Last September, the First Amendment Center released a poll with a truly scary finding: they found that 55 percent of Americans believe that the Founding Fathers established the United States as a Christian nation, and that Christianity is somehow established in the Constitution.
Noooooo! It is absolutely nowhere in the Constitution that Christianity, or indeed any religion, is the official religion of the United States. In fact, the sole mention of "religion" in the Constitution is in the First Amendment, which states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis ours)Translation: Congress can't establish a religion or stop you from practicing yours. 'Nuff said.
Obviously, we need to keep bringing lawsuits like the one we filed today against the officials on the Santa Rosa County School Board in Pensacola, Fla. They must be a part of that 55 percent who believe the U.S. is a Christian nation, and take it as an excuse to force their religion on others: promoting and endorsing prayers at graduation ceremonies and other school events, sponsoring religious ceremonies and holding official school events at churches.
In fact, teachers and staff at Pace High School preach about "judgment day with the Lord" and offer Bible readings and biblical interpretations during student meetings. That kind of stuff is constitutionally protected—that's, right, by the First Amendment—at private schools, in religious communities and, of course, at home, but that's where it ends. Any government- or publicly funded school should never endorse, promote or espouse any religion.
Don't even get us started on the pledge of allegiance.