I apologize if this topic has been addressed before, but I found this information really interesting. I am taking a class this term called "Making History: The Founding Fathers", and part of this week's unit is reading George Washington's Farewell Address, delivered when he was leaving office after his second term as President. One paragraph in particular really caught my attention: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." This is a clear advocation for making religion, which in Washington's mind would mean Christianity, a part of our society and culture. He told us that morality could not and would not prevail in the absence of religious principles. What a shame that we didn't listen, and so we are where we are today. I think everyone should be forced to study this at the same time they are studying the First Amendment. It lends a true interpretation of what was intended in the passage of that amendment.