In 1984, Ronald Reagan pointed out: “We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.
“At the same time that our Constitution prohibits state establishment of religion, it protects the free exercise of all religions. And walking this fine line requires government to be strictly neutral. And government should not make it more difficult for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or other believing people to practice their faith.”
Delegates to the Constitutional Convention left the deity out of the picture, by refusing to follow Ben Franklin's suggestion that their daily sessions be opened with a prayer for divine guidance.
In 1950’s, Congress added the words, “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. And although, E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many One) was considered our motto, Congress adopted “In God we trust” as the official motto.
The 1960 Supreme Court decision in Engel vs Vitale ruled it unconstitutional for public schools to allow prayer, even though the prayer was non-denominational and students were allowed to abstain from the exercise. President Kennedy announced, that he understood many people were angered by the ruling, but that there was “a very easy remedy - not a constitutional amendment but a renewed commitment to pray at home, in the churches and with their families.”