Karate black-belter fights for God motto

Karate black-belter fights for God motto

Pennsylvanian councilwoman Sue Means, above, an evangelical Christian with a black belt in karate, wants an ‘In God We Trust’ plaque in her local courthouse. Not everyone agrees.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, according to this report, told county council members that he would exercise his veto power if the board passed legislation to post the motto  in the courthouse.

Sue Means, a Bethel Park Republican, has driven the push for the national motto to be displayed in the Gold Room of the courthouse, where council conducts its twice-monthly meetings. Means, who says she is an evangelical Christian, wants to see “In God We Trust” installed above a replica of the Bill of Rights.

It’s our national motto. It’s patriotism. It’s history.

Councilman Ed Kress, a co-sponsor on the bill and a Shaler Republican, last month proposed an amendment that would limit the plaque to three square feet and would include the phrase “e pluribus unum” and the Pennsylvania motto, “Virtue, liberty and independence.”

Kress said:

All we are doing is honoring our state motto and our national motto.

Means said she believes her proposal will pass tonight and will have at least the ten votes necessary to withstand a veto.


Rich Fitzgerald Photo: Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette

Fitzgerald urged council members to vote no, writing in an email that although the region has experienced growth and increased vibrancy in recent years, diversity is an area in which improvement is still needed. He wrote in an email to council members:

Support and passage of [the proposed legislation] tells our residents and visitors that if they are Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Muslim, Islamic or any other non-theistic group, they are not welcomed here. We are disrespecting other religions and beliefs by promoting one above all others. If this legislation were to pass, we are telling everyone that our motto is that not all are welcome here.

Fitzgerald, in his email, also expressed concern about legal action against the county stemming from the decision to place the motto in a prominent spot in the courthouse.

Means said she has letters from two legal organizations promising to defend county officials pro bono if a challenge is raised.

• Photo of Sue Means by Bill Wade/Post-Gazette.
Hat tip: Agent Cormac


14 responses to “Karate black-belter fights for God motto”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    ‘Means said she has letters from two legal organizations promising to defend county officials pro bono if a challenge is raised.’

    Let’s hope those organisations have track records every bit as impressive as Andrea Minichiello Williams’ inept Christian Legal Centre whose record for taking on lost causes and then, well, losing them, is pretty much second to none.

    BTW, check out the comments via the link to the original report. There are some beauts, such as:

    ‘People get really upset at the ACLU, the atheists, etc. who have moved our country from a conservative religious foundation to one where any one (sic) can do as they please and believe in what they want to…’ WTF!!!!!!

    ‘You know what, I’m OK letting them shout from the rooftops. Life is too short to be worried about people who get upset over these types of things. I’ll simply sit back and put up with it with the knowledge that in a mere blink of an eye I’ll be spending eternity in Heaven where I never have to listen to these people again.’ Life is too short? Priceless.

  2. Broga says:

    What a pointless exercise. It seems to me that the real agenda, also pursued by the BBC, is to imply a more widespread acceptance of Christian belief than that which exists. This stuffing a particular religion down everyone’s throat is one of the few tactics they have left.

    What would be more interesting and entertaining would be for this woman to debate her opinion with an atheist. The core of the debate might be about the nature of the God in which they placed their trust. But they avoid debate like poison as it exposes the nonsensical basis of their belief. Again like the BBC. They want the unquestioned assumption and cannot face a challenge.

  3. Paul Cook says:

    On that debate.
    I don’t believe it is possible to agree or decide what is the nature of ‘god’. What could be the definition of ‘god’?
    Much of the tosh presented as ‘god’ is utter fantasy held within the head of the believers, such as ‘god is love’ ‘god is everywhere’ etc. If it is the traditional ‘white bloke sat in the clouds’ then how does any one debate that?

    How do you debate something so meaningless without a defined term?
    Would the atheist need to accept the definition from her, and as we all know the religious definition changes with every reasoned counter argument. Often turning back onto the atheist to prove the facts being argued.

  4. TrickyDicky says:

    The motion to display the motto was voted down last night.

  5. Norman Paterson says:

    People believing as they want to? Can’t allow that!

  6. sailor1031 says:

    “…Means, who says she is an evangelical Christian, wants to see “In God We Trust” installed above a replica of the Bill of Rights.”

    And what is the first paragraph in the bill of rights? This is why we can’t have nice irony meters – they keep blowing up.

  7. Broga says:

    @Paul Cook: I have a devout Christian relative whose big ambition in life seems to be to convert me i.e. let Jesus come into your heart. As soon as she mentions God I ask, “What do you mean by God?”

    That is when she hits the buffers. She has no idea of what she means by God although she thinks she does until she tries to put it into words. She is soon reduced to, “Everybody knows what is meant by God. You are just being silly.”

  8. David Anderson says:


    That’s an end to a Means.

  9. Adam Tjaavk says:

    The idea that the cosmos was created from nothing and
    sustained by a being having personal (human) attributes.
    The narcissistic delusion of having a benign cosmo-monarchical
    omnipotent being perpetually concerned with our farty little selves.


  10. AgentCormac says:

    That’s an end to a Means.


  11. Norman Paterson says:

    I always liked “E pluribus unum” myself. Especially when the Wizard of Oz uses it. Latin makes the commonplace majestic.

  12. Paul Cook says:

    @ Broga


    I don’t know what god is or means. Therefore, I, for one, am silly

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