This past week, the Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments on this very topic. This debate is not exclusively a federal issue; it trickles down to local governments like Washougal Washington’s city council. Councilmembers Dave Shoemaker and Connie Jo Freeman feel starting council meetings with prayer is a constitutional right.
The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution does address the concerns of our founding fathers regarding church and state. From the inception of this nation, the debate of separation of church and state versus the right to acknowledge God in public places has been argued.
Ronald Reagan reflected, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.” In 2005 Sandra Day O’Conner stated, “Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly.” Both sides of the debate are very passionate about their interpretation. For the full story, watch the video above.