Last month, Hillary Clinton capped off the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with a rousing speech. Whether you are a supporter or not, something most people missed (including nearly all fact-checkers) is that she incorrectly stated America’s motto – and removed God in the process.
Here’s what she said in her speech:
“We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together. Our country’s motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one. Will we stay true to that motto?”
The problem is that e pluribus unum is not the U.S. motto. The official U.S. motto is “In God We Trust.”
Now, the phrase e pluribus unum has had official use since America’s founding, along with other phrases, such as annuit cœptis (“He [God] has favored our undertaking”) and novus ordo seclorum (“New order of the ages”).
But the U.S. had no official “motto” until 1956, when Congress passed a law and President Eisenhower signed it making it “In God We Trust.”
The phrase is found in the 4th stanza of the Star Spangled Banner and had been used on U.S. coins since the Civil War. It was chosen as the national motto specifically to differentiate the U.S. from atheistic communism. In the last decade, both the Senate and House of Representatives have passed resolutions reaffirming the motto.
Patheos blogger “The Friendly Atheist” saw it as a “subtle nod to our community.” While Christian Post columnist Rev. Mark Creech wrote he thought “Clinton’s error is no matter to be taken lightly because there has been a significant movement in recent years, mostly coming from the Progressive camp, that’s trying to remove God from every part of public life.”
What do you think? Innocent mistake, or a signal to something else? Let us know in the comments!
[See also: The Inspiring Story of the Continental Congress’ Prayer that Almost Didn’t Happen]
[See also: Where God is Carved in Stone on the National Mall]