What is it about?

One way to formulate the task of the public theologian at election time is to interpret America’s motto, e pluribus unum (out of many, one). Civility both presumes oneness while promoting oneness. After four years of ceaseless divisiveness from the White House, America needs political leadership that promotes a sense of belonging that includes persons of all races, ethnicities, economic classes, ages, genders, and country of origin. The public theologian combats xenophobia and the fear of replacement by demanding police reform, establishing a comprehensive national health delivery system, and comforting those who are anxious about their future in the unum.

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Why is it important?

In their haste to incorporate the rightful demands for racial justice, compassion for immigrants, and gender equality, progressives and liberals are tempted to ignore rust belt working class white men with families. Unless this demographic group is given assurance of their place in America's future, they will likely vote to maintain the status quo.


Social unity requires incorporation of those Hilary Clinton dubbed "deplorables." We love deplorables.

Prof Ted F Peters
Graduate Theological Union

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This page is a summary of: E pluribus unum and civil harmony at election time, Dialog, July 2020, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/dial.12582.
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