Fox News isn’t exactly a place that’s friendly to alternative view points. That’s true of Republicans and right-wingers in general, but Fox News especially, and they proved it once again when four of the hosts for the show Outnumbered ganged up on the liberal contributor who dared to suggest that “In God We Trust” shouldn’t appear on money.
Deus ex America
While never codified into law, the motto for the United States from it’s inception until 1951 was e pluribus unum, which means “out of many, one.”
It was only after 1956, at the heart of the Second Red Scare, and as a way to distinguish ourselves from the Godless Commies (apparently American leadership felt that someone might confuse the U.S.A for the Soviet Union), a new motto was drafted and codified into law: In God We Trust.
This motto has been a sticking point ever since. Not everyone trusts in God, after all, because not everyone believes in God.
Despite that, the American Right-Wing latched on to the motto, and has fought for it ever since.
Which brings us to the disagreement that transpired on Outnumbered.
Tyranny of the perpetually aggrieved
The argument began with a Missouri sheriff who decided to put “In God We Trust” on the side of all his official vehicles. Democratic strategist Julie Roginsky argued that the motto was inappropriate, despite noting that the Supreme Court said it was okay.
Roginsky prefaced her comment by saying that it was going to get “so much hate mail,” but went on to disagree with the SCOTUS:
I don’t agree with the court. Separation of church and state means if you want to put ‘In God We Trust’ on a bumper sticker and put it on your car, great. Don’t put it on my money, don’t put it on government property, take it out of the pledge of allegiance.
She didn’t get a chance to get anything else; the others jumped on her, cutting her off and forcing her to note that she didn’t “hate God.”
Host Andrea Tantaros pointedly asked whether they bought the cruisers with “Monopoly money,” suggesting she has a long way to go before she even understands how economics works. Roginsky fired back, “What? God gave it to them?”
“No,” Tantaros countered, “It says ‘In God We Trust’ on the cars!”
Roginsky patiently explained that the hosts were missing her point:
You’re missing my point. I agree that it’s legal. I would prefer that ‘In God We Trust’ not be on our money, not be on government property. I think it is divisive. And I think it is offensive to atheists and to other people who may not believe in God.
The camera panned out to capture the reactions of the various hosts, including Sandra Smith, who put her hand on her forehead, and Andrew Napolitano, who said that the phrase is “so passé” nobody was offended by it.
Roginsky noted that she was, and pointed out that “I’ve always said so.”
“That’s crazy!” Tantaros shouted.
Host Ainsley Earhardt tried a different approach, invoking the Bandwagon Fallacy:
The majority of Americans — 77 percent — believe in some sort of God, the majority are Christians. Twenty-three percent are atheist or agnostic, and the majority should win in this case.
Earhardt then asked what I’m sure she thought was a pointed question at Roginsky: “Also, if you don’t believe in God — here’s my thought — if you don’t believe in God, why do you get so offended by the word God?”
Because apparently right-thinking adults who get offended at the idea of forcing rape victims to marry their rapists, or any other evil that permeates that book from cover to cover, are rare in this country.
Roginsky explained that she did believe in God, however, and said it was “because we protect the rights of the minority.”
Earhardt wasn’t having it. “What about the majority?” She asked. “I’m so tired of protecting the minority. What about the rest of the country — 77 percent!”
Tantaros jumped in, cheering her on:
Yes, girl! The tyranny of the minority!
She then concluded that the best course of action for atheists, polytheists, or Christians offended by worthless ceremonial deism is to not get arrested, so they don’t have to see the cars.
Here’s my question: Why is that right-wing Christians are so smugly certain that this is their god that’s being referenced? It doesn’t say “Jesus.” It says “god,” and it’s not even specifically capitalized, since all the letters are capitalized in the motto.
How do they know it’s Jehovah and not, say, Thor, Zeus, or Amun-Re? My personal head-cannon is that the motto references Mammon, as his name has been argued as meaning “That in which one trusts.” It’s only fitting that the god of capitalism and the demon of greed be printed on money, don’t you think?
Watch the argument:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrfEZ7HvQOg&w=560&h=315]
Feature image via video screen capture