Is “In God We Trust” The Only Thing Standing Between Us and Anarchy?

We have previously discussed how leaders in both the United States and Europe have focused on atheists and secularists as one of the greatest threats facing the free world. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) seemed to take this to a new level in arguing this week that if the nation did not reaffirm “In God We Trust” as our national motto, we are inviting anarchy and accepting that we are nothing but “worm food.”

Of course, the motto has only been embraced since 1956 and we seemed to do pretty well through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Moreover, not having a motto based on the recognition of faith does not mean that we are a country of faithless citizens. Indeed, there are plenty deeply religious secularists.

However, Franks went to the floor to say “Is God God? Or is man God? In God do we trust, or in man do we trust?” Otherwise, he warned “we should just let anarchy prevail because, after all, we are just worm food. So indeed we have the time to reaffirm that God is God and in God do we trust.”

Of course, no one was asking to rescind the motto, but the legislative debate is part of the increasing faith-based politics that remains the rage this year.

Source: Washington Post

125 thoughts on “Is “In God We Trust” The Only Thing Standing Between Us and Anarchy?”

  1. i think it should be “in gold we trust”. as long as it’s not glenn beck trying to sell it to you.

  2. Blouise, Thank you, you beat me to it.

    My premise is that the restraints of law does not exist for a portion of our society and the effect is predation and ruin for their victims and that our government, which has lost its legitimacy, its moral imperative, facilitates this and protects the wrongdoers. Your summation Ekeyra, in the main is correct. Gene is also correct IMO.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t have government, I’m saying we shouldn’t have this government. This government has as its mission a course of action and benefit for some that is contrary to its stated aim. The problem is that the wealth-aristocracy in this country is a law unto itself and the politicians running the government that works (dysfunctionaly) for the rest of us are just their handmaidens. That there is a state of anarchy for some (and profitable it is for them) is a problem.

  3. Gene

    Governments murdered 170 million of their own citizens during the 20th century. How is that not “maximized tyranny”? Even if private murderers somehow managed to match that scale of slaughter they would not be doing it while maintaining they had their victims best interest in mind.

    As for campaign finance reform all you will accomplish is raising the cost of bribes which will only concentrate political power into an even smaller pool of those who can afford the higher prices

    Nice try

  4. No lottas premise is that the injustices originate from the unequal treatment meted out by our current rulers. Genes premise is that if wedo do away with the current system we will have an inequality of justice

  5. Did I say somewhere that our system was currently functional as is?

    Because I’m certain that I didn’t (and wouldn’t) say that.

    We have the tools to make this a just society contained within the framework of the Constitution as informed by the Declaration of Independence, however We the People must take them back from the fascists who have co-opted our government through the campaign finance system first. The tool of government can be used for not only good, but the common good, but the responsibility of making sure it is used that way falls to the many. Right now, the tool is being misused by the few for their private benefit at the expense of the many.

    None of this changes that the answer to injustice is not anarchy, because on this LK and I agree: there is no justice in an anarchist society, only conditions which guarantee maximized tyranny.

  6. That’s funny as I see lotta and gene saying the same thing: “There is no justice in an anarchist society”

  7. Lotta says our current system of governance creates an inequality of justice. Gene says if we do away with our current system of governance we will have an inequality of justice. Tell you what you guys hash it out and get back to me

  8. ekeyra,

    The greater good may be difficult to define on a level of individuals, but it is not impossible to define, ergo, it is not a fantasy. Take for example murder. Murder is a bad thing if you’re looking at it from the individual perspective. Or is it? It’s only bad if you’re the victim or a relative or friend of the victim, no? Because to a murderer, committing murder advances some personal need, either financial or emotional. It serves the individual to murder someone else for without some form of benefit, it is simply mindless violence (which with psychopaths is certainly a possibility, but a digression from the point at hand). So on an individual level, murder can be a good or bad thing. That’s relative.

    Extrapolate that to the realm of a higher order of operation and analysis, the collective of individuals known as society. Is murder still a good thing? No, it can never be a good thing and making laws against it serve the common good because of the following factors.

    It is not in the interests of justice to allow murder to go unpunished. To do so encourages anarchy in the form of retribution by friends of family of the victim against the perceived murderer. As we all know, sometime appearances can be misleading and someone who appears guilty of murder may not in fact be guilty of murder. People reacting out of emotion – as people would be in these circumstances – are not going to be acting rationally or systematically in their pursuit of the guilty. You are allowing one injustice to anarchy and possibly a whole new set of injustices by allowing self-help remedies to the family and friends of murder victims. A third party is best to both investigate and punish murderers.

    Since the pursuit of justice is not just about making victims of crimes as whole as possible after the fact but to preserve social order in the process, it becomes readily apparent that a law against murder serves the common good in that it defines the crime, provides a framework for discovering the true perpetrator of the crime and a framework for punishing them without creating further injustices and/or unpredictable social outcomes that the alternative of self-help creates. By setting up a system to provide justice against the crime of murder, you serve the greater good by both punishing the guilty, maintaining social order and mitigating any further possible ancillary injustices that might be brought about by pursuing said killer.

    Now if you want to argue that our justice system is imperfect in this endeavor by sometimes convicting the innocent and therefor somehow inappropriate, I’ll just remind you that no system of any sort is perfect, but that the goal is to make that system as perfect as possible. But the alternative of no systems at all? Is simply anarchy and anarchy exists by one rule and one rule only: the tyranny of the strong over the weak. There is no justice in an anarchist society except what the individual can get themselves through individual force. And that is in itself not guaranteed justice, but rather the will of the individual as the outcome may not be equitable.

  9. Ekeyra, ‘we agree but for entirely different reasons’. Yes, we do. While the Turleyblawg mojo is great, I just don’t think we’re going to get any closer than ‘S**t’s totally F****d up’! LOL.

  10. Ekeyra, We have a contract with our government. I always go to the mission statement in a contract, the spirit and intent of the compact. Next, I go the the rights of the parties. Everything else is rationale’ and procedure, how we’re going to accomplish these intended goals. That’s why I like the Preamble to the Declaration, the Introduction of the Constitution (When in the course…) and the Bill of Rights. They are the spiritual heart of our country.

    When the government discards or so modifies those documents with procedure (laws) that those laws no longer serve the stated principles and rights, then the government – a legitimate government – ceases to exist. That’s where I think we are. OWS doesn’t want “more” government, or necessarily less. They (I believe) want a government that actually follows it’s own mission statement and lives up to its stated intent. I sure do.

    People haven’t fought and died for some subsection of Article 2 of the Constitution, they give their lives for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, to promote the general welfare, to get a fair shake, to not be screwed over as a matter of course, and to be left alone.

  11. Lotta,

    I completely agree with you, however is it precisely the existence of government that facilitates this dichotomy, not its absence.

  12. Gene,

    The greater good is a fantasy. Everyone’s infinitely divergent view of “good” is hardly conducive to amalgamation. Start there and try again.

    As for thinking outside the box:

  13. ekeyra,

    Campaign finance reform would be a start. Making laws disallowing lobbyists to write law would be another. Putting stiff criminal penalties into place against pols taking corporate money that hold substantial jail time and asset forfeiture for both the pol and the corporate offenders would be another. There are many solutions to bad government and no one solution is a silver bullet solution. However, the solution to bad government is not no government. If you dislike tyranny now, just wait until there are no rules or enforcers of societies rules whatsoever. The trick to maintaining democracy is to make sure the rules serve the greater good and the enforcers work for We the People, not the plutocrats.

  14. Ekeyra,

    If government ceases to function according to its charter it ceases to exist. We do not have a functioning government any longer IMO, we have a figurehead assemblage of paid actors that serve and facilitate only the smallest minority of persons. Laws simply do not exist for the American wealth-based aristocracy.

    That a government (in name only) exists doesn’t mean that an effective system of laws or justice is put in place or enforced. The government is a figurehead institution IMO. It serves in two ‘states’- active and enforced for the peasantry but at rest or absent for the aristocracy.

    The lawlessness of the banking industry was enabled by government and is enforced by the absence of any action by the country’s justice system. What we have seen is that the government actually removed restraints on the banks and even when the banks ignored other laws, they were and are being given a pass.

    The banks and our other esteemed corporate citizens are operating outside of the law, either the spirit and intent or the actual letter of the law.

  15. martingugino: In God We Trust” should be “In Money We Trust

    I”ve always preferred “In Dog We Trust” not one of my Canine-American friends has ever let me down although it is preferrable to have a second or backup motto “Never trust a dog to watch your dinner”

  16. Lotta,

    I don’t even bothering arguing with them for they have too much of themselves invested in the fairy-tale to step outside that box and try a new perspective. It is a mental exercise that questions their belief system and they have not the courage to try it.

  17. Gene,

    So we get the people who are beating and caging people to realize that, oh wait the people they are visiting violence upon at their whim are really the ones calling the shots?

    How would you plan to do that? Something about campaign finance reform perhaps, or some equally impotent suggestion?

    Maybe not giving people the power to do that to other people in the first place should be your starting point.

  18. Yes ma’am … a”fully functioning anarchist state” needs a cover story in order to function.

    Over the years this country has developed a very good one and people actually believe it. They spout the fairy-tale, ignoring the thousands of contradictions pointing to the reality of their existence within the state.

  19. “Isn’t the OWS answer for the inequality of wealth they are protesting more of the same government that is brutalizing and caging them? Hmmm…”

    No. The answer is to force government to realize that they work for all of us and not just Wall Street. You know, democracy instead of oligarchical plutocracy verging on outright fascism which is what we have now.

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