“Up until now, the idea of being American and believing in God were synonymous”

At the Washington Post, Sally Quinn is the most—
The most wrong, most annoying, most vile
Now she’s written a screed that’s offensive indeed
And it’s full of the usual bile
Says “belief is a must, cos in God we do trust
So our coins are the ones God would favor
You can see every time, on a nickel or dime…”
And again, I pull out my engraver

Oh, it’s badly thought out, badly written, and (yay!) badly received.

This is a religious country. Part of claiming your citizenship is claiming a belief in God, even if you are not Christian.. We’ve got the Creator in our Declaration of Independence. We’ve got “In God We Trust” on our coins. We’ve got “one nation under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. And we say prayers in the Senate and the House of Representatives to God.

An atheist could never get elected dog catcher, much less president. (Democratic Rep. Pete Stark of California is a nontheist but doesn’t talk much about it).

Up until now, the idea of being American and believing in God were synonymous.

The comments are hilarious. And, for the most part, excellent.

But, as per my promise, this means once more into the breach, and another batch of coins gets de-godded.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    Quinn seems to have forgotten that gods aren’t mentioned once in the Constitution.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    She even forgets Article 6, the very straightforward statement that “[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  3. otrame says

    Damn, you are hardcore. I take a bunch of cash out of one bank account and move it to another every month (long, stupid, and worst of all, boring story). I always mark out the theocratic phrase before I deposit it. But I admit that I have never thought of erasing it from coins.

    Good for you.

  4. Cuttlefish says

    You think what *I’m* doing is hardcore? Our gubmint has an entire infrastructure in place to put the words on the coins in the first place! It costs them so incredibly much more, in terms of time and effort, than it does me… I could give away 90% of my de-godded money and make a profit; that’s not hardcore!… “Oh this is hire and salary, not revenge” (Ham. III iii 80)

    I just got sick and tired of hearing politicians (and editorialists, and rank and file commenters) arguing that atheists are hypocrites, so I made the brash statement that I would de-god a batch of coins every time I saw such an “argument”, and that any donations would be turned into de-godded coins (because they last decades longer than de-godded bills).

    This weekend will be the first of the major forays into donation. De-godded money will be supporting artists, musicians, and the same-sex marriage campaign in Maine. Probably more than that, but it will depend on whom I run into. I’ve never really had “spare” money–mortgage, utilities, food, tuition…. but I promised these donations would go to other things… and you know what? It feels great! I love the idea of supporting artists, of supporting causes. Beats the hell out of tithing. I wonder what I could do with the money Romney gave to the Mormon church. Besides pay off my kids’ student loans, and my mortgage, and my extended family’s medical bills and mortgages, I mean (with millions to spare). It’s ok–he clearly worked harder than I did…


    No, this isn’t hardcore. This is a tiny, tiny reaction to a huge effort to keep “God” on our money. Please, donate more! Or buy an engraver and do it yourself, or fix your bills (as you do, otrame!). Every time some pinhead uses that argument, let’s put some more godless money into circulation! It takes *so* much less effort to take “GOD” off of our money than it did to put it on, it just seems silly *not* to .

    Cos the truth is, money is an artificial construct–a recognition that, within the confines of this particular economic tool, in each other we trust. That’s all that money is.

    And that’s enough.

  5. Randomfactor says

    “Up until now, the idea of being American and believing in God were synonymous”

    Then it’s high time for that mistake to be corrected.

  6. The Ridger says

    “Up until now, the idea of being American and believing in God were synonymous”

    Somebody should have told TJ.

  7. F says

    Part of claiming your citizenship is claiming a belief in God

    Thou mayest go and fuckest thyself.

  8. gmacs says

    It was satire. Unfortunately for Quinn, people have written such vitriolic bullshit like this that we don’t even think of this as an exaggeration of such views. It’s much like the time I first read a Smoggy Batsrubble comment.

    Evidence that it was satire

    “As with racism, sexism, our views toward homosexuality or discrimination of any kind, one day non-believers will no longer be excluded from the discussion either. In fact, it’s already happened. Somebody somewhere decided to take God out of the Democratic platform this year, simply assuming that it wouldn’t be a big deal. They were right about one thing. Some day it won’t be.”

    -Sally Quinn

    PS: I must confess I was fooled as well until I read what one of the comments there wrote (and linked).

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