Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Why the National Motto is Misguided

I have a simple request. Stop placing, “In God We Trust” on the back of your Police Vehicle.

In 2015, some police departments started putting the motto, “In God We Trust” on the back of their city’s police vehicles. This move by Police officers was met with both praise and criticism.

The critics say that it violates the separation of church and state, while supporters say that it’s our nation’s motto, and displaying it on police vehicles is patriotic.

A Sherriff from a police department in the Florida panhandle, Frank McKeithen, said in an interview with The Washington Post that he’s not trying to hide that the phrase is religious and that morals and ethics is what law enforcement is supposed to be about.

Before I get into the argument about the motto, I first want to say that Law enforcement is not about one’s personal religious morals. While our laws are based on a belief system, I would argue that that belief system does not come from religion, and it would even be dangerous if it was based on any religion at that.

Now let’s get back to the discussion at hand. While, “In God We Trust”, is our nation’s motto, I feel like the majority of citizens don’t know the history behind how it got to be just that.

Before “In God We Trust” was made our nation’s motto in 1956, three of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were tasked to make a seal and a motto for the new nation.

Let’s take a quick look at these three men’s opinions on religion. Franklin was a deist who didn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Adams, as president, signed the Treaty with Tripoli in 1797, which reassured the nation of Tripoli, that the United States was not founded, in any sense, on the Christian religion. Jefferson actually created his own bible and left out all the miracles that came with Christ, including the divine birth and resurrection.

After many debates and drafts, the three men decided on the seal we still use to this day, the American Bald Eagle clutching thirteen arrows in one talon, and an olive branch in the other. The only motto that survived the committee is “E Pluribus Unum” which means, from many, one. This motto also appears on the seal.

Fast forward to the year 1864. This is when “In God We Trust” was first placed on a U.S. coin. During this time, the Civil War was still going on and religious sentiment reached a peak. Then on the 30th of July, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially made “In God We Trust” the nation’s motto. Now, why would he do this?

Let’s look at this time period. The Cold War was at a fever pitch. A witch hunt started a couple of years earlier for any government official that was thought to be a Communist, this was called the Red Scare. This witch hunt was led by Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy would accuse many government officials of being members of the communist party.

McCarthy’s accusations were so intimidating, that few people dared to speak out against him. Despite the lack of any proof, McCarthy’s investigation caused more than 2,000 government employees to lose their job.

Thanks to the Red Scare, McCarthyism and people thinking communists were God-less people, McCarthy led the push to add the phrase, “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Two years later, “In God We Trust” was officially adopted as our National motto.

By placing that motto on police vehicles, you are going against what our founding fathers wanted this great nation to be, an inclusive place where everybody feels welcome regardless of their religion beliefs or lack thereof.

If you truly want to represent every citizen and be patriotic by placing a motto on the back of your police car, I suggest doing so by using the original motto, “E Pluribus Unum” or the opening line of our Constitution, “We the People.”

Welcome to the new Blue Oklahoma

If you have been a previous visitor to Blue Oklahoma, you will find a few changes. Maybe more than a few!

(Scroll down below this announcement for newer posts.)

The site is in new hands, and while we want to build on the powerful legacy left to us by Kurt Hochenauer (who has moved out of state), we also want to turn a page and try out some new ideas and approaches.

More than anything, we want some new voices to populate these pages, and set them to the long-standing mission: examining the many political problems in our great state, and offering ideas for policies that work for the people, instead of the corporations and the small minority of elite power brokers in business and media, and their operatives at 23rd and Lincoln.

If that is something you also desire, I invite you to join us and become a contributing writer. Read more about getting involved.

Please follow us here, on Facebook and/or Twitter, and share our links to your friends and networks.

Please give us your feedback. We would love to hear your thoughts. Use the contact form for a private email message, or comment on any post via your Facebook account (see more about Comment options if you do not have a Facebook account).

Blue Oklahoma Nominated For Blog Award

( – promoted by DocHoc)

Image of Okie Blog Awards logo

Blue Oklahoma has been nominated for Best Political Blog in the fourth annual Okie Blog Awards contest.  

State bloggers nominate and vote on their favorite blogs in the contest, which is operated by Mike Hermes. Hermes publishes the popular Okiedoke blog. You can find a list and links to all the nominated blogs and directions on how to vote here. The voting is open for Oklahoma bloggers through Feb.7.

Blue Oklahoma is a community blog that hosts diaries from liberal and centrist writers from throughout the state and nation.  The blog focuses on Oklahoma politics.

Okie Funk has won the Best Political Blog award the past two years.

The list of nominees shows once again the vibrancy and diversity of the Oklahoma blogging community. Take the time to click through the list.

Soapblox and Blue Oklahoma

( – promoted by DocHoc)

Blue Oklahoma is part of a nationwide organization of liberal blogs that uses the Soapblox platform.

The Soapblox platform was recently hacked. This revealed serious security and backup problems with the system.

In order to improve Soapblox’s security and backup capabilities, liberal bloggers throughout the country have launched a fundraising drive.

Check out this link about the issue and learn how to donate some money to the cause.

Here is the direct link to the donation page on ActBlue.–Kurt Hochenauer

A Blue Bet

( – promoted by DocHoc)

Image of Mister Okrahead

The wager is on.  The progressive blogs West Virgina Blue and blue oklahoma have come to terms on the bet for tonight’s Fiesta Bowl game between the Mountaineers and Sooners.

Here are the terms: The blog which covers the state with the losing team has to promote the other site with a post once a day for the rest of the week to Friday.

Mister Okrahead, a regular contributor to blue oklahoma, says the Sooners will roll it all out for tonight’s game.

“We have the Sooner Schooner, Sooner Magic, Sooner Swagger, and we are, in fact, a nation to itself, the Sooner Nation.  The Mountaineers stand little chance against these formidable weapons.”

Boomer Sooner!