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Atheists sue to keep ‘In God We Trust’ off Capitol Vistor center
Posted: 25 July 2009 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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asanta - 25 July 2009 07:37 PM
dougsmith - 25 July 2009 05:46 PM
VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 03:34 PM

That is so true Doug. You and Asanta, and myself probably like to dabble in a wide array of history. That is what makes it so hard to keep track of dates, places and names. I bet if we concentrated on a specific historical subject, or two, we would have those nuances remembered better.

Could be. I just don’t have a memory for names. I can memorize them for tests if I have to, but within a week or two they’re gone.

And Asanta, that must have been very interesting! Where were you living? (Perhaps you told us already ... and I managed to forget ...)

It’s also very interesting to hear how other people from other countries view our history and the history that we tell in school of their countries.

We lived 4 years in Germany(during the raising of the Berlin Wall), wandered through Europe with my multi-lingual dad to Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,France, Spain, spent 4 years in Morocco during which time King Hussain II was crowned, his cavalcade came down our boulevard. We traveled throughout the country and I remember driving through the Turkish countryside about that time, which means we went through some other countries to get there, but I don’t quite remember which route we took. My dad was involved with the whole Cuban missile crisis and spent time traveling back and forth to the UN in Naples, Italy while we were in Morocco. We were in the US briefly after the assassination of Kennedy and them moved back overseas to the south Pacific with the escalation of the Viet-Nam ‘war’.
While we were on Guam, the (enlisted) crew of the Pueblo came to our house for a goodbye party, just before they sailed off to be captured by the N. Koreans. We were invited to have a tour (as much as we would be allowed to see) of the Pueblo before it took off, but my father did not feel that it was an appropriate place for children. We came to the USA in 1970s, I missed the assassination of R. Kennedy. MLK, and Malcolm X as well as much of the hippie and Civil Rights stuff! My father insisted that we pick up a smattering of the languages, as well as eat the local foods and learn something about the customs. We learned to eat sushi with chopsticks before it was popular, we ate cous-cous when it was only in the middle east and how to cook and eat Philipino foods before that became popular. Soul food and African American history was something I learned when I arrived and that is what turned me into a history buff! grin

I’m incredibly jealous of your travels since I’ve hardly left Indiana.  I’m a pretty big history buff as well!  It’s amazing that you have so much world history that you can claim as personal history.  I haven’t been fortunate enough to travel or experience anything too significant yet, but I do have a lot of rich family history in America.

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Posted: 25 July 2009 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I’m actually jealous of people who grew up here in the USA! I keep running into cultural references and I have no idea what they refer to because I don’t have a frame of reference. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to anymore. It also gives you a different perspective of things. Despite living here for 35 years now, it takes people about 15 minutes to figure out “you’re not from around here, are you?” Also, the only people with whom I have a shared history are my siblings and parents. You have an entire neighborhood at the least. There are trade-offs. grin

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Posted: 25 July 2009 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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asanta - 25 July 2009 10:11 PM

I’m actually jealous of people who grew up here in the USA! I keep running into cultural references and I have no idea what they refer to because I don’t have a frame of reference. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to anymore. It also gives you a different perspective of things. Despite living here for 35 years now, it takes people about 15 minutes to figure out “you’re not from around here, are you?” Also, the only people with whom I have a shared history are my siblings and parents. You have an entire neighborhood at the least. There are trade-offs. grin

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.  While I would not trade off my American heritage for anything, I would’ve liked to have traveled and experienced a lot more.  The main thing that I’m going to remember from my childhood to tell my children about is… corn, and a little about racing.  Not much else.  I’ll have stories that start off like “your fifth great grandfather…” but nothing about things that I personally experienced. 

Your comment about not having any idea about certain cultural things since you didn’t have a frame of reference reminds of a point I was discussing with my wife the other day that is relevant to the “in god we trust” nonsense.  One of the arguments against removing these words is that ‘God’ in this sense is what they refer to as ‘ceremonial deism’, meaning that the phrase has lost meaning over time through repetition.  What does this mean to someone who was not born here?  What does this mean to an immigrant who is just now learning English?  They will take it as it literally means.  If we were to tell these people that in certain instances, words don’t mean anything, they would think we’re crazy.  Especially when you say our national motto means absolutely nothing.  I would much rather have a national motto that does mean something, like e pluribus unum (the de facto motto until the 1950s).  Otherwise, our money might as well have gibberish on it. 

If we spent all day, everyday for 50 years saying racial slurs, that doesn’t take away the meaning.  But, someone could argue that our motto isn’t offensive.  It’s only a generalization.  So if we used a generalization like “in Walmart we trust,” in 50 years, it will still mean the same thing.  That’s leaving out people who choose to shop at Target, Kmart, or those who choose not to shop at department stores at all, just because Walmart is better at marketing than the others and a higher percentage of the population chooses to shop there than at other department stores.  Yes, I know.  The department store analogy is a bit strange, but I like it.

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Posted: 26 July 2009 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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asanta - 25 July 2009 07:37 PM

We lived 4 years in Germany(during the raising of the Berlin Wall), wandered through Europe with my multi-lingual dad to Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,France, Spain, spent 4 years in Morocco during which time King Hussain II was crowned, his cavalcade came down our boulevard. We traveled throughout the country and I remember driving through the Turkish countryside about that time, which means we went through some other countries to get there, but I don’t quite remember which route we took. My dad was involved with the whole Cuban missile crisis and spent time traveling back and forth to the UN in Naples, Italy while we were in Morocco. We were in the US briefly after the assassination of Kennedy and them moved back overseas to the south Pacific with the escalation of the Viet-Nam ‘war’.
While we were on Guam, the (enlisted) crew of the Pueblo came to our house for a goodbye party, just before they sailed off to be captured by the N. Koreans. We were invited to have a tour (as much as we would be allowed to see) of the Pueblo before it took off, but my father did not feel that it was an appropriate place for children. We came to the USA in 1970s, I missed the assassination of R. Kennedy. MLK, and Malcolm X as well as much of the hippie and Civil Rights stuff! My father insisted that we pick up a smattering of the languages, as well as eat the local foods and learn something about the customs. We learned to eat sushi with chopsticks before it was popular, we ate cous-cous when it was only in the middle east and how to cook and eat Philipino foods before that became popular. Soul food and African American history was something I learned when I arrived and that is what turned me into a history buff! grin

big surprise

Wow! That’s quite a story, asanta, you were a lucky girl. Sounds fascinating to have been raised in that atmosphere ... Of course, you’re right that you will have missed out on some of the US cultural references and the like, but I think by traveling and meeting so many different people from different cultures you got the better end of the bargain by far. One can always pick up cultural references and trivia later on in life if they interest you.

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Posted: 26 July 2009 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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We came to the USA in 1970s, I missed the assassination of R. Kennedy. MLK, and Malcolm X as well as much of the hippie and Civil Rights stuff!

I can fill in the most important thing you missed: if somebody starts singing “A three hour tour… a three hour tour…” that means that they think that something very long and bad is going to happen.

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Posted: 26 July 2009 06:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Chris Crawford - 26 July 2009 05:49 PM

We came to the USA in 1970s, I missed the assassination of R. Kennedy. MLK, and Malcolm X as well as much of the hippie and Civil Rights stuff!

I can fill in the most important thing you missed: if somebody starts singing “A three hour tour… a three hour tour…” that means that they think that something very long and bad is going to happen.

LOL!!! I remember “the Professor and MaryAnn….”!!!

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Posted: 26 July 2009 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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If you can remember Gilligan’s Island, then you have the most important details of the 60s down pat. As somebody once said, “If you can remember the 60s, you weren’t really there.”

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Posted: 26 July 2009 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Chris Crawford - 26 July 2009 07:23 PM

If you can remember Gilligan’s Island, then you have the most important details of the 60s down pat. As somebody once said, “If you can remember the 60s, you weren’t really there.”

Where I lived at the time, there was one TV station and you improved reception by either moving the rabbit ears or changing the channel. TV channel went off the air after the news, and on Sun it didn’t come on till after church services were over! President Johnson came to our island and drove down the street with a modest motorcade as we watched my brother play little league, he waved at us as he drove by. I think he was on his was to S Viet Nam. I guess that makes up for having one channel!!! LOL

One of the best things about coming to the United States (other than the great music) was Sesame Street!! I was a teen, but I watched it every day!!!

[ Edited: 27 July 2009 12:48 AM by asanta ]
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Posted: 24 August 2009 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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dougsmith - 25 July 2009 06:28 AM
thoswm - 24 July 2009 11:41 PM

That seems like it would be enough to convince everyone that the country was not founded on Christianity, but I am always amazed by certain Christians who try to distort this one.  I read a blog by someone claiming that this particular line was added “deep” in the treaty as a desperate attempt to make peace with Muslim pirates.  It seems like it would be hard to hide since the treaty was under 900 words, each article was roughly the same length, the treaty was read before Congress, a copy was made for each member of Congress, they printed it in the newspaper, etc.  It’s also interesting that they view it as a “desperate” attempt to please the pirates, considering that article didn’t appear in the version that was presented to them, only in the English version.

The funniest argument against this is that the treaty expired in 1800 and is no longer valid, never mind the fact that six years after ratifying the Bill of Rights, Congress voted unanimously that the country was not founded, in any sense, on Christianity. I’m not sure how the treaty “not being valid today” somehow changes history.  I guess when you want to convince everyone that your church should be writing laws and running the country, you need to cling to whatever you can.

Well, there is a segment of the population, basically fundamentalist Christian, that won’t be convinced by any evidence. I expect it’s the same way they believe the literal truth of the Bible, against all the evidence there as well. They have a great ability at self-deception.


“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”—George Bernard Shaw

Christians are invincible in their faith. They fearlessly bully through legislation using blunt force tactics. I would recommend that secularists and progressives insulate themselves to evidence as much as they do in order to compete, but this would be not only repulsive but impossible (openness to fact is what makes us what we are). The only way to combat the disbelief of evidence manifesting itself as bad and faulty arguments for public policy prescriptions is to destroy the taboo surrounding attacks on Christianity and religion in general. Only less than 30% of the American population consists of people who are immune to rational arguments (and simultaneously ultra-susceptible to irrational arguments if made by authority figures), then there is the percentage of the population which has grown out of the taboo (no longer afraid to criticize religion) and which considers itself nonreligious (currently hovering around 15%). The other 55% of Americans are generally considered independents at election time, and these are the people who don’t really believe any of the bullshit that Christians and ultra-conservatives push as public policy when it comes to religion, but they believe it is taboo to question such matters or never put much effort into thinking rationally for a while so they end up getting bullied into letting it happen. As soon as Athiests shift the Overton Window by repeatedly attacking irrational arguments for religious public policy, more and more of the center group will wake up and de-affiliate themselves with Christianity.

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