Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The New Capitol Visitor's Center, God and the Constitution

I saw the bit that Fox News Sunday did about the new visitor's center in our Capitol. It looked really cool and I thought it looked like a great place to visit. I was appalled at the cost ($621 million). Can you imagine what could be done with $621 million? Then I thought, well, if they're preserving history and teaching children and adults something they might not otherwise learn in school or elsewhere, if it might get someone interested in finding out more about our country and its' workings, maybe there was some justification (still not $621 million worth, but some).

Now I'm hearing what they've included and what has NOT been included. There will be a time in our world where God is no longer a part of our history or our present day if we don't stop this kind of revisionist history. The Godless are winning without ever having to fight simply because we don't pay attention. We have let so much already slide. If we were standing completely outside this world looking at a long timeline, would we be able to see how our freedom of religion is being eroded? Someday will someone be able to point the decisions that resulted in this country's downfall? How do we get past the apathy?

I received this earlier today from the Heritage Foundation. I've also seen some other things floating around these past few days about it. It's downright scary.

A Capitol Travesty

Like everything else that comes out of Congress, the initial intentions were good: to build a visitors center that shields citizens from extreme heat and humidity and provides greater security for people working in or visiting the U.S. Capitol. But what began as a $265 million project in 2000 ballooned into a $621 million boondoggle that finally opens today . Like far too many legislative proposals that pass through its chambers, Congress could not help but add its own priorities. Even though not included in the original design, the structure now features new offices for lawmakers, a theater, media studios and even a tunnel to the Library of Congress. This all-too-familiar runaway Washington spending is not even the worst part of the final product. That honor goes to the violence the center's "educational" exhibits do to the Constitution.

Article I of the Constitution begins: "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Section 8 of Article I then goes on to enumerate those powers, of which James Madison wrote: "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

But according to the Capitol Visitors Center, the Constitution is not about limiting powers. Instead, it created six "aspirations" that Congress is charged to realize. The explanation for the first aspiration listed, "Unity," falsely identified "E Pluribus Unum" as our nation's motto. Wrong. "In God We Trust" is our nation's motto. But do not expect to find any discussion of God in the new visitors center. "Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and righteous war" gets a mention, but any other indication that the Founding Fathers believed that all men "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights," like it says in the Declaration of Independence, has been safely sanitized by the political correctness thought police.

The liberal bias does not end there. The sixth aspiration, "General Welfare," celebrates the creation of Medicare in 1965. We can debate whether Medicare is, or is not, good public policy. But it is a travesty of history to pretend the Constitution requires it. Summarizing his thoughts after an early tour of the center, Heritage constitutional scholar Matthew Spalding wrote:

This exhibit is Congress' temple to liberals' "living Constitution," the eternal font of lawmakers' evolving mandate to achieve the nation's ideals. No fixed meanings here, only open-ended "aspirations." In this distorted view, the Constitution is an empty vessel, to be adapted to the times, as change requires. It means nothing -- or anything.

The center opens to the public today at 1 p.m. if you'd like to have a look at this travesty with your own eyes.


It appears increasingly likely that Al Franken will ask the Democrat-controlled Senate to intervene on his behalf in his recount fight with Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN).

When the 2008 campaign books are closed, President-elect Barack Obama will probably be the first billion-dollar candidate.

On top of $90 billion for mayors, Democrats are planning to give away another $500 billion to states.

The CEOs of Detroit's Big Three automakers are back in front of Congress with their hands out today.

The head of the congressional panel monitoring the gigantic federal bailout says the government still does not have a coherent strategy for easing the financial crisis despite having already spent billions of dollars.

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