Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Speaking On "In God We Trust":

There are a lot of government buildings in the country today where you can find a sign that says, “In God We Trust”.

As part of the Pledge Project, if you live in one of these areas, I would like to ask that you go before whatever body is responsible for that sign and say something like the following.

Thank you for letting me speak to you today.

I come here today to ask this body to pass a resolution that says the following:

We hereby condemn any statement that explicitly or implicitly denigrates the patriotism or moral character of any law-abiding person that does not trust in a God, or that implies that such a citizen is not entitled to equal consideration and respect as a member of this community. We condemn any statement that suggests that our community should be thought of as consisting of two classes of citizens – a class of ‘we’ citizens who trust in God, and a class of ‘they’ citizens who do not.

I have it on good authority that there are people in this community who believe that our community should be divided into two groups. They want you to think in term of a “we” group of first-class citizens – true and patriotic Americans – who trust in God. And they want you to think that there is a second class of citizens, those who do not trust in God.

They want you to post a sign in city hall that tells anybody who comes to stand before you, “If you do not trust in God, then we do not consider you to be one of us.”

Putting up a sign like that is as immoral as putting up a sign that says, “If you are not white, then we do not think of you as one of us.”

I come before you as a member of that group that does not trust in God, because I think that there is no God to trust. It is my right that you recognize me as the equal to any other citizen in this community. Given that there are those who insist that you declare that those who do not trust in God are not one of us, I would like to propose that you recognize the right of citizens of this community to come before you and be recognized as equals by condemning the message that they would have you endorse.

I propose that you pass a resolution condemning any statement that implicitly or explicitly denigrates the patriotism or moral character of citizens based solely on the fact that the citizen does not trust in God. I propose that you repudiate any attempt to send the town a message that says that we are to be divided between an included ‘we’ group who trusts in God, and an excluded ‘we’ group that does not trust in God. I propose that you acknowledge the fact that this type of statement is as morally bankrupt as posting a sign that says that we should divide the community between a group of “we” citizens who are white, and “they” citizens who are not white.

Thank you for your time.

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