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SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE...?


God has promised: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD."


But... wait a minute. I thought those same founders wanted to separate the Church from the State! How many of you have ever heard that phrase? Of course you have. And I'll give a hundred dollar bill to the first person that can find that phrase "separation of Church and State" anywhere in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or any of the other founding documents. It's just not there!


Does anyone know who wrote those words and to whom? It was Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to a Baptist church which had complained that they were afraid the nation was going to endorse a specific denomination for the country. Jefferson wrote them a letter intending to assure them that that couldn't happen. He said there was a Constitutional wall that prohibited the nation from imposing its will upon the churches.


Two days after he wrote these words, Jefferson rode his horse down Pennsylvania Ave. to attend worship services that were being held in the House of Representatives. In fact, the House of Representatives hosted several different denominations in the chambers for nearly 70 years until the mid-1800s. Jefferson even loaned out the Treasury building to one congregation for worship because there weren't sufficient buildings in D.C. for worship at the time.


President Jefferson also signed legislation that

· gave land to Indian missionaries

· put chaplains on the government payroll

· and provide for punishment of soldiers who were ungodly.


He also sent to Congress an Indian treaty that set aside money for a priest's salary and for the construction of a church.


The early American Congress contained an extraordinary number of deeply religious men.

· They appointed chaplains for the House and Senate and for the Armed Forces

· They sponsored the publication of Bibles.

· They imposed Christian morality on the military.

And they prayed at one point: "make us a holy, that we may be a happy, people" (Congressional proclamation, Tuesday, March 19, 1782).

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