By David Brody
So, in preparation for this year's July 4th Independence Day celebrations, I set out to see just how much our Christian heritage is on display in the nation's capitol.
Sometimes, you have to look a little bit close to find it.
Washington D.C. is a city of power and influence, but it's also a city sparkling with the Christian heritage of this nation.
Groups like the ACLU want the Name of God and government to be separate, but that'll be difficult here in our nation's capitol.
As a matter of fact, right here at 17th and Constitution Avenue is a pretty good place to start. Literally, within a few minutes walk, you can bump into so many references to God that the ACLU very well might have a fit.
Meet Carrie Devorah. She's an Investigative Photo-Journalist, behind a project called 'God in the Temples of Government.' She's been searching Washington, D.C. for signs of a Godly heritage, and boy, has she found some.
Carrie said, "Here at 17th and Constitution, I found God."
Soon she led us to the Bible prophet Daniel, literally. He's actually tucked behind some bushes on the property of the Organization of American States Building, which is partly funded by Congress. Many employees there didn't even know about the statue.
Carrie told me that, "None of them had a clue where he was. And," she went on, "I don't think anybody knows the condition he's in. He's made from concrete, and as you can see he's falling apart [from weathering]." She patted the statue fondly near the word 'liberty' on it, then said, "But I have faith in Daniel."
Her tour wasn't finished. Just down the block, there's this inscription at the Daughters of the American Revolution Building, a quote from our first President George Washington at the Constitutional Convention in 1787: "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God." There's also Proverbs 22:28 quoted for everyone to see. Maybe it's a message for the ACLU: "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set."
We walked by the Department of the Interior, it looked like one of your run-of-the- mill government buildings. But Carrie revealed to us that behind one of the corner walls is a time capsule. Inside is, among other things, a Bible put there by archaeologists years ago.
Then Carrie brought us here to the statue of General Jose Artigas in the middle of this busy intersection on Constitution Avenue, right on federal government property. As our camera peered in, we noticed this 'cross'-loops of gold braid décor-on his boot. It made Carrie wonder.
Carrie said, joking but also seriously, "All it takes is one person to walk by and say I don't believe in God, I don't believe in religion. And every time I look at that-it may be just be a decoration on a boot-but I see it as being a 'cross' and I want it taken off."
Then, Carrie took me on a walk over to the Korean Veterans Memorial. Talk
about Judeo-Christian heritage, she found something that made me say, "Oh
Because the Cross and the Star of David were right there on the Korean wall.
Carrie said, "It's almost like being a kid in a candy shop because
there's so much to find."
David Barton agreed, "That is so true!" David is President of The Christian Heritage Group, Wallbuilders.
Take the U.S. Capitol for instance. David Barton pointed out, "Just walk into the Rotunda. In the Rotunda, there are 4 paintings hanging on the wall. In those 4 paintings, you've got two prayer meetings, a Bible study and a baptism. That's just while walking into the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol!"
Besides reference to God in the Washington Monument, the Capitol, and the Lincoln Memorial, you'll find God's Name mentioned at the National Archives, Senate and House Office Buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Library of Congress.
As we walked into the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, there's a bronze statue of Moses holding The Ten Commandments. On the ceiling, a painting called "Judea," shows a young Israeli woman raising her hands in prayer to God. There are also Bible quotes on the walls like: "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork." And, down the hallway in the main lobby, two Gutenberg Bibles are on display.
In the National Archives, as our camera tilted down from the majestic Rotunda, we found a bronze medallion on the floor, and right at the top of it is The Ten Commandments, front and center.
At the Jefferson Memorial, God's name is mentioned numerous times, including the famous Jefferson quote, "God Who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"
At the Lincoln Memorial, words like "Nation Under God", "Bible" and "Pray" are everywhere inscribed in the building stones.
In the Senate and House Office Buildings there's a plaque that says "In God We Trust."
At the Washington Monument, our CBN cameras managed to get inside the dark stairway. We found almost 200 carved plaques, donated by the States. Many of them show Scripture verses from the Bible and Bible sayings, like "Search the Scriptures" and "Holiness to the Lord". On the outside aluminum tip, there's a Latin phrase inscribed that says "Laus Deo", which means 'Praise Be To God.' They actually have a replica of the tip inside. But the 'Praise Be To God' phrase is not visible. Since it's actually against the wall, it's hard to see. (But our cameras managed to get its picture by using a mirror.)
At the U.S. Supreme Court Building, The Ten Commandments are located in several different places including on the carved stone frieze on the front of the building which shows Moses leaning his arm on The Ten Commandments, and The Ten Commandments is also on the wall above the judge's courtroom bench. Yet, even with all these references to God in our federal buildings, there are some judges out there who say God and government just don't go together.
David Barton said, "You have judges that say we don't believe that. And we don't like that 'religion in politics.' So we're going to stop this. And that's what we have today-that's why nearly every decision of the court will break down between whether they believe that the Constitution really means something it says, or whether they rewrite it according to their will."
So you see scenes like The Ten Commandments monument in Alabama being rolled away out of sight. But the reality is, God's name is chiseled in stone all around, and that is something that can not be disregarded..
Carrie said, "I think it's being disregarded because it's 'politically incorrect' and I tease people about 'the P.C.' I have 'the other P.C.'-the 'pictorially correct'."
Sometimes, you just can't argue with the evidence.
The ACLU and other groups may try to remove God from the public square, but what they can't remove is the undeniable fact that our nation was born on the principles of Almighty God and the pictures are there to prove it.