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Missouri State Solicitor General John Sauer made a passionate plea to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome Thursday before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Courthouse News reports Sauer asked the court panel to allow Missouri to enforce its law banning abortions on unborn babies with Down syndrome. A lower federal court blocked the law in […]
The history of the United States is preserved in archives, books, and the collective memory of the American people. It is also preserved in monuments, memorials, and statues made from marble, granite, bronze, or plaster.Our nation’s capital is home to some of the world’s most recognizable and frequently visited monuments. This blog series will explore the events and people they commemorate, devoting particular attention to the spiritual themes depicted. By shedding light on our nation’s deep religious heritage, this series aims to inspire the next generation to emulate virtues and merits from America’s past that are worth memorializing.FRC’s blog series on monuments is written by FRC summer interns and edited by David Closson, FRC’s Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview. Be sure to read our previous posts on the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Joan of Arc Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial, the Japanese American Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the Titanic Memorial.The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. honors the life and work of Thomas Jefferson—the author of the Declaration of Independence, the first secretary of state, the second vice president, and the third president of the United States. An influential figure in America’s early development, Jefferson was a lifelong advocate for limited government, religious freedom, and public education. Although Jefferson tragically failed to uphold the right of personal liberty of his fellow humans—namely, slaves—throughout his life, Jefferson’s advocacy for religious freedom continues to benefit people of all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities today.Congress created the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission in 1934, nine years before the bicentennial of Jefferson’s birth in 1743. The site of the memorial had been originally intended for Theodore Roosevelt; however, President Franklin D. Roosevelt deeply admired Jefferson and used his influence to secure the site for the Founding Father. In 1935, the commission selected John Russell Pope, one of the nation’s most famous architects committed to the classical tradition, as the architect for the memorial.Pope’s original design called for a huge building and the transformation of the Tidal Basin into a series of reflecting pools, rectangular terraces, and formal rows of trees. This design was controversial; many people expressed concern about the possible destruction of the Tidal Basin’s famous cherry trees. These trees had been a gift from the government of Japan in 1912 and were beloved by Washington, D.C.’s residents.After Pope’s death in 1937, his colleagues Otto R. Eggers and David P. Higgins took over the project. President Roosevelt approved their more modest design, and Congress approved the first part of the $3 million construction cost in 1938. Work began that year and continued throughout World War II. On April 13, 1943, the bicentennial of Jefferson’s birth, President Roosevelt dedicated the completed memorial. To the 5,000 spectators and a radio audience of millions, Roosevelt proclaimed, “Today in the midst of a great war for freedom, we dedicate a shrine to freedom.”Upon entering the Jefferson Memorial, the visitor will notice at its center the Jefferson statue, standing 19 feet tall atop a black Minnesota granite pedestal inscribed with the dates of Jefferson’s birth and death (1743-1826). The statue is surrounded by columns, quotes from Jefferson, and a coffered ceiling above. Interestingly, when the memorial construction was completed in 1943, there was a shortage of bronze due to World War II. A plaster statue was temporarily erected, to be replaced by a bronze statue in 1947. The statue depicts Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence in his left hand. The interior of the Jefferson Memorial is comprised of white Georgia marble, the floor of pink Tennessee marble, and the massive dome of Indiana limestone. The dome’s interior is divided into two parts: the lower section has a coffered surface, and the upper section has a smooth, uninterrupted surface.The architects of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial chose the materials not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for what they each symbolized. The exterior stonework is from Vermont, while the interior walls are from Georgia; this symbolized the geographic extremes of the original 13 colonies—from New England to the Deep South. Inside, the flooring and inner dome material are from Tennessee and Indiana; this symbolizes the expanding Union. The bronze statue of Jefferson stands atop a massive block of Minnesota granite with a gray Missouri marble ring surrounding its base; this symbolizes the impact President Jefferson had with the Louisiana Purchase during his presidency in 1803.Thomas Jefferson has been closely associated with religious freedom for more than two centuries. The Jefferson Memorial was built to commemorate an esteemed advocate for personal spiritual freedom who believed that religion was a matter of conscience so long as it is not “injurious to others” and that the state should guarantee religious freedom for “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindu, and infidel of every denomination.” Jefferson firmly believed that broad religious freedom and toleration were essential in a nation that was comprised of people from diverse backgrounds.Today, Christians benefit from Jefferson’s convictions on personal religious freedom. Although Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian himself and is generally understood to have been a deist (i.e., accepting God’s existence but denying supernatural revelation and the deity and miracles of Jesus), Jefferson’s advocacy for religious freedom has helped ease the spread of the gospel. American Christians have an obligation to use the earthly freedom we have to preach spiritual freedom through the gospel. Galatians 5:13 states, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Let us continue to practice the religious liberty that Thomas Jefferson fought to preserve.Sarah Rumpf is a Development intern at Family Research Council.
Here are "The 7" top trending items at FRC over the past seven days:1. Update: The Sticking Point with Mandatory VaccinesVirginia Health Commissioner Norman Oliver recently promised to make a COVID-19 vaccine mandatory and members of a Virginia House committee killed two bills that would have added a religious exemption to the mandate. Americans must decide if they want to live with this form of soft despotism. Will they live in freedom? Or live in fear?2. Update: Anchorage Therapy Ban Not Anchored in TruthRecently, the Anchorage (Alaska) Assembly passed an ordinance to prohibit sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts by any licensed professional counselor. The ordinance violates a number of constitutional and core ethical principles of the counseling profession. Even after widespread community opposition, the Anchorage Assembly chose to move forward with a measure that is not anchored in constitutional law, professional ethics, or scientific truth.3. Blog: "Snopes Overlooks the Facts in Its Fact-Check of the Senate Born-Alive Vote"By omitting several key elements of the abortion survival debate, Snopes' fact-check of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (SB 311) presented a biased appraisal of the issue. The so-called "fact check" is a lackluster attempt to provide cover for U.S. senators who failed to support federal protections against infanticide.4. Blog: "Pro-Life Until Natural Death"Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) has grown in popularity due to an ideological shift and the personal experiences of numerous individuals. Scripture continually speaks of the inherent value of human life, whether that is of an unborn child or an elderly person. Instead of ending lives, God calls us to celebrate life and trust Him during times of suffering.5. Washington Watch: Rep. Louie Gohmert can't believe that Amazon continues to plead ignorant about the disgraced SPLCLouie Gohmert, U.S. Representative for the 1st district of Texas and Member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Tony Perkins to discuss GOP House Members asking Jeff Bezos to explain Amazon's reliance on the scandal plagued Southern Poverty Law Center.6. Washington Watch: Sen. Roy Blunt reminds voters that this election isn't about personalities, it's about policiesRoy Blunt, U.S. Senator from Missouri, joined Tony Perkins to discuss an overview of this week's RNC Convention.7. Pray Vote Stand broadcast: Michelle Bachmann, Mike Johnson, Rob McCoy, Carter ConlonEach week until the election, FRC and FRC Action will host a special Pray Vote Stand broadcast to equip you to pray, vote, and stand for biblical truth. We'll have experts, elected leaders, and Christian leaders join us for these half-hour programs that will help you see through the fog that's being created by the biased lenses of the traditional media. For more from FRC, visit our website at frc.org, our blog at frcblog.com, our Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account. Get the latest on what FRC is saying about the current issues of the day that impact the state of faith, family, and freedom, both domestically and abroad.
By William D. Hartung Ever since images of the police deploying armored vehicles against peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, hit the national airwaves in 2014, the...Who Profits from Militarizing the Police?
A single monther in Kansas City, Missouri is making headlines after she donated her $100 lottery winnings to a injured police officer, despite needing the funds herself.
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