Look, I think I said somewhere I’m an atheist. If not, I am. Or non-religious, really. Atheism has been related to aggressive anti-religious activists, and I really don’t care what anyone else believes as long as they leave me alone. However, I’m not happy when there’s religious favoritism. And, as I live in America, I’m going to run into that. A lot.
For example: one of our national mottos. I say ‘one of’ because we really have two. E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) was our original motto. It makes sense. Thirteen colonies combined and made a single country. And it’s in Latin, which is cool. Ask a university. Their mottos are always in Latin. That way, you have only a vague idea of what it means. Dead languages are in.
However, people began pushing the religiously oriented ‘In God we trust’ in the 1800s. Francis Scott Key put it in the Star Spangled Banner. Variations on it appeared on currency afterwards. But E Pluribus Unum was still our country’s motto.
The official switch occured in 1956. Why? America was in the middle of the Cold War, fighting against the Communists. There was an effort to be as non-Communist as possible. As Stalin attempted to make his country secular, America embraced religion. Changing our motto to ‘In God we trust’ kept us away from Communism, and made us feel better about ourselves. ‘Under God’ was added to the pledge at about the same time.
This isn’t a problem for a majority of Americans. After all, Christianity is the most common religion in the country. But for those non-Christian and non-religious, it alienates us from our own country. It tells us we are the minority, unheard, unimportant. Every time we hear the pledge, or pay with cash, we’re reminded of the government’s bias. And it needs to stop.