Monday, August 6, 2018

Trust Whom?

A God by any other name can mean many things. The phrase "under God" can mean something different to members of the approximately 313 religions and denominations in the United States, from monotheists who believe in one God (in the Judeo-Christian and other traditions), to polytheists who believe in many Gods, to others who believe in no God, or a God as represented by animal spirits, alien groups, or psychoactive substances. Or during sex. The latter two are working for me.

This is just some of the varying names of God: The Lord, Jehovah, Jesus Christ, The Father, The Most Holy, Ganesh, Shiva, Vishnu, Yaweh, Buddha, KRishna, Allah, Ahura, Gitce Manitu,, The nature of a holy name can be described as either personal or attributive. In many cultures it is often difficult to distinguish between the personal and the attributive names of God, the two divisions necessarily shading into each other.

And on that note:

'In God We Trust' motto now required to be displayed in all Tennessee public schools
Mary Constantine, Knoxville News Sentinel Published  Aug. 3, 2018 

Following the March passage of House Bill 2368 by the Tennessee state legislature, the motto "In God We Trust" must be prominently displayed in every public school in the state.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Mt. Juliet, and approved by 81 of the 99 House members. The Tennessee state Senate unanimously passed the "In God We Trust" legislation, which was sponsored by Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, and it was signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam in April.

Lynn spoke on the House floor to explain her belief in the importance of the motto.

"Our national motto is on our money. It's on our license plates. It's part of our national anthem. Our national motto and founding documents are the cornerstone of freedom, and we should teach our children about these things," she said.
What are schools doing to display the motto?

With the 2018-2019 school year just beginning, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee reached out to school systems to see how each plans to meet the new requirements.

K. Dawn Rutledge, Metro Nashville Public Schools public information officer, said via an email that the school system is working toward compliance with the new requirement.

"All MNPS schools will be provided with information about this new legal requirement and we will be working to have this information posted in as many of our schools as possible in the new 2018-2019 school year," she wrote, adding that "entry ways, cafeterias or other common areas" would be the most likely locations for the motto to be displayed.

During a follow-up phone call, Rutledge said each school in the district will be provided an "In God We Trust" template that can be used "for those who need something to put up quickly."

"Then the school can decide if they want to get the students involved in making one to the extent that is allowable. We have a diverse student body with various beliefs, so it most certainly will not be mandatory" for students to get involved in creating the displays, she said.

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Leeway on what form the display takes

The law offers some freedom on what form the displayed motto takes, suggesting that it could be a mounted plaque or student artwork.

Sharon Anglim, communications director for Maryville City Schools, said in an email that each school in the district had received a copy of the motto.

"We have framed the motto and provided copies (just this week) for principals to post in a prominent location at their school. I would expect that by mid-week, next week, we should have all the signs on display," she wrote Thursday.

Carly Harrington, director of public affairs for Knox County Schools, said via an email that "we have shared the requirements related to this public chapter with our principals and staff, and we will continue to work and make sure all schools are in compliance."

"We are also printing posters that will be available to any principal that wants one," she said in a follow-up conversation, adding that individual schools are free to create their own "In God We Trust" motto to display.

"Sure, some of them may want to be creative," she said.

More: Arizona lawmakers want more God in the classroom with state motto bill

Union County schools will also be receiving printouts of the "In God We Trust" motto.

"We will be giving each school a framed placard to be displayed as soon as we get the frames," said Jimmy Carter, Union County's director of schools.

One will also hang in the school's district office, he said.

At Oak Ridge High School maintenance supervisor Allen Thacker has been tasked with bringing a selection of plaque designs to the school administration for consideration.

"Once we get those we will pick out the design we like and will have it printed or made. Once we get them back we will post them in an area somewhere near the main entrance," said Bruce Lay, executive director of school leadership.

Similar laws have been passed in Florida and Arkansas.

According to, the phrase "In God We Trust" was first used on U.S. money in 1864, when it appeared on the two-cent coin. It became the national motto in 1956.

I want to point out that in the hierarchy of import in the buckle of the belt of the South, Money is number one, Church number two and Women number three.   And this manages to cover all of them in one fell swoop as of course it was a woman who came up with this gem and in turn managed to get this absurdity passed without dissent.   Let's hope the ACLU gets a hold of this but here in the conflict free zone it is unlikely anyone will challenge the Lord.

We are facing staff shortages due to lack of salary raises, shortages of materials and curriculum needs due to lack of funds and a crisis here in Nashville Public Schools due to a lack of leadership and endless sex scandals that dominate the landscape as school starts tomorrow.  So get that signage up!

Is this really about God or about Money? You decide. 


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