On January 1, 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following letter to the leaders of Danbury Baptist Association in Danbury, Connecticut:
“To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Jan. 1. 1802.”
In spite of Jefferson’s letter, the US Supreme Court ruled that America was a Christian nation in 1892 in the case of Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States. Delivering the opinion for the high court, Justice Josiah Brewer wrote:
“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. (465)
There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons: they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people. (470)
If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. (471)” [Emphasis Mine]
During this case there were many documents presented to the high court that supported the court’s ruling that America is a Christian nation. Yet 55 years later, none of those documents nor the 1892 decision convinced the high court that America was still a Christian nation. Instead the high court turned to Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists and used it redefine the First Amendment. In the 1947 Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education, Associate Justice Hugo Black wrote:
“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”
Note – Everson v Board of Education was the first time in U.S. History that the Supreme Court ruled to forbid religious practice among states and also the first time that the 14th Amendment had been combined with the 1st Amendment in so doing.
After this controversial ruling by the Supreme Court, the concept of a legal separation between church and state has been erroneously used to systematically remove God, Jesus, the Bible and Christianity from America. Just 15 years later, Black again wrote the opinion in the Supreme Court case of Engel v. Vitale in 1962 where the court banned prayer in public schools.
The supposed separation of church and state, also known as the Establishment Clause, had been used to ban anything remotely related to Christianity from the public schools. Organizations like Freedom From Religion Foundation have used the Establishment Clause to stop public schools from conducting the traditional baccalaureate services traditionally held for graduating seniors because the services are generally Christian based.
Yet no one complained about an all-girl prom for Muslim high school students in Dearborn, Michigan. Evidently a Muslim program in a public school is not a violation of the separation of church and state Establishment Clause when a baccalaureate service is a violation.
Finally, some caring parents are getting fed up with the unfair double standards taking place in public schools.
La Plata High School in Maryland is being accused of Islamic indoctrination and propaganda and is now facing a lawsuit. The Thomas More Law Center has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of John Kevin and Melissa Wood. John is a former Marine who served 8 years in the Corp, serving in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. During his tours in the Middle East, some of this friends were killed by Islamic extremists.
The Wood family are also ardent Christians. When they learned that their daughter was being taught Islamic indoctrinations in her high school class, he asked the school to let her opt out of the Islamic instruction due to her Christian faith. The school refused and eventually banned John from the school.
According to Thomas More Law Center:
“The Woods’ daughter was forced to profess and to write out the Shahada in worksheets and quizzes. The Shahada is the Islamic Creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam. Moreover, the second part of the statement, ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader. The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.
Charles County Public Schools disparaged Christianity by teaching its 11th grade students, including the Woods’ daughter, that: ‘Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.’
The Charles County Public Schools also taught the following:
‘Islam, at heart, is a peaceful’
- ‘To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianityand Judaism.’
- The Koran states, ‘Men are the managersof the affairs of women’ and ‘Righteous women are therefore obedient.’”
TMLC also noted:
“The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Koran explicitly instructs Muslims “to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” (Sura 9-5)
What do you think would happen if any public high school taught lessons promoting Christianity in their history classes such as verses like John 14:6 which reads:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
And 1 John 4:15:
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”
I’m sure that groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation would be screaming violation of the Establishment Clause, but in the case of La Plata high school, you don’t hear anyone except for concerned Christian parents complaining. Where is the FFRF or other similar organizations? Their silence speaks volumes about the double standards of the so-called separation of church and state being used to persecute Christianity and promote Islam.