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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Amendment, Schmirst Amendment

Thanks, kestrel, for raising my BP this morning.

The Secular Coalition for America on Tuesday blasted a resolution proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives that "reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens."...The symbolic legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) last week, notes that the United States adopted phrase "In God We Trust" as the national motto in 1956..."The resolution was necessary because we felt it was appropriate to remind the president what, in fact, the motto of our great country is," Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) explained.

I'll just note that Congress approved the Great Seal of the United States in 1782:

On the report of the secretary of the United States in Congress assembled, to whom were referred the several reports on the device for a great seal, to take order:

The device for an armorial atchievement and reverse of the great seal for the United States in Congress assembled, is as follows:

ARMS. Paleways of thirteen pieces, argent and gules; a chief, azure; the escutcheon on the breast of the American bald eagle displayed proper, holding in his dexter talon an olive branch, and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, "E pluribus Unum."

Sad that the GOP is trying to divide us with religion, contrary to the unity our Founders risked everything for.  Of course, such resolutions aren't unusual.  On the exact same day that Congress approved what would become the Bill of Rights:

A message from the House of Representatives informed the Senate that the House of Representatives had passed a resolve, appointing a joint committee “to wait on the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed;"...which the concurrence of the Senate was requested.

The next day:

Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be appointed to wait on the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed, by acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a constitution of government for their safety and happiness..."
Resolved, That the Senate do concur in the above cited resolution...

Although I guess the tone and purpose was a bit different.


September 26, 2012 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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Invoking God as an election year stunt is an act of such piety. There is no greater evidence that these guys are whited sepulchers of the kind that the man they pretend to believe is God warned about.

I don't care what the "founders" thought about this, I care that in a religiously pluralistic society the government has to belong to all of us. It works, it has been a success, just as James Madison said, it is necessary for religion to maintain its integrity.


The need to prevent the corruption of religion was, explicitly, part of his purpose in promoting disestablishment.

Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Sep 26, 2012 12:57:11 PM

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