Donald E. Bowles (“On prayer, the Supreme Court is wrong,” July 22 commentary), wrote that the Supreme Court’s ruling disallowing school prayer was, in fact, wrong. He based this on two arguments: first, that the court should not have cited Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, and second, that the Founding Fathers intended to create a Christian nation. Both arguments contain major errors.
It seems extremely unlikely that the Founding Fathers intended to create a Christian nation in light of the Deist beliefs held by most of them. Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Paine and many more influential founders spoke critically of the accepted Christian religions of the day. Bowles was correct to point out that many of these men attended and served in churches. However, this was most likely a necessity of the times needed to gain any social and political standing. I suggest reading the Founding Fathers’ personal opinions on religion rather than what they said or did to please the public eye.
Pegram attends and helps out with the Freethinkers club at Virginia Tech where she is a senior.