When it comes to putting the phrase “In God We Trust” in city council chambers or on law enforcement vehicles, there’s an unstated rule that says the reason for doing this is to display our nation’s motto. Promoting religion is the actual, but hidden, motive.
They didn’t get that memo in Mitchell, South Dakota, where the city council members voted 7-1 in favor of putting the phrase up on the wall. Several local pastors who supported this move were adamant to explain the religious motive for doing so, and Council President Jeff Smith joined them:
First to speak in support of the resolution was Rev. Kevin Carroll, of the Grace Reformed Church. Carroll called the resolution to display the motto an affirmation of a collective faith of a vast majority of Mitchell residents.
“It seems as though the minority tends to be loud and get their message out, so now I think it’s time for the majority to start stepping forward and relaying what they believe in,” Smith said about what he believes to be Mitchell’s religious majority.
That’s a very polite way for Smith to say, “Fuck the Jews, atheists, Muslims, and other non-Christians. Their beliefs are meaningless here.”
Keep in mind that the minority isn’t asking the officials to put up a sign saying “In God We Don’t Trust.” They just want the government to remain neutral on the matter. It’s Smith and his council colleagues who insist on pushing their faith on everyone else.
Even the Mayor didn’t give a shit about the religious minorities in his community:
When asked if he considered how secular Mitchell residents might react to the new display in Council Chambers, Mayor Jerry Toomey was not concerned.
“If they see a sign on the wall, don’t look at it, I guess,” Toomey said.
Because that’s how you’re supposed to handle an injustice. Just ignore it and let the majority stomp over the First Amendment.
The only voice of reason in this debate was Councilman Mel Olson. He pointed out that the council already said the Pledge of Allegiance (with “Under God”) and had invocations at meetings. Why did they need another way to talk about religion?
“As the mayor pointed out, we already pledge, we already pray, it makes me wonder if in fact we’re insecure of our religious beliefs that we have to say it over and over again,” Olson said.
It didn’t matter. Olson was the sole dissenting vote. An “In God We Trust” sign will soon go up in the chambers.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)