I came across an article from the Richard Dawkins Foundation in my Facebook news feed that made my day. Apparently, the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Council voted down a proposal to have “In God We Trust” posted in the courthouse where the council convenes. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I read that correctly, and went to the link to the original article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to confirm the information I had just read. Sure enough :
The phrase ‘‘In God We Trust’’ will not be displayed within the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown. Members of county council voted down the proposal Tuesday night, with some members saying they believed church must be kept separate from state.
Needless to say, I was rather stunned. I don’t think I’ve heard a case where posting the motto was voted against, although, to be fair, I live in the South.
That’s not to say there wasn’t opposition. The vote by the council was 8-6 against the measure. One of those voting for the measure was Sue Means, the Republican who was the greatest proponent of the bill:
Ms. Means called the motto inclusive, and said that two groups had pledged to defend the county pro bono if the display were challenged.
“I don’t understand what the big deal is,” she said during the meeting. “This is our national motto.”
The County Executive even lobbied against it, telling council members he would veto the measure it passed.
This was a ray of sunshine breaking through the dark clouds of Christian privilege. Of course, this is only an isolated instance, and it occurred in the county where the relatively liberal metropolis of Pittsburgh is the seat. It still warms the cockles of my heart to see a blatantly Christian motto not displayed in a government building. It is sad that this is even an issue, but Christianity has thrust itself into the government sphere, and every victory, however small, should be savored.
In totally unrelated news, I am going to permit myself a little bit of pride in announcing that my Farnsworth quote made it on to Episode 83 of The Scathing Atheist! For those of you not familiar with the show, The Scathing Atheist is a weekly hour-long podcast hosted by Noah Lugeons and Heath Enright, with contributions by Noah’s lovely wife Lucinda. As the title suggests, it’s an incisive and hillarious look at the stupidity and downright evil perpetrated by the religious nutjobs of the world. There are also interviews with notable Atheists; a segment on misogyny by Lucinda, who somehow makes even the worst vulgarities sound hot; top ten lists; the 30 seconds on the clock segment; and so much more! It is at the beginning of the show where the quote from Farnsworth, a character from Futurama, makes its appearance. Noah enlists different people to do the quotes, and I was fortunate enough to be selected on this episode. My blog was also mentioned at the end of the show. I am very grateful to Mr. Lugeons for the honor. Go check out his show on iTunes, Spreaker, Stitcher, or search for it on your preferred podcatcher. All of his episodes can also be accessed at his website.
And what is the quote? “We did, in fact, evolve from filthy monkey men”. Hell yeah!