There is God along my drive to work—the church upon the hill
There is God in every pocket; He’s on every dollar bill
But I saw an empty courthouse wall—it nearly made me ill!
So you know, I’m only doing what I must!
There was godless empty space there, so I had to take a stand,
And in similar locations all across our blessed land
Every courthouse in the country, if they meet with my demand
Will display, for all to see, “In God We Trust”
It reminds us all that, really, it was God who gave us rights
So we’ll put His name upon the walls, in everybody’s sights
And never mind the atheists—they always lose these fights—
There’s no reason we should hear them out at all
Now, in near 300 counties, there’s a useful little perk:
Every councilman and woman, every jurist, every clerk
Has the right to be a Christian, and to spend the day at work
With “In God We Trust” emblazoned on the wall
“To Promote Patriotism
By Encouraging Elected Officials
To Legally Display Our National Motto,
“In God We Trust”
In Every City, County and State Chamber in America”
IGWT-A is the work of Jacquie Sullivan, who expected more resistance to the idea of promoting God in a culture where only 80% of her fellow citizens are Christians:
Sullivan said she at first expected that “In God We Trust” would be challenged in court, but so far no lawsuit has targeted a city or county.
Cities frequently ignore her letters urging adoption, Sullivan said, but if the motto gets on the agenda it almost always passes.
Why on earth would anyone object?
The most common argument against it is that the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment bans the government from getting involved in religion, she said.
“It’s a misconception. I’m not a scholar, but it was referring to not having a state church,” Sullivan said. “This is a free-speech issue.”
In Kings County, Iraq War veteran Richard Leach, 29, spoke against the motto proposal at the board of supervisors meeting.
“Government should be a neutral zone for people who are believers and those who are not,” Leach said. “It alienates a certain portion of the population.”
She’s not a scholar on this, but… The proper punctuation on that sentence should be a period after “this”.
As the Tulare County Atheists report notes, the placing of the motto is (or would be) an example of “ceremonial deism”, a spin that allows clear but historic violations of the establishment clause to continue, constitutionally, under the argument that this mention of “God” does not actually refer to the Christian God, or any other particular god, but rather to some impotent bit of fluff, a cardboard cutout god that’s mostly there to add three syllables between “one nation” and “indivisible”.
Back when I was a Christian, I’d have found this offensive.