I tend to lean towards the general philosophy of “The useful response to reasonable speech which some people happen to find offensive is even more speech.” Let the marketplace of ideas sort out what views will prevail among the citizenry. In a pluralistic society, I don’t see any other practical solution. Accordingly, I don’t like to see lawless vandalism of anybody’s written speech, especially when it is expensive destructive of property.
As for “In God We Trust”, I’ve never been a fan of putting that motto on our nation’s coins and currency. Why? I could provide a list of reasons but my first gut reaction is that the motto is a false statement. Many Americans trust in God. Many Americans do not. So why pretend that it is a universal stance? Moreover, I find it virtually blasphemous (if not laughable) to claim that our federal government which produces the coins and currency “trusts God.” Of course, I would also be opposed to seeing “We Trust in No God” promoted as our national motto—or “In Allah We Trust” or “In a Supreme Being We Trust.” I mostly want to see a large and easily legible font making very clear to my failing eyes that I’m looking at a $1, $5, $10, $50, or $100 note. That’s what matters to me when it comes to our currency, and it is the role of good government to not disappoint me in that.
It is worth noting that the Bible spoke poorly of a nation which claimed to revere and trust God but did not do so in actual practice. God is not impressed by meaningless platitudes. They may impress people but not the Creator.
People tend to be tribalistic. So many of these fights descend into team loyalty and “Our team is better your team.” Yawn. And my faith in God is not so brittle that a highway sign with a slogan on it is going to bring on some sort of theological crisis.
Interesting articles, Patrick.
Patrick, I find this price hard to believe:
A member of the group’s board of directors, Randy Word , told me the signs followed the city’s rules, cost $4,200 for 66 banners (including rental fees for the July 14 event), and that they’ll be up for two weeks.
What?? That would be about $32 per banner per week. Are advertising rates really that low in Ft. Worth? Or is this a divine miracle?
$32 per banner is about right including rental fee. Its Fort Worth Texas not Times Square at New Year’s