We believe that the phrase E Pluribus Unum promotes the truly inclusive nature of American society.
Because of this belief, we are on a mission to replace the divisive and discriminatory mottoIn God We Trust with the original – and rightful – United States motto: E Pluribus Unum; from many, one.
We strongly oppose the use of In God We Trust as the national motto, as it breeds division and promotes the belief that those without faith in a higher power cannot be patriots. In fact, the motto In God We Trust was first adopted during the Cold War to enshrine our differences with the Soviet Union. It is, by its very nature and intent, a motto meant to embody disunion and conflict.
E Pluribus Unum embodies the true American spirit of inclusiveness. From a group of colonies uniting against all odds to throw off imperial tyranny, to millions of hopeful immigrants sailing into New York harbor yearning to breathe free, the United States has always consisted of differing viewpoints, beliefs, motivations, and dreams. Though sometimes quarrelsome amongst one another, these differences have always served to strengthen American society. Our openness to all points of view has guided America throughout its history, making it the strongest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world. It has always been the Many who make up the One.
Please help us achieve our goal of restoring E Pluribus Unum to its rightful place as America’s national motto.
You can help us in our mission in several ways. Click the buttons below to find out how.
A lifelong atheist and Humanist, Robert began his secular activism as the Vice President of The Humanists of North Puget Sound in 2011 and later became President. He worked as the social media director and webmaster for the Northwest Freethought Alliance from 2011 to 2013. He became a Humanist Celebrant in October of 2013 and still performs weddings and invocations. Most recently he gave the first ever Humanist invocation at the Washington State House of Representatives in March of 2015. He also co-hosts the weekly podcast Secular Yakking with Tom Essel. He is very active in the secular community as the President of two Humanist groups in the Seattle area and sits on the board for the Humanists of Washington. He has been a guest on Ask an Atheist, Atheist Nomads, Secular Radio and Road to Reason TV.
Thomas Essel is an atheist and writer living behind enemy lines in the Bible Belt. He was raised in San Diego as a lukewarm Mormon, the kind that drank caffeinated soda but felt bad about it on Sunday. After losing his religion, Thomas moved to Missouri where he became involved in secular activism. For The Original Motto Project, Thomas serves as Assistant Director. In addition to his duties there, he also writes for the blog Danthropology on the Patheos network and is a contributor to Ye Olde Journalist. He is also the Springfield Regional Director for the Secular Coalition for Missouri. Thomas lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife, two kids, and numerous cats.
Christapher McDowell serves as the Outreach Coordinator for The Original Motto Project. He is a secular activist and a member of the American Humanist Association. An agnostic all his life, Chris got his start in secular activism by opposing the use of In God We Trust in Greene County, Missouri; his opinions on the subject have appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. Originally from San Diego, Christapher currently lives in Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend, Ashley, and their army of cats.
Nikki is a self-employed mother, activist, and church and state advocate. She rallied residents and supporters to form alliances when a proposal for an “In God We Trust” plaque was to be voted on in her city. Working with various organizations, the new collective created an organized opposition in weeks. Their efforts and strategy paid off, the city of Ballwin voted the plaque down with a vote of 6-2. Nikki has guest blogged for Hemant Mehta’s “The Friendly Atheist,” was a guest on Freethought Radio with Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, is an organizer for Gateway to Reason’s secular conference in St. Louis, and has cultivated campaigns through the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Nikki seeks to end religious harm, promote diversity and inclusion, while opposing the conservative American push for a theocracy. Currently, Nikki is administrator to The Satanic Temple, St. Louis Chapter.
Back in April, the legislature of Arkansas enacted Act 911, which mandates that, if funds are made available through donations, the motto “In God We Trust” be displayed in public schools. In response, American Atheists wrote a letter to all 262 school district superintendents in Arkansas threatening litigation if they complied with the law.
Action Alert- Help with an E Pluribus Unum Plaque On May 11th the Fresno City Council will be considering the addition of In God We Trust to the council chambers. We all know how this is likely to turn out. But there is good news, a local group, the Central Valley Alliance of Atheist and Skeptics, […]
In their 1998 study on how middle school students (grades 5-8) conceptualize history, Keith Barton and Linda Levstik noted that “[w]hile students in this study did not use the past to justify current inequalities, they did use the extension of rights and opportunities as a way of demonstrating that such inequalities are bound to […]
5 years ago, the House of Representatives took time out from their busy schedule to debate the most important thing going on in the nation that day. The reaffirmation of In God We Trust as the national motto. Was it in jeopardy of being changed? No, it has been enshrined in our laws since 1956 […]
If you are reading this, odds are that you find the current national motto “In God We Trust” irksome at best. Here at The Original Motto Project, our focus tends to be on government agencies using the phrase, whether it be on civic buildings or on emergency vehicles. While we encourage local dissent to […]