In god we trust on cop cars

In god we trust has been displayed on cop cars in Tennessee. This seems to be a violation of church and state, as law enforcement should not be showing a preference, or promoting a specific religious belief. These organizations are intended to be secular and to aid the people regardless of their beliefs or other differences. The phrase replaces the much more inclusive, e pluribus unum, meaning out of many one. This was the de facto motto of the United States until in 1956 when the “red scare” prompted the US to codify “in god we trust” as the official motto. 1

Removal

The argument against removing the phrase ‘in god we trust’ from the money or cars is that this sentence is intended to be secular. The idea is that any religion could believe in a god. Therefore, saying the word god does not state which specific god it is referring to. This still alienates agnostics or atheists as they don’t believe in any god, regardless of what name people decide to call it.

 

A country is intended to be united together for the common good. The people trust in their government and their laws, to uphold order and peace. But, showing a preference for certain beliefs over others, is not unifying. This idea separates people and creates a divide based on how someone is raised or their own personal choices.

When a motto becomes more than just a phrase.

The problem is more than just some words on a car. The problem is the mentality that is being perpetuated by putting those words on the car in the first place. To have a country that is united, we must represent all people and not just the majority. The government and state organizations should remain as neutral as possible in every aspect that they can, especially religion.

 

When we have this motto on police cars, we shift from the common good to only the good of those who believe. Then the religious citizens begin to assume that the country is founded on their beliefs, and that their religious beliefs and laws go hand in hand. At first this seems innocent. The country is founded on secular ideals that allow the religious and non religious both to flourish. Yet, in today’s society the religious take on the view that this is a christian nation.

 

Some people take this very seriously, and may even become violent or threaten others that express a differing view. Rather than promoting unity of all citizens, promoting a religious statement on state vehicles, promotes the idea that the state is the enforcer of a state religion. By showing them that their views are supported by the police, we have encouraged people to show anger or resentment toward anyone who opposes their view or simply just believes in a different religion or god.

 

The laws of religion are said to be holy rules to follow. However, many customs and laws within religion can be harmful or discriminating. Sure, there are many valuable rules to follow in reference to religion. However, the few good parts of the religious doctrines are not exclusive to religion, and the rest are harmful.

They are more ethical than their god.

We no longer stone people, because it is barbaric. Religion would tell us that it is perfectly fine to do so, but we choose not to. This is because we understand that it would be wrong. We have the ability to tell right from wrong and to make appropriate ethical decisions without religion. In fact, the majority of the religious have better ethics and morals than the gods or doctrines of their religion.

 

The statement by itself is not secular, as not all people believe in a deity. The mention of god, perpetuates a problem with a hatred for people who are simply living their lives but hold different views. What happens when this motto poses a threat to citizens who lack belief in a god? Is it fine to continue using it? Many people will passionately defend their homes, even if it is from someone that is not threatening them. And an atheist’s lack of belief is threat enough. The reason that the motto needs to be changed is because it perpetuates a dangerous mentality that anyone who is not for god is not for our country.

Reference(s)

1.  Public law 851 (in god we trust)

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