Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, thank you for allowing me to speak today.
I do not stand before you with a hate filled heart.
I do not stand before you today wishing to destroy anyone's beliefs or ways of life.
I do not stand before you today hoping to achieve a victory for one group while hurting another.
Instead, I stand before you today in the hope that you listen open-mindedly.
That is all I ask.
In 1956, "In God We Trust" was adopted as the United States official motto. This motto has been on our coins since 1864 and on our paper currency since 1957. In 1954, the words "Under God" where added to the Pledge of Allegiance. The question of whether or not these phrases are constitutional has been argued on all levels, from the dinner tables of average Americans, all the way up to the Supreme Court. I personally believe that these phrases are unconstitutional, but the arguments for it have been so overused that I feel repeating them would be beating a dead horse.
No, instead I will bring up a new argument, one many do not think of, or realize.
These phrases, to put it simply, are completely and utterly un-American.
Does the phrase "Under God" represent all Americans?
Does the phrase "In God We Trust" represent all Americans?
The answer is simple, no.
The major religions that believe in one "God" are Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Baha'i' faith .These religions are also divided on their concept of "god" and have their own names for Him, such as Yahweh , Hashem, or Allah.
But what of all other religions, and world views?
These two phrases cannot represent Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, Asturus, Druids, Jaisists, Atheists, Agnostics, Free-thinkers, Pantheists, Deists, Taoists, Unitarians, Panenthesists, Secular Humanists, Animists, Scientologists; and the list goes on.
These groups combined account for 81 million* Americans.
These two phrases fail to recognize 81 million Americans.
And yet we can justify having this as our national motto?
This motto closes the 'golden door' of America to all those who do not believe in this one "God".
Many argue that this nation is Christian, or founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. And therefore the phrases are justified.
Since when has alienating your fellow countrymen become an American value?
Since when has the values of the Christian religion, or any other religion, become the values of America, its government, and its people?
People yell, scream, and bicker relentlessly that this nation was founded as Christian, that the founding fathers where all Christian, and so on.
To them I simply point to the Treaty of Tripoli, written during George Washington's presidency, and signed into law by John Adams. It states in Article 11, quote "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" unquote.
And yet, in the case Newdow V. Rio Linda Union School District , the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the words "Under God" in the pledge saying , quote, "the words where of ceremonial and patriotic nature" unquote
Does this court mean to say that 81 million Americans are unpatriotic?
Or that they cannot be patriotic if they do not believe in this one "god"?
What about all the non-monotheists who serve in our armed forces, work as judges, are police officers, and hold many other government jobs? They are Americans; they are just as American as anyone else.They wave flags, celebrate the Fourth of July, but they do not believe in the one "god".
Why should this make them any less American?
And they should not be alienated as "different" by the government of the country they love.
The national motto "In God We Trust" should be revoked, and removed from our currency.
And the phrase "Under God" should be removed from our pledge.
Ladies and Gentlemen of congress, I ask you to have a vote on this issue, tell the 81 million Americans that you represent them just as much as you represent the rest of country, vote to have both phrases removed.
That action will speak volumes. Do not go out and make speeches and say that you support all Americans but vote to keep the phrases today.
Because "Well done is better than well said."