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Austin Cline

GOP Jobs Bill: Put "In God We Trust" On All Federal Buildings

By April 4, 2011

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Surveys consistently show that Americans are more concerned with jobs than anything else. So what's the GOP plan to deal with jobs? Apparently their best idea is to get "In God We Trust" put on as many government buildings as possible -- preferably all of them, I think. I doubt that very many jobs can be created this way, but it will certainly please the GOP base for far-right Christian theocrats.

Forbes said the legislation is needed to combat a concerted effort by some to drive all references to God out of public institutions. "There has been a chilling effect where schoolchildren, school districts, where individuals in federal buildings didn't know if they could post 'In God We Trust' on their walls," Forbes said. ...

Several Republicans on the committee backed Forbes, saying God had a hand in founding the United States and is responsible for the nation's success. "I believe the Founding Fathers were moved around like men on a chessboard put in place at that time so the world could have America," said U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a bill co-sponsor.

If references to God are discouraged in public buildings, King said, "in the end, it wouldn't be an agnostic nation, it would be an atheistic nation imposed by the minds of people who revert to the hard-core left."

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said the "hand of providence" has guided America. "I think God is, and he rewards those, including nations, who earnestly seek him," he said.

Source: Hampton Roads

In the past courts have ruled in favor of those defending the use of "In God We Trust" in large part because they decided that any problems were "de minimis" -- i.e., the phrase itself is a minor matter and thus could have little effect when it comes to promoting religion. Broadcasting it throughout every government building would necessarily change that equation, which means that Republicans might be shooting themselves in the foot. They won their court cases in the past, but now they are overreaching -- much like they have been in other areas.

Forbes probably couldn't be more clear that his intention is solely to use the power of the government to promote his religion. He and Pence are working from the assumption that their god has worked on behalf of America, a theological and political notion that has no place in a secular government. It is, however, exactly what one would expect from a theocratic government.

"The most important thing that we want to establish is not whether or not you are a Christian, but we have to stop the tide that suggests that America has lost its right to trust in God. I don't believe it has lost that right. I think it still has it. We just want to make sure that we are there to protect it and defend it," Forbes said to HUMAN EVENTS.

Source: Human Events

Since when does "America" have any rights at all? The answer is easy: it doesn't. Forbes is trying to assert the existence of corporate rights, which is antithetical to the American system of government and individual rights. In America, rights belong to the individual, never to the government or any corporate body. Theocrats who want to deny people their rights almost always rely on arguing that the government or groups should have greater rights.

The Pensito Review lists all the different ways the current crop of Republicans in Washington have demonstrated their incompetence:

  • Botched their own swearing-in ceremony
  • Read the Constitution out loud, leaving out the icky parts about slavery and accidentally skipping entire sections, requiring a hasty do-over
  • Wasted time voting to defund health-care reform without bothering to mention the "replacement" law they promised in their "Repeal and replace" campaign slogan
  • Despite repeatedly claiming, "We're broke, we're broke," rammed through a $20 million subsidy for private religious schools in D.C.
  • Wasted yet more of the taxpayers' time passing a budget that the president would never sign, in part, because it would have killed between 700,000 and 1 million jobs and arbitrarily cut $61 billion from programs without regard to their effectiveness -- ordering, for example, draconian cuts to the Poison Control Centers, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, tsunami warning systems, job training programs and even the IRS, the primary government bureau that brings in revenue
  • After drastically reducing IRS funding, debated putting the IRS in charge of investigating abortions -- a measure that has 221 co-sponsors
  • Defunded NPR because of yet another deceptively edited "punk'd" video by federal felon James O'Keefe
  • Killed the U.S. Capitol's composting program

These are the Republicans, the conservatives, and the Teabaggers that so many Americans voted for under the assumption that they would make America better. How does that seem to be working out so far?

April 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm
(1) Liz says:

Well, I guess corporations are individuals too, these days with the Citizens United decision….

But that aside, it is ridiculous to think that somehow an idea like “In God we trust” has to be on the side of a government building for people to feel they can believe in it!! How is its absence in any way **promoting** atheism?!

The answer: it isn’t. Believe what you want, whether it’s rational or not.

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