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Letter to the Editor: U.S. Constitution

St. George


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof..." the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution, which took effect Dec. 15, 1791.

U.S. courts rule about two times a week on cases involving whether prayers can be included in a high school graduation ceremony, an image of Jesus Christ can be displayed in a public school or a 10 Commandments monuments can remain in a building or in a public park.

The 1992 ruling in Lee V. Weismann, which struck down school sponsored prayers at public school at public school graduation ceremonies. Another court decision in 2000, Santa Fe Independent School District policy of permitting students to vote on selecting a classmate to lead prayers before a football game.

Many Americans wrongly assume the words, "separation of church and state" are included in the U.S. Constitution. It is not there. In fact the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" are first used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in Danbury, Conn. On Jan. 1, 1802, 10 months after his inauguration. Jefferson wrote to the Connecticut Baptists that they had, "no need to fear oppression from the federal government or its intrusion into the free exercise of religion because the Constitution had erected a "wall of separation between church and state". In other words, Jefferson wall was designed to protect the church from the state. Not the other way around."

The ruling by our Supreme court, "sows more doubt than it dispels". If there really was a wall separating church and state, a city fire department couldn't even put out a fire at a church, or a policeman make an arrest even if he caught the person in the act spraying graffiti on a church wall.

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