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Penny For Clinton's Thoughts

September 29, 1996

Regarding the feature in the Book Review of Sept. 1, 1996, "Coin of the Realm" by John Balzar, Balzar mistakenly says that our national motto is "E Pluribus Unum." But that was true only until the mid '50s, when our politicians decided to recruit God to fight the nasty commies. They changed our national motto to "in God we trust." This is unfortunate, because the new motto endorses and promotes religion, which is a violation of the 1st Amendment establishment clause and court decisions prohibiting same. Also, the motto is not accurate, because it doesn't mention which god, and anyway not all of us trust in a god. In order to be accurate, the motto should be "in various gods some of us trust." But why not just comply with the 1st Amendment and the court decisions, and have a motto which does not endorse or promote religion?

CHARLES A. WILSON, OXNARD

Editor's note: John Balzar was actually quoting Bill Clinton, who wrote that "E Pluribus Unum" was our national motto.

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