(I apologize in advance to any who read this posting a different board. I keep thinking that people there might be willing to do more than discuss the evils of the Bush Administration and badmouth America but nobody was interested in discussing this.) One of the biggest Constitutional questions that must be settled soon is what is exactly meant by "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Many here would immediately argue that it means a separation of church and state but as that phrase does not appear in the Constitution, it does not provide an easy answer. The crux of the matter is defining what was meant by the Framers with each of the following: Congress shall make no law, respecting, establishment of religion. Congress shall make no law - Was it the intention to allow the States to make laws establishing religion? Many of them did have such laws at the time. Maryland was established as a Catholic state while others were very Protestant in their legal dealings. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments would reinforce this idea but the it has been argued that the Fourteenth trumps both the States and Individual rights given in Nine and Ten in respect to religion. Another issue is what actions of Congress or the State are law and which are not. If Congress passes a resolution suggestion to America to have a National Day of Prayer, it is obviously NOT a law but some would argue that such an action violates the Separation of Church and State. How? Respecting From a legal standpoint, what exactly does this word mean? The word itself is defined by Webster http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=respect It can also be used as a preposition or transitive verb. The transitive verb definition states is 1 a : to consider worthy of high regard : ESTEEM b : to refrain from interfering with. If definition b was the intent, one gets an entirely different reading. It is obvious that a great deal depends on how this key word is defined. Establishment of religion - Once again, the crux of the matter is how these words are defined AND interpreted. What exactly qualifies for establishing a religion? If Congress authorizes tax dollars to be paid to a religious organization for services, has that organization been established? Was the phrase "establishment of religion" specifically refering to Congress establishing a State Religion like the Church of England AND forbidding others to practice any other religion? Which brings me to my new thoughts on the matter. If this was specifically directed towards preventing the actions taken in England in regards to religion, would Congress or the State actually be following the intent if they were to support many religions? Would allowing religious displays of more than one religion counter the "establishment of religion" if the intent was refering to only one religion? Simply put, would a public school be in compliance with the First Amendment if they offered religious courses in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism since not a single religion was receiving preference thus not respecting the establishment of religion? Perhaps the answer is for us to write a new Constitutional Amendment specifically defining how we are going to interpret what is meant by the First Amendment regarding religion.