To The Editor:
I’m replying to the letter written by Mr. Juedemann in which he said Commissioner Griesheimer was challenged on his Christian prayer that the courts have consistently struck down.
The First Amendment was passed in 1789 and the courts have only been striking down prayer and most anything that might be considered Christian since the 1947 case, Everson v Board of Education, when the court twisted the meaning of the First Amendment to mean something entirely opposite of its intent.
The words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Religion,” means Congress shall not prefer one denomination over another, even one of the versions Congress submitted for the wording of the First Amendment was, “Congress shall make no law establishing any particular denomination of religion in preference to another, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, nor shall the rights of conscience be infringed.”
In David Barton’s book, “The Myth of Separation,” he shows portions of the state Constitutions that state that those who serve in public office were to be Christian.
Does it seem likely that some of these same men who helped write their state Constitutions would completely reverse themselves in writing the First Amendment and say that one couldn’t pray in the public arena?
Note the quote of Patrick Henry: “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
True, what other country with other religions offer freedom of worship as America does?
It seems Mr. Juedemann is quick to speak on what he thinks the first portion of the First Amendment means but doesn’t expound on the second portion: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .”
I would think such things as not letting a child in school say God or Jesus or to say their prayer out loud at lunch or read the Ten Commandments on the wall because they might obey them, etc., might be “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Another interesting note from David Barton’s book says the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in our Constitution, but it is found in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union.