This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 11, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: The controversy flying around the U.S. Capitol has finally come to an end, and "God" is allowed back on the flag certificates.
Now, we told you yesterday about a 17-year-old Eagle Scout, Andrew LaRochelle, who wanted to honor his grandfather by flying a flag over the U.S. Capitol. However, when Andrew received the flag certificate, he noticed the word "God" had been omitted from his dedication.
Andrew and his family turned to their congressman, Michael Turner, and together they overturned or helped to overturn the policy.
Joining us now is Andrew LaRochelle and Ohio Congressman Michael Turner.
Andrew, welcome. Are you happy with the resolution now?
ANDREW LAROCHELLE, EAGLE SCOUT: Of course. You know, it's been a great — it's been a great relief to finally get here.
COLMES: I know you want to honor your grandfather, and the architect of the Capitol said, "No, no, you can't do it this way, because these are the rules."
Do you appreciate that maybe he was just trying to follow the rules a little bit and wasn't personally trying to say we don't want "God" anywhere, but he felt this is the rule we have to obey?
LAROCHELLE: Well, of course. If, you know, rules are set and are meant to be there for purpose. And if that was the ruling, then I respect that he has to abide by that.
COLMES: And of course, you fought it and you want and you got it reverse. Congressman Turner, I guess everybody is happy now because you pretty much got what you wanted, right?
REP. MICHAEL TURNER, OHIO: Well, Alan, what's important here is that there was more at stake, really, than just the word "God" on the flag certificates.
The architect of the Capitol has custodial care of the Capitol itself, which has in the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber the words "in God we trust" and, of course, in the rotunda, there is the monumental painting honoring the baptism of Pocahontas.
And as the architect goes through their custodial care, if they were permitted to determine if the word "God" was — is objectionable, then certainly it places all those at risk.
Alan, I do want to correct you on one thing. It wasn't just a rule and a rule that was being followed. You'd probably be surprised to find that in my office, we received, throughout September, the same month that Andrew's certificate was denied, certificates from the Capitol architect for flags to fly over the Capitol that did include the word "God". It was a selectively enforced policy, and it was not well done. And it is good that it was struck down.
COLMES: As I understand — and Nancy Pelosi pointed out that the Congress people like yourself, at your discretion, can on behalf of your constituents, inscribe whatever you want on these certificates. You could have always helped out here and interjected and gotten Andrew what he wanted. Right?
TURNER: Well, you had — you had said that yesterday and that actually was not true. The inscriptions are done by the architect himself.
Nancy Pelosi was offering a solution which would have been take off all inscriptions, and then people could put something of their own on there. Basically translated to if we're going to make the architects say "God", let's have him say nothing.
But the new solution, which is the right, which is the one that — that supports what we need to do to get Andrew his certificate, is that the architect will still issue the certificates. They will include inscriptions requested by constituents, and he will permit, if constituents request it, the acknowledgement of God.
RICHARD LOWRY, GUEST CO-HOST: Hey, gentlemen, it's Rich Lowry.
First of all, congratulations on becoming the Eagle Scout. It's a tremendous accomplishment. And you should be proud of it.
LAROCHELLE: Thanks a lot.
LOWRY: Tell us what's — what did you think and feel when this certificate came back with God's name edited out?
LAROCHELLE: Well, I mean, of course, as soon as I got it was a shock. It wasn't anything that I was expecting. And from then on, it's just been amazing what all has happened.
LOWRY: Tell us a little bit about your grandfather you wanted to honor with this certificate.
LAROCHELLE: Right. My grandfather has definitely been an influence on me in a lot of ways, especially in God and having that on the certificate. I can remember, you know, going on vacation and visiting him. And every time I'd go and visit him, we would always, you know, start talking about our faith and stuff like that. And so he has been a big influence for me in that respect.
LOWRY: Oh, that's marvelous.
Congressman, I think you're right to point out a larger trend here, which is very insidious. In our society today, the most benign references to religion and those benign expressions of religiosity are somehow considered controversial and have to be struck from our public life.
TURNER: Right. And obviously, that was never the intent of our Founding Fathers, and it certainly hasn't been the way we've governed ourselves. We certainly have to respect the multiculturalism that we have here.
But doing that respect certainly should not come at the cost of losing our heritage and our roots. The Declaration of Independence for itself specifically references God. The Constitution ends with the words by the signers "in the year of our Lord".
The Pledge of Allegiance, we're still litigating over the Pledge of Allegiance, to maintain the words "under God" there. We have to make certain we do not have people unilaterally taking God out of our rights.
LOWRY: Gentlemen, thanks so much for being with us, Andrew. Good luck.
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