The phrase “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers saw nothing wrong with having religion in American culture, according to an expert.
While Congress is prohibited from enacting a state religion, the founding document says nothing about banishing religion from the public square, Professor Michael McConnell told Mark Levin on “Life, Liberty & Levin.”
“The words ‘separation of church and state’ are not in the Constitution… I think this is a shorthand version of what the establishment clause means,” he added, noting the passage in the Constitution that reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
“It does have a deep history because there were, in the 18th century, prominent writers who openly advocated for a union between church and state. There’s actually a famous essay by one of the Bishops in the Church of England by that very title.
“And, our framers did not did not believe in a union between church and state.”
The Stanford law professor continued, adding the founders instead wanted to protect against government “control” of religion and that they did not object to symbols of faith being present in the public square.
“This did not mean that the framers believed that the American people should be any less religious than they choose to be,” he said.
“It didn’t mean that the culture — that there was anything wrong with having religious elements in the culture. What it meant is that we would not have a system in which the government was able to tell us what to believe, was able to control churches, decide what their doctrines, decide who their personnel would be, and so forth.”
McConnell noted the Supreme Court rules on cases challenging the paradigm from time to time.Read More