Does Anyone Use Atheist Checks? February 7, 2009

Does Anyone Use Atheist Checks?

Reader Craig was running low on checks the other day so he went online to order some more.

He noticed that he could customize his checks — have quotations put on them, get checks that use his favorite sports team’s logo, etc.

He could also choose from a few religious options, like getting checks that contained the saying, “Thanks be to the Lord.”

Since none of those options appealed to him, Craig created his own checks and used a saying that wasn’t on the list:

I went with “Faith is not a virtue,” something that I thought wouldn’t be overly offensive to any religious people who may handle my checks, but still makes a statement.

I wonder if others have personalized their checks in similar ways?

Does anyone else use atheist checks (whether the atheism is subtle or not)?

Does anyone use a credit card with an atheism-related design in the background? (I would love to get a Flying Spaghetti Monster credit card.)

Have you encountered any problems as a result?

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  • I don’t use atheist checks (main reason is because my wife “owns” the checkbook), but I have a self-inking stamp that I stamp all my cash with that says “Atheist Money.” I stamp it right under “In God We Trust” on every bill I get. 😉

  • Ender

    I’ve used a single cheque in the last year, and I doubt the milkman checked the amount, date and signature, let alone any any decorations.

    @Dan Gilbert – In God We Trust on the money. I’m no expert… but isn’t having money an EPIC FAIL for Christians… all that eyes and needles stuff?

  • Ha! Yeah… go figure. So they really shouldn’t mind that I stamp that evil stuff with the words “Atheist Money.” 😉

  • Miko

    A check is a promise you’ll give money in the future. Money used to be the government’s promise that they’d give you gold in exchange for it and is currently the government’s promise that they’ll give you nothing in exchange for it. So it’s actually probably a good idea to promote faith whenever you’re trying to get someone to accept a check. 😉

    Dan: That only applies to rich people. With something like 90% of the US population claiming to be middle class (regardless of their income, since ‘rich’ is defined as “25% more than I make, indexed to changes in my salary”), they don’t see it as an issue.

  • I do all my banking online, so I’m no good for the “atheist check” thing, but “In God We Trust” on my money pisses me off.

    I routinely break out the Sharpie to cross it out on bills…but I don’t have a good solution for coins. Acid would probably do the trick, but it just seems like too much trouble.

  • Tony

    I used “Fear is the Mindkiller” on my checks and “Fear leads to the Dark Side”. A Humanist saying would be cool though…something like “Proud to be Religion-Free since 1993”.

  • Sarah TX

    I paid a little extra for checks with pictures of our solar system on them, produced by the Smithsonian. At least they’re rational, if not strictly atheist.

  • inkadu

    I have Rocky & Bullwinkle checks.

  • Dan: I wouldn’t admit that outloud, you’ll get more time in jail than the whole Bush administration would combined…thats if anyone dare hold them accountable.

    btw; is against the law to “deface” money, atleast thats what my last memory on the topic is.

  • Not mine – but I do have one. I’ll take a picture of it and send it to you.

  • Lauren

    Ours have a diamond plating background, but no atheist tendencies… Maybe in twelve years when we need to re-order, FSM will be available.

    I’ve always been offended by the selection they send me when trying to coerce me into a new credit card or new checks. I always get choices of hearts or flowers or fluffy animals or cutesy little sayings, but my husband gets trucks and lightning and other cool stuff in his offers. Unfair.

    Also, Penn Says that it’s not illegal to “deface” money by crossing out the God bit. I don’t remember his reason, but that’s what he Says, anyway. I do that whenever I think to.

  • IANAL, but I don’t worry too much about stamping/writing/crossing things out on bills. According to the regulation cited by The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, defacement is:

    “Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued…”

    “Unfit to be reissued” is kind of a gray area, but it reads to me like modification is OK as long as the bill can still be circulated.

    (God Off Money has had actual experience with a warning from the Treasury Department, but GOM was selling stamps with their website address.)

  • RobL

    I have always found it kind of obnoxious when people put little Christian fishes or crosses or “John 3-16” or whatever else on their checks, business cards, business adverts, etc. From my perspective it would be hypocritical to put an atheist slogan on my checks – I don’t presume that anyone I give a check to gives a damn what my religious beliefs are.

    The FSM Visa card however is a great idea, as long as I would rack up miles…

  • Hmm, I’ve often thought “Faith is a blank cheque”…

  • Luther Weeks

    How about:

    “Greed without God is like fish without water”

    They must believe this because they believe that God created everything.

  • cmotdibbler

    My daughter wants to go to a xtain university. I’m thinking real hard about using FSM checks for the tuition.

  • Jen

    People use checks?

    IIRC, its not illegal to do weird stuff to coins, but it is illegal to try to spend it after defacing/melting/whatever. Now, when I was in junior high, I once painted some coins with sparkly nail polish. It was awesome, and the po-po didn’t chase me down. And not that this makes it legal, but people write all sorts of stuff on money. I would hate to think its illegal to do that stuff.

  • chancelikely

    You know, there’s a fairly large overlap between early adopters of various technologies and nontheists. And large-scale out atheism is a relatively new phenomenon. So it seems to me that public atheism and checks missed each other by a number of years. The people who would be inclined to get checks with “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it?” have already switched over to more or less exclusive electronic tender of money.

  • There needs to be a charity credit card that donates a portion of your money spent to an atheist group. And it needs to have a picture of the FSM on it.

    Jen: I did the same thing with sparkly nail polish in junior high! Sparkly nail polish looks awesome on everything.

  • Of course people use checks. Geeze. My landlord only takes checks, for instance.

    As for writing on money, as long as you aren’t trying to make the bill unusable, it’s okay.

  • Steven

    I just realized that it’s been ages since I took a close look at what we’re using for legal tender in Canada these days. The bills spend such a short time in my wallet before they’re gone that I hardly notice them. So I pulled out a blue one ($5), a purple one ($10), and green one ($20) – sadly I don’t have any red ($50) or brown ($100)ones.
    There was no mention of god anywhere, which is ironic considering that the U.S. has separation of church and state right in the constitution and Canada does not.
    The $20 bill does have a picture of the queen of England, who is also the official head of the Church of England, but I think she’s on the bill in her role as head of state.
    Canadian coins do include the queen’s portrait with the phrase “D. G. Regina” which is short for Dei Gratia Regina, latin for “By the Grace of God, Queen”

  • Yes! The slogan on mine reads “SAPERE AUDE,” roughly translated as “DARE TO KNOW.”

    There were some others I liked better, but I was limited on number of characters.

  • Jerry6665

    hey inkadu,
    i’ve been searching all over for the rocky & bullwinkle checks.  checks in the mail used to have them but not any more.  where do you get yours???

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