The following is a guest post from the folks at Reclaim the Motto.
Sometimes, we in the secular community need to admit when we are wrong.
For years we have railed against “In God We Trust” as a national motto. We have claimed it violates the principle of separation of church and state. We have rejected the argument that the motto represents nothing more than “Ceremonial Deism” as some kind of insincere ruse on the part of Christians. We have claimed that the requirement to recognize God in the motto leaves us disenfranchised and discriminated against in the public sphere.
People, it’s time to relax. Take a chill pill, and turn that frown upside down!
We at ReclaimTheMotto.org have decided to believe those on the other side of the table. Let’s take them at their word! Ceremonial Deism – why not? What that means is that “God” in this context is an empty identity, one in which any proud American citizen can pour whatever meaning they choose. We think it’s time to embrace our national motto – it *is* our motto too, after all – and ceremonially celebrate “God” concepts that align with our world views.
Let’s see if they really mean it, or if they call our embrace of the motto a “sign of the end of times” or whatever other hokey thing their religion dictates. The reality is, either they can share the motto with us and the meanings we choose to embrace, or they can take it down so that we no longer disgrace the name of their God. The choice is theirs.
So let’s start over: “Hi America, I’m a secularist and I embrace our national motto. You can see it on my car here – look at my bumper sticker! Why yes, that is Loki, the trickster God. He is my God. I trust in Him. My friend over here worships His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster!” Maybe Baphomet is more to your liking, or perhaps you’re a naturalist and trust SCIENCE! We all have some kind of God concept that we can embrace in some way (be it serious or sardonic), and as such we embrace our national motto. We encourage others in the secular community to do the same.
Some might say we’re being inflammatory, that our use of the national motto is designed to inflict an unwanted viewpoint on others. To them we say: “Tough noogies.” If they don’t like our use of the current motto, maybe they should pick a different one. Perhaps one that did more to unify folks in this country, regardless of their religious views. If only there were such an alternative…
ReclaimTheMotto.org is a purely profit-driven organization. We have no real interest in changing the national conversation about the meaning of God in our mottos and pledges. We love it that God Bless America is sung by elementary school kids at professional baseball games. We are only doing this because there’s so much money in it, and we intend to capitalize on the groundswell of support we expect from secularists who are brave enough to put yet another crappy bumper sticker on their Prius or VW Microbus to show off at the next Burning Man. You can send us your glorious hatemail by visiting http://reclaimthemotto.org or, if you have the stones, directly emailing us at ReclaimTheMotto@gmail.com. All emails will be ignored in the order they are received, unless of course you’re actually ordering something, in which case we’ll get to you eventually.
If you use the code “FromManyOne” for your purchase at Reclaim the Motto, you get 20% off and we get a cut of the profits. So go buy a bunch of stickers.