The Establishment Clause

Engage Volume 12, Issue 2, September 2011

Most of you don’t remember—I am embarrassed that I do—the 1988 presidential election. One day, way back then, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was out on the stump, recalling his experience as a young fighter pilot when he was shot down over the South Pacific in World War II. This is what he said (and, even if you don’t remember the election, you might have heard Saturday Night Live’s Dana Carvey imitating the former President’s voice): “Was I scared, floating in a little yellow raft, off the coast of an enemy-held island, setting the world record for paddling? Of course I was. What sustains you in times like that? Well, you go back to fundamental values. I thought about Mother and Dad and the strength I get from them. I thought about God and faith . . . and the separation of church and state." ...