People make such a big deal over the phrase, “separation of church and state.” The atheists use it to “support” their position. The truth of the matter is that anyone who uses this as an argument is either ignorant or is intentionally taking this phrase out of context. There is no such thing as separation of church and state! It does not exist in the United States Constitution!
Then where did this concept come from? Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, dated January 1, 1802. In the letter he stated that the legislature shall “…make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” That has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it. It is a direct quote from the United States Constitution. It is part of the 1st Amendment. Then Jefferson added, “thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
Read what Jefferson wrote very carefully. He is actually saying that there should not be a wall of separation between church and state. People should have the freedom to exercise their religious beliefs without government interference. The phrase, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” is most important.
While a person praying before a public or government assembly of people might be controversial, the argument to keep church and state is not valid, nor constitutional.