Teaching a class on Thomas Paine “in our age of un-reason” I came across this quote from the United States Senate Chaplain’s official government website (let that sink in before reading):
“Throughout the years, the United States Senate has honored the historic separation of Church and State, but not the separation of God and State. Since  all sessions of the Senate have been opened with prayer, strongly affirming the Senate’s faith in God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation.”
This is a chaplain (like the chaplain in the House) who leads bible studies and prayers with Congressional leaders paid for by … you guessed it: American taxpayers, of all faiths and no faith.
As pointed out by Andrew Seidel in The Founding Myth, the “only mention of religion in the original document [of the Constitution]” was Article Six: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
Seidel quotes Robert Green Ingersoll on the Founders’ writing a god-free Constitution:
“They knew that the recognition of a Deity would be seized upon by fanatics and zealots as a pretext for destroying the liberty of thought.”
What happens when those fanatics and zealots get power (and chaplains are paid to affirm their power and the Power over them)?
We’ve been warned.
I do have to give Chaplain Barry Black (an African American Seventh Day Adventist) some credit, at least for a prayer like this in the Senate:
“Deliver us from the hypocrisy of attempting to sound reasonable while being unreasonable.”