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That remark came as I took a pen and scratched out the "IN GOD WE TRUST" yarn from three Federal Reserve Notes while buying a carne asada burrito. My act squelched the subject of our chat thus far: that I'd lived in Las Playas de Tijuana for a while. The wife went back to the husband and I could see her hands imitating my act of "desecration."
Five minutes earlier, a clerk had sold me an item costing $1.50 for an even $1.00, saying, "This way, you'll only deface one of them." Wrong! I defaced it anyway! I simply had more of them left after leaving his store than I had originally planned.
I love to ask the clerk for a pen when spending cash; they blithely hand one over without question. Many ask why I did it -- but every one notices what I did. A few even ask, "What did you just scratch out?" My favorite explanation is that I am turning legal tender into constitutional tender, adding, "They have no business putting religion on money."
I have an "E PLURIBUS UNUM" rubber stamp that I got from CRT and I use it on all the cash that makes it home. Most over 45 remember when our currency said, in Latin, "Of the many, one." That is the genuine meaning of multiculturalism and is at the core of America's ideology and of America's image worldwide. I also put Nixon or Elvis on the eye-in-pyramid symbol which desecrates the back of the $1.00 bill. I'll get my "ATHEIST MONEY" stamp from CRT soon.
But people should be asking this question to the Federal Reserve, not me: "Hey! What are you doing? Why do you place the religious sentiments of some Americans on the coins and currency of such a diverse nation?"
We should restore the old motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. When people ask me what it means, I get to explain my American heritage. I love America because it is much easier to be me in America. Many Americans don't know about our constitutional roots. Others misrepresent our roots in a monstrous revision of our history. Much of America, though, continues to drowse.
Hey! What are you doing?
See also Federal Reserve Still Pitches Religion by Jerry Billings and Cliff Walker
Copyright ©1996 Cliff Walker; Portland, Oregon