Thursday, March 17, 2005

On Translating a Religious Symbol

President Bush demonstrated a little translation today, when he took a predominantly religious symbol--the Trinity-explaining shamrock--and made it mean something that lots of people, regardless of their faith could appreciate:
St. Patrick used the three leaves of the shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Trinity. The shamrock has also come to represent the unity that people can achieve when they commit themselves to peace and freedom.

In America, we have a phrase for that -- it's called e pluribus unum, out of many, one. You'll find that on the great seal of the United States, which, by the way, was largely designed by Charles Thompson, a native of Derry. The hearts of the Irish burn for freedom and they brought that love for liberty to America. The Irish fought in our nation's war of independence, and over the past two centuries they devoted their blood and sweat to defending and building America.


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