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Discussion: National Motto

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Thread: Discussion: National Motto

  1. #1
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    Post Discussion: National Motto

    Should the US change the current national motto (In God We Trust) back to the original national motto (E pluribus unum)?


    Originally, E pluribus unum was the unofficial, yet universally recognized, motto of the US. In the 50s, during the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and the Smith Act trials (also known as "McCarthyism"), the motto was changed to In God We Trust and was formalized into law.

    I understand that God can be defined in many ways, but it's fairly ridiculous to claim that it means anything other than some higher power. However, the motto has no force of law behind it--there's no sanction for not holding to it--so it doesn't fall under the separation of church and state clause.


    My thinking is that the 50s are over. The Red Scare is over. The Cold War is over. We should erase the mistakes we made--like changing the motto and adding under God to the Pledge of Allegiance (which also happened around this same time)--and recognize that we are one nation, regardless of our individual religious beliefs.

    I do find it interesting, though, that the people who are constantly crowing about taking America back to what the Founding Fathers wanted are often the same people who desperately do not want to go back to the motto that was actually used during the Revolution with the blessing of the Founders. Neither do they want to go back to the Pledge of Allegiance that was actually recited by the soldiers and sailors and workers on the homefront who fought against the very face of evil in World War II.

    Anyway, that's my can of worms for the day. Y'all have any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Nice idea, but it will not be happening any time soon. No politician wants to be perceived as taking a stand "against" religion or God. That is, until the polls ever show that a vast majority don't want it that way anymore.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    I wonder how many people consider the motto, whether people give it any thought, or not. I'd have to look, but I thought both mottoes in the OP are still in use on our currency/coin.

    But I am reminded of Dostoyevsky's The Idiot...a great story if you have the time. Dostoyevsky's Russia is so much like America the Beautiful.

    ...every misfortune and mishap of the mother-country fills him with mirth, and even with ecstasy. He hates the national customs, Russian history, and everything. If he has a justification, it is that he does not know what he is doing, and believes that his hatred of Russia is the grandest and most profitable kind of liberalism. (You will often find a liberal who is applauded and esteemed by his fellows, but who is in reality the dreariest, blindest, dullest of conservatives, and is not aware of the fact.) This hatred for Russia has been mistaken by some of our 'Russian liberals' for sincere love of their country, and they boast that they see better than their neighbours what real love of one's country should consist in. But of late they have grown, more candid and are ashamed of the expression 'love of country,' and have annihilated the very spirit of the words as something injurious and petty.
    I see the same thing happening here in America as happened in Dostoyevsky's Russia. Was reading The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics & Religion from Jonathan Haidt. In a chapter titled, "Why Are We So Groupish," Haidt writes, "In the terrible days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I felt an urge so primitive I was embarrassed to admit it to my friends: I wanted to put an American flag decal on my car." He tells us that he resolved his dilemma "after three days and a welter of feelings" by placing "an American flag in one corner of my rear windshield, and I put the United Nations flag in the opposite corner."

    While I admire Mr. Haidt's candor, his mindset is unsettling, more so for when he felt that way. Haidt's example is but one out of many like that I've seen over the course of the last ten to twenty years.

    W.I.E.B.O. ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    ...I think it should be "Land of Political Ninnyhammers"...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Yes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Quote Originally Posted by Sepia and Dust View Post

    Anyway, that's my can of worms for the day. Y'all have any thoughts?
    .....And what a can of worms it is!

    I thought that both mottoes were in use, but after looking at several bills, I only see "In God We Trust".

    I like the idea of E Pluribus Unum......because that is what we are

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Why do some people feel so threatened having a distinct separtation of church and state? Is their belief system so precarious that it needs to be endorsed by the political system? The founding fathers strongly believed in the separation of church and state.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn Gust View Post
    Why do some people feel so threatened having a distinct separtation of church and state? Is their belief system so precarious that it needs to be endorsed by the political system? The founding fathers strongly believed in the separation of church and state.
    There is a pretty firm, if unstated, belief by some that the US is some kind of second coming of the Jewish state. Like we're God's Chosen People: Part Deux or something. Why, I don't know. As far as I know there is no theological basis for it. But it is a thing nonetheless.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Quote Originally Posted by PatInTheHat View Post
    Yes.
    WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR PAT?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Discussion: National Motto

    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn Gust View Post
    Why do some people feel so threatened having a distinct separtation of church and state? Is their belief system so precarious that it needs to be endorsed by the political system? The founding fathers strongly believed in the separation of church and state.
    All one has to do is look to the Middle East to see what happens when you don't have that separation.

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