Novus Ordo Seclorum

Want to see why my college town of Springfield, MO needs events like Skepticon? Because shit like this isn’t terribly uncommon.

Despite protests from those in attendance, the Greene County Commission unanimously approved placing the ‘In God We Trust’ logo in the commission chambers.

And what of we citizens who don’t believe in god?  What of we non-theistic citizens who may just have some opinions on how the government we live under should be run?  If I don’t believe in god am I not part of the ‘we’ that makes up this city?  That sounds awfully exclusionary.  If you’re trusting god and us, what’s the point of even putting that phrase up?  Yes, I know it’s because they’re politicians solidifying their jobs by pandering to a citizenry of dumbasses who place more value on shit like this than actual policies that affect their lives.  “In God & the Ideas of Freethinkers We Trust” just wouldn’t have the same political effect, would it?

Thankfully, the local atheists were out to tell their local officials that this marginalizes part of their constituency. They got a lame excuse for their efforts.

“It’s unfortunate we can’t please everyone,” he said. “With any decision you can’t make everyone happy.”

I wonder what kind of other decisions could be enacted for which that lovely little phrase could get you off the hook…

“Excuse me, I know all of you on this panel are over 70 years old, but your seal that reads “We trust the opinions of the elderly” seems to ignore the 18-29 year old demographic.  Is that the message you want to be sending if you’re trying to run a government that represents all of its citizens?”

“Sorry kid, we can’t please everybody.”

Or how about…

“Um, that seal you just put up that says “Women’s intuition is the way we’re going” really seems to ignore 48.9% of the US population…”

“Sorry, we can’t please everybody.  Now would you mind leaving the chamber?  We’re making laws in here.”

What a perfectly dispassionate way to dismiss their concerns, marginalizing them further.  Asshats.

Yeah, with every decision some people are gonna be pissed.  If you’re a leader in our government you should take that as an impetus to do what is right, since people are going to be upset either way.  Leaving the seal off the wall would be neutral.  It wouldn’t tell the god-wallopers that their opinions were more or less likely to be heard.  However, by putting it up you are creating a higher class of citizens and marginalizing the non-believers when you didn’t have to do anything at all.

To follow that up with a feeble piece of whitewash like “We can’t please everybody” really just adds to the insult.  The response should be simple: “You just actively devalued me as a part of this community in comparison to the other citizens!  I’m not asking you to please anybody, I’m asking you to treat us all equally!”

To which they’d probably get some response that’s wildly contradictory like “We’re going to treat the non-theists equally, even though our wall explicitly says we trust in god”.

Oh wait!  That’s exactly what they did say.

He said he would continue to try to make everyone, regardless of belief, feel welcome in the county chambers.

You’ll continue to make everybody feel welcome?  Continue?

If the way you’re going to continue to make everyone feel welcome is to continue hanging shit on your walls that elevates certain members of the population for some irrelevant criteria, could you actually stop continuing to try and make everybody feel welcome?  You’re really doing it wrong.

Kinda like hanging up a sign in your restaurant saying “We welcome the business of our white customers”.  Hey, you can’t please everybody, right?  And it’s not like you don’t appreciate the business of the ethnic minorities, you’re just calling special attention to one particular demographic and expressing your admiration of them.  But hey, you will continue to try and make everybody feel welcome there, right?  The others will get the same glasses, same plates, same food, so why should we worry about your banner elevating the majority of your clientele?

They marginalize us and then treat us like idiots.  They’re running our governments.  We should not be annoyed, we should be not be merely offended, we should be furious.  We should be livid.  So long as we’re docile, this shit will continue to slip under the radar and be taken as the acceptable social norm.  Speak up!  Get pissed!  Change something!  Don’t hold a meeting to discuss it; don’t sit around your living room and complain.  GO FUCKING MARCH!  Go protest.  Make an appointment to address your city council.  Don’t let fuckers like the government officials of Springfield, MO go a day without hearing our voice.

In short, don’t let them be comfortable ignoring us.

Patheos Atheist LogoLike What Would JT Do? and Patheos Atheist on Facebook!

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X