Dear Lee Terry, please stand for conservative values — reject H. Con. Res. 13

Comments are welcome but not expected. ^_^

(Part of this text was derived from the default petition provided by the American Humanist Association. Please do your part and send your representative a letter, too! They have a full template there if you don’t want to write a whole letter yourself.)

Dear Representative,

This week the House of Representatives will consider H. Con. Res. 13, which would reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States and would support and encourage the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions. This resolution is likely to pass unless you vote and organize against this bill.

It’s my hope that as a Republican, one of the small-government ideals you share with me is an interest in keeping government out of private life. When the government affirms and propagates a phrase like “In God We Trust,” it is telling its citizens that there is a particular best religious position for them to hold. In this case, that position is belief in a single, probably Christian God. By mentioning a single “God” this resolution excludes respected faith traditions around the world and within our country. It excludes polytheists like Hindus; it excludes Buddhists who may venerate the Buddha but don’t consider him a god; it excludes Jews who consider it disrespectful to use their god’s name, and may refer to him as G-d instead; and it does, of course, exclude the millions of Americans who don’t believe in a higher power. And judging by the Congressional history of the resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Forbes, it’s fair to say that Rep. Forbes does not mean to affirm any and all monotheistic God-beliefs, but the particular Christian God.

This isn’t something that you should stand for — not as a representative of “one nation indivisible,” nor as a representative of a state whose motto is “Equality Before the Law.” In fact, affirming the use of “In God We Trust” runs counter to the values represented in our older, de facto motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” This is not uniting; this is dividing.

When government and religious belief remain separate, both benefit greatly. Please clarify your position on the matter, and put an end to this dangerous bill.

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