But Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and the other founders never imagined they were banishing religion from the public sphere. Never!
As it was in the beginning – Sept. 6, 1774 – so it has been since: An American acknowledgement of God in the public sphere. The bottom line is a simple fact: On Sept. 7, 1774, the delegates to the second session of the Continental Congress bowed their heads as they listened to the Rev. Duche, an Episcopal cleric, read a prayer to Congress.
Because the Congress was “so divided in religious sentiments” “Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, and others,” John Adams wrote to wife Abigail: Because the motion to start the first session with a prayer was objected, after debate: “The motion was seconded and passed with affirmative,” wrote Adams, crediting Benjamin Franklin with naming this: “America’s public religion,” or as some call it today: our “civic” religion, which was distinctly nonsectarian and, even more importantly, ecumenical.
Back to the editorial’s question. The answer is “No!” The fact that our Founding Fathers debated whether to open the American saga with prayer is “wonderfully fitting for their conflicts are our conflicts (even today), their dilemmas our dilemmas,” wrote historian Jon Meacham.
Yes, they bowed their heads, yet “we must acknowledge that Christianity is only the thread in the American tapestry- it’s not the whole tapestry.”
We can only hope that the Senate will not accept House Bill 1024, or the governor will veto it. It is simple put: Redundant – not needed.