Your culminating point seems to be that you don't understand
why "these past examples should justify a modern-day
attempt to link together church and state." Leading
up to your conclusion, you suggest that the examples I cited
may prove that while faith and politics were linked in the
past, perhaps they should not be linked in the future.
I hope that I can correctly assume, then, we agree politics
and faith were linked at the time surrounding the founding
of our country.
I would suggest that the intent of our forefathers should
be -- and often is -- one of the key issues observed when
taking into consideration matters involving the U.S. Constitution.
The fact that the foundation of our country and its government
are so clearly and deliberately founded on Christian principles
demands our attention when we attempt to understand the
meaning of pieces of that document like the establishment
To appropriately understand the meaning of any writing,
we must understand the context in which it was written.
Understanding the Judeo-Christian background of the founders
gives us great insight into that context.
Jefferson's letter in response to a letter from the Danbury
Baptist Association, combined with the fact that he attended
worship services in the U.S. House, is important for another
reason. Jefferson penned this letter more than a decade
after the ratification of the Bill of Rights (which contains
the establishment clause).
The president's statement is not an encouragement to religious
separation but rather a descriptive statement about the
establishment clause. He believed that the "wall of
separation" came into being upon passage of the Bill
of Rights and therefore his attending of worship services
shows that he saw no conflict there.
acceptance and acknowledgment of religion (Christianity,
no less) did not violate the wall of separation that Jefferson
was writing about.
I am not attempting to link church and state presently.
Rather, as I mentioned in my initial piece, I am positing
that church and state are permanently linked and that they
have been since the conception of this country. Even Jefferson,
widely considered one of the most "secular" of
our founding fathers, saw no conflict with public buildings
being used to worship God.
You mentioned in your introduction that our generation
was much less enthusiastic about the option to pray becoming
"a summons to practice a specific kind of faith."
Well, certainly I do not support that, either. I do not
support forcing religion on anyone, and I don't support
a government overtly favoring one religion over another
with respect to the treatment of its people.
That is, Christians and Muslims should all have the same
civil rights and they should all be given equal protection
under the law. However, "Congress shall make no law"
does not mean that Congress shall only make laws to keep
the playing field level.
All things equal, this nation is predominantly Christian
and it logically follows that it would be guided, at least
in part, by Christian people and ideas. We have established
that this nation was founded on Christian principles and
you would surely not contest that a large majority of this
country's citizens claim some form of Christianity.
Forcing a religious practice upon someone would be an inexcusable
action by a government. However, denying Judeo-Christian
ideals in the governing of this nation would be to forget
where we've come from.
These are the principles that have made America great,
and it will be these principles that guide us through these
dangerous and turbulent times of uncertainty and war.