Tuesday, October 9, 2007

American Family Association ("AFA") Alert: Religious Words Such as God, Lord BANNED by Architect of the U.S Capitol


The Architect of the Capitol is responsible to the United States Congress for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex, which includes the Capitol, the congressional office buildings, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Power Plant, and other facilities.

Currently, Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, AOC's Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer, in accordance with P.L. 108-7, is serving as Acting Architect of the Capitol until a new Architect is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The above definition of the position and current position holder of Architect of the U.S. Capitol can be found here.

Someone please tell me where it states this position has the authority to eliminate religious terms, without vetting, and simply on his "views"? Yet--that is exactly what he's done regarding certificates of authenticity for flags flown over the Capitol.
Architect of the Capitol Steven Ayers said he has removed the words because reference to God and the Lord may offend some Americans. He now prohibits them from being placed on official documents such as flag certificates.
Who gave him this authority? Who ok'd this?

Were it not for AFA, I never would have known about this--would you? With that in mind, I'm printing the entire email I received from AFA:


-

Religious words such as God, Lord banned by Architect of the U.S. Capitol

Contact your congressman and senators today!

Dear [Redacted],

According to U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave, our nation's legislators are now prohibited from using references to God in certificates of authenticity accompanying flags flown over the Capitol and bought by constituents. Such references include: "under God" in the pledge, "God bless you," or "in the year of our Lord, 2007." Never before has this official prohibition been leveled.

Architect of the Capitol Steven Ayers said he has removed the words because reference to God and the Lord may offend some Americans. He now prohibits them from being placed on official documents such as flag certificates.

Musgrave was astonished when she flew a flag over the U.S. Capitol building as a tribute to a senior citizen, and the accompanying certificate she received was edited with all religious references removed.

The congresswoman was more astounded when, upon further investigation, she discovered the certificate was censored by order of The Architect of the Capitol, an unelected very low-level official who manages the flag office.

Responding to a request for a flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of a World War II veteran's 81st birthday, the congresswoman ordered the flag and a certificate to state: "This flag was flown for Mr. John Doe on the occasion of his 81st birthday, the eleventh day of July, in the year of our Lord, 2007. Thank you, Grandpa, for showing me what it is to be a true patriot -- to love God, family, and country. We love you!"

When the flag and certificate came back from the flag office, each reference to the Lord and God were removed. A group of lawmakers confronted architect Stephen Ayers seeking to find where he had the authority to restrict their freedom of speech and religious expression. Ayers refused to give the lawmakers a clear justification of his authority to delete the religious references. For more information: Capitol flag policy assailed (Washington Times).

Take Action! Forward this to your family and friends.

- - - -
- -

Take Action

  • Send an e-mail to your representative and two senators. Ask them to put a stop to this nonsense. A low-level employee should not have the authority to ban the use of religious words.
  • Forward this to your family and friends and ask them to send an e-mail to their representatives and senators.

-
-

If you think our efforts are worthy, would you please consider making a donation to help us continue?

Sincerely,

Don

Donald E. Wildmon, Founder & Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your family and friends.

*********************

Here is the article referencing Capitol Flag Policy in the above alert:
Article published Oct 6, 2007
Capitol flag policy assailed

October 6, 2007

By Audrey Hudson -

A group of Republican lawmakers is demanding the architect of the U.S. Capitol reverse a policy that bans the use of the word "God" on flag certificates sent to constituents.

Rep. Michael R. Turner of Ohio said one of his constituents, Paul Larochelle, recently requested to receive a flag that had flown over the Capitol. Mr. Larochelle's son had hoped to present the flag and the accompanying certificate to his grandfather, an Army veteran.

The Larochelles wanted the certificate's inscription to read, in part: "In honor of my grandfather, Marcel Larochelle, and his dedication and love of God, country and family." However, when the flag and the certificate arrived at Mr. Turner's office from the architect of the U.S. Capitol's office, which handles the Capitol flag program, the word "God" had been eliminated.

Mr. Turner said he requested an explanation from the architect's office, which cited one of its 14 Flag Office Services rules. The rule states, "... religious expressions are not permitted on flag certificates."

Mr. Turner — along with fellow Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado, Randy Neugebauer of Texas and Steve Pearce of New Mexico — complained in a letter this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the architect's office had "informed several congressional offices that the use of the word 'God' violates the rule." [Emphasis mine].

"This is an abuse of power, plain and simple," Mr. Neugebauer said. "Using the nonpartisan position of maintaining the Capitol to decide what citizens can have written on their flag certificates is unacceptable."

Stephen T. Ayers has been acting architect of the U.S. Capitol since February, when his predecessor, Alan M. Hantman, retired. Mr. Ayers' spokeswoman was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The lawmakers are asking Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, to review the authority under which the architect's office made the rules and that the policy "which censors our citizens' right to expressions of their faith" be reversed. [Emphasis mine]

They also point out that as the custodian of the Capitol, the architect is responsible for a building inscribed with many religious references, including "In God We Trust" in the House and Senate chambers.

"The architect's policy is in direct conflict with his charge as well as the scope of his office and brings into question his ability to preserve a building containing many national religious symbols," the lawmakers stated.

A spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi said a Democratic proposal may help solve the problem. [Emphasis mine]

The proposal would have the architect certify that the flag was flown, and then a member of Congress could add the constituent's message separately, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said. [Emphasis mine]

"It will be resolved in the near future," he said.

Lawmakers receive more than 100,000 requests from constituents each year for flags that have flown over the Capitol.
********************
Who wants to lay odds Pelosi's office won't do a damn thing? Even her "solution" of flying the flag and later inscribing the certificate with what the constituent wants doesn't address nor alleviate the fact this non-elected official has taken it upon himself to do as he pleases. She simply wants to allow him to continue to do so rather than order him to follow the rules.

Sign the petition and contact your representatives about this. Just another piece of throwing our values under the bus and play politics for the dems. Disgusting.

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[Update]
People were heard and God is once again allowed on the certificates.

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My Favorite Speeches and Other Items of Interest

  • George Bush's March 28, 2007 Discusses Economy, War on Terror During Remarks to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association;http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/03/20070328-2.html
  • Mitch McConnell's March 15, 2007 Funding For Troops, Not Timelines for Retreat; http://mcconnell.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=270747&start=1
  • Ronald Reagan's June 12, 1987 Tear Down This Wall Speech; http://www.reaganfoundation.org/reagan/speeches/wall.asp
  • Vice President Cheney's March 12, 2007 Remarks at the AIPAC 2007 Policy Conference; http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/03/20070312.html

Winston Churchill Quotes

  • A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.
  • Although personally I am quite content with existing explosives, I feel we must not stand in the path of improvement.
  • Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed.
  • Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
  • Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver. The greater the general, the more he contributes in maneuver, the less he demands in slaughter.
  • Danger - if you meet it promptly and without flinching - you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
  • I always seem to get inspiration and renewed vitality by contact with this great novel land of yours which sticks up out of the Atlantic.
  • I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.
  • I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
  • I like a man who grins when he fights.
  • I was only the servant of my country and had I, at any moment, failed to express her unflinching resolve to fight and conquer, I should at once have been rightly cast aside.
  • If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.
  • In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
  • It is no use saying, 'We are doing our best.' You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
  • Moral of the Work. In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill.
  • Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.
  • Never, never, never give up.
  • No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.
  • One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
  • Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
  • Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
  • The first quality that is needed is audacity.
  • The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.
  • The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.
  • There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.
  • These are not dark days: these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived.
  • They are decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.
  • True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.
  • Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
  • War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.
  • War is mainly a catalogue of blunders.
  • We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
  • We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
  • When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.
  • When you are winning a war almost everything that happens can be claimed to be right and wise.
  • You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.

Ronald Reagan Quotes

  • "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."
  • Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
  • All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.
  • Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources
  • Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
  • Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
  • Double, no triple, our troubles and we'd still be better off than any other people on earth. It is time that we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause.
  • Facts are stupid things.
  • Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
  • Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.
  • Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
  • Governments tend not to solve problems, only to rearrange them.
  • History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.
  • How can a president not be an actor?
  • How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
  • I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.
  • I will stand on, and continue to use, the figures I have used, because I believe they are correct. Now, I'm not going to deny that you don't now and then slip up on something; no one bats a thousand.
  • In Israel, free men and women are every day demonstrating the power of courage and faith. Back in 1948 when Israel was founded, pundits claimed the new country could never survive. Today, no one questions that. Israel is a land of stability and democracy in a region of tryanny and unrest.
  • Let us ask ourselves; "What kind of people do we think we are?".
  • Man is not free unless government is limited.
  • My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose - somehow we win out.
  • No mother would ever willingly sacrifice her sons for territorial gain, for economic advantage, for ideology.
  • Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.
  • Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act.
  • Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.
  • Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.
  • The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas - a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideals to which we are dedicated.
  • The United Sates has much to offer the third world war.
  • There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
  • To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I have just taken with the intention of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.
  • Today we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.
  • We are never defeated unless we give up on God.
  • We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.
  • We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
  • We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.
  • Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
  • You know, if I listened to Michael Dukakis long enough, I would be convinced we're in an economic downturn and people are homeless and going without food and medical attention and that we've got to do something about the unemployed.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent

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