It’s a shame the Freedom From Religion Foundation had to file this lawsuit at all. This should never have been an issue in the first place.
The Capitol Visitor Center is a building dedicated to the history and importance of the Capitol Building and the legislature. This isn’t a historical church or a museum dedicated to religion or religious liberty, so why has this become some heated debate about the role of religion in our nation’s founding?
It seems that certain Religious Right groups just want to use this building as another way to push their “Christian nation” propaganda.
When the building first opened, these groups claimed it was
a “godless pit,” and a shrine to secularism, despite the fact that the center does
reference some religious history. The building includes a facsimile of a story
from a Virginia newspaper reporting on a sermon delivered in the Capitol in
July 1801. It also discusses the internal operations of the Capitol talks about
congressional chaplains. It includes an illustration of Bishop John Thomas
Clagget, Senate chaplain in 1800, and a photo of the Rev. Henry N. Couden, a
House chaplain, leading that chamber in prayer on Dec. 6, 1909. And a large
King James Bible that was given to congressional stenographers by Sen. Huey P.
Long of Louisiana in 1934 is also on display.
The phrase “In God We Trust” was also originally included on
a wall in the building, but this wasn’t good enough. It had to be THE focus of
center, and the American Family Association lobbied to get these words boldly
displayed in the main hall.
Jay, there is no need for this. The focus of the
exhibits at the Capitol Visitor Center should not be on religion, but on
Congress and governance. Our government has never been based on religion, and
to emphasize this phrase is to represent inaccurate history.
Besides, the Capitol Building should be a place all
Americans welcome and comfortable. They’re coming to visit a place where laws
are made, not a religious shrine.
To subscribe to “Lynn v. Sekulow” click here.