Campus Notebook: CVC Gets Religion

Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:25pm

Workers have begun to engrave “In God We Trust— in the Capitol Visitor Center, a few months after the House and Senate passed legislation directing the Architect of the Capitol to put the phrase in a prominent position.

[IMGCAP(1)]AOC spokeswoman Eva Malecki said workers began the project earlier this week, after the agency hired a contractor. The words will be etched into the walls of Emancipation Hall, the CVC’s main room.

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) introduced the original bill providing for the engraving, responding to Republican criticism that the CVC does not include enough references to religion’s role in the founding of the nation’s government. The CVC opened in December as the largest-ever addition to the Capitol, with part of it dedicated to exhibits on the Capitol’s history.

Lungren’s bill also directed the AOC to engrave the Pledge of Allegiance, but Malecki said that work wouldn’t begin until later in the fall.

Both directives remain controversial; in July, a group of atheists and agnostics filed a lawsuit charging that the engravings endorsed religion.

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