Have We Lost the “Unum” in E Pluribus Unum?

ProLifeCorner.com-  by Larry Plachno-  One of the things that made America great was its diversity. However, going too far with diversity has caused America’s current problems.  It must have been fascinating to live during the time of the American Revolution and see a new nation being born. Little did our founding fathers realize just how big and how great that nation would become. And I suspect that our founding fathers would shed tears if they knew of the problems we have today.


The United States of America has always been a melting pot of peoples. Our earliest citizens came from numerous countries but joined together as one new nation. Hence, the motto of the new country: E pluribus unum, Latin for “Out of many, one.”

If you look back in the history books you will find that our founding fathers represented several different religions. They were Protestants, Catholics, deists, agnostics, Jews, atheists and other faiths. But the glue or cement that held them all together (what caused the “unim” in E Pluribus unum) was the shared common belief that good and evil existed and that good consists of doing what is best for other people and society. While these are the basic principles of Christianity, they are shared by other religions, other faiths and even by many atheists.

Some liberals will insist that our problems are caused by religion. I flatly deny that. I grew up with some Jewish kids nearby. We regularly played together. They taught me parts of their Jewish faith and I in turn shared my Christian beliefs. They wished me a Merry Christmas and I wished them a Happy Hanukah. I do not remember ever having any disagreement with them over morals. Why? Because all of us agreed that good and evil existed and that good consisted of doing what is best for other people and society.

In later years I worked with atheists in a business environment. I was surprised to find that many of them believed more in Christian principles than many Christians. Again, they understood that good and evil existed and that good consisted of doing what is best for other people and society.

We should note that this early acceptance of diversity was limited to things that people could not control, like nationality, race, heritage and being handicapped. Admittedly, the road was rougher for some groups. The Irish and Polish had their problems joining into our society and the blacks had a particularly difficult time. But eventually even the handicapped found acceptance. American thrived, grew and became a world power.

Many if not most of the researchers point to World War II as America’s finest era. Americans pitched in and worked together for a common cause. Our problems began in the years after World War II when some Americans began accepting selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. Instead of working together they became selfish, instead of putting others first they put themselves first, and instead of making an effort to support families, they supported individualism. Much of this negativity became directed against pregnancy, families, children and marriage.

How did this selfishness get into our society? Some researchers say that we spoiled our kids and as a result they turned into a generation of narcissists. Others suggest that people turned their back on God and replaced good and evil with personal choice. As a result, they tried to create a heaven on earth for themselves at the expense of others. Some people suggest, with much justification, that Hollywood and the media fostered much of this movement by trying to justify their own selfish beliefs. More than one person has suggested that Hollywood had no use for God since they tend to worship their own movie stars.

What transpired is that our society became polarized as many Americans replaced good and evil with personal choice. This was a direct contradiction of the love of God and love of neighbor admonishments of Jesus Christ. They developed Political Correctness to hide their selfishness and make it the law of the land. And, since they turned their back on God, life no longer had a value to them. Many of them looked down upon sharing their life with a spouse, family and children.

What they did was to take diversity and expand it to include their actions and decisions. Now, our nation was expected to accept and embrace their actions and decisions even though contradictory and harmful to others and society. Hence, they destroyed the “unum” in E pluribus unum, they threw out good and evil and then replaced it with personal choice.

The dividing line is marriage, children and family. People who are married with large families are statistically more likely to vote for conservative candidates and causes. People who are unmarried or have fewer children are more likely to vote for liberal candidates and causes. As a result, our country is no longer unified but is now polarized. What is killing our society is selfishness, the pro-choice attitude and moral relativism. How can people possibly work together if they cannot even agree on good and evil?

What is interesting is that selfishness is also harmful to the individual who practices it. One of my definitions of a liberal is someone who cannot reason from cause to effect. Someone who refuses to believe in germs is forever doomed to spend their life being ill or in the hospital. Likewise, liberals do not understand the consequences of their actions and decisions. They can not accept good and evil because to do so they would have to give up choice.

What the statistics and reports have shown us is that society operates much like a team. When we work together we all come out ahead. As an example, we can talk about a team of four horses pulling a wagon. So long as they work together and pull in the same direction, the wagon makes progress. However, what happens if the horses become selfish and pro-choice? One goes north, another south, the third goes to the east and the fourth horse heads west. Not only will be wagon make no progress but it could easily get damaged. This is what is causing social problems including crime and poverty in our society.

The concept of the existence of good and evil and the need to work together and put others first has been around for 2000 years. Those of us who have done the research with decades of computer reports and statistics are impressed that they echo and endorse the love of God and love of neighbor admonishments of Jesus Christ.

One of the most obvious places where liberals fail to grasp cause and effect is in marriage. Jesus Christ blessed marriage with his first public miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. Today’s statistics show that marriage is not only good for society but also good for the individuals involved and for their children.

Some of this is just plain logic. Married people are less likely to commit crimes or be the victim of crimes. It does not take much thought to realize that a guy at home changing the diaper of his daughter is considerably less likely to get into trouble than a guy at a bar looking for a one night stand.

Married people are also less likely to be homeless or require government assistance. The reason why is because there is strength in numbers and because they support each other. An airplane with two engines is more likely to stay in the air than an airplane with only one engine. Supporting a family wage makes sense for society because it encourages families and hence reduces crime and poverty.

Likewise, kids growing up without a father are more likely to end up in prison or pregnant prior to marriage. Are kids better with more parents or fewer parents? Research by Karl Zinsmeister several years ago showed that kids were much better off being raised by a mom and a dad than by one parent. There is a reason why making kids requires a mom and a dad. And, interestingly enough, the only better family situation than that was having grandparents in the same household or nearby.

The statistics clearly show that the traditional family is the basic building block of society where we learn to live together and help each other. If people cannot work together in marriage, how can they work together in society?

I am tempted to point out the words of Jesus Christ in the Bible at Matthew 20:16; “Thus the last will be first and the first will be last.” People who work together and put others first come out ahead while those who try to get ahead by being selfish are actually harming themselves and others.

Years of research have shown that Jesus Christ was right all along. The love of God and love of neighbor of basic Christianity has been proven time and again to be in our best interests. When are we going to learn?

Please Note: Many of our readers are familiar with the excellent writings of Larry Plachno which he has so graciously shared with us over the past years. Larry is a businessman and a parish respect life coordinator. You can read more of Larry’s excellent work at: www.unselfish.org

One thought on “Have We Lost the “Unum” in E Pluribus Unum?

  1. Once again Larry Plachno comes through with the inspiring logic of our dilemma and common sense answers for the next steps needed to maintain America’s freedoms.

    And in mentioning selfishness and negativity, he reminds me of an acronym I myself use to define S.I.N. — Selfishness – Ignorance – Negativity. Being “sin-less” is to get rid of our own selfishness, ignorance, and negativity. Seems like selfishness and negativity are things we can be alert to and conquer in the details of everyday life – anyone knows (like he points out) what is good and evil and what works for the common good. But when it comes to ignorance, I have to consult the Catechism for an answer:

    Here at 1849 and 1850 is where we can discover the full definition of what is sin:
    1849: “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.’”

    So “sin” is a perverse attachment, a wounding, an injury that comes about through our own desires, words and deeds. This definition brings me out of the dark attitude that I can cure my own sin by myself, and into the light of understanding that I need help. So I read on:

    1850: “Sin is an offense against God: ‘Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.’ Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become ‘like gods,’ knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus ‘love of oneself even to contempt of God.’ In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.”

    Oh, now I see why conversion requires me to be convinced of my own sinfulness. It’s both the bad news of the truth of my helpless predicament which my conscience provides; and it is the good news of the certainty that there is real help from God for my helplessness. Now all I need to do is trust and obey the One who loves me enough to die so I may be “saved” from my sin. Truly, this is good news!

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