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Time to bring back ‘E pluribus unum’

At our family’s Fourth of July celebration, one of our dozen guests brought up the publication of the paid advertisement on page three of The News that day. It caused a spirited debate, one in which everyone took exception to the ad. I was designated to write a response in protest.

My companions and I were offended that on July Fourth The News would print such an ad, even though it was paid for. The various quotes employed to promote the religious message were highly selective, and mostly long out of date. Even so, they were predated by the sage opinion of our Founding Fathers, as embodied in the First Amendment, that the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion be prohibited.

The motto “In God We Trust” was adopted in 1956, displacing the much more appropriate “E pluribus unum.” And the phrase “Under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. The effort to not only promote specific religious ideas, but to foist them on all in our society, is a relatively modern effort – one that many citizens oppose. My friends and I add our voices to this objection. Bring back “E pluribus unum”!

Michael Silverman

Amherst