I hate to say it…

I told you so.

I really didn’t want to say it, but someone has to do it.

Three years ago when I started this little side project, I spread the message far and wide.  I hit all the major secular forums and Facebook Pages.  I explained how  was a major issue.  I offered up logical reasons why we should oppose the use of In God We Trust  on government buildings.  I told them how they would use the phrase to justify religious based ,  I even said that if we don’t stop them now, this will only get worse.

And what was the response?  I got one of three responses during those early days.
1. Wow, I never thought of it like that.  Here is some support

2.This is a losing battle and you should just give up now.

3. This is non issue that will go nowhere so go do something worthwhile

 

To all the number 1’s, I thank you for you continued support. You already know where this post is going.

To all the number 2’s, thanks for the advice, but I think I will keep going.

To all the number 3’s,  Yeah, I told you so.

When I  started opposing In God We Trust, it was just a movement from a few groups that would contact cities and counties asking them to place it on their wall somewhere.  Yes, this may seem like a small thing with little impact on anyone not living in those cities, but like I said early on,  “This is just the beginning.  Just watch.”

Then that summer, a  Sheriff got the bright idea that maybe it would be cool to put In God We Trust on patrol cars.  Oh, we got your attention then.  It seemed that placing that statement on vehicles was just going too far.  Well at least for some of you.  Even after that, I still got comments from the secular community that it was no big deal.  I was told this would blow over and it was just a fad.  Again I replied with “You haven’t seen anything,yet”

I even had a political cartoon commissioned to show this idea.

In 2018 something really drastic happened.  State level legislation started popping up all over the nation regarding In God We Trust  in public school classrooms.  Some even mandating that schools MUST place posters with it or possibly face charges.

You would think that this would be a breaking point.  That the secular community would rise up and say that using the public school system to begin the indoctrination of kids into the local religion was the last straw. That the community might rally behind a movement to get the motto changed so that this couldn’t happen.  But yet again, I see the same apathy that came with all the other warning signs.  A few minutes on a news feed or a quick blurb on someone’s blog.

And again I warned about how they would use this as a way to bring in more and more religious based legislation that actually harms others.

But then the unthinkable happened.  A piece of news came out about an initiative from the Congressional Prayer Caucus called “Project Blitz“.  Project Blitz was a created to make it easier to pass religiously based laws.  The plan is to start with small things that no one could possibly object to then as the public became more accepting of seeing religion in government.

You read that right, they want to use thing like “The National Motto Display Act” type bills to soften the wall of separation enough so they could just walk right through without hardly even a grumble from he opposing side.

Now there is legislation going through the states that will allow teacher led prayer, placing new 10 commandment monuments on government property, allowing for discrimination based on “deeply held beliefs”.

I said it three years ago and I stand by that today.  In order to protect the wall, we must fill every crack and keep new ones from forming.  No matter how small those cracks seem to be.

So I guess the question comes back to you.  Which response are you going to take now?  Are you a 1, 2, or 3?

Robert Ray

Robert is the founder of The Original Motto Project. He is a avid secular activist that likes to dabble into small electronics in his spare time. He and his wife Amy co-host the Secular Yakking podcast. He lives in the Puget sound with his wife and 3 daughters.