Letter: The First Lady leading the Lord’s Prayer

Dear Editor,

The simple act of Melania Trump leading the public in The Lord’s Prayer at a rally in Florida may be the beginning of the end of 60 years of unconstitutional silencing of religious expression in the public arena. In the 1947 court case Everson vs. The Board of Education, the judiciary established a legal myth which they called “Separation of Church and State.” To justify this new judicial doctrine, the court used a phrase from a letter written in January, 1801, by President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. Taking the phrase “separation of church and state” out of the context of the letter itself, this phrase was used to begin the development of the belief that the Founding Fathers wanted government to be totally devoid of religious influence and that government displays of religious faith were unconstitutional.

This new judicial heresy was advanced further by the 1954 Johnson Amendment to the Federal Tax Code that limited the political activity of tax-exempt nonprofits, including churches. Then in 1962, in the case Engel vs. Vitale, the court ruled that it was unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage its recitation in public schools. This ruling was soon interpreted to limit and often restrict prayer in public schools.

Was this the intention of the Founding Fathers and the signers of the Constitution? Absolutely not!
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Constitution, who was often referred to as “The Father of Public Schools Under the Constitution,” wrote a treatise on why the Bible should always be the primary text book in American schools.

Fisher Ames was the delegate to Congress who gave us the primary wording for the First Amendment. He also stated, “Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble. …”

Founding Father John Jay was well known as one of the framers of the Constitution. He served as the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In those days the Supreme Court had juries. Jay would not let a jury hear a case until they had taken Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper).

As President, Thomas Jefferson wrote the plan of education for Washington DC schools. In this document Jefferson stated that reading should be taught from two primary texts – The Bible and Watt’s Hymnal.

Now for the first time in decades, we have a leader who is more concerned about being historically and factually correct than politically correct. With the simple action of the First Lady leading a public meeting in The Lord’s Prayer, Americans have been given an open invitation to return to their historical roots. May we boldly accept that invitation and move forward.

Steve Casey
Stonewall

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