Wednesday, November 29, 2006

E pluribus recta

Sometimes I am amazed at the facts I can pick up whilst wandering semi-aimlessly through the labyrinth of knowledge and fantasy that we call the interweb.

Today I learned that E pluribus unum is no longer the national motto of The Amerika. E pluribus unum, for those few of you who may not speak Latin, means “From many, one,” and it originally alluded to the uniting of the 13 colonies to create The Amerika. The motto was first selected in 1776 and features prominently in the Great Seal of The Amerika.

As a motto, E pluribus unum is very cool. I like the fact that it is in Latin because I am a geek. I like that besides reflecting the beginnings of The Amerika, the motto reflects the diverse plurality of our contemporary society. I like that it is all-inclusive.

In contrast, our current motto sucks. “In God We Trust” has been the official motto since 1956, although it first appeared on coins in 1864. The slogan “In God We Trust” was made up as a reaction to pressure from obsessed Christians during the Civil War. And as a theory, I would guess that it became our official motto in the 1950s as a reaction to the godless atheism of those pinko Russkie commies. Which is, as you probably know, also how a reference to God got into the Pledge of Allegiance.

I came to the topic of mottos today when Crooks and Liars led me to Pam’s article about the new US $1 coins. It seems that both mottos, the cool Latin one and the creepy superstitious religious one, are going to be engraved on the sides of the new coins instead of the front or back. Much like British £1 coins have their varying inscriptions around the edges. And, guess what – the Christians are pissed off that the reference to God is not going to be as obviously visible as it is on our other coins. You can read their whining here.

I know that the US Mint doesn’t give a shit what Max thinks about the coins, but here we go. You should remove the reference to God completely. You are alienating atheists, and you are alienating people who do believe in God (or whatever), but find it vulgar that you continue to associate God with money. Hasn’t it ever dawned on you that the association is in extremely poor taste?

That’s it. I don’t really care what the money says or where the words appear. As far as I’m concerned, the new dollar coins could say “FUCK OFF WORLD” right across George Washington’s forehead. Oh, and by the way, the new coins might not be worth very much by the time they get into circulation next February.

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