Was there some sort of nationwide epidemic of people no longer trusting in God that I somehow missed? Seems to me that here in America, we've been celebrating the Birth of His Son for about two-and-a-half weeks now. Yet for some reason -- maybe the massive unemployment crisis was totally solved while everyone was paying attention to Herman Cain's sexy hand gestures -- Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) took time out of Congress' busy schedule to float a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as our national motto. As The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz reports:
"Unfortunately, there are a number of public officials who forget what the national motto is, whether intentionally or unintentionally," Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said in late Tuesday afternoon debate in the House. "There are those who become confused as to whether or not it can still be placed on our buildings, whether it can be placed in our school classrooms.
"Almost a year ago, the president in making a speech across the world said that our national motto was 'E pluribus unum,'" Forbes added. "When the [U.S. Capitol] Visitor Center was opened ... they did not have the national motto in there. In fact, they inscribed in the stones that our national motto was 'E pluribus unum.'"
Kasperowicz goes on to report that the measure passed 396-9, which is hardly surprising when you consider that the vast majority of congresscritters would stage a live orgy with a flock of bald eagles on the steps of the Supreme Court if they needed to do so to prove their patriotism. One sort of has to wonder if Congress would be able to scare up 300 votes to reaffirm by resolution the fact that plants use chlorophyll to obtain energy from sunlight through the process of photosynthesis. I think of that as one of God's cooler ideas, but there's a sizable portion of America's legislative body who'd prefer to see Him not as an all-knowing all-wise Divine Creator who ordered the mechanics of the universe, but rather as a Hogwarts summa cum laude graduate who lives on the moon and hates gay people.
There was, officially, bipartisan opposition to the resolution, thanks to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who is Congress' "new Ron Paul."
Funnily enough, I'm still confused as to whether we can slap that motto all over hither and yon, as Forbes suggests, because of that whole "separation of church and state" thing. Though I will recommend that we immediately inscribe "In God We Trust" on the debt ceiling, because maybe that would encourage everyone to RAISE IT UP, IN JESUS' NAME!
Perhaps we need to see this from Rep. Forbes' perspective. Forbes represents Virginia's 4th District, which "covers all or part of the counties of Amelia, Brunswick, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince George, Southampton, Sussex, and the cities of Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Emporia, Franklin, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Suffolk." I've never had anything discouraging to say about the people who live down in that part of the state, but it's been a while since I've spent any significant time there. Perhaps Forbes sees in his home district an uptick in general godlessness that he felt compelled to address. (The 4th District did, by a 50-to-49 percent margin, go for Obama in 2008.)
Maybe the best thing I can do is to encourage the residents of Forbes' district to make the "In God We Trust" motto even more ubiquitous. Spray paint, I imagine, is widely available down there. (Some caveats apply: Spray painting graffiti all over town, no matter how well intended, is not like collapsing the world economy with toxic credit derivatives or destroying the Gulf of Mexico through institutionalized corporate indifference. You could actually go to jail for it.)
At any rate, I'm sure what God really needed right now was a universally reviled legislative body attempting to glom onto His "brand."
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