OUR NATIONAL MOTTO
If I were in charge...
The motto for the United States is IN GOD WE TRUST. While we would like to believe that the Founding Fathers created this inspirational stanchion around which we can all gather, the fact is far less motiviating. Let me begin by saying that I am a church-going Christian who believes in the Trinity of the Creator, Christ and Holy Spirit found in the Testaments of my Bible. Nonetheless, I do not believe a rallying cry for these United States should be IN GOD WE TRUST. At the risk of stating the obvious, not all of us believe in God. Secondly, not all of us believe in the same God or interpret “God” in same way. Most importantly, the United States is a democracy, not a theocracy.
Our current motto was signed into law in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower. At the time, the cultural belief was that everyone was a Christian, except for the Jews, but that was okay too. The reality was, of course, far different. The wide palette of faiths that is the United States today existed in the 50’s as well, but we were living in a political climate of fear – fear of the Communists, and fear of being pointed out as anti-American by our own political leaders. Well, at least the Communists are mostly gone.
My suggestion for a national motto would be one of unification, not unlike the original motto our Founding Fathers did, in fact, provide – E PLURIBUS UNUM – from many, one.
If I was in charge, our national motto would be UNITED WE STAND. Even when we are a country divided by war or politics or financial disparities, we have always been – since the end of the Civil War in 1864 – one nation. In fact, it was after the Civil War that international newspapers stopped saying “The United States are…” and began saying “The United States is…”
United We Stand. One Nation. Under God, if you wish, but together under all circumstances.