Evidences of Faith in the Buildings, Memorials, and Forefathers of the United States-Truth!, Fiction! & Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
In a time of controversy over separation of church and state, this eRumor lists what it says are examples of the role of religion in the foundation and institutions of the United States. Some versions say it’s from Andy Rooney.
First, there is no evidence this was written by Andy Rooney.
His seems to be one of the new and popular names that people want to add to a forwarded email in order to try and give it more credibility.
Let’s take each statement one at a time:
As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world’s law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view – it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!-Truth! But Inaccurate!
Above the east entrance to the Supreme Court building (which is the back entrance, not the front entrance), Moses is one of three Eastern law givers along with Confucius and Solon. Although he’s in the middle, Confucius and Salon are facing the front as well, not facing Moses.
There are figures on each side of the three men facing them. The tablets in the sculpture are blank and although inspired by the Ten Commandments, the office of the curator of the U.S. Supreme Court says they have come to symbolically represent the “tablets of the law.”
The artist, Herman MacNeil, said “The ‘Eastern Pediment’ of the Supreme Court Building suggests…the treatment of such fundamental laws and precepts as are derived from the East. Moses, Confucius and Solon.”
As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door-Unproven!
As stated above, the tablets are used in the Supreme Court building as symbolic representations of law. In some places they also represent not the Ten Commandments but the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.
As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall, right above where the Supreme Court judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments!-Fiction!
The wall that is described includes a frieze that, among other things, has two male figures who represent the Majesty of Law and the Power of Government. Between the two male figures is a tablet with the numbers 1 through 10 in Roman numerals. According to the artist, Adolph A. Weinman, these represent the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.
There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.–Truth!
It is true that there are versus from the Bible on various buildings and monuments in Washington D.C.
James Madison, the fourth president, known as “The Father of Our Constitution” made the following statement “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for
self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”-Unproven!
We’ve not been able to find documentation for this.
Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ”–Unproven!
We’ve not been able to find documentation for this.
Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777-Innacurate!
According to U.S. Senate documents, the chaplaincy for the U.S. Senate was established in 1789.
Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies-Truth!
It was common for leaders of that time to be a member of a church. According to research conducted by U.S.Constitution.net, here is the breakdown of the religion of the framers of the U.S. Constitution:
Some either changed church affiliation in their lifetimes or had dual membership.
Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law….an oligarchy….the rule of few over many-Truth!
One of Jefferson’s biographers, Dumas Malone, wrote of Jefferson’s views on the dangers of judicial activism. In Volume 6 of his series Jefferson and His Time: The Sage of Monticello, he cites a letter that Jefferson wrote to a William Charles Jarvis of Massachusetts.
Jefferson was responding to something the man had sent him to read and which Jefferson felt had included the erroneous doctrine that Judges were the ultimate arbiters in all constitutional matters. Jefferson says that he knows of “no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves” and that the power did not belong to a judicial oligarchy.
The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said, “Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers.”-Truth!
The exact quote is “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Jay wrote it in a private letter to Jedidiah Morse in 1797.