God References Added to Capitol Visitor Center
..............."Them Heathans Sure Are Sneakey !"
Congressional committees have agreed to include references to "In God We Trust" and the Pledge of Allegiance to the newly opened Capitol Visitor Center thanks in part to efforts from the Congressional Prayer Caucus and Virginian Senator J. Randy Forbes.
Before the $621 million attraction opened last Tuesday, the Architect of the Capitol came under fire from Forbes and other conservative lawmakers like Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who protested factual inaccuracies and the omission of historical religious content in the Center.
During an initial tour of the 580,000 square feet Center in September, DeMint had noticed that the phrase "E. Pluribus Unum" ó Latin for "from many, one" ó was erroneously described as the national motto rather than "In God We Trust."
Forbes, who founded the Congressional Prayer Caucus, along with 108 U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol in early Fall, expressing their concerns with inaccurate and incomplete historical religious content in the Capitol Visitor Center.
The letter correctly noted that the current national motto is "In God We Trust," and said there were "factual inaccuracies regarding Capitol church services," and references to "religion, morality, and knowledge" in the Northwest Ordinance have been excluded.
"In addition, the Capitol Visitor Center includes photos from Earth Day, an AIDS rally, various casino grounds, and factories, but it does not include photos from monumental religious events such as the National Day of Prayer or the March for Life event, attended by thousands annually, among other things," the letter said.
Following the letter, the Committee on House Administration and the Senate Rules and Administration Committee have agreed to remove "Our Nation's Motto" from the plaque describing the engraving of "E Pluribus Unum," and engrave both the "In God We Trust" and the Pledge of Allegiance in stone in prominent locations within the CVC, Forbes announced on Friday.
"Historical buildings like the Capitol Visitor Center are there to tell the story of our nation. When religious history is removed from these displays, the American public is not able to observe an accurate depiction of our nationís story," said Forbes.
Forbes was pleased with the changes, saying they will enable the thousands of visitors to the CVC each day "to experience an accurate depiction of our nationís heritage."
DeMint, however, said "more needs to be done" to accurately tell the story of the history of America and of the Capitol.