With last week’s Question of the Week, we asked readers for their thoughts on a proposal by Johnson City state Sen. Rusty Crowe to redesign the Tennessee seal to include the national motto “In God We Trust.” Here are some of the responses we received.
Rusty needs to be reminded that not all of his constituents are of a Christian faith.
The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Some other politician could request “In Allah We Trust” be on the state seal.
Changing the state seal is not needed, period.
You wonder what I think of redesigning the Tennessee state seal to include the words, “In God We Trust.” It really doesn’t matter.
This is the sort of issue custom-made for representatives and senators with stunted imaginations and no drive to craft legislation that will actually help Tennesseans. But politicians will glom onto the idea, because it provides them some exposure for their grandstanding.
Instead of establishing new graphics to adorn official documents, I can propose several endeavors for our legislators to address, chief among them, improving our abysmal performance in public education.
If we, with cherry-picked religious imperatives, must restrict abortion, let’s spend some legislative energy to carve out generous exceptions for cases of incest, rape and maternal health. Repairing roads and bridges are always good projects that help everyone.
In our day-to-day lives, it won’t amount to a hill of beans if the seal is redesigned or not. The contents of the state seal is neither a kitchen table nor a pocketbook issue. It has the faint whiff of spiritual arrogance and it makes me feel as if the sponsors are rubbing my nose in their Christianity.
REV. JEFF BRIERE
Conservatives have strayed
Unfortunately, there is a current push by conservatism to instill an overtly ideological clamp on any speck of secular life that these politicians can get their hands on.
Like it or not, every single instance of your life is now a battlefield for the culture wars, as seen in schools, libraries, bars, restaurants, sports and hospitals.
Gov. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) is leading the pack here, with Gov. (Bill) Lee (R-Tenn.) not far behind. Now state Sen. Crowe wants to get in on the action, apparently.
I’m not sure what the legislation is attempting to correct here, other than making religious observance/patriotism mandatory for everyone in the state. Sen. Crowe says adding the motto would create a ‘common identity meant to be ceremonial and very patriotic’, but this just sounds like the same language Hillsdale was using when they and Gov. Lee tried to bust up the public school system.