Two Symbols of One Nation
Published : October 27, 2017
These wonderful words from the Bible’s book of Leviticus 25:10, are inscribed on the top of one of our Republic’s sacred symbols: the Liberty Bell. This iconic American bell was created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s “Charter of Privileges” (1701) which granted religious liberty and self-government for the people of Pennsylvania.
The Christian leaders of Pennsylvania chose Leviticus 25:10, as it represented the Israelite year of Jubilee, when slaves were freed and debt was forgiven. Eventually the Liberty Bell became the symbol for the abolitionist/anti-slavery movement of the 1830s in America.
While the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) attempt to deny our Christian heritage, the Liberty Bell is but one of many empirical and historical facts that point to the influence of the Judeo-Christian worldview upon the founding of our Republic under God.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”
These beautiful words from “The New Colossus,” Emma Lazarus’s famous sonnet, are mounted inside the pedestal of Liberty Enlightening the World, better known as the Statue of Liberty.
Lady Liberty is a robed woman representing Libertas, the goddess of freedom and a symbol for freed slaves. Lady Liberty’s French designer Frederic Bartholdi was influenced by the Statue of Freedom, which stood atop the United States Capitol. Sen. Jefferson Davis, a pro-slavery Democrat and the future president of the Confederate States of America, was responsible for the Capitol’s construction. Unfortunately, excluded from construction was the Statue of Freedom’s “liberty cap,” which was symbolic of freed slaves in the Roman Empire.
Initially, Bartholdi wanted his Lady Liberty carrying a broken chain of slavery, but sensitive to “Civil War” politics, Bartholdi put a broken chain of slavery at her feet, half-hidden by her robe and difficult to see from the ground.
In spite of the Civil War politics that played into her history, Lady Liberty has been a source of inspiration for millions of Americans and immigrants for more than 130 years. Italian immigrant and director Frank Capra, who saw America as a great and exceptional nation, reflected these sentiments in his famed movies Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life. In 1903, when Capra and his parents left a Sicily plagued by the crime and poverty, they came to America to experience her freedom and economic opportunities. Capra said that when they came into New York Harbor and his father saw the Statue of Liberty he cried out to his son, “Ciccio, look! Look at that! That's the greatest light since the star of Bethlehem! That's the light of freedom! Remember that. Freedom.”
On July 3, 1986, with Lady Liberty in the background, President Reagan gave a wonderful speech at the centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty’s dedication. In it he eloquently declared, “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty. We hold it high tonight for the world to see, a beacon of hope, a light unto the nations. And so with joy and celebration and with a prayer that this lamp shall never be extinguished.”
My fellow Americans, as the Radical Left intensifies its cultural and political war to destroy our wonderful Republic under God, let us dedicate ourselves to raising the flame of Lady Liberty high for the world to see; and may it never be extinguished.