Recently, in both West Virginia and Maine, the state legislatures passed resolutions affirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto of the United States and encouraging its display in public, on government buildings, and schools. I recently discussed this issue with a secular group in Maine, who asked what they could do about this issue. The advice I give to everyone who wants to combat this is to contact their local representative and try to get them to sponsor a bill promoting the use of E Pluribus Unum as an equal alternative.
It just so happens that I wrote a sample bill for the group in Maine, so I figured I would post it here as a guide to creating your own. Feel free to copy, paste, and edit as you see fit. Remember that every state’s legislature requires different language in their bills, so it’s a good idea to look up the requirements in your state.
RESOLUTION, AFFIRMING THAT “E PLURIBUS UNUM” OR ITS ENGLISH EQUIVALENT, “OUT OF MANY, ONE”, IS AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A MOTTO EQUAL OF STATUS TO “IN GOD WE TRUST” AND ENCOURAGING ITS DISPLAY IN HOMES, HOUSES OF WORSHIP, ALL PUBLIC BUILDINGS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS.
WHEREAS, “E Pluribus Unum” was adopted for use on the official Great Seal of the United States by Congress on September 15, 1789, and
WHEREAS, “E Pluribus Unum” is the only motto found on the obverse of the Great Seal of the United States, the obverse being the only part of the seal ever officially cut, and
WHEREAS, “E Pluribus Unum” served as the de facto motto of the United States from 1789 to 1956, and
WHEREAS, 2016 marks the 227th anniversary of the adoption of “E Pluribus Unum”, and
WHEREAS, the length of official usage firmly establishes the motto “E Pluribus Unum” as an American tradition, steeped in history, and
WHEREAS, the sentiment expressed by “E Pluribus Unum” – that of a diverse people uniting for a common cause – has been an integral part of United States society since its founding, and
WHEREAS, the Constitution of Maine firmly establishes the equality of all religious sects and opinions, and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court has continually upheld that the absence of a religious opinion is itself a religious opinion, and
WHEREAS, the motto “In God We Trust” can be construed to be a state endorsement of a particular religious opinion; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED: That We, the representatives of the people of Maine, do find and declare that “E Pluribus Unum” is and ought to be considered a motto of equal status to the “official” motto of the United States, “In God We Trust”, and therefore support and encourage its public display on homes, houses of worship, and in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.