If you were to ask any American what freedom means to them… many and varied would be the answers you might receive. I agree with this definition:
The power or right to act, speak, or think as one
wants without hinderance or restraint
When it comes to freedom and liberty is synonymous, to make an attempt to stifle or limit/restrict (even to force removal of something NOT HARMFUL) the use of anything [especially something recognized as an ‘American phrase’], one accepted by time and historical by nature [having been implemented by an act of Congress] is then to be seen as an un-American effort.
We must look at a timeline to truly understand this a little better. Please look below…
First Immigration: This is truly where America started before it was to be called America.
This is where and how we come to know the people here as “First Nation people.” Next…
Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts (although some would say Provincetown, later settling at Plymouth Rock). The year is 1621, MARCH 22nd, and they came seeking Religious Freedom from England… from the State run theology and form of persecution inhibiting their freedom to belief and act as they were accustomed to.
Our country is established in 1776, July 4th, and we are given our freedoms based on “inalienable rights [nonnegotiable; unable to be taken away or given away],” therefore, it is important to understand the moral vision and governance the Founding Fathers implied and conveyed to us as an inheritance- a heritage. It is placed in our original documents,”We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I’m going to explain what bigotry is here…
Intolerance to those who hold different opinions from oneself
or for understanding being bigoted…
Strongly convinced of the superiority or correctness of one’s own opinions and prejudiced against those who hold different opinions; reactionaries
now back to the timeline…
George Washington had a belief toward Religious persecution, where he believed no one should have to suffer from it in this country. In 1790 he wrote a specific letter, directed to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island.
In 1814, Francis Scott Key writes,”The Star Spangled Banner,” and it is adopted as our National Anthem.
In 1864 the words,”In God We Trust,” shows up on a two cent coin.
In 1909 it is included on other coins.
On July 11th, 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 140… making it mandatory that all coinage and paper currency display the Motto,”In God We Trust.”
So there you have it… a brief synopsis and timeline of “How” and “Why” we have on our currency,”In God We Trust.” By now I’m sure you are wondering why I wrote this [so far] as I have… and I’m going to get to the reason and motivation for all this. First let me say this, when we are forced to direct our attention (by means of a lawsuit) to remove,”In God We Trust,” from our currency, it does draw our attention. This is an actual event or lawsuit ongoing [currently] by a group called,”Freedom From Religion Foundation.”
At this time I would like to define “Hate crime,” and some of its many understandings around the world [currently on the books] and their meanings…
The FBI defines a hate crime (a.k.a. bias crime) to be:
“a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.” [It should be noted they left out gender and gender identity]¹
Hate Crimes Statistics Act (1990): “… crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including where appropriate the crimes of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage or vandalism of property.” (Public Law 101-275).²
Bureau of Justice Administration (BJA; 1997): “Hate crimes–or bias-motivated crimes–are defined as offenses motivated by hatred against a victim based on his or her race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin.“
Anti-Defamation League (ADL): A hate crime is “any crime committed because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender [male or female] or sexual orientation.”³
“Hate crime” generally refers to criminal acts that are seen to have been motivated by bias against one or more of the types above, or of their derivatives. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail)⁴
Although beset by definitional problems, “hate crime” can be broadly defined as crime wholly or partly motivated by, grounded in, or aggravated by, bias or prejudice towards particular groups of people.⁵ [It should be added here… in Australia it is now illegal to commit a hate crime against a Pedophile]
“This ‘Hate Crimes Bill’? would make it illegal to not only commit a hate crime against someone but also ’cause’ a hate crime through your speech. It protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual (LGBT) people along with pedophiles and 30 other sexual orientations from being spoken against in public.”⁶
Now that I’ve added these definitions, let me pose a question. Isn’t the United States being harassed and bullied here… for showing their concern for religion is a higher priority for all citizens, being something indicating morality [which in turn lends itself to the very reason for laws in the first place] is a value we should all have concern for? The website for the FFRF even shows emphasis to regard for the separation of church and state. Since this is not in the laws of the land [only assumed to be] it is a false premise or basis for this claim. Furthermore, to state they have an irrational or adverse reaction to handling money which has on it,”In God We Trust,” is this not a reaction based [in fact] on their hatred of anything that has to do with God [religion] and truly represents a “hate crime” by commission of attempting to sue the U.S. Treasury- a frivolous lawsuit and a waste of taxpayer money?
Below is an abstract taken from another piece I wrote on the separation of church and state…
No where is there listed a separation should exist between church and state in the First Amendment but when it comes to reference to it… most Americans would swear it to be found there (NOT TRUE… A FALSEHOOD). When Jefferson wrote (to the Danbury Baptist Association, Jan. 1, 1802) and said,“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” The comment was possibly intended to affirm no one sect of christianity would gain power over the other and would allay suspicion to these thoughts of another church gaining such favor. Nothing more and nothing less. Please note the thought conveyed says church NOT RELIGION and speaks more to denomination of christianity than it does not.
One last thought, of the many oxymorons I’ve ever heard… two that stand out the most are ‘Christian Scientists’ or ‘American Atheists.’ In truth, science does more to explain [prove] and coincide with Biblical teaching [Archaeology proves this] but Atheism cannot say the same thing about its relationship with American origins.
1. “Hate Crime definition,” FBI, at: http://www.fbi.gov/
2. “Senate to consider hate-crimes measure,” Baptist Press, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/
3. Cited in: “Hate Crimes Laws: Making thoughts a crime,” Concerned Women for America,” at: http://cwfa.org/
4. Hate crime definition, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime)
5. Although neat distinctions are not possible, hate crime is often distinguished from hate speech on the grounds that it involves conduct that is criminal irrespective of the expression of prejudice. Detailed analyses of hate speech and vilification laws in Australia can be found in Gelbert K and Stone A, Hate Speech and Freedom of Speech in Australia (Federation Press 2007)
6. Lauren, “The truth about the “hate crimes bill,” Pride of America, 2009-MAY-10, at: http://prideofamerica.wordpress.com/