Open Letter To Legislators

With all the state governments that are pushing In God We Trust into public schools, we thought you might want a little head start on contacting your legislators.

So if you are in one of the states listed in this other post, feel free to copy this letter and put in your information to send to your legislator.  There are links at the bottom of the page to help you find your state legislators.

Dear [name],

I am writing as a troubled constituent. My concern is regarding [bill]. This bill requires government-owned public buildings to display “In God We Trust” and I stand in opposition to this “motto.” This motto does not represent all of your constituents nor all [Stateian] and placing this government-mandated, religious declaration in government facilities is in direct violation of the First Amendment.

This violates the First Amendment because it  references a specific deity. The Christian “God” to be exact. In Judaism, it would be written as “G-d,” in Islam, “Allah”, and these examples are only from three of the approximately 313 religions currently practiced in the United States. This law clearly favors Christianity above all others and uses the government to push a Christian dogma.

To further support this assertion, this is not the original United States motto. E pluribus unum was essentially replaced in 1956 in favor of “In God We Trust” (IGWT) in an attempt to separate us from the “godless” communists of Russia.  During the 1950s there was a boom in Christian Evangelicalism in the U.S. and there were far fewer alternative religions practiced in the U.S. so the context of IGWT is specifically Christian.

The motto is not the only example of Christianity being favored in the U.S. In 1962 the Supreme Court heard Engel v. Vitale, which was a case brought forth by religious individuals who opposed prayer in school because the schools were praying specifically to the Christian god. These religious plaintiffs were composed of both Jewish and other spiritual people as well as atheists. The Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. government to push or favor a religion through prayer or statements of the same sentiment. In God We Trust is one of these statements and is not part of the official government business, and therefore should not be displayed in government or publicly owned facilities.

Not only has this issue been decided in modern times, we can go back even further, to our founding fathers for guidance on the topic.  Thomas Jefferson  felt that a person’s religious affiliation was between a man and his god and that government should not be in the middle of that equation. This is why he ensured a wall of separation between church and the State. IGWT violates that wall of separation and is in direct opposition to what this country was founded upon.

For these reasons, I encourage and ask you to please vote against this measure. Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Respectfully,

[Name]

If you need help finding the contact information for your legislators, you can enter your info at this website

You can also use Faebook’s Town Hall Feature to get connected with all your elected officials Facebook pages.

John Gleason