Flying under the radar and literally under the ground of congressional bailout meetings were closet Capitol Hill discussions about God and Washington. It seems another revision of America's religious history has been under way -- this time at the $621 million, 580,000-square-foot Capitol Visitor Center, which will open in a couple of months.
Most news media recently were covering Tina Fey and Congress' foolish financial bailouts; reporter Bob Unruh and WorldNetDaily were virtually alone in exposing this latest divine omission at the U.S. Capitol. This massive and largely underground museum of sorts (about three-quarters the size of the Capitol itself) will have exhibition galleries, theaters, a 550-seat cafeteria, gift shops, etc. But one thing absent is equitable representation of our Christian or religious heritage -- and there are already several corruptions of it. That is why Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and the 107 other members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus recently sent a petition to the Architect of the Capitol. Their letter details and documents some of the incomplete and inaccurate religious content in the Capitol Visitor Center. Some of the 19 omissions and inaccuracies also can be seen on a YouTube posting by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., called "War on God."
Thanks to their passion and diligence, Rep. Forbes' office recently informed the public of some good news: "The Committee on House Administration and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee … have acknowledged this important part of our nation's history and have agreed to correct the omission of historical religious content in the Capitol Visitor Center."
The news release also notes: "The Committee on House Administration and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee have agreed to the following changes to the Capitol Visitor Center:
"That the phrase 'Our Nation's Motto' be removed from the plaque describing the engraving of E Pluribus Unum;
"That 'In God We Trust' be engraved in stone in a prominent location within the Capitol Visitor Center and that the panel describing the engraving include the proper recognition of this phrase as our national motto;
"That the Pledge of Allegiance be engraved in stone in a prominent location within the Capitol Visitor Center.
"In addition, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration have agreed to the research and development of a permanent religious history display, and have agreed to make every effort to ensure that the display is erected in the Capitol Visitor Center as soon as possible."
Interestingly, the next paragraph comes from an e-mail from the office of the Architect of the Capitol (acquired by the chaplain of my organization, who has exposed key religious revisionisms, at www.nationaltreasures.org) in response to a protest regarding the Capitol Visitor Center's religious omissions. Unfortunately, the e-mail makes it appear to the public as if these religious facts have been included all along, when Rep. Forbes and the 107 other members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus know otherwise, and now you do, too.
"References to religion and faith are, in fact, included in the context of several historic exhibits and several religious items appear in the displays. Some examples include Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance in its entirety; a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance and the prayer said at the opening of the current Congress; a copy of the Bible used to administer the oath of office to Senators until 1882; portraits of the first House and Senate chaplains; information about religious services regularly held in the Capitol in the 1800s, and an unaltered display of the U.S. Constitution highlighting the First Amendment which established our country's right to the freedom of religion."
That's a good start, but I believe we, the people, need to help keep the pressure on these officials to assure these revisionist rectifications and equitable representation of America's religious heritage -- not just token artifacts. We also must stop the whitewashing of our religious history from taking one more step. We must preserve the fact that our Founders weren't creating a secular state but a sectarian-free state -- and there is a huge difference. With some 15,000 expected guests daily, including thousands of children and students from across America, it is also our duty to safeguard our Capitol's religious history in the Capitol Visitor Center. That is why I am encouraging Americans to write or call the Architect of the Capitol's communications officer (emalecki(@)aoc.gov or 202-228-1793) and also their representatives to voice their opinions.
America's Founding Fathers wholeheartedly believed in the premise stated in Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." But what would they have thought of a nation that removes God from its heritage, classroom instructions, civic ceremonies, buildings, monuments, historic sites, etc.? I believe the words of Thomas Jefferson are as fitting for religious apostasy as they were for slavery; words that are inscribed upon his memorial in Washington: "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever."