Seperation of Church and State

I received a very interesting email today.  I have pasted it below.

One detail that is never mentioned is that in Washington, D.C.there can never be a building of greater height than theWashington Monument .
With all the uproar about removing the ten commandments, etc., this is worth a moment or two of your time. I was not aware of this amazing historical information. 

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument inWashington , D.C. , are displayed two words: Laus Deo.

No one can see these words. In fact, most visitors to the monument are totally unaware they are even there and for that matter, probably couldn’t care less.

Once you know Laus Deo’s history , you will want to share this with everyone you know. These words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched
   atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise theDistrict of Columbia, capital of the United States of America.

Laus Deo! Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world. 
So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say ‘ Praise be to God!’

Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States , it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo‘Praise be to God!’ 

From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l’Enfant ..a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west..

A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice. 

Praise be to God! Within the monument itself are 898 steps and 50 landings. As one climbs the steps and pauses at the landings the memorial stones share a message.

  • On the 12th Landing is a prayer offered by the City ofBaltimore;
  • on the 20th is a memorial presented by some ChineseChristians;
  • on the 24th a presentation made by Sunday School children from New York and Philadelphia quoting Proverbs 10:7, Luke 18:16 and Proverbs 22:6. Praise be to God! 

    When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy ‘One Nation, Under God.’ 

    I am awed by Washington’s prayer for America Have you ever read it? Well, now is your unique opportunity, so read on! 

    ‘Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’ 

    Laus Deo!

When one stops to observe the inscriptions found in public places all over our nation’s capitol, he or she will easily find the signature of God, as it is unmistakably inscribed everywhere you look. You may forget the width and height of ‘Laus Deo ‘, its location, or the architects but no one who reads this will be able to forget its meaning, or these words: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.’ (Psalm 127: 1) 

It is hoped you will send this to every child you know; to every sister, brother, father, mother or friend. They will not find offense, because you have given them a lesson in history that they probably never learned in school. With that, be not ashamed, or afraid, but have pity on those who will never see this because someone failed to send it on.


4 Responses to Seperation of Church and State


    It’s all pretty fascinating.

    So, I’m just curious – I actually don’t have a preference but I thought I’d ask. Would you be open to sacred texts of faiths other than Christianity? Or is your objection to ‘the separation of Church and State’ purely on behalf of Christianity?

    I’ve thought about it and I have no problem with including the Ten Commandments or biblical text on government buildings, as long as other faiths get a shot at it too. Except, I REALLY dislike Scientology and would hate having excerpts from “Dianetics” on my public buildings.

    Anyway, it just seems that to push for Christian only inscriptions in the name of Freedom of Religion seems a tad…well, you know.

  2. Joy says:

    Just wanted you to know I was here and read this but don’t have enough knowledge to make a good comment. It was very interesting.

  3. Actually, our Founders DID consider Christianity as the foundation for our country. Some of its concepts made it into our common law. They wanted to keep Christian sects from competing in the government sphere, which is why they wrote the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Consider this little piece of history.

    The first commentary ever written on the Constitution was written by Justice Richard Storey in 1835, who was appointed to the court by Madison. (You may know that Madison is credited with actually crafting the First Amendment.)

    “The general, if not universal, sentiment in America was that religion ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions and to make it a matter of State policy to hold all in utter indifference would have created universal disapprobation if not universal indignation.” The real object of the First Amendment, he says, was “not to countenance, much less advance, Mohammedanism, Judaism, or infidelity by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which would give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”

    People say that Christianity is not even mentioned in the Constitution. That is literally true, but it is implied. The Constitution itself gives the President a set time period in which to sign a bill EXCLUDING Sundays.

    In the early days of our country, after the Revolutionary War and until around the Civil War, we held Christian services in the Capitol and other federal buildings. I suspect the founders would have allowed other faiths to meet if there had been a need. However, so much of our history is wrapped in the Christian faith, it was (and is) only natural for Christian phrases to make it onto our monuments.

    Read more here:

  4. mssc54 says:

    Hayden: I think the way things are set up that Christianity does not have an exclusivity. And well it should be.

    I am not required to participate in worshiping a cow (believing it is my ancestor while people all around starve). Neither are others required to worship the Savior.

    Maye it is my own bias but I don’t see Christianity as being “pushed.” In fact I observe just the opposite. I see Christianity being rediculed… just as you posted about Bill Mahar.

    Joy; Thanks for popping in! 🙂

    HM; Thank you too for your input!

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