Huntington Beach: In God We Trust, pt 1

OJ readers! Help us Huntington Beach patriots decide how best to attack the latest ridiculous proposal coming from a couple of nuts on our City Council: to display a monument in Council Chambers reading “In God We Trust.” (Yeah, I know.) This “idea” will be discussed at our next council meeting Monday April 7, and any of you who care about the Constitution and the separation of church and state should know: You don’t have to be an HB resident to come and speak!

I’m sure there will be no shortage of speakers on the possible unconstitutionality, and the intentions of our Founding Fathers regarding separation of church and state. I’m thinking myself of taking the following tack:

Huntington Beach is home to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindi, Wiccans, a heck of a lot of agnostics, and a hell of a lot of atheists. They’re all US citizens and they all deserve equal treatment by their city council.

Well, sure, the strident Cathy Green and the goofball Joe Carchio will respond, but the majority of us are (or pretend to be) Christians or Jews, and the rest of HB citizens can just ignore this monument if it makes them uncomfortable.

And I’ll say, well, most of us HB residents are also white, certainly all the councilmembers are. So why don’t we just put up a big sign saying “White People Are Special!” All our Mexican, Asian and black friends can just ignore the sign if they come to a council meeting; it doesn’t say anything bad about them and they don’t have to look at it if they don’t want to.

The point is, either sign would make a lot of people feel excluded, which is the opposite of what we should be doing during this low point in our democracy. And this here white Christian is against it!


But then I thought, maybe I’m being too cynical, maybe this slogan, “In God We Trust,” which is most closely associated with MONEY, really does express the deep sincere conviction of what is most important to most councilmembers, in HB and elsewhere in the OC. (After all, the proposal comes at the same time as another controversial one, which would raise the campaign donation limit to $3000.) So this thinking led some of us to try and lend a hand by designing appropriate Monuments to Mammon which we will unveil on the OJ over the coming week! Stay tuned…

(The Worship of Mammon, Evelyn de Morgan)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.