Highly illegal prayer was occurring in public schools as late as 1962. The founding fathers routinely violated separation of church and state. Religious content of George Washington's speeches did irreparable harm to the early republic.
Stephan Waldman issued all these remarkable untruths on Vermont Public Radio this morning. He is yet another radio pundit displaying his ignorance of US history. The Constitution actually says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there of." Nowhere does the Constitution call for "separation of church and state".
At Constitution signing time, those words were directed at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which actually had an established church, the Puritan church (later called Congregational, and now the United Church of Christ) . Established means the Puritan church at rights at law denied other churches and received Commonwealth funding which the other churches did not. Massachusetts had prevented the free exercise of religion by executing Quakers on Boston Common in the not too distant past. Those practices were to be outlawed for the new Federal government.
In recent times, left wingers, aided by unwise judges, have expanded the original meaning to include banning Christmas decorations on town squares, banning the Lord's Prayer during opening exercises in public schools, and banning the display of the ten commandments in courthouses. Stephan the well educated Waldman, speaks as if the First Amendment supported the modern interpretation (distortion) ever since the beginning of the republic.
George Washington was noted for never using the the names God, Jesus, or Christ in his speeches. He always used the phrase Divine Providence, which is as non sectarian as you can get, even today.
How did Vermont Public Radio put such a dunderhead on the air, on Sunday morning no less.