Benjamin Brown French strung a banner across the full length of the western portico of the Capitol. The illuminated sign was legible up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. It read:
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” French was the capital’s commissioner of public buildings.
He was not celebrating the Republicans’ election victories of 2010. French raised his banner—quoting from the 23rd verse of the 118th Psalm—to celebrate the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox the previous Sunday, April 9, 1865.
Still, for millions of us last fall, Commissioner French’s illuminated banner bore the message of our hearts: We prayed for this.
We had audacious hopes. We did not hope that the Republican Party would triumph at the polls. Instead we prayed for a constitutional check on this gravest threat to our system of ordered liberty since the Civil War. We prayed that Barack Obama’s progressive juggernaut would be stopped in its tracks.
The Republicans, as Sen.-elect Marco Rubio put it, won only “a second chance.” The shellacking the voters gave the president came not a minute too soon.
Never before have we had a president who publicly termed the Koran “Holy,” as President Obama did in Cairo. To say it is Holy, capital H, is to accept Muslim claims of supersession over Christian Scriptures.
We have never before had a president who publicly said Islam has been “revealed,” as he said also at Cairo. To say Islam is revealed goes beyond saying it began in the Mideast, or first appeared in that region. “Revealed” is a theologically and politically freighted word that means Mr. Obama thinks it was revealed by God.
Millions of Americans witnessed President Obama’s epic inauguration in Washington. The world little noted nor long remembered that, for the first time ever, Mr. Obama displaced the Jews. He said we are “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers…”
Never before had the Jews been relegated to a lesser standing than Muslims in this country. The Jews have been our neighbors and fellow citizens since 1634. Jewish ideas and principles were embraced by the Pilgrims, and upheld by the Founders. Jefferson and Franklin even wanted the Great Seal of the United States to depict the Children of Israel leaving bondage in Egypt.
Days after his inauguration, President Obama tossed out of the Oval Office the bust of Winston Churchill, even as his administration made clear we have no special relationship with Great Britain.
President John F. Kennedy had overruled his own father’s burning hatred of Churchill and signed legislation making the half-American statesman an honorary citizen of the United States.