Marsh and History
Daniel G. Gibbens
dgibbens at UOKNOR.EDU
Mon Mar 3 15:03:15 PST 1997
On Mon, 3 Mar 1997, Lash, Kurt wrote, in part:
> The issue, then, is whether there was a general consensus among
> the drafters and ratifiers of the Bill of Rights that--even after the
> ratification of the Establishment Clause--Congress retained power to tax
> and spend for the purpose of advancing federal religious policy. Such a
> proposal in 1791 would have raised objections both on grounds of
> federalism (if you were so disposed) and separationism (if you were so
Without devaluing ceremonial prayers *as prayers*, i.e., efforts of humans
to communicate with The Almighty (for those who perceive this value),
hasn't it often been suggested that there are other purposes involved
which are clearly secular, i.e., distinct from *the purpose of advancing
federal religious policy*?
An analogy is the ceremonial playing/singing of the National Anthem at
sporting events. Surely many non-skeptics find little if any value in
this tradition of advancing love of country or patriotism, and yet
applaud the tradition.
Perhaps similar for Yalies is "for God, for Country, and for Yale."
Surely this declaration is purposeful for putting one's love of one's
alma mater in better perspective, and not particularly for advancing
either religion or patriotism. So we have "in God we trust" on our coins.
University of Oklahoma College of Law
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