I suppose it was only a matter of time before it happened here, but now it has. One of Visalia’s city councilmen, Steve Nelsen, has proposed adding “In God We Trust” to the wall of the Council chambers. Other council members seemed cool to the idea, thank goodness, but it’s still been put on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.
Fresno recently added the phrase to it’s chambers. Porterville has had it for some time, and that no doubt emboldened the “Christians” of the area to stand before it in their chambers and call for the deaths of homosexuals (waving their Bibles in the air, no less), back in 2013. After all, they have “God” on their side, right?
We might as well get to the arguments that always surround this issue.
Which “god”, Mr. Nelsen? Jehovah? Yaweh? Allah? What about Odin? Zeus? Osiris?
I’m a duly and legally registered minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Is He the “god” you’re talking about? There are thousands of others, all with the same legitimacy for the title. Maybe we can rotate them through at each meeting?
Yes, I know. It’s on our money. But it was only added to paper money in the 1950’s, because of the fear of the “godless communists”. Our original motto was and is “E Pluribus Unum” (from many, one). With the election of Donald Trump, the ant-immigrant hysteria has swung up again, apparently making that motto passe.
For 143 years, the only imposition of overt religious dogma has been the invocation given at the beginning of meetings. Now, Mr. Nelsen wants the further intrusion of religion in the form of looming letters spelling out “In God We Trust”, or more likely, in all caps, shouting “IN GOD WE TRUST”. Mr. Nelsen, I’ve been a citizen of this city for about 55 of the past 60 years, and I can assure you that I don’t “trust” in any god(s), and most assuredly not the Christian god. The city as an entity should not either. If you want to pray for divine guidance, go right ahead… doesn’t bother me in the slightest. But don’t try to impose this on the rest of us, not if you believe that every citizen here is equal before the government regardless of their religious affiliations.
I hope this idea gets shot down, and we don’t waste any time, effort, or money on religious indoctrination in our city government. The principle of the separation of church and state exists for good reason, and we should not weaken that division.