The American Trinity

796,629 Views
Jul 31, 2013

The United States is a built on a foundation of three unique values. Nationally syndicated talk show host and best-selling author, Dennis Prager, explains what they are in a new edition of the five minute course that launched Prager University.

What makes America unique? It’s our commitment to “E Pluribus Unum,” “In God We Trust,” and liberty. 

  • “E Pluribus Unum,” means “from many, one.” It means that as Americans, we all work together to make America, whatever your color, creed, or race. It is the antithesis of modern multiculturalism.View Source
  • “In God We Trust”: America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values. The Declaration of Independence says we have inalienable rights, but they're not granted to us by great thinkers or the government; they come from God.View Source
  • Liberty: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution prioritize protecting individual liberty. America was founded on individualism and the individual responsibility required for true liberty.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

Modern multiculturalism is the antithesis of E Pluribus Unum—“from many, one”—which stresses strength from unity not disunity.  

  • “E Pluribus Unum,” means “from many, one.” It means that as Americans, we all work together to make America. You are one of us, whatever your color, creed, or raceView Source
  • “E pluribus unum” stresses strength from unity, which is in many ways the opposite message of today’s multiculturalism, which emphasizes differences between groups.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

American liberty is based on individual responsibility. Undermining individual responsibility destroys liberty.  

  • The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution prioritize protecting individual liberty. America was founded on individualism and the individual responsibility required for true liberty.View Source
  • The modern trend of egalitarianism undercuts true liberty by stripping away individualism and personal responsibility. Americans believe in equality of birth but not in equality of outcomes. Our business in America is to enable you to have the liberty to end up wherever your talents and abilities and good fortune bring you—not enforce equality, for example, of how much money you can make or property you can own.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

Americans believe that we are all born equal, not that we all end up equal. 

  • The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution prioritize protecting individual liberty. America was founded on individualism and the individual responsibility required for true liberty.View Source
  • The modern trend of egalitarianism undercuts true liberty by stripping away individualism and personal responsibility. Americans believe in equality of birth but not in equality of outcomes. Our business in America is to enable you to have the liberty to end up wherever your talents and abilities and good fortune bring you—not enforce equality, for example, of how much money you can make or property you can own.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

“In God We Trust” is the bedrock of the values and belief in limited government upon which America was founded. 

  • America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values. The Declaration of Independence says we have inalienable rights, but they're not granted to us by great thinkers or the government; they come from God. The American experiment begun by the founding fathers and our Constitution was not intended for a secular society. And faith remains the answer to most social problems in America.View Source
  • Undermining the role of personal responsibility in society has undermined religion in society.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

The Declaration of Independence says we have inalienable rights, but they're not granted to us by the government; they come from God.

  • America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values. The Declaration of Independence says we have inalienable rights, but they're not granted to us by great thinkers or the government; they come from God. The American experiment begun by the founding fathers and our Constitution was not intended for a secular society. And faith remains the answer to most social problems in America.View Source
  • Undermining the role of personal responsibility in society has undermined religion in society.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

American virtue is under siege. The answer is a return to our core values: “E Pluribus Unum,” “In God We Trust,” and liberty. 

  • “E Pluribus Unum,” means “from many, one.” It means that as Americans, we all work together to make America, whatever your color, creed, or race. It is the antithesis of modern multiculturalism.View Source
  • “In God We Trust”: America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values. The Declaration of Independence says we have inalienable rights, but they're not granted to us by great thinkers or the government; they come from God.View Source
  • Liberty: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution prioritize protecting individual liberty. America was founded on individualism and the individual responsibility required for true liberty.View Source
  • WATCH: Dennis Prager on American values.View Source
  • Related reading: Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph – Dennis PragerView Source
  • Related reading: The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code – Dennis PragerView Source

Ask almost any American what's different about America? Why are American  values different, let's say, than France's values or Britain's values or Uruguay's values or any Democracies values? Is there anything unique about the United  States and especially is there anything unique about the American values  system? Well in fact it is unique; it's part of the reason some people speak about what we call American exceptionalism, meaning that America's values have been exceptional. 

The uniqueness of the American values system, which has made American unique and has made the American experiment indeed the experiment for humanity. That's why people who come here assimilate faster than in any other country in the world -- without  disparaging any other countries, and there are many wonderful people in every  country, and many miserable people in our own, surely. 

But nevertheless the American experiment is unique. If you come to Germany,  let's say, from Turkey where many people have emigrated from, you will find that  most Turks remain Turks for generations. They are not considered fellow Germans or fellow Swedes or fellow Danes nearly as much as somebody from  Turkey would be within a week in the United States. Why is this? Why is America unique.

Well, we have a unique values system. I call it the American Trinity. It's not to be confused in any way with the Christian Trinity, that's a theological statement of Christianity. The American Trinity is the 3 pillars of American values.

And I finally discovered this uniqueness of America looking at a coin one day.  There it was in front of me my entire life, the American values system on a  coin. We have all three values on every coin and no other country has these  three: E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, Liberty.

No country in the world has those three values as its essence.

E Pluribus Unum: from many, one; meaning that we don't care where you are  from. We don't care about your blood origins, your ethnic origins, your racial origins, your religious origins. We don't care. From the many, one: you work with us to make America, you are one of us, whatever your color, creed, race or what have you. 

In God We Trust. America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values.

That's why the Declaration of Independence says that we have inalienable rights, but they're not from humanism, and they're not from great thinkers; they are  from God. No God -- then rights can be taken away by people, because they were given by people. So God is central. The God that we're talking about? That's another course for another time.

And third, the third of our American Trinity, is liberty. Now you will say, "Well the French Revolution, they said Liberty, Equality, Fraternity; we're not the only ones to enshrine Liberty." That's true, we're not the only ones to enshrine liberty;  we're the only ones to enshrine Liberty and E Pluribis Unum and In God We Trust. Liberty is not the same as the French understood it because the French understood it in their revolution as with equality. Notice equality is not part of the American Trinity. That's a European value.

We are all born equal, that's an American value, but ending up equal, that's a European value. Where you end up, that's your business.

Our business in America is to enable you to have the liberty to end up wherever your talents and abilities and, yes, luck bring you. So we don't believe in equality as such because the truth is liberty and equality are often in conflict. If you want  to enforce equality then you tell people how much they can earn, and that is one example of the removal of liberty.

That's the American Trinity. It has worked. We are fooling with it though,  because too many Americans, especially the well-educated end up subscribing to the European system, and not the American system of Values.

E Pluribis Unum: from many, one; Liberty, not necessarily Equality, and in God We Trust -- God is the essence and basis of our values. That's the American Trinity, and I'm Dennis Prager.

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