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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

God banished from flag ceremony, Washington Monument

Photo was taken by Cyber Pastor on a recent visit to D.C. with Vets for Freedom.

Bryan Fischer
October 28, 2007


According to a new policy issued on Sept. 27, in response to a single, solitary complaint, the flag ceremony at military funerals in all 125 national cemeteries has been banned, because the recitation accompanying the 11th fold mentions "the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob" (for Jewish veterans) and the 12th mentions "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost" (for Christian veterans).

Brass at the National Cemetery Administration have immediately gone into self-protective mode, plaintively saying that the new policy was "not meant for public distribution," by which, of course, they meant that they hoped you and I would never find out about it.
Said one veteran, who has regularly performed the flag recitation as a volunteer in the Memorial Honor Detail, "That the actions of one disgruntled, whining, narcissistic and intolerant individual is preventing veterans from getting the honors they deserve is truly an outrage."

He and a compatriot have always spoken to families before providing military honors, giving them the option of declining any specific parts of the ceremony they wish, which means that absolutely no one is forced to hear the flag recitation if they don't want to.

The pair has been part of a team that has performed military honors at more than 1,400 services, and were preparing to read the flag-folding remarks when they were stopped by government officials in mid-ceremony.

So once again we encounter the jack-booted intolerance of secular fundamentalists, who can't stand the thought that someone, somewhere might be publicly acknowledging God, and the craven capitulation of those who surrender on matters of public religious expression without firing a shot.

Fortunately, Washington bureaucrats failed to recognize they're messing with combat veterans here. The parliamentarian for the American Legion of California is advising memorial honor details to ignore the edict, even if they get kicked out of cemeteries for doing so.

"This is nuts," he said. "There are 26 million veterans in this country and they're not going to take us all to prison."

Said one member of an honor detail, "We're going to fight this tooth and nail, hammer and boot."

The flag folding ceremony is not the only victim of this secular purge. Not even the most visible monument in our nation's capitol has escaped the censor's hatchet.

The capstone of the Washington Monument includes a four-sided apex which is inscribed on three sides with the names of the various luminaries involved in constructing the monument. The fourth side, however, is inscribed with these words: "Laus Deo," Latin for "Praise be to God."

Since no one can see the capstone, a replica has been made and placed inside the Washington Monument where visitors can view it. Well, it turns out they can see three sides of it, the sides that are inscribed with such names as W.W. Corcoran, M.E. Bell, Edward Clark and Thos. Lincoln Casey. In other words, people nobody ever heard of.

Predictably, the one side inscribed with the one name that everybody would know — God — is turned to the wall so that visitors can't see it and therefore simply have no idea that his name is praised on the apex of the tallest monument in our nation's capitol.

In fact, curators have gone to the trouble of removing the mention of God even from the description of the display. In 2000, the description included this sentence, "The casting was inscribed with the phrase, Laus Deo (Praise be to God)."

However, by 2007, that phrase had been leached out of the description. And so the occasionally silent and secret purging of the name of God from the public square continues.

Bryan Fischer is the Executive Director of the Idaho Values Alliance, whose mission is to make Idaho the friendliest place in the world to raise a family. He has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (from Stanford University) and a graduate degree in theology.