Thursday, December 01, 2005


The Meaning of Words on Money

There is a very good reason to wonder why atheists even have standing, so to speak, to sue to have the words "In God We Trust" removed from our money and question why theists are not more up in arms about this issue in terms of it being a completely vain invocation of God (that being said -- this theist thanks you Mr. Nedow -- although I've disagreed with you in the past).

... because it is so completely vain! What do words on money mean anyway? My dollar bill claims it is "legal tender for all debts public and private" (emphasis mine), yet if I want to park in metered parking for, say, two hours but I only have enough change to park there for one hour, I cannot use my dollar bill to pay this debt -- instead I must either park for only an hour, risk a parking ticket or find some friendly merchant who is actually willing to make change. So how is my dollar bill legal tender for even all public debts?

So if some words on money are meaningless, wouldn't repeating other phrases on money cause people to question their meaningfulness? Is it in fact not anti-religious to insist on diluting the phrase "In God We Trust" to form a cultural expression rather than a theistic one?

BTW -- I think it might be high time to rethink that whole "no religious tests" clause in the Constitution. I would love to give an examination to public officials who insist on forcing their religion down our throughts -- e.g.: "if Jesus is your favorite philosopher, why do you not accept the golden rule as a principle of statecraft -- i.e. do unto other nations as you would have them do unto you? -- and why do your policies so hurt 'the least of them'-- after all, how you treat them is, according to your professed religion, how you treat Jesus" or "if you are so keen on the 10 commandments, are you careful about abstaining from work on Saturday? how do you feel about having people swear oaths, that might be in vain, in your court? do you insist on having people give affirmations instead so that you do not place a stumbling block before the blind? what do you feel about having a vain invocation of God on the money?" ...

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