Friday, April 27, 2012

Doing My Part for the Godless Future - Money

This post is in part a response to Hank Fox's Doing My Part for the Godless Future.

   One thing I have decided to start doing is crossing out "IN GOD WE TRUST" on paper money. In the past, I thought the idea was a bit childish. It not only seemed silly to do so, but I feared other people might feel the same way, turning people against atheists. Particularly, my immediate family are the people I tended to think about. They are not very religious, yet they don't seem to be fond—for whatever reason—of atheist activists. I figure marking money will further that divide between me and my family. But then I will see dumb comments like this:
If you feel so strong about being an atheist,you should not use money,after all it does say in God we trust on it
Such comments demonstrate why having "IN GOD WE TRUST" is a problem. It is a problem I wish to help fix.

   Stories about atheists in religious communities thinking they are alone have also encouraged me. Perhaps there are atheists out there that will feel some relief from knowing other atheists exist if they get a hold on one of my "marked bills." As for my family...screw them! They'll probably never be my allies, but they'll probably never be an enemy, either. Much the same goes for other people who are sitting more in the middle...people who I might call "accommodationists." If an atheist crossing out "IN GOD WE TRUST" frustrates you more than all the horrible things religious people do, then fuck you! I would rather mark money if it helps motivate atheists than to not in order to pander to people with such horrible moral priorities.

UPDATE (08-May-2012): I saw something disturbing on PZ Myers' blog this weekend. Emanuel Cleaver, a U.S. representative from the state of Missouri, said the following recently in an interview:
Actually, I don’t believe that there is such thing as an atheist because no respectable atheist would walk around with something in his pocket that said ‘In God We Trust.’
   Well, I have no paper money that says such a thing (I have not attempted to remove it from coins...that would just be too much work). Suck it, Cleaver! Oh...and thanks for demonstrating my point.

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