This weekend I appeared on Fox News to discuss the decision of the U.S. Forest Service to allow a World War II memorial, a statue of Jesus reminiscent of statues veterans saw as they fought across Europe, to remain on federal property.
Of the 95,000 comments received by the Forest Service, 70,000 were ACLJ members who spoke out urging the Forest Service to renew this lease. Now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the same anti-faith group that has tried to remove the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Motto, and every semblance of our religious heritage from public life, is threatening to file suit.
I debated Annie Laurie Gaylor, the co-founder and co-president of FFRF, on Fox News. In addition to their normal drivel about how their atheist views are discriminated against and their constitutional rights are violated by every historical symbol on government property that has religious meaning, she showed a complete lack of knowledge of the history of this monument and our religious heritage as a nation.
While she accused me of “misinforming the public,” she denied the existence of inscriptions of Moses in the Supreme Court building, stating, “Moses isn’t in the Supreme Court.” As an attorney, I deal with the facts, so here they are. Moses appears not once, but at least four times in and on the Supreme Court building: on the East Pediment of the exterior, in the South Courtroom frieze, a West Façade medallion, and as one of the metopes of the Great Hall of the Court.
In fact, in Van Orden v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist described these aspects of the courtroom in detail:
Such acknowledgments of the role played by the Ten Commandments in our Nation’s heritage are common throughout America. We need only look within our own Courtroom. Since 1935, Moses has stood, holding two tablets that reveal portions of the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew, among other lawgivers in the south frieze. Representations of the Ten Commandments adorn the metal gates lining the north and south sides of the Courtroom as well as the doors leading into the Courtroom. Moses also sits on the exterior east facade of the building holding the Ten Commandments tablets.
As for the Jesus statue war memorial – which has remained on federal land since 1953 without issue until FFRF discovered it was there – it was placed atop Big Mountain in Montana by members of the 10th Mountain Division upon returning from Europe. They stated, and empirical evidence shows, that it was constructed as a replica of statues they saw as they fought across Europe. Now, FFRF wants it removed, calling it “a ruse and a sham.”
When I pointed out these facts to Gaylor, how did she respond? She called me a "bully" for telling the truth.
We will continue to fight to preserve this war memorial and defend our heritage against these baseless attacks.
You can watch my entire interview on Fox News below.
Though my own military service is winding down, for now (I transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve earlier this year), I’m still a veteran. That’s a part of my identity now, and it will be for the rest of my life. Military service is becoming less common with each American generation .
In a decision that represents a ringing affirmation of the presence of faith in the life of our nation, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the American Atheists’ challenge to including the famed “Ground Zero Cross” in the National September 11 Museum. While the entire opinion is worth...
From day one, angry atheists have made outlandish claims about the Ground Zero Cross – the two intersecting steel beams in the shape of a cross that was found in the wreckage of the World Trade Center following 9/11. Not only have they made these absurd claims in public (calling it “ offensive and...
The men and women of our armed forces deserve our gratitude. They have fought, sacrificed, and died for the freedoms we hold dear. At the ACLJ, we spend every day fighting to defend our First Freedoms, our freedom of speech and of religion. Yet this work wouldn’t even be possible if it were not for...