Joining her husband to address a rally in Melbourne, Florida last Saturday, Melania Trump began her address with these words: “Let us pray.” She then recited The Lord’s Prayer. Twitter lit up with shock at the First Lady for leading the prayer. Critics argue she breached the separation of church and state – for doing the very thing Presidents Obama and Clinton had done.
Not surprisingly, the mainstream media has been silent in their criticism of the outlandish attacks on the First Lady. Nor do they report the fact that the last three Democratic presidents – Carter, Clinton, and Obama – all shared their Christian faith publicly. But as First Lady, Melania is being called out for simply reciting/reading the same Lord’s Prayer that is recited at the start of every Alcoholics Anonymous meeting across the land.
The argument is that Melania crossed the line of church/state separation. While the First Amendment bars the establishment of a national religion, it makes no direct reference to a separation of church and state. Further, many U.S. presidents have openly offered Christian prayers while in office.
President Obama often quoted Scripture and offered a prayer every year in office at the National Prayer Breakfast. Bill Clinton weaved Bible passages into his speeches regularly. Jimmy Carter taught Sunday School while in office. Harry Truman spoke openly about how his Christian values impacted his views. Of course, Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were equally outspoken about their Christian faith.
This begs two questions . . .
1. Why is Melania Trump held to a higher separation of church and state standard than presidents are?
2. Why is the media complicit in their condemnation of her, as exposed by their silence?
Of course, the separation of church and state is not found in our Constitution. What is found is explicit protection of a citizen’s free expression of his or her faith. The First Lady of the United States has the same protection as Presidents Obama, Clinton, et al.
The criticism she is receiving is cruel, immoral, and unamerican – and by most – completely ignored.