Finding God's Signature in Washington

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WASHINGTON -- The United States has a very rich and substantial Judeo-Christian heritage. The nation's Founding Fathers believed the Bible to be the Word of God, and it shows.

So, CBN News set out to see just how much our Christian heritage is on display in the nation's capitol.

Washington D.C. is a city of power and influence, but it is also a city sparkling with the Christian heritage of this nation.

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union want the name of God and government to be separate, but that will be difficult in our nation's capitol.

As a matter of fact, 17th and Constitution Ave. is a good place to start. Literally, within a few minutes walk, so many references to God appear that the ACLU very well might have a fit.

Carrie Devorah is an investigative photo journalist behind the project "God in the Temples of Government." She searched and found signs of a godly heritage in Washington, D.C.

"Here at 17th and Constitution, I found God," Devorah said.

The Bible prophet Daniel is tucked behind bushes on the property of the Organization of American States building, which is partly funded by Congress. Many employees there did not know about the statue.

"None of them had a clue where he was," she said. "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.

"But I have faith in Daniel," she added fondly patting the statue near the inscribed word "liberty."

Her tour progressed just down the block to an inscription at the Daughters of the American Revolution building. It features the following quote from 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 is also an inscription from Proverbs 22:28.

"Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set."

The Department of the Interior looked like a run-of-the-mill government building, but Devorah revealed that behind one of the corner walls was a time capsule. Archaeologists placed a Bible in the capsule years ago.

The statue of General Jose Artigas sits in the middle of the busy intersection on Constitution Ave., right on federal government property. The statue was adorned with cross-loops of gold braid décor-on Artigas' boot.

"All it takes is one person to walk by and say I don't believe in God, I don't believe in religion," Devorah said. "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," she said, making reference to those who are offended by Christian emblems.

At the Korean Veterans' Memorial, the cross and the star of David were displayed right on the Korean wall.

"It's almost like being a kid in a candy shop because there's so much to find," Devorah said.

David Burton, president of The Christian Heritage Group, Wallbuilders agreed.

"Just walk into the Rotunda (of the U.S. Capitol)," he said. "In the Rotunda, there are four paintings hanging on the wall. In those four paintings, you have 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, God's name was mentioned at the National Archives, Senate and House Office Buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Library of Congress.

In the main reading room of the Library of Congress, there was a bronze statue of Moses holding The Ten Commandments.

On the ceiling, a painting called "Judea," showed a young Israeli woman raising her hands in prayer to God. There were also Bible quotes on the walls.

"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork," it reads. And, down the hallway in the main lobby, two Gutenberg Bibles were on display.

In the National Archives, there was a bronze medallion on the floor, and right at the top of it were The Ten Commandments, front and center.

At the Jefferson Memorial, God's name was 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" were inscribed everywhere in the building stones.

In the Senate and House Office Buildings there was a plaque that read "In God We Trust."

At the Washington Monument, the CBN News team managed to fit inside the dark stairway.

Almost 200 carved plaques, donated by the states, hung in the stairway. Many of them displayed scripture verses from the Bible and quotes such as, "Search the Scriptures" and "Holiness to the Lord."

On the outside aluminum tip, a Latin phrase was inscribed that read, "Laus Deo," which means "Praise Be To God."

At the U.S. Supreme Court Building, The Ten Commandments were located in several different places including on the carved stone frieze on the front of the building. The statue showed Moses leaning his arm on The Ten Commandments. The commandments are also on the wall above the judge's courtroom bench.

Even with all these references to God in the federal buildings, there are some judges who say God and government do not go together.

"You have judges that say 'We don't believe that,'" Barton said. "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."

Scenes like The Ten Commandments monument in Alabama were 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.

"I think it's being disregarded because it's politically incorrect," Devorah said. "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 the U.S. was born on the principles of Almighty God and the pictures are there to prove it.

*Originally published July 2, 2004

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