For those who don’t know, one of the many projects I work on is The Original Motto Project. There we oppose the use of In God We Trust and promote the use of the most inclusive motto E Pluribus Unum. For those who skipped Latin class, that means “Out of many, one.”
At the Original Motto Project, we recently heard a rumor that the Iowa Democratic party was adding the promotion of E Pluribus Unum to their party platform. Today, we confirmed those rumors.
According to the website of the Iowa Democratic Party Platform Committee, item 192 of their party platform is “enforcing separation of church and state including returning the National Motto to ‘E Pluribus Unum.'”To my knowledge, this is the first time any major political party has taken up the cause of removing “In God We Trust” as the national motto. The motto has been a thorn in the side of many secularists over the years. Federal courts have consistently ruled that the motto does not violate the separation of church and state and is only “ceremonial deism.” The most recent “In God We Trust” court battle involves Michael Newdow, who is suing to have the phrase removed from US currency.
This is also important as it is a public recognition by a major political party that “In God We Trust” does, in fact, violate the separation of church and state.
E Pluribus Unum, the motto the Iowa Democrats want to return to, served as the de facto motto of the United States from 1782 until 1956. It was meant to represent the various colonies coming together for one common purpose.
Though not a slam dunk – this is the platform of the state party, not the national party – this is certainly an encouraging move in the right direction.