Keep praying Joe!
Recently a football coach in Seattle, Joe Kennedy, was suspended from his job because he persisted on going out onto the football field after the conclusion of the game to quietly pray. I happened to hear a Fox News correspondent make the comment that the coach was violating the clause, “the separation of church and state”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The phrase “separation of church and state” came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association who was concerned that the Anglican church was in the works to become the official denomination of the United States. Thomas Jefferson’s letter was specifically written to reassure the Baptist group that there would be no such action behind the scenes to establish one particular religion above another as an official state religion but that all faiths would have freedom of expression without government interference.
The first amendments establishment clause was written to keep the government from regulating churches or establishing a state religion NOT to keep the influence of church and religion out of the government. The founding fathers understood that faith and religion must have their influence upon government in order for government to function properly, fairly, and righteously. They understood that religion could influence government without controlling government.
In recent years this phrase “the separation of church and state” has been taken totally out of context and used to promote a specifically anti-Christian agenda to rid the Christian faith from any form of public display or influence possible. Sorry but I can’t help but say it! Thomas Jefferson would “roll over in his grave” if he could see how his comment had been twisted to oppose everything he believed in regards to the governments roll in society and its churches. The misuse of the separation of church and state clause has been used to ban just about anything religious from prayer in public schools to the banning of saying merry Christmas in many public arenas.
I commend Joe Kennedy for exercising his constitutional and God given right to pray in public. Our founding fathers understood the importance of prayer and faith being a part of our government. President John Quincy Adams said in July 4, 1821 “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” May Christians everywhere freely exercise the great privilege we have to pray to our God publicly and privately without fear.
As Alexis de Tocqueville said, “…if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” It is sad that the only hope to keep our nation from it continuing slide into destruction and irrelevance; prayer, morality, biblical truth, the saving gospel of Jesus Christ are the very things that our society seems bent on banning and rejecting. May Joe (and the average Christian Joe) continue to celebrate and practice expressions of faith in all areas of society and help others to look to Jesus for forgiveness of sin and instruction on how we should live righteously in this present world. Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach and condemnation to any people.