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Oct 20 2011

The Way Things Used to Be

This one is going around teh Facebook today.

I like the reminder that we were not founded on Christian values as I’ve heard people put forth (e.g., “This country was founded on the Ten Commandments!“), and that our government documents used to reflect our shared secular values.

I’m not so much of a fan of the idea that we should adhere to the original values because they are the original values that were agreed upon around 200 years ago. As a progressive I understand that change is necessary as our interactions with and understanding of the world around us evolves. We should adhere to the secular values implied in the image below because only by keeping the divisive religious dogma of hundreds of different religious ideologies out of our government – the one thing that unites most of us in this country – can we live together in something that approaches harmony.

Text Reads:

Did you know?

The original Constitution of the United States that was ratified in 1789 had only one reference to religion: [Article 6] No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The de facto motto of the United States, adopted as part of the Great Seal of the U.S. by an Act of Congress in 1782 was E. Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One). Congress changed it 174 years later (1956) to “In God We Trust.”

The original ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was written in 1892 by Baptist Minister Francis Bellamy who DID NOT INCLUDE the words “Under God.” Those were added by Congress 62 years later (1954).

The U.S. didn’t issue Paper Currency until 1861, and ‘In God We Trust’ didn’t appear on it for 96 years (1957).

Just after the Red Scare in the 1950′s, CONGRESS CHANGED the Pledge of Allegiance and our Nation’s Motto over the FEAR of COMMUNISM.

In a time when fear is traded like a commodity, and the word SOCIALISM is being used to create the same fear as the old word COMMUNISM, let’s REMEMBER that our country was NOT founded on fear. NO, OUR NATION was founded out of HOPE for a better world where all people were EQUAL – that we were ONE from MANY.

Let’s not let fear change our nation’s great tradition & direction again.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Jeremy

    Stop posting stuff that I feel a need to reblog.

    Please.

    1. 1.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Neener neener!

  2. 2
    Gabriel Gaster

    Does anyone know where this poster came from? Who printed it? When was it printed?

    1. 2.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Nope, sorry. I have not looked into its origins.

  3. 3
    hb

    And the above card dismisses fear of communism as if it was really innocuos and not really a threat. Tell that to the millions who were sent to Siberia so as not to be in the way of the great Soviet movement. Tell it to the inhabitants of Cuba who saw the country ‘change’ from a brutal dictator Batista to a brutal dictator Castro and become a prison island. And in both those instances religion was outlawed. Lets look at the reality and not the fantasy. You dont have to experience a bad to society to learn from it. Then again, there are those who do have to.

    1. 3.1
      Brianne Bilyeu

      Your entire post is a straw man, hb. The poster isn’t saying that communism was innocuous. It’s saying that people’s fear of communism led our country to make some very drastic changes that altered the way we view our history and how we treat religion in the US.

      Countries don’t become communist because their people don’t have a religion, or because there is no state-enforced religion. Forcing our most important governmental documents to bear Christian phrases and symbols is NOT what kept us from adopting communist values, nor is it what kept countries that were communist out of the United States.

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