Phoenix, Arizona Bowing to pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, United States Park officials have removed three bronze plaques bearing Scripture passages at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Phoenix donated the plaques 33 years ago out of a desire to thank God for His Creation.
“These plaques are meant to inspire people to acknowledge and give credit to the Creator who made this beautiful panorama,” said Sister Pinea. “Any other artist receives acknowledgement for what he’s done.”
A Grand Canyon National Park spokesperson told CNN, “They are religious plaques on federal buildings and that’s not allowed based on the law.”
The ACLU had merely written a letter to park officials expressing concern that the religious messages violated the U.S. Constitution. The Scripture passages engraved on the plaques are Psalms 66:4, 68:4 and 104:24.
The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary has placed similar Scripture praise plaques near other scenic spots, ranging from the Kilimanjaro to the Swiss Alps and the Himalayans, from Oberammergau to Table Mountain in the South African Republic.
For over three decades, people have remarked to U.S. park officials and to the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary about the plaques, wanting more information and requesting postcards of the Grand Canyon with the Scriptures in view.
“This was a divine seal on God’s creation,” said Sister Pinea. The plaques “had been very favorably protected by park services because from time to time, they had someone that complained about it but there had always been a positive relationship and (park officials) wanted to keep them up.”
The Sisters have received numerous favorable responses from people worldwide who have visited the Grand Canyon.
“We’re continuing to pray,” said Sister Pinea of the removal of the plaques. “I have not really lived my life to praise God the way I should. I think it’s a call for all Christians to wake up and give God glory.”