Each Morning as the sun rises over Washington DC, its first rays fall on the eastern side of the city’s tallest structure, the 555-foot Washington Monument. The first part of that monument to reflect the rising sun is the eastern side of its aluminum capstone, where the Latin phrase: Laus Deo, is written. The translation is simply “Praise be to God.” This compact prayer, visible only to the heavens, is a humble reminder of our nation’s very unique acknowledgment of the place of God in our founding and growth.
In recent decades we have had a lively debate on the place of God and his word in the public domain. For many, the confinements of the Biblical moral are too restrictive and out of date. I believe however that if our founding fathers were to be able to join this discussion their response might surprise a few people. In another DC monument on the third panel of the dome over the Jefferson Memorial is written these words
“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”