Have you ever visited the Capitol of the United States? It’s an impressive monument that serves as a temple to democracy. The rotunda of the great complex is topped with a statue named “Freedom.” It sits so high that passersby can’t really see its details. The construction and extension of the building was started in the 1850’s. There was much controversy because it would cost the taxpayers a lot of money. In those days the government didn’t spend money it didn’t have. But the building had a champion who would navigate the troubled waters and provide the Union with a building stately enough to house the entire Legislative Branch of our government. The statue, the rotunda, the expansion to two houses, the hallway between the houses all owe their existence to their champion: Senator Jefferson Davis (D-Miss). That’s another story for another time.
The statue appears as a three-dimensional figure atop the dome, but directly under the dome are paintings. The most famous one is Washington appearing as a divine figure. Nearby, however, is our friend, “Freedom.” I took the photo accompanying this essay and I draw your attention to it. The painting was done as the Capitol was nearing completion during the Civil War. Probably much to Senator Jefferson Davis’s chagrin, “Freedom” is on the move. She has no olive branches or doves in her arsenal. People are in trouble. People are dying. Liberty is on the march as the United States Army frees more and more of the enslaved. “Freedom” is drawing all those who wish to be free under the weapons she does not bear in vain. The Eagle soars with “Freedom” clutching arrows to be loosed in her name. “Freedom” has cried, “Havoc!” The dogs of war have slipped their chains.
I don’t think it’s often that “Freedom” draws her deadly arsenal and threatens those who would murder and sow mayhem, but now is one of those times. As the U.S.S. Gerald R Ford and her lethal escorts provide the cover Israel requires to reestablish safety for her citizens, I have confidence in our Navy and Air Force. I have confidence in the IDF. I could never have imagined such depravity as Hamas revealed. I never thought there was any mind on earth capable of such evil. I was wrong. As I look at the vision of an outraged “Freedom” painted on the ceiling of our seat of government, I wish her Godspeed. I call on the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to protect those who fight in His holy name. I ask Him to give comfort to the people of Israel and to establish justice among men and nations. Amen.