“In Good We Trust,” Says New Humanist Billboard
Washington, DC, April 12, 2010
Last week the American Humanist Association (AHA) unveiled a new billboard in Moscow, Idaho, the latest of a series of billboards that have appeared in the in area since last year. The new billboard features the familiar image of a U.S. quarter--but with one important revision: in place of the national motto, the coin reads "In Good We Trust." The AHA's website address also appears in bold letters to the right of the coin's image.
"This billboard nicely sums up two of the main messages of the American Humanist Association," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA. "First, that you don't have to believe in God to be good--in fact, humanists and other nontheists see being good as one of the most important of responsibilities in our one and only life. Second, that church and state should remain separate for the benefit of us all." Speckhardt argued that "In Good We Trust" is a more inclusive and appropriate sentiment than the "In God We Trust" motto, which runs afoul the First Amendment.
The display is the fifth such billboard that has gone up in the Moscow area, following billboards which have read, "Don't Believe in God? You are Not Alone," "Want a Better World? Prayer Not Required," "Million are Good Without God" and "No God? No Problem!" All are part of an extensive advertising campaign to spread awareness about being good without God. An image of the display can be found here: http://americanhumanist.org/system/storage/29/1499/ingoodwetrust-sky.jpg .
"Too many think that morality is the exclusive domain of the religious--we're here to prove that assumption wrong," said Speckhardt. "We also want to reach out to other nontheists to let them know there is a community out there for them."
The billboard will run on Highway 95, just south of Moscow near the Sweet Avenue cross street, facing northbound traffic.
David Niose, president of the American Humanist Association, pointed out that the official national motto had an unsavory beginning. "The adoption of the 'In God We Trust' motto came at the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism in the 1950s, and it is unfortunate that we still cling to such religious rhetoric today. E pluribus unum, the Latin phrase for 'out of many, one,' would be a much more appropriate motto. It reflects the true character of American society and government."
The American Humanist Association billboard campaign is part of a larger effort to spread awareness about nontheism. Other like-minded organizations such as the United Coalition of Reason have placed billboards in numerous cities across the country. In addition, the AHA ran bus ads that read "No God? ...No Problem!" in Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco during the 2009 winter holiday season.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.