Gotta read what I write and not make assumptions.
First the phrase wall of separation was written by Jefferson, who did not pen the Constitution. So I'm not sure what the 'myth' you're thinking of but Jefferson did write it, Madison did not.
Yes I'm aware that States had not let so many of their sovereign powers be usurped back then. The Constitution represented a debate between federalists and anti-federalists, not (sadly) between statists and anarchists.
States did all sorts of stuff, and the feds typically did not consider it their business.
None of that pertains to the point. The fact was that the Church was part of and often the only media. Yes the printing press had been around but not everyone could read anything other than the bible. But they almost all went to church. Churches were very powerful in moving the people, after all that is their entire nominal function, to move people to salvation.
The establishment clause was intended to prevent the feds from being empowered to bribe the clergy into becoming a wholly owned propaganda outfit of the feds. This is exactly what happened throughout history. The various protestant movements often were protesting this very sort of thing where the teachings of some church started to conform to the whims of politics.
The establishment clause was not because the framers feared moral teaching or even religious teaching, which is what progressives assert. Most schools were in fact religious, and no one was trying to shut these schools down.
They just didn't want the feds sending money to them, which would ultimately result in their corruption and eventual demise.
As we see today.
Want DP delivered to your inbox daily? Subscribe here: