ONE OUT OF MANY
“Reinhold Niebuhr said it well, “Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.”
Despite our flaws and failings, we have some shared values. One of them is the preservation and perfection of representative democracy itself, “that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.” (Michael Bruce Curry is presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church)
We don’t think of it this way very often but love for each other is a value on which our democracy depends. On the Great Seal of the United States, above the bald eagle are banners on which the Latin words e pluribus unum are written. These words, e pluribus unum, literally mean, “one out of many.” One nation from many diverse people.
These words actually come from the writings of Cicero who lived during the time of the Roman Republic. Cicero said, “When each person loves the other as much as himself, it makes one out of many.” Cicero who gave us those words said that love for each other is the way to make e pluribus unum real. Jesus of Nazareth taught us that. Moses taught us that. America, listen to Cicero, Jesus, Moses. Love is the way to make e pluribus unum real. Love is the way for America (or any other nation) to be real…to be one.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” Jesus