America’s historic sites reveal her Christian foundation
Stephen McDowell
Stephen McDowell
President, Providence Foundation

October 2006 – Throughout history, nations have built monuments, usually to record victories in battle or to honor their gods. Every nation’s monuments and national symbols reflect the heart of the people and identify what they believe is the source of their nation’s greatness and achievements. 

However, America’s monuments were not built to record countries conquered or battles won. Our memorials contain the declaration that the source of our birth, liberty, and greatness is God. 

A tour of our historic sites reveals that America was a nation birthed by men who had a firm reliance upon Almighty God and His Son Jesus Christ. 

The Washington Monument
From the tallest structure in Washington a message of ‘Praise be to God”  goes forth. Engraved upon the aluminum capstone on the top of this 555 foot monument is Laus Deo. Inside the structure are carved tribute blocks with many Godly messages: “Holiness to the Lord,” “Search the Scriptures,” “The memory of the just is blessed,” and others. 

The Library of Congress
Within the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building are two cases, one containing a Gutenberg Bible and the other a hand-copied Giant Bible of Mainz. The display of these two Bibles is appropriate because, in the words of President Andrew Jackson, “The Bible is the rock upon which our republic rests.” Many Biblical inscriptions can be found on the ceiling and walls.

In the Main Reading Room are statues and quotes representing fields of knowledge. Moses and Paul represent religion, with the inscription, “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God?” 

The Supreme Court
The Biblical foundation of American law is evidenced throughout this building. On the outside East Pediment is a marble relief of Moses holding tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Engraved on the oak doors at the entrance of the Court Chamber are the Roman numerals I through X, and above the heads of the justices is a carved marble relief with a large stone tablet containing I through X (each set of numerals represents ancient law, that is the Ten Commandments). 

The Capitol Building
All of the eight large paintings in the Rotunda present aspects of our Christian history including The Baptism of Pocahontas and Departure of the Pilgrims from Holland which depicts the Pilgrims observing a day of prayer and fasting. 

“In God We Trust,” our national motto, is inscribed in letters of gold behind the speaker’s rostrum in the House Chamber. Also in this chamber, above the central Gallery door, is a marble relief of Moses, the greatest of 23 noted law-givers

 The White House
An inscription by the first president to inhabit the White House, John Adams, is cut into the marble facing of the State Dining Room fireplace. It reads: “I pray Heaven to Bestow the Best of Blessings on THIS HOUSE and on All that shall hereafter Inhabit it. May none but Honest and Wise Men ever rule under this Roof.” 

Many other monuments and buildings in Washington proclaim America’s faith in God. On the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery is the inscription: “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.” 

On the front facade of Union Station three Scripture verses are engraved including, “Thou has put all things under his feet” and “The truth shall make you free.” Lincoln’s words on his memorial exclaim “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.” 

This brief tour of our nation’s capital reveals that Christianity is the source of America’s liberty and prosperity. In the words of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1854: “The great vital element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

To learn more about the Christian history revealed in our historic sites order a copy of In God We Trust Tour Guide from the Providence Foundation, P. O. Box 6759, Charlottesville, VA 22906; phone: 434-978-4535; e-mail:; Internet Web site:  undefined