Republican Lawmaker: It’s ‘Impossible’ To Separate Church From State
An Oklahoma state lawmaker argued on Tuesday that the country’s founding fathers said Americans should not attempt to separate church and state, and further, he said, it is an impossible task to begin with.
Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, offered as proof the fact that “In God We Trust” is written on American currency.
“Our government is based on the idea that our inalienable rights are granted to us by our creator,” Steagall said, according to Tulsa World. “It is impossible to separate church from state. And our founders said we should not do that, actually.”
The Republican’s comments came as he presented House Bill 3817, which would require that “In God We Trust” also be displayed “prominently” in all of Oklahoma’s state-owned buildings.
The bill further states that the “placement and size of (each) display shall be in keeping with the placement and size of the display of the national motto in the United States Capitol Visitor Center,” which is 4 feet high and 70 feet wide.
Steagall’s assertion that the founding fathers were against the separation of church and state would not sit well with historians, who say the founders disagreed on the issue.
“Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the phrase to which Steagall referred, also coined the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ and was one of its staunchest supporters,” Tulsa World noted.
“In God We Trust” did not become the country’s motto until 1956.
Steagall’s bill advanced out of the House Rules Committee with a 5-2 vote and will now head to the House floor.