WV City Council Makes Empty Religious Gesture

The city council in Clarksburg, West Virginia is striking a blow for Christian privilege and putting those damn dirty atheists in their place by approving a resolution to put up an “In God We Trust” display at city hall. Because it’s patriotic and we’re ripping God out of the country and…oh, you’ve heard it all before.

[Councilman Jim] Malfregeot said he thinks other cities will get on board as well.

“They’re taking God out of everything. The country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, so I thought, ‘wow. What a great thing to do.’ And to be the first city hall and city chambers in the state of West Virginia to have In God We Trust,” said Malfregeot…

Councilwoman Margaret Bailey said she is very grateful that Malfregeot brought the idea to council.

“We are a city of diversity. We are a city council of diversity. We have Christians, we are blessed with Jewish, we are all children of one God. It is not just Christian values, whether you’re Muslim, whether you’re Hindu, whether you’re Shinto, Christian, Jewish, whatever. We’re children of one God, and it’s ‘In God We Trust,'” said Bailey.

Right, of course. They’re being inclusive and diverse! Hemant has the right response:

As if keeping God out of government functions is what’s ruining this country, and not the shitty policy-making of people who use God as a tool to get elected to office.


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  • Wylann

    You mean “the tools who use god….”

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Someone should put some effort into resurrecting e pluribus unum as the orignal national motto.

  • Kaintukee Bob

    whether you’re Hindu, whether you’re Shinto, Christian, Jewish, whatever. We’re children of one God

    Actually, I believe Hinduism ‘believes in’ 0-many gods, and Shinto is also polytheistic. What about Pagans and neoPagans who worship a Lord and Lady (and possibly many elements), or the confused ones who deny the existence of any gods yet worship ‘energy’ or the spirit of Earth or whatever?

    I freely acknowledge that I lack the knowledge of most Eastern religions to speak to who/what/how many they worship…but then again I’m not painting all humans with a broad brush and writing laws based on it.

    Sounds to me like this guy wants to make it an ‘us vs the atheists’ fight and doesn’t really know who his ‘allies’ are.

  • raven

    Not impressed.

    Nearly every government office and household has the names of Pagan gods and goddesses hanging on the wall. And on many web sites.

    1. The days of the week are all named for Pagan deities. Today is Wotan’s day.

    2. Same for many of the months. This month is rather unimaginatively named 10th month. But next month is named after the Roman god Janus.

    to put up an “In God We Trust” display at city hall.

    Which gods? There are thousands of gods at least.

    I’ll go with Athena, Freya, Gaia, Estre, and Thor.

  • Mr Ed

    I think this is a hollow gesture. Now if they really mean it they should disband the fire and police departments, get rid of any social services and get rid of the road crew while they are at it. Big deal putting up a little sign if you really believe take the leap of faith an turn essential services over to the supreme being. Saying God is part of government is one thing but giving him responsibilities is faith.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He’s right. We are children of one God. Even the Hindus.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    You know, pretty much every city is “blessed with Jewish” to some degree or other, but not every city can claim to be blessed with foolish the way Clarksburg is.

  • eric

    The sad thing is that the courts will no doubt ignore the transparent religious establishment motive of the council. They’ll just pretend that the public knowing why IGWT is up there and what the council is trying to do by putting IGWT up makes no difference, presents no coercion, and is not an establishment problem.

    Its like the law has been taken back to an 6th grade reading comprehension level. Accepting that the council is not trying to establish religion in the face of such statements is like accepting a legal argument that there is no racial humor in Blazing Saddles, because that old gold miner clearly said that the sherrif is a’ near.

  • Ellie

    And now the world will know they are Holier Than Thou…and Patriotism.

    I’m not about to change my beliefs at this late date, but I’m quite willing to wager that people like this drive more believers away from religion than any sign or billboard they might read…or any (gasp!) Atheist they might have as a friend.

    If it’s a choice, how about Ceres? She’s pictured in the Capitol Building riding a McCormick Reaper.

  • Randomfactor

    My city did this years ago. The woman whose nonprofit accomplished it was subsequently elected to the City Council–where she sits to this day, virtually incompetent (and I mean that in a legal sense, not a political one.)

    God-bothering will do that to ya, I guess.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    “… we are all children of one God.”

    It cracks me up when I hear people saying this. Really, Ms. Bailey? It is your assertion that Muslims and Jews worship Jesus as the Second Person of a Trinity? It is your assertion that you, yourself, would gladly bow down and pray towards Mecca or pour out an offering to Shiva? If it is all one and the same god, then why not?

  • colnago80

    Re Gregory in Seattle @ #11

    Actually, Muslims consider Yeshua ben Yusef of Nazareth one of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible. This position is actually much closer to the view of Thomas Jefferson then is Christianity.

  • http://Reallyawakeguy.blogspot.com somnus

    What she’s essentially saying is “Our god is the real one, so no matter what you believe in or worship you are *really* his children anyway. We’ll just lump you under our god, OK? Dismissing your actual beliefs is inclusive, because we know the truth and you don’t.”

  • noe1951

    Now if they put “In Gods, some of us trust”…

  • John Pieret

    The country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, so I thought, ‘wow.

    Yep, there is nothing so likely to cure all the ills of the entire country than hanging a phrase so empty that you think it includes everyone, and which is already plastered on every piece of money we use, in the city hall of a hick little town.

    Your “wow” factor has a pretty low threshold. Imagine if you actually come up with something that really solves a problem of your constituants!

  • caseloweraz

    Ellie: If it’s a choice, how about Ceres? She’s pictured in the Capitol Building riding a McCormick Reaper.

    They could put up an electronic sign and have it switch to a new god every ten seconds or so. And to be really diverse (and inventive) they could add foreign languages.

    Or, to save money, how about the Grim Reaper? He’s about due to show up again. So far as I know, he’s never failed in his charge.

    Sorry to end on a downer note. Cue the Blue Oyster Cult song…

  • caseloweraz

    Long years ago I encountered an aphorism that has stuck with me: “Few minds wear out, but many rust out.”

    In that spirit I offer: “In God we rust.”