During the recent “In God We Trust” debate, the behavior of the proponents of this religious motto convinced me all the more that church and state must remain separate. I was appalled by the amount of bullying that I, and others on the anti-motto side, experienced during the three hearings that were held at the county council.
People in our group were told we were going to be “judged,” with the implication that we would go to hell. Several people were told to leave the country. One man shouted and swore at one of our women, calling her names. Another was called a “wackadoodle.” Many of their speakers did not even acknowledge that anyone has a right to be free from religion. These contacts were all initiated by the religious proponents. I did not see our people taunting and insulting people like that.
In fact, several of our people were religious or expressed tolerance for differing religions and other points of view.
Witnessing the aggressive mind-set of these people was very alarming, especially in light of their bigotry and poor understanding of constitutional principles. I hope these bullies will look at how their behavior fits in with their supposed religious values. Like all extremists, they give all religious followers a bad name.