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May 30, 2024

Faith Under Fire

Billy Graham's statue hasn't been up long, but it has already come under fire. As we recently informed you, every state is permitted to have two statues of famous people representing their state in the Capitol Building. North Carolina chose "Favorite Son" Billy Graham as one of their state's two statues.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is furious that a statue of the Rev. Billy Graham now stands in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. FFRF wants a completely secular America that rejects the Christian foundation of our history and pushes men and women of faith out of our national debates.

The seven-foot bronze statue depicts Rev. Graham holding an open Bible in his hand. Engraved in the Bible is Galatians 6:14, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

On the base of the statue are two additional verses from God's inspired Word. On one side is John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." On the other side is John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me."

To the Freedom From Religion Foundation, that's three Bible verses too many. FFRF denounced Billy Graham as a "white Christian nationalist," adding, "Graham was a purely religious figure with no redeeming secular achievements."

Well, I can only imagine how angry the radical secularists will be when they discover that Billy Graham is not the first Christian leader to be portrayed in Statuary Hall.

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg was born in Pennsylvania and served as a pastor in Virginia. He is perhaps best known for a sermon he delivered in January 1776 on Ecclesiastes 3, "There is a time for everything." At the end of his sermon, Muhlenberg declared, "There is a time for war and a time for peace, and now is the time for war." He removed his clerical robes and revealed that he was wearing the uniform of a Continental Army officer.

Muhlenberg loved Jesus, and he loved the new American nation that was fighting for its independence. Muhlenberg served in the Continental Army throughout the Revolutionary War, eventually achieving the rank of Major General. Today, he would be called a "Christian nationalist."

But without pastors like Muhlenberg, there would have been no America, and without pastors in the same mold today, there will be no future for America.

Also in Statuary Hall is Father Damien, representing the state of Hawaii. Father Damien came to Hawaii in 1864. In 1873, he volunteered to serve a colony of lepers who had been forcibly quarantined on Molokai Island. He remained there for 16 years until his death from leprosy at the age of 49.

One of Rhode Island's two statutes in the Capitol is Roger Williams, a Puritan minister. Williams was awarded this honor because he founded Rhode Island as a sanctuary for religious dissenters. Williams did not want only one establishment church that everyone was forced to worship. But he did want religious people to influence government to ensure that public policies were moral and just.

In the years ahead, we hope and pray that millions of Americans who visit Washington, D.C., will take note of Rev. Billy Graham's statue and our other Christian heroes in Statuary Hall. They are not only evidence of our biblical heritage of liberty under God, they also point to our only hope for the future.

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