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Monday, September 28, 2015

In God We Trust and the Congressional Prayer Caucus

In our nation, our laws are rooted in the Ten Commandments, as written in the Old Testament. A marble relief of Moses adorns a portico into the House Chamber. President Eisenhower included the words "under God" in our Pledge of Allegience to the American Flag. "In God We Trust" is embedded in our currency.  US Presidents put their hands on a Bible when they're sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Surpeme Court. Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense for the Congress to host a prayer caucus.

Moreover, President George Washington attended Episcopal church services at St. Paul's Trinity Chapel in New York City. This lovely historic landmark is a National Historic Site. It's located at the end of Wall Street. It's especially sacred since it survived the collapse of the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001.

St. Paul's Church Trinity Chapel in New York City
President George Washington attended services here.

In fact, it makes sense for Congress to host a prayer caucus. When the President of the United States ends nearly every speech with the words, "God Bless America", those words must be supported by actions.  Even Pope Francis invoked this blessing during his September 2015 visit to the US.  

Just because taxpayers fund the cost of the Prayer Caucus is no excuse to criticize the intention. Our Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion for everyone. This freedom certainly includes the members of the US Congress. 

Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., established the caucus in 2005 and it now includes about 90 members of the House, nearly all Republicans, one U.S. senator and one paid staff member.

In addition to putting aside their political differences and uniting in prayer for our nation, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus work together engaging the legislative process to protect free exercise for Americans of every faith or no faith, reports USA Today. Some recent issues Prayer Caucus Members engaged in include reinforcing religious freedom for all faiths in the military, supporting and protecting the autonomy of churches and faith based organizations, and working to ensure every American is free to live according to their beliefs, without fear of punishment by the government.

An outside non-profit organization supports the Prayer Caucus efforts, just like many other caucuses. The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation operates out of a Chesapeake, Va., building owned by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., founder of the caucus.

Thank God the Congress has a prayer caucus. 

As a nation, we need a moral compass and a spiritual political soul. It's invaluable and well worth paying for.

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