In October 1801, three men from the Danbury Baptist Association wrote a letter to President Jefferson. What if the letter had never been delivered, or what if Jefferson failed to reply? What if he had chosen a different five-word metaphor besides “separation of church and state”? Would the country be different today? If he had known these words would result in my being denied the free exercise of my faith in the classroom, locker room, football field or workplace, would he have acted differently?
For 50 years, atheists and sympathetic courts have been on the attack against any expression of faith outside the confines of church property. They have been very successful. They have used these five words to rain litigation fear upon municipalities, organizations and individuals who would exercise their constitutional right to express their faith anywhere without fear of reprisals from our government.
The intention of the First Amendment was to limit government from interfering with the expressing of one’s faith. The purpose of the Danbury letter was to voice concern by people of faith that their right to live without prejudice from their government would not be abridged.
Would we be better off had we allowed individuals to continue to express their faith openly in the public square? “Of course not,” would be the reply from individuals who disdain people of faith. They will condemn my remarks, mock Christians and confuse the issue with distracting aberrations. The scoffers never can draw a correlation between our current cultural rot and a rejection of Godly principles.
One reality can’t be denied. We have gone from commandments to Columbine, God to guards, faith to f-bombs, character to condoms and truth to twerking.
What if we still had the Ten Commandments on schoolhouse walls? Maybe, just maybe, people would follow them.