E pluribus buffoonum? Congress slams Obama
Lawmakers say president's omitting of God undercuts American history
Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have written to President Obama asking him to correct a speech he gave in Indonesia incorrectly replacing the nation's motto of "In God We Trust" with "E pluribus unum."
The letter also cites a series of situations in which Obama has failed to include the reference to the "Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence.
In the newest development, U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes of Virginia and 42 bipartisan members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have dispatched a letter over Obama's statement to a Jakarta audience that "E Pluribus unum" is the national motto.
Actually, it's "In God We Trust."
"For the president of the United States to incorrectly state something as foundational as our national motto in another country is unacceptable," said Forbes. "The president is the primary representative of our nation to the world, and whether mistake or intention, his actions cast aside an integral part of American society."
He said, "President Reagan once warned that 'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'"
It was during Obama's expedition to the Far East when he went to Jakarta on Nov. 10.
Speaking at the University of Indonesia, Obama said:
I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope. It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum – out of many, one. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika – unity in diversity. We are two nations, which have traveled different paths. Yet our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag. And we are now building on that shared humanity – through young people who will study in each other's schools; through the entrepreneurs forging ties that can lead to greater prosperity; and through our embrace of fundamental democratic values and human aspirations.
The letter explains that "In God We Trust" has been foundational throughout the history of the United States, from presidential proclamations to engravings in both House and Senate chambers. In 1956, Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed into law establishing "In God We Trust" as the official national motto of the United States.