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Go ahead, dismiss Fountain Valley, California, as a one-horse town with a Mile-Square Park whose city-limits sign (pictured at the end of the post) resembles a buxom woman in fishnet stockings bending over to touch her toes. Go on, blame Fountain Valley for the bad smell on the 405 as you pass Euclid Street. Whatever you say, this plucky little neighboring hamlet of ours has made national news as the first city to stop the theocratic juggernaut known as “In God We Trust Inc.“, bringing pride and hope to all patriot hearts that still value separation of church and state.
Launched a few years ago in Bakersfield, evidently by devout Christians who sincerely believed that posting a religious motto in government buildings would somehow help improve Americans’ “moral fiber”, the “In God We Trust” crusade was quickly adopted by Republican Party operatives and has morphed into a program to dress up the GOP as the God Party in California. In Huntington Beach last April, the Republican council majority, ignoring a ten-to-one opposition from their constituents, were Hellbent on pushing through the measure in an attempt to embarrass the famously secular Debbie Cook. (That meeting was memorably depicted both here and here; so far there has been no discernable backlash against Debbie or her fellow Dem Jill Hardy for standing up for the Constitution and democratic inclusiveness.)
But the same political urgency didn’t seem to exist in Fountain Valley last week, where the one, well-loved, Democratic Councilman Gus Ayer was joined by one Republican in voting against the measure and another one abstaining, bringing the measure down. Gus’ pithy comment, “This is not a place we should be discussing theology, ” resulted not in mass riots and looting in FV streets, although it did occasion one solitary bit of hate mail from a Mr. Seeger, who, outraged that Fountain Valley had “turned its back on God,” promised to never spend a dime in the town as long as he lived, “even if the last shop in the world was in Fountain Valley!”
Well, just in case Mr. Seeger’s boycott impacts Fountain Valley’s sales tax revenue, I have compiled (with the help of Councilman Ayer and the Choctaw Sisters) a short list of Fun Places You Can Spend Your Money in Fountain Valley, alternating with common-sense patriotic quotes from last week’s meeting – just click “read more!”
COSTCO, at Talbert and Newhope – for a truly terrifying quantity of just about anything you may ever need! Plus, a relatively progressive and responsible company, which claims to be “committed to supporting charitable and community activities in the markets where we do business.”
Hello! My name is Marselle Sloane. I live right down the street. I’m here to speak up for freedom of and from religion. In my mind’s eye this is a foolish waste of time. Isn’t it enough that we have an invocation and allegiance pledge? To quote Thomas Jefferson: “Religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate that their legislature should “make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
“People do not come here for the purpose of practicing their faith although they are free to do so if they wish,” said councilwoman Cheryl Brothers, who voted against the display. “I believe that City Hall is where we do government’s business in everyone’s name,” she said.
“The proponents of this measure totally misrepresent the faith of our nation’s founding fathers….. We citizens don’t want government in our churches and don’t want churches in our government buildings… The great global calamities of the third and fourth decades of the last century were brought upon us by those that combined religious symbolism with nationalism to lull their populace into compliance” – Ken Arnold, assembly candidate for the 68th district (against the loathsome Van Thai Tran.)
In 1773, the Rev. Isaac Backus, the most prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when “church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischief’s that have ensued.” The City of Fountain Valley was incorporated in 1957 and I have a question for the council. Why are you proposing today that we need to spend tax payer’s money to put up “In God We Trust” which is offensive to so many residents (myself included)? This appears to be contrary to our constitution and to democracy itself. I ask you, what is your purpose? – Carol Moore (pictured below with Fountain Valley sign)
The amazing, spectacular, awe-inspiting FRY’S for all your computer needs: “The place you get the best advice on electronics, not from the surly, untrained staff bur from the other customers in the aisles.” Oh wait, I think that’s not a company slogan, but a snarky observation from my interlocutor. Dammit!
Make no mistake, we are not here to talk about honoring God tonight. We are here to discuss whether to make a political statement supporting a narrow viewpoint of Christian fundamentalists. While portrayed as non-denominational, you won’t find Jewish, Catholic, Hindu, Islamic, or mainstream Protestants clamoring to erect “In God We Trust” in these chambers.
No, this is spearheaded by a small group of well-funded religious fanatics in Bakersfield called “In God We Trust America, Inc.” They have spread their mission up and down the San Joaquin Valley, and now they are tagging every City Hall they can in Orange County. Yes, tagging, just like gangs do to mark their territory. Christian Fundamentalists want to mark their territory in these City Hall Chambers. These people don’t believe in the America of our founders…
Jefferson, Madison, Washington and Franklin gave us an America where each of us worships as we please and have equal citizenship before our government. …Separation of Church and State has served us well. Don’t let it be eroded by a seemingly innocent plaque hung behind the dais. Think long and hard about how others see these chambers when they come to do city business. Don’t let these chambers be tagged. – Rich Gillock, DPOC
One of the best raw food menus in the county: Au Lac Gourmet Vegetarian Restaurant, 16553 Brookhurst St near Heil, across from Mile Square Park.
Steven Schwarz of Fountain Valley’s King of Glory Lutheran Church (Slater just east of Brookhurst) said that those who should find the display most objectionable are Christians and other religious people. He said such displays and other such secular uses of the word compromise the “integrity of the language of faith” by secularizing the word “god,” essentially “taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
PET SUPPLY Online, highly recommended by the Choctaw Sisters, is “a one-stop online pet supply shop. We offer you the best shopping experience possible. We offer a nice variety of quality dog supplies, cat supplies, and other supplies for whatever type of animal you own. We offer some of the lowest prices on pet supplies on the net. We have beds, toys, crates, feeding systems, containment systems, and hundreds of other pet products that you might need to raise a pet in a happy environment. Our site features thorough information on all the pet supplies we carry all at the lowest prices anywhere! Prices my vary between in-store and online. Located at 18545 Brookhurst, at Ellis, phone # 714-964-5585
We are opposed to the display of “In God We Trust” within the Council chambers. This slogan would be perfectly appropriate in a church or synagogue. “In Allah We Trust” would be expected in a Mosque. But this is not a house of worship. This is a house of Democracy.
By having this motto in the City Council Chambers this freedom [of religion]is violated. An individual who comes before this body must know that each citizen is equal in your eyes, regardless of religious belief. Our constitution is designed to protect the minority. By including this motto in your chambers, as elected leaders of your city, you will have failed your constitutional duty to protect the minority. – Stephanie Campbell, president, Orange County chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
SILKY SULLIVAN’S RESTAURANT AND IRISH PUB, 10201 Slater, right across from Council Chambers – where the local pols all go after meetings to get hammered. Silky’s “is a community oriented establishment and plans a variety of events that involve the community or some charitable organization. As well as a gathering place for local clientele, Silky’s is known for its sporting events, showing sports on all 16 televisions all the time.” Live music Friday and Saturday nights!
Finally, as promised, “a nice place to live.” If you don’t see a woman in stockings bending over, back up a little. If you still don’t see it, you have a cleaner mind than I.