Ronald Reagan's State of the Union Address - January 25
- 2016 25 Jan
In his State of the Union Address, JANUARY 25, 1984, President Ronald Reagan stated: "Each day your members observe a 200-year-old tradition meant to signify America is one nation under God. I must ask: If you can begin your day with a member of the clergy standing right here leading you in prayer, then why can't freedom to acknowledge God be enjoyed again by children in every school room across this land?" A month later in a radio address, February 25, 1984, President Reagan stated: "The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people from religion; that amendment was written to protect religion from government tyranny...But now we're told our children have no right to pray in school. Nonsense. The pendulum has swung too far toward intolerance against genuine religious freedom. It is time to redress the balance." President Reagan continued: "Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted if religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage...Refusal to permit religious exercises is seen not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism."