Godless Money

By Sean Carroll | October 29, 2008 12:41 pm

It’s not only socialists and Muslims who get trotted out when the masses need to be scared into voting Republican. Here’s Elizabeth Dole’s latest ad for her North Carolina Senate race. Via.

Note that, via Balloon Juice, Dole’s opponent Kay Hagan is a Sunday School teacher. What would Dole say if an actual atheist were running?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Politics, Religion
  • Elliot Tarabour

    Wow a Sunday School teacher that doesn’t believe in God. If I was Dole I’d run with that message. Hagan telling all the kids in Sunday School that God is just “pretend”.


  • joe

    That ad could have been an SNL skit, especially when it accuses Kay Hagan of taking “godless money.” As for myself, I only accept money that is both kosher and halal.

  • tim

    I don’t understand why people are so preoccupied with things that shouldn’t matter in politics. Why should it make a difference which god someone believes in or whether or not they do believe in one? Those are personal beliefs that shouldn’t be a factor in political discussions. Unless you’re republican, I guess…

  • tacitus

    America is an outlier when compared with religious observance in other democratic nations, but it will eventually succumb to the inevitable, if somewhat erratic march toward secularism. Superstition and religious beliefs will always be a part of human history, but their power to drive the world will continue to abate — even in Islamic countries, in time.

    My bet is that 25 years from now, we will see the Bush II era as the beginning of the end of the religious right as a significant political force in the USA. They may still sway an election or two in the future, but the mass turnouts that swept Dubya to power will soon be a thing of the past.

    The demographics don’t lie, and a successful Obama two-term presidency will only help to bring that about.

  • David

    I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation UNDER GOD, Indivisable, with liberty and justice for all. These are the words of this nation that we have all forgot. I said it and every other child said it every day frist thing in school with hands over our hearts. If you want to be GODLESS thats your right but dont make me trun my back on GOD. I like my money saying this I think the church should of more rights in how this nation is run, and what should be shown on TV. This add should never be put on. If you have a problem with this drop me a line blipyou@att.net

  • Don

    Forcefully inserting religion into political decisions does one thing best; it frightens young children.

    Forcefully removing religion from political decisions does one thing best; it frightens young children.

    Question your fears.

  • MZ

    That last bit was hilarious. What did Hagan promise in return? (unknown female voice) There is no God.

    By implication she joined the Evil Underground Atheist Conspiracy. First hazing ritual? Molest a child.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    This has been in the news (in atheist circles) for a while. Here are some further links:
    In link number two, it’s not just Elizabeth Dole, but the entire National Republican Senatorial Committee putting out the ad.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    Also, to David, it’s a well known fact that “Under god” was inserted into the pledge during the McCarthy Era (1954, to be exact). The pledge itself didn’t even exist until 1892. Similarly, “In god we trust” only became the national motto in 1956 (though first appeared on a coin in 1864). So… what was it that we forgot again?

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that the godless agenda doesn’t involve taking anyone’s god away from them. As for taking the word “god” out of the pledge and out of currency, those would be nice, but mostly symbolic. You really don’t need to have your beliefs affirmed by some words on a coin anyways.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/mark/ Mark

    Guys. Your intentions are noble, but David is a troll and best ignored.

  • David

    Mark you really hurt my feelings by call me a troll (ya right) So do a Noble thing for all of us get off the net these kind of remarks are not need here. To Miller you seem to no a lot on histroy. I did no that, but to me this is the way i grow up by saying these words and have no problem with it on the money or being back in the schools. I do think there are a lot more importent things to be worried about. and before any one comments on my spelling I will be the frist to say im not the brightest light bulb in the light fixture but im happy for what i im a person that has god in my heart.

  • Lawrence B. Crowell

    Besides, the pledge of Allegiance is questionable on almost every point, including the idea this nation is founded on feudalist ideas such as an allegiance. An allegiance to a flag? A flag can be a liege-lord I swear my vassal status to? Examples of strangeness are such as “one nation indivisible” — such as 1861-65 I suppose? One nation under God? Doesn’t every nation get that delusion now and then?

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  • ObsessiveMathsFreak

    Why should it make a difference which god someone believes in or whether or not they do believe in one? Those are personal beliefs that shouldn’t be a factor in political discussions.

    But it would seem that in America, religion is an inherently political institution. One cannot have a religious belief, or lack thereof, without it either being a political stance or perceived as one. Therefore, in America, I do not think it is valid to say that religion is a personal matter anymore. American’s have failed to separate their religious and political spheres.

  • http://ReRamsden Ray

    David: When ‘under God’ was added, I always refused to include that phrase, even before I began thinking about the religious connotation. As a poet since early childhood, I found those two inserted words ruined the flow of the whole pledge.
    The right-wing jingoist who modified a perfectly good piece also had a tin ear.
    I refused the phrase because it is poetically ugly. The political ugliness only dawned on me when I grew up.

    Addition of that phrase was rather like many people (including me) flying American flags after 9/11. To me, it was as a gesture of solidarity with the victims. It soon became a phony badge of patriotism, so I took it off my car, lest it be misinterpreted as solidarity with phony patriots, most of whom never spent a day in uniform or served their country in any capacity but taxpayer.

    I am a veteran and I know what my beliefs are re religion and patriotism.
    I don’t need any two-by-twice $%^& telling me how to be patriotic – or that I need to prove it to anyone. Not with a flag, not with an ‘under God’ recitation.

  • Marbelcal

    It seems most of you have missed the point—the fact that the add calls Kay Hagan an atheist when in fact she is not. I’m from NC, and I voted against Dole because of blatent lies like this one. Hagan has filed suit against Dole and her campaine over this add.


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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .


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