W. Caroline Webb
August 20, 2018
I was sitting in my room, looking through the comment section of the momentum post of our topic selection, trying to find some inspiration for my persuasive speech topic, and something didn’t sit quite right with me. I came across someone’s topic that was “Should God be enforced in schools? Yes.” I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so much that I investigated this topic. Because of how intrigued and opinionated I was on this topic, I decided that I wanted to do the complete opposite of their statement, because I am extremely passionate about why we should NOT enforce religion in our schools. Now, I don’t want you guys to get the wrong idea, I have been raised in the Methodist church my whole life- even my mother works in a church. See this book? (Hold up Bible) Because of my upbringing, I have a deep understanding and appreciation of, and for, the Bible. Do I consider myself a follower of Christ? Absolutely, but I also consider myself an American, and with that comes the freedom of choice. In my speech today I am going to explain history, facts, laws, and personal experiences to testify why I feel the way I do, and why you should, too.
I feel like the reason that this topic is most prevalent right now, is because of the new Tennessee law that was recently passed that allows the display of our “national motto” in schools, particularly in places where it is very noticeable. Just to set the record straight, our national motto was “E Pluribus Unum,” which was thought up by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson right after the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. It is still implemented in the design of the Great Seal of the United States. The current motto, “In God We Trust,” was developed by a much later generation, and was made the official national motto in 1956, at the height of the cold war, to “signal opposition to the feared secularizing ideology of communism. In other words, ‘In God We Trust’ is a legacy of founders, but not the founders of the nation. As the official national motto, it is a legacy of the founders of modern American conservatism- a legacy reaffirmed by the current congress.” According to origins.osu.edu. Now, if the REAL goal of having this motto displayed in schools was TRULY about honoring a historical motto, they would have used “E Pluribus Unum,” which is way more inclusive, because the motto “In God We Trust” excludes any religion except for Christianity. Having that statement posted around schools will cause students to feel excluded, or discriminated against, when they should feel like they are a part of the total community.
This leads me to my second point, the Establishment clause. The establishment clause reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but it...