The longest serving member of the United States Congress was Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, who was born NOVEMBER 20, 1917.
Elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1953, and serving in the Senate from 1959-2010, he never lost an election.
On June 27, 1962, just two days after the Supreme Court stopped school prayer, Senator Robert Byrd addressed Congress:
“Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no doubt about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, dare do less?…
“In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidences of deep and abiding faith in God on the part of Government as there are in Washington….
“Every session of the House and the Senate begins with prayer. Each house has its own chaplain…”
Senator Byrd continued:
“The 83rd Congress set aside a small room in the Capitol, just off the rotunda, for the private prayer and meditation of members of Congress. The room is always open when Congress is in session, but it is not open to the public.
“The room’s focal point is a stained glass window showing George Washington kneeling in prayer. Behind him is etched these words from Psalm 16:1: ‘Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.’..”
He went on:
“Inside the rotunda is a picture of the Pilgrims about to embark from Holland on the sister ship of the Mayflower, the Speedwell. The ship’s revered chaplain, Brewster, who later joined the Mayflower, has open on his lap the Bible. Very clear are the words, ‘the New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’
“On the sail is the motto of the Pilgrims, ‘In God We Trust, God With Us.’
“The phrase, ‘In God We Trust,’ appears opposite the President of the Senate, who is the Vice-President of the United States.
“The same phrase, in large words inscribed in the marble, backdrops the Speaker of the House of Representatives…”
“Above the head of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are the Ten Commandments, with the great American eagle protecting them. Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front.
“The crier who opens each session closes with the words, ‘God save the United States and this Honorable Court.’
“Engraved on the metal on the top of the Washington Monument are the words: ‘Praise be to God.’
“Lining the walls of the stairwell are such biblical phrases as ‘Search the Scriptures,’ ‘Holiness to the Lord,’ ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’
“Numerous quotations from Scripture can be found within its [the Library of Congress] walls.
“One reminds each American of his responsibility to his Maker: ‘What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with thy God'(Micah 6:8).
“Another in the lawmaker’s library preserves the Psalmist’s acknowledgment that all nature reflects the order and beauty of the Creator, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork’ (Psalm 19:1).
“And still another reference: ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not’ (John 1:5)…”
Senator Byrd stated further:
“Millions have stood in the Lincoln Memorial and gazed up at the statue of the great Abraham Lincoln.
“The sculptor who chiseled the features of Lincoln in granite all but seems to make Lincoln speak his own words inscribed into the walls.
“‘…That this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’
“At the opposite end, on the north wall, his Second Inaugural Address alludes to ‘God,’ the ‘Bible,’ ‘providence,’ ‘the Almighty,’ and ‘divine attributes.’
“It then continues:
“‘As was said 3000 years ago, so it still must be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’…
“On the south banks of Washington’s Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson still speaks:
“‘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.’
“Jefferson’s words are a forceful and explicit warning that to remove God from this country will destroy it.”
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Photo Credit: nctc.fws.gov
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