So little time, so much to talk about. This one just sprung up, however, so I felt compelled to write sooner, rather than later, especially considering that it is currently in the MN state government system.
For some reason, the Minnesota State Senate has decided to add an amendment to the education funding bill that would allow our nations motto “In God We Trust” onto our school walls. Their argument? It would add more faith to schools. Honestly, I kind of figured that it was a religious argument in the first place, but no matter what their argument is, the words themselves do a great job of alienating families who don’t share those same faith practices.
In a post, which was supposed to drop today, but now has to wait, I am going to talk about how the language we use shapes our views and is shaped by our views. This is just another piece of evidence. When a source of authority, the government in this case, takes a side on religion and puts it in your face, it makes a very clear signal to those who don’t share in that faith. It tells us that this is THEIR property and that we are the others. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, and any other affiliated and non-affiliated groups are being shown to be the others in this case.
This is morally, ethically, and legally wrong. It’s bad enough that in the 1950’s we added that awful motto to our coinage in order to take on communism, but now it’s seeping into our education system as a way to bring the conservative version of christian education into the classroom. Supporters are using terms like faith, freedom of religion, and other words that represent going back to the good old days. These words are nothing more than dog-whistles used to incite a response from their followers. Do I think these politicians and supporters truly believe what they are saying? Of course I do! Sure, some may only speak for effect, but the majority clearly believe everything they are saying. Again, our language is shaped by us and shapes us also. Their language is very clear.