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 Religious References Pervade Monuments in Washington D.C.

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WASHINGTON — Atheist Michael Newdow (search) failed in his bid last week to remove prayer from President Bush's inaugural ceremony, but his complaint is unlikely to be the last in an effort to remove references to religion from the public discourse.

From U.S. currency to government buildings, there are myriad examples of what some say is an inextricable link between the U.S. government and God.

The Lincoln Memorial at one end of the nation's capital includes President Lincoln's second inaugural address, which makes six references to God in 700 words, shorter than an average news article.

Also in the memorial is a quotation from the Gettysburg Address (search), in which Lincoln said, "This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."

The Washington Monument includes a bible in its cornerstone. The Supreme Court has the Ten Commandments inscribed in four places. The Library of Congress, White House and Jefferson Memorial all have references to God.

The Declaration of Independence (search), in which the colonies separated themselves from England, includes the phrase: "We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights."


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