One Nation Under God



One Nation Under God

by Jon McNaughton

This simple phrase added to the pledge of allegiance many decades ago has been the source of unbelievable debate and heated controversy. Likewise, the phrase ‘In God We Trust’ on our currency has been targeted and continues to be attacked as improper and politically incorrect. Lawsuits have been filed and legal minds employed to ascertain whether such statements violate the concept of ‘separation of church and state’. 

As this debate continues, some so called experts have implied or concluded that our Founding Fathers and Patriots were not religious. These secular champions, in an effort to further their own causes, have even painted these great men and women from our history as being devoid of religious passions or even a belief in God. This is a part of their strategy to remove any discussion of God from the public forum.

Jon McNaughton would like to set the record straight.

These men and women were passionately religious and saw the hand of god all around them. To God they gave Thanks for His Hand in the founding of this great nation. To Him, according to their own testimony, they turned for wisdom and strength when life and liberty hung in the balance. Certainly the dispute on separation of church and state will continue. But no one can dispute how our Founding Fathers and Patriots felt about God. The record is clear. “One Nation Under God” is Jon McNaughton’s witness and reminder that those who went before us knew from whence their blessings came!

mcnaughton-one-nation-under-god-studio-image.jpg The following list correspond to the Identification Key listed Above

1. Jesus Christ

He wears a golden robe to symbolize His position as the God of all creation.  His robe has the emblem of Alpha and Omega at the top of the robe and the olive branch to symbolize peace along the hem of the robe.  On His hand is the nail mark to recognize His eternal sacrifice.  He points to the U.S. Constitution, to the boy, and to the mother and beyond to emphasize their important role in the preservation of our country.

2. Tree of Life

The tree represents the love of God. The seven branches represent the seven dispensations of time; the seven roots, the seven creative periods; and the fruit, the twelve tribes of Israel.

3. U. S. Constitution

Inspired of God and created by God fearing, patriotic Americans.

4. George Washington

The commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary war and the first President of the United States, often referred to as the “Father of our country.”

5. Abraham Lincoln

He was the 16th President of the United States.  He led the country through the Civil War and was assassinated in his second term of office.  Was called the “Great Emancipator” for ending slavery.

6. John Adams

Second President of the United States and one of the most influential of the Founding Fathers.

7. Alexander Hamilton

A leading Founding Father who wrote the Federalist Papers.

8. Nathan Hale

Martyr soldier of the American Revolution who said, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

9. Samuel Adams

Leader of the fight against British colonial rule and a signor of the Declaration of Independence.

10. Patrick Henry

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was known for his speech in 1775 in which he said, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

11. John F. Kennedy

35th President of the United States. He was an advocate of the Civil Rights Movement and helped us develop our space program until he was tragically assassinated in 1963.  He was famous for saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  

12. American Soldier

Represents the modern American soldier.  He happens to have the last name of “KING” on his body armor.  He stands as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.—a great leader of American Civil Rights.

13. Paul Revere

Revolutionary war hero, famous for his midnight ride to warn “the Regulars are coming out!”  He stands in front of a window, “One if by land, two if by sea.” 

14. Ronald Reagan

40th President of the United States. He believed in the greatness of America and in “peace through strength.”  He was a true patriot of freedom.

15. John Jay

He was one of the founding fathers.  He was also the first Chief Justice of the United States and that’s why he is standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building. He co-wrote the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and was a leading opponent of slavery.

16. Abigail Adams

Wife of John Adams, known for the influential letters written to her husband during the First Continental Congress. She was a strong advocate of women’s rights and an opponent of slavery.

17. John Quincy Adams

Son of John Adams and 6th President of the United States.

18. Fisher Ames

Considered one of the greatest advocates of a free society in American history, one of the greatest orators for the cause of liberty in the early years of the country.

19. Fighter Pilot

He represents the thousands of pilots who have served their country in perilous times and in times of peace to preserve our liberties.  We especially remember those who have given their lives in this great cause.

20. Teddy Roosevelt

Was the 26th President of the United States. He was a great naturalist and established many of the national parks. His face is alongside Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. He was a great hunter, author, soldier and explorer. He believed in a strong Federal government and a strong foreign policy.

21. John Hancock

President of the 2nd Continental Congress and Governor of Massachusetts.  He was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence and famous for his large signature.

22. Sequoyah

First American Indian to put his language into written form. Later in 1905 the Indian Nation in current Oklahoma had the Sequoyah Convention named after him where they created a constitution similar to the U.S. Constitution to try for statehood.

23. Thomas Paine

A Founding Father known for writing the pamphlets “Common Sense” during the Revolutionary War.  He was also an Abolitionist.  Although Paine was a very liberal thinker, his contribution to the victory in the Revolutionary War are undisputed. It is not important that he was not a Christian. God often uses good men to fulfill His purposes.

24. Harriet Tubman

She was an abolitionist and Union spy during the Civil War. She made over thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves in the Underground Railroad. 

25. Civil War Soldier

Why does he have his hands over his face?

This is the only war in American history where American fought against American and brother against brother.  Hopefully it will never happen again.

26. Continental Soldier

Represents the brave men who fought against all odds in defeating Britain in the Revolutionary War.

27. Ulysses S. Grant

18th President of the United States and General of the Union Army during the Civil War.

28. Clara Barton

Was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” during the Civil War. She organized the American Red Cross and was involved in women’s rights and civil rights.

29. WWI Soldier

He represent this group of men (and women) who fought to preserve our freedoms, many at the expense of their very lives.

30. Frederick Douglas

A famous abolitionist and fighter for women’s suffrage.

31. Davy Crockett

Known as the “King of the wild frontier”; also served in the Tennessee House of Representatives and was killed in the Alamo fighting in the Texas Revolution.

32. Susan B. Anthony

Played a major role in the women’s rights movement.  She fought relentlessly for women’s suffrage and gave 75-100 speeches a year on women’s rights for 45 years.

33. Black Union Soldier

The blacks had a difficult role in the Civil War, but nevertheless willingly fought for their freedom in whatever capacity they were asked to perform.

34. Benjamin Franklin

A leading Founding Father and statesman.  He was respected and held a position second only to George Washington as the Champion of American Independence.

35. Dwight D. Eisenhower

The 34th President of the United States, a Five Star General and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during the Second World War.

36. Benjamin Rush

Signor of the Declaration of Independence and participant in the First Continental Congress; also, prominent physician during the Revolutionary War.

37. Christa McAuliffe

Astronaut and school teacher from New Hampshire who was killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger 73 seconds after it took off.  She represents those in the space program who have sacrificed for the country.

38. WWII-Vietnam Soldier

This soldier represents all those who have fought in these wars for our country.

39. Roger Sherman

Served as a member of the “Committee of five” that drafted the Declaration of Independence and as a member of the Continental Congress.

40. George Wythe

Signor of the Declaration of Independence and mentor to Thomas Jefferson.  He was the first professor of law in America and a great scholar.

41. Thomas Jefferson

The 3rd President of the United States.  One of the most influential of the Founding Fathers and drafter of the Declaration of Independence which he holds in his hands.

42. Robert Livingston

One of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence and active as a member of the Continental Congress.

43. Dolly Madison

Wife of James Madison. She was a distinguished and brave woman, instrumental in saving key documents of her husband’s during the burning of Washington in the War of 1812.

44. James Madison

Often referred to as the “Father of the Constitution and “The Bill of Rights”. Also, served as the 4th president of the United States.

45. Rising Generation

Who are the rising generation that this little boy represents?  He symbolizes the young children, both male and female, of all color and ethnicities, which are being taught the true principles of our Republic by parents who believe in the Constitution.


46. Family Doctor

Represents the medical profession and their contribution to the health and well being of all Americans.

47. U. S. Marine

Often you see a Marine like this at the burial of a fallen serviceman.  The flag under his arm is symbolic.  The military carefully fold the flag thirteen times and the last fold which shows the stars represents, “In God We Trust.”  This goes all the way back to George Washington.

48. College Student

He is holding some books under his arm.  This book on the top is I believe the most important book written of why America is so great and how it has influenced the world.  It’s called “The Five Thousand Year Leap” by Cleon Skousen. It explains that if it had not been for the founding fathers and how they set up our Constitution we could not have created the environment to allow for the great advances of the modern world. We literally went from hoes and shovels to placing a man on the moon and we took a five thousand year leap in human  development.  Truly these men were inspired!

49. School Teacher

The value of qualified, trained and hard working teachers in teaching the youth of America can not be underestimated.  Every figure on the steps of the painting  represents a different type of American.  They are not meant to be specific people.

50. Mother

She holds her hand out which has two meanings.  First she is recognizing Christ and second she is releasing her son to come forth and touch the Constitution.  A mother’s role in raising up the next generation is immeasurable. 

51. Child with Disability

Symbol of those for whom we should have understanding and compassion - the truly innocent and pure of our nation.  Notice each person on left side of the front of the painting are looking toward the Lord.  Those on the lower right side are all turned away.

52. Business Woman

Our country has come far in having equal opportunities available to women. In the work place both males and females struggle to maintain their conservative values. This is difficult among the social changes we are experiencing today.

53. Immigrant

Why does he have his hand up like that? 

There are many good people in America, they are not all Christian.  I wanted him to have a look of shock when he realizes where the source of America’s greatness comes from as he sees Christ holding the Constitution.  We live in a country were we are free to worship as we please. 

54. Christian Minister

Represents all Pastors, Priests and other servants of God.  He is holding the Holy Bible.

55. Farmer

Truly the backbone of America.


56. Supreme Court Judge

Judges at this level have great power and often the destiny of a nation is influenced greatly by their actions. This judge hides his face in shame as he considers some of the court decisions that have done great damage to our country. On his wrist watch the time reads 11:59 to signify that there is little time remaining.

57. Notorious Court Cases:

Martin v. Hunter Losee             

This gives the Supreme Court ultimate authority over state courts in matters of Federal Law.

Marbury v. Madison                 

This case allows for judicial review of the Constitution and made it possible for appointed activist judges to interpret the constitution, creating a new mandate that in turn becomes the law of the land.

Gibbons v. Ogden                      

Gave congress power to regulate interstate commerce.

Everson v. Board of Education

This case opened the door for the seperationist drive by the courts to separate church and state. It was the beginning of removal of prayer from school and God from America.

Roe v. Wade                   

This is one of the greatest travesties of all time and opened the door to legalizing abortions.  It does nothing to protect the interests of the unborn child.  There have been over 45 million abortions performed in America since 1973. 

Keelo v. New London                

Involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another to further economic development.

58. Politician

He’s on his cell phone, not paying attention.  He has his patriotic tie and American flag lapel pin, but he’s more concerned about his own political ambitions than what is in the best interest of the country.  I’m afraid there is too much of this in Washington today. There needs to be a change.  It will only happen if the American people rise up and demand it.


59. Professor

He tightly holds his “Origin of Species” book by Charles Darwin.  This represents the liberal lefts control of our educational system.  His smug expression describes the attitude of many of the educational elite.  There is no room for God in education.  There is contempt for any other viewpoints.  Humanism dominates the educational system of America and I believe that is wrong.  Notice that he is the only one sitting on the top step.  He tries to place himself on an equal footing with  God, but he is still nothing next to the intelligence of the Creator.

60. Hollywood

He represents your entertainment business in America.  It is very apparent that there is a liberal slant with Hollywood.  He looks down at the judge and pregnant woman with ridicule and amusement. 

61. Pregnant Woman

She is pointing at the mother with the disabled child and is saying to herself, “I want to keep my baby.”  She represents hope.  Abortion is a heavy subject, but this artist believes strongly in the rights of the unborn child

62. News Media

Many of the media today are biased towards the left and try to shape the thinking and actions of Americans in that direction.

63. Lawyer

No, not all lawyers are like this, but there is certainly an element of the system which has made room for corruption.  He could also stand for Wall Street or the Banking System.  He is lovingly counting his hundred dollar bills.

64. U. S. Capitol Building

65. U. S. Supreme Court

66. Satan

Everything in this painting is symbolic. This figure which represents Satan was painted to be as creepy and dark as possible and still be easily recognizable. I believe in the reality of the Adversary and that he interferes in the affairs of men. He is subtle and crafty and many are lured to think that good is evil and evil is good. It is interesting to me how many people love to point out the Satan figure in the painting. I would encourage you to consider each symbol and how it relates to the rest of the painting.

 onug5.pngOne Nation Under God - List of Symbolism

  1. The Tree of Life emblem on Christ's chest I designed to be filled with symbolism and it has many meanings. It represents the love of God and that He is the Messiah.
  2. There are seven branches to represent the seven dispensations of time.
  3. The center branch is the most fruitful and points to Christ. It represents the Millennium.
  4. There are twelve fruit on the branches to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.
  5. There are seven roots to represent the seven periods of creation. The center root represents the day God rested from His labors.
  6. The trunk is divided into three parts to represent the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
  7. The red sash symbolizes the blood spilt by Americans for God and country.
  8. The writing on the sash is ancient Hebrew which says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalms 33:12
  9. At the top of both sides of the hemmed robe are the signs of Alpha and Omega, or the beginning and the end. A symbol of God's power.
  10. Along the hem of the robe is the embroidered design of the olive branch which always represents "peace."
  11. The robe is golden in color because I wanted Christ to appear as the King of Kings and the God of all creation.
  12. Behind Christ's head is light, almost like a halo which emanates from the East. This is the light of Christ and it says in Mathew 24:27, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
  13. On Christ's hand is the nail mark of His crucifixion. This is a symbol of His sacrifice for mankind.
  14. Jesus moves his right foot forward to mean that He is coming and things are in motion.
  15. Christ stares into the distance. He has almost a sad face as he sees the future of America. We face hard times ahead. Everything in this painting is symbolic. Even Christ's face is a symbol. As an artist this is a tricky thing to do. Many people throughout the world have a different view of how He looks to them. I chose to create a face of Jesus that would be recognizable, but not too much toward any particular religious denomination.
  16. His hand points to the U. S. Constitution, the young boy, the mother, and the good Americans to signify their importance to maintaining our freedom in this great land.
  17. In the background are the Federal Capitol Building and the U. S. Supreme Court Building to represent the Legislative and Judicial branches of our government.
  18. Only some of the lights are lit and some are very dim to symbolize the waning of the cause of liberty among many of our elected officials.
  19. The American Flag waves in the distance, but is dimly lit to represent that our country, although strong, is facing perilous times.
  20. There are fifty stars shining in the heavens as they peek through the breaking clouds. These stars represent the fifty states of the Union. Some stars shine brighter than others.
  21. There are three steps which represent the past, the present, and the future.
  22. The patriots of the past are speaking from the dust to the living Americans.
  23. The good Americans are divided from those who have weakened the country.
  24. The righteous are on the right hand of God. Notice there are more on the good side. I believe the majority of Americans are good.
  25. The fact that Christ is holding the U. S. Constitution symbolizes His approval of this incredible document.
  26. The young boy represents the rising generation which may have to fight to save our country from those who would want to destroy it. Hopefully their leadership will be enough to make the difference. How many of our youth understand what is at stake?
  27. The papers spread out in front of the Supreme Court Judge represent some of the more notorious Supreme Court cases which I believe have weakened our country. They start with Marbury verses Madison which began it all and go in order down to Kelo v. New London which concerns eminent domain and the right to own private property. The papers look as if they have been literally dropped on the steps.
  28. The time on the judge's wristwatch is 11:59 to signify that time is running out and the time of His coming is nigh at hand.
  29. The black college student holds a copy of the book, "The Five Thousand Year leap" by Cleon Skousen. The book is in my opinion the most important book written as to why American is so great. It explains that the U. S. Constitution created an environment that allowed mankind to literally go from picks and shovels to putting a man on the moon. Mankind took a five thousand year leap in human development. Who is to say those men were not inspired!
  30. I grouped several men together that shared a commonality. Abraham Lincoln, John f. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Martin Luther King were all shot by an assassin. I had to remove Martin Luther King because of copyright issues. Of course Reagan survived the attempt on his life. Nathan Hale was executed by the British for being a spy, but not before saying the famous words, "My only regret is that I have but one life to give for my country."
  31. I have John Adams kneeling with his wife Abigail Adams behind him. Behind Abigail is her son John Quincy Adams.
  32. Patrick Henry was one of our greatest American patriots. He stands closest to the American flag and next to another great patriot of the Revolutionary War, Samuel Adams.
  33. Lincoln, the great emancipator, kneels before the living Americans pleading for them to change. He kneels in front of a black modern day soldier.
  34. James Madison stands behind the U. S. Constitution. An appropriate place for the man who is considered the "Father of the Constitution."
  35. Thomas Jefferson holds the rolled parchment of the Declaration of Independence in both hands. Without the Declaration of Independence we would not have the Constitution.
  36. George Wythe stands behind Thomas Jefferson. This is significant because Wythe was the mentor and teacher to one of our most important Founding Fathers and he was also a signor of the Declaration of Independence.
  37. Both Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston stand behind Thomas Jefferson as members of the Committee of Five who helped to draft the original Declaration of Independence.
  38. There are five generations of soldiers from the Revolutionary War through the modern U. S. Marine. If the boy touching the Constitution serves in the military, that will make six. The WWII soldier in my mind covers those who have served in WWII, The Korean War and Vietnam.
  39. John Jay, the first U. S. Supreme Court Justice stands directly in front of the U. S. Supreme Court building.
  40. The Civil War soldier holds his hands in front of his face to symbolize that this was the only war where American fought against American, brother against brother. You can sense the deep sadness in his gesture and hopefully no such war will ever happen again.
  41. John F. Kennedy stands directly beneath the American flag and behind Lincoln and the American soldier. The flag points to the heavens which to me represents JFK's contribution to the space program. He also contributed to American Civil Liberties.
  42. Sequoyah is the only Native American in the painting which I included because of how this one man inspired the Indian nations. When the Indian nation drafted a constitution for statehood they modeled their Constitution after the U. S. Constitution and named it after Sequoyah.
  43. The U. S, Marine holds the folded American flag under his arm and honor and has his closed fist over his heart to show his loyalty to God and country. The flag folded in this manner with the stars across the folds represents, "IN GOD WE TRUST." This tradition goes all the way back to George Washington.
  44. The mother is a key figure in the painting. She holds her hand out to recognize Christ and to also release her son to come forward and touch the Constitution. She represents every mother who is trying to raise up her children to love God, respect our country and the liberties we enjoy. I chose to have her wear the color purple. I believe in God's eyes these women have a royal duty to raise up a righteous generation. The color purple represents royalty.
  45. I wanted to have a child on the mother's lap so people would know her role in the painting. I felt it would make a powerful statement to have a child which was either disabled or handicapped on her lap. These children are so innocent and precious and in connection with the statement the painting makes in regard to abortion, I felt it would tie in with the pregnant mother on the right side pointing at the mother with the child and saying, "I want to keep my baby."
  46. The farmer was an important inclusion because of his role in the success of our great nation. At first I wanted to somehow show the sweat on his back and the ruggedness of his callous hands, but I couldn't make it visible with the front lighting. Keep those thoughts in mind as you look at the farmer.
  47. The immigrant plays a big part in the history of our country. Many have come to our country seeking religious freedom or freedom from tyranny. This Asian immigrant has his hand up to show his surprise when he realizes that Christ is the source of our country's greatness. One does not have to be a Christian to be considered among the good of America.
  48. As I considered the different types of Americans to include among the good, I liked the idea of the family doctor and his concern for the wellness of our family and country. My own family doctor allowed me t use him as a model.
  49. The Supreme Court Judge has an important role in the painting. Right in the front, kneeling with his hands over his face, the judge feels remorse for the case decisions which have weakened our country. Having this figure up front plays a dramatic role in understanding the powerful message in this painting which is this: Our country was founded by Christian, religious men who believed that God was guiding them in the founding of this great nation. We have strayed from the path that guarantees freedom and liberty and if we do not return to where we were—we may fail as a nation. Let us not let that happen!
  50. The politician represent all those who are elected to office who are busy making deals and spending their time furthering their own interests while pandering to the agendas of special interest groups. What happened to the true statesman of the past? The freedoms of our country are slipping away while Congress seems to be asleep at the wheel. I believe that the only way things are going to change is if the American people rise up and demand it.
  51. The professor represents the educational profession in America which is controlled mostly by the liberal, humanistic leadership that dominates from K-12 through our greatest universities. The professor lovingly holds his book, "Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin. I chose to have him hold this book because it symbolizes the removal of God from the classroom. I believe this book should be read and understood, but not to the extent that Creationism or even Intelligent Design is shut out. The arrogance of many of these individuals led me to paint this professor sitting on the top step, placing himself supposedly on the same level as God, although his feet are still planted on a level with the rest of the people. Just because we can't explain everything, doesn't make it any less real. Man's logic is child's play in the sight of the Master. I believe it is important that all theories and ideas be entertained in the classroom—not just what the liberal scholars find acceptable.
  52. The young pregnant woman behind the judge has an important role in the painting. She is significant in her placement in that the judge is feeling remorse for among others, the case of Row versus Wade. Over 42 million abortions have occurred in the United States since 1973. This young mother in a way, is a victim or our Godless society which has raised children without a strong sense of right and wrong. She has found herself in a situation where she has to make a choice. The reporter behind her says, "Will you keep the baby?" The expectant mother looks up toward the mother with the handicapped child and with a pointing hand says, "Yes, I will keep my baby." In my mind she represents hope.
  53. In the bottom right corner is a lawyer counting his hundred dollar bills. I say a lawyer, although he could represent the banking industry or even Wall Street. I feel that there is s certain amount of corruption in these areas which has fueled the destruction of many of our liberties.
  54. The man with the leather jacket and red shirt represents those in the entertainment business. The majority of those who work here are intensely liberal and lean toward a Socialist form of government. There is also an aspect of the entertainment industry that profits from the exploitation of women. Pornography is a great problem in the world and only weakens our country. Notice how the man looks with ridicule down on the judge and pregnant woman who are feeling repentant. Right behind him is the Adversary which whispers in his ear subtle lies which will eventually lead to his destruction.
  55. I painted Satan to be hardly noticeable as he lurks behind the movie director. I tried to make him creepy and dark to symbolize the enemy to all righteousness. I don't know for sure what he looks like, but I know he is very real. He probably is good looking, but as a symbol for evil I chose to paint him dark and sinister.
  56. The black modern U. S. soldier is significant because originally I had painted Martin Luther King, but had to remove him because of copyright laws regarding the use of his image. As a tribute to Martin Luther King I placed this soldier in a prominent place in the painting and on his body armor it has the name, "KING" written as the name of the soldier. It feels appropriate in that in the military all men are treated the same regardless of color. Martin Luther King is the figure head of the Civil Rights Movement. As a side note, as I considered who to include with the patriots I at one point contemplated the objections some may have to including figures that may have had some skeletons in their closet. It might cause some to ask the question, "Are they worthy to stand next to God?" I came to the conclusion that no man is perfect and all would fall short based on that criteria, therefore I chose to include patriots based on their contribution to the strengthening of America and our Constitution.

McNaughton's response to liberal criticisms of "One Nation Under God."

I would like to take a minute to explain some of the points of confusion for those who wish to interpret my picture.

  1. Each figure including Christ represents a symbol. Everything about the painting is symbolic. I don't pretend to know what Christ looks like. As I stated in my interview, I wanted to create an image that would instantly be recognizable as Jesus. I am not painting an anthropological Jesus. Nobody would recognize him if I painted him that way.
  2. The figures in the background have been the source of great debate. Let me make myself clear from my writing that just because they stand behind Christ, does not mean they are devout Christians evoking all to come unto Jesus and be baptized?! What I am saying is that they represent those who have influenced our country and our Constitution in a positive way. Many of these men and women gave their lives so we could have the liberties we enjoy. We are now at a time when these liberties are in peril. Our government has grown so big and powerful that the rights of the individual are at risk. This is what the Constitution was about—to limit the size of government. The patriotic heroes who stand behind Christ and the Constitution are pleading with us to defend the cause of liberty. Except for the pregnant woman in the lower left corner, these people symbolize those who have pushed our country towards Socialism. (The pregnant woman's place in the painting is explained on the website.)
  3. In connection to my last statement, I knew when I painted this picture that Thomas Payne (so sorry I offended some of you for spelling his name wrong), and Thomas Jefferson were Deists. That was irrelevant to me. I believe God brings about His purposes through different people. Even those who aren't baptized or following the accepted Christian religion.
  4. Not only have I received flack for this painting from Liberals, but also from the Right as well. Why did you include JFK? Why Lincoln? Why Teddy Roosevelt? I painted this picture to reflect my personal feelings about America. This is not a Republican painting. This is not anything other than one artist's personal feelings about his love for Christ, this country and a desire to make a point about where we are headed. I hoped that this painting would encourage dialogue and debate. It is important that you understand my position before you make assumptions.
  5. One of the most ridiculous criticisms I have read is that I don't have enough minorities in the painting. The way people throw around the word "racist" these days is overkill. From the beginning of the painting I chose to include a variety for ethnicities under the "Strong Americans" category. I also used different races in the background where I could. One of the most important positions in the painting is where the black U. S. soldier is standing. Originally, I had Martin Luther King Jr. here. He was so important for his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement. I removed him because of copyright issues with the King Foundation. Although disappointed, I thought a good substitute would be the soldier.
  6. Some of the chatter going around on these liberal blog sites I feel is unfounded. One of the things I said to myself from the beginning was the knee jerk reaction some people would have to the painting would be very revealing as to which side they personally stood in the picture. If you don't believe the Constitution was inspired of God, fine. We will agree to disagree.
  7. Some so called "art experts" feel that a true painting should not be explained, but left to the viewer to interpret. I may not reveal all my thoughts, but I want the world to know what I think and feel—that's why I painted it! Great art causes one to feel. To feel deeply. I knew this painting would evoke emotion on both sides. I knew it was a unique concept, having never been painted before. I don't care if the composition is outdated or whether some other artist may have painted their composition better than me. The message stands alone.
  8. Why Satan? I don't for a second believe he looks like that, but I do believe he is real. Again, the image is symbolic. Having Satan near these people doesn't mean that they are Satanic. If you believe in God, surely you would believe in a Satan.
  9. OK, how could McNaughton be so ignorant about Charles Darwin and "Origin of the Species?" Yes, I have read the book and yes I do believe in many of the theories it espouses. What?! No, I don't' think the book should be burned and kicked out of the school curriculum. Some of the rebuttals I have heard in regard to this subject in my painting are unfounded. I believe that this book is a standard that the left uses to push Christianity out of the Educational Forum. I believe that we need faith in our schools. I believe that I did not evolve from an ape. You may disagree, but that is how I feel. Do I believe Evolution should be taught? Yes. Should Christian thought or any other religion be allowed to be discussed without reservation? Yes, as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. 

Questions and Answers

Your painting “One Nation Under God” seems not to be that at all.  Christ is not God.  Many consider him to be the son of god.  However, there is only ONE GOD and that god is not Christ.  Those of us in the Jewish faith believe Christ was a Rabbi.  Your painting is wonderful on many levels, but as an American Jewish patriot, I find your painting title offensive.

I appreciate your right to express your feelings about God.  Don’t be offended that I have Christ in the painting.  Many have their interpretations of who God is.  The reason I have Jesus Christ is because it was Christianity that had the dominant influence among our Founding Fathers.  There are those who try to argue that they were not Christian based on a few quotes, but doing a little research it is easy to find the Christian roots of America and how it shaped our country.  Having Christ hold the Constitution by no means says you can not be a good American and be of another religious persuasion.  Doing so would miss the point.

 I think this image is perhaps the most repugnant one I have seen in many years.  You just don’t get what is truly special about our country.  The Founding Fathers came largely from Pilgrim stock who fled England because of religious persecution.  That is why they were so wise to build a separation of church and state into our constitution.  Despite your protestations to the contrary, it is crystal clear you view America as a Christian State.  Granted, the majority of citizens are Christian.  But this is a diminishing trend.  I suspect that in another hundred or so years, Christians will be the minority.  But the Separation of Church and State will protect them, just like it protects Buddhists, and Muslims and Atheists today!  If your efforts to undermine the separation of church and state are not successful, then your Christian children will be protected.  Let’s hope that you are not successful in destroying what has made this country the greatest country on earth.

To accuse me of undermining the separation of church and state is a complete misunderstanding of the painting.  I have nothing but the highest regard for the Constitution.  The First Amendment of the Bill of rights states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion of prohibiting the free exercise therof.” The phrase ‘separation of church and state” is not mentioned in the Constitution, but there is the inference that the government is not to sponsor any religious sect.  For obvious reasons this would lead to unequal treatment under the law.  Am I saying Christianity should be the sponsored religion of America?  Of course not!  What I do want is for America to return to the fundamental principles outlined in the Constitution.

Under the #2 explanation information of the painting, you state, “Except for the pregnant woman, these are people who pushed our country toward Socialism.”  I don’t understand why you would say that.  Please explain.  Thank you.

This is a good question.  My first thought was, “How can I answer this briefly without outraging a political science instructor?”  The people in the bottom right corner could be of any political persuasion.  I use these metaphorical figures to highlight what I consider to be some of the problems we face in America today.  When I talk about socialism I am referring to a government which would have ownership or control of all means of production and distribution.  This is obviously the antithesis of a free market society.  I believe those who are proponents of a larger federal government advocate “taking from the haves and giving to the have nots.”  The Constitution is a standard for equal rights, not equal things.  Our country has been steadily moving toward a socialistic form of government and this is alarming to most conservatives.  When I say, “These are people who have pushed our country toward socialism” I am referring to the liberal mindset that believes in more federal government control.

In your first point you state, "I'm not painting an anthropological Jesus. Nobody would recognize him if I painted him that way."  I'm presently writing a book (have written several) about Jesus and my contention is he did not have long hair and the common image of Him today is misleading. What prompted you to make your first statement?

This is a great question.  Ever since I started painting religious subjects three years ago I have continuously thought about the “image of Christ.”  I have read much and considered many points of view.  There are so many opinions, as you well know, of how He looks.  When I began this painting I felt strongly that the image of Christ should be instantly recognizable among the broadest number of people.  In order to do this I looked at various Jesus pictures common with different denominations of Christians and created a satisfactory image that I felt was not only recognizable, but evoked some kind of emotional feeling.

I once had an interesting dream.  To read more go to this link:

How Do You Paint the Face of Christ?

A beautiful piece of art with obvious thought put into it. I appreciate the opportunity and freedom to view it and share it. My question has to do with the red sash around Jesus' waist. It appears to have symbols that look to be in the Hebrew language? Does it have significance and what does it say?  

The significance of the red sash is to symbolize the blood spilt by Americans for God and country as they have sacrificed to defend our freedoms.  The sash also has ancient Hebrew writing on it which is translated: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”  Psalms 33:12

Dear sir, could you please explain what the symbolism is of the tree? Thanks! I enjoyed viewing your artwork and applaud your effort. This coming from someone who does NOT agree with your theological point of view. God Bless you sir!

I wanted the robe Christ was wearing to be symbolic.  I had the idea of putting a tree of life design on his chest.  I have never seen this before, but I felt it would be unique and informative.  The tree of life has it’s origin in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden and has been a metaphor for Jesus Christ.  It represents that through Him we can obtain eternal life.  It also represents the love of God.  The design I used is one I created myself to incorporate more symbolism.  The tree has seven branches to symbolize the seven dispensations of time; twelve fruit for the twelve tribes of Israel; seven roots for the seven creation periods; and the center branch, which is the most fruitful, points to Christ and symbolizes the Millennium.


Thank you.  That is a question that applies to all of us.  I believe that each individual at some point has to decide whether they except Jesus as their Savior.  It is a personal realization and goes beyond simply speaking the words.  In answer to your question, yes, I know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. But this answer only has meaning between me and God.  I believe to know Christ is to do the works of Christ.  I found this scripture that I have applied to myself:  2 Timothy 2:19-26

This is a great painting and one of the neatest emails I have received, and enjoyed it very much. I am a retired law enforcement officer, and noticed that there was not a "police officer" "trooper" "sheriffs deputy" or "lawman" in the picture, and was wondering if this was a oversight? 

Our country has many heroes and those in law enforcement are certainly among them.  As I was thinking about the painting I considered many different types of Americans.  There are probably hundreds of types of Americans that could have been included.  With this painting I stayed with my original sketch and was hesitant to change anything. 

Everyone tends to ignore the fact that Charles Darwin was a practicing Christian. In the conclusion of his book, "The Origin of Species", he credits God with the creation of the world. I cannot remember the exact wording but it was loosely "whether by random or guided, the creation of the world was overseen." Even the Catholic Church now acknowledges that Darwin's theory is a possible manner in which God created the world. I believe Darwin believed in God's work but merely tried to explain HOW He did it. 

This is a good point to bring up.  I never intended to say that “Origin of the Species” was evil.  The theories Darwin proposed transformed the scientific world and led to many great discoveries.  My difficulty is in how the academic world uses it today as a firewall to support Atheism.  Has it become the Atheist Bible? 

I love the painting...I really do. But as an African American...where do we really stand in this country? I see Fredrick Douglas & Harriett Tubman in the painting but they are in the back and this really shows where we as an ethnic group in America. This world is just what it is...and as we both know WE ALL will face GOD even the unbelievers. Not trying to make a fuss, but just saying what needs to be said. Thanks for letting me give an opinion.

I appreciate your point of view.  The subject of race is a sensitive issue.  I feel there has been improvement in the white community in regards to racism, although there is obviously room for growth.  In my painting I have nine figures directly related to Civil Rights.  In the background there are twenty three figures—only three are black.  I suppose I looked at the painting to some extent with color blindness.  I never meant to make a statement that African Americans are less important.  In the Constitution it says that all men are created equal.  In the beginning, because of states that disputed the issue of slavery, this part was not complete.  With the addition of the thirteenth amendment we moved closer to equal freedoms.  You asked, “As an African American…where do we really stand in this country?”   Under the Constitution we are now all equal.  I believe that as an “AMERICAN”, you can stand for God, you can stand for truth, you can stand for equal rights, and you can stand for liberty.  And in the sight of God we are all equal.

I am a frustrated artist. I think your painting is just beyond unbelievable. How long did it take you to paint this? The faces are just incredible. I truly admire your talent. God Bless you.  Thank you. 

The painting took six months of research and about five months of painting.

Why do you portray lawyers as corrupt and greedy? 

I believe there is an element of money driven corruption in the law and financial industry which has weakened our country.  Some of the most honest people I know are lawyers and bankers and I made the point in my description that I am not pointing fingers at the industry as a whole.  As in all professions there is some form of corruption.  This author has an interesting book that points to some of the litigation which has contributed to the weakening of America. 


The only question I have is just about a little detail that I noticed and is probably nothing. I noticed that the woman with the disabled child has a ring, but it is on her right hand. Is she unmarried or is it just an accident that the ring is on the right instead of the left hand? 

It does appear that way doesn’t it.  This woman actually wears a wedding ring and a ring on her right hand.  In the original you can see the subtle outline of a gold band on her finger.  Good eye you have.

I picked up (whether intentional or not) the symbolism of the people in the front of Jesus Christ as being gracious on the right and wretched on the left. However, the pregnant women who wants to keep her baby is on the left side. Any specific reason for this? She seems to be out of place and should be on the right. Your thoughts?

I have strong feelings about the subject of abortion.  By putting her behind the Supreme Court Judge who represents the legalizing of abortion, it amplifies the message.  The people on the bottom right side are not damned souls.  They are those who are caught in the struggle.  The judge and the pregnant woman are actually listening to the voices of change.

What does the fog or mist around the people represent?

This is a metaphor to represent that they are speaking to us from the dust.  If the dead could speak, what would they say?

I'm a liberal atheist, so we don't have a lot in common, but I think you've created a wonderful painting that you clearly put a lot of love, labor, and thought into. Good for you - ignore the stupid arguments and attacks from both sides. In our polarized society, most find it difficult to respectfully disagree with others and the problem seems to be magnified on the internet. Just know that at least one person who has intellectual disagreements with you appreciated your painting for what it is and looks forward to seeing your next work. 

Thank you for your understanding.  My purpose is not to create an environment of hate.  When I use the word “Liberal” I am not name calling, but describing what is usually considered an opposite view of my own.  I for one believe that these things need to be discussed. 

Are you propounding the belief that ONLY the USA can be this supreme nation?  What about the UK which espouses all the beliefs that Americans have including a few more. After all it was our judicial ideas that helped to found your nation.  

I admire my English brothers.  There is no doubt that our Founding Fathers used some English ideas, but many who came to America were here seeking freedom from tyranny and freedom of religion.  This painting is not saying God will not support any other nation but the USA.  That would be absurd.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalms 33:12

AMAZING! While I scrolled over every image (I thought), down front, I could see some of the personalities in me, some of which I was ashamed. I did not realize until I read your commentary, and Satan was in there. I had to go back to find him, I finally did, he is almost transparent. I realized, just as we have Jesus in us, we also have Satan, no matter how faint he is. I applaud you. This made me look at my character, and see me, more clearly. Though I am not proud of some of it...Thank you! 

I like it when people personalize the painting and they find additional meaning.  Your interpretation is exactly what I hope many will consider.

Why would you have Christ be the central figure to such self righteous indignation?

To have Christ in the center so prominently holding the Constitution makes a powerful statement.  Some would like to interpret this to mean if you’re not a Christian—get out! My view of Christianity in regards to this painting is this:  God loves all of us.  In the painting His face is sad and He looks off into the distance as if He can see our future.  The purpose of the painting is not to say only Christians belong here.  It is to say that the Constitution is what made our country great.

Why do you judge a whole group of people by the actions of a few? Do you actually believe that Christ would approve of the such a generalization of HIS children? 

I’m not sure why you assume I am judging anyone.  The people in the bottom right corner represent those that I believe are weakening our country by not supporting the principles of the Constitution.  These figures represent a symbol of a type of person.  If there is any kind of “sin” involved, that is between them and God.

I am not a religious person, but I understand symbolism and enjoy the history of this nation. I also enjoy your painting entitled "Peace Is Coming" I have nothing negative to say about your choices of who you included in your art. I think you did an excellent job. I did have two questions about One Nation Under God though. 1. Why are all the "minorities", except "King" and the "living", hidden in the background? 2. would you consider painting something with Emergency Services? I am a Police Officer. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world!  Thank you.  

I answered your first question with another person’s question earlier.  Secondly, I am planning a painting in the future which will involve Emergency Services.  I have many paintings I plan to do in the future which will address different issues. 

I was interested in the court cases you chose to paint on the steps. Why did you choose each one? What were some other cases you thought to include? 

That would take a long time to answer.  Basically, I was looking to create a general bread crumb of cases that showed how we came to where we are today.  Marbury v. Madison simply gave appointed judges the right of judicial review and eventually as activist judges had more power in the courts we saw the loss of some of our rights.  I’m sure the founders would be surprised where we are today.  As I did some research and consulted with those who had some background in Constitutional Law, I eventually narrowed it down to the six cases. 

It's obvious that you have little interest in the African-American place in this ONE Nation. How else would you explain Martin Luther King being represented by a bullet-proof vest.   You found a symbol I certainly hadn’t thought of. 

I thought long and hard what to do when I discovered I couldn’t include Martin Luther King.  I felt that I needed to keep a black man here and the thought of a modern American soldier seemed perfect.  Why?  In the military every soldier is treated the same.  Here there is color blindness.  Don’t you think we need a little more of that in America?  All of the African-Americans who were fortunate enough to make the painting are so far back, they're in Fredericksburg. How's a teacher/astronaut more important than the mother of the slave movement.  Civil Rights are only a part of the message of this painting.  Why isnt Barack Obama in the painting. He represents the change that this Nation voted for. Once again we as African Americans get pushed to the Uecker seats of American history.  You’re upset because Barack Obama isn’t in the painting?   He’s one of the reasons I painted One Nation Under God.