There’s common sense. There’s the faith in God that helped build this country and hold it together through trying times such as World War II. Then, there’s the Obama administration, which appears to lack both of the above. During a congressional hearing on whether to include President Roosevelt’s famous prayer as part of the WWII Memorial, an Obama administration official objected, saying the prayer would “dilute” the memorial’s central message. What is happening to this country?
As reported by Fox News, “Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are expressing outrage after the Obama administration announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.”
“It is unconscionable that the Obama administration would stand in the way of honoring our nation’s distinguished World War II veterans,” Rep. Bill Johnson said. “President Roosevelt’s prayer gave solace, comfort and strength to our nation and our brave warriors as we fought against tyranny and oppression.”
But Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, said any plaque or inscription of the prayer would “dilute” the memorial’s central message and therefore “should not be altered.”
“It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial’s central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors,” Abbey said in written testimony.
CNSNews.com reports that in trying to cover himself, Abbey said his opposition is not to the prayer itself but that the prayer would “intrude” on the memorial, “something that is technically prohibited by federal law.”
“The Commemorative Works Act specifically states that a new commemorative work shall be located so that it does not encroach upon an existing one. It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in H.R. 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial’s central message,” Abbey said.
In other words, the Obama administration argues that Congress is trying to create a separate memorial commemorating FDR’s prayer, rather than an addition to the national World War II Memorial.
It’s sad how times change. On the one hand, we have Barack Obama omitting “endowed by our Creator” on several occasions when he has referenced the Declaration of Independence. On the other, we have Franklin Roosevelt who took to the airwaves to ask the nation to pray with him. Here is Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer spoken on June 6, 1944 that Johnson seeks to have included in the memorial:
My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.
Dilute the message? This IS the message. We won WWII because we were fighting the forces of evil, and we turned to God for help. We can’t turn away now.