Darrow Miller and Friends

The Most Historically Significant Sculpture You’ve Never Seen

A renewal of the founding principles of the US is past due; no big headline there. But we’ve come to a pretty turn of things when the “largest solid granite sculpture in the U.S.”—a magnificent tribute to our Pilgrim founders—is virtually invisible, and at the same time, the anchor of a major news program is clueless about a fundamental tenet of the US Declaration of Independence.

National Monument to the ForefathersThe sculpture is the National Monument to the Forefathers. At 81 feet tall, it features the statue of Faith (which alone weighs 180 tons). And yet, seemingly, few Americans know anything about it.

The news anchor is Chris Cuomo, co-host of the “New Day” show at CNN. More about that below.

Darrow taught recently at Rivendell Sanctuary where he saw the documentary “Monumental” by Kirk Cameron/ @KirkCameron. The film relates the story of the Pilgrims coming to the US, and includes a description of a monument that was built to celebrate the Pilgrim principles and convictions upon which the US was founded. (Click here to see more photos and information about this amazing sculpture.)

The experience of seeing the film and learning about the sculpture triggered an interesting exchange of emails in the DNA circles (an edited summary of which follows):

DARROW: I have lived a long time, and consider myself well educated and I had never heard of this sculpture. How could something so significant be so hidden?

ELIZABETH YOUMANS (DNA friend, founder and president of Chrysalis International): I used Gov. William Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation as a textbook for teaching Christian character in my graduate courses. I was told by the Dean of Education that I was “too biblical” in my courses (in a Christian graduate school) and that most Christian educators didn’t care much for my inclusion of the Pilgrims in my Character Development course! He told me they said the reading was “too difficult” and not relevant to today’s Christian!

Of Plimoth Plantation reads like an extension of the book of Acts and has influenced my thought and teaching for many years.

SCOTT ALLEN (DNA president): I have not heard of this monument either.

How could it be so hidden? Because at the time that you (and I) were taught US history Darrow, we were not taught to revere God or honor the virtues enshrined on this monument. We were taught that the founders were deists and secularists. We were taught to be ashamed of the Pilgrims.

I was largely taught that the Pilgrims were oppressors of native peoples, and dangerous religious fanatics who burned witches. They were pharisaical legalists who made women caught in adultery wear scarlet letters. The only positive: They did host a nice Thanksgiving meal at one point.

Years after I graduated from college I finally read Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation and wondered how I could have ever missed this beautifully written, moving account of the courageous sacrifices made by our American forbears in my studies of history (my degree was in history)! This book revealed to me the seed of our American constitutional form of government.

If you’ve never heard of the National Monument to the Forefathers … you’re in good company. Thanks, Kirk Cameron, for exposing this wonderful piece of American history to our view.

Which brings us to the cable news host story, another indication of pathetic ignorance (or worse) of the founding principles of the US.

You may have seen the recent news about an exchange between Chris Cuomo and Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. In the conversation, they came to another fundamental aspect of US history. Their back-and-forth captures the core of our current cultural conflict.

Moore, of course, has been in the news recently because of his conviction that the federal government does not have standing to force a state to recognize same-sex “marriage” and his accompanying refusal to stand down in the matter. At issue is the provenance of our rights as human beings.

Here’s their exchange, excerpted from the CNN broadcast (as reported at Brietbart):

MOORE: … our rights contained in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution, they come from God. It’s clearly stated –

CUOMO: Our laws do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man.

MOORE: Let me ask you one question, Chris. Is the Declaration of Independence law?

CUOMO: You would call it organic law as a basis for future laws off of it?

MOORE: I would call it the organic law because the United States code calls it organic law. It is organic law because the law of this country calls it the organic law. [The term “organic law of this country”] means “where our rights come from.” And if they come from there, men can’t take it away.

CUOMO: Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but not our country. Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.

MOORE: It’s not a matter of faith, sir. It’s a matter of organic law, which states, ‘We hold these truths to be held equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’[1] And the only role of government is stated in the next sentence is to secure those rights for us. The government starts taking those rights away from us, then it’s not securing and it is defiling the whole purpose of government.

A person claiming that “our rights come from man and not from God” is speaking either in ignorance or arrogance. But we can be thankful for public figures like Judge Moore, who have the temerity to challenge such folly, and the scholarship to know whereof they speak.

Thank you, Justice Moore.

The trees that have grown to obscure the National Monument to the Forefathers in the 126 years since its construction comprise a metaphor for the cultural lies which hide truth from our view.

As Elizabeth Youmans put it, “We must labor to keep alive God’s testimony in the founding of America throughout our generations that He might be glorified and that our youth might know of His mighty Hand of Providence in the founding of this nation!”

  • Gary Brumbelow

[1] An attentive reader points out that Justice Moore left out the bolded text: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …”


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Gary is the Disciple Nations Alliance editorial manager. He manages Darrow Miller and Friends and serves as editor and co-writer on various book projects. For eight years Gary served as a cross-cultural church planting missionary among First Nations people of Canada. His career also includes 14 years as executive director of InterAct Ministries, an Oregon-based church-planting organization in Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. Gary is a graduate of Grace University, earned an MA from Wheaton College and a Graduate Studies Diploma from Western Seminary. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, Valerie. They have two married sons and twelve grandchildren. In addition to his work with the DNA, Gary serves as the pastor of Troutdale Community Church.


  1. Clark Dahl

    March 19, 2015 - 10:19 am

    The New American Civil War

    We are currently, have been for 50 years, in the midst of a New American Civil War. It is a civil war between warring world views. It is a spiritual civil war and be certain that “principalities” and “powers” are engaged in this conflict.

    One of the combatants hold to the Judeo/Christian ethics and traditional moral values this country was, beyond any reasonable argument, founded on. On the other side is the secular/humanist world view. The outcome of this New American Civil War will have far greater impact on our country and culture than our first Civil War. While the first Civil War was a fight to free the slaves, this New American Civil War is a fight for the soul of our country.

    The exchange in this post between Judge Moore and Chris Cuomo clearly defines the parameters of the New American Civil War. Judge Moore, rightly so, sees that the founding of our country was based on “organic law” originating from a Judeo/Christian worldview. Cuomo, on the other hand, sees law as the result of relativism; “Our laws come from the collective agreement and compromise.” Moore sees law as coming from the hand of God, apart from man, which is not subject to compromise or human opinions.

    The outcome of this New American Civil War will have grave consequences for people of faith should we lose this battle. The battle is on in Portland, Oregon right now. The outcome of the Sweet Cakes case, and others like it, will reverberate throughout society. The owners of Sweet Cakes refused to bake a cake for a “gay wedding” between two women, who promptly sued based on discrimination. You can rest assured they knew full well what would happen and chose Sweet Cake with a lawsuit in mind beforehand. What follows is an article which appeared in the Oregonian newspaper yesterday. From this you can conclude we are already losing the battle in the legal arena. Please know that the slogan for Portland, Oregon is “Keep Portland Weird”. We slept too long and now we will pay the price but I believe the battle is not completely lost.

    “It’s not about a cake,” Gaddis said. “It’s about discrimination based on sexual orientation. Period.” This is a quote in the article made by the plaintiff’s attorney. She is certainly right the case is not about a cake. It is about God’s law versus man’s opinion.

    Go here to read the complete article.

    • admin

      March 19, 2015 - 3:51 pm

      Yes, Clark, we are in a battle with fundamentalist secularism, to be sure.

      Hosea speaks of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind, a fitting metaphor for our day.

      Yet a majority of Americans still oppose the idea of same-sex “marriage.” The battle may yet be won, but courage, and likely, sacrifice, will be necessary.

      Here’s a story you may want to follow.

      Thanks for reading and responding.

      Gary Brumbelow