No One is Forcing You

Am I the only person who has read the constitution?  I honestly feel like it some days, like today.  A Death in the Ballroom put out a call to all Atheists to take action against the US currency.  The problem that they have is with the words “In G-d We Trust” on the back of the money.  Didn’t notice it? Well, that’s understandable since no one is forced to read the money when they use it, or believe what it says.

The problem with the rallying of Atheists against the words on the back of the money is the misreading of the constitution.  There is nothing in the constitution that forbids the use of G-d in our government.  There is nothing that forbids people’s ability to have religious views.

However, the first amendment that requires freedom of religion for all people, is specifically about an established government religion.  In other words: the government can’t require you to be Jewish, Christian, or believe in any G-d.

This is the same problem I have with forbidding public school prayer.  No one is forcing anyone to pray.  It’s up to the individual whether they want to pray or not.  By forbidding it in school that is a violation of the first amendment because it is preventing someone free exercise of their personal religion.

By having the word “G-d” on the back of money it doesn’t require anyone to believe in the words.  By the same token I should rally against FDR being on the quarter since I think he was a terrible president.  By having FDR on the quarter they government is forcing me to believe that he was a good president (which he clearly wasn’t).

How is this any different Atheists?  Really…explain this to me!

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4 Responses to “No One is Forcing You”

  1. scatheist Says:

    This is the same problem I have with forbidding public school prayer. No one is forcing anyone to pray. It’s up to the individual whether they want to pray or not. By forbidding it in school that is a violation of the first amendment because it is preventing someone free exercise of their personal religion.

    This is a common misperception. School prayer has not been removed and is not forbidden in public schools. The 1962 ruling by the US Supreme court removed only government-sponsored worship. Public school students have always had the right to pray on their own or read a bible in school as long as class schedules permit.

    So the problem was kids were being FORCED to pray, and now they are not being forced to pray, so that’s a good thing. You should agree since the title of your post is “No One is Forcing You.”

    Now you make a comparison between putting a former president on a coin and having the words “in God we trust” written on our currency. I don’t really care about the slogan but remember that it was only added to our money in the 1950’s and is not a tradition. The tradition would be not to have it on there. I think FDR was great but don’t really care less whether he’s on our money or not. I’ll make a deal with you. Let’s take FDR and God off of our currency. 🙂

  2. cheerer Says:

    This is a common misperception. School prayer has not been removed and is not forbidden in public schools. The 1962 ruling by the US Supreme court removed only government-sponsored worship. Public school students have always had the right to pray on their own or read a bible in school as long as class schedules permit.

    It is not a common misconception. In fact, the belief that people were forced to pray is dead wrong and your misconception. There was a time period that kids had to pray, mediate or just do nothing. That is now banned. The fear was that children would ridicule the ones who didn’t pray, but we should not be basing our constitutional desitions based on the fact that kids are mean. Kids make fun of other kids for being different colors it doesn’t mean we should re-segregate the schools.

    I never said they couldn’t pray on their own time in school, I said school prayer was banned. Of course they can pray on their own time.

    I don’t really care about the slogan but remember that it was only added to our money in the 1950’s and is not a tradition. The tradition would be not to have it on there.

    I never argued that it was a tradition. We had a tradition of slavery, minority oppression in this country too. Doesn’t mean we should keep doing it even if it is a tradition.

    think FDR was great but don’t really care less whether he’s on our money or not. I’ll make a deal with you. Let’s take FDR and God off of our currency.

    Deal! 🙂 Unfortunately when we replace FDR with Reagan then others will be upset, and i’m sure others don’t like Lincoln, or Jackson. Soon we will have blank money! The point is the money doesn’t force you to believe or advocate anything, it is just writing or a picture.

  3. Lex Says:

    I’m so with you. What I find interesting is that the phrase “separation of church and state” never appears in any national documents. It was a phrase Jefferson used in a couple of letters regarding the constitution. You can’t fight for the “separation of church and state” because it’s not in the books.

  4. DK Says:

    I have no problem with our currency’s motto as it currently it, and those who find it insufficiently progressive are welcome to use an alternate currency that they prefer in a country they prefer.

    I should note, however, that I am glad that our currency is not some hyphenated fanatic’s understanding of God. That whole “dash” thing is not appropriate in the least bit. Only wackos use a dash instead of an “o,” and they should probably all move to B’nai Brak and use gender segregated forms of transportation.


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