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No Common Ground in Spirited Debate on Church-State Separation 1 - 2 - 3

In what seemed a role reversal, the reverend opposed school prayer while the professor supported the practice. Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said public schools should remain neutral and not promote religious expressions, while Pepperdine University Professor Douglas Kmiec contended that preventing children from reciting prayers amounts to government-sponsored secularism.

During a debate last March on the separation of church and state, Rev. Lynn and Kmiec clashed on this and many other issues. The two began by sparring over everything from Thomas Jefferson’s 1802 letter on the “wall of separation” to the 1954 insertion of the words “under God” into the pledge of allegiance.

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