Not too long ago, a bill was proposed in the Tennessee legislature to place “In God We Trust” on automobile license plates. That seemed to be one of two things. First, an effort to give lip service to God, however a Tennessee citizen may define her or him. Two, a plea for help while driving. Atheists and others naturally oppose such a thing, which tends to get people’s dander up on either side of the issue. A self-defining moment, as it were. I think the final result is that the motto became optional. So, like a vanity plate?
So, it seems Tennessee public schools will be obliged to display the motto if a new bill is signed into law. Again, one of two things. First, that adults are suggesting kids trust God, not those cowering from the NRA, its lobbyists, and its arms dealers. Or, don’t worry that education is getting short shrift in a lot of places these days. No worries about teacher pay, school budgets, and such … just trust in God. And the football team.
I perceive this as culturewar positioning. The only question I have is where in the school. The citation from the press report:
The bill requires schools display the motto in a prominent location where students are likely to see it, like a school entryway, cafeteria or common area. It offers more freedom on what form it takes, suggesting that it could be a mounted plaque or student artwork.
I wonder what would happen if the interpretation of God was taken broadly and included non-Christian religions. Or maybe it will end up in the endzone of an athletic field.
For me, it’s pretty clear what the message is. Adults can’t protect kids from bad things. “Don’t trust us. Draw a nice picture, then you’re on your own with whatever God you choose.”