Rev. Gabriel Salguero shows us that you can be a devout Christian (in fact, a Reverend) and still be completely patriotic. He comes down on the side of the Establishment Clause when it comes to prayer-filled presidential proclamations.
The issue of Presidential proclamations concerning prayer is for many an issue of the separation of church and state. My question here — WWJD? — is not simply what would Jesus do? But also what would Jefferson or Jackson do?
Although the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the U.S. Constitution it was used by Jefferson in his attempt to wrestle with religious liberty and the First Amendment of the Constitution. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Jefferson upon being elected, writes to a group of Baptists, “…[R]eligion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, ….. thus building a seperation between Church & State.” (source)
Rev. Salguero tells us Jefferson, Jackson, and Jesus, would likely all agree.
WWJD? What would Jefferson and Jackson do? They would leave it to those in the faith spheres to call for prayer? WWJD? What would Jesus do? He would invite and model and leave the rest to individual choice or conscience. (source)
Of course, Chuck Norris doesn’t agree. I bet that Chuck Norris could kick Rev. Salguero’s ass, but that doesn’t make him right.