On August 24th, residents of Kissimmee, Florida will have a chance to vote to make the city motto: “In God We Trust.”
Kissimmee Mayor Jim Swan told News 13’s Stephanie Coueignoux, “This is a Christian community, and we all have strong Christian beliefs in this community.”
It is unbelievable that there are no non-Christians in Kissimmee, Florida–and untrue. According to Sperling’s, only 40% of the population in the city affiliates with a religion at all. And of that minority, there are a smattering of Jews and even fewer who practice Eastern religions. The majority of the religious are Christian. But what of the large majority who are not religious at all?
Even with a nonreligious majority, ordinance 2761 will likely pass, making Kissimmee, in spirit at least, a Christian city where Christians can point to the motto to prove it.
Originally, the idea of the new motto was supported by the city commission. But then its conservative promoter kept talking. Commissioner Art Otero, who initially proposed the idea, explained that the motto would exemplify American values, but not liberal values, “like gay marriage and abortion.”
Suddenly the commission withdrew their support. Now the ordinance will go on the ballot, where, in effect, a majority vote can decide the religious beliefs of the city.
“In God we Trust” was made our national motto in the 1950’s during the McCarthy Era, at about the same time “Under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance. Both were done to tell the Communists, and anyone who didn’t fit into the dominant religion, that the United States is a Christian nation.
The Supreme Court has ruled several times that the phrase “In God we Trust” is not an establishment of religion and its purpose is secular. And yet, Christians, in their defense of it, always claim we are a Christian nation. And when non-Christians attempt to explain that our nation is religiously diverse, Christians then point to our motto as evidence against the idea. Their behavior belies the true character of the motto: to force Christianity on the American citizenry.
But in so doing, they do indeed secularize their god and their religion, creating a population, not steeped in Christianity, but desensitized to it.
Paraphrasing the immortal words of Princess Leia, the more conservative Christians tighten their grip, the more the country will slip through their fingers.