The Los Angeles Times managed to get it both right and wrong with yesterday’s editorial.
So where does the editorial team stand on this?
This is another case that calls for reasonableness rather than stridency. Although there is an understandable rationale for keeping phrases like “In God We Trust” in places where they’ve traditionally appeared — on, say, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters — it hardly seems necessary to retrofit a government building at substantial cost merely to add words that might offend some people. At the same time, it’s worth noting that the defenders of secularism sometimes seem to make an inordinate fuss over minor issues (such as this one) when there are more significant battles to be fought.
No, no, no. Bad editorial board. Bad.
They are correct that “In God We Trust” has been on coins for a long while — since after the Civil War — but that’s no reason to keep them there now. What exactly is the “understandable rationale” for keeping the phrase on our currency? I don’t know, and they don’t say.
And are defenders of secularism making too big deal about this?
No doubt there are more important church/state violations. But we should not ignore this.
We didn’t (couldn’t) make a fuss when IGWT was slapped onto our money, made our national motto, and “under God” was inserted into the pledge.
And now, those very things are used against us when we protest church/state violations.
If the Capitol Visitor Center is allowed to engrave IGWT on the inside, you can bet the Religious Right will use that in the future as evidence that this is a Christian nation. They’ll use it to justify further insertions of God into government-run projects.
We may lose this battle, but we shouldn’t stop complaining and we need to keep the pressure up on this.
We need to let the government know this is unacceptable.
This isn’t about getting offended. Atheists are used to that. This is about a principle — keeping religion out of taxpayer-subsidized projects is good for everyone.
What an embarrassing, disappointing editorial. And this, despite the fact they come out on our side!
Paul Fidalgo reminds us that this is the same LA Times that published Charlotte Allen‘s (truly offensive) anti-atheist piece a couple months ago.
I don’t think religious invocations should be removed from government buildings because they hurt my feelings. Hurt feelings is the rationale used by religionists when they oppose private atheistic displays. I want to keep these things separate because government support or endorsement of any kind of superstition, theology, mythology, supernatural revelation, dogma is a bad thing. It fosters sectarianism, it is exclusionary to all those who don’t subscribe to that belief or that form of theism (certainly our Hindu friends, for example, would probably like to know which god it is we are claiming to trust), it celebrates faith over factual understanding, it dilutes a commitment to science and reality, and casts as unAmerican those who do not trust in their imaginary superbeing. There is no constitutional amendment against being offended, nor should there be.
Very well put. Don’t you think?
Stay in touch! Like Friendly Atheist on Facebook: