I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Santa Rosa (Florida) County Commissioner Sam Parker wanted to change the county’s official seal from this…
… to this:
Why? Because it would be unifying. Which is the sort of thing you can only say when you live in a Christian Bubble, ignorant to the very legitimate reasons for why adding “In God We Trust” to the seal is a horrible idea. As I wrote then, the phrase itself is nothing more than an endorsement of conservative Christianity — it always has been, as any glance at American history could tell you.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a majority of thoughtful commissioners in Santa Rosa because the revised seal was adopted unanimously at their last meeting.
Parker made the motion to make “In God We Trust” the motto of the county and add it to all county vehicles and the county seal. Commissioner Lane Lynchard seconded, and all commissioners voted in favor.
After the vote, Commissioner Don Salter added, “I just have to say one thing. If you have ever been in war and had bullets flying over your head, you do trust in God to get you out of there safely.”
Bullshit. The idea that “there are no atheists in foxholes” is a vile lie that doesn’t hold up to even a cursory Google search. There are indeed atheists in the military who sacrifice their lives for the country.
John Kieffer, an atheist Vietnam vet who lives in Tampa, told me last night that “the county has taken a dangerous step to discriminate against Americans, like me, who represent the religious/non-religious minority of this country.”
Jason Torpy, a former Army Captain, West Point graduate, and Iraq War vet who heads up the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, sent me this message:
Commissioner Don Salter disrespected and lied about my service to the nation to advance his seditious Christian Nation agenda. I don’t appreciate it.
In just one instance, during a mortar attack one evening in Iraq, I sought the nearest cover with 2 fellow officers who were also atheists. Given no obvious target to return fire, we all sought better cover, and we certainly had no urges to seek a supernatural power. Let Mr. Salter boast about his service and faith without lying about mine. Santa Rosa County residents should not let themselves be misled by a dishonest veteran pushing a religious agenda.
Salter doesn’t give a damn about them, just as this entire commission doesn’t give a damn about non-Christians.
What a thoughtless change to the seal. These commissioners all owe military atheists an apology.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)