by Chuck Norris
When New York churches no longer can meet in public school settings, a federal court orders a Rhode Island public school to remove a prayer banner that has been posted for more than five decades (and it complies), the federal government mandates that Catholic institutions cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization (at no cost to the patient), the U.S. Air Force removes "God" from the motto of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, atheists continue to contest "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, town councils can't pray to start their meetings, evangelical pillars like Franklin Graham are subdued by gotcha gangs in the mainstream media, and cultural icons like Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow can't even bow in silent prayer without criticism, you can be assured that religious liberty is under assault by secular progressives across America. And leading the national charge is none other than our president, Barack Obama.
As I wrote in my latest New York Times best-seller, "Black Belt Patriotism," skeptics are quick to point to Thomas Jefferson, who generally is hailed as the chief of church-state separation. But proof that Jefferson was not trying to rid government of religious (specifically Christian) influence comes from the fact that he endorsed using government buildings for church meetings, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic church and to pay the salaries of the church's priests, and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.
Some might be completely surprised to discover that just two days after Jefferson wrote his famous letter citing the "wall of separation between church and state," he attended church in the place where he always had as president: the U.S. Capitol. The very seat of our nation's government was used for sacred purposes. The Library of Congress' website notes, "It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church."