The Congressional Prayer Caucus, headed by U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) yesterday chastized President Barack Obama for praising America's original motto, 'E Pluribus Unum' ("from many [come] one") to an audience last month in Indonesia. In his letter, Forbes ignorantly wrote Obama that 'E Pluribus Unum' (originally chosen by a committee of Franklin, Adams and Jefferson) is not the national motto. Forbes insisted "In God We Trust" is the motto. In fact, both are national mottos, and 'E Pluribus Unum' appears on the Great Seal of the United States and still appears on currency. The religious motto was unfortunately adopted following a religious lobbying campaign during the Red Scare in 1956. (See more background on In God We (Don't) Trust.)
Please take a moment to read Forbes' letter, which was co-signed by 41 of his congressional colleagues and displays total disregard for the constitutional principle of state/church separation.
Please write or phone the president, thanking him for recognizing America's secular heritage by expressing support for the values of our original motto, 'E Pluribus Unum.' You may also wish to make this the subject of a short, timely letter to the editor to your local paper. Keep remarks short and succinct, concentrating on one or two points, and include your name and contact information. Additionally, you may wish to educate Rep. Forbes. Contact info is included below.
Please write or phone the president as an individual. For maximum effectiveness, do not forward this action alert to the president, Rep. Forbes or the media.
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Web Form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111
Congressman J Randy Forbes
2438 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515
Web Form: https://forbes.house.gov/Contact/ContactForm.htm?Zip=23320&Zip4=