Garth Kant writes at WND:
Most Americans probably would be stunned to learn that, in fact, the Capitol was actually turned into a church, once a week, for decades.
A flagrant violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause and the concept of the separation of church and state?
Not according to the man who coined the phrase.
Or the man who wrote most of the Constitution.
"Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both attended non-denominational Christian worship services inside the very chamber where Congress met from 1807 to 1857, now called Statuary Hall," Kant explains.
"Not only were church services held within the House on Sundays, but, for generations, the Capitol was transformed weekly into the largest church on the East Coast. . . . Under the original understanding of the First Amendment, the government of the United States was not allowed to dictate what a church could or could not do," Kant writes.
"The state would not dictate to the church. But the church would certainly play a role in the state,” WND quotes Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex) as saying. "That's a little different idea" from what "a lot of people have about separation of church and state, including some our esteemed Supreme Court [justices] who are not quite as familiar with our history as they probably should be."
In this regard, members of the Supreme Court, and others, may find it of interest that "President George Washington believed the fate of the new country rested in its citizens’ fidelity to God. That is why he dedicated America to God" in April 1789, Kant writes.
An upcoming occasion scheduled on May 7 and titled "'Washington: A Man of Prayer, 2014' commemorates the events of April 30, 1789, when, after being sworn in at Federal Hall, President Washington, accompanied by Congress, proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel where, as one of his first official acts, the president offered a prayer of dedication to God on America’s behalf," Kant writes.
"Washington: A Man of Prayer, 2014" is "now in its third year" and "is the brainchild of Dan Cummins, pastor of Bridlewood Church in Bullard, Texas," according to Kant.
Rep. Gohmert "noted that [St. Paul's Chapel] is still standing and was the only site at ground zero that was not destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001," Kant writes.