House Leader Tom Delay Attacks Church-State Separation

A top official of the U.S. House of Representatives claimed in early March that the First Amendment does not call for the separation of church and state.

The day before the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases involving public display of the Ten Command­ments, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) said he hoped the high court would finally recognize that church-state separation is not called for within the Constitution.

“I hope the Supreme Court will finally read the Constitution and see there’s no such thing, or no mention, of separation of church and state in the Constitution,” said DeLay.

The Supreme Court on March 2 heard disputes from Texas and Kentucky dealing with Commandments displays. Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed friend-of-the-court briefs in both cases, Van Orden v. Perry and McCreary County v. ACLU, arguing that the First Amendment requires a separation of church and state.

Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson and James Madison explained on different occasions that the First Amendment was intended to maintain a division between religion and government.