Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said this week that the constitutional separation between church and state was meant to be a "one-way wall" where the "church plays a role in the state."
In a World Net Daily-sponsored promotion for an upcoming Christian TV event called "Washington – A Man of Prayer," Gohmert recalled that the U.S. House of Representatives once met in what is now known as National Statuary Hall.
"On Sundays this became the largest non-denominational Christian church in the Washington, D.C. area," he explained. "People came in here and prayed, they sang hymns, they worshipped God. It was part of our history."
Gohmert pointed out that a Congressional Research Service report revealed that President Thomas Jefferson, who coined the phrase "separation of church and state," had also attended church services at Statuary Hall.
"But it was to be a one-way wall, where the state would not dictate to the church," the Texas Republican insisted. "But the church would certainly play a role in the state."
"So, that's a little different idea than a lot of people have about separation of church and state now," he added. "Including some of our esteemed Supreme Court, who are not quite as familiar with our history as they probably should be."