E Pluribus Unum

  • Author:
    n/a
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    U.S. Congress
  • Sponsored By:
    Nonbeliever Antidiscrimination Project
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Congress undermined American unity in 1954 when it added "Under God" to our Pledge of Allegiance and again in 1956 when it replaced our 175 year old national motto, E Pluribus Unum ("Out Of Many, One"), with "In God We Trust", thus demoting to an implied outsider status the agnostics, atheists, deists, polytheists and other citizens who do not ascribe to this theology. Ideological contention is a necessary and desired result of the freedoms that are the real source of our unity and strength. These laws, by claiming that our unity rests on disregarding the reality of such sincere individual disagreement, are self-defeating.

The American Sociological Association reports that Americans see atheists as the least trusted minority - the group that they see as least sharing their American values. About half of the adult population says that they would not vote for an atheist candidate. This is not at all surprising when schools teach children that those American values include 'one nation under God' and 'In God We Trust'. U.S. citizens learn to fear atheism starting on the first day of school, when a government teacher stands in front of them and tells them to recite a divisive patriotic pledge stating that there are four values that run opposite to what all good American support; atheism or polytheism, rebellion, tyranny, and injustice for all.

We should be able to embrace or reject faith and profess or not profess our individual conclusions without our government advancing conflicting conclusions on behalf of all citizens. Equality before the law is best respected by government laws and institutions that are indifferent regarding agnosticism, animism, atheism, deism, monotheism, pantheism, polytheism, etc. Those "isms" are personal beliefs belonging to individuals, not to governments. Democratic government shouldn't express favoritism regarding competing candidates for government office or competing commercial products. Similarly, democratic government shouldn't express favoritism regarding competing metaphysical beliefs.

Atheists and polytheists are the best kinds of citizens. Please respect the Establishment Clause of our Bill of Rights and euality before the law for non-monotheistic citizens.