The discussion of Christianity in America invariably turns to the interpretation of the first words of the Bill of Rights, the Establishment Clause. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
There is also language not found in the Clause, Jefferson’s “wall of separation,” that has become over and misused by both sides of the discussion. The “wall of Separation” is not a literal statement, but a metaphor used to explain the Establishment Clause to a Baptist association in Connecticut. The metaphor was used in calling for the protection of religious worship as one’s heart desires without interference from the government. The naysayers seem to forget the purpose of Jefferson’s letter.
The general pro-sectarian argument includes, 1)If someone wants to take references to God off all state and federal oaths, pledges, anthems and coinage, it must be a strike against both God and Christianity, and 2)People are filing law suits to keep people from praying to God in public places, therefore 3) there is a secular conspiracy against God and the Christian faith.
In my upcoming book, A Christian nation? An objective evaluation of objective evidence. I write about several cases where the state and school district law allowing certain benefits to religious school, like providing bus services, are discussed and found in favor of the religious organization. The argument that there is a secular conspiracy to keep God out of government is simply false. Read more: http://wp.me/pDkAX-8M