As morning's first light breaks over the eastern seaboard and the sun begins to spill its light across the waters of the Atlantic, there stands a monument of marble and granite rising high above our nation's capital.
The beacon rises more than 555 feet and provides a perfect panoramic of the 69 square miles that comprise the District of Columbia. To the north is the White House; to the South, the Jefferson Memorial; to the west the Lincoln Memorial and to the North the Capitol.
But no building is as tall as the obelisk -- and at its pinnacle is a capstone made of aluminum. It was the intention of her architect, Robert Mills, to carve a message that might stand as a message to future generations.
The words have weathered time and turmoil, war and peace. And to this day the seven letters Mr. Mills had carved into the aluminum capstone remain.
The obelisk may celebrate a man, but it gives glory to a higher power. And when morning comes to America, the first rays of light illuminate the capstone -- and Mr. Mill's testimony for the ages -- Laus Deo, praise be to God.
I thought about the Washington Monument awhile back when I heard the president of the United States deliver a stunning message to the nation and to the world.
President Obama set the record straight on the campaign trail, telling CBN News, "America is no longer just a Christian nation," he told the Christian Broadcasting Network. It would not be the first time he made such a declaration.
"I've said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is - although as I mentioned we have a very large Christian population - we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation," he said. "We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
His declaration stands in stark contrast to comments once made by former President Ronald Reagan.
"The Founding Fathers believed that faith in God was the key to our being a good people and America's becoming a great nation," he said.
And during a National Prayer Breakfast, Reagan did not hesitate to lay out the source of our nation's success.
"I also believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in search of gold, but in search of God," he said. "They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future. Sometimes, it seems we've strayed from that noble beginning, from our conviction that standards of right and wrong do exist and must be lived up to."
Not a Christian nation? Tell that to the men who wrote our Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Not a Christian nation? Tell that to George Washington. He used 54 Biblical terms to describe God in his various writings.
"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian," he once wrote.
Not a Christian nation? Tell that to John Jay the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers," he wrote.
Not a Christian nation? Tell that to James Madison, our fourth president and a signer of the U.S. Constitution.
"A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven," he once wrote.
Not a Christian nation? Tell that to Patrick Henry, the voice of liberty.
"Being a Christian...is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast," he once said.
Secular humanists may one day be successful in the religious cleansing of American history. There may come a time when Christian values will be banished from the marketplace of ideas and expelled from our public schools. On the horizon a day fast approaches when Americans could pay a price for following the teachings of Jesus Christ.
And while the winds of change may sweep across the nation's capital -- there stands a beacon of hope -- a reminder that this nation of immigrants was built, not on sinking sand, but on a firm foundation, girded by Almighty God.
And on this Fourth of July, the first ray's of morning light will shine down upon these United States of America -- illuminating an eternal truth and a grateful nation's prayer -- praise be to God!