Think you know the history of separation of church and state?
Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting article on the subject by Kenneth C. Davis — he argues that our knowledge of that doctrine contains a lot more myth than we think:
From the earliest arrival of Europeans on America’s shores, religion has often been a cudgel, used to discriminate, suppress and even kill the foreign, the “heretic” and the “unbeliever” — including the “heathen” natives already here. Moreover, while it is true that the vast majority of early-generation Americans were Christian, the pitched battles between various Protestant sects and, more explosively, between Protestants and Catholics, present an unavoidable contradiction to the widely held notion that America is a “Christian nation.”
I think atheists who have studied the subject probably know quite a bit of what Davis mentioned. As a non-history-buff myself, most of that was familiar even to me.
Still, it’s always good to reaffirm the notion that church/state separation is an idea that benefits both sides. When the wall is torn down, we’re all worse off.
(Thanks to Margy for the link!)