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May 06 2012

We don’t exist?

This is a new argument to me. Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Democrat, Missouri) was discussing the possibility of atheists getting elected to office, and while saying he thinks we’d have a difficult time, he also says we don’t exist.

Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

Oooh, ooh, I can do that, too!

I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a Christian, because no respectable follower of Jesus would have any money at all — he or she would have handed it all over to the poor.

Man, it’s going to be really hard to run for office in this country when we’re not allowed to have any money without being accused of hypocrisy. And couldn’t Rep. Cleaver’s argument be turned around to show that the inclusion of the religious motto is a clear violation of the separation of church and state? I presume he’s behind the campaign to have god references removed from our currency, then.

133 comments

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  1. 1
    petejohn

    Yup, that’s my state. He’s not my congressman though, mine’s Todd Akin, who’s on record believing that the heart of liberalism is a hatred of God. Sounds like a winner, eh?

  2. 2
    Trebuchet

    Just checked all my debit and credit cards, as well as my checkbook. No such motto on any of them. Nor on my bank statement. Must be proof Christians don’t exist, or they wouldn’t go around with such things in their pockets.

  3. 3
    ericjuve

    All the bills I have in my pocket have that phrase crossed out.

  4. 4
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I have been told, multiple times, that I cannot be an atheist. The usual reason is that I’m just angry with gods for some reason. This is the first time I’ve heard the money gambit.

    Does this mean that, before the mid-1950s when we put “In God We Trust” on our money, we were all atheists?

  5. 5
    eigenperson

    Recently, I learned that there are no Christians with New Jersey driver’s licenses, because no Christian would carry around in his or her pocket an emblem of the pagan goddesses Liberty and Ceres.

    I will be sure to inform my Christian friends.

  6. 6
    Lynna, OM

    So if I have money in my pocket I’m not a pure atheist. I’m just another hypocrite like all those other True Believers who fail to toe the line when it comes to the tenets of their faith.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, when will the dogma-ridden get it through their heads that we don’t give much credence to that whole dogma thing?

  7. 7
    tigerhawkvok

    Does this mean that we finally have the endorsement of a national figure that “In God We Trust” on money is a religious statement? NOW will courts listen? (I wish).

  8. 8
    fabianocaccin

    Am I the only one with the impression that his speech patterns seem to indicate some sort of glitch? It would explain a couple things, Occam’s razor and all.

  9. 9
    samihawkins

    Wait a minute… Why would an Atheist refuse to carry something saying ‘In God We Trust’ when it’s not actually endorsing religion? Isn’t ‘In God We Trust’ an example of ceremonial deism that somehow, despite all logic, includes believers in Monotheism, Polytheism and Atheism under the singular ‘God’?

    It’s not like ‘ceremonial deism’ is a crock of **** that they only claim to believe in to justify endorsing religion and that people like this know damn well the ‘God’ it mentions is Jesus’ daddy.

  10. 10
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh good, since dollar isn’t the currency I use I can exist! Phew, I was scared there for a moment that I was just a figment of my own imagination.

    In other news : USA is in fact not the only country in the world.

  11. 11
    Bronze Dog

    That reminds me: Time to break out my sharpie, again.

  12. 12
    cogito

    Possibly the dumbest thing I have heard this year. I am actually a bit impressed.

  13. 13
    mrevan

    Finally, a reason to believe in God!

    Also: There are no Christians on Thursdays, as no self respecting Christian would dedicate one out of every seven days to Thor.

    Also also: There are no creationists in England, as no self respecting creationist would walk around with pictures of Darwin in their pocket.

    …methinks this could go on for a very long time…

  14. 14
    anubisprime

    There is a tiny hint of a suspicion that a segment of American society respond more enthusiastically to inanity then they do to reasoned argument!

    Not saying that they are alone in that trait…Blighty has a political coalition that drips such feculent dumbness, but they are politicians…wait!…what…oh yeah!

    Why are politicians so…trite?

    Maybe because the audience is so dumb and that they are only aiming to stimulate those with an IQ below 65 on a good day…you know the ones that think politicians have something profound to share.

    The Americans got politics all tangled with jeebus drooling, that lowers the IQ by default.

  15. 15
    mrevan

    @3; 11,
    I haven’t carried my “dollar-sharpie” in a very long time. I think this calls for a good ol’ revival.

  16. 16
    Alexandra (née Audley)
    Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

    Just checked all my debit and credit cards, as well as my checkbook. No such motto on any of them.

    Same here. My bank must be godless, oh noes!

    I can’t tell you the last time I had actual, real bills in my wallet. Some of us have moved past such silly concepts as “cash”*.

    You know, now that I think of it, I was in a church a few months ago for a funeral. OMG, I MUST NOT BE A REALLY REALLY REAL ATHEIST!

    *Besides, it’s not like we have a choice whether or not to use money… or is Cleaver suggesting that atheists should be bartering for everything, since apparently the word “God” makes us burst into flames?

  17. 17
    PZ Myers

    Errm, what about Fridays, Freya’s day, or Saturday, Saturn’s day, or Sunday, dedicated to the Sun god, or Monday, named after the moon, or Tuesday, Tyr’s day, or Wednesday, Woden’s day? THEY’RE ALL PAGAN. Therefore, Christians don’t exist.

  18. 18
    a3kr0n

    The stupid…. It gets elected.

  19. 19
    tcsf

    We hear that the motto, “In God we Trust”, is not religious. Then they go ahead and use it against us. It IS religion and it MUST be changed!

  20. 20
    raven

    no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

    Most of the time I don’t.

    It is a thin piece of colored plastic that says “Visa”.

    I assume True Xians don’t use credit or debit cards because they don’t say, In god we trust.

    I also assume that True Xians aren’t citizens of the USA because the constitution doesn’t mention god or jesus.

  21. 21
    jamesevans

    SOMEBODY needs to hand out pink slips in the ole PR office.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    raven

    I assume True Xians don’t celebrate Easter either.

    Because Easter is named after the Germanic goddess of spring and fertiltiy, Eastre. And the Easter bunny and colored eggs are pagan symbols.

    Same for Xmas of course. You don’t think they had reindeer in Israel?

  24. 24
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Told Wife about this.

    She said that what we really need in the USA is non-demoninational money.

    Sounds good.

    Cadillac or a candy bar? Use the same non-demoninational bill.

    Not what she meant, but still good.

  25. 25
    Dick the Damned

    Raven, wtf are you trying to do? You see, Canada’s constitution does mention a god thing, so all those American religious nutjobs will be wanting to move up to Canada. Okay, maybe not. The Provincial health care schemes will put them off, i guess. Phewwww!

  26. 26
    alexshuffell

    Lucky I am an English atheist. We have to walk around with the head of Charles Darwin on some of our money.

  27. 27
    bokonon

    The bills in my pocket say “IN GOOD WE TRUST”. I admit I don’t have a metal punch to transform the coins, nor do I always drop them in the charity bin at the register to avoid carrying them.

    This argument is as stupid as the one which says that idiot Republicans who oppose science because they don’t believe in evolution should stop using computers and taking medicine because those are products of science. We all use what we find useful. Republican bigots use the parts of the Bible which support their anti-homosexual bigotry while ignoring the parts which call on them to sell all their possessions and follow Jesus, and atheists like me use currency covered with religious graffiti to purchase sharpies and baby basters. Which of us is the bigger hypocrite?

  28. 28
    bokonon

    Oops, just saw that this bit of stupidity came from an idiot Democrat. My apologies.

  29. 29
    Glen Davidson

    And if we refused to carry cash, we’d be militant extremely anti-religious nuts for such theatrics over a bit of meaningless tripe.

    Of course we’re wrong either way, that’s his point.

    Glen Davidson

  30. 30
    Eurasian magpie

    @raven

    Sure there were! Joseph and Mary went unto the City of Bethlehem by a sledge drawn by reindeer. There they had no room in the inn and had to go to the stable which held reindeer. Then there were shepherds out on the hills watching their flock of reindeer. And three wise men arrived from the Eastern Lands on reindeer to worship Baby Jesus.

  31. 31
    varys

    “couldn’t Rep. Cleaver’s argument be turned around to show that the inclusion of the religious motto is a clear violation of the separation of church and state?”

    Yes, it absolutely can, and with the amount of times I hear stuff like it, I don’t see why we shouldn’t.

  32. 32
    David Marjanović

    And couldn’t Rep. Cleaver’s argument be turned around to show that the inclusion of the religious motto is a clear violation of the separation of church and state?

    …It could, couldn’t it.

    It’s not like ‘ceremonial deism’ is a crock of ****

    You’re allowed to spell shit out here, you know.

    The stupid…. It gets elected.

    QFT!

    She said that what we really need in the USA is non-demoninational money.

    Non-demon-inational money? For that you’d need to enlarge the Government so far that it could hire the Ghostbusters!!! That would be fun. :-)

  33. 33
    flapjack

    As Raven rightly said Eostre is a pagan fertility goddess, so that’s Easter eggs and cute chocolate bunnies out the window.
    And no self respecting christian should put up an Xmas tree either cause that’s a throwback to the Norse yule festival.
    And since we’re on a roll here, they’d better quit using crosses in their iconography as the Roman Empire kind of got in on that one first, even if they didn’t copyright it.
    Just a hunch but I’m pretty sure that Pontius Pilate wasn’t christian… wouldn’t he have been worshipping Jupiter or one of those hellenic gods?
    And the eucharist… wouldn’t that have originally been a pagan rite too, albeit with real flesh and blood?
    I’m not seeing many genuine Christians suddenly.

  34. 34
    Part-Time Insomniac

    So, In God We Trust is a religious motto and is a violation of the separation of church and state.

    Then why are do so many people whine and have tantrums when the idea of taking it off the money is brought up?

  35. 35
    humanape

    Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

    Nice logic Cleaver. I bet he worships the magic Jeebus man. I noticed Cleaver is a Democrat. I thought only Republicans were this nuts.

    It would be nice to get god off our currency because it makes Americans look like superstitious idiots. Perhaps replace in god we trust with in scientific evidence we trust.

    According to Cleaver I’m a respectable atheist. I never carry cash. I use a credit card instead and I get one percent back from every purchase. This works if I can pay it off in full every month.

  36. 36
    Rich Woods

    Most of the money in my wallet has Charles Darwin on it.

  37. 37
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    flapjack:

    And no self respecting christian should put up an Xmas tree either cause that’s a throwback to the Norse yule festival.

    Jeremiah 10

    10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

    10:3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    Christmas tress are expressly forbidden, but that doesn’t stop Christians from putting them up and decorating them.

  38. 38
    kreativekaos

    Did I hear this correctly???

    Ralph Reed–Mr. Christian Coalition– NOT pumping the idea that a non-believer/atheist wouldn’t stand a chance? Stating that he was optimistic that a non-believer could effectively run–and presumably win– based on unique ability to lead, shared values and qualifications for office?

    Did I miss something??

  39. 39
    AlanMac

    Christians don’t exist:

    God was around forever before He created the world.
    Forever has not past.
    Ergo: God has not created the world yet.

    Norman, please coordinate.

  40. 40
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

    Meh.

    Some of us only carry plastic, bub.

    Furthermore, as surprising as it may sound to you, there is a whole world outside of the US, which doesn’t use US money. Just take a look to the north of you, for instance. These days our monopoly canadian money is sometimes worth more than your bland colorless god-soaked stuff.

  41. 41
    AlanMac

    10:5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    Is this comparing Christmas trees with Ents???? And insinuating that Ents are evil??

  42. 42
    pris

    Tee hee!

    My money doesn’t have that!

    I have some coins with ‘Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit’ stenciled on the edge, though.

  43. 43
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Oh fuck off, Cleaver. None of us are respectable to the likes of you.

  44. 44
    hypatiasdaughter

    #20 raven

    I also assume that True Xians aren’t citizens of the USA because the constitution doesn’t mention god or jesus.

    But it does! At the bottom it says

    ..the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven..

    Did’ya see that “Lord” part? Proof that the Constitution is a xtian document!
    And you guys who write checks can’t be atheists because you date them 2012 (which is dated from the birth of Jesus).

    Yes, I have actually seen some idjits make those claims.

  45. 45
    raven

    factmonster.com:

    January: named after Janus, protector of the gateway to heaven

    February: named after Februalia, a time period when sacrifices were made to atone for sins

    March: named after Mars, the god of war, presumably signifying that the campaigns interrupted by the winter could be resumed

    April: from aperire, Latin for “to open” (buds)

    May: named after Maia, the goddess of growth of plants

    June: from junius, Latin for the goddess Juno

    July: named after Julius Caesar

    August: named after Augustus, the first Roman Emperor
    September: from septem, Latin for “seven”
    October: from octo, Latin for “eight”
    November: from novem, Latin for “nine”
    December: from decem, Latin for “ten”

    Four of the months are named after pagan gods and goddesses.
    None are named after anything to do with xianity.

    I guess there are no True Xians during January, February, March, May, or June.

  46. 46
    robro

    What’s really disheartening is this guy is a “Democrat”, a member of the opposition party in Congress, presumably a “liberal” and defender of civil liberties. Yet, he quacks like a Republican. He also looks like a Republican and I bet he votes like a Republican. I’m willing to bet he’s only a “Democrat” because in his district only candidates labeled “Democrat” get elected. So much for the vaunted “two party” system. When both parties are crawling with idiots like this, there is little to hope for.

  47. 47
    frederikrosenkjaer

    PZ, your analogy doesn’t work at all – it makes sense.

  48. 48
    Jasper of Maine

    I don’t believe there’s such a thing as a Christian, because no respectable follower of Jesus would have any money at all — he or she would have handed it all over to the poor.

    I’m so stealing this

  49. 49
    Childermass

    Dear ignorant politician,

    Those who don’t believe in the supernatural do not think that writing and/or images on a coin have any magical powers. Please don’t confuse what we think with what you think.

    When I have two quarters what matters to me is that it can buy me a can of Diet Dr. Pepper. It would do the same no matter what the legislators and/or bureaucrats had stamped on those coins.

  50. 50
    kevinalexander

    ‘PZ, your analogy doesn’t work at all,- it makes sense’

    and we don’t use the s-word around here.

  51. 51
    timgueguen

    I would imagine there are some folks that don’t use credit or debit cards because they’re part of the Mark of the Beast.

    No God on my paper money. Instead the two bills currently in my pocket have pictures of a Scottish binge drinker on one, and a Quebecois Catholic on the other, the latter of which would probably send some Americans screaming for the hills, being a French speaker and Catholic.

  52. 52
    Larry

    Just goes to show the republicans don’t have all the religious nutjobs locked up.

  53. 53
    Akira MacKenzie

    @samihawks, #9

    THANK YOU! I was about to say the same thing aboute sham that is “ceremonial deism,” but you beat me to the punch.

    This should also make it clear why atheists should not poo-poo (i.e. “We have more important issues to deal with!”) legal efforts to have religious affirmation scrubbed from currancy, the Pledge (not that we need one in the first place), government documents, etc.. Along as they exist, the Christianists can use it can use it as legal and cultural precedent to worm their way further into power as well as you it as.a means to marginalized atheists.

  54. 54
    stonyground

    Doesn’t US money have a load of Masonic symbols on it as well? There’s that pyramid with an eye in it, no self respecting Christian would walk around with that in their pocket surely.

    As has already been mentioned, the UK £10 note has a picture of Charles Darwin on it which is pretty cool.

    On the subject of chocolate eggs and bunnies, we wouldn’t have chocolate as we know it without the Quakers.

  55. 55
    ibyea

    Wait, so if I am not an atheist, then… WHAT AM I???!!1111

  56. 56
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    PZ, your analogy doesn’t work at all – it makes sense.

    Well, if you are a moron, sure it does.

  57. 57
    Gregory Greenwood

    Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’

    Is there any point in reminding him that rationalist atheists are the ones who don’t believe in sorcerous incantations and invocations of invisible magic men in the sky, and that as a result carrying a unit of currency with a bit of theist doggerel scrawled on it, while annoying and a clear violation of the separation of church and state, does not in fact make us spontaneously combust or bind us by geas to believe in the ludicrous?

    No? Didn’t think so.

  58. 58
    jacobfromlost

    This is a variation on…

    “If you know stuff, you are not an atheist because god is necessary for you to know stuff.”

    or

    “If stuff exists, you are not an atheist because you know god created the stuff.”

    I don’t think they really understand that the Constitution makes it perfectly clear that you don’t have to be a Christian to be an American…no matter WHAT is written on the money.

  59. 59
    davidjohnson

    My Mom used to feel that having “In God We Trust” on something as base as money was blasphemous…

    Therefore, logically, it should be the Christians who refuse to have that money in their pockets and the atheists who get to keep if because, after all, we blaspheme all the time!

  60. 60
    A. R

    Ahhhhhh! I’m slowly ceasing to exist because I haz monies!!!!!!!!!!

  61. 61
    feralboy12

    “It was as though the country were saying to its citizens, ‘in nonsense is strength.’”
    –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Breakfast of Champions

  62. 62
    consciousness razor

    So this is the sort of sophisticated theology they teach at St. Paul School of Theology. He looked like he was running on auto-pilot. I mean, it didn’t take any time at all for him to spit out that inane bit of apologetics, so he apparently came up with it ahead of time and still thought it was a good idea. It’s just bizarre.

    wiki:

    Emanuel Cleaver II (born October 26, 1944) is a United Methodist pastor and the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s 5th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and in January 2010 became chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    Even though he’s representing a predominantly liberal district (for MO anyway), I’m sure saying anything remotely fair about atheists is off-limits. He had to at least take one little stab before this bullshit:

    Nonetheless, I think that–uh–those of us who live in a pluralistic nation, we’ve got to be the ones who tell people, openly, in public, on national TV, that–that–we cannot tolerate that–uh–where people make decisions about people who don’t have a [view of?] faith.

    So who are we telling this to? The people who aren’t in the same pluralistic nation as us? What the fuck kind of useless answer is that?

  63. 63
    David Marjanović

    you guys who write checks

    Americans, French, and nobody else, right?

  64. 64
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    hypatiasdaughter:

    And you guys who write checks can’t be atheists because you date them 2012 (which is dated from the birth of Jesus).

    Wait, people still write checks?

    AlanMac:

    Is this comparing Christmas trees with Ents???? And insinuating that Ents are evil??

    I think it’s a passage about heathen gods, but I’m not an expert in the sofistikated theolololology.

  65. 65
    Pteryxx

    Sheesh, y’all plastic-carrying folks. Icky paper bills still work fine for those of us screwed over by the Big Four card companies, and they don’t have fees or tracking or ID theft and aren’t vulnerable to having payments stopped because yon Big Company doesn’t agree with the politics of whoever you’re donating to or doing business with.

    …They do suck for online transactions though. *shoves rolled-up bill into USB slot*

  66. 66
    Aquaria

    I can’t tell you the last time I had actual, real bills in my wallet. Some of us have moved past such silly concepts as “cash”*.

    I had some a few weeks ago because this strange thing happened when I scalped my ticket to the Spurs game not far from AT&T center: Someone paid cash for them. I almost didn’t know what to do with the stuff, and felt stupid having to remember how the bills worked. I deposited the money into the bank account. Now I know how to deal with it all.

  67. 67
    Aquaria

    Wait, people still write checks?

    When you have Enrique the lawn boy doing your yard work when he needs to get high with his friends that weekend, yes, you still write checks. It’s not as traumatizing as dealing with currency.

  68. 68
    otrame

    I am using a lot of cash right now because I find I am more careful about spending bills than using the debit card and my finances are a tad tight atm. (I realize that for some people it works exactly the opposite). I cross off the damned God on every single one of them.

    I used to feel childish about it. I don’t any more, not when people like the asshole in the OP (who hasn’t quite figured out that, yes Virginia, there are atheists and we fucking VOTE) keep saying shit like that. So yeah, when a bill leaves my hands it has no gods mentioned on it. Yes, it is childish and yes I am catering to their magic thinking. It’s very satisfying.

    I am just waiting for the day when I get one that already has the god scratched out.

  69. 69
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Wait, people still write checks?

    Due to an ongoing pissing match that my mortgage holder is inflicting on my credit union, I still write a check every month for my mortgage (actually, one every two weeks). I cannot even use my debit card (on line, they add a $12.95 fee) or credit card (same) to pay it online (well, I could, but there is no way I am adding a 4.6% surcharge every two weeks on a 4% mortgage!). So yes, I do still write checks. And the occasional cheque. No Czechs, though.

  70. 70
    Andy, uncultured Brit

    Pteryxx@65:

    Icky paper bills still work fine for those of us screwed over by the Big Four card companies, and they don’t have fees or tracking or ID theft and aren’t vulnerable to having payments stopped because yon Big Company doesn’t agree with the politics of whoever you’re donating to or doing business with.

    Debit cards? Still not useful online, though.

  71. 71
    Nick Gotts

    Lucky I am an English atheist. We have to walk around with the head of Charles Darwin on some of our money. – alexshuffell

    True. But if you look on the head side of coins, you will find:

    D.G. Elizabeth II F.D.

    “D.G.” is “Dei Gratia”: By the grace of God.
    “F.D.” is “Fidei Defensor”: Defender of the Faith (the title given to Henry VIII by the Pope before they fell out).
    So evidently we British atheists don’t exist either.

  72. 72
    shouldbeworking

    No Xians in Canada either. I sometimes get coins as change that say “In god we trust” but I politely ask for real money, not any of that strange Yankee stuff. I have no need of that gawd hypothesis.

  73. 73
    Jadehawk

    Debit cards? Still not useful online, though.

    wtf are you talking about? “check cards” are usable online just fine

  74. 74
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Aquaria:
    I was joking*. Poorly, it seems.

    Anyway, why does almost all of our currency have presidents on it? It’s really not helping with the whole worship of the founding fathers bullshit that’s been going on. I say we should get rid of the unconstitutional “in God we trust” AND put pictures of astronauts on it.

    *Well, not about the not having cash part. But really, I understand why many people do still carry cash.

  75. 75
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Debit cards? Still not useful online, though.

    I use mine online all the time, so I’m not really sure what the hell you mean by this.

    Plus, there are online services (especially bill pay) that will let you use your checking account instead of a card.

  76. 76
    Daz, when the wind's called Mariah I know a hawk from a handsaw

    “D.G.” is “Dei Gratia”: By the grace of God.
    “F.D.” is “Fidei Defensor”: Defender of the Faith (the title given to Henry VIII by the Pope before they fell out).
    So evidently we British atheists don’t exist either.

    “Oh dear,” says God the atheist, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

  77. 77
    Daz, when the wind's called Mariah I know a hawk from a handsaw

    Erm, methinks I buggered up the <strike> tags around ‘God’.

  78. 78
    Andy, uncultured Brit

    Jadehawk@73

    wtf are you talking about? “check cards” are usable online just fine

    This may be something that depends on where you are. When I was in the US, my bank card could be used online (but while not exactly a credit card, it had some VISA symbiosis…) I wasn’t able to use my debit card in Canada online though, at least not the places I wanted to.

  79. 79
    A. R

    Audley: I’m for scientists on bills. I’m thinking that Salk would be a worthy addition. Franklin can stay though.

  80. 80
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Daz:

    Well, the Abrahamic god is really, really, really insecure (all these demands to be worshipped, etc.), so maybe god doesn’t believe in himself. Which would make ‘God the atheist’ a valid phrase?

  81. 81
    David Marjanović

    By the grace of God.

    Which is, of course, a blatant lie. She reigns by the grace of Parliament. Parliament has instituted the monarchy (Glorious Revolution and all that), and it could abolish it again without further hassle.

    Defender of the Faith (the title given to Henry VIII by the Pope before they fell out).

    …and then revoked by the Pope, and then given anew by Parliament!

  82. 82
    Daz, when the wind's called Mariah I know a hawk from a handsaw

    Brother Ogvorbis

    So if if there were a God and he had a good psychiatrist*, all might be well with the world? It’s a thought…

    *Not of the Freudian persuasion. Way too messy. If Jesus is God, and God shagged Mary, his mother… let’s not even go there.

  83. 83
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I am open to any proselytization attempts in the form of cash.

  84. 84
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    @humanape #35:

    I noticed Cleaver is a Democrat. I thought only Republicans were this nuts.

    Disgust toward atheists crosses all party lines. And all races, creeds, classes, and genders.

    I carry cash because the bus doesn’t take plastic unless you buy it in weekly packages.

  85. 85
    Jadehawk

    I carry cash because the bus doesn’t take plastic unless you buy it in weekly packages.

    our buses take plastic (student IDs, that is) :-p

  86. 86
    crowepps

    I wonder if the magic words being on money are supposed to protect it from being involved with drug dealers, purveyors of alcoholic beverages, those involved in the ‘sin’ of gambling and practitioners of prostitution? If so, it ain’t working.

  87. 87
    Mak, acolyte to Farore

    our buses take plastic (student IDs, that is) :-p

    You don’t have to pay if you’re a student? Lucky! We get a discount, but that’s it.

  88. 88
    Jadehawk

    I wonder if the magic words being on money are supposed to protect it from being involved with drug dealers, purveyors of alcoholic beverages, those involved in the ‘sin’ of gambling and practitioners of prostitution?

    pretty sure it’s supposed to protect you from communism…

  89. 89
    andrewbissette

    It doesn’t say “in God we trust” on the currency in my country. Do non-Americans exist?

  90. 90
    David Marjanović

    I am open to any proselytization attempts in the form of cash.

    Thread won.

    pretty sure it’s supposed to protect you from communism…

    And it does:

    “If you pay for MP3s, you’re hanging out with THE MAN!!

    If you pirate MP3s, you’re downloading
    COMMUNISM”

  91. 91
    Pteryxx

    Andy: nah, I don’t have a debit card. To pay for stuff online, if I have no other option, I use a prepaid credit card with a dollar fee via my credit union. The tiny fee still goes to the big CC company, and they still get to squeeze the merchants, but at least it minimizes the damage. Paypal ain’t happening. Dwolla, I need to give them another call…

    Also, our student IDs have attached financial accounts, courtesy of Bank of America. Lovely. *spits*

  92. 92
    Rune

    If I owed Cleaver money, I would make sure to pay him with checks that carried the inscription “There is no god”.

  93. 93
    Ingdigo Jump

    Atheists accept “In God We Trust” on the money because we see it as an unintended truth on behalf of the theistic minters.

  94. 94
    feralboy12

    Wait–doesn’t pretty much every dollar bill in circulation also have cocaine on it?
    All you non-coke addicts don’t exist.

  95. 95
    avawilson

    To be perfectly fair, we don’t WANT to walk around with something that says ‘In God We Trust’ in our pockets. That’s why we want the motto to return to E Pluribus Unum, how it was before the Red Scare.

  96. 96
    Grumps

    Aquaria #66
    Is that the San Antonio Spurs? ‘Cos I’d love a basketball team to support.. I’m a Spurs fan too, but Spurs the football (soccer) team. So if you feel the need to follow the English Premier League you know who your team is.

    http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/spurs/index.page

    In Spurs We Trust.

  97. 97
    Sastra

    “Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’”

    I hear a lot of variations of this, many of them said with a smug sort of “gotcha” attitude. I think it’s some kind of mash up of “deep down you really believe in God” and “you aren’t willing to suffer for your faith.”

    As Gregory Greenwood pointed out in #57, they apparently think atheists are as superstitious as they are. To a real, self-respecting atheist, the word “God” would be like garlic to a vampire. If not — then not a real atheist. A real atheist would become a martyr.

    This line of reasoning implies that they think “In God We Trust” was put on the money specifically for the purpose of getting the atheists out of the country. It would be the equivalent of rubbing all the coins in raw bacon and watching the nation’s Muslims slowly starve and go homeless. But I guess that’s okay, because it’s their house: thus, their rules.

    Whenever secularists shake their heads over Michael Newdow and his suit against the national motto, I remember that almost every single damn argument against the patriotism and legitimacy of atheism coming out of the general public will include this trump card. They really, really think it means something monumentally significant about the status of nonbelievers in the US. In which case, given that this view seems to be a majority view, it really does.

  98. 98
    Zeno

    Huh?! Ralph Effing Reed gave the reasonable response to the question? How the hell did that happen? He must have hit his head and knocked the crazy out. (Probably only temporarily.)

  99. 99
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Dude. We’re atheists, not vampires.

  100. 100
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I swear I posted before I read your comment, Sastra.

  101. 101
    Aquaria

    Is that the San Antonio Spurs? ‘Cos I’d love a basketball team to support.

    Right you are. They’re a great team to support, because they’re so down to earth, and they’re consistent winners. For 15 consecutive years, they have made the playoffs, and have won 50 or more games (of 66 a season) for 13 consecutive years. I’ve met a few of them over the years, and they’re just the nicest people you could ever meet; we haven’t put up with egomaniacs and thug types since Rodman left. That just doesn’t fly in a blue-collar town like SA.

  102. 102
    Zeppelin

    Let’s see…

    *checks wallet*

    Stylised representation of classical architecture…
    stylised representation of romanesque architecture…
    stylised representation of gothic architecture…
    some coins with an eagle on them…vitruvian man…a harp…a dutch queen…some fat bloke’s head…the brandenburg gate…oak leaves…

    Whew! Looks like I won’t suddenly disappear in a puff of Idiot Logic!

  103. 103
    Ichthyic

    They’re a great team to support, because they’re so down to earth, and they’re consistent winners.

    or you could support the Lakers, who have an even more impressive record, and are probably most responsible for the evolution of the style of play in the NBA over the last 40 years…

    Who does the NBA use as a silhouette portrait on their logo?

    why, that would be Jerry West.

    :)

  104. 104
    Ichthyic

    Dude. We’re atheists, not vampires.

    well, I do enjoy sucking the blood from babies from time to time.

    what?

  105. 105
    Ichthyic

    If you pirate MP3s, you’re downloading
    COMMUNISM”

    I always thought pirates flew a black flag though, not red?

    ;)

  106. 106
    Pierce R. Butler

    … no respectable atheist …

    Oxymoron alert: does any atheist exist whom Rep. Cleaver could respect?

  107. 107
    Aquaria

    or you could support the Lakers, who have an even more impressive record, and are probably most responsible for the evolution of the style of play in the NBA over the last 40 years…

    That’s like supporting the Yankees.

    I’d rather burn, thanks.

  108. 108
    Aquaria

    Oh: And the 13 consecutive 50 game seasons–that broke the 80s Fakers record.

    I’d tear off my own skin and eat it before being one of their fans.

  109. 109
    sunsangnim

    I just have Korean money in my pocket. On the back, there’s a picture of a telescope pointed at the stars. I guess they actually believe in science in this country.

  110. 110
    Gregory Greenwood

    Naked Bunny with a Whip @ 99;

    Dude. We’re atheists, not vampires.

    Are we sure we aren’t Liches? After the confusion over jeebus, it might be best to settle the issue here and now…

  111. 111
    shouldbeworking

    French Canadian prime minister, peacekeepers, Scots Canadian prime minister, & kids playing hockey. What does say about my country? Does it exist?

  112. 112
    Ichthyic

    Oh: And the 13 consecutive 50 game seasons–that broke the 80s Fakers record.

    I notice you didn’t mention the serious lag in championship banners…

  113. 113
    Ichthyic

    I’d tear off my own skin and eat it before being one of their fans.

    lol

    spoken like a true irrational b-ball junkie.

    :)

  114. 114
    Ichthyic

    lakers championships:

    17

    Spurs:

    4

    long way to go…

  115. 115
    hypatiasdaughter

    #63 David, as a Canuck born & bred (my ancestors immigrated to the Maritimes in 1812) and who moved to the US at the age of 45 – I had to train myself to omit the “u’s” (colour & neighbour) from words and to not to spell the word as “cheques”. No one could figure out how to pronounce “cheques” let alone what what a “cheque” was.
    And, being in the south, I dropped “pop” and now refer to it as “soda”.

  116. 116
    Ichthyic

    That’s like supporting the Yankees.

    that’s actually a pretty apt comparison, now that I think about it.

    except the Yankees stayed on the East Coast and the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to the West Coast.

    but wrt to influencing the sport, yeah, apt comparison.

  117. 117
    chigau (違う)

    hypatiasdaughter
    You moved to the US at the age of 45?
    Voluntarily?
    Were you kidnapped?

  118. 118
    Charlie Foxtrot

    So is the absence of a loud “What.The.Fuck!?” from the host (Candy Crowley?) a sign of implied agreement or professional detachment or a producer with a fast ‘mute’ button finger?

    How any show that seems to be selling itself as ‘political commentary’ can let something like that just sail by is beyond me. Inanities like this should be immediately dragged out into the daylight and poked at with sticks.

  119. 119
    Ichthyic

    Inanities like this should be immediately dragged out into the daylight and poked at with sticks.

    not interesting enough to be poked with a stick.

    best just to use fire.

  120. 120
    Ichthyic

    Man, it’s going to be really hard to run for office in this country when we’re not allowed to have any money without being accused of hypocrisy.

    naw, see, where the original presenter’s argument fails is that a lot of us don’t even bother carrying cash around anyway.

    electronic exchange ftw, baby!

  121. 121
    Ichthyic

    All the bills I have in my pocket have that phrase crossed out.

    uh oh…

    United States Code
    ** TITLE 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    *** PART I – CRIMES
    **** CHAPTER 17 – COINS AND CURRENCY

    U.S. Code as of: 01/19/04

    Section 333. Mutilation of national bank obligations

    Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or
    unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank
    bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national
    banking association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal
    Reserve System, with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note,
    or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined
    under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

    ;)

  122. 122
    chigau (違う)

    Ichthyic #121
    uhyup
    That would certainly make me stop.
    uhyupuhyup
    ===
    But it seriously warms my icy Canadian heart to learn that some Americans are making this gesture.

  123. 123
    raven

    with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note,
    or other evidence of debt unfit to be reissued.

    Not illegal.

    Xians take currency with “In god we trust” crossed out all the time. I guess that means they aren’t real xians.

    If any xians find some of those crossed out bills, don’t throw them away. Find an atheist and give those bills to them. If you can’t find an atheist, send them to the Freedom from Religion Foundation. LOL.

  124. 124
    Ichthyic

    Not illegal.

    pedant.

    :P

  125. 125
    Rutee Katreya

    I exist. CAn’t he see me?

    Wait, I must be invisible! :D :D :D

  126. 126
    Charlie Foxtrot

    best just to use fire.

    Well, that would make more interesting tv…

    “…blah blah blah atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’”
    *WHOOSH*
    “arrrghhh!”
    “Thank you Congressman Cleaver… and Ralph, your take on this?”
    “Ummmmmmmm…”

  127. 127
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    Tell asshat I don’t have any money in my wallet with ‘In God We Trust’ on it. Someone has cleverly crossed out God on every single note.

  128. 128
    birgerjohansson

    The Swedish 100-kronor note has an image of Linnaeus on back and front. So no Swede can oppose Linnaeus system of dividing up organisms. Nor can any Swede diss the Lapps, because Linnaeus apparently respected them.

    The 20-kr note has an image of woman author Selma Lagerlöf*. So no Swede can be illitterate, or be anti-gay.

    Random factoid: Swedish national anthem (dating from Swedish-Norwegian union days) says “Norden” but never says “Sweden”. And it has no religious references.

    *Her personal life only became well documented a century after her death, with the release of her private letters. Unlike many other authors of the time (I am thinking Strindberg) she was apparently no douchebag.

  129. 129
    gussnarp

    What an idiot.

    But the whole “In God We Trust, therefore no atheists” idiocy aside, does anyone actually know what he meant with the rest of that word salad? I don’t even think he knows. At first I thought he was saying atheists shouldn’t be tolerated, then I thought he was saying the opposite, but I just don’t know. Maybe it’s intentional, make no sense at all and everyone can just assume you’re agreeing with them! Of course, you run the risk that everyone assumes you’re disagreeing with them…

  130. 130
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I hate Andrew Jackson. Does that mean I should stop using twenty dollar bills?

  131. 131
    LuminiferousEthan

    Ah! I didn’t know that we, the people, get to decide what gets printed on the money. Is there somewhere we can submit ideas? A picture of an atom would be great. And how about we go back to using Roman Numerals? They seem to work for movie sequels.

  132. 132
    lpetrich

    Even worse, our day-of-week names are astrological, and they originated in the Roman Empire. Here’s how it works. List the pre-Copernican “planets” in order from slowest to fastest: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. Assign the first hour of a day to Saturn, the next to Jupiter, and so on down the line. Repeat after the Moon.

    When you reach the first hour of the next day, you advance 3 planets, and you get Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus before it repeats.

    These identifications are easier to see in the day names in some of the successors of the Roman Empire.

    Another fun thing. When Galileo discovered Jupiter’s four big moons, the astrologer Francesco Sizzi objected that they could not possibly exist. The seven planets correspond to the seven openings in the head: the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth. Also to the seven metals: gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, lead, quicksilver. Also to the days of the week. Etc. There was nothing for those moons to correspond to.

  133. 133
    Rick Pikul

    This atheist pulls a bill out of his wallet. Let’s see what it says.

    On the front we have:

    Banque du Canada * Bank of Canada
    This note is legal tender / Ce billet a cours legal
    Ottawa
    Canada
    10
    Ten * Dix
    Dollars
    La Bibliotheque du Parlement * The Library of Parliament
    Sir John A. MacDonald Prime Minister / Premier Ministre 1867-1873, 1878-1891
    Sous-Governeur Deputy Governor
    Governor Governeur
    Issue of 2005 / Emission de 2005

    No god there, how about the back:

    10
    Canada
    (c) Banque du Canada (c) Bank of Canada
    Printed in 2005 / Imprime en 2005
    BFT1262642
    Au service de la paix * In the service of peace
    N’Oublions jamais
    Lest we forget
    And the first verse of “In Flanders Fields”, in both English and French.

    Well, the poem mentions crosses but still: No god.

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