With the impending House vote to assure that the phrase “In God We Trust” remains prominent on government “stuff,” I found myself longing for a new national motto. I don’t consider myself an atheist necessarily. I know there’s a lot that we just don’t know, and I am ok with that. Is the unknown a deity? Again, I don’t know. But this isn’t about me, it’s about all of “US”.
I also don’t deny that “In God We Trust” has been, for better or worse, part of our national heritage. But if that’s the primary argument for “In God We Trust,” I have a suggestion for a national motto that has been around even longer than that:
We The People
Remember that one?
The reason that I prefer “We The People” as a national motto is not about my disdain for organized religion. It’s not about the entanglement of church and State. It’s not even about the establishment of a national religion. For me, it really boils down to 2 simple points:
1) Not all Americans trust/believe in God;
2) We The People is just a better representation of what our country is really “about.”
Our country isn’t “about” religion. It isn’t “about” political party affiliation. It isn’t “about” corporations. It isn’t “about” money, power, class, or any other form of concentrated control.
It’s about people governing themselves. It’s about people giving some limited power to the institutions of government for the benefit of the people.
So does it make sense that our national motto is “In God We Trust” when not all Americans even believe in a God? The answer is obviously no. But even if you really like “In God We Trust,” the simple fact is that there’s a much better national motto available.