Break the Chain In USPS We Trust

Created 1/15/2003 (1/22/2003) The nuances of the constitutional separation of church and state and the appropriateness of God in things like the national motto, our currency and the pledge of allegiance have been the thing of debate for decades. With the proliferation of e-mail, each time this debate is resolved in favor of the state over the church, calls to action are issued far and wide.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

You may have heard in the news that a couple of Post Offices in Texas have been forced to take down small posters that say "IN GOD WE TRUST". The law they say they are violating is something silly about electioneering posters. (Is God running for office?) Anyway, I heard proposed on a radio station show, that we all should write "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the back of all our mail. After all, that is our national motto, and on all the money we use to buy those stamps. I think it is a wonderful idea. We must take back our nation from all the people that think that anything that offends them should be removed.

If you like this idea, please pass it on, and DO IT.

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Since September 11, 2001, many companies and institutions have been chastised for apparently choosing political correctness over patriotism and religion. Examples include outrage over Dr. Pepper leaving "Under God" off cans featuring the Pledge of Allegiance and Golden Corral leaving "God" out of "God Bless America" in a window display. The chain letters about these situations were founded on truth, but didn't tell the whole story - or at least didn't tell it well. Not surprisingly, this is also the case with this one.

The posters in question were donated to public buildings in Montgomery County, Texas by Frank P. Williamson in 2002. They feature the words "In God We Trust" over an image of a waving American flag and identify the phrase as the national motto of the United States.

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In November, 2002, a United States Post Office supervisor ordered the posters removed, citing regulations that prohibit the display of any non-postal or non-government posters on postal property. The regulation mentions nothing about "electioneering" and simply maintains that nothing is to be posted in post offices that is not created or approved by the USPS or Federal government.

The decision was not in response to "people that think that anything that offends them should be removed," nor was it motivated by the United States Constitution - It was in response to a clear-cut violation of regulations that would have gotten any poster, regardless of its contents, removed. What got pulled from those Texas post offices was the improperly displayed posters, not the motto.

Should you write "In God We Trust" on all your mail? Sure, why not - It is our national motto. But, don't think you're getting one over on the system. The post office openly endorses the national motto, and its use on currency and in public buildings (if displayed according to any appropriate regulation) is still constitutional per a 1970 Supreme Court ruling. In fact, since this letter began circulating, the U.S. Postal Service has commissioned a poster similar to Mr. Williamson's to be posted in all Post offices. Break this chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: Snopes.com, USPS (PDF), TruthOrFiction.com

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