Jul 29

Open Letter to Pierce County Council

Concerned Humanists and Allies, HOW President Sam Mulvey will present the following letter to the Pierce County Council on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at the 3 pm council meeting.  Please sign below by leaving a comment, including your name and location.

Esteemed Pierce County Councilmembers,
We, the undersigned, strongly oppose a resolution that would create a prominent, permanent display of the words “In God We Trust” in the Pierce County Council Chambers.

The resolution describes the phrase as “inspiring” and provides “a profound source of strength and guidance”. On the contrary: it hardly does so for all Pierce County residents. According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 25% of Washington adults have no religion, and Pew Research Center reports that one in three young adults in America is nonreligious. Additionally, the term “God” is rooted in a Judeo-Christian tradition that excludes adherents of minority religions as well as nonbelievers.

A far cry from celebrating our national heritage, the Council’s adoption of the motto would harken to a time in our national history when atheism, Humanism, and communism were conflated and reviled; the phrase only usurped our national motto in 1956 during the Cold War.

As James Madison wrote in 1788: “There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it, would be a most flagrant usurpation.”

Pierce County Council, refrain from intermeddling. Remain representative of all your constituents, and do not display divisive and exclusive messages in our Chamber.


Humanists of Washington


Adrian Nelsen
Jennifer Cox
Yvette Parfait
Douglas Parfait
Kayla Conner
Jerry Schiffelbein
Michael Hoover
C. Cullivan
K. Cullivan
K. Kennedy
Sonya Selbach
Lisa Spoonts
Eli Gandour-Rood
MEredith Brogan
Luke Turner
Luke Turner
Andrew Olson
Andrew Mobley
Todd Mulvey
Todd Mulvey
Larry Dunn
Jamey c Rivera
Scott Haydon
Katy Evans
Evan Query
Alan Mortensen
Lance Nelson
Karen L. Lew
Kiah Beeman
Kyle Sinclair
Steven Ammann
Nicole Plastino
Carlos Sandoval
Kay Bratton
Bri Darby
Julianna Wiesenhutter
Dan Bennett
James McMichael
Laud E. Mercy
John Birch
James Steel
Mick E. Maus
Forest Huggin
Britton Sukys
Steve Coffman
Jenny Lees
Glenn Darby
Satan Darkangel
Bruce Sharer
Stacy Emerson
Dave Brouillette
Brittne Lunniss
Rubi Goldstein
Laurence S. Erhardt
Thomas B Delahunt
Lilith Langston
Yoshi Kumara
Andrea Capere
RR Anderson
Burt Clotheir
Delores Powell
Mark Powell
Roussi Roussev
Robert S. Hyland
Jeffery Anderson
Mauricio Perez
Anu Ramanathan
Nick Kennedy
Brandon Ivey
Josh Rizeberg
Linda Pomeroy
Tristan Carette-Meyers
Maximilian Hyland
Aaron Myracle
Jeniffer Alfaro
Carmel Thompson
Cheryl Overley
Malissa Page
Jessica Cordova
Theresa Pollard
Eleanor Morris
Tracy H.
Amber Case
Ashley Keiser
Michael Segers
Tom Bates
Jen Potter
Daniel Sande
Michael Hernandez
Jennifer Ostlund
Jim Malone
Julia Larson
Tom Malmevik
Sherri Hall
Michael Keiser
Roslyn Townsend
Bonnie Warner
Manuel Matos
Ulrike Dunlap
Tom Smith
Rich Lyons
Kajal Deepak
Steven DuBois
Kenneth Horn
Sean Duncan
Mike Gillis
Caiden Sacks
Iris Tio
Constance Brumm
Michelle Newland
Jason McDonald
Tyson Pfingston
John Burton
Patricia Menzies
Darren Garvin
F Avery Bishop
Ben Gregory
Ray Newland
Tara Cross
Edward Lang
Jane Pulliam
Chris Wukasch
Elisha Parks
Misha Balch
Kathleen Foley
James Ulness
Jackie Harris
Valerie Tarico
Misty Ashbrook
Gregg Sperling
James Anthony
Sara Finch
Sean DeButts
Joseph Colombo
Kristina Jones
sara dundin
Frank Blair
Brett Hansen
Elizabeth DeNoma
Erika Clayton
Daniel Hansen
Brad Tankersley
Douglas Bowers
Brian Vitsmun
Ruth Pyren
Suzan whitehouse
Monica Flynn
Mike House
Daniel Mauch
Kami Olsen
Adarsh Panikkar
Katelyn Driskill
Gregory R King
Deanna Joy Lyons
Scot Junglas
Don Morris
Jeff Nathan
Matt Griscom
Allan Poobus
Ari Stolar
Audrey Moreland
Heidi Van Auken
Donald Serna-Grey
Benee Kent
Amber Kost
Tom Newhof
Adrian Brown
Steven Spencer
Darcy Davis
Adam Smith
Melissa Watts
Lance Finney
April Rasmussen
Rada Bittner-Rozenberg
Marshall Goldberg
Bridget Lombardo
Raymond s Harig
Paul Mopps
Raymond s Harig
Rich Kingdon
Bob Seidensticker
Aaron Flett
Rebecca Vitsmun
Jen Mayer
Randi Stumpp
Joshua Oberg
Robert Ray
Keith Barnes
Michael Marion
Natalie Koonce
Christopher Hawthorne
Rebecca Friedman
Sam Mulvey


Note: The email field is for potential updates about the motion, it will not be shared with anyone, anywhere, period.    You may leave it blank if you wish to do so.





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  1. XaurreauX

    Secularism is for grownups.

  2. Daniel Sande

    “It is hardly does” in the second paragraph needs a quick edit.

    1. Rebecca Friedman

      Thank you. Signators, please note that an erroneous “is” has been removed from the letter for grammatical clarity.

  3. Brandon Ivey

    Freedom of religion as long as you pick the right one, is not a value I share.

  4. Brandon Ivey

    Freedom of religion as long as you pick the right one, is not a value I share

  5. Robert S. Hyland

    “On the contrary: it is hardly does so for all Pierce County residents.”
    I’m not a grammar cop, but either “is” or “does” is redundant. Just want to put our best political foot forward. Personally, I’d remove the “is.”

  6. Brad Tankersley

    (could someone read this in Council Chambers today)

    Hello Sirs and Madam,

    My name is Brad Tankersley, a resident of Tacoma and citizen of Pierce County.

    I come to you today asking that you would consider a different heritage then the one being promoted in these chambers today.

    In 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail to find a eastern sea route to the West Indies. Setting himself against traditional concepts of the time that were skeptical of him finding a route he bravely set off to discover the New World. Had he bowed to skepticism and tradition where would we be today.

    The Plymouth Colony Pilgrims were a peace loving group of separatists known as the Brownist English Dissenters. Who firmly stood against state interference in religious matters. The Pilgrims were not only seeking religious freedom but they also sought a refuge from a government meddling with that freedom. Our first american rebels were christians.

    These are but two cases where had traditionalism and heritage won the day our nation would not have come into existence, as we now know it. Appeals to tradition, appeals to national heritage and appeals to popular opinion does not the rebel make. Our country was not founded upon traditionalism and heritage but upon rebelling against those values. Where would we be today had we rolled over and allowed the English Monarchy to tax our tea exports without representation. Would we be a nation at all or would we yet still be held in the shackles of the English Aristocracy.

    I make an appeal to all those that read or hear this; by supporting the normative, the traditional and the inherited beliefs of the majority you are not a patriot of America but more akin to those historical Americans who sought to remain yoked to KIng George and the English Monarchy. You stand firmly against our national heritage of rebellion. You do not seek freedom but enslavement to traditionalism. Our country instilled the idea that a minority opinion can see the light of day and that the majority, the heritage of the many, does not rule the day.

    As a proud citizen and patriot I thank you for listening to my plea.

    Brad Tankersley

  7. Steve Jones

    I’m going on 15 years in the military and do not like the idea of any laws abiding by a theology. If you want that kind of thing go to Iraq instead of me. Signed, Steven Jones

  8. Craig King

    The founders of our nation saw as imperative that we keep religion separate from state. This obviously religious statement does not belong inside or on a government building. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom to push religion on others.

  9. Andrea Perr

    Pierce County has an opportunity to be an example for the rest of the nation of what it means to be inclusive; to allow all Americans to participate in government regardless of religion or lack thereof.

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