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Florida legislators favor ‘In God We Trust’ motto in schools

The phrase “In God We Trust” first appeared on the Florida state flag as part of the state seal in 1868. It became the state’s motto in 2006. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — A Florida legislative subcommittee has unanimously approved a bill that calls for the state’s motto, “In God We Trust,” to be placed in every public school.

The bill, which calls for each district school board to adopt rules about displaying the motto “in a conspicuous place,” was co-sponsored by state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat and a minister affiliated with churches in Jacksonville and Fort Lauderdale.

Florida state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, speaks to colleagues on the House floor on April 4, 2017. Photo courtesy of Florida House of Representatives

“This motto is inscribed on the walls of this great capital and inked in our currency and it should be displayed so that our children will be exposed and educated on this great motto, which is a part of this country’s foundation,” said Daniels in brief remarks Tuesday (Jan. 23) before the panel.

Other legislators voiced support for the measure, citing a national trust in God.

But Maggie Garrett, legislative director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told the Tampa Bay Times such a stance would differ from court rulings barring schools from promoting religion.

“Not all kids in Florida public schools believe in God,” Garrett noted, and they shouldn’t feel pressured while in school.”

A parent opposing the measure said the proposal was unnecessary because a state statute already requires schools’ display of the state flag, which includes the motto. The phrase has been part of the state seal since 1868 and has been the state’s official motto since 2006.

“That current statute satisfies the requirement to display our state motto, which is, of course, on our state flag,” Sue Woltanski of the group Common Ground told the panel. “Common Ground is opposed to bills that fail to address real issues in education and waste taxpayer dollars and time.”


READ: Atheists lose latest legal fight over ‘In God We Trust’


In response to a question from another legislator about the costs of the proposal, Daniels said she didn’t think it would be significant.

“I think the importance of our children knowing their history and being able to see this will far much outweigh whatever small cost that there may be,” said Daniels, author of “The Demon Dictionary,” published by Pentecostal publisher Charisma House.

State Rep. Ralph Massullo, a Republican, said he agreed with Daniels and compared the display of the motto to that of posted pictures of elected officials in public buildings and changing them in new administrations.

“If there would be a time when the motto of our state would change for whatever reason — and God help us if it does — then that can change as well,” he said.

The motto “In God We Trust” has been on U.S. coins since 1864 and on paper currency since 1957. Its presence  — on coins to license plates — has been a subject of debate for decades.

In 2017, Tennessee approved an optional license plate that says “In God We Trust.” In 2014, atheists lost their latest fight over removing it from currency when a court ruled it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

About the author

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

115 Comments

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  • It had an arguably “civic religion” purpose when placed on the currency and that is one reason the courts have allowed it to remain. Here it seems more like an endorsement and will incur significant First Amendment problems.

  • Gilding the lily is a pointless exercise. Now if you really wanted to improve America we would do a better job of funding our schools and insuring that kids showed up ready to learn (that is, supported by stable families, well fed and rested, and properly socialized).

  • The irony of having “In God We Trust” on our currency is that most Americans seem to put more faith in the money itself than in the motto. I trust displaying it in schools would be just as effective.

    Separation of church and state benefits both institutions. One way it benefits the church is by keeping matters of faith from being rendered into banal slogans.

  • The accepted, but unofficial motto used to be “E pluribus unum” (Out of many, one). A simple, yet lovely phrase expressing national unity for all Americans. The motto was changed, and made official, in 1956, in a foolish and dreadfully ill-conceived reaction to the “Red Scare” when people saw “godless Russian commies” lurking around every corner. I may have a dark sense of humor, but I can’t help but find it funny (and alarming) that now when Russian interests – in a concerted attack on our own national interests – have in fact successfully infiltrated our society on so many levels, the same types are still attempting to emblazon this motto all over the place in public. As if it’s some sort of reliable stopgap measure against who knows what – yet they turn a blind eye to the very real and serious Russian threat to our country.

    The fact is while many patriotic American people may agree with “In God We Trust”, an awful lot of equally patriotic Americans don’t. And of course which “God” the phrase is commonly accepted to refer to is another problem. Yahweh? Vishnu? Thor? Which God? Which faith(s)? All Americans have the right to trust in a god or goddess, or many of them, or none at all, exactly as they see fit. No amount of publicity the motto gets on flags or school walls is going to change that. But meanwhile, it’s a stupid and divisive issue, costing taxpayers money we can all ill afford.

  • Theism rules. People of other viewpoints, such as agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, Confucianists, polytheists, pantheists, Jainists, some Unitarians, and unaffiliated are effectively second-class citizens. Establishment of theism as official should be disturbing to those who believe in religious liberty.

  • I invite anyone who thinks that, as an American, I’m required to “trust” in his/her God, to track me down and make me trust him. Go ahead. Lock and load! Let it rip. Do whatever you think is necessary to coerce my trust in your deity. 

    It won’t work, of course, but I invite any and all Christianists to give it their best shot. What have you got to lose? What’s more, what reason would you have not to do it, if in fact you truly do believe that I am obligated to “trust” your God? You have no reason not to make the attempt … so get to it! 

  • Perhaps Ms. Daniels needs a refresher course in/over the meaning of “Separation of Church and State?”

  • Ugh! Playing with mottos while working to divert public funds to church schools and undermine public schools.

  • Daniels is a dangerous religious kook. “There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrels, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, war and all evil in the state as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our Gov.’t will soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they too will be destroyed”.-Wis, Supreme Court Justice H,S. Orton, 1890

  • So glad the Florida legislature has solved all the problems of the state so they have the time and energy to devote to such an inane and self-serving action.

  • Seeing as this country was founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs then there is only one God, the God of Abraham.

  • While the state should certainly endorse and make room for religious expression (for example if a student wants to testify to his faith at a commencement, fine) but it should not endorse a religion. I think this is a stretch.

  • Regardless of their personal beliefs, the founders took considerable pains to establish a secular government. While you might believe in a particular deity, many other Americans believe in other gods or goddesses, or none at all. As such, the motto “In God We Trust” is both inaccurate, and discriminatory.

  • I hope the student would be courteous enough to provide opportunity to people to leave so as to not endure unsolicited religious dogma.

  • Promoting the cliche, “In God We Trust,” is either perpetuating a fantasy or a fraud. If people really trusted god, they would not go to doctors, seek guns to protect themselves, or use seat belts. Thus, it would be much more honest to say, “In God We Lust,” but of course that revised motto should not be thrust upon schoolchildren.

  • George Washington’s writings specifically mention “Divine Providence”. Most were of a Christian denomination (https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Founding-Fathers-Deism-and-Christianity-1272214). A secular gov’t was establish in order to prevent the gov’t from abolishing religious freedom. If Americans want to believe in other gods then that’s their right. However, that does not mean that the nation in general should abolish God. The success of America throughout the yrs was due to the leaders publicly stating their belief in God.

  • I would’ve thought there were plenty of non government schools where In God we Trust could be displayed without fear or favour…….
    We protect our separation of church and state with vengeance in Australia, although it isn’t unheard for some politicians to wear their religious status on their sleeve like one past prime minister Tony Abbott, especially when Cardinal Pell was on his call a friend list.
    Not that it did him any good in the end……..either of them actually.

  • The faith of the founders notwithstanding, they nevertheless established a secular government. “The nation” as you put it, is in no position whatsoever to either abolish or establish any deity or deities. You claim that “The success of America throughout the yrs was due to the leaders publicly stating their belief in God.” If that were true any nation with political leaders who do the same would be successful, however that is obviously not the case.

  • What specific Judeo-Christian beliefs do you think this country is founded on?
    What is so specifically Judeo-Christian about them?

    It seems you make a blanket statement but one that can’t be elaborated on honestly or clearly.

  • “However, that does not mean that the nation in general should abolish God.”

    God was never established by the nation in the first place. See 1st Amendment. In fact he was specifically kept at arms length (which ever God people choose to believe).

    The success of American throughout the years was due to stating their belief in whatever personal versions of religious belief God or Gods, or none whatsoever without ever worrying about it being against the law. Your version of God is not the one the Founders believed in, nor is it honest to pretend it was.

  • The state has no religion to express nor is it legal to have one. It has no business imposing a belief upon others, as is here. One could argue “God” here is vague enough to cover all faiths. But that doesn’t really wash anymore in the highly religiously diverse landscape of the 21st Century

    Students have always had the right to pray and express their faith. Teachers, acting as representatives of the government do not. Their authority and coercive power makes such things inherently discriminatory.

  • Most of the founders were Christians as were most of the pilgrims that came here before them. I have never heard or read anything about founding fathers believing in Zeus, Apollo, or for that matter any other gods. They believed in monotheism which stemmed from Judaism. The pilgrims came here because of religious freedom as well as to establish a new Jerusalem.

  • John Hancock proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving to God:

    “In consideration of the many undeserved Blessings conferred upon us by GOD, the Father of all Mercies; it becomes us no only in our private and usual devotion, to express our obligations to Him, as well as our dependence upon Him; but also specially to set a part a Day to be employed for this great and important Purpose”

    https://wallbuilders.com/proclamation-thanksgiving-day-1791-massachusetts/

  • That will involve removing a great number of children from their current homes in the inner city and moving them to more adept families elsewhere.

  • So, children should not be compelled to see Florida flags?

    How do you propose the schools achieve that?

  • In the short history of this country, 200+ yrs, there is no other country that has been as successful. Russia and China (both communist and atheist) have had their recent success but their oppression of their citizens is beyond belief. Stalin and Mao killed millions. Venezuela is now socialist and their country is in a down spiral. The Greeks and Romans believe in gods and they didn’t survive. I agree that just because political leaders say they believe that does not make a country successful. It’s the moral actions not only of the leaders but it’s citizens as well.

  • Actually, it was the judicial approval that hastened the banality.

    Don’t get me wrong. I do strive to trust in God. But the words stamped on the coins in my pocket in no way enhance that trust.

  • If you interpreted my post as a complaint, you were mistaken. It was an observation that public, communal expressions of faith are meaningless, especially when they are mandated by the state. My faith is precious to me, and for that reason I prefer that the state keeps away from it.

  • You are claiming the flag represents your religion alone? “In God We Trust” was sufficiently ecumenial in the 1950’s when proposed.

    The only people who propose it now are those looking to give government the tramp stamp of their specific brand of Protestant Christianity.

    Still expression of religious belief is an individual right. It does not extend to representation of government. Government has no religion.

  • Their religious views varied from strict piety to outright hostility to Christianity. They never imputed their beliefs to the nation. It was their belief, but not the nation’s. Never the nation’s belief.

    Christianity has no special privilege in the US. No more than any other faith.

  • Wrong. The first 4 are illegal under the 1at amendment. 3 could never be laws and 3 are universal to all cultures as the basis of simply functioning in a sane manner. All faiths and cultures have those same rules.

    Nothing having to do with specific Judeo-Christian belief.

    You are throwing out a statement you never really thought you had to explain it defend.An empty declaration to pretend Christian ownership of our nation and government.

  • A nonsense supposition by a right wing dominionist organization. One not known for honesty or accurate representation of history. The Heritage Foundations assertions are worthless.

    mediabiasfactcheck.com/heritage-foundation/
    “Occasionally, uses loaded words and does not always source to credible information.”

    Typical Christian logic. Use a foregone conclusion and look for evidence to support it. Ignore all contrary evidence.

    You are left with wild guessing and assumption here. Not evidence.

  • While the Chinese government maintains its political atheist stance, (although that particular ideology appears to be significantly waning) Russia no longer does. Despite trying to enforce atheism, they were never able to do so in either country. Because ultimately you simply cannot mandate people’s beliefs, or lack of beliefs, even at the point of a gun. I am of the opinion that politically mandated religious faith, or absence of faith, is a very severe violation of human rights. Determining the relative “success” of various nations is a tricky business, as it depends upon how we define “success”, and the standards we use to measure it. General standards include health, longevity, education, wealth vs. poverty, etc. I am a proud American, and I certainly think we have been very successful overall. I agree with you that it is behavior, not statements of faith (which can be sincere, or just for show, or somewhere in between, and there’s no way to tell) which determine success.

  • Once you start citing Wallbuilders, you have pretty much left any pretension of an honest representation of history. The group and its leader David Barton are notorious for lying about history. Most notably lying about the religious belief of founders and Christianity’s place in our government.

    They advocate theocracy and oppose religious freedom. Barton and company are so notorious for fabricating quotes or using unreliable sources that no reference to them can be taken at face value.

    What you are yelling me is you hate our first amendment religious freedoms and will lie to attack them.

  • I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. — Thomas Paine, Age of Reason

    But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. — Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

  • Have you ever read the 10 commandments?

    First, the 10 Commandments contain close to zip in the way of “moral values.”

    Second, the Constitution directly contradicts the 10 Commandments.

    So, please explain how each of the 10 Commandments serves as the basis for the Constitution.

    Or admit you are a liar and/or too lazy to think.

  • After you compare the 10 Commandments to Constitution (see previous post) compare these 7 Fundamental Tenets to the 10 Commandments.

    — Which is the better moral guide?
    — Which prohibits rape/sex without consent?
    — Which prohibits child abuse?
    — Which prohibits animal abuse?
    — Which affirms freedom of conscience and freedom of speech?
    — Which demands that beliefs be based on evidence / reality.
    — Which requires one to make things right when they harm another person?
    — Which requires compassion?

    – One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.

    – The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.

    – One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.

    – The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.

    – Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.

    – People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.

    – Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

    Which is the better moral guide?

  • the 10 Commandments contain close to zip in the way of “moral values.”
    Here are 5-10
    Honor your father and your mother.
    You shall not murder.
    You shall not commit adultery.
    You shall not steal.
    You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
    How could you say they have no moral value??

  • You recommended Hall’s article “Did America Have a Christian Founding?” It is chock-full of false claims. Here’s just one example of many I could have cited:

    “This metaphor [Jefferson’s interpretation that the First Amendment created a “wall of separation between Church & State”] lay dormant with respect to the Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence until 1947, when Justice Hugo Black seized upon it as the definitive statement of the Founders’ views on church–state relations.”

    Except that the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States (1879) argued that Jefferson’s writings concerning a wall of separation between church and state “may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.” Notice that 1879 comes before 1947. Also, the Supreme Court can only rule on cases that are brought before it. It can’t just make up case law in the absence of an actual case reaching the Court.

    And why did Hall fail to reference James Madison’s many quotes about the constitutional separation of religion and government? What better source than the primary framer of the Constitution and sole author of the Bill of Rights to find out what the Constitution’s intent is concerning religion and government?:

    “The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State “(Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819).

    That’s right, “total separation.”

    “Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion & Gov’t in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history” (Madison, Detached Memoranda, circa 1820).

    Separation between religion and government “in the Constitution” in case you wanted a direct reference.

  • This is a pathetic list. “Do not envy your neighbor’s property, like his cows, wives and slaves.” Be still my heart.

    Where is the prohibition on rape? How about the prohibition on child abuse?

    In fact, the bible never condemns rape or child abuse. No thanks.

  • Leviticus chapters 18 & 19 covers a lot of the subjects you mention. Actually there are over 600 commandments, but most people only acknowledge the 10, which is why these are considered moral values. Look it up.

  • There is no mention of a wall of separation in the Constitution. What is prohibited is establishment (i.e., the Church of the United States ala England) and religious tests for office (also as a result of the English experience).

  • 600 commands. Wow. In this assortment, the bible is quite clear on tattoos and shrimp. How to purify a woman after her menstrual cycle is there. Guidance is provided on where to stand when you stone a disobedient son to death and what to charge when you sell a daughter to her rapist.

    But sex without consent is not forbidden, ever, nor is child abuse, nor is animal abuse. Slavery is permitted, as is murdering war captives so you can take their land.

    Read your book. Except for a few universal principles like “don’t murder” and “don’t steal” (which obviously do not even apply to non hebrews), the bible is useless as a moral guide.

  • It’s always Evangelical Christians who bring forward these religious laws. It’s never Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, etc. It’s ALWAYS Evangelicals, who of course have a specific God and specific religious faith in mid when they propose the laws, forcing their religion on people.

  • You wrote, “What is prohibited is establishment (i.e., the Church of the United States ala England)…” The fatal flaw in your claim is that no court in the history of the United States has ever interpreted the Establishment Clause so narrowly as you do.

    Also consider that, as president, James Madison (framer of the Constitution) vetoed bills on First Amendment grounds, none of which had anything to do with government establishing a “Church of the United States” (e.g., a bill that would incorporate an Episcopal Church in the city of Alexandria and another that would grant a parcel of Federal land to a Baptist Church in the Mississippi Territory).

    Madison vetoed these bills on grounds that they violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment despite the fact that the government was not attempting to establish a “Church of the United States.”

  • What does that even mean, you “would have” thought? Instead of playing a meek as can be, passive aggressive card like that, how about simply being straight with people by stating, “I think there are plenty of [private] schools…”

  • Uncharacteristic naiveness on Spuddie’s part. States DO have religions to express. And they create plenty of business imposing religious beliefs on constituents, as in billions upon billions of dollars worth of business, pandering to misguided, frightened deity worshippers.

  • Madison could veto legislation on a whim, for any reason, for none.

    You have an opinion, Jefferson had an opinion, and Madison had an opinion.

    You’re apparently unfamiliar with Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer:

    http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/trinity-lutheran-church-of-columbia-inc-v-pauley/

    and Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947):

    “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa.”

  • I guess you don’t realize is that Everson quote describes exactly how the separation of church and state is applied. You also missed the concluding part of the ruling

    “The First Amendment has erected a wall between
    church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We
    could not approve the slightest breach. New Jersey has not breached it
    here.”
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/case.html

    There is no good faith argument that the separation of church and state doesn’t exist or shouldn’t. It is a vital part of protecting the religious liberties of all from majority rule/discrimination. One does not protect religious freedom without the two parts of free exercise of faith and separation of church and state.

  • A secular government is non-establishment of a state religion. A government which is not secular doesn’t safeguard religious freedom.

    Secularism is not atheism. It is actually something which began with religious beliefs of Anabaptists. The idea that all faiths are protected from government discrimination if no faiths are favored by law. The greatest support for secular government comes from those faiths frequently attacked in sectarian discrimination efforts. Railing against secularism is synonymous with railing against religious freedom.

    Secular government in the context of the US is ecumenicism. Neutrality to all faiths by either not showing favoritism or being divorced from them entirely.

  • Yep, its undermined the seriousness of religious authority. Turning its motto into an empty phrase and “tramp stamping” measures by those who want symbolic ownership of government.

  • President Madison vetoed bills on the grounds that each bill violated the Establishment Clause even though the bills had nothing to do with Congress attempting to establish a “Church of the United States.” The Presidential Veto Message stated compelling reasons why Congress should not attempt to override the veto. Congress agreed with Madison that the bills were unconstitutional based on the Establishment Clause, even though Congress’s purpose was not to establish an official state church. Therefore, your interpretation of the Establishment Clause is fatally flawed.

    Presidents don’t just veto bills “on a whim” or for no reason at all. They had better come up with a compelling legal or policy basis for the veto; otherwise, Congress will be inclined to override the presidential veto and make the bill into law. That is the whole purpose behind the Presidential Veto Message – to save Congress and the courts from wasting a lot of time on bills that will be vetoed or laws that will be overturned through litigation.

    Your excerpt from Everson v. Board of Education proves my point that the Establishment Clause is very broad in scope and prohibits government entanglement in religion, a prohibition that goes well beyond government establishing a “Church of the United States.”

    You also erred by citing Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. That case had to do with the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, not the Establishment Clause. You would do well to read your own references before posting them.

  • The “wall of separation” referenced is a metaphor, indicating that non-establishment is part of the Bill of Rights.

    The phrase “a wall between church and state” does not appear in the Constitution, nor did the Court substitute that phrase for the words in the Constitution.

  • Indeed, a secular government will not be involved in establishing a state religion.

    Nor will a non-secular government like our own with a non-establishment clause establish a state religion.

    Railing against secularism is synonymous with railing against Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its fellow followers of nutjobs, anti-Catholics, atheists, and other wingnuts.

  • Because I reside in Australia if you didn’t notice…it would’ve been presumptuous to believe the same applied elsewhere.
    You appear to have a non- passive complex from what I can see, looking for an argument.

  • Now you are just making crap up to cover up your clear gaffe. So embarrassing for you that the quote you used to refute separation of church and state used the concept in a clear and unambiguous manner.

    You can’t protect religious freedom without separation of church and state. You have no honest argument. Why do you hate freedom so much?

  • Now you are just making crap up to cover up the fact that where the pedal meets the metal, the Court talks about non-establishment.

    You can protect religious freedom with non-establishment. You have no honest argument. How much stock do you own in Americans United for the Separation and State?

  • I dominate your syntax! Forcing you to construct a rebuttal which looks absolutely goofy in comparison. You are so triggered you can’t come up with your own argument style. 🙂

    BTW Lying Sack of Crap, I quoted the exact part of the ruling you cited which specifically contained the phrase about a wall of separation of church and state. You have no argument here. You omitted it on purpose because your whole point is dishonest.

    “You can protect religious freedom with non-establishment”
    Which means separation of church and state. Just as they said in Everson.

    You are arguing for a fictitious distinction. The other poster here who made such a claim used out and out liars and fabricated quotes to support his view. Once you go “Wallbuilders,.” you forgo any claim of an honest reasonable discussion.

  • Yes, you cited the comment using the metaphor of “wall of separation” AFTER the substantive part of the opinion applied the First Amendment prohibition against establishment.

    The metaphor fell into the category of “dicta”. Look it up, it will give you something useful to do.

    When you find an opinion voiding a governmental action, or a law, for “piercing the wall of separation between church and state”, you’ll be cooking with gas.

    There is substantive difference between non-establishment and a wall of separation.

    The first provides for what we live under, the second pertains to secular governments like France and Mexico.

  • “Yes, you cited the comment using the metaphor of “wall of separation”
    AFTER the substantive part of the opinion applied the First Amendment
    prohibition against establishment.”

    FROM THE EXACT CASE WHERE YOU CLAIMED IT WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND.

    When you are getting deeper in a hole, the best course of action is to stop digging. 🙂

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictum

    Example:

    “These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”

    Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892)

    The “wall of separation” like “this is a Christian nation” is a non-binding statement of opinion.

    In the case you’re squawking about I cited the binding opinion. The only way I could have provided what you wanted was to post the ENTIRE OPINION.

    Don’t quite your day job and try to practice law.

  • “When you are getting deeper in a hole, the best course of action is to stop digging. :)”

    I disagree… it is way more entertaining to watch them keep digging,

  • As noted, quoting the entire opinion was the only way to comply with your idea of honest.

    “Why” is a bit more puzzling, since you’ve made it clear you can’t actually read an opinion.

  • Your excuses are pretty bad. Even the main holding didn’t go by your dishonestly narrow version of the establishment clause. No court ruling has ever interpreted it in the way you suggest.

    It’s telling you were just repeating deliberately false Dominionist memes here. Your ego wrote a check your brain couldn’t cash.

    Separation of church and state as a concept predates the constitution by a century. It’s the concept behind the establishment clause. It is the concept behind it’s interpretation.

    Your fictional interpretation is only made by people who attack religious freedom. People who want special privileges over others for being Christian.

    Time for you to move on.

  • https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/case.html

    “Held:”

    “1. The expenditure of tax raised funds thus authorized was for a public purpose, and did not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 330 U. S. 5-8.”

    “2. The statute and resolution did not violate the provision of the First Amendment (made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment) prohibiting any ‘law respecting an establishment of religion.’ Pp. 330 U. S. 8-18.”

    That is THE holding.

    How did it NOT GO by his version of the establishment clause?

    Be very specific.

  • Your excuses are even worse.

    “Even the main holding didn’t go by your dishonestly narrow version of the establishment clause.”

    I provided the exact text.

    “No court ruling has ever interpreted it in the way you suggest.”

    That specific court did.

    Your pen is writing checks the facts can’t cash.

    Time for you to acquaint yourself with reality.

  • You’re still on this? LOL You made a dishonest reference by omission.

    You provided a perfect description of the application of those separation of church and state. You shot yourself in the foot.

    Nothing more can be said there.

  • Neither of you read the entire holding in context or honestly. You are both lying sacts of crap. .

    Because at no point did they claim the Establishment Clause had solely to do with the founding of a national church. Jose’s interpretation is not in the text of the decision, nor was considered in the underlying reasoning behind it. The Court made it clear that the separation of church and state and the mechanism from which its applied.

    From the case.
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/case.html

    “The state courts, in the main, have remained faithful to the language of their own constitutional provisions designed to protect religious freedom and to separate religions and governments.”

    the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and State.” Reynolds v. United States, supra, at 98 U. S. 164.

    …the undertones of the opinion, advocating complete and uncompromising separation of Church from State

    You are done. Go find another topic. You have nothing to say here worth reading. Jose pwned himself by his own laziness and dishonest reference. All you did was show you are no better.

  • No you didn’t. All you proved is you can find a summary on a case. You did not read its text. See my comment below.

  • I provided the Holding.

    That’s the relevant part – it’s the actual conclusion of the court and the order.

  • Meaning I cited the important part of the case. Yep, I cited the holding and the dicta.

    Jose’s “Establishment of a national church” is nowhere to be found anywhere in the case. But there are plenty of references to the separation of church and state throughout it.

    You lose.

  • Looking in a mirror. You even admitted I have defeated you here, but are too stupid to realize it.

    When you tell someone “You got the Holding” that means that you have the main part of the case.
    I found tons of references througout the case both holding, dicta and dissent referencing separation of church and state. There is no reference to a national church in any talk of the establishment clause.

    Your argument was dishonest crap. Neither of you know how to read a legal opinion. Guzzman already noted Jose’s sloppy references.

    You lose.

  • You provided a summary. What a law school student would need for a quick reference on an exam. But nothing which supported the garbage assertion made by Jose.

    I cited the holding, the dicta and even the dissent.

    There is nothing in the text mentioning national church in the discussion of the establishment clause.

    You and Jose are losers who don’t know how to read a legal opinion. That horse is long dead, its body butchered and sold in shops in France. You can stop beating it.

    Losers.

  • Talking to yourself. You had enough time to write that, but not read my response.

    Its funny that I was not the only one to pick up on your lazy incorrect legal references.

    You are done.

  • No, you did not cite “the holding, the dicta and even the dissent”.

    You cited part of the dicta, which has no authority.

    As Englishmen, the founder knew full well what an established church was.

    Loser.

  • Now you are trying to soothe your bruised ego. I cited three separate references in the full text of the decision. One of them a direct quote from a previous case. You have nothing from the same text to back up Jose’s premise at all. You even already said “I have the Holding”. Meaning I have the main part of the case..

    “You cited dicta” is a lame excuse. Especially when completely untrue.

    You don’t know how to read a legal decision. You’re done.

  • No thanks, I have no intention of starting a “whose citations are loonier?” branch of the discussion with you.

    You do enough of that all by yourself, and name-calling, without me fueling it.

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