suspended me on the spot and told me that I could resume my education when I bowed my head during the daily prayer.

My father, a fundamentalist Baptist, supported me completely and conferenced with the principle. His opinion of the principle was that he was "an asshole."

I stayed out of school until I was able to make arrangements with friends in another state to keep me for the next year until I graduated from high school.

I have never regretted not having my brain polluted by the public education system of Texas, and thank my father (Native Son of Texas) for respecting my beliefs though they differed absolutely with his.

I did like his characterization of the atheist position. It's incomplete, but accurate as far as it goes. Unusually fair for someone writing a piece as silly as this.

"[T]he right to make God the highest authority in one's life."

Sure, but just try to get out of a traffic ticket with that excuse!

By CatBallou (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

"...thank my father (Native Son of Texas) for respecting my beliefs though they differed absolutely with his."

Strongly? Yes. Diametrically? Yes. Absolutely? I think not.

Just voted, 78% loose it, 20% keep it. Now will these shills actually print the results?

Our currency is worthless, as a fiat currency it has NOTHING backing it.

Why does it have to be "backed" by something? It's a medium of barter, nothing less, nothing more.

I don't understand all this misty-eyed longing for a return to the gold standard. It's not like governments didn't manipulate the value of currency before it was decoupled from gold prices.

By ckitching (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I propose to solve the problem with the addition of one letter - change God to Gods. Under Gods and In Gods We Trust. Now everyone should be happy -- or perhaps not.

By machintelligence (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

"No, Michael Newdow, there is no Santa Claus. But there is a God, even in your life."

My brain melts a little every time I hear an xtian point out the obvious about, say, Santa Claus, or the Easter bunny, or leprechauns, or what have you, and then turn around and state, without a hint of irony, that OF COURSE (their) god is real, of course Jesus ascended bodily to heaven, of COURSE that cracker turns into his flesh.

And, really, there is a god, even in my life? Thanks for pointing that out. By the way, there is a rabid titmouse somewhere in your room right now, Wayne Laugesen. Watching, judging. Prove me wrong, Wayne. And when you don't find him, rest assured, it's just because He, in his infinite power and wisdom, chose to make himself invisible to test your faith.

79% ditch, 10% keep, the rest undecided or don't care.

@ ckitching: "Why does it have to be "backed" by something? It's a medium of barter, nothing less, nothing more."

Wrong. Money remains a valid medium of barter only as long as there is public confidence in the value of what backs the medium. When public confidence wanes (as it will inevitably will at some point) it must be backed by something tangible.

The U.S.'s currency is currently backed by the "worth" of the U.S. government. When public (world) confidence sufficiently wanes (as it will inevitably will at some point), the U.S. will be screwed royally.

Count on it.

By Givesgoodemail (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

The believer perceives God as the living creator of all. The atheist perceives God as an unfortunate fictional concept that causes war. Either way, this country was founded on respect for a higher power than man — an entity generically referred to as God in the English-speaking world.

Is he saying atheists should accept "under God" and "In God We Trust" as acknowledgments of the power of mass delusion? Sorry, I don't care to celebrate a collective psychosis. How about our famous bigotry or obesity? Maybe we should highlight those on our coins too.

Back in the late '70s, early '80s when I worked in the casinos in Lake Tahoe, it was a common thing to see currency stamped "Gay Money". Defacing currency with politcal/religious sloagns is not that uncommon. Easy to pass such 'marked' bills too.

with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued

The logical defence to this is that you fully expect - and desire - the currency to be reissued with the words "In God We Trust" obscured.

Yes 80%
No 18%

By Lynn Wilhelm (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Wow. I wanted to register at that site to ask Wayne if he was high when he wrote that, but they want to know my marital status and income?? They're all high. Question answered.

By butterflyfish.heidi (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

You know I can say from living in Colorado Springs for nearly 19 years, there is almost literally a church on every damn corner. There was a future church site across from the park near my house, one across from my school, and another in front of my school. The last one even got built! I like the city, but I hate the people.

By refrigeratorjesus (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Our currency is worthless, as a fiat currency it has NOTHING backing it.

I had a Fiat once - it was pretty much worthless, yeah.

Bad jokes aside though, everything can be worthless or invaluable. Nothing has an absolute value.

A honking big clump of gold and a crisp dollar bill are equally worthless to me if I'm starving to death at a desert island. A loaf of bread would be invaluable to me in the same situation, even if it's extremely untasty. Meanwhile, the nasty bread would have no value for me if I'm instead of starving is at an all you can eat buffet, with wonderful food.

So, yes, US currency is certainly worthless in some situations while it's very valuable in others.

The U.S.'s currency is currently backed by the "worth" of the U.S. government. When public (world) confidence sufficiently wanes (as it will inevitably will at some point), the U.S. will be screwed royally.

I'd say that currency is more backed by a general understanding and agreement between people that it has value.

I don't think having the money "backed" by gold or anything else matters in the situation you describe. If society collapses to such a degree that people have no trust in the value of money anymore, I don't think I'd trust my government to keep their end of the bargain with the gold. My trust for them or their currency wouldn't be greater just because they're sitting on a pile of gold.

Plus, of course, as previously mentioned it would be hard (or impossible) to amass a sufficiently large pile of gold today.

Perhaps if there was a currency backed by plastic spoons and axle grease.... I could go with that.

By Zabinatrix (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Yubal #27

"Should gibbering lunatics like Wayne Laugesen be stricken from the editorial pages of the Colorado Springs Gazette?" .

-Yes!
-Yes, but also tar and feather him
-No, hes a sweet one
-Why bother?
-I like monkeys!

I'm willing to bet that the last option would always win. Or is that just my inner Homer.

Unless something unexpected happens (or I am just wrong--it does happen now and then) I don't expect to get rid of God on our money. Which is too bad because I think E pluribus unam is a great motto.

But I actually kinda like the idea of drawing a line through it before passing it on and I think I will. Most people won't notice, but those that do will know that there are people out there who do not like it. Just a little reminder each time the money gets passed on. In fact, I like the idea of a rabid fundie having to choose to pass it on or lose the value of it.

Why, yes, I am evil.

This guy also fucks up (ooo euphemism week over!) the definition of "establishment" to back his ridiculous argument, whether deliberately or through ignorance. "Establishment" doesn't mean an organisation involved with religion, it means establishment of an official or state-supported religion. He should have looked that up in a dictionary or something.

If they're all interchangeable and we just need to honor a generic concept, then why not have alternating mintings where "God" is interchanged with "Allah" and "Cthulhu" and "Satan" and "Mammon" and whatever?

Lately, I've been thinking we'd be more honest to declare "In Vishnu We Trust".

By https://openid… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

If they're all interchangeable and we just need to honor a generic concept, then why not have alternating mintings where "God" is interchanged with "Allah" and "Cthulhu" and "Satan" and "Mammon" and whatever?

Where's the love for FSM?

By refrigeratorjesus (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I thought Conan’s god was Krom…

By Grendels Dad (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thank you Zabinatrix for saving me from having to write a load.

Key point: nothing has intrinsic value, except possibly life. Everything has value in certain contexts. Something you dig up seems like a really dim thing to claim as a basis for currency. What happens if someone finds a vast deposit of it? All of a sudden it is no longer rare.

Just wait till my asteroid of near solid gold gets to LEO. Then watch your gold -standard collapse!

By timrowledge (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Givesgodemail@58

Wrong. Money remains a valid medium of barter only as long as there is public confidence in the value of what backs the medium. When public confidence wanes (as it will inevitably will at some point) it must be backed by something tangible.

And that doesn't do any good anyway. Go look up the history of banking runs in the 1800s. Heck, I'll give you the short version.

Banks used to take deposits in hard currency (gold & silver), and issue bank notes. In theory, for every note that they had on issue, they had the gold -the bank note was an IOU for the gold, which you could redeem at any time.

Banks also lent money. Now, in theory again, they lent their own money, or money that they had borrowed from other banks. Again - for every dollar note in circulation, there should have been one ounce of gold in a bank vault somewhere.

In practice, however, banks oversubscribed. They made money by making loans, and it was a lot cheaper to print your own money and give that out then it was to borrow the gold. Banks oversubscribed by a large amount - 3 to 4 times was considered normal, with up to 10 times being not unusual. And this was all fine and dandy - until you got a run on the banks.

When you had a bank run, you got people turning up at banks demanding that their savings be handed over in "cash" - gold and silver. But the bank wouldn't have enough gold & silver to pay out. If it was just one bank, no problem - the other banks would lend the gold & silver (often the gold and silver that their brand new customers had deposited, having secured it from the bank suffering from the run). When you had runs on lots of banks together, however, then banks collapsed. When a bank collapsed, anyone who didn't get their money out lost their savings.

That's what having a hard currency gets you - money vanishing because bankers cheat.

The last time banks collapsed like this was in the 1930s, as part of the Great Depression. The response to this in the US was to ban the private ownership of gold, and to stop the practice of banks issuing their own notes. The Federal government claimed all the gold, and issued their own notes, backed by the gold. Of course, you couldn't convert the note to actual gold - that was illegal.

The US government, in turn, tried to keep the ratio of notes to gold at a good level (~55%). Conversion of US Dollars to gold was possible on the international currency market, and countries could dictate what their conversion rates were. But with the Vietnam War, the US had to increase their dollars:gold ratio so that they had only about 22% of the gold required to back their issued notes. But they did this without devaluing the US dollar. Other countries were getting nervous, and eventually they started to pull out of the system. In addition, large foreign holders of US dollars started to insist on getting their gold.

The US had a choice - get the US off the gold standard (as lots of other countries had already done) and allow free trading of gold, or go bust with no liquidity (they'd still have plenty of gold, but not enough money to circulate). Nixon chose not to commit economic suicide.

Fact: hard currencies didn't prevent currency crisis.
Fact: centralised control (government or international, in the form of the IMF) didn't prevent currency crisis.
Fact: to date, decentralised control has prevented currency crisis - our financial crisises are different in nature.

Just voted.

Yes, remove it was at 81%.

E pluribus unum should be reinstated.

"Out of many, one."

This elegant Latin phrase expressing the idea that we are a nation of individuals that come together under the ideals expressed in the constitution is a motto to which none could reasonably object.

The divisive religious language of the current motto is actually antithetical to the founding principles of this nation.

By JamesTiberiusKirk (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

God was so important in founding the nation that if you look at the most important of the earliest historical documents (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and notes and letters written as these documents were drafted), god is rarely mentioned and if mentioned it receives minimal attention. The outright rejection of political influence of religious cults and figures and the use of religious figures as examples of the evils which can arise without a separation of church and state do feature in the background discussions. Poor deluded religious nuts - French political philosophy of the era have had far greater influence than god - in fact the ideals adopted were very similar to those of the (future) French Revolution.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Americans do not have to go far to find God, because they got God in their pocket !

By Tangerine Dream (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

When I attend city council meetings and they start off by having every stand for the pledge of allegiance, I stay firmly planted in my seat just hoping someone will give me some crap about it. Because I'm just that kind of contrary bastard.

But it's not just the "under God" part that makes me sit there. It's not even the stupidity of pledging allegiance to a fucking FLAG that makes me sit there.

The very idea of a government led pledging of allegiance to ANYTHING is offensive and un-American as far as I'm concerned.

(Incidentally, what's the proper way to spell Unamerican? UnAmerican? Un-American? unAmerican? unamerican?)

But that's just me - the type who would find NON-government-led or forced pledges of allegiance to be, if not offensive, then at least very stupid.

Like Fred Flinstone at a meeting of the loyal order of waterbuffaloes chanting "Oooh a wah... OOOh ah WAHHH!"

I say get the dumb-assed mysticism and chanting and crap out of everything, not just government. There's tons of mystical crap on our dollar bill, get rid of it ALL.

I'd be inclined to join some social group that does things for the public good, the Masons, the Rotary Club, the Lions or Bears or Possums or whatever, if not for the idiotic mystical rituals, if not for the atmosphere of a bunch of ten year olds in a fucking tree fort with a "no gurls aloud" sign on it.

(Thank you for this opportunity to rant. Busted ankle, torn achilles tendon - I needed an outlet for today's pissed-offedness,)

By jafafahots (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

That second quoted paragraph,

Because we're a nation under God — with God as a concept we are free to love as truth or disavow as fiction — we have never been one nation under Washington, Lincoln, Reagan or Obama. We are a nation that elevates God — whatever God means — above any human authority because we are a nation that elevates an individual's choices above the agendas of authorities.

is entirely unintelligible. I keep trying to understand what the author is trying to say but I can make no sense of this string of words without agreeing to invoke magic. I won't .

Ah, Grasshopper. Someday you will begin to learn . . . if we should live so long.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I borrowed an idea from a fellow member of a local atheist group, and started not only crossing out the "In God We Trust", but stamping a new message on there.

He has had three stamps, each replacing the last; in order:

1. "There is no God, it's only superstition"
2. "God is pretend, just superstition"
3. "In no thought-monitoring, invisible alien we (atheists) trust"

And mine reads:

"In Separation of Church and State We Trust".

jafafahots:

(Incidentally, what's the proper way to spell Unamerican? UnAmerican? Un-American? unAmerican? unamerican?)

Back in the days of McCarthyism, it was The House Committee on Un-American Activities.

By Caine, Fleur du mal (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

(Irony: when I clicked the link in my last comment to verify that it had worked, the "Random Image" block in the toolbar showed me standing next to a certain noteworthy atheist blogger...)

An 82-yr old atheist told me to use a red felt pen and put the international symbol for "No" over the word "God." This is the circle with the slash through it. He said he has been doing it for a long time.
Wouldn't it be great to receive in change some dollar bills that someone else had already improved in that way?

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

If it helps, you can try interpreting "Should 'God' be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?" as "Should gibbering lunatics like Wayne Laugesen be stricken from the editorial pages of the Colorado Springs Gazette?" For the sake of liberty, freedom, and justice for all. Amen.

Well said.

By jcmartz.myopenid.com (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I would enthusiastically vote for "In Cthulhu we trust".
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!

By hkdharmon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I have always wondered why U.S. currency only has half of the statement on it. Shouldn't it read "In God we trust, everyone else has to pay cash"?

I've been led into temptation again on this blog. Jcmartz is the culpable one! The serpent bade me eat!

I just marked up several federal notes in the fashion that this ne'r do well has suggested, to wit: one fifty dollar bill, five twenties and nine, count 'em nine ones!

I feel so dirty free and clean! Now, without fanfare or saturation advertising there are two hundred nine American dollars that deny the DISS*. And I owe it all to you, Jcmartz. Ignore that stuff I said at first about the snake and all. I was so much younger then.

*Discorporate Invisible Supernatural Spook. Some claim that each of us has an appointed audience with this cobbled together specter. I'd venture that such an audience would be a "diss-appointment". terrible pun, I'm sorry, but not much ;)

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

oops.

It was them what cannot be named at comment 82 who showed me the way, not Jcmartz, though I still see Jcmartz as the principal instigator of my devious deed.

I just can't wait to spend this money! Shoot! I could even help the Emerican Aconomy!

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I've tried the money thing in the past, but it makes so little difference compared to the gazillions of bills in circulation... I've long dreamed for a machine I could run thousands of bills an hour through.

Of course, what with plastic, I hardly ever see actual cash money anymore anyway.

By jafafahots (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

I was forced to recite "the pledge" in school, back in fourth or fifth grade or so (this was around 1970, so it had the extra two words in it by then). Even then, though, I knew I could not honestly say the whole thing. Fortunately, strategic omission of certain words made it something I could say, and mean:

I pledge allegiance to ... the United States of America, [by which I mean] the Republic for which it stands, one nation ... with liberty and justice.

The adults in charge apparently never noticed these omissions.

It was plain to me even then that:

  1. I could not swear allegiance to the piece of cloth, nor even to the country itself, but rather to the ideals
  2. "Indivisible" was clearly false, as the country had divided in the 1860s
  3. The whole concept of "god" was pretty iffy
  4. Not everyone got (equal amounts of) liberty and justice.

(As one might guess, I was also not popular in school, because I thought for myself. :-) )

Jafafahots sez: "I've tried the money thing in the past, but it makes so little difference compared to the gazillions of bills in circulation... "

You're right. Against all those other dollars and pesos and yens and euros and those great big stone coins with holes in the middle. Middling, undefiled dollars are, I agree.

Nonetheless, intentional, blasphemous and heretical speech and expression are an integral part of this nation of mongrels. It's how we sort each other out. The game is ever afoot. Each small effort has value and many combined are - are like the notion of breaking sticks. One is easily snapped by a child. A dozen takes a strong boy. Two dozen defy our strongest men.

Well, it's worked before. It worked a little over two centuries ago and it worked so well that we are still arguing about it. A short poem to explain, ends abruptly:

***
E Pluribus Unum
Is the motto of the Union
Chosen by the guys upon the scene.
Your personal proclivities,
Your beloved fine activities
Were not anticipated
And thus they weren't foreseen.

How could the Lude Goard anticipate,
Less, my lands, accommodate,
Your foolishness and the potentate's?
***
We go through the world trusting someone, something, until we have finally arrived back at home. Frequently it is then we realize that only by trusting ourselves has the journey been possible.
(Something about knowing home and self for the first time goes here. Roll your own.)

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Why was "vegemite" a banned word on your blog?

vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite vegemite

Tee hee...

By Free Chocolate (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

At least the first two pages (currently) of comments on that idiotic article (with one exception) make a lot more sense than the article itself.

That whole trust in god thing was first introduced during the Civil War, and then became a country motto to combat communist conspiracy and indoctrination during the Cold War.

Dudes, the war is over, get a grip on yourselves. Oh, and even if the reds do attack, God won't be of much use.

The Turtle Moves!

I'm so happy we have scientists, authors and one musician on our money in Sweden... and a few genocidal kings on the higher value bills, but hey, they were only corruptible men! It wasn't their fault! They didn't come from a country under God!

(admittedly though, the most evil one of the kings on our bills, Gustav Vasa, melted down church bells and plates to make coins... I can't decide if that's godless or godly money, but in either case, I like the idea)

Am I the only one to see a contradiction in this guy's reasoning? Well, I mean the one between

"The laws of our land protect our right to revere or disavow God, but they do not protect us from hearing and seeing the term."

and

"God empowers the individual, never the state."

Because the first quote means that, in his opinion, not only the individual has no right to be protected from seeing or hearing the word "God" (true) but above that, the state has the right to use the word wherever it wants and impose it on the citizens. So he has this empowering thing rather upside down. And I see some problems related to the First Amendment.

Christophe Thill

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

A law passed by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140)...declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States. The first paper currency bearing the motto entered circulation on October 1, 1957...it gradually included IN GOD WE TRUST in the back design of all classes and denominations of currency. $1 - 1964 ; $100 - 1966
ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/currency/in-god-we-trust.shtml
-------------
I used to have a green permanent marker I bought just for defacing currency. I read about some fellow that would publicly cross "God" off of bills, and I decided that it was a good thing to do. It was easy and fun, but I gave it up once I left the small town in the Bible Belt I was living in and moved to Colorado, where nobody batted an eye. Sometimes I liked to right "oil" over the top of God (this was before FSM). It shocked people in the small town, but in Colorado people would chuckle and say "ain't that the truth!".
-------------
In Colorado Springs, if you want to know what god thinks about our currency all you gotta do is ask him, for crying out loud. There are plenty of dudes whom he appointed to speak for him and they will gladly tell you exactly what he thinks.
------------
Gob?! There is more than one Gob! DO NOT anger the Gobs by failing to aknowledge them! Paksul's wager: you have nothing to lose by honoring the gobs.
-------
@50
"I remember when the Pledge of Allegiance did NOT include the words "under God."
Look outside, on your front lawn. That's me and my friends. No we're not leaving. No we don't care if you call the police.

By TimKO,,.,, (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

Should "God" be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?

85% Yes, lose the references to God

14% No, keep God on currency and in the Pledge

0% I don't know

1% I don't care

Total Votes: 6216

By dannystevens.m… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

The believer perceives God as the living creator of all. The atheist perceives God as an unfortunate fictional concept that causes war. Either way, this country was founded on respect for a higher power than man...

[head tilt] Baroo?

I see. So the atheist perceives God as a totally bullshit, made-up idea that holds water slightly less well than cheesecloth and that has been directly and indirectly responsible for a massive amount of misery, pain, and death throughout human history.

And this attitude shows a fundamental respect for the idea of God.

I'm not sure I agree with you 100% on your police work there, Lou.

By Greta Christina (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

"God, unlike an establishment of religion, is a concept to atheists and believers alike. . ."

This is so wrong. Our fight is not with the gods (an idea we're simply content to ignore), but rather, with the butt-heads that not only believe in 'His' existence, but set-up shop, and presume to dictate 'His will' to the rest of us.

I would like to also point out that, if he did exist, most of us would have to feel a sense of embarrassed compassion, for a god who is so manifestly powerless as to be unable to defend himself from the kind of ass-hats that would presume to speak for him.

By modernatheist.org (not verified) on 22 Mar 2010 #permalink

@#40:

Fortunately, defacing currency WITHOUT intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued is perfectly legal.

And that is what people crossing out "Under Gob" are doing. They are making it MORE fit to be reissued, and thus should be commended.

God, unlike an establishment of religion, is a concept to atheists and believers alike.

Atheism is one thing, one thing! And he manages to get that wrong.

I suppose I shouldn't have voted, I live in the UK, but thought sod it, I use dollar bills when I'm in the US, so I should have some say fictional concepts on the currency I'm handling.

E Pluribus UnumFTW

By charlesoduill (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Grendels Dad #71

Conan's favourite god was Crom. He wasn't the interventionist sort, though. He approved of great warriors, but didn't smite their enemies for them or anything. Maybe he just bought them a foaming flagon in the Hyborian equivalent of Valhalla.

It's mildly amusing that the title of the Wikipedia article is "Crom (fictional deity)", as if there was some other kind of deity.

By ambulocetacean (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Zabinatrix @65,

Perhaps if there was a currency backed by plastic spoons and axle grease.... I could go with that.

There is, it's called oil.

http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse

If you prefer a more visual expose then try:

http://www.chrisjordan.com/

As for why classic economic theory is bullshit
read this sciam essay.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-economist-has-no-c…

Monetary policy?! Hahahahaha!

If you believe in that you're just as delusional as a creationist.

By Fred The Hun (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink
God, unlike an establishment of religion, is a concept to atheists and believers alike.

Atheism is one thing, one thing! And he manages to get that wrong.

Actually, I'd say he's technically correct. "God" is a concept to atheists, much like "invisible pink unicorn" and "Santa Claus". It's not necessarily a _coherent_ concept, and it doesn't necessarily correspond to any empirically observable entity, behaviour, system or pattern, but it's still a concept (or more accurately, one of a very large set of concepts, depending on who you ask).

Rest of the argument is still crap, though.

(There's also ignosticism, which argues that the term "god" _is_ sufficiently nonspecific and poorly-defined that it doesn't form a concept, and can thus be dismissed out of hand. I think.)

Snoof,

God, unlike an establishment of religion, is a concept to atheists and believers alike.

[Kel] Atheism is one thing, one thing! And he manages to get that wrong.

Actually, I'd say he's technically correct. "God" is a concept to atheists, much like "invisible pink unicorn" and "Santa Claus".

Um, no.

Yes, "God" is a concept to atheists and believers alike; but equivalently so is "establishment of religion" a concept to atheists and believers alike. Yet this is explicitly denied.

Whence, then, your claim about the correctness of "unlike" in relation to both, in that quote?

By John Morales (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Under, as in under the yoke of, or under the boot heel.

By Somnolent Aphid (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

@35 : "It's a fair enough point, I guess, and one occasionally raised, that we don't technically know what a world without religion would/will actually be like*..."

Byr we DO know what *countries without religion looks like: -you can go to Scandinavia...or cough up 25 bucks for this book “Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment” by Phil Zuckerman
http://www.amazon.com/Society-without-God-Religious-Contentment/dp/0814…

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Everything is worth what it's purchaser will pay for it.

That's only true if every buyer is intelligent and reasonable at assessing value, and that no seller makes fraudulent or misleading claims.

Jonas Brothers sell music not because it has worth, but because stupid people are unfairly caught up in the hype. That people have paid for it does not give it value.

By Evolving Squid (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

FAIL! Atheist's trust a fictional concept? Seriously? Which Atheists? We might joke about the IPU or FSM, but trust? Yeah. Not so much.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Get that? Believers like God, atheists think god is an "unfortunate fictional concept", but either way, we have respect for a higher power.

Personally, I think it's entirely appropriate to have a fictional concept as the denominator of trust on money, since I consider money to be an unfortunate fictional concept and rather more trouble than it's worth. Just like most gods...

By valayas-chosen (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

88% for "Lose It" not that that means much. Stupid cretins

By applescrapple (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

What's with the daily pledge bleating anyway? The only people I see doing pledges daily are the insecure, and the despotic nations (North Korea, anyone?) ...and all those flags? I could drive here in the UK for hours without seeing a single Union Flag.
How come the most powerful nation on Earth is so afraid of the furriners?

@87 Crudely Wrott

"five twenties"

My friend coined a slang term for $100 in twenties that I feel compelled to spread on the rare occasion that it comes up: A "Jackson Five".

As for this God business, I think if the opportunity came up to redesign the money and it was taken off that would be great, but it's never gonna happen. Like drug laws and police budgets in small towns, people immediately think anyone who questions the unreasonable status quo is pro-evil.

I always mouthed the pledge as a kid. The God part made me really uncomfortable (atheist by the time I even got the opportunity to learn the thing), but the whole thing always creeped me out. I don't owe anything to a flag, and blind nationalism is not a virtue.

By mikerattlesnake (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

I think that you're missing the marketing genius of having an unnamed god. You get to claim that ALL references to god are references to YOUR flavor of God. AND you can them claim that references to your God are just talking about the abstract concept of "god." It's the greatest genericised trademark EVER.

By simonator (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

88% - 11%!

Pharyngulation complete.

It does point out a problem. I am atheist, but I am not an atheist, in the sense that I will not generally define my views as the lack of something that does not exist. I am irreligious, true, but I prefer more positive statements: I am a naturalist, materialist, humanist, whatever fits. I hit the faithy types over the head with this idea, and it's fun -- it usually really confuses them.

Yes at 88%. Do these idiots really think we don't know which god they're referring to? I care.

By https://me.yah… (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Has anybody had the problem of this website crashing your browser? I run Firefox on a Mac, and Colorado Springs Gazette's website has caused FF to crash a bunch of times, usually when I try to leave. It's very annoying. There are two polls on that page, and I voted on both, so I wonder if their anti-voteboting software is somehow connected.

By chuckgoecke (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

If they're all interchangeable and we just need to honor a generic concept, then why not have alternating mintings where "God" is interchanged with "Allah" and "Cthulhu" and "Satan" and "Mammon" and whatever?

That's kinda what I was thinking when I came up with this idea for a billboard:
Now you know how we feel (click to view)

By ImmortalityLTD (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Voted. 88%. Idiotic statement, that article.

By cearbhaill (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

"Get that? Believers like God, atheists think god is an "unfortunate fictional concept", but either way, we have respect for a higher power. And because we are free to disbelieve in God, it is symbolic of our freedom to honor God. His god. That Abrahamic tyrant."

That's what that word salad meant?

hkdharmon (#84):

I would enthusiastically vote for "In Cthulhu we trust".
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!

Don't forget the diacritic mark above the letter A in "Iä". As has been mentioned here before, if you neglect it, you are actually asking Cthulhu for a donut.

(Technically speaking, the "donut" is a vile distortion of euclidean geometry, with certain topological similarities to a torus.)

By hyperdeath (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

The poll has been exchanged!

What do you think now of President Obama?

Health care overhaul is a step in the right direction and he backed up his 2008 promise of change 63%

I don't approve of the job he's doing 37%

Total Votes: 895

Technically speaking, the "donut" is a vile distortion of euclidean geometry, with certain topological similarities to a torus.

A Klein bottle? :-)

By David Marjanović (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Technically speaking, the "donut" is a vile distortion of euclidean geometry, with certain topological similarities to a torus.

A Klein bottle? :-)

No. One can look upon a Klein bottle without losing one's sanity.

By hyperdeath (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Caine, Fleur du mal | March 23, 2010 12:16 AM:

Back in the days of McCarthyism, it was The House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Nope. It was the House Un-American Activities Committee ... HUAC. Same sound one makes when getting rid of excess phlegm.

Mikerattlesnake @ 117 sez:

I always mouthed the pledge as a kid. The God part made me really uncomfortable (atheist by the time I even got the opportunity to learn the thing), but the whole thing always creeped me out. I don't owe anything to a flag, and blind nationalism is not a virtue.

Me too. I was a first grader in 1956. I don't recall praying until third grade but I remember saying the pledge. I also recall something being mentioned concerning a change in the wording. I thought at the time (that is, I think I recall thinking then) that it was fine because grown ups knew best.

It was in the fourth grade, Mrs. Whitenour's class in a modest New Hampshire school, that I was informed that there would be a morning ritual comprised of the Lord's Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The principal would direct the recitals via the PA system. I gleaned from the wording and tone of the announcement that this was to stir students to feel included in the American Dream and to be humbled by being so graced (and to placate certain fearfully activist parents). But - to avoid any conflict that might arise due to personal conviction or coming from a dysfunctional family - each student was free to maintain a respectful silence during the . . . duration.

That was one of the most informative and enabling messages I've ever received it turns out. Outside of my parents that was the first time I was told that it was not necessary for me participate in something that "creeped me out." It was, dare I say, "miraculous?" I was suddenly, officially! granted authority over my own will by the world at large . . . or at least by the gummint.

So it was with confidence and an inner sense of personal worth that I sat observantly each morning during prayer and stood resolutely during pledge while remaining silent and respectful. With the full approval and backing of my parents and the school district. The affect hasn't worn off, though it has been mightily tested.

I consider myself to be unnaturally fortunate but that's just luck. And giant's shoulders to stand upon.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

I've taken to crossing out God and writing in Allah on my dollar bills. It's only a concept, no one should care.

Thanks Ambulocetacean @105. Good to know I won’t be smitten for misspelling Crom’s name. I just hate getting smote (smitted?) by imaginary deities.

By Grendels Dad (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

I find the "In God We Trust" business to be particularly annoying because it takes it for granted that God exists, and is actually stating that we trust the bugger. Existence is obvious, trustworthiness is what we are talking about.

Which is where a lot of folks get confused. "Believing in God" can mean either believing that there is a god (in his existence), or believing the things that the god says (in his trustworthiness--obviously he exists). There are places in the Bible where the writers meant the first second, I think, but most modern folks assume the first was meant.

As for the pledge, I find that mindlessly chanting it every day pretty much drains it of all meaning for most folks. I compare it to the Hail Mary--Catholics don't give a shit what it says or means, but it made me cry the first time I read it. Pledging one's allegiance should be as sacred as marriage vows--constant repetition degrades the pledge down to "the flag salute", as it was called when I was in school, which is just a gesture.

I found my green marker and defaced all my bills.

Speaking of money . . . the British 10-pound note has Charles Darwin on the back. That just makes me smile.

By Menyambal (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

>The atheist perceives God as an unfortunate fictional concept that causes war.<

Well he got that part right.

As for writing on or crossing out on US bills, see the Where's George site < www.wheresgeorge.com > for more info. They've been through a federal investigation over it and it was determined that players could stamp or write on bills as long as it didn't damage it for use in commerce. As a 'Georger' I have handled around 10,000 bills and have found only 1 that had God crossed out. I have also found just 1 that had a religious message written on it. Lots and lots of bills have various numbers, names, love notes, gift notes, pictures and other stray marks. The most common is drawing facial hair on George.

And lastly, I too learned the Pledge before 'under God' was added and if I recite it at all (to be polite) I say it the way I learned it. Mostly though, like several comments above, I don't really give allegiance to a flag or a country. There have been many times that I thought my country was wrong. I'm not going to blindly support it just because at some point in my life I said some silly, standardized pledge.

By Die Anyway (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

@#129 Lewelly

I believe it went through several slightly differently named iterations, so you may both be right, but I was going to bring that up as well because one of the bands I play with (Huak) derives our name from that very organization. Old people are the only ones who get it.

By mikerattlesnake (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Well if we're putting all the crazy things that some people believe in but the rational thinks don't then I have my idea

"In homeopathy we trust"
/ducks

I always thought that the notes should say "In the Fed we trust".

By the.theorist (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Current Statistics

Should "God" be stricken from U.S. currency and the Pledge of Allegiance?

Yes, lose the references to God 89%
No, keep God on currency and in the Pledge 10%
I don't know 0%
I don't care 1%

Total Votes: 11073

By DethB4DCaf (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Yes, "God" is a concept to atheists and believers alike; but equivalently so is "establishment of religion" a concept to atheists and believers alike. Yet this is explicitly denied.

Whence, then, your claim about the correctness of "unlike" in relation to both, in that quote?

Ah, I see. Clearly I'm not paying attention - my post was about the validity of the statement "God is a concept to atheists", which I realise was not part of the original post.

All money belongs to Me anyway, even though some mockers and blasphemers won't acknowledge it.

I just lined out a Ben Franklin $100 and a Jackson Five (5x$20's as above). I only do it on the larger bills- since I haven't tested whether a lined-out dollar bill will still give me quarters at a change machine.

Although, after the fact, I thought about adding an "h" to make it- "In God we Thrust"- since so many of us call out that three letter word in a moment of passion. Heh heh...

By SteadyEddy (not verified) on 23 Mar 2010 #permalink

Current awesome stats:

Yes, lose the references to God 88%
No, keep God on currency and in the Pledge 10%
I don't know 0%
I don't care 1%
Total Votes: 12261

By Rhettfairy (not verified) on 24 Mar 2010 #permalink