Dollar bills against the US Constitution? 149 replies

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Relander

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#1 11 years ago

In 1957 the US Congress approved to include phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST", the national motto on $1 bill. The First Amendment of the Constitution establishes that the state should have no part what so ever when it comes to religion, thus some people argue that including the national motto on US dollar bills is unconstitutional as it can be seen as forcing religious outlook for atheists.

What do you think, does this argument hold any ground or is it just ridiculous?




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#2 11 years ago

I personally think the 1st amendment was meant primarily to make it so a theocratic government would not be formed, rather then so religion would have absolutely no place in government whatsoever. Besides which God is a very broad word and applies to almost all religions. The only one it could annoy would be atheists and agnostics.

And it's not forcing anything really, it's just some words on a piece of paper.




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#3 11 years ago

It doesn't have any immediate effect on people's lives, but it's still wrong in principle. It shows a favour to theism (and, let's be honest, Christianity) that is a slap in the face to secularism, and by extension religious freedom. And to me, it looks like a kind of very subtle, low-level brainwashing technique. Put God's name on the money and into the pledge of allegiance, counting on the fact that people simply won't care about something so seemingly trivial, and eventually people will come to assume, being either ignorant or forgetful of events half a century ago, that things were always this way. Anybody who responds that it is about keeping alive "the values that America was founded on" (an oft-repeated mantra), has fallen prey to this and would do well to look into the issue some more, because a lot of these little reminders of a supposed religious heritage are in fact just what the angry athiests say they are, a ploy by certain partisans to de-secularise the US that dates back only fifty years. Just like that "national motto" itself.




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#4 11 years ago
TheDarkInvader;3722104It doesn't have any immediate effect on people's lives, but it's still wrong in principle. It shows a favour to theism (and, let's be honest, Christianity) that is a slap in the face to secularism, and by extension religious freedom.

Not putting it there is a slap in the face of theism, as it is shows a favor to atheists.




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#5 11 years ago

...no. It's called neutrality. If you make no comment on something you cannot be said to be biased one way or the other, at least not by anyone without an agenda.




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#6 11 years ago

It's one phrase on a coin that probably 80% or more of Americans don't even pay attention to. If you find that annoying, you need to find more significant topics to complain about.




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#7 11 years ago
TheDarkInvader;3722118...no. It's called neutrality. If you make no comment on something you cannot be said to be biased one way or the other, at least not by anyone without an agenda.

I think you missed the point. Atheism is as much a "religion" as anything else and you are suggesting there needs to be total religious neutrality. Therefor anything having to do with atheism should also be banned. Of course you know as well as I do that this is impossible as anything not religous could easily be considered atheist.

What I am pointing out is, quite simply, religous neutrality is pretty much impossible to get in all aspects of government so a mix is perfectly fine. As long as the government does not discriminate AGAINST any religion, there should be no problem. And putting a single line of text on a dollar bill(that most people will never even read in their life, and certainly won't pay attention to) is not discriminating AGAINST anyone.Now if the government said you HAD to practice this religion or that religion then that would be discrimination. It's the same with having the ten commandments in a courthouse or having religious sayings or wordings on a national monument.




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#8 11 years ago
Afterburner;3722133I think you missed the point. Atheism is as much a "religion" as anything else and you are suggesting there needs to be total religious neutrality. Therefor anything having to do with atheism should also be banned. Of course you know as well as I do that this is impossible as anything not religous could easily be considered atheist.

Please explain to me how the lack of any mention of religion leads logically to the assumption that the government favours lack of belief in any deity, rather than simply letting people believe what they like without passing judgement. No, that is flawed reasoning. It doesn't matter what can be seen to be propaganda. Anything can be seen to be propaganda. The difference is that I can back up my assertion that the addition of the new motto is anti-secular.

What I am pointing out is, quite simply, religous neutrality is pretty much impossible to get in all aspects of government so a mix is perfectly fine. As long as the government does not discriminate AGAINST any religion, there should be no problem.

Except that if you view atheism as a religion, which you say you do, that is just what the government is doing. "In God we trust" is as anti-atheist as "in one God we trust" would be anti-polytheist.

And putting a single line of text on a dollar bill(that most people will never even read in their life, and certainly won't pay attention to) is not discriminating AGAINST anyone.

It is discriminating against secularism itself, by using the national motto to identify the US as a society which puts its faith in God. By extension this means that those who do not put their faith in God are not truly part of the society. You can dance around this point if you like, but it's a blunt fact, that is the implication of associating national identity with theism. Dismissing it as trivial doesn't change a thing as far as the debate goes.




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#9 11 years ago

I think the idea of writing something religious on money is strange. Why would you combine the ultimate symbol of materialism with a God who supposedly wants people to be not materialistic?




Chemix2

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#10 11 years ago

It's a national symbol, a slogan, in God we trust, created during the early cold war era to add to paranoia towards the "reds" (communists, russians, etc. etc.) for not having faith in God or a God like entity, instead having faith in man. Why it was created.

The first ammendmeant states" The government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" not "Thy church and thy state shalt be seperate, that as is the Flying Spaghetti Monster commandeth". An establishment is an established organization, like the Catholic church, the original Orthodox church and the prior Islamic state church systems. "Respecting" in this case means, because of, or due to, or by the request of; it doesn't mean not showing respect for religion.

The idea was, they didn't want a church organization like the catholic church controling the people through the state or the government acting at the whims of clergymen. In England, the religion of the king allowed them to be controled by their respective church organization, otherwise they faced excomunication and thus an uprising, and through this power over the king, the law was made to work against non believers.

So "seperation of church and state" in reality means " no exterior organization can control our government" specificly citing religious groups which they had dealt with in the past.

End point: It's a religious saying on the dollar that doesn't really matter, but it's an excuse to pay the courts for running this through and then make more costs through reprinting if it comes to that, and also, it adds to the media frenzy making them benefit, so everyone except the common man benefits, welcome to America, the UK, the rest of the world, corporation nations buying and selling stock on a global scale.