Barack Obama rolled out his version of the Presidential Seal last week. Obviously, it was for the purpose of campaigning, but some of the changes were telling. The substitution of "Yes We Can!" for "E Pluribus Unum" reflects a view of our country that is increasingly popular. A large number of voters do not speak English and are trying very hard not to acculturate to mainstream American values. The multi-cultural model is to have a lot of cultures side by side with incidental overlaps as opposed to cultures giving up distinctives for the sake of actually having one nation. It doesn't take one too much effort to see what has happened to nations where this has happened. France is a prime example, with a large Muslim minority determined not to fit in. The Balkan tragedy is a result of the glorification of multi-culturalism.
To be sure, despite our national motto, and the professed loyalty of some to that ideal, we have many from both parties who are dividers and not unifiers. They divide over endless issues and often simply because they don't like some people and some political positions. We have lost any national consensus on many critical issues, and that is a shame. Saying we are one doesn't make it so, but I hardly think that is a reason to give up.
Now as a Christian, we are called to not be a part of the world, but distinct from the world. We have different values and different priorities. So what is the difference? Well, if we truly follow the Bible, we give honor to the King and submit to human institutions because God tells us they are his institutions and those in them are ministers of his. Therefore, while we are apart from the world, we support our nation and its institutions even while we fight for things to improve. Also as a church, we should be striving for "E Pluribus Unum" in the church, because God values unity with no separations because of ethnicity, place of origin, or economic or social status. "Yes, We Can" was the cry of the rebels building the Tower of Babel. "Yes, God Can" should be our rallying cry.