Mar 08

E Pluribus Abruptio

There has long been a dispute over our country’s motto, and H. Con. Res. 13 aims to settle it. In one corner, E Pluribus Unum (roughly: out of many, one). It’s elegant, accurate, and using Latin makes us sound smart. In the other corner, In God We Trust. You’ve probably seen it on coinage and bumper stickers south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The sponsors of this resolution suggest the latter should be our sole national motto, and that we should encourage its display on public buildings. The resolution has many problems, but I’ve reprinted it here so you can make your own decision. The wording from the resolution is in bold with my commentary underneath. Enjoy!



Reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.

Whereas `In God We Trust’ is the official motto of the United States;

I’d like to point to Alonzo Fyfe’s article right off the bat. In it, he discusses the whole notion of “We” in this proposed motto and gives a detailed analysis of the problem.

Whereas the sentiment, `In God We Trust’, has been an integral part of United States society since its founding;

The sponsors are showing some crafty maneuvering right off the bat. Notice he is claiming the “sentiment” has been integral, not the phrase or motto itself. The phrase itself was not used on any notable scale until the mid-1800s and not adopted as a motto until the 1950s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_We_Trust).

Whereas in times of national challenge or tragedy, the people of the United States have turned to God as their source for sustenance, protection, wisdom, strength, and direction;

And they are welcome to continue doing so without it being the national motto. Oh, and there’s that pesky point that many have not actually done this. Perhaps it should read “some people” instead of “the people” unless the goal is exclusion.

Whereas the Declaration of Independence recognizes God, our Creator, as the source of our rights, `We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’;

Thanks for providing the quote, sponsors. But where does it recognize God? I see it says Creator, but that could refer to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Which leads me to my next point: I’d like to officially nominate “In Spaghetti we Trust” for consideration. Some might object that this singles out a specific religion and thereby violates the Establishment Clause. This objection is plainly ridiculous; people are free to worship the flying spaghetti monster of their choosing. I don’t discriminate.

Whereas the national anthem of the United States says `praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation . . . and this be our motto: in God is our trust.’;

Wait, you’re telling me there are more verses to the Star-Spangled Banner? I think I hear Christina Aguilera weeping at the thought.

Whereas the words `In God We Trust’ appear over the entrance to the Senate Chamber and above the Speaker’s rostrum in the House Chamber;

Uh…who cares?

Whereas the oath taken by all Federal employees, except the President, states `I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’;

Thanks for reminding me; we should do something about that too. I’d also point out that they can opt out of saying this, so it’s not really all inclusive.

Whereas John Adams said, `Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.’;

Well, that’s one person’s opinion from 200 years ago. Many modern thinkers, like the late John Rawls, would disagree. As long as we’re quoting old Presidents:

I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.  -Thomas Jefferson


Whereas if religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured;

This is becoming repetitive (see above).

Whereas as President Eisenhower said and President Ford later repeated, `Without God, there could be no American form of government, nor, an American way of life.’; and

More presidential opinion. This seems very selective. I wonder what they would say to quotes from Presidents on subjects with which the bill’s sponsors disagreed. How about a quote from FDR on social programs? They are quite obviously cherry-picking quotes to support their view. I am forced to ask, “Why does it matter what these people said? How does that make it right?” Oh, and it’s also wrong (see above again).

Whereas President John F. Kennedy said, `The guiding principle and prayer of this Nation has been, is now, and ever shall be `In God We Trust.’:

This is demonstrably false.

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress reaffirms `In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States and supports and encourages the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.

Be it resolved that this proposal has no intellectual legs on which to stand.

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2 pings

  1. Paul Felix Schott

    Lower all taxes while we still have a United States of America.

    When this Old World starts getting you down. From Pollution the cost of OIL, Heating Fuel,The Fuel you put in your Vehicles, You Electric Bills from
    cooling air conditioners and lights not to speak of the Evil. The TAX that all Governments Federal, State, County and City put on everything they can thing of.

    They are supposed to serve us. Not put a burden on its people. That they are elected to serve all the people you, not their own Pocket Books.

    The Wicked keep putting higher taxes on everything. Making it a Heavy Burden on many that are already struggling just to put food on the table.

    Too many Americans have lost their home to the tax collector or to foreclosures from the unjust bankers greed. More are out of work and lost their homes then in the GREAT DEPRESSION, in the last ten years. All Americans and many Nations need good jobs and more of them. Not more TAXES.

    All Taxes need to be lowered now while there is still time to save America.

    There is a Industry that will employ workers and is growing by more then 50% every year. There is a clear way for all up on the roof the Sun Light is free fuel from GOD. Some wicked in Government have been backing Coal, Oil, Gas and the Nuclear industries for too many years.

    These kickbacks to them were called Subsidizing Industry Technology. Most all Wise Men and smart Economist and Environmentalists call this padding their pockets and subsidizing back to the
    Stone Age.

    The best deal would be to lower Taxes for all this is not the Roman Empire.

    The Chinese Know Renewable Energy is a good thing. Most of the rest of the World is still a slave to Oil, Coal and Nuclear Power. All the Governments of the World now know it is wise to use Renewable Energy it is the Local Governments that are a little slow to learn what is best for all not just there pocket book.

    They fear people going off the grid all that tax money they will no longer be able to take from you. Wind and Solar Farms are growing all over the Earth. This could have happened years ago if the greedy wicked were stopped by the Real Good.

    The Freedom to get your own Power from the Wind and Sun, Solar Energy has been there for years. Are Libraries and Schools should have been the first to have gone Solar and Renewable Energy. And why are they not? Churches are all over the Planet. They are going to Solar Energy.

    Thank GOD for the Pioneers like John Schaeffer that Started Real Goods The first and Best catalog for Renewable Energy and Scientist Bill Young at the FSEC Florida Solar Energy Center and Monica D. Key Lindbergh for many years wrote to our legislators promoting Solar and Renewable Energy and many others.

    These Pioneers helped put Wind, Solar And Renewable Energy in the Spotlight for all the World to see.
    The Great Scientist Albert Einstein Stared it with a Dream that the day would come that all the World would use Solar Energy. His many years of work with the law of the Photoelectric Effect, and showing this to the World won him the Nobel Prize in Physics. We still do not teach this to our young.

    GOD Bless all that help tell this to the World

    All Taxes need to be lowered cut in half or there will be a lot more Poor and needy and not in just other countries. This coming year the World will see hunger like never before. More then 100 million will be sick from malnutrition going with out food. Taxing the poor and taking there Land away from them is Wicked. Very soon the Rich will become the Poor.

    If your Legislature will not lower Taxes vote them out of office and VOTE in someone that will Lower your Taxes. If your Son or Daughter was raised in a christian Home we need them in our Government as Leaders.

    United We Will Always Stand
    In GOD We Trust
    True Patriots
    GOD Bless
    and May HE Guide you all.

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    Many a Nation have fallen from taxing their people to Death. You want Prosperity and for thing to Flourish and grow lower all taxes. You want thriving, success, or good fortune for only a few, keep over taxing all.
    Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy Freedom from OIL. The Humanitarian thing to do. Solar Energy.
    Why let the Wicked in office in our Nation if they do not believe in GOD and the Bible vote them out of office.
    United We Will Always Stand in GOD We Trust George Washington and Johann Paul Schott 1776.
    In GOD We Trust
    The United States of America’s Motto July 30, 1956.

  2. Mike

    And may the Spaghetti Monster guide you, sir.

    This is obviously some pre-written response posted here because of key words. Ironic.

  3. Rosaria

    I visited multiple sites however the audio quality for audio songs existing at
    this website is actually superb.

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