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Pettytalk

The Spiritual Heritage of the USA

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Pettytalk

The "writings on the walls" of US federal and State capitals government buildings evidence strong faith in religion by our governing bodies, past and present.

Can anyone else find these kind of religious indications in the USA?

Here is a short list, as found on the linked site.  https://www.allabouthistory.org/spiritual-heritage-and-government-monuments-faq.htm

Spiritual Heritage and Government Monuments

QUESTION: Spiritual Heritage – Government Monuments, Buildings, and Landmarks

ANSWER:

Some of the most important monuments, buildings, and landmarks in Washington, D.C., include religious words, symbols, and imagery. In the United States Capitol the declaration “In God We Trust” is prominently displayed in both the United States House and Senate Chambers.

Around the top of the walls in the House Chamber appear images of 23 great lawgivers from across the centuries, but Moses (the lawgiver, who– according to the Bible – originally received the law of God,) is the only lawgiver honored with a full face view, looking down on the proceedings of the House.

Religious artwork is found throughout the United States Capitol, including in the Rotunda where the prayer service of Christopher Columbus, the Baptism of Pocahontas, and the prayer and Bible study of the Pilgrims are all prominently displayed; in the Cox Corridor of the Capitol where the words “America! God shed His grace on thee” are inscribed; at the east Senate entrance with the words “Annuit Coeptis” – Latin for “God has favored our undertakings”; and in numerous other locations.

Images of the Ten Commandments are found in many federal buildings across Washington, D. C., including in bronze in the floor of the National Archives; in a bronze statue of Moses in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress; in numerous locations at the U. S. Supreme Court, including in the frieze above the Justices, the oak door at the rear of the Chamber, the gable apex, and in dozens of locations on the bronze latticework surrounding the Supreme Court Bar seating.

Spiritual Heritage – The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial
In the Washington Monument not only are numerous Bible verses and religious acknowledgements carved on memorial blocks in the walls, including the phrases: “Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:26, 30:30, Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20), “Search the Scriptures” (John 5:39), “The memory of the just is blessed” (Proverbs 10:7), “May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence,” and “In God We Trust”, but the Latin inscription Laus Deo – “Praise be to God” – is engraved on the monument’s capstone.

Of the five areas inside the Jefferson Memorial into which Jefferson’s words have been carved, four are God-centered, including Jefferson’s declaration that “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

The Lincoln Memorial contains numerous acknowledgments of God and citations of Bible verses, including the declarations that “we here highly resolve that . . . this nation under God . . . shall not perish from the earth”; “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh’ (Matthew 18:7)”; “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’ (Psalms 19:9)”; “one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together” (Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, based on Isaiah 40:4-5).

In the Library of Congress, The Giant Bible of Mainz and The Gutenberg Bible are on prominent permanent display and etched on the walls are Bible verses, including “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (John 1:5); “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8); and “The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).1

The spiritual heritage of the United States of America is obvious. Numerous other of the most important American government leaders, institutions, monuments, buildings, and landmarks both openly acknowledge and incorporate religious words, symbols, and imagery into official venues. Such acknowledgments are even more frequent at the state and local level than at the Federal level, where thousands of such acknowledgments exist.

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rashore
13 minutes ago, Piney said:

and a lot more was to "combat" the "Godless Communists" during the 1950s. 

Last time I checked Jefferson, Franklin and many others weren't Christian. 

A lot of it did have to do with the Cold War era. Though I do suppose after the better part of a century later for a lot of these things, it may speak to how the U.S. has changed and developed in regards to allowing non-secular themes in it's public buildings since the mid to late 1800's, and even more so by the mid 1900's.

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Kenemet

One might ask "whose spiritual heritage" as well as "how much was spiritual and how much secular"

For instance, the spiritual traditions of the original founders (Native Americans) were destroyed and co-opted by other religions.  The "dominant" Christian thought changed through time as well; we no longer fine and whip and imprison people for not going to church twice daily (Jamestown).  Swearing was also punishable by death in Jamestown... and Jamestown is one of the founding colonies of America.

So it's clear that the ideas have changed from what our founding fathers had in mind, and that their original practices weren't things supported or eventually adopted by the framers of the Constitution.  Hence the beliefs of the actual people who showed up and started colonizing and conquering the land are NOT being enforced by the mid 1700's... and individual states had rather different ideas of which religion should be practiced.  Protestantism was often legislated into state laws and in many states you could NOT hold political office if you were a member of the clergy: http://www.religioustolerance.org/us_orgin.htm) ... or were not Protestant.

 

Christianity and Protestantism aren't the same thing.  Protestantism is one flavor of Christianity, but it can't be said to be "Christianity", any more than "orthodox Judaism" can be said to be all of Judaism.

In a founding religion, one branch of a religion is supported and all other expressions are severely curtailed (see Iran and Iraq for examples.)  In a founding religion, that religion controls all the courts and all the legal proceedings... it isn't just throwing around monuments and symbols.  

And then there's the "religious fan club" monuments... things built by the Masons and the Knights of Columbus and other religious organizations that don't actually promote a specific religion.

The conflicts between the different flavors of Christianity (the hanging of four Quakers in Boston in the late 1600's, Benedict Arnold's betrayal of the US in part because he didn't want to deal with Catholics) .  It grew so nasty that James Madison wrote “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” to argue that the government should not support or be involved with religion https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/americas-true-history-of-religious-tolerance-61312684/

The presence of a lot of monuments and public expressions are indeed new and are based on fears of other forms of Christianity as well as fears of other religions and of atheism.  They rise in times of public hysteria ... such as the Communist scare of the 1950's. 

But although Christianity is a common culture among the founders, it is not the foundation of the Constitution or the country.

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Pettytalk
5 hours ago, Kenemet said:

One might ask "whose spiritual heritage" as well as "how much was spiritual and how much secular"

For instance, the spiritual traditions of the original founders (Native Americans) were destroyed and co-opted by other religions.  The "dominant" Christian thought changed through time as well; we no longer fine and whip and imprison people for not going to church twice daily (Jamestown).  Swearing was also punishable by death in Jamestown... and Jamestown is one of the founding colonies of America.

So it's clear that the ideas have changed from what our founding fathers had in mind, and that their original practices weren't things supported or eventually adopted by the framers of the Constitution.  Hence the beliefs of the actual people who showed up and started colonizing and conquering the land are NOT being enforced by the mid 1700's... and individual states had rather different ideas of which religion should be practiced.  Protestantism was often legislated into state laws and in many states you could NOT hold political office if you were a member of the clergy: http://www.religioustolerance.org/us_orgin.htm) ... or were not Protestant.

 

Christianity and Protestantism aren't the same thing.  Protestantism is one flavor of Christianity, but it can't be said to be "Christianity", any more than "orthodox Judaism" can be said to be all of Judaism.

In a founding religion, one branch of a religion is supported and all other expressions are severely curtailed (see Iran and Iraq for examples.)  In a founding religion, that religion controls all the courts and all the legal proceedings... it isn't just throwing around monuments and symbols.  

And then there's the "religious fan club" monuments... things built by the Masons and the Knights of Columbus and other religious organizations that don't actually promote a specific religion.

The conflicts between the different flavors of Christianity (the hanging of four Quakers in Boston in the late 1600's, Benedict Arnold's betrayal of the US in part because he didn't want to deal with Catholics) .  It grew so nasty that James Madison wrote “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” to argue that the government should not support or be involved with religion https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/americas-true-history-of-religious-tolerance-61312684/

The presence of a lot of monuments and public expressions are indeed new and are based on fears of other forms of Christianity as well as fears of other religions and of atheism.  They rise in times of public hysteria ... such as the Communist scare of the 1950's. 

But although Christianity is a common culture among the founders, it is not the foundation of the Constitution or the country.

Perhaps I should have "emphasized" that the thread's theme is the "Spiritual," and it's not meant to identify nor champion any one religion in particular, nor any one, or more, of the various variations within a particular religion.

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Ellapennella
23 hours ago, Pettytalk said:

The "writings on the walls" of US federal and State capitals government buildings evidence strong faith in religion by our governing bodies, past and present.

Can anyone else find these kind of religious indications in the USA?

Here is a short list, as found on the linked site.  https://www.allabouthistory.org/spiritual-heritage-and-government-monuments-faq.htm

Spiritual Heritage and Government Monuments

QUESTION: Spiritual Heritage – Government Monuments, Buildings, and Landmarks

ANSWER:

Some of the most important monuments, buildings, and landmarks in Washington, D.C., include religious words, symbols, and imagery. In the United States Capitol the declaration “In God We Trust” is prominently displayed in both the United States House and Senate Chambers.

Around the top of the walls in the House Chamber appear images of 23 great lawgivers from across the centuries, but Moses (the lawgiver, who– according to the Bible – originally received the law of God,) is the only lawgiver honored with a full face view, looking down on the proceedings of the House.

Religious artwork is found throughout the United States Capitol, including in the Rotunda where the prayer service of Christopher Columbus, the Baptism of Pocahontas, and the prayer and Bible study of the Pilgrims are all prominently displayed; in the Cox Corridor of the Capitol where the words “America! God shed His grace on thee” are inscribed; at the east Senate entrance with the words “Annuit Coeptis” – Latin for “God has favored our undertakings”; and in numerous other locations.

Images of the Ten Commandments are found in many federal buildings across Washington, D. C., including in bronze in the floor of the National Archives; in a bronze statue of Moses in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress; in numerous locations at the U. S. Supreme Court, including in the frieze above the Justices, the oak door at the rear of the Chamber, the gable apex, and in dozens of locations on the bronze latticework surrounding the Supreme Court Bar seating.

Spiritual Heritage – The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial
In the Washington Monument not only are numerous Bible verses and religious acknowledgements carved on memorial blocks in the walls, including the phrases: “Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:26, 30:30, Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20), “Search the Scriptures” (John 5:39), “The memory of the just is blessed” (Proverbs 10:7), “May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence,” and “In God We Trust”, but the Latin inscription Laus Deo – “Praise be to God” – is engraved on the monument’s capstone.

Of the five areas inside the Jefferson Memorial into which Jefferson’s words have been carved, four are God-centered, including Jefferson’s declaration that “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

The Lincoln Memorial contains numerous acknowledgments of God and citations of Bible verses, including the declarations that “we here highly resolve that . . . this nation under God . . . shall not perish from the earth”; “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh’ (Matthew 18:7)”; “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’ (Psalms 19:9)”; “one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together” (Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, based on Isaiah 40:4-5).

In the Library of Congress, The Giant Bible of Mainz and The Gutenberg Bible are on prominent permanent display and etched on the walls are Bible verses, including “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (John 1:5); “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8); and “The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).1

The spiritual heritage of the United States of America is obvious. Numerous other of the most important American government leaders, institutions, monuments, buildings, and landmarks both openly acknowledge and incorporate religious words, symbols, and imagery into official venues. Such acknowledgments are even more frequent at the state and local level than at the Federal level, where thousands of such acknowledgments exist.

Christianity; and religion belongs in the public square. In short, while America did not have a Christian Founding in the sense of creating a theocracy, its Founding was deeply shaped by Christian moral truths. More important, it created a regime that was hospitable to Christians, but also to practitioners of other religions.

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/did-america-have-christian-founding

 

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third_eye

Fact is the Cold War just made everyone intellectually frozen, prior to that it was just a case of "thinking too much and does not feel enough " to para phrase the good Mr Chaplin as a good dictator speaking on screen... 

~

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Pettytalk
2 hours ago, Ellapennella said:

Christianity; and religion belongs in the public square. In short, while America did not have a Christian Founding in the sense of creating a theocracy, its Founding was deeply shaped by Christian moral truths. More important, it created a regime that was hospitable to Christians, but also to practitioners of other religions.

https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/did-america-have-christian-founding

 

Ella,

I quite agree with that one paragraph you cited. A good Christian realizes that Jesus mentioned that just because someone does not abide in the name of Jesus, it does not mean that that someone is against Christ and Christianity. Indeed, there are many spiritual paths leading to the one and only God, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps the only difference in the paths is the length, as some take longer than others in reaching the finish line.  Anyway the citizens makeup a nation, and a democratic nation reflects the thoughts of the majority. It cannot be denied that people in a governing body shape the thoughts of a nation.  And the  "Spiritual Heritage" seems to be well founded, although there is no mandated religion in the USA, thank God.

Freedom of not being spiritual in any sense, shape or form is also the law of the land, as it should be, in a democracy, otherwise it would not be that form of government, obviously.

But again, just to be clear, I was not intending to argue that the USA, Federal or the individual States, have a state religion, or that our laws, with a rare exception, was explicitly founded on a religious basis, where religious laws govern the USA. For instance, the Thanksgiving holiday is a federal holiday, and also a state holiday, but just because the holiday has a religious (spiritual) heritage it does not imply that the USA has laws (a declared holiday) which are spiritual.in nature.

We are looking into the spiritual heritage of the USA, as shown on public buildings, monuments, art, and also contained in written laws and official government documents, both at the federal level, and also in the 50 states.

 

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Piney
56 minutes ago, third_eye said:

Fact is the Cold War just made everyone intellectually frozen, prior to that it was just a case of "thinking too much and does not feel enough " to para phrase the good Mr Chaplin as a good dictator speaking on screen... 

And the "Great Awakenings?" sent theology and intellect in the U.S. 100 steps backwards. 

 

37 minutes ago, Pettytalk said:

Freedom of not being spiritual in any sense, shape or form is also the law of the land, as it should be, in a democracy, otherwise it would not be that form of government, obviously.

That statement just made your "prophecy?" null and void......

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Ellapennella
1 hour ago, Pettytalk said:

Ella,

I quite agree with that one paragraph you cited. A good Christian realizes that Jesus mentioned that just because someone does not abide in the name of Jesus, it does not mean that that someone is against Christ and Christianity. Indeed, there are many spiritual paths leading to the one and only God, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps the only difference in the paths is the length, as some take longer than others in reaching the finish line.  Anyway the citizens makeup a nation, and a democratic nation reflects the thoughts of the majority. It cannot be denied that people in a governing body shape the thoughts of a nation.  And the  "Spiritual Heritage" seems to be well founded, although there is no mandated religion in the USA, thank God.

Freedom of not being spiritual in any sense, shape or form is also the law of the land, as it should be, in a democracy, otherwise it would not be that form of government, obviously.

But again, just to be clear, I was not intending to argue that the USA, Federal or the individual States, have a state religion, or that our laws, with a rare exception, was explicitly founded on a religious basis, where religious laws govern the USA. For instance, the Thanksgiving holiday is a federal holiday, and also a state holiday, but just because the holiday has a religious (spiritual) heritage it does not imply that the USA has laws (a declared holiday) which are spiritual.in nature.

We are looking into the spiritual heritage of the USA, as shown on public buildings, monuments, art, and also contained in written laws and official government documents, both at the federal level, and also in the 50 states.

 

 

If Thanksgiving were to ever be removed from our observance  of it ,as we know it ,in both Federal & States , I think God would have then be totally written out of the hearts of leadership in America. And if that were the issue  by who's authority would good & bad  be judged by? The wisdom of Man is fallible.

When the  Pilgrims  arrived   in hope of  obtaining  Religious freedom  the Puritans came too. The Puritans I think  were not  as like minded as the Pilgrims were in regards to Religious freedom. I think I understand why  both sides had concerns. 

Would the Pilgrims have embraced Freedom of Religion in a secular nation ? I understand the concept of  what you've mentioned about the Spiritual essence of Thanksgiving.

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Ellapennella
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Piney said:

That statement just made your "prophecy?" null and void......

In the way I understand what he is saying is like  in a way similar to the observance of Thanksgiving. 

 Thanksgiving  is both Spiritual & law of the land ,but you will not  by law suffer consequences  or penalty if you refuse to acknowledged it or speak ill about it. We're not a dictatorship.

 

Edited by Ellapennella
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Piney
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ellapennella said:

When the  Pilgrims  arrived   in hope of  obtaining  Religious freedom  the Puritans came too. The Puritans I think  were not  as like minded as the Pilgrims were in regards to Religious freedom. I think I understand why  both sides had concerns. 

They didn't come here seeking religious freedom. They already found that in Holland. They came here because of a business offer from the Dutch East India Company. At the same time, when they got here they persecuted Baptists and Quakers that settled near them. 

1 hour ago, Ellapennella said:

In the way I understand what he is saying is like  in a way similar to the observance of Thanksgiving. 

That holiday didn't begin until 1863. We traditional Natives most certainly don't celebrate it because of the insult to us it is

Your not following his posts Ella. He claims he's a prophet and the story of Atlantis is a prophecy of the fate of the U.S. for rejecting your god.

....and I most certainly stress your immigrant god. Because he wasn't here originally. 

 

Edited by Piney
**** Atlantis
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Desertrat56
1 hour ago, Ellapennella said:

 

If Thanksgiving were to ever be removed from our observance  of it ,as we know it ,in both Federal & States , I think God would have then be totally written out of the hearts of leadership in America. And if that were the issue  by who's authority would good & bad  be judged by? The wisdom of Man is fallible.

When the  Pilgrims  arrived   in hope of  obtaining  Religious freedom  the Puritans came too. The Puritans I think  were not  as like minded as the Pilgrims were in regards to Religious freedom. I think I understand why  both sides had concerns. 

Would the Pilgrims have embraced Freedom of Religion in a secular nation ? I understand the concept of  what you've mentioned about the Spiritual essence of Thanksgiving.

I don't think "God" had anything to do with us observing thanksgiving.  What are you talking about?  God has not been involved in the leadership in the U.S. for a long time, if ever.  And just to point out my OCD, America is two continents with many countries.  I know everyone considers the U.S. America, but it isn't.  Canadians and Mexicans and Bolivians are all Americans.

You are right, the wisdom of man is fallible, but where is god's wisdom?  Not in any church or government, it has to be personal if it exists at all. 

The pilgrims were not seeking religious freedom, the Puritans were.

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Kenemet
17 hours ago, Pettytalk said:

Perhaps I should have "emphasized" that the thread's theme is the "Spiritual," and it's not meant to identify nor champion any one religion in particular, nor any one, or more, of the various variations within a particular religion.

That may be so, but in choosing your examples you rejected the spiritual aspects of every religion except for mainstream Christianity.

The spiritual history of the country is largely unknown, because it was that of indigenous peoples.  There are multiple monuments such as The White Shaman that record hundreds of years of spiritual history (and changes in that history... but it's largely beyond our ability to read.  (this panel is a "palimpset"; created over hundreds of years by people adding to the picture (at least 3 different identifiable cultures))

Lower-Pecos-01.jpg

 

And this...

Medicine-Wheel-photo.jpg

 

And this (which @Piney has talked about)

Mishepishu_WaterPanther.jpg

 

...etc, etc.

...and this, of course

voo2.jpg

 

These are monuments of the spiritual side of America, and they actually are not about a creator god/father god (only a few tribes had such a concept.)  And the values that they were using were not part of our Constitution... in fact, the social rules they had were stripped from them. 

All these and more should be involved in any discussion of the spiritual history of America -- sadly the only one we hear about tends to be White and Christian.

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Kenemet
4 hours ago, Ellapennella said:

In the way I understand what he is saying is like  in a way similar to the observance of Thanksgiving. 

 Thanksgiving  is both Spiritual & law of the land ,but you will not  by law suffer consequences  or penalty if you refuse to acknowledged it or speak ill about it. We're not a dictatorship.

 

Actually, Thanksgiving was set in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, at the request of a woman who wrote him.  It's not really spiritual and it's not the law of the land... unless you include President's Day as "law of the land".

History of Thanksgiving is here: https://www.thoughtco.com/abraham-lincolns-thanksgiving-proclamation-1773571

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Piney
Just now, Kenemet said:

That may be so, but in choosing your examples you rejected the spiritual aspects of every religion except for mainstream Christianity.

That is why @Pettytalk refuses to address me. He can't answer one pertinent question without hanging himself here.

If the United States was a country ordained by the Christian god, for Christians. How does the Native Genocide fit into this? 

Was it "God's Will"? 

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Piney

@Kenemet  This is a Vodou Veve. 

voo2.jpg

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Kenemet
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Piney said:

@Kenemet  This is a Vodou Veve. 

voo2.jpg

Yep.  Specifically relating to Bondye (and not a monument, of course... but it would have been difficult for anyone to put up a legit Voodoo monument since Voodoo is a legit spiritual practice and in many times and places here in America, a repressed or persecuted spiritual practice.

Edited by Kenemet
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XenoFish

Voodoo veve's (sigils) are very artistic. Always liked their look. 

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Piney
51 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

Yep.  Specifically relating to Bondye (and not a monument, of course... but it would have been difficult for anyone to put up a legit Voodoo monument since Voodoo is a legit spiritual practice and in many times and places here in America, a repressed or persecuted spiritual practice.

@Not A Rockstar can tell you all about the persecution. He's a Asogwe Houngan. 

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Piney
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

 Bondye

The "Living Universe" who believers are just part of and don't ask from. 

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Kenemet
2 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Voodoo veve's (sigils) are very artistic. Always liked their look. 

Me too!

I also wanted to post some of the sand paintings of the Navajo, but it was getting a bit long-ish. 

...so I'll post one now, just because.  These are very spiritual and not like Christianity.

5.+Coyote+Stealing+Fire.jpg 

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Awlsew
On ‎8‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 9:47 AM, Pettytalk said:

The "writings on the walls" of US federal and State capitals government buildings evidence strong faith in religion by our governing bodies, past and present.

Can anyone else find these kind of religious indications in the USA?

Here is a short list, as found on the linked site.  https://www.allabouthistory.org/spiritual-heritage-and-government-monuments-faq.htm

Spiritual Heritage and Government Monuments

QUESTION: Spiritual Heritage – Government Monuments, Buildings, and Landmarks

ANSWER:

Some of the most important monuments, buildings, and landmarks in Washington, D.C., include religious words, symbols, and imagery. In the United States Capitol the declaration “In God We Trust” is prominently displayed in both the United States House and Senate Chambers.

Around the top of the walls in the House Chamber appear images of 23 great lawgivers from across the centuries, but Moses (the lawgiver, who– according to the Bible – originally received the law of God,) is the only lawgiver honored with a full face view, looking down on the proceedings of the House.

Religious artwork is found throughout the United States Capitol, including in the Rotunda where the prayer service of Christopher Columbus, the Baptism of Pocahontas, and the prayer and Bible study of the Pilgrims are all prominently displayed; in the Cox Corridor of the Capitol where the words “America! God shed His grace on thee” are inscribed; at the east Senate entrance with the words “Annuit Coeptis” – Latin for “God has favored our undertakings”; and in numerous other locations.

Images of the Ten Commandments are found in many federal buildings across Washington, D. C., including in bronze in the floor of the National Archives; in a bronze statue of Moses in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress; in numerous locations at the U. S. Supreme Court, including in the frieze above the Justices, the oak door at the rear of the Chamber, the gable apex, and in dozens of locations on the bronze latticework surrounding the Supreme Court Bar seating.

Spiritual Heritage – The Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial
In the Washington Monument not only are numerous Bible verses and religious acknowledgements carved on memorial blocks in the walls, including the phrases: “Holiness to the Lord” (Exodus 28:26, 30:30, Isaiah 23:18, Zechariah 14:20), “Search the Scriptures” (John 5:39), “The memory of the just is blessed” (Proverbs 10:7), “May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence,” and “In God We Trust”, but the Latin inscription Laus Deo – “Praise be to God” – is engraved on the monument’s capstone.

Of the five areas inside the Jefferson Memorial into which Jefferson’s words have been carved, four are God-centered, including Jefferson’s declaration that “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

The Lincoln Memorial contains numerous acknowledgments of God and citations of Bible verses, including the declarations that “we here highly resolve that . . . this nation under God . . . shall not perish from the earth”; “The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh’ (Matthew 18:7)”; “as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’ (Psalms 19:9)”; “one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh see it together” (Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, based on Isaiah 40:4-5).

In the Library of Congress, The Giant Bible of Mainz and The Gutenberg Bible are on prominent permanent display and etched on the walls are Bible verses, including “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not” (John 1:5); “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7); “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8); and “The heavens declare the Glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).1

The spiritual heritage of the United States of America is obvious. Numerous other of the most important American government leaders, institutions, monuments, buildings, and landmarks both openly acknowledge and incorporate religious words, symbols, and imagery into official venues. Such acknowledgments are even more frequent at the state and local level than at the Federal level, where thousands of such acknowledgments exist.

Is "religion" and "God" the same thing?

I see it as a foundation on "God" and not "religion".

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