Editor’s note: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-VA), chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, have pushed for changes in exhibits at the Capitol Visitor Center to accurately reflect the religious heritage of America. Concerned that mentions of faith had been omitted from the Center, 108 members of Congress sent a letter in July to the architect of the Capitol requesting that he turn over files on the center. The architect forwarded the request to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), who are overseeing the project. At press time the two Democrats had not responded.
The following is the transcript from a video created by WallBuilders. The video can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fls6yfx7fs.
America is not only one of the most blessed nations on earth, but also one of the most religious. And public expressions of its faith in God have been prominent throughout the nation from the beginning.
Nowhere has that faith been more visible than Washington, D.C. It is inscribed throughout the nation’s capital from the Jefferson Memorial to the Library of Congress; from the Lincoln Memorial to the JFK grave site; and from the Federal Court building to the National Archives and across to Union Station.
The city is covered with open acknowledgements of God throughout its public buildings. Yet a subtle change has begun.
The War on God
Consider the FDR Memorial. Hardly noticed when it was first opened in 1997 was the fact that it contained no mention of God, although it did subtly acknowledge faith. But this was out of character for President Roosevelt, who was very bold about his faith throughout his presidency.
In fact during the D-day invasion he led the nation in a six-and-one-half minute prayer to God on behalf of our troops:
“Let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help for our efforts. Thy will be done, Almighty God.”
General Eisenhower also called for prayer to God, as did General George S. Patton and many others.
The most recent monument, the World War II Memorial, has continued the new trend. It became the second major monument in Washington, D.C., to contain absolutely no acknowledgement of God. In fact, the quote of General Eisenhower featured in the memorial is only the first part of what ended up being a very strong appeal to God. The quote in the memorial stops just a few words shy of the point where the appeal to God begins – an appeal that was deliberately omitted.
Here are Eisenhower’s comments that were omitted: “And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
Over the last two years, the effort to censor acknowledgements of God in our nation’s capital has rapidly accelerated. For example, bureaucrats in the Treasury Department successfully moved “In God We Trust” from its prominent location on the face of our coins to an almost invisible location on the edge.
Officials at the Veterans Department halted the voluntary flag folding service during funerals because God was acknowledged during that ceremony.
And flag certificates were also censored. Flags flown over the Capitol were presented by congressmen to their constituents on special occasions such as a 50th wedding anniversary or achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Accompanying each flag is a special certificate with a personal message from the congressman. However the architect of the Capitol decided that the word “God” should no longer appear in these personalized messages. He even said it would be wrong to include the text of the Pledge of Allegiance on the flag certificate since it contains the phrase “under God.”
Similar attacks occurred at the Washington Monument. When the monument was finished in 1884, officials placed an aluminum capstone on top of the apex. Inscribed was the date of completion, the name of the engineers, and the commission – and the Latin acknowledgement Laus Deo [which means] “Praise be to God.”
But officials recently rotated a museum replica of the capstone so that the words Laus Deo face the wall and could no longer be seen by visitors.
The most recent effort to censor acknowledgements of God are now under way at the nation’s newest federal building, the massive U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. Constructed underground just outside the Capitol, it is a $621 million shrine to political correctness. For example, within the Visitor Center is a section showing the inside of the House (of Representatives) chamber and the Speaker’s [of the House] rostrum. Every American who has watched C-SPAN or the State of the Union Address has seen “In God We Trust” etched in stone above the speaker’s head. Yet that phrase has been kept out of the Visitor Center display.
Caption: The larger photo shows the speaker’s rostrum in the House of Representatives chamber. The inset shows the rostrum replica as displayed at the new Capitol Visitor Center with the “In God We Trust” inscription removed.
Another section of the Visitor Center addresses Article III of the Northwest Ordinance [of 1787], which states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” But the Visitor Center removed the part about religion and morality stating only that “schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
And when presenting Article VII of the Constitution, the Visitor Center deliberately omitted the phrase “in the year of Our Lord.”
Under pressure from members of Congress, officials at the Visitor Center did correctly state that church took place at the U.S. Capitol, but they wrongly said that it was because Congress let the community use the Capitol when Congress was not in session. The historical fact is that church in the Capitol was an official function of Congress and by 1867, the church in the Capitol was the largest in Washington, D.C., with 2,000 people each week attending church inside the Hall of the House of Representatives.
Across the decades that church was attended not only by members of Congress but also by Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams and others.
With so much religious history deliberately omitted from the Visitor Center, no wonder a congressman recently called the underground facility “a $600 million godless pit.”
But it isn’t just that the religious history has been removed, it’s also that the Visitor Center has gotten basic historical facts wrong. For example, they were wrong about the number of constitutional amendments ratified from among the 12 originally presented by Congress in 1789. And they also got wrong basic facts about the War of 1812, the constitutional separation of powers, the election of 1800 and the role of the states in ratifying the Constitution.
George Orwell once said: “Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
Right now the present is still in our hands and we can influence how we portray the past in order to ensure that it remains historically accurate.
The Visitor Center is scheduled to open in just a few months. Fifteen thousand Americans, including thousands of school children, will be going through the new Visitor Center each day.
Citizens need to tell officials in Washington that you are not going to use our tax dollars to further secularize America or to teach bad history to the next generation.
Please call or e-mail Speaker Pelosi now. And also call your own member of Congress and tell them to keep the Capitol Visitor Center from opening until they get the history right, including the religious history. Let the members of Congress know that you don’t want the Visitor Center to open until they get all the history right.
• Speaker Pelosi’s office: 202-225-0100
• Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121
(Ask for your member of Congress.)
• E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Air Force Removes ‘God’ From Logo
Rep. Randy Forbes, (R-VA), said the Air Force removed the logo several weeks ago from the Rapid Capabilities Office. The patch included a line written in Latin that read, “Doing God’s Work with Other People’s Money.”
But after the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers complained, Forbes said the line was rewritten in Latin to read, “Doing Miracles with Other People’s Money.”
Forbes, along with a bi-partisan group of 35 lawmakers, sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz expressing concern over the decision to remove a non-religious reference to God.
“It is most egregious,” Forbes told Fox News. “The Air Force is taking the tone that you can’t even use the word ‘God.’”
Forbes said his office contacted the Air Force and officials there confirmed that the logo had been changed after the atheist group complained.
A spokesman for the Air Force told Fox News they had received the letter and would investigate the claims.
Forbes said the removal of “God” is a “bridge too far in terms of the rights of men and women who serve in our services and their ability to express their faith.”
“But the significance of this is what the Air Force is saying with this move – that the word ‘God’ – whether it has any reference to faith or not, can’t be used in the Air Force,” Forbes said.
He said the incident is one of several in recent months that have caused him to wonder if the military is cleansing itself of religious references.
“It’s a very dangerous course to take,” he said.
“I am concerned that the RCO capitulated to pressure from an outside group that consistently seeks to remove references to God and faith in our military,” he said. ‘The RCO’s action to modify the logo sets a dangerous precedent that all references to God, regardless of context, must be removed from the military.”