Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Should “In God We Trust” Remain On Our Money?

Should “In God We Trust” remain on our money?  Cast your vote at www.msnbc.msn.

Personally, I think our government should represent everyone, not just the majority.  I’m not hell bent on having it removed, but it is sort of a slap in the face.  The statement “In God We Trust” is totally and absolutely false.  If it said “In God Most Of Us Trust,” I imagine it would bug me a lot less.  I’m serious, though, as to why so many people want it kept on the money?  Please forgive my pragmatism, but what practical purpose does it serve?

– Chalmer

March 21, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Politics | , , , , , | 72 Comments

Is America a Christian Nation?

This question has been answered many times over by a great many people; most more scholarly than I.  However, it is my goal to show that one need not be a scholar in the subjects of common sense, reason and basic history to know that The United State of America is not a Christian nation.  This is of course in the sense of our foundation, not the population.  If going by population, we might as well call America a white nation as well, which we most certainly; to the dismay of the bigoted.  There are those that assert that say we are a Christian nation because of some recent inclinations of our supposedly secular government to thrust god into the faces and the ears of the public by alluding to “him” on our money and in our Pledge of Allegiance, respectively.  This should concern atheist and Christian alike.  But I digress; why are these recent occurrences cited as evidence for something that long predates there happening?  Simply put, it is because these poor misguided and self-diluted people have absolutely no evidence to go on other than that.  Any sufficiently competent individual who knows even the most elementary workings of the Internet and Google searching can find the evidence necessary to thoroughly disprove nearly every claim dealt by these wish-thinkers.  One need only point to the Treaty of Tripoli- “Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”(Source, Emphasis added)  Furthermore, evidence shows that religion forced its way into the places it is now, it wasn’t inherent to the founding of the country.  For instance, “In God We Trust” wasn’t put on the money nor did it become the nation motto until the 1950s; 180 years after the founding of the country. (Source)  There isn’t much more to say on this.  It is clear that we are not a Christian nation by founding, only by population.

 

Joel

February 24, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Bible, Center For Inquiry, Christianity, evolution, First Century, god, Jesus, Jesus Christ, New Testament, religion, The Holy Bible | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Small

Family Values

Ah, just hearing Sarah Palin talk about good-old, small town values just warms the very cockles of my heart. I can see it now, a return to those idyllic days of small town idealization: the 1950s, when America was at its greatest. “Leave it to Beaver” ruled the airwaves, entering every middle-class home delivering the very fundamental values embodied by Mrs. Palin, her church, and the current Republican party. Nostalgic tears flood my cheeks—Ah yes, those were the days—and I most heartily look forward to reinstalling them.

Yes, the memories overwhelm me . . . . time spent watching those wise TV fathers instructing their raptly attentive wives fresh from doing their domestic chores dressed impeccably, high heels and tastefully coordinated jewelry, while happy children with perfect manners played harmoniously, then said their Christian prayers before meekly popping off to bed. The good old nuclear family.

Sure was dreamy baby, though it didn’t have an iota of similarity to any family I knew—families where fathers beat their children and mothers called them stupid morons. Disgruntled housewives and single women who’d gotten a taste for working during the war “let go” because the men needed the jobs more. The mommies on my block drug around unintended, unwanted children. Effective birth control wasn’t available and those who perhaps aborted, well, given the morality of the times, that would stay buried in the closet, so how would we know? Unless they died, of course. Even then, it’s amazing the secrets behind closed doors. Don’t know why they were so unhappy; after all, research back then showed that only 7% of Americans thought a single woman could ever be happy. Maybe they just didn’t know enough to know what was best for them.

And as for single moms? Why, I knew of one….but she was obviously immoral, so the entire community blackballed her, and everyone had someone they could gossip about. That’s always good for keeping cohesion in a small town. Yep, nothing like being the outcast, looked down on, unable to find work, having your child laughed at and called names to let everyone else know what they better not do. That went for divorce as well, rightfully scandalous among us average folk, a good cause for a lot of tongue wagging.

The home was a man’s undisputed castle, and his word ruled—we learned that from TV, from our teachers, from, well, from everywhere. Boy oh boy, my best friend’s dad knew that. Punishment meted out in the basement with PVC pipe against bare arms and legs, metal belt buckles across the butt till she couldn’t sit. One time, she got it so bad, she had to sleep on her stomach for a week. Of course I knew, but as far as I could figure, that’s what went on in every home. Even in “Father Knows Best” or “My Three Sons” or “Ozzie and Harriet.” Children were supposed to keep their mouths shut and show proper respect for grownups, and, well, basically, do everything they were told. Now how those parents got their kids to mind themt was the fuzzy part to us as w didn’t know any kid or parent that acted like those on TV. We couldn’t figure it out: were they just being mean like our parents were in private, or were we the only ones in America whose families didn’t look like theirs?

What with all the evidence—TV, Uncle Sam, our teachers and what they had to say about us….my best friend and I guessed we just had to be the sinful little boogers, the deviants, deserving of a good beating or some other torture. If I misbehaved, I got sent to my room without dinner—zip, nothing, even if I hadn’t gotten lunch either because some school bully had taken it. My own fault my parents said. And they never did explain what I’d done to not get dinner. I remember once going a whole week without. That time I collapsed, but no doctor visit; we couldn’t afford a doctor back then. They say we got what we deserved, and I guess we turned out the better for it.

Strict rules were all part of family values back then. And it was the Dad’s job to enforce them. Men had it tough, for sure. You had to give them slack, coming back from the war and all, starting life again. So what if husbands cheated? Good, dutiful wives put up with it. Come to think of it, they never showed any of that on The Family Hour….but hard to believe it was only going on in our small town; whatever, we kept our mouths shut when it came to the men; what could you expect from men? It was in their nature after all; everyone said so. And those women still trying to keep their places in the workforce certainly didn’t help a man’s morale; they were just giving ‘em a reason to wander.

Uppity women. Selfish. Got a taste for working and now couldn’t let go, do the right thing for the country. Their place was in the home having babies—whether they wanted to or not. Uncle Sam knew best; the government made it very clear women owed it to our future to give the jobs back to the men, stay home and raise children—White children that is. I understood that some of my moms acquaintances were doing their civic duty when they told my mom she should give up the job she got during the war . . . . even . . . even if my dad wasn’t bringing home enough money to pay all the bills. I agreed with what they said behind her back, that by working my mom was undermining my dad’s ego, ‘cause her actions were making him think he couldn’t do it by himself; she was making him look bad in front of his buddies and, and, and . . . . that’s why he was running around. Yup. It was my mom’s fault for, now what was the word they used. . . for. . . for . . .I know—emasculating him.

She was white and Uncle Sam had said we needed white babies; he hadn’t said anything about the minority women that’d been working before, through, and after the war cleaning up after the rest; of course they were supposed to continue working, and be thankful they got paid at all. They needed to prove they deserved the American Dream—just like we already had.

And we had that dream, almost all that dream: we got a government loan to buy a home on Dad’s GI bill; he got a new Cadillac every year he never paid for thanks to bank credit; he was a salesman with a fine diamond pinkie ring—and it didn’t even matter that he never sold anything! We had the look of prosperity; that’s what mattered. That’s all that mattered when it came to the money game. And best of all back in the 1950s, we had the Cold War.

Now that pulled us together. A strong common enemy sure brings out true blue American patriotism, do or die, no questioning authority, no sir. Why, just like the beginning of the war in Iraq. It was that same thrill of fear, terror, panic, lashing out, and squashing anyone who spoke out against our government all rolled into one—and it lasted for years and years longer than the crap war we got going on now. Just nothing beat it for getting people all gung-ho and rah, rah, rah for the principles of the USA. I definitely know why folks want to go back to those simpler, halcyon days of yore.

We lived in the bosom of great faith we did, positive that could survive a direct nuclear attack. At my school we faithfully practiced duck and cover under our desks while those of us that lived within 20 minutes walking distance were sent home, the alarm sirens blaring from every corner, to take refuge in our basements, our storage bins, or if we had the dough, newly installed bomb shelters. With fear and pride mingling in our devoted hearts, we banded together behind the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, and Senator Joseph McCarthy—that fierce fighter of Godless Communism and minority groups trying to undermine us from within.

With our government’s encouragement, we spied on our neighbors, anonymously reported anything that looked suspicious to the authorities, rooted when the Rosenbergs were put to death, and couldn’t wait for the next round of so-called traitors to be thrown in jail or lose their jobs [sorry you were framed Ethel, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and there’s nothing like catching bad guys to keep morale up]. We felt awe and empowerment as Cold War bands of thugs channeled our fears for us, demanding blind loyalty tests from government employees, kicking out any who disagreed with any policy of President Truman and then Eisenhower, ruining careers and lives with a snap of their fingers. With total impunity, knowing what this country needed, they ignored the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, planted forged documents, leaked fake information to the press, accused and declared people enemies of the state in private trials.

They fueled the public’s rage and fear, and with pit bull McCarthy at the helm, we got to not only watch, but be co-conspirators in one of the greatest dramatic plays in America. Even though McCarthy was muzzled, we weren’t done expressing our unleashed passion; we stuck to our duty and joined The John Birch Society. Yes, we were the best Americans, finally able to overcome any family troubles and, instead, turn our righteous anger and suspicions on Semites, Blacks and any other minority that wanted to invade WASP America. Boy, oh, boy, those were the days of strong, single-minded conservative values alright.

We surged in patriotism and fear thanks to the Cold War and, naturally, we surged with Christianity to emotionally bond Americans together to save us from hellfire and Godless Communism as well. Making an official Pledge of Allegiance, still itself brand new out of 1942, overtly religious by adding “under God” in 1954 sure helped send a message to any deviants here. And then adding “In God We Trust” onto all our paper money, thanks to an act of Congress in 1955, we magically became that Christian church-going nation the family values people always thought right.

Again we turned to our trusty TVs for the right message, adding Televangelists to our favorite family programs, eagerly soaking up Oral Roberts of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches who offered fake, I mean faith healing of the blind and crippled in front of thousands and directly into our living rooms through the TV screen, and the nation sure was in need of that to keep us strong in the face of our enemies. God spoke directly to him. Imagine how thrilling that was for us watching this movie star preacher getting divine revelations at the same time he spoke to us. Of course we sent him our money—isn’t that the American way? Don’t we get rich through the grace of God just like anyone can grow up to be President? You won’t find me faulting him for his $100 shoes or $500 suits or the $9 million we sent to save his life. He and so many others have taught us the true American virtues of capitalism, which he simply followed.

And we just had to watch Billy Graham as well with his own fiery fundamentalist/evangelical rhetoric. He explained it in terms we could all understand: war with Russia being the millennial Biblical showdown, God’s test of our goodness and strength. Like the great prophet Moses appearing before us on the Universal stage, God compelled us to follow him….we embraced him especially.

Blessed by God and Eisenhower, backed by Standard Oil and the precursor of Haliburton, he, like McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover—his personal friend—focused our rage on the correct targets, the unions, the traitor liberals in government, and anyone who was anti-big business. Yes, he showed us whose side God was on There we stood, the proud towns, nay, the proud nation composed of small towns and our small town American values.

“Gimme them old time values,
“Gimme them old time values,
“Gimme them old time values,
“They were good enough for my growing years, they’re good enough for me now
“They were good enough for my growing years, they’re good enough for me now

…………………………Ah……………..
Ah………………. Well……………………
…..ah, actually, the more I think about it…. you know, they, they, you know, they look a lot like what we’ve had for the last eight years…..

By riki mathews: The Trickster

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Money

Heres great work of satire by our friend and mentor Riki Mathews. Check our her blog, The Trickster Tells.

Joyful and triumphant

O come Ye, O come Ye to the altar,

of the al mighty dollar

O come let us adore it

O come let us adore it

O come let us adore it

Money, and, Our Lord

Let me preach it, brothers and sisters! Are we losing our faith? Have we forgotten the power of our joint saviors so intertwined that we have stamped “In God We Trust” on our money. A religious revival after the Civil War got the ball rolling, and we persevered. That’s what Christians do! And so finally, threatened by “Godless Communism,” as one particularly pious letter asked, “ … relieve us from the ignominy of heathenish. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed. From my heart I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters.” Congress concurred because “In these days when imperialistic and materialistic Communism seeks to attack and destroy freedom, it is proper” to “remind all of us of this self-evident truth” that “as long as this country trusts in God, it will prevail.”

*

Now, just because our founding fathers did not do so from the beginning does not mean that they disagreed! Just because the Constitution never once mentions God and the Bill of Rights strictly calls for the separation of church and state does not mean they intended us to leave God out. Absolutely not! Don’t you believe that factual mumbo jumbo for one minute. And never you mind that the most significant founding fathers wrote that they were Deists, believing only in a prime mover that had no personal engagement with us! And you can just ignore all the letters and treaties and statements they wrote saying how much damage Christianity did to freedom. You only have to remember one thing: like God, they meant it all to test our faith and see if we would persevere in spite of all the facts to the contrary. Why, it’s just like testing our faith with all the garbage manufactured by the scientific community to get us to believe the Earth wasn’t created in seven days when we know it sure as all get out was. Or in attempting to convince us that global warming is an issue. We know that faith conquers all and that God works in mysterious ways so we just have to trust. And for our trust, God provides protection.

*

Is this not why we pray, pray for divine salvation and protection from our enemies? Our spiritual leaders know the heavy prices for building proper churches, that Glory must be displayed according to its power, and that takes money, money to establish a hierarchy, to outfit a bishop in the style his faith tells him he’s due, to hang a gaggle of golden crosses around the Pope’s neck—and wield the power to make and take down governments. We have been instructed to tithe, to give one-tenth of our income. (Never mind the minor abuses over selling indulgences and other matters throughout initial history of the Catholic Church. After all, we all make mistakes. Oh, and some of those televangelists who mismanaged the funds; I know that God has them crying out with pain and suffering in hell as we speak.) The Bible tells us that this ten percent of our income belongs to the Lord (Leviticus 27:30). A person is stealing from God (Malachi 3:8) if he fails to give to his church hierarchy so that it may be used for the purposes of church support and growth.

*

Even Mormons must give this amount to the church or they may be barred from temples where ceremonies take place. And I openly applaud those evangelical Protestant churches that require new members to sign covenants, promising to tithe or give generously. And those who openly refuse to tithe should indeed be denied leadership roles or asked to leave the congregation. As God is my witness, I can say Steve Sorensen, director of pastoral ministries at Cornerstone, acts righteously when his church demands its paid and volunteer leaders to tithe, and teaches new members to do so, with or without proof of income. “When you tithe, God makes promises to us, that He … is not going to let anything bad or destructive come about,” says Mr. Sorensen. For those who don’t tithe, he states, the Lord “is not obligated to do those things for you.” Sorensen is right, true believers; he is right, and he is practicing God’s justice. “In God We Trust”; it’s on our money: therefore, our money belongs to God, to do God’s work. And you must give! Give down to your last dime!! For how else will Jesus know that you are with him, not against him?

*

What more proof do you need?

*

Rev. Rob Peters, trained by Crown Financial Ministries to teach parishioners to, manage debt and still make giving a priority, states, “When they obey His word, that is to give, God creates opportunities supernaturally for them to save more and spend less.” A true miracle: giving to the church rose 31% the first year the classes were taught compared with the year before. Of course some members objected, but just as God does not show mercy if we do not do His bidding, neither did the church, quoting stern scripture from Hebrews 13:17: “Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls; as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” The key word, as I’m sure my God-fearing worshipers have discerned, is profit. In obeying the Lord we will profit.

*

We know in our hearts, people, that our God is a vengeful God, that our God is an “eye for an eye” God, a tit-for-tat God, who rewards the golden-tongued preachers who trust in money: Cadillacs, silk suits, multi-million dollar houses…

*

God bestows his gifts on the wealthy; just look around you—at the CEOs, the politicians, the judges that have heard the word and listened to the money of the Focus on the Family Action lobbying arm (Praise be!, they raised $9 million in only 6 months) or American Family Association or any of our other vigorous, vital, well-funded action networks. We, and they, place their faith in the power of money, in capitalism. Oh yes, dear followers, those without faith have money, but it is Godless Money, just as their politics are Godless communism or Godless socialist democracies or some other offshoot, but most certainly not God Blessed Capitalism, and in time, they will suffer. Now I’m sure some of you are confused right now as to what the difference is, given the lies you have been told by various leftists that try to undermine our great country, pointing out that in reality we are a “representative republic.” [“A government under the rule of people acting on the behalf of and, to a lesser extent, in the interests of the voting blocks by which they were elected.”] And others who try to confound your senses claiming that capitalism is the economic system and the two, as those of little faith would have you believe, do not go together like peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese or a hamburger and fries.

*

Shock time. Breath, breath, breath. Shake your head. (Lies I tell you! Words of the devil! Ignore them when they ask why the conventional wisdom that if we export capitalism, democracy will follow hasn’t worked.)

*

Faith in God and Money has made us Great, has built this country. Desire for money is good; money is the incentive that makes us produce, for without the fear of where our next meal is coming from, we would just be lazy bums, slothful and weak. And that is why we must resist universal healthcare, taxes on God’s chosen rich, spending collectively to keep education public, to fund the FDA, or any other watchdog agencies and other such dangerous socialist notions. It is fear that keeps us from giving in to our vile natures, fear that forces us to deserve healthcare, to deserve education, to deserve a job, to turn to God to protect us from salmonella in our food supply, and so on. Just look at filthy socialism [the economic system of “social and economic equality, collective and public control of productive capital and natural resources”]. It has produced happy, guilt-free, high-quality-of-life, little debt, universal healthcare, democratic nations.

*

Godless nations I tell you! For only those who do not believe in the Christian God could possibly think themselves happy! A proper Christian knows he is full of sin, that his nature is evil and base and that only through prostrating himself before God, begging for forgiveness, and trusting in what money can buy may he even hope to possibly avoid God’s wrath and hell. Enjoying their work? Enjoying a high standard of living? Enjoying quality medical care? Living without fear? Spending more of their national budget on foreign aid than the less than one half of one percent that we do? This is Godless I repeat! GODLESS!!! Sacrilege—it isn’t capitalism.

*

And China with its strong economy based on buying our debt and our high consumption of their goods. So they aren’t democratic yet. And they have human rights violations that God cannot forgive, unlike us, a Christian nation. Have faith. That’s what religion—and money are for—to have faith. We will buy this country and then we can force God’s agenda on everyone living there, just as we are here. Just as we have bought judges to break down the barriers between church and state, bought politicians to pass bills so we control what a woman can do with her body and who we can discriminate against, bought preachers to scare their flocks into voting the right way…

*

And the liberal-commie-peace-tolerance Christians that don’t agree? We will eradicate them; we need a crusade to bring us together. And have faith, God is always on our side, as is Jesus: Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace but a sword. -Matthew 10:34 (KJV)

September 27, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, Politics, religion, Satire | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment