Separation of Church and State

Church And State image

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(The main source for the information used in this article is from notes that were taken from the video “America’s Godly Heritage,” by David Barton, produced in 1992 by WallBuilders. Although I have used direct and paraphrased quotes of David Barton throughout this article, I am not affiliated with him, nor WallBuilders. I have tried to be as accurate as possible with this information,  so if mistakes are found I will do my best to correct them. I encourage readers to visit WallBuilders, “an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history . . . with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.”) [†]


I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Separation of Church and State,” and if you’re like most people you believe that this phrase means we cannot mix government and religion. People believe this because that is what we have been taught. However, if you believe this, you would be wrong.

Do you know where the phrase came from?

It’s not from the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, nor any of the Founding documents.

What then is the source of the well worn phrase “a wall of separation of church and state?”

The phrase is actually taken out of context from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists. You see, on October 7, 1801, the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut wrote Jefferson a letter. They were concerned because the statement “free exercise of religion” appeared in the First Amendment. They felt this suggested that religious worship was a government granted right, rather than, as they believed, a God-granted inalienable right. They feared that the government might one day believe it had the power to regulate public religious activities. They believed that government should not have power to restrict religious activities, unless those activities caused someone to “work ill to his neighbor.” [1]

Thomas Jefferson understood their concern. He wrote a response on January 1, 1802, assuring the Danbury Baptists that the free exercise of religion was indeed a natural (inalienable) right and would not be interfered with by the government. Jefferson pointed out that “The First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state,” that would prevent the government from interfering or hindering religious activities. [2]

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, . . . I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” [2]

Jefferson said the exact opposite of what we’re told he said today. He, along with the other Founders, fully understood that the First Amendment was to protect, rather than prevent public religious expressions. He made it clear that the wall of separation was to secure against governmental interference with those expressions. Jefferson’s response to the Danbury Baptists is understandable, because in the first religion clause of the First Amendment the government could not establish any national religious conformity, and in the second religion clause the government could not stop public religious expressions, but must protect them. This makes sense, because the Bill of Rights were actually meant to Limit Federal Power, not limit the people.

I think it’s kind of ironic that Jefferson’s quote is cited so much, because so many people are “anti-Jefferson” now-a-days; but they sure like to use his “Church and State” quote out of context in order to justify their agenda!

Founding Fathers Praying

The First Prayer in Congress, Carpenter’s Hall, September 7th, 1774

It just gobsmacks me that people don’t understand that the Founding Fathers were NOT trying to take religion out of government, they just didn’t want a state-run church. They were trying to prevent another “Church of England.” If you don’t believe me, keep reading, I’ll reveal more about it in this article.

I’ve heard people say that the Founding Fathers were all a bunch of atheists, agnostics and deists; and they use that argument to justify removing God from government. The problem is it’s just not true.

Let me ask you this, why then did the Founding Fathers set up the United States as a Christian Nation? Not just a religious nation, but a bona fide Christian nation? Did you know that? And if this is true, then the whole issue of the Founding Fathers being atheists, or at least deists, kind of goes out the window. It also throws a wrench in the gears concerning Separation of Church and State too.

Does America really have a Christian heritage? What were the religious beliefs of the Founders? They were diverse, to be sure, but ALL of them were rooted in the Judeo-Christian values found in the Bible. We don’t hear that part of our history anymore.


If you are interested in the facts, how about we go to the source and find out some answers. In fact, let’s do something the Supreme Court has NOT done in several decades, since 1947 to be exact. Let’s use precedents. It’s important for a Court to examine rulings from previous cases. In this way, the Court can continue to be consistent in its current rulings. So let’s look at some previous Supreme Court cases:

People v. Ruggles (1811)
This Supreme Court case was about a man who had gone into a profanity fit. He had maliciously and capriciously attacked Jesus Christ in public. He was arrested and charged with blasphemy.

N.Y. Chief Justice James Kent

Chief Justice James Kent

Chief Justice James Kent, of the New York Supreme Court, wrote the decision of the Court. In his statement he quoted from the case of Rex v. Woolston:

whatever strikes at the root of Christianity, tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.” [3]

The Court explained that an attack on Jesus Christ was an attack on Christianity, and an attack on Christianity was an attack on the foundation of the Country. Therefore, an attack on Jesus Christ was equivalent to an attack on the Country. This man was sentenced to 3 months in jail, and $500.00 fine for attacking the Country by attacking Jesus Christ. (David Barton)

Notice the date of the case. Nearly two decades after the first amendment was in place. The first amendment never intended to separate Christian principles from government. In fact, the day after the First Amendment’s passage, Congress proclaimed a national day of prayer and thanksgiving. Today we so often hear the First Amendment coupled with the phrase, “separation of church and state.” The First Amendment simply states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Obviously, the words separation, church, or state are not found in the First Amendment. Nor is it found in any founding document. The First Amendment went through nearly a dozen different iterations and extensive discussion before the final approval. Those discussions are recorded in the U.S. Congressional Records from June 7 – Sept. 25, 1789, and clearly show the intent of the First Amendment, which was, we don’t want in America what we had in Great Britain (i.e. The Church of England). We DO want God’s principles, but NOT one denomination running the nation.

The Congressional Record (required by the Constitution in Article 1, Sec. 5 ¶ 3) contains all the official words and acts that occur in congressional chambers. Those records therefore include the discussion of the ninety Founders in the first federal Congress who, from June 8 to September 25, 1789, framed the First Amendment.[4] In those lengthy discussions that spanned months, the Founders repeatedly explained that they were seeking to prevent what they had experienced under Great Britain: the legal establishment by the national government of a single religious denomination in exclusion of all others. Very simply, their oft-repeated intent was that Congress could not officially establish any one denomination in America; or, in the wording proposed by James Madison, “nor shall any national religion be established.” [5]

Significantly, the word “religion” in the Founders’ First Amendment discussions was often used interchangeably with the word “denomination.” For example, the original version of the First Amendment introduced in the Senate on September 3, 1789, stated, “Congress shall not make any law establishing any religious denomination.” The second version stated, “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination.” The third version was very similar, declaring, “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination in preference to another.” The final version passed on that day declared, “Congress shall make no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”[6] As already mentioned, the word “religion” had been used interchangeably with “denomination” throughout their discussions, and this is why the First Amendment prohibited the national government from establishing any single “religion,” or denomination.

For over a century-and-a-half after the First Amendment was ratified, this was the only manner in which it was interpreted. This intent was well understood, as evidenced by Court rulings after the First Amendment was put into place, such as:

Runkel v. Winemiller (1799)
“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.” [7]

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, to whom the now popular phrase “separation of church and state” is attributed, believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment simply prevented the federal establishment of a single denomination. In a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Benjamin Rush (Sept. 23, 1800), Jefferson committed himself, as President, to not allow any denomination to achieve the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity.”

Do you want to know where our Founders came up with their ideas when establishing the United States? In other words, what sources did they use when choosing their ideas?

Political Science professors at the University of Houston believed they could determine the source of the Founders’ ideas if they collected writings from the founding era and discovered whom the Founders quoted. So the researchers assembled fifteen-thousand writings from the founding era, and searched those writings. The project took ten years. At the end of that time the researchers had isolated 3,154 direct quotes made by the Founders, and had identified the source of those quotes. [8]

The researchers discovered that Baron Charles de Montesquieu was the man quoted most often by the Founding Fathers, with 8.3% of the Founders’ quotes being taken from his writings.[9]

Sir William Blackstone was the second most quoted individual, with 7.9% of the Founders’ quotes. [10]

John Locke was third with 2.9%. [11]

Surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the Founders quoted directly from the Bible four times more often than they quoted Montesquieu, four times more often than they quoted Blackstone, and twelve times more often than they quoted John Locke.

Bible34% of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible. [12]

The study was even more impressive when the source of the ideas used by Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke were identified. For example, let’s look at the source for Blackstone’s ideas.

Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law was first published in 1768. For the next 100 years America’s courts quoted Blackstone to settle disputes, to define words, and examine procedure. Blackstone’s Commentaries was the final word in the Supreme Court. So what was the significant source of Blackstone’s ideas? Perhaps the best answer to that question can be given through the life of Charles Finney.

Charles Finney is known as a famous revivalist, minister, and preacher from one of America’s greatest revivals, the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800’s.

Charles Finney

Charles Finney

Finney, in his autobiography, describes how he received his call to the ministry. He explained that having determined to become a lawyer, he, like all other law students at the time, commenced the study of “Blackstone’s Commentaries on Law.” Finney noted that Blackstone’s Commentaries not only provided the law, but it provided the Biblical concepts on which the laws were based. Finney explained that in the process of studying Blackstone’s Commentaries, he read so much of the Bible that he became a Christian and received his call to the ministry.[13] Finney’s life story identifies a major source of Blackstone’s ideas for Law. So while 34% of the Founders’ quotes came directly out of the Bible, many of their quotes came from men, like Blackstone, who’d used the Bible to arrive at their own conclusions.

Numerous components of our current government can be shown through these early writings to have their source in Biblical concepts. Here are a few of the many examples:

The concept for the three branches of government can be found in Isaiah 33:22.

The logic for the separation of powers was based on Jeremiah 17:9.

The basis for tax exemption for churches was found in Ezra 7:24.

Join me as we read the true account, written in an 1856 Maryland textbook, where George Washington’s life hung in the balance for over two hours, and only by the direct intervention of God was he spared. This event appeared in virtually every student’s American history textbook for nearly a century and a half, but today it has disappeared. This story deals with George Washington when he was involved in the French and Indian War as a young man of only twenty-three years of age.[14]

The French and Indian War (1754-1763) took place twenty years before the American Revolution. It was the British against the French. The Americans sided with the British, and most of the Indians sided with the French. Both Great Britain and France disputed each other’s claims of ownership along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Both of them claimed the same land.

Unable to settle the dispute diplomatically, Great Britain sent 2300 hand-picked veteran British troops to America, under General Edward Braddock to route out the French.

The British troops arrived in Virginia where George Washington was Colonel of the Virginia Militia. He, and one-hundred Virginia Buckskins joined General Braddock. They divided their force, and General Braddock, George Washington, and thirteen hundred troops marched north to expel the French from Fort Du Quesne (now the city of Pittsburgh). On July 9, 1755, only seven miles from the fort, while marching through a wooded ravine, they walked right into an ambush. The French and Indians opened fire on them from both sides. But these were British veterans. They knew exactly what to do. The problem was, they were veterans of European war. European warfare was all in the open. One army lined up at one end of an open field. The other army lined up at the other end. They looked at each other, they took aim and they fired. No running, no hiding. But here they were in the Pennsylvania woods with the French and Indians firing at them from both sides, from the tops of trees, and from behind rocks and from under logs. When they came under fire, the British troops did exactly as they had been taught. They lined up shoulder to shoulder in the bottom of that ravine, and they were slaughtered. At the end of two hours, seven-hundred and fourteen of the British and American troops had been shot down. Only thirty of the French and Indians had been shot. There were eighty-six British and American officers involved in that battle. Of those eighty-six officers, twenty-six were killed and thirty-six more were wounded. At the end of the battle, George Washington was the only officer who had not been shot down off his horse. He was the only officer left on horseback.

General Braddock's Defeat at Monongahela

General Braddock’s Defeat at Monongahela

Late in the battle General Braddock was seriously wounded and Washington took charge. Washington gathered the remaining troops and they retreated back to Fort Cumberland in western Maryland. Along the way, Braddock died, and on his death, Washington performed the role of a military chaplain, by conducting the funeral service, reading the Scriptures, and offering prayers.[15] They arrived at Fort Cumberland on July 17, 1755. The next day, Washington wrote a letter to his family. He explained that after the battle was over, he had taken off his jacket and had found four bullet holes through his jacket, yet not a single bullet had touched him. Two horses had been shot from under him, but he had not been harmed.

In this letter to his brother, Washington said:

“I now exist and appear in the land of the living by the miraculous care of Providence that protected me beyond all human expectation.” [16]

Washington openly acknowledged that God’s hand was upon him, that God had protected him and kept him through that battle. The story does not stop here. Fifteen years later in 1770, now a time of peace, George Washington and a close personal friend, Dr. James Craig, returned to those same Pennsylvania woods. An old Indian chief from far away, having heard that Washington had come back to those woods, traveled a long way just to meet him. He sat down with Washington, and face to face over a counsel fire, the chief told Washington that he had been a leader in that battle fifteen years earlier. He said he had instructed his braves to single out all the officers and shoot them down. Washington had been singled out. The chief explained that he personally had shot at Washington seventeen different times, but without effect. Believing Washington to be under the care of the Great Spirit, the chief instructed his braves to cease firing at him. The Indian chief then told Washington:

“I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. [17]  . . . I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.” [18]

John Adams

John Adams

There are many things that we no longer hear today. For example, consider this statement by John Adams:

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were . . . the general principles of Christianity . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.” [19]


The New England Primer


A textbook that was used in American education at the time of the Founders was The New England Primer (1690-1930).[20] It was the first textbook ever printed in America. It was introduced in Boston in 1690, and for over two centuries many in America learned to read from this book, which today we would call a first grade textbook, or first grade reader. They didn’t have grade levels then, so they simply called it a Primer. Many of the Founding Fathers were raised on this textbook, in fact, some of them even reprinted it to make sure that it was available for children in their generation. Samuel Adams reprinted the Primer for students in Massachusetts,[21] Benjamin Franklin for students in Pennsylvania,[22] and Noah Webster for students in Connecticut.[23]


The Primer began with the alphabet. It showed students how to make one, and two, and three letter syllables, and then how to put those syllables together to make words. Later, about a fourth of the way through the book they returned to the alphabet, attaching a phrase to each letter of the alphabet. The students read and memorized those phrases. Here are a few examples of those phrases:

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. [Proverbs 10:1]
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith. [Proverbs 15:16]
Come unto Christ all ye that labor and are heavy laden and He will give you rest. [Matthew 11:28]
Do not the abominable thing which I hate saith the Lord. [Jeremiah 44:4]
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [John 3:3]

On it goes, verse after verse. Note that every one of the phrases is a Bible verse. This was the alphabet of many American schools for two hundred years.

In the back of the book were over a hundred questions, including the following:
(Remember, this was equivalent to a first grade textbook)

  • What’s the fifth commandment?
  • What’s forbidden in the fifth commandment?
  • What’s required in the sixth commandment?
  • What’s forbidden in the sixth commandment?

There were many similar questions. This was the foundation of many American schools for two hundred years.

John Quincy Adams went through this type of educational system, as did most of the Founding Fathers; and he made the same declarations about the role of Christianity in American government as did John Adams.

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams

  • When fourteen years of age, he received a congressional diplomatic appointment overseas to the Court of Catherine the Great in Russia, as Secretary to an Ambassador.
  • He served as Foreign Ambassador under two U.S. Presidents, George Washington and John Adams.
  • He served as Secretary of State under James Monroe.
  • He served as a U.S. Representative.
  • He served as a U.S. Senator.
  • He served as the sixth U.S. President.

In a speech on July 4, 1837, in Newburyport, Massachusetts (sixty-one years after the Declaration had been signed), John Quincy Adams asked the crowd a rhetorical question:

“Why is it that, next to the birth-day of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day?” [24]

John Quincy Adams answered his own question. He said:

“Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birth-day of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birth-day of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?” [24]

And on he goes for the next sixty pages.

John Quincy Adams stressed that the biggest victory won in the American Revolution was that Christian principles and civil government would be tied together in an indissoluble bond. Today we’re told just the opposite. Today we’re told that the Founders wanted “separation” in order to keep Biblical principles out of civil government.

Fortunately, the Founding Fathers’ own records document their Christian beliefs and their steadfast conviction that Christian principles were to be preserved in the civil arena. John Jay provides a clear example:

John Jay

Chief Justice John Jay

Chief Justice John Jay

  • He was the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • He was one of the three men most responsible for the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
  • After the Constitution was written, he helped pen the Federalist Papers.

He declared:

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers; and it is the duty – as well as the privilege and interest – of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” [25, 26](emphasis added)

How long has it been since we’ve heard that kind of statement from the Supreme Court?


George Washington

George Washington’s Farewell Address is yet another aspect of our heritage which has disappeared from student texts. His farewell address once appeared as a separate school textbook for over a century. Students were taught that his farewell address was the most significant political speech ever delivered to the nation. And why not? He’s the father of our country.

  • Washington spent 45 years of his life in public service.
  • He served as Commander in Chief.
  • He served two terms as U.S. President.
  • He was President of the Constitutional Convention (that gave us the Constitution).
  • He was the U.S. President who called for the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and oversaw its formation.

Certainly, George Washington knew the intent of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In his farewell address, Washington reminded America what had brought us to success, and warned us what must be done to continue it. Amazingly, George Washington’s farewell address has not been seen in most textbooks for many decades. In the late 1980s, however, Washington’s farewell address did start to reappear in college textbooks, but did not include four of the dozen or so warnings he gave to the nation. It is interesting, but not surprising, to note that the four missing warnings were overtly religious.

George WashingtonIn his farewell address, Washington pointed out that the two foundations for political prosperity in America were religion and morality, and that no one could be called an American patriot who attempted to separate politics from its two foundations. Washington explained:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars.” [27]

We don’t hear these types of statements much anymore, but such were the statements of America’s Founders. The statements of America’s history.

Our Founding Fathers delivered to us a system of government that has enjoyed unprecedented success.

The Christian heritage was well understood during the early years of the nation, and writings of the numerous Founding Fathers were so well known that the Supreme Court ruled in the Founder’s intention, keeping biblical principles as the basis.

For example: Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States (1892) The Court said:

“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people . . . This is a Christian nation.” [28]

This case was not long, only 16 pages in the Court records. But the Court provided almost eighty historical precedents to maintain inclusion of Christian principles in our laws and our institutions.

  • The Court cited the Founding Fathers.
  • The Court cited the acts of the Founding Fathers.
  • The Court cited the acts of Congress.
  • The Court cited the acts of the state governments.
  • The Court cited numerous other official documents.

The Court explained that there were many additional volumes of historical precedents that could have been cited which proved that America was a Christian nation, but I suppose the Court felt eighty precedents were enough.

Court Room

The Courts base their decisions on precedents. To the Court, it is important to go back and examine both history and rulings from previous cases. That way the Court can continue to be consistent in its present rulings.

Vidal v. Girard (1844)

In 1844, a school run by the city of Philadelphia announced that it would prohibit Christian ministers from setting foot on campus. It would teach its students morality, but not religion. It believed it did not need Christianity and the bible, but could teach morality without them. That school had been founded by a wealthy French immigrant and was operated on the philosophy dominant in France during the French “Enlightenment,” or “Age of Reason” (which led to the French Revolution). It is interesting to note that this philosophy is embraced by many public schools today.

This case was presented at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s ruling was delivered by Justice Joseph Story, who was placed on the Court by President James Madison.

Justice Joseph Story

Justice Joseph Story

In that decision, the Supreme Court said:

“Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testament . . . be read and taught as a divine revelation in the [school] – its general precepts expounded . . . and its glorious principles of morality inculcated? . . . Where can the purest principles of morality be learned so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament?” [29]

The Supreme Court ruled that schools would teach Christianity and the Bible, the source of “the purest principles of morality.”

Today we hear just the opposite. Few realize that today’s rulings by the Court often disagree with rulings delivered by Justices who were appointed by the Founding Fathers themselves. The issue of religion (Christianity in particular), government, schools, and separation has already been addressed by them in dozens of rulings.

The clear understanding of the First Amendment for a century and a half was that it prohibited establishing a single national denomination. National policies and rulings in that century and a half always reflected that interpretation.

But today, all that is heard of Jefferson’s letter is the phrase, “a wall of separation of church and state,” without either the context, or the explanation given in the letter, or its application by earlier courts.

Chaplain's CrossIn 1853, a group petitioned Congress to separate Christian principles from government. They desired a so-called “separation of church and state,” with chaplains being turned out of Congress, out of the military, etc. Instead of government protecting religious expressions in the public arena, they wanted the government to remove them. Their petition was referred to the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees, which investigated for almost a year to see if it would be possible to separate Christian principles from government. Both the House and the Senate returned with their reports. They emphatically rejected that possibility.

The House Judiciary Committee Report, dated March 27, 1854, said:

“Had the people [the Founding Fathers], during the Revolution, a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle . . . At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect [denomination].” The report continued: “In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity . . . That was the religion of the Founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.” (The Senate Report was very similar.) [30, 31]

In short, Congress affirmed that the First Amendment had never been intended to secularize the public square, but just the opposite. In fact, two months later, the House Judiciary Committee made this strong declaration:

“The great vital and conservative element in our system [the thing that holds our system together] is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” [32]

The Committees explained that they would not separate these principles, for it was these principles and activities that had made it so successful. They had been our foundation, our basis.

1947 U.S. Supreme CourtAs mentioned above, 1947 was a Turning Point. The Court, in effect, said “Forget Precedents, we’ll just do and say what we want.”

Everson v. Board of Education (1947)

The Court, for the first time, did not cite Jefferson’s entire letter, but selected only eight words from it: “a wall of separation of church and state.” The Court took the words completely out of context, ignoring the true message of the letter.

The Court stated:

“The First Amendment has erected ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’ That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” [33]

This was a new philosophy for the Court. Why would the Court take Jefferson’s letter completely out of context, and cite only eight of its words? As courts and secularists began to expunge public religious expressions, they simultaneously pushed the idea that “separation of Church and State” is what the Founding Fathers wanted, that it was their great intent. They have so often repeated the “separation” metaphor when speaking about the First Amendment that many people now believe it is actually part of the Amendment.

The Court’s reasoning for this new philosophy can be explained by Dr. William James (the “father of modern psychology”):

“There is nothing so absurd but that if you repeat it often enough people will believe it.” [34]

This statement describes precisely the tact used by the Court since the 1947 announcement. In fact, contemporary courts, in dealing with First Amendment issues, now repeat the separation phrase more often than they do the Constitution itself.[35] And as stated before, this phrase is used in a manner that completely reverses the original meaning of the First Amendment, and even reverses the original meaning of the phrase itself (when not taken out-of-context).

After 1947 the Supreme Court began to regularly speak of “separation of church and state,” saying, “This is what the Founders wanted – separation of church and state. This was their intent.” The Court failed to quote the Founders. They just generically inserted, “This is what the Founders wanted.”

The Courts continued on this track so steadily that in the case Baer v. Kolmorgen (1958), a dissenting judge, tired of hearing the phrase, warned that continuing talk about “separation of church and state” would make people think it was part of the Constitution.

Nevertheless, the Court continued talking about separation.

Engel v. Vitale (June 25, 1962)little girl praying

The Court declared this 22-word prayer unconstitutional: [36, 37]

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our Country.”

For the first time, the Court separated Christian principles from education. It struck down school prayer. For 170 years the Court defined “Church” as being a federally established denomination. This case redefined “Church” to mean any religious activity performed in public.[38]

“This was the turning point in the modern interpretation of the First Amendment; and since that time, every possible genre of traditional public religious expression has been forbidden under the new doctrine.” – David Barton

The 1892 case, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, quoted some 80 precedents. This 1962 case was the opposite. It used Zero Precedents! This was the first time in U.S. history that no precedents were used. The Court did not quote any previous legal cases or historical incidents. It simply made an announcement.[39]

In 12 months and two more cases in 1963, the Court also removed bible reading, religious classes and religious instruction.[40]

Bible Study CourseThis was a radical reversal of National policy, as illustrated in a book from 1946, titled, “Bible Study Course, New Testament, The Dallas High Schools, September 1946.” On the cover page, this book explains that this book was authorized by the Board of Education on April 23, 1946. It was printed in the Dallas Public Schools Printshop, Dallas, Texas. The Introduction further explains that this was a credit course toward graduation in Dallas High Schools. This was not a bland course on the New Testament. Lesson one begins with the Gospel of John, chapter one, and studies the Pre-existence of Christ.

Look at some of the questions based on the first chapter of John:

  • Where was Christ before he was born on earth?
  • What titles does John apply to Christ in this chapter?
  • For what purpose was John sent by God?
  • Name five things the angel told Mary concerning her child Jesus.
  • What does the word Jesus mean?
  • How did the angel explain the miraculous births of John and Jesus?

The lesson continues and at the end of Lesson one is memory work.

Memorize The pre-existence of Christ:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . All things were made by him: and without him was not anything made that was made . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, and the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” John 11 & 14.

This textbook for public schools in 1946 is evidence that the 1962 and 1963 rulings completely reversed national policy prior to that point.

The Court reaffirmed its ban on school prayer from the previous year with its 1963 decisions in Abington v. Schempp and Murray v. Curlett, and then (as mentioned above) the Court added insult to injury by banning Bible reading in school.[39, 40]

Abington v. Schempp & Murray v. Curlett (June 17, 1963)

  1. The Court reaffirmed the ban on school prayer.child reading Bible
  2. The Court banned school Bible reading.

Recall that in the survey already presented, the Founders relied on the Bible. Early textbooks quoted the Bible and used it in teaching the alphabet. Also recall that earlier Supreme Court cases ruled that a school must teach religion and the Bible.

Therefore, on what possible basis can the 1963 Court justify its ruling to stop the use of the Bible in schools?

The lower court had relied on the testimony of a psychologist who explained the danger of reading the Bible in schools, and the Supreme Court then repeated that testimony in its written decision:

“If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be and . . . had been psychologically harmful to the child.” [41]

This 1963 case is also another example where the Court lacked both historical and legal precedent. Again, the Court simply made a new announcement of policy: “No more Bible reading in school.”

The Courts continued to expand the new boundary outward:

Reed v. VanHoven (1965)

The Court allowed prayer over lunch in school as long as no one could tell it was a prayer. They couldn’t say words or move their lips, but they could pray if no one knew about it.[42]

Wallace v. Jaffree (1984)

The Court ruled that even silent prayer was unconstitutional.[43]

DeKalb v. DeSpain (1967)

A federal court declared a 4-line nursery rhyme, used by a K-5 kindergarten class, unconstitutional. The court explained that although the word “God” is not mentioned, if someone were to hear the rhyme he might think it was talking about God, and that would be unconstitutional.[44]

Ten Commandments imageThis trend continued case after case, year after year. In one year alone three cases made the Courts, challenging the right of students to see copies of the Ten Commandments while at school. The Court accepted the Stone v. Graham case from Kentucky where copies of the Ten Commandments were hanging in the hallways of the schools. The Court acknowledged that the Ten Commandments were passive displays, that they simply hung on the wall like pictures of George Washington. They were not part of any class or any curriculum. A student could look at them if he wanted to, and if he didn’t, fine.

Yet look at the Court’s ruling:

Stone v. Graham (1980)

The Court said, “If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments . . . [which] is not a permissible . . . objective.”[45]

That’s quite a statement. You can’t let kids see the ten commandments, because if they do they might obey them. Things like, “Don’t steal,” “Don’t kill.” And that would be unconstitutional.

When the Court declares something unconstitutional, it is inferring that our Founding Fathers (the men who drafted the U.S. Constitution) would have opposed it. Yet generations of American leaders and legal authorities prior to that ruling had consistently and frequently affirmed that the Ten Commandments were the basis of civilized behavior in society and a foundation of our legal code. As John Adams asserted:

If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.[46]

John Adams is an authority on the First Amendment. He oversaw its framing in the U.S. Senate and his signature is one of only two that appears at the bottom of that document; and he forcefully asserts that the Ten Commandments must be the fundamental precepts of our society.

James Wilson also affirmed the importance of Divine laws such as the Ten Commandments.

James Wilson

Justice James Wilson

Justice James Wilson

  • Signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
  • Original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court (appointed by George Washington).
  • Co-author of America’s first legal Commentaries on the Constitution.[47]

Certainly he is qualified to speak on the intent of the Constitution.

Wilson said:

“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine. Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.” [48]

James Wilson certainly did not believe that the Ten Commandments should be kept from public view, and he was not the only Founder that made similarly explicit comments about the importance of Divine Law and the Ten Commandments.[49] Our Founders were clear about the important and inseparable role that religious principles play in the public life of the nation. Additionally, earlier courts issued literally dozens of rulings citing from the Ten Commandments as a legal authority on numbers of diverse issues.[50]

The entire controversy over God and religious activities and teachings in schools had begun with a 22-word prayer in the Engel v. Vitale (1962) case. That prayer, which only acknowledged God, and didn’t even contain the name Jesus, was a bland prayer. It was so bland, that eight years later when a court was discussing that prayer, it described the prayer as a “To whom it may concern prayer.” [51] That bland prayer acknowledged God only once. That one acknowledgment of God is the same number of times that God is acknowledged in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Declaration of Independence acknowledges God four times. Yet the prayer was declared unconstitutional.

Once again, here is the prayer that was declared “unconstitutional” by the Court:

“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers, and our Country.”

Since this simple prayer acknowledged God, the Court went so far as to find out what percentage of the nation did believe in God. In the 1963 case, Abington v. Schempp, the Court reported that only 3% of the nation did not believe in religion or God.

The 22-word prayer was consistent with the beliefs of 97% of the country. Nonetheless, the Court took another first. It sided with the 3% against the 97%. This was the first time in America’s history that 3% had become a majority. 3% had always been a minority, but now the philosophy of the 3% would be the philosophy under which the 97% must conduct its affairs.

The 22-word prayer petitioned God’s blessings in four categories. Those four categories were:

  1. “upon us” (students)
  2. “our parents” (families)
  3. “our teachers” (schools)
  4. “our Country” (the nation)

There are a number of court cases readily available which show that until 1962-1963, the courts consistently ruled using biblical principles and following biblical guidelines in all four areas.

As an example, in the area of families:

Rings charcoal imageEven in a twentieth century divorce case, the court explained that divorce is allowed for very few reasons, and the reason being was because the Bible allowed very few reasons. The Court pointed out that it had not made the family, but God had, therefore it did not have the right to regulate something it had not made. The court even went into a Bible lesson. It explained that in the beginning God had made Adam and Eve. God made the first family. The court continued with a history of God’s dealings with the family, concluding that since it was God who had created the family, the court would use His rules in dealing with it.[52]

Furthermore, another  court affirmed:

“Marriage was not originated by human law. When God created Eve, she was a wife to Adam; they then and there occupied the status of husband to wife and wife to husband. . . . The truth is that civil government has grown out of marriage . . . which created homes, and population, and society, from which government became necessary. . . . [Marriages] will produce a home and family that will contribute to good society, to free and just government, and to the support of Christianity. . . . It would be sacrilegious to apply the designation “a civil contract” to such a marriage. It is that and more – a status ordained by God.” [53]

Before 1962-1963:

  • A court could refer to the Bible to support its decision regarding a divorce.
  • A court could refer to God’s laws as the final authority in an issue.

The same policy not only held with the court’s rulings with families, but also on court rulings on the nation, schools and students as well. But in 1962-1963, the Supreme Court reversed that position, and announced that those rules and policies caused “psychological damage.”

Did the Court’s decision to change national policy and separate God’s principles from its rulings have any effect? Let’s examine each of the four categories of the “Unconstitutional” Prayer, beginning with Students:

That which occurred with students following the removal of religious principles was perfectly predicted by George Washington in his farewell address:

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds . . . reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” [54]

Unwed Birth ratesWashington warned that to remove religious principles would be to lose national morality.

Let’s look at the accuracy of his warning:

For decades prior to 1962-‘63, birthrates of babies born to unwed teen mothers (15-19 years old) remained relatively stable. However, with the Court’s separation of religious principles from students:

  • Birthrates for unwed girls 15-19 years old have increased every year since ‘62-‘63. [55]
  • Birthrates for junior-high girls 10-14 years old soared nearly 460% since the removal of religious principles. [56]

This is a strong correlation. America now has the highest teen-pregnancy rate of any nation in the industrialized world.[57] It is also significant to note that every moral measurement which exists for students, breaks violently upward with the separation of religious principles in 1962-1963.

STD ratesSexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) for high school students (15-19 years old) had also been stable before 1962-1963. Since then, sexually-transmitted diseases among students reached previously unrecorded highs. [58]

  • STD’s for students 15-19 years old have gone up 226%.
  • STD’s (Gonorrhea) for children 10-14 years old have increased 257% since 1962-1963.
  • Pre-marital sexual activity for 16 year olds has increased 365% since 1962-‘63.
  • Pre-marital sexual activity for 17 year olds has increased 271%.
  • Pre-marital sexual activity for 18 year olds has increased 208%.
  • Pre-marital sexual activity for 15 year olds has increased 1000%.

Each of these categories were showing overall declines prior to Divorce rates1962-1963, but with the first ever separation of religious principles from students, a violent upturn occurred on every chart, and in every moral measurement. Washington was correct.

The next category in the “Unconstitutional” 22-word prayer is our families, or “our parents.”

Consider the area of divorce. Statistically, the divorce rate had been steadily declining for decades prior to 1962-1963. Beginning in 1963, the divorce rate sky-rocketed,[59] and since then has increased 117%. The United States has now become number one in the world in the rate of divorce. [60]

Unmarried Couples Living TogetherIt is again striking that every measurement related to the breakup of the family statistically sky-rocketed in 1963, with the separation of Biblical principles from public policy.

  • Single-parent families have increased almost 300%. [61]
  • Unmarried couples living together have increased over 1000%. [62]

Again, each of these categories had been stable for years prior to 1962-1963. The dramatic increases correlate exactly with the Court’s rejection of those standards which had been applied to the family for 170 years previously.

SAT Total ScoresThe third category in which God’s assistance was petitioned in the “Unconstitutional” prayer was our schools.

What happened when we barred God and His principles from our schools? The SAT test (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is an excellent indicator. The SAT test has been in America since 1926. In 1941 it was placed on the same scale that is still used today.

Prior to 1963, there were never more than two consecutive years that the scores either rose or declined, but beginning in 1963, the scores plummeted for eighteen consecutive years.[63] The scores are now so low, that the Department of Education states that this is the first time in American history that we are graduating a generation of students that academically know less than their parents did. There is nearly an 80 point difference between the two generations.

In 1962, there were 1,000 Christian schools in the U.S., but once it became obvious that things like prayer, bibles, and the Ten Commandments would be forbidden, there was a marked explosion in the number of religious, and particularly Christian schools. By 1984, the number of Christian schools had burgeoned to 32,000. Currently, 8.5 million students (approximately 12 % of student population) attend private/religious schools.

According to the board responsible for the SAT test, the scores of students from private schools are much higher than students from public schools. In fact, scores from private schools are at the same level as they were prior to 1962-1963. For private and religious schools, it’s as if no change had ever occurred. For public schools, their scores are continuing to decline.[64]

Another indicator of the impact that religious principles and religious schools have had on American education, is found in the academic “cream of the crop, “ the National Merit Semi-finalists. These are the top ½ % of the Nation’s students.

According to the Department of Education, 12.4 % of the nation’s students attend private and religious schools. 87.6 % attend public schools. Since 12 % of the nation’s students attend private and religious schools, private and religious schools should produce 12 % of the cream of the crop, and 88 % of the nation’s students in public schools should produce 88 % of the cream of the crop. Yet that is not what is occurring.

In testing, that little group of 12.4 % of the nation’s students from private and religious schools produced 39.2 % of the nation’s cream of the crop. What is even more amazing is that according to the Department of Education, the average cost of private schools is $2200.00 per student, while the average cost of public schools is $5400.00 per student. Private schools, with two-fifths the funds, are proportionately turning out a percentage of academic scholars three times higher than public schools.

What is the fundamental difference between public and private schools? It is not in the core curriculum. The curriculum is the same. The Civil War takes place the same year at both schools. Math is the same at both schools. A verb is not an adjective simply because someone transfers to a private/religious school. The basic difference is that one school utilizes religious principles and one does not, which appears to make an eighty point difference on the SAT test.

Violent crime offencesThe final category, the fourth category in the “Unconstitutional” prayer was our Country. What happened in the nation when we separated religious principles from public arenas? Well what do you think happens when you start telling students, “You can’t see the Ten Commandments, you might obey them.” Things like, “Don’t steal” and “Don’t kill.” That had to have an affect on behavior. It did.

Washington, in yet another warning in his Farewell Address, accurately predicted what has occurred. He said:

“Let it simply be asked, ‘Where is the security for life, for reputation and for property, if the sense of religious obligation desert?’” [65]

The sense of religious obligation has deserted, and currently, there now seems to be no security for life, for reputation or for property. For example, consider violent crimes. After having remained statistically stable for years, since the removal of religious principles in 1962, violent crime soared over 470 percent [66] and the United States became the world’s leader in total crimes committed. [67]

Perhaps the best explanation given for this increase was given by Thomas Jefferson, who succinctly states why Christianity was the best friend to government.

Jefferson explained:

“The precepts of philosophy . . . laid hold of actions only. [Jesus] pushed his scrutinies into the heart of man; erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountainhead.” [68]

Where the law says, “Don’t kill,” Jesus says (in Matthew 5), “Don’t get angry. Don’t hate.” Clearly, if you prevent the anger and the hate, you’ve prevented the murder.

Where the law says, “Don’t commit adultery,” Jesus says, “Don’t lust in your heart.” If you control the lust, you control the adultery.

The Founders pointed out that only religion can prevent crime before it starts, because all crime comes out of the heart. If you can’t control the heart, you can’t control crime. That is why Christian principles are so valuable to government. Most of the Founders expressed the same understanding.

President John Adams pointed out that there was no government in the world able to make someone do what was right, or able to control those that did not wish to be controlled. Adams explained:

“We have no government armed with power capable with contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” [69]

The Founders believed that the Constitution worked only for people who had internal restraints and internal control. For people who would use the word of God as their standard. We’ve moved away from that. Clearly, the Constitution apart from religious principles is not working the way it should. A fact, evident on all the charts and statistics. Since 1962-‘63, the United States has undergone marked and dramatic statistical reversals. We have become the World’s leader in the most unenviable categories.

Separation of Church and StateThe U.S. is now Number One in the World in:

  • Violent Crime
  • Divorce
  • Teenage Pregnancies (Western World)
  • Voluntary Abortions
  • Illegal Drug Use
  • Illiteracy (Western World)

(In the early 1990s, the White House reported that in 1989, 700,000 students graduated from High School who, after twelve years of school, were unable to read their own diplomas.)

Looking at the categories that we now lead, Jeremiah 6:16 has some good advice. It instructs us that if we want the way to peace, go back to the old paths. But what were the old paths?

After signing the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers returned to their home states to establish brand new state governments. Look at what the Founding Fathers, the men who had signed the documents, placed in their own state constitutions:

Delaware Constitution 1776 (Other states were very similar)

“Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit:  “I, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

An acknowledgment of Christian belief was a requirement for holding public office during the years of the Founding Fathers. This requirement was consistent with the First Amendment, because it did not require someone to be from one specific denomination. But this requirement did say you had to understand God’s principles. You had to understand the word of God to hold office.

The different state constitutions contain several common components, for example:

Pennsylvania and Vermont Constitutions (Other states are very similar)

“And each member [of the legislature], before he takes his seat, shall make and subscribe the following declaration: ‘I do believe in one God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, the rewarder of the good, and the punisher of the wicked.’”

In other words, a politician must acknowledge his understanding that when he left office, he wouldn’t just answer to the voters, he would be accountable to God for what he’d done while in office. He would answer to God himself.

This concept of individual accountability to God is well understood. It is broadly accepted that we will answer to God in the future. The Founders took this principle a step further. It was clear that an individual will answer to God, but did a nation also answer to God? The Founding Fathers believed that it did.

The difference between individual accountability to God, and national accountability to God was explained on the floor of the Constitutional Convention (1787). An individual answers to God in the future, but not a nation. When a nation dies, it is forever dead. It will not be resurrected in the future to answer for what it has done. Therefore, when does a nation answer to God?

George Mason (The father of the Bill of Rights) explained:

George Mason

George Mason

“As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.” [70]

The Founders believed that God will deal with a nation right now, in the present, for the stands that it takes. A nation has no other time to answer to God than the present. Perhaps this is the best explanation why all the charts broke dramatically in 1962-‘63, when for the first time in the nation’s history, we officially told God He was no longer welcome in the public affairs of this nation. The charts simply illustrate a principle the Founders understood, believed, and discussed.


Supporting examples are found throughout the Bible. For example, the story of Elijah in I Kings. God told Elijah that there were 7,000 men who believed in Him, who were righteous and did not bow to Baal. And yet, because of Ahab’s and Jezebel’s wicked rule, the whole nation suffered, including the 7,000 righteous men. For 3 ½ years there was no rain. You see, God had to deal with the nation based on the stands of the nation’s leaders, despite the fact that there were righteous individuals in the nation.

Another example from the Bible is in I Chronicles, where King David wanted to take a census and number his troops. He had become proud and thought that he won the victories, not God. Because of his unrighteousness, a plague came upon the people and 70,000 people died in Jerusalem alone, in one day.

You see, a nation does account, and will either suffer or be blessed for the stands of its leaders. This is why the Founding Fathers were so emphatic about keeping men in office who understood God’s principles. In perhaps the most famous speech ever delivered by Benjamin Franklin, delivered on Thursday, June 28, 1787 on the floor of the Constitutional Convention, Franklin reminded the delegates that we needed God to be our friend, not our enemy. We needed God to be our ally, not our adversary. We needed to keep God’s “concurring aid.”

Benj. Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Franklin warned:

“If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We’ve been assured in the sacred writing that, ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.’”

Thus, Franklin called for regular, daily prayer to make sure we kept God in the midst of what we were doing in the nation.

The Founders understood that America could prosper only under God’s blessings and therefore refused to separate His principles from any aspect of public affairs. Benjamin Franklin confirmed:

[W]ithout His concurring aid . . . we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. [71]

George Washington pointed out that:

[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained. [72]

Jefferson also understood this principle. He declared:

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis—a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.” [73]

In 1777, the American Revolution was not going particularly well. America was losing many more battles than it was winning. Dr. Benjamin Rush, who had been appointed by Congress as the Surgeon General of the Continental Army, leaned over to John Adams, during the Continental Congress, and candidly asked if he thought that America could actually win the Revolution. Adams’ answer was clear and unequivocal. He confidently replied:

Yes! — if we fear God and repent of our sins! [74]

Now remember, both of these men signed the Declaration of Independence. Dr. Rush is known as the “Father of American Medicine” and John Adams, as you know, went on to become America’s second U.S. president.

abraham lincoln imageA nation does answer to God for the stands it takes.

Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, overheard someone in the White House say that he hoped God was on the Union’s side of the battle.

Lincoln, showing that he understood the principle of national accountability, replied:

“Sir, I am not at all concerned about that, for I know the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” [75]


This understanding of national accountability to God is part of our heritage, part of our history. Our Founders understood that a nation needed to take stands which lined up with God’s principles so that God’s blessings and His “concurring aid,” as Franklin described it, could rest on the nation.

Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot

Elias Boudinot (Served as President of the Continental Congress). He made a recommendation that sums up what must again happen in America:

“Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned . . . Let us in the first place . . . humbly and penitently implore the aid of the Almighty God whom we profess to serve – let us earnestly call and beseech him for Christ’s sake to preside in our councils.” [76]

He was saying, “Do you want to be a world leader? Then put Christian principles in your public affairs.

Charles Finney

“The Church must take right ground in regard to politics . . . God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course [Christians] take [in politics].” [77]

Why is this true?

Can a nation be blessed apart from God’s principles? No. Where do God’s principles reside? They reside in the hearts and lives of God’s people. If God’s people do not get involved, God’s principles do not get involved. The ungodly will not run a nation by godly principles, and God cannot bless ungodly principles. That is why the Church has to take right ground. That is why the Founders were so emphatic about keeping Christian men in office. An emphasis evident from the first Supreme Court justices, to the individual state constitutions. Today, we cannot afford to be isolationists. We can’t say, “I’m not going to get involved.” We must realize we need to get involved, for God’s principles do not enter any arena on their own. They enter only through God’s people.

Proverbs 18:1

“A man who isolates himself seeks his own desires; he rages against all wise judgement.”

The Founders used to teach their young people to serve God by being a senator, a judge, a congressman, a doctor, a lawyer, a missionary, or a pastor. But get out there where they could affect the people with God’s principles. But in the 1940’s and the 1950’s we began telling the young people in America to serve God by being a missionary, or a pastor, but don’t get involved in politics. When we started getting out, we handed the system over to ungodly principles. We’ve got to get involved again. We have to come to grips with the fact that:

“Separation of Church and State” as we have it today (the modern view)

  • Is NOT in the teachings of the Founding Fathers
  • Is NOT a historical teaching
  • Is NOT a teaching of law (until recent years)

We also have to realize that the current version of “Separation of Church and State”

  • Is NOT a Biblical teaching

Separation says, “Okay Christians, we realize that you’re the light of the world, just don’t get out of the church. Don’t shine on anything outside of the church. Christians, we recognize you’re the salt of the earth, but don’t get out of the shaker.” “Separation of Church and State” says you can be salt, and you can be light, but only inside the four walls of the church house. That’s not scriptural. We can’t do that.

We further need to recognize the fact that there is going to be someone’s religion in schools and in government. For example:

Torcaso v. Watkins (1961) and (1985) [78]

The Court ruled that Secular Humanism is a viable First Amendment religion.

Secular Humanism has a religious philosophy that very simply says that God has no place in their philosophy. It is a religious philosophy based on men, not on God. The Court has recognized it as a religion.

Theriault v. Silber and Malnak v. Yogi (1977)

The Court ruled that Atheism is a religion.[79]

How can atheism be a religion if it doesn’t believe in God? Whatever you believe with all your heart. Whatever affects the way that you act. Whatever you believe so strongly that it changes your behavior, that is your religion.[80] What is the religion of atheists? The religion of atheists, the thing that affects the way they behave, is that they believe with all their heart that there should be no religious practice. Atheism could be defined as “religiously practicing non-religion.”

Furthermore, people may now give contributions to satanic groups and get the same tax deductions as people who give contributions to Christian churches.

Big Club imageConsider: When do we hear “separation of church and state?” Have you seen anyone go into a school at Halloween and say, “Wait, get those witches down off the wall. I demand ‘separation of church and state.’ Witchcraft is a legal, organized religion.” Or have you seen anyone go into public schools and say, “Wait, I don’t see any prayer here. I don’t see any Bible reading here. There’s no religious practice here. That means it’s a religion of Atheism here. I demand ‘separation of church & state.’ Get the religion of atheism out.” No, we don’t hear that. When do we hear “separation of church and state?” Anytime there’s an attempt to involve Christian principles. “Separation of Church and State” is the big club pulled out to beat back the Christians.

Perhaps the clearest demonstration of this fact is evidenced by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over nine states and fifty-nine million Americans. That federal court ruled that it was not constitutional for public school students to say “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance,[81] but it was constitutional for public schools to require a three-week general indoctrination to the Islamic faith in which junior-high students — even those who are not Muslim — must pretend they are Muslims and must offer prayers to Allah; they are further urged to take Islamic names, call each other by those names, wear Islamic garb, participate in Jihad games, and read the Koran during those three weeks.[82] Significantly, that federal court of appeals did not think that requiring Islamic religious activities violated the so-called “separation of church and state” but that voluntarily saying “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance did.

Similarly, courts have held that classrooms may include materials on Native American religions but that they must remove materials about Christianity.[83] Additionally, Islamic symbols may be publicly displayed at schools during Islamic holidays, Jewish symbols may be displayed on public property, and even satanic symbols may be displayed, but Christian symbols may not be displayed during Christian holidays.[84] Interestingly, schools may accommodate the distinct religious dress and clothing preferences of Muslim students, but not Christian students.[85] Clearly, the recent interpretation of “separation of church and state” apparently applies only to Christian religious expressions.

Furthermore, because the courts now define religion as anything that a person believes so strongly that it affects the way he behaves,[80] the result is that there will never be a time when someone’s “religious” beliefs will not be part of public policy. Consequently, the proper question is no longer whether religious beliefs will be part of that policy but rather whose religious beliefs will be part of that policy. Will it be the religious beliefs of atheism, secularism, Islam, Eastern Mysticism, Universalism, self-help Scientology, or a plethora of other religions, creeds, and beliefs? — or will it be the Judeo-Christian beliefs upon which the nation was founded (and which over eighty-five percent of Americans still embrace today)? [86]

We have lost ground in recent years. We’ve lost our understanding of the Founders’ intents and teachings. We do have a Godly heritage in America. But we’ve been robbed. Robbed by the three-percent.

“Separation of Church & State,” as we have it today is NOT a Biblical teaching. It is NOT a teaching of the Founding Fathers. It is NOT a historical teaching. It is NOT a teaching of law until recent years. The 3% has taken away our heritage. We’ve lost sight of it. We need to get involved and take it back. A Godly heritage is the foundation of America, and the Church must take right ground. We must recover the things that we’ve given up in recent years. We must get involved.

It is time that Americans relearn their own history and re-familiarize themselves with their own governing documents. As Chief Justice John Jay recommended:

Every member of the state ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country. . . . By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated and be the better prepared to defend and assert them. [87]

It is also time for Americans to become reengaged in the civil arena.

As John Adams admonished:

We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands. . . . It becomes necessary to every [citizen], then, to be in some degree a statesman and to examine and judge for himself . . . the . . . political principles and measures. Let us examine them with a sober . . . Christian spirit. [88]

In short, it is time for Americans to recover the things given up in recent years — it is time to once again become involved! And, I would add, in view of recent events in the political arena, might I suggest starting at your local and state level.


(The main source for the information presented in this article is from notes that were taken from the video “America’s Godly Heritage,” by David Barton, produced in 1992 by WallBuilders, P.O. Box 397, Aledo, TX 76008, (817) 441-6044. I have used direct and paraphrased quotes of David Barton throughout this article, however, I am not affiliated with him, nor WallBuilders. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in presenting this material. If mistakes are found, I will do my best to correct them. I encourage you to visit WallBuilders, where you can obtain an updated version of the DVD “America’s Godly Heritage,” as well as many other videos, books,  and information.)

1. Letter of October 7, 1801 from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
2. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, ed. (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904) Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802.
3. People v. Ruggles; 8 Johns 545, 547 (1811).
4. Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington, DC: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 439-951, June 8-September 24, 1789, and Journal of the First Session of the Senate of the United States of America, Begun and Held at the City of New York, March 4, 1789 (Washington DC: Gales & Seaton, 1820), pp. 69-88, September 2-25, 1789.

5. Debates and Proceedings, Vol. I, p. 451, June 8, 1789, see also, Vol. I, pp. 757-759, August 15, 1789.
6. Journal . . . of the Senate, p. 70, September 3, 1789.
7. Runkel v. Winemiller; 4 Harris and McHenry 276,288 (Sup. Ct. Md. 1799).
8. Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988).</span
9. Lutz, Origins, pp. 142-143.
10. Lutz, Origins, pp. 142-143.
11. Lutz, Origins, pp. 142-143.
12. Lutz, Origins, p. 141.
13. Richard Ellsworth Day, Man of Like Passions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1942), pp. 35-37.
14. David Barton, The Bulletproof George Washington (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1990) presents various testimonies of the incident; note especially the listed sources in the book’s bibliography.
15. C.M. Kirkland, Memoirs of Washington (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1870), p. 155; Washington Irving, The Life of George Washington (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1855), p.138.
16. Washington , Writings, Vol. 1, p. 152, to John Augustine Washington, July 18, 1755.
17. George Washington Parke Custis,  Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington (New York: Derby & Jackson, 1860), p. 303.
18. Joseph Banvard, Tragic Scenes in the History of Maryland and the Old French War (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1856), p. 154.
19. Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.
20. The Publications of the American Tract Society, Vol. 1 (Pub. by the American Tract Society~1813).
21. Paul Leicester Ford, The New England Primer: A History of its Origin and Development (New York: Dodd, Mead, and Co., 1897), plate xxiv, following p. 300.
22. Ford, Primer, pp. 310, 313.
23. Emily Ellsworth Ford, Notes on the Life of Noah Webster (New York: Privately Printed, 1912), p. 532.
24. John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport, MA: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5, 6.
25. John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1 826, Henry P. Johnson, ed. (Reprinted NY: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393, October 12, 1816.
26. William Jay, The Life of John Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833), Vol. II, p. 376, to John Murray Jr. on October 12, 1816.
27. George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States, and Late Commander in Chief of the American Army To the People of the United States, Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, 1796), pp. 22-23
28. Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S.; 143 U.S. 457, 465, 471 (1892).
29. Vidal v. Girard’s Executors; 43 U.S. 126, 205-206 (1844).
30. The Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives Made During the First Session of the Thirty-Third Congress (Washington, DC: A. O. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 6, 8-9.
31. The Reports of Committees of the Senate of the United States for the Second Session of the Thirty-Second Congress, 1852-53 (Washington: A. 0. P. Nicholson, 1854), pp. 1-9.
32. Journal of the House of Representatives, 34th Congress, 1st Session (Washington, DC: Cornelius Wendell, 1855), p. 354, January 23, 1856.
33. Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1, 18 (1947).
34. WorldNetDaily “How ‘Marketing of Evil’ really works” (; American Thinker, “How We Will Lose Our Freedom of Speech” (at
35. In a February 7, 2007, Westlaw search on the phrase “respecting an establishment …,” the results were: all state cases = 1,209 cases; all federal cases = 1,469 cases; total cases using the First Amendment phrase “respecting an establishment” = 2678 cases. In a February 7, 2007, search on the phrase “separation of church and state,” the results were: all state cases = 859 cases; all federal cases = 3,149 cases; total cases using the phrase “separation of church and state” = 4,008. First search string was “wall separati** +4 church +2 state” with Wednesday, February 07, 2007 13:57:00 Mountain as the time of the request. Second search string was (respecting +2 establishment +2 religion) (prohibiting +2 free +1 exercise) with Wednesday, February 07, 2007 12:57:00 Mountain as the time of the request.
36. Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962).
37. Engel at 430. (The Court acknowledged that the “unconstitutional” prayer had been completely voluntary.)
38. See, for example, Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington, DC: Jonathan Elliot, 1836), Vol, IV, pp. 191-192, 198-199; Kate Mason Rowland, The Life of George Mason (New York & London; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1892), Vol. I p. 244; Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston; Hilliard & Gray, 1833), Vol. 3 pp. 728, 730; Reports of Committees, p. 6, etc.
39. Abington v. Schempp; 374 U.S. 203, 220-221 (1963).
40. Abington v. Schempp; 374 U.S. 203 (1963), and Murray v. Curlett; 374 U.S. 203 (1963).
41. Abington at 209.
42. Reed v. van Hoven, 237 F.Supp. 48 (W.D. Mich. (1965).
43. Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1984).
44. DeSpain v. DeKalb County Community School District, 384 F.2d 836 (7th Cir. 1967).
45. Stone v. Graham; 449 U.S. 39 (1980).
46. John Adams, A Defense of the Constitution of Government of the United States of America (Philadelphia: William Young, 1797), Vol. III, p. 217, from “The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth Examined,” Letter VI.
47. Dictionary of American Biography, s.v. “James Wilson.”
48. James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable James Wilson (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. I, pp. 104-105, 106.
49. See, for example, John Adams, Works, Vol. VI, p. 9; John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and its Teachings (Auburn, NY: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 61, 70-71; Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908, Vol. IV, p. 356; Alexander Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, Harold C. Syrett, editor (New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), Vol. I, p. 87, from “The Farmer Refuted”; John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, p. 403-404, to John Murray, Jr., April 15, 1818; Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D.C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1903), Vol. III, p. 228; James Kent, Commentaries on American Law (New York: O. Halsted, 1826), Vol. I, p. 7; Rufus King, The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900), Vol. VI, pp. 276-277, to C. Gore, February 17, 1820; Joseph Story, Life and Letters of Joseph Story, William W. Story, editor (Boston: Charles C. Little & James Brown, 1851), Vol. II, p. 8; Zephaniah Swift, A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut (Windham, CT: John Byrne, 1795), Vol. I, pp. 6-7; Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education: To Which is Subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), p. 7; John Witherspoon, The Works of John Witherspoon (Edinburgh: J. Ogle, 1815), Vol. IV, p. 95.
50. See, for example, State v. Mockus, 113 A. 39, 41 (Me. 1921); Cason v. Baskin, 20 So.2d 243, 247 (Fla. 1944) (en banc); Bertera’s Hopeland Foodland, Inc. v. Masters, 236 A.2d 197, 200-201 (Pa. 1967); Paramount-Richards Theatres v. City of Hattiesburg, 49 So.2d 574, 577 (Miss. 1950); People v. Rubenstein, 182 N.Y.S.2d 548, 550 (N.Y. Ct. Sp. Sess. 1959); Stollenwerck v. State, 77 So. 52, 54 (Ala. Ct. Spp. 1917) (Brown, P.J., concurring); Gillooley v. Vaughn, 110 So. 653, 655 (Fla. 1926) (citing Theisen v. McDavid, 16 So. 321, 323 (Fla. 1894)); Rogers v. State, 4 S.E.2d 918, 919 (Ga. Ct. App. 1939); Brimhall v. Van Campen, 8 Minn. 1 (1858); City of Ames v. Gerbracht, 189 N.W. 729, 733 (Iowa 1922); Sumpter v. State, 306 N.E.2d 95, 101 (Ind. 1974); State v. Schultz, 582 N.W.2d 113, 117 (Wis. Ct. App. 1998); Ruiz v. Clancy, 157 So. 737, 738 (La. Ct. App. 1934) (citing Caldwell v. Henmen, 5 Rob. 20 (La. 1843)); Pierce v. Yerkovich, 363 N.Y.S.2d 403, 414 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 1974); Mileski v. Locker, 178 N.Y.S.2d 911, 916 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1958); Beaty v. McGoldrick, 121 N.Y.S.2d 431, 432 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1953); Young v. Commonwealth, 53 S.W. 963, 966 (Ky Ct. App. 1932); Ex parte Mei, 192 A. 80, 82 (N.J. 1937); Hardin v. State, 46 S.W. 803, 808 (Tex. Crim. App. 1898); Schreifels v. Schreifels, 287 P.2d 1001, 1005 (Wash. 1955); Barbour v. Barbour, 330 P.2d 1093, 1098 (Mont. 1958); Petition of Smith, 71 F. Supp. 968, 972 (D.N.J. 1947); S.B. v. S.J.B., 609 A.2d 124, 125 (N.J. Super. Ct. Ch. Div 1992); Succession of Onorato, 51 So.2d 804, 810 (La 1951); Hollywood Motion Picture Equipment Co. v. Furer, 105 P.2d 299, 301 (Cal. 1940); State v. Donaldson, 99 O. 447, 449 (Utah 1909); De Rinzie v. People, 138 P. 1009, 1010 (Colo. 1913); Addison v. State, 116 So 629 (Fla. 1928); Anderson v. Maddox, 65 So.2d 299, 301-302 (Fla. 1953); State v. Gould, 46 S.W.2d 886, 889-890 (Mo. 1932); Doll v. Bender, 47 S.E. 293, 300 (W.Va. 1904) (Dent, J., concurring); Pennsylvania Co. v. United States, 214 F. 445, 455 (W.D. Pa. 1914); Watts v. Gerking, 228 P. 135, 141 (Or. 1924); Hosford v. State, 525 So.2d 789, 799 (Miss. 1988); People v. Rosen, 20 Cal.App.2d 445, 448-449, 66 P.2d 1208 (1937); Pullum v. Johnson, 647 So.2d 254, 256 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994); Weinstock, Lubin & Co. v. Marks, 42 P. 142, 145 (Cal. 1895); Chisman v. Moylan, 105 So.2d 186, 189 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1958); Swift & Co. v. Peterson, 233 P.2d 216, 231 (Or. 1951), and others.
51. State Board of Education v. Board of Education of Netcong, 262 A.2d.21, 30 (Sup.Ct.N.J. 1947), cert. denied, 401 U.SW. 1013.
52. Sheffield v. Sheffield, 3 Tex. 79, 85-86 (Tex. Sup. Ct. 1948).
53. Grigsby v. Reib, 153 S.W. 1124, 1129-30 (Tex. Sup. Ct. 1913).
54. Washington, Farewell Address . . . Preparatory to His Declination, pp. 22-23.
55. U.S. Census Bureau, “Statistical Abstract of the United States 2003: No. HS-14: Births to Teenagers and to Unmarried Women: 1940 to 2002” (at
56. See the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States for the years 1980, 1990, 1991, & 2006: “Births To Unmarried Women” and “Legal Abortions By Selected Characteristics.”
57. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, “By the Numbers: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing, October 2006,” (at
58. See, as just one indication, incidents of syphilis: American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association, “Epidemiology of Syphilis in the United States, 1941-1993: Age distribution of primary and secondary syphilis by gender, United States, 1956, 1979, 1990, and 1993” (at;jsessionid=GnVJbTLMJX4HyDhv7p6nBTxyfJkJkJ3GRL9wMWtXVpsfWZnwJpJ-Phy!3145886!-949856145!8091!-1?index=1&database=ppvovft&results=1&count=10&searchid=7&nav=search).
59. U.S. Census Bureau, “Statistical Abstract of the United States 2000: No. 72, Live Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Divorces: 1950 to 2003” (at
60.; see also, “World Divorce Statistics” (at
61. Single Parent Families (male & female householders total) in 1960 was 5,782,000; by 2006, the number had increased to 18,902,000. Taken from 2007 Statistical Abstract National Data Book, “Table 57. Households, Families, Subfamilies, and Married Couples: 1960 to 2005” (at
62. Unmarried couples living together were 5,840833 in 2004 (taken from 2007 Statistical Abstract National Data Book, “Table 61. Unmarried-Partner Households By Sex Of Partners: 2004” (at; in 1970, the number was 523,000 (taken from 1995 Statistical Abstract National Data Book, “No. 60. Unmarried Couples, by Selected Characteristics: 1970 to 1994” (at
63. U.S. Department of Education, “National Center for Education Statistics: Table 129, SAT score averages of college-bound seniors, by sex: 1966-67 to 2003-04” (at
64. National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk The Imperative for Educational Reform (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983), p. 11.
65. Washington, Address . . . Preparatory to His Declination, p. 23.
66. See the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States for the years 1969, 1980, 1990, & 2007: “Crime and Crime Rates By Type.”
67., “Crime Statistics: Total crimes by country” (at
68. The Letters of Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826. “April 1803” (at
69. From John Adams to Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798: (at
70. Madison, Papers, Vol. III, p. 1391, by George Mason, August 22, 1787.
71. James Madison, The Papers of James Madison (Washington, DC: Langtree & O’Sullivan, 1840), Vol. II, p. 985, by Benjamin Franklin, June 28, 1789.
72. Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, p. 28, by President George Washington, April 30, 1789.
73. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237.
74. Benjamin Rush, Letters of Benjamin Rush, L. H. Butterfield, editor (Princeton, NJ: American Philosophical Society, 1951), Vol. I, p. 534, to John Adams, February 24, 1790.
75. “…I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.” The Inner Life of Abraham Lincoln: Six Months at the White House by Francis B. Carpenter (Lincoln, Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press, 1995), p. 282. Also, Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Ward Hill Lamon (Lincoln, Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press, 1994), p. 91. (at
76. Elias Boudinot, The Life, Public Services, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, J. J. Boudinot, editor (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1896), Vol. I, pp. 19, 21, speech in the First Provincial Congress of New Jersey.
77. David Barton, quoting Rev. Charles Finney (at, also Lectures on Revivals of Religion, By CHARLES G. FINNEY, Lecture XV. Hindrances to Revivals (at
78. Torcaso v. Watkins; 367 U.S. 488 (1961).
79. See, for example, Allegheny v. ACLU, 492 U.S. 573, 590 (1989), “[The Establishment Clause] guarantee[s] religious liberty and equality to the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Islam or Judaism”; Malnak v. Yogi; 440 F.Supp. 1285 (D.C.N.J. 1977); Kaufman v. McCaughtry, 419 F.3d 678 (7th Cir. 2005).
80. See United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965) and Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 333 (1970).
81. Newdow v. U.S. Congress, 292 F.3d 597 (9th Cir. 2002).
82. WorldNetDaily, “Judicial Jihad: Judge Rules Islamic Education OK in California Classrooms” at; at District Court, case was Jonas Ekland v. Byron Union School District, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27152, U.S.D.C. Case No. 02-3004 PJH (N.D.Cal.) filed August 23, 2003; at the Ninth Circuit the case was Jonas Ekland v. Byron Union School District, No. 04-15032 (9th Cir.) filed November 17, 2005 (D.C. No. CV-02-03004-PJH); at the U.S. Supreme Court, it was Ekland v. Byron Union School District, 05-1539, cert. denied.
83. Roberts v. Madigan, 702 F. Supp. 1505 (D.C. Colo. 1989).
84. Thomas Moore Law Center, “Law Center Enters Nativity Dispute in Bay Harbor Islands, FL” (at; St. Petersburg Times, “Symbols of the season causing a spirited stir” (at; Free Republic, “Town Says ‘No’ to Nativity Scene, ‘Yes’ to Menorah” (at; Florida Woman Demands Equal Treatment for Public Nativity Display, “Town of Palm Beach Pays $50,000 In Attorney Fees – Apologizes To Women In Nativity Lawsuit” (at; Fox News, “A Big Legal Win for the Baby Jesus in Florida” (at; “The Nativity-Scene Litigation Roundup: 2020” (at; “US cities with Nativity scenes ignore takedown demands” (at
85. Skoros v. City of New York, No. 04-1229 (2d Cir. Feb. 2, 2006); WorldNetDaily, “Christmas ‘ban’ prompts Supreme Court petition” (at, and “Another student penalized for pro-life shirt” (at; AgapePress, “At Issue: ‘Religious Accomodation’ in Public Schools” (at; CBN News, “Student Suspended for Posting Bible Verses in Response to Rainbow Flags” (at, CNS News, “Student Sues School District Over Punishment For Expressing His Religious Views Against Homosexuality” (at, New York Post, “North Carolina teacher suspended for segregating students based on religion” (at, The Western journal, “Report: College Suspends Student for Innocuous Comment on Genders” (at; S.H. v. Penn Cambria School District, No. 3:06-cv-00271-KRG (W.D. Pa. 2007); M.G. v. Bush and Shenendehowa Central School District, No. 1:07-cv-00007-LEK-RFT (N.D.N.Y. 2007).
86. Pew Research Center, “The 2004 Political Landscape” (at and “The Diminishing Divide. . . American Churches, American Politics” (at; The Barna Group, “Annual Study Reveals America Is Spiritually Stagnant” (at and “American Faith is Diverse, as Shown Among Five Faith-Based Segments” (at; City University of New York, “Graduate Center: American Religious Identification Survey, 2001” (at; Pew Research Center, “Explore religious groups in the U.S. by tradition, family and denomination” (at and “U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades” (at; Harris Interactive, “Large Majority of People Believe They Will Go To Heaven” (at and “Over half of US Christians believe good works will get them into Heaven: study” (at and “Most Americans believe in heaven … and hell” (at; Gallup, “America Remains Predominantly Christian” (at; CBN News, “New Survey Reveals Most Americans and Many Who Identify As Christians, No Longer Believe In Absolute Moral Truth” (at; Gallup, “A Look at Americans and Religion Today” (at; HuffPost, “American Religion Has Never Looked Quite Like It Does Today” (at; Pew Research Center, “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace” (at; The Gallup Poll, “Focus On Christmas” (at; Baylor University, “American Piety in the 21st Century” (at
87. Jay, Correspondence, Vol. I, pp. 163-164, from his Charge to the Grand Jury of Ulster County, September 9, 1777.
88. John Adams, The Papers of John Adams, Robert J. Taylor, editor (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1977), Vol. I, p. 81, from “‘U’ to the Boston Gazette,” August 29, 1763.
89. Bible Study Course, New Testament; The Dallas High Schools, Bulletin No. 170, Authorized by the Board of Education, April 23, 1946. Printed in the Dallas Public Schools’ Print Shop: Dallas, TX, 1946.

. Overview: WallBuilders is an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined. In accord with what was so accurately stated by George Washington, we believe that “the propitious [favorable] smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation which disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained.” (at


Additional Sources Not Linked In This Article:

90. David Barton, What Happened in Education (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1990), p. 25.
91. Barton, Education, p. 27.
92. Data supplied by the Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
93. Barton, America, p. 87.
94. Barton, Original Intent, p. 32,quoting William Linn, The Life of Thomas Jefferson (Ithaca, NY: Mack & Andrus, 1834), p. 265.
95. Barton, Original Intent, p. 182, quoting John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, ed. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1854), Vol. IX, p. 229, October 11, 1798.
96. Barton, America, p. 107. See also report from Texas Literacy Council, “Developing Human Capitol,” 1991, p. 2.
97. Barton, Original Intent, p. 40, quoting Church of the Holy Trinity v. U.S.; 143 U.S. 457, 469-470 (1892); see also The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America (Boston: Norman & Bowen, 1785), p. 100.
98. Barton, Original Intent, pp. 33l-132, quoting Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764-1788 and the Formation of the Federal Constitution, S. E. Morison, ed. (NY: Oxford University Press, 1923), p. l66, and Edwin Gaustad, Faith of our Founding Fathers (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, pp. 173-174. Sec also Anson Phelps Stokes, Church and State in the United States (NY: Harper & Brothers, 1950), Vol.1. p. 441. See also The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America (Boston: Norman & Bowen, 1785), p. 81.
99. Id., at 333, quoting James Madison, Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 (1787, reprinted NY: W. W. Norton Company, 1987), p. 504, August 22, 1787.
100. 1 Kings 18-19.
101. 1 Chronicles 21.
102. Barton, Original Intent, p. 110-111, quoting Madison. pp. 209-210, June 28, 1787.
103. Id., at 334, quoting Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the States of Virginia (Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1794), p. 237, Query XVIII.
104. Abraham Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s Stories and Speeches, J. B. McClure, ed. (Chicago: Rhodes and McClure Publishing Company, 1896), pp. 185-186 and John Wesley Hill, Abraham Lincoln-Man of God (NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920), p. 330.
105. Elias Boudinot, LL.D., The Life, Public Services, and Letters of Eiias Boudinot, LL.D., President of the Continental Congress, J. J. Boudinot, ed. (Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, and Co., 1896). Vol.1, pp. 18-19.
106. Charles C. Finney, Revival Lectures (Reprinted Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming Revel Company, 1970), Lecture XV, pp. 336-337.
107. Grove v. Meade Independent School District; 753 F.2d. 1528 (1985).
108. Theriault v. Silber; 453 F.Supp. 254 (W.D.Tex. 1978).
109. Reader’s Digest, March, 1991, p. 22. See also Newsweek, August 21, 1989.
110. David Barton, Original Intent (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1997), pp. 123-146.
111. Joseph Banvard, Tragic Scenes in the History of Maryland and the Old French War (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1856), pp. 142-159.
112. Barton, Original Intent, p. 164, quoting George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keatinge, 1796), pp. 22-23.
113. Barton, Original Intent, p. 214, quoting Donald S. Lutz, The Origins of American Constitutionalism (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1988).
114. Lutz at 142-143.
115. Barton, Original Intent, pp. 225-226, quoting Lutz, p. 141.
116. Barton, Original Intent, p. 327, quoting B. F. Morris, The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1864), p. 328.
117. Barton, Original Intent, p. 13, quoting Everson at 18.
118. Baer v. Kolmorgen; 181 N.Y.S.2d. 230 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. 1958).
119. Barton, Original Intent, p. 20, quoting Baer at 237.
120. Barton, Original Intent, p. 159, quoting Lawrence A. Cremin, 1963 Yearbook, World Book Encyclopedia, p. 38.
121. Barton, Original Intent, p. l72, quoting Stone v. Graham; 449 U.S. 39 at 42 (1980).
122. James Wilson, The Works of the Honourable James Wilson (Philadelphia: Bronson and Chauncey, 1804), Vol. 1, p. 106.
123. Barton, Original Intent p. 155, quoting Engle v. Vitale; 370 U.S. 421 at 422 (1962).
124. State Board of Education v. Board of Education of Netcong,~ 262 A.2d. 21 at 30 (Sup.Ct.Nj.), cert. denied, 401 U.S. 1013.
125. Barton, Original Intent, p. 160, quoting Abington v. Schempp; 374 U.S. 203 at 213 (1963).
126. Barton, America: To Pray or Not to Pray? (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 1991), pp. 45-46, quoting Grigsby v. Reib; 153 S.W. 1124 at 1129-1130 (Sup.Ct.Tx).

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