real menace to our national life; for, ifrnsuccessfully carried through, the policyrnwill bring a reyersion to the spirit andrncustom of the days of the Puritans.”rnWhen I attended public schools inrnthe Bronx, New York, almost all ofrnmy chrssmates were jews. Any prayersrn\ould have been led b’ a Jewish teacherrnand a seryice at graduation time by arnrabbi. Christian children in goyemmcntrnschools should not be urged to pray withrnnon-Christians, and non-Christian childrenrnshould not be urged to pray withrnChristians in such a school. Christiansrnwho are determined to have their childrenrnpra in school, can send them to arnparochial school if at all possible. Actualh’,rnam child can silcntK’ pray anytime hernwants to in any school.rn—Herman OttenrnEditor, Christian NevysrnNew Haven, MOrnOn Christianity andrnthe StaternPhilip Jenkins’ tactful and balanced re-rniew (“Unbaptized America, May 1996)rnof Isaac Kramnick and R. LaurencernMoore’s The Godless Constitution: ThernCase Against Religious Correctness givesrncredit to the authors’ attention to detailrnbut fails to take note of their tendentiousrntendency to mislead their readers aboutrnthe “Christian foundations” of ourrnAmerican republic. They are right, ofrncourse, in pointing to the fact that thernConstitution does not embody religiousrnyalues and in asserting that the yaluesrnreflected in the Declaration of Independence,rnwhile consistent with Christianity,rndo not say more than Deists orrnFreemasons yould.rnThe idea that the Constitution vyasrnwritten at the high point of secularismrnand of the conceit that man had “comernof age” and could dispense with religiousrntutelage makes sense. The authors thinkrnthat if the Constitution had been draftedrnseveral decades later, it would have beenrnmore explicitly Christian; this is an interestingrnand probably valid suggestion.rnWhat is overlooked, however, is thernfact that the U.S. Constitution not onlyrndoes not contain Christian values, but itrndoes not contain values at all. As the laternHarriet Pilpel pointed out in her proabortionrnarguments, the document doesrnnot contain a right to life. It basicalh establishesrna methodology permitting therncitizens to order society and the staternaccording to the principles they cherish,rnbut it docs not contain principles. But itrnis important to note that although thernConstitution did not embody religiousrnvalues, the American people did. Asrnlong as the consensus was largelyrnChristian, the Constitution sered as arnmethodology for the people to order societyrnin a way consistent with Ciiristianitv.rnOnce the consensus, or at least thernpolicy- and opinion-making elite, is nornlonger Christian-oriented, tlie Constitutionrnpermits the Christian values to berndiscarded and to be replaced with whateverrnthe majority of the moment wants.rnIt ought to be acknowledged that thernUnited States have never been formallyrnor structurally Christian, but it alsornought to be recognized that our people,rnour ethical principles, and our wav of lifernwere once far more Christian than theyrnare today. There really is somethingrnmissing in our national life, somethingrnthat once was there.rn—Harold O./. BrownrnTrinity Evangelical Divinitv SchoolrnDeerfield, IErnMessrs. Kramnick and Moore in theirrnbook Unbaptized America (or perhaps itrnwas the reviewer Philip Jenkins) need tornaddress many issues if they want to reconcilerncompletely the argument regardingrnchurch and state. First, nowhere inrnthe Constitution do the words “separationrnof church and state” appear. Therernis a vast difference between the FirstrnAmendment prohibition of the establishmentrnof religion and the “separationrnof church and state.” When one considersrnthat Congress on several occasions inrnthe early years of our nation appropriatedrnmoney to support Catholic and Protestantrnmissions on Indian reservations, andrnthe money was accepted and used byrnseveral Presidents, including Jefferson,rnone recognizes the dimensions of the difference.rn(Note; This is the same Jeffersonrnwho originated the phrase “separationrnof church and state” and also thernsame Jefferson who vetoed appropriationsrnto build roads through Kentucky onrnthe grounds of constitutionality.)rnSecond, the First Amendment wasrnmeant to apply to the federal governmentrnonly. (The Tenth Amendmentrnnow largely ignored was very importantrnto the Founders.) Under no circumstancesrnwould these early signers of thernConstitution have condoned federalrncourts telling states and local governmentsrnhow to react (one way or thernother) to religion.rnThird, the authors themselves recognizedrnthat the Founders of our nationrndid not intend a hostility to Cod. Theyrndid not, howe’er, address the belief ofrnmany Americans today that our governmentrnis hostile to God. It is hard to arguernotherwise.rnIn short, the Constitution is in no wayrnGodless (as the authors claim), nor was itrnintended to be. The Constitution wasrnintended to prohibit the federal governmentrnfrom establishing a church sponsoredrnby the government and supportedrnbv taxes as was the case in most Europeanrncountries. That is all the Constitutionrnsas. That is all it meant. Historicalrnscholarship does not refute (but supports)rnthe above statement.rn—Paul GottfriedrnElizabethtown CollegernFJizabethtown, PArnOn PaleoconservatismrnI have followed the Samuel Francis sagarn(“The Rise and Fall of a Paleoconservativernat the Washington Times,” Part I &rnII, April and May 1996) with keen personalrninterest. I am an enthusiastic readerrnof Chronicles and other traditionalistrnwriting. As a young paleoconservativernwho has worked on political campaignsrnand recently jumped to journalism, Irnhave become accustomed to establishmentariansrnwarning me about my ways.rnMost often, neoeonservative high priestsrnadvise that I am simply too young andrnidealistic to understand how things reallyrnwork. I should shun radical ideas if Irnwant to avoid trouble and get anywherernin this town, I am told. Unfortunately,rnuncensored histor), cultural tradition,rnreligious dedication, and wholesomernpublic policy tenants are considered subversivernrather than necessary. In this system,rnrealism is derided as racism, thernmajority are blatantly subjected to thernminority, and decency is construed asrnvulgarity. All in all, I suppose I am idealisticrnbecause 1 understand that whilernpaleoconservative beliefs beget persecution,rntyranny begets rebellion.rn—Brett M. DeckerrnWashington, D.C.rnSEPTEMBER 1996/5rnrnrn