God and the Public Square: The History No Longer Taught in School

By Kimberly Bloom Jackson

Our founding fathers believed that America’s birth was the work of a Divine hand. How else could a small collection of farming colonies have won it’s independence from the mighty British Crown?

The Apotheosis of Washington

The founders also understood that civic virtue and morality were absolutely essential if citizens were going to govern themselves. In the words of our second president John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”

Unfortunately, this important part of our history is no longer taught in school. No wonder there’s so much hostility toward free speech these days, let alone religious expression. But it wasn’t always this way.

Recently, while visiting our nation’s capitol, I was amazed to see just how much religion was front and center everywhere I went. In fact, America’s capitol is a treasure trove of religious symbolism found on canvas, parchment, stained-glass, stone, and marble. Throughout the National Mall, God in the public square really isn’t such a taboo after all, as secularists would have us believe.

The National Archives Building
My journey began at the National Archives, a repository for America’s historic documents. My mission was to see our Charters of Freedom—the Declaration of Independence (1776), Constitution of the United States (1787), and Bill of Rights (1791)—located in the building’s rotunda.

Just before entering the rotunda there’s a bronze floor inlay of the Ten Commandments. This image was intended to convey that our legal system originated in God’s law.