Chuck Talks God and Guns, Part 2
Despite atheists’ attempts to keep our national motto (“In God We Trust”) from being engraved on the walls of the new 580,000-squarefoot Capitol Visitor Center, the inscription was indelibly etched recently in large, bold and deep letters. And the Pledge of Allegiance soon will follow.
It’s about time that good news came out of Washington. But this shouldn’t be shocking news or even a contested matter. For the very words of the national motto are inscribed on our currency. They even are etched above the speaker’s rostrum in the House of Representatives.
Only in our modern age have skep- tics and secular progressives fought God in America. Religious inscriptions on Washington’s other buildings testify to yesteryear’s commitment to our Judeo-Christian heritage.
For example, in front of the Reagan Building is a statue titled “Liberty of Worship,” which is resting on the Ten Commandments.
On the aluminum capstone at the very top of the Washington Monument are the chiseled words “Laus Deo” (Latin for “Praise be to God”).
A statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments is in the rotunda of the Library of Congress. In addition to the words “In God We Trust” within the chamber of the US House of Representatives, is it just a coincidence that Moses is the central figure and the only frontal-depiction bas-relief looking down on Congress of 23 reliefs of great historical lawgivers?
A stained-glass window in the cha- pel of the US Capitol depicts George Washington with the words of Psalms 16:1 written around him and the words “This Nation Under God” above his head.
The Ten Commandments also are displayed on the floor of the NationalArchives, just 100 feet or so in front of the original copies of theDeclaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Theprayer of President John Adams, the first president to occupy the WhiteHouse, was inscribed on the mantel in the State Dining Room: “I prayHeaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shallhereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule underthis roof.”
And Moses and/or the Ten Commandments are depicted a whopping 64 times on the US Supreme Court building.
Dowe believe any of these Judeo-Christian displays could be erected todayin Washington, let alone in any other civic setting across the country?Why is it that those in yesteryear didn’t decry them as violations ofthe separation of church and state? It’s because they didn’t seedisplaying God or religion as a violation of the First Amendment but apractice of it.
That is one of many facts about America’s founding fathers that I explain in my new book, The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book, afun yet inspirational and educational book in which I share my 101favorite Chuck Norris “facts” and 101 related stories that pivot aroundfive core values: freedom, family, faith, fitness and fight. (Set forrelease Nov. 1, it is now available for pre-order on Amazon. com forless than $10, and proceeds will go to help www.KickStartKids.org.)
Lastweek, I gave a sneak peek of a “Freedom” entry from the book. Idiscussed the Second Amendment and our right to bear firearms. In thiscolumn, I’d like to share an entry from my “Faith” code in which Idiscuss the First Amendment.
OfficialChuck Norris Fact No. 54: “They wanted to put Chuck Norris on MountRushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for his beard.”
Let’sbe honest…. One of the geniuses of America’s founding fathers was toprovide and secure a foundation for our freedom of religious belief.The First Amendment simply reads, “Congress shall make no lawrespecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the freeexercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition theGovernment for a redress of grievances.”
WhenThomas Jefferson originally penned his legendary commentary on theFirst Amendment — “a wall of separation between Church and State” — inhis letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, he was concerned withprohibiting the domination and legislation of religious sectarianism ingovernment, as it was back in England and even in some early colonies,such as Virginia. However, he was not trying to rid government ofreligious influence.
Thatdoes not mean we enforce one religion on all people — that is what theFirst Amendment protects us from. I believe in the separation ofreligious sectarianism from government and protecting our religiousinstitutions, such as churches, from the long arm of the federalgovernment. I don’t believe, however, in an erroneous interpretation ofthe Bill of Rights, or of Jefferson’s and Madison’s interpretive words,that would restrict religious or speech freedoms or produce asecular-progressive barrier that bans any religious influence insociety.
Whatever your religious persuasion, don’t be ashamed of it. This is America.
And that’s one of the things that still makes us a great nation. In God we trust.
Theysaid it…. “There! His Majesty can now read my name without glasses. Andhe can double the reward on my head!” — John Hancock, after signing hisname in large letters on the Declaration of Independence Chuck’s Code(Faith): “In God We Trust — all others we search.” A statement from myfriend Dave LaGroue, who is a California Highway Patrolman.
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