We Need More God On That Seal June 22, 2011

We Need More God On That Seal

This is the current seal for Greene County, Missouri:

If you can’t tell, it’s missing something.

Figure it out yet…?

YES! God. Apparently, it needs more God.

Thankfully, county commissioners Harold Bengsch, Jim Viebrock, and Roseann Bentley have unanimously approved adding the phrase “In God We Trust” to the seal. (Good to know their priorities are intact.)

Springfield resident Jim Broadstreet urged the commission not to approve the resolution.

“The idea that the words are somehow innocuous because they are simply our national motto is, in my opinion, ludicrous,” Broadstreet told the commissioners. “Those words are neither innocuous nor equivocal to me and, I would submit, should not be to you.”

After the meeting, presiding commissioner Jim Viebrock defended the decision.

“It’s unfortunate we can’t please everyone,” he said. “With any decision you can’t make everyone happy.”

He added: “Fuck you, atheists.” (In my mind.)

Of course you won’t make everyone happy. But this isn’t about policy. This is about shoving God unnecessarily into the public square. Who was complaining about the logo before? Who was looking at it, saying, “That seal could use more God!” It wasn’t a problem until the commissioners made it one. (And I don’t know where they’re even going to put the phrase on that seal. Is there even room for it?)

You can find contact information for the commissioners here.

JT Eberhard is livid:

To follow that [vote] up with a feeble piece of whitewash like “We can’t please everybody” really just adds to the insult. The response should be simple: “You just actively devalued me as a part of this community in comparison to the other citizens! I’m not asking you to please anybody, I’m asking you to treat us all equally!”

They can’t do that, of course. Most Christians can’t handle their beliefs being put on the same playing field with people of other faiths and no faith.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sounds like Dee Wampler is still spamming Missouri’s local governments with his letters.

  • Valdyr

    Is anyone else unable to see the edges of the seal as anything but lettuce? Just me?

  • I think we should rally the Hindus and Pagans to submit that “God” is insufficient and provoke them into adding an S at the end of it…then see how the Christians feel about that.

  • Annie

    @Valdyr- I see acorns. I’m with Summer Seale. Let’s see about getting all gods that are worshiped in this country on the seal. That would nip this is the bud.

  • Slider33

    Wow, this literally hits home. Nice to know my local government officials are busy on such important issues like government seals.

  • Yoav

    Maybe someone should point out that their seal also contain the Fasces, the roman symbol that gave us the word fascism, just for the LOLz.

  • I just heard back from one of the commissioners and he confirmed that Dee Wampler did contact them. He also clarified that they’re not changing the seal itself, but just displaying the motto below the seal in their meeting room.

  • Yoav: Thanks to you pointing that out, and me looking up to see that there were in fact three of them, I think I blew a logic circuit trying to figure out how to pluralize “fasces” in Latin.

    Can’t make everyone happy? Well, let’s see how this breaks down. Before this vote, they were making nobody particularly unhappy. After, they’re making some people happy and some people unhappy. They’ve moved from a more egalitarian to a less egalitarian system. Great job.

  • Is it me but does it seem like Hemant has stopped taking the meds for his tourettes? I’m sure he’s saying ‘fuck’ a lot more lately.
    Not complaining, just observing.
    Nice to see people do give a fuck…

  • Daniel Schealler

    That seal needs more cowbell.

  • “Hear the message, loud and clear, from all non-Christian folk:
    Don’t ram your spiteful made-up god down our collective throat.”

    Hmmm, they don’t seem to be listening…

    Full poem here.

  • Anon

    “In God we trust”? Which god? Hmm, having oak leaves, acorns and a tree on the seal makes it look like they’re pagan to me. So are they endorsing Cernunos with their added god reference?

  • Erin

    Yeah, can’t have a motto that says ‘the welfare of the people shall be the supreme law’. Sounds communist.

  • Roxane

    I do have to admire it because of the use of the Latin future imperative. It’s something you don’t see every day of the week.

    Any state that does something that cool doesn’t have to refer to god.

  • Jeff

    The better translation for the motto already on the seal is “Let the good of the people be the supreme law.” Sounds like the perfect motto for secular humanism. Hemant, maybe you should put that as the subheading on your blog, since the folks in Greene County aren’t making use of it anymore.

  • Christophe Thill

    There’s a red flag on this seal. How could they not delete this godless symbol ?

  • That seal is already a little on the fucked-up side.

    It several fasces on it (those bundles of sticks with the axe), which is the symbol of fascism.

  • human michael

    I emailed Jim Viebrock:

    Dear Mr. Viebrock,

    It is a shame you find yourself so woefully unable to do your job. Your bigotry against non-theists has clearly blinded you to the fact that your actions exclude all those who do not share your faith in the Abrahamic god. Your job is to represent all of your constituents equally. The seal for Green County did that, until you changed it. You chose to make changes to the seal to purposely exclude those who do not share your faith in ancient superstition. Your response to those who asked not to have this change made was outrageous. You are correct, though – you can’t please everybody all the time. You should’ve taken that into consideration and left the seal how it was. You are a bigot and you are not fit for office. You are wasting the taxpayers money. You are wasting their time. You are wasting your life on a silly superstition rather than doing what you can to make this world a better place.

    Michael Corsillo

    I was a bit angry last night in general at local governments trampling on our rights, so perhaps I was a little harsh. He certainly thought so. He wrote back:

    On Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM, wrote:
    Mr. Corsillo,

    Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.
    If the polite manner in which you express your opinion, is reflective of the manner in which you would like for me to treat “all” my constituents. I shudder at the image of the “better place” you are referring to in your e-mail, if everyone treated each other with the respect and kindness you display in your dissertation, the world would most certainly not be a “better place”.
    As for my ability to perform my duties, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, inferring that I likewise uphold all the additional supporting documents that founded this great country. Of which is inclusive of the Declaration of Independence (You might find it an interesting read). For example, contained in the second paragraph: “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. … ” The very foundations of your rights are rooted in the acknowledgement of a higher being (God). Unless, of course, your chose to cast off these rights.

    Additionally, some of your facts are incorrect. For example, we did not alter the seal. We simply adopted a resolution recognizing our national motto. The placement of the phrase is under the seal not in addition to it. And to save you the time of having to fire back an additional” inspiring letter” referencing the First and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, I will point out that no law was created nor rule or ordinance implied concerning “Religion” or your right to freedom of expression. There is nothing in this action that forces you to participate in any religion or anything that prohibits your ability to express your clear discontent with this action.
    In conclusion, none of your rights have been violated. You’re simply in disagreement with the action taken. And in the spirit of “equality”, your demand that I be silent toward my beliefs in favor of yours, not only violates MY right to freedom of expression, but makes us both, how did you phrase it, oh yes, bigots.

    Good day,
    Jim Viebrock

    I did respond, but clearly this man does not understand that his right to personal belief and the right of the government to express religious belief are not the same:

    Mr. Viebrock,

    I make no demands that you remain silent about your beliefs in your personal life. Your job demands, however, that you do not use it as a pulpit to express your beliefs or show favor or preference to any particular religious belief. I am familiar with the words of the Declaration of Independence. It is an inspiring document. However, the constitution does (as you are clearly aware) demand that government show no special treatment to any particular religious belief.
    I have no problem with your religion. Religious people do good all over the world. What I find unfortunate is the need for the religious in America to constantly seek preferential treatment while crying persecution when asked to keep our government secular. You are not asked to withdraw from religious life, just to keep your religious life separate from your role in what is required to be a secular government.
    I have shown you no unkindness, Mr. Viebrock, though I do apologize for my terseness. I have merely accused you of a bias against those who do not share your Christian faith. My previous email was not rude, impolite, or disrespectful. Perhaps, “please resign. Thank you” would have been more pleasant? The better place of which I speak is not one in which you are not free to worship, but one in which actual issues are dealt with by our governments rather than wasting time passing measures to make sure non-theists feel excluded.
    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my emails, even though you disagree with me.

    Michael Corsillo

  • More god? No, it means MOAR Latin.

    I do have to admire it because of the use of the Latin future imperative. It’s something you don’t see every day of the week.

    It’s the third-person future imperative, which indeed is pretty rare.

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