American Family Association ("AFA") Alert: Religious Words Such as God, Lord BANNED by Architect of the U.S Capitol

The Architect of the Capitol is responsible to the United States Congress for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex, which includes the Capitol, the congressional office buildings, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Power Plant, and other facilities.

Currently, Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, AOC’s Deputy Architect/Chief Operating Officer, in accordance with P.L. 108-7, is serving as Acting Architect of the Capitol until a new Architect is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The above definition of the position and current position holder of Architect of the U.S. Capitol can be found here.

Someone please tell me where it states this position has the authority to eliminate religious terms, without vetting, and simply on his “views”? Yet–that is exactly what he’s done regarding certificates of authenticity for flags flown over the Capitol.

Architect of the Capitol Steven Ayers said he has removed the words because reference to God and the Lord may offend some Americans. He now prohibits them from being placed on official documents such as flag certificates.

Who gave him this authority? Who ok’d this?

Were it not for AFA, I never would have known about this–would you? With that in mind, I’m printing the entire email I received from AFA:


Religious words such as God, Lord banned by Architect of the U.S. Capitol

Contact your congressman and senators today!

Dear [Redacted],

According to U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave, our nation’s legislators are now prohibited from using references to God in certificates of authenticity accompanying flags flown over the Capitol and bought by constituents. Such references include: “under God” in the pledge, “God bless you,” or “in the year of our Lord, 2007.” Never before has this official prohibition been leveled.

Architect of the Capitol Steven Ayers said he has removed the words because reference to God and the Lord may offend some Americans. He now prohibits them from being placed on official documents such as flag certificates.

Musgrave was astonished when she flew a flag over the U.S. Capitol building as a tribute to a senior citizen, and the accompanying certificate she received was edited with all religious references removed.

The congresswoman was more astounded when, upon further investigation, she discovered the certificate was censored by order of The Architect of the Capitol, an unelected very low-level official who manages the flag office.

Responding to a request for a flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of a World War II veteran’s 81st birthday, the congresswoman ordered the flag and a certificate to state: “This flag was flown for Mr. John Doe on the occasion of his 81st birthday, the eleventh day of July, in the year of our Lord, 2007. Thank you, Grandpa, for showing me what it is to be a true patriot — to love God, family, and country. We love you!”

When the flag and certificate came back from the flag office, each reference to the Lord and God were removed. A group of lawmakers confronted architect Stephen Ayers seeking to find where he had the authority to restrict their freedom of speech and religious expression. Ayers refused to give the lawmakers a clear justification of his authority to delete the religious references. For more information: Capitol flag policy assailed (Washington Times).

Take Action! Forward this to your family and friends.

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Take Action

  • Send an e-mail to your representative and two senators. Ask them to put a stop to this nonsense. A low-level employee should not have the authority to ban the use of religious words.
  • Forward this to your family and friends and ask them to send an e-mail to their representatives and senators.

If you think our efforts are worthy, would you please consider making a donation to help us continue?



Donald E. Wildmon, Founder & Chairman
American Family Association

P.S. Please help us get this information into the hands of as many people as possible by forwarding it to your family and friends.


Here is the article referencing Capitol Flag Policy in the above alert:

Article published Oct 6, 2007
Capitol flag policy assailed

October 6, 2007

By Audrey Hudson –

A group of Republican lawmakers is demanding the architect of the U.S. Capitol reverse a policy that bans the use of the word “God” on flag certificates sent to constituents.

Rep. Michael R. Turner of Ohio said one of his constituents, Paul Larochelle, recently requested to receive a flag that had flown over the Capitol. Mr. Larochelle’s son had hoped to present the flag and the accompanying certificate to his grandfather, an Army veteran.

The Larochelles wanted the certificate’s inscription to read, in part: “In honor of my grandfather, Marcel Larochelle, and his dedication and love of God, country and family.” However, when the flag and the certificate arrived at Mr. Turner’s office from the architect of the U.S. Capitol’s office, which handles the Capitol flag program, the word “God” had been eliminated.

Mr. Turner said he requested an explanation from the architect’s office, which cited one of its 14 Flag Office Services rules. The rule states, “… religious expressions are not permitted on flag certificates.”

Mr. Turner — along with fellow Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado, Randy Neugebauer of Texas and Steve Pearce of New Mexico — complained in a letter this week to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the architect’s office had “informed several congressional offices that the use of the word ‘God’ violates the rule.” [Emphasis mine].

“This is an abuse of power, plain and simple,” Mr. Neugebauer said. “Using the nonpartisan position of maintaining the Capitol to decide what citizens can have written on their flag certificates is unacceptable.”

Stephen T. Ayers has been acting architect of the U.S. Capitol since February, when his predecessor, Alan M. Hantman, retired. Mr. Ayers’ spokeswoman was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The lawmakers are asking Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, to review the authority under which the architect’s office made the rules and that the policy “which censors our citizens’ right to expressions of their faith” be reversed. [Emphasis mine]

They also point out that as the custodian of the Capitol, the architect is responsible for a building inscribed with many religious references, including “In God We Trust” in the House and Senate chambers.

“The architect’s policy is in direct conflict with his charge as well as the scope of his office and brings into question his ability to preserve a building containing many national religious symbols,” the lawmakers stated.

A spokesman for Mrs. Pelosi said a Democratic proposal may help solve the problem. [Emphasis mine]

The proposal would have the architect certify that the flag was flown, and then a member of Congress could add the constituent’s message separately, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said. [Emphasis mine]

“It will be resolved in the near future,” he said.

Lawmakers receive more than 100,000 requests from constituents each year for flags that have flown over the Capitol.

Who wants to lay odds Pelosi’s office won’t do a damn thing? Even her “solution” of flying the flag and later inscribing the certificate with what the constituent wants doesn’t address nor alleviate the fact this non-elected official has taken it upon himself to do as he pleases. She simply wants to allow him to continue to do so rather than order him to follow the rules.

Sign the petition and contact your representatives about this. Just another piece of throwing our values under the bus and play politics for the dems. Disgusting.

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[Update] People were heard and God is once again allowed on the certificates.

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