Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Separation of Church and State - HA!

Just wandering around Washington DC gives ample evidence against the modern notion that the Founders advocated the current interpretation of separation of church and state. Someone needs to create a book and a video documentation of all of these sort of references!

Just one example is the Thomas Jefferson Building (of all places), which is part of the Library of Congress.

Not only is there a statue of Moses and St. Paul among other prominent figures that decorate the circular Main Reading Room, there are these quotes along the top of the walls:

  • Above the figure of History: "One God, One Law, One Element, And One Far-Off Divine Element, To Which The Whole Creation Moves." from In Memoriam by Tennyson

This struck me so strongly that I grabbed my little blank book which I had just purchased at the National Gallery of Art and copied it down. I plan to read Tennyson's poems in the collection of In Memoriam. From what little I have researched, I have already found some interesting things.

  • Above the figure of Religion: "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" from Micah 6:8

  • Above the figure of Science: "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork." from Psalms 19:1
I find this quote above the science figure to be extremely ironic, being that our nation currently forbids the teaching in it's government schools of God as the creator, let alone that the natural world shows His glory and handiwork! How can a people be so deceived? By the old adage that goes something like - Repeat a lie often enough and eventually it will be believed. When will the American people wake up to all of the inconsistencies of our modern American worldview???

It puts me in mind of Proverbs 22:28, "Do not move the ancient landmark which your fathers have set." With all of the push for separation of church and state, I can not help but worry over these ancient landmarks. Surely they will be next in the line of fire to remove all references of our heritage from the land. I pray that God has raised up the home school movement in order to combat this foolishness. May we be diligent to teach our children the truth!

Speaking of Pigeons

Believe it or not, this little pigeon was the object of our visit to the American History Museum. While reading about Cher Ami and then seeing The Lost Battalion when we were studying World War I last year, we found out he was in the Smithsonian and we knew we had to see him.

Nature Study in D.C.

A highlight of the trip for SmokeyBear was feeding the pigeons. As we tromped through museums he kept asking, "When can we go feed the pigeons? You promised we would!" To his delight, they were so tame he was able to catch several of them.

We lugged our cooler-on-wheels around DC to save money on food. This second day we plopped down in the Mall and had our lunch. Somehow a peach managed to escape our picnic area and this squirrel had a feast. Tom was able to get close enough to him to gently take the peach from him and then offer it back. The squirrel gently took it back and resumed eating! The squirrel encounter was called to halt when MamaLion saw what was going on because she didn't want to rush anyone to the hospital with a squirrel bite!

Les Grand Vacances

The Big Vacation! This has been my favorite phrase from our French program Le Francais Facile (The Easy French). For some reason, I found particular pleasure reciting this phrase around the house while planning our long-awaited trip to Washington DC. For the last year and a half, the whole family has been putting money in the designated vacation tin. The last few months, Mr. Potts gave extra incentive by promising to match any funds put in by the children. A good friend of ours, who grew up in the DC area, gave us a suggested list of places to visit. We looked over the list, visited a few websites, and came up with our goals of places to see in the week of our sojourning.

The kids were amazing, especially the younger ones! We did so much walking! The band-aids in our first aid kit came in handy to cover the blisters on our feet. Even the boys begged to go to bed each night!

We visited Mount Vernon, The Mall, various monuments and museums, the Capital Building, The Library of Congress, Annapolis and the Naval Academy, Arlington, Baltimore Harbor and Williamsburg and drove by VMI and Scotchtown. Even though we were up at the crack of dawn, we still did not even make a dent in everything we wanted to do. We wished we had more time to spend at each place, not to mention the many, many other places we wanted to see. Our comfort came with promising ourselves that we would come back some other time.

Learning to ride the Metro was interesting. Fortunately, the first time we boarded it was almost empty with the exception of some kind of security officer. We didn't even know where to get off and how we would know where to get off until we asked his advice. That evening was quite a different story! When we boarded to come home there was standing room only. It was still uneventful and quiet until a young man standing in the aisle started rapping a song with foul language and lyrics about blowing people up. Everyone around us looked unconcerned so we tried to remain composed. We breathed a sigh of relief when he got off. The second day, we were beginning to get the hang of how the system worked and felt much more confident.

Grandma & Grandpa joined us on the 2nd day and spent the rest of the week with us. It was especially nice to have them with us since they have been away all summer. I grinned as I watched the oldest girls scramble to walk beside Grandpa and discuss history and current events. It was nice having someone with us who had experienced more of our nation's history and could lend first hand accounts. The girls also enjoyed visiting with Grandma in the camp bath house and making fun of how fast I am while they all took their sweet time getting ready for the day. After so much observation of their mother all week, they have decided I have A.D.D. Thank God, I was raised in an age before labeling and ritalin!!

We will be posting more pictures and accounts of our travels over the next few weeks.