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Can't Erase Our Judeo-Christian Past

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
March 22, 2024

NEW YORK, March 22, 2024 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Bill Donohue, President, Catholic League:

    Militant secularists would like to erase our religious heritage, but they are clearly in over their heads. Our nation's Capitol abounds with Judeo-Christian iconography, so much so that it overwhelms attempts to cancel it.

    • The dome of the U.S. Capitol was inspired by the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, as well as St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
    • The Supreme Court building is modeled after a Roman temple.
    • St. Joseph's church on Capitol Hill was built in 1868.
    • The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress features The Court of Neptune Fountain; it resembles a grotto.
    • The west end of the Mall—from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial—has a statue of Lincoln surrounded by comments he made about his respect for God. At the far end of the Mall, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the Capitol building have inscriptions honoring our Judaic heritage.
    • Within the Capitol there are statues of Catholic priests and nuns and medallions of Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory IX.
    • On the first floor of the Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress there is a statue of St. Paul.
    • In the Library there is a quote from the Book of Proverbs and a reference to God from Shakespeare.
    • There is a chapel in the U.S. Capitol. Moreover, prayer meetings for Senators and Congressmen are commonplace throughout.
    • Crucifixes abound in the Capitol.
    • On the front doors of the Capitol are pictures of Franciscans with rosaries, symbolizing the history of Columbus.
    • In the Rotunda, there is a painting of Hernando De Soto and his armies standing on the banks of the river rejoicing, as well as a depiction of priests planting a cross.
    • There is also a painting in the dome of the burial scene of De Soto depicting a Mass being celebrated; a barge is carrying his body for burial in the Mississippi. A priest is shown holding a crucifix during burial prayers.
    • In front of the Federal District Court, across from the National Gallery of Art, there is a depiction of pilgrims praying before a cross—a splendid recognition of religious liberty.
    • On the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th St. N.W. is the Temperance Fountain with the inscription of Temperance, Charity, Hope, and Faith. Nearby is a quote from St. Paul.
    • Near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, engraved on the sidewalk, there is the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial with an inscription referencing our "firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."
    • There is a frieze on the Supreme Court Building that depicts Moses.
    • The entrance doors to the Supreme Court, made of oak, have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.
    • Inside the Supreme Court, right above where the Justices sit, there is a display of Moses and the Ten Commandments.

    These are just some of the tributes to our Judeo-Christian heritage found in Washington, D.C. Noticeably absent are tributes to the contributions made by secularists. Small wonder.

    P.S. To read more about this issue, see One Nation Under God: Religious Symbols, Quotes, and Images in Our Nation's Capitol, by Fr. Eugene F. Hemrick.

SOURCE Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

CONTACT: 212-371-3191, pr@catholicleague.org