The words “Separation of Church and State,” were a metaphor used by Thomas Jefferson, in his correspondence between himself and The Danbury Baptists, in 1801. His exact words, were, “thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
These words, by Jefferson, to The Danbury Baptists, were used to demonstrate, and confirm, that, Constitutionally, our “Federal” Government was removed, legislatively, from the establishment, and prohibition, of any religion in the United States. Jefferson’s metaphor, not only is nowhere in the Constitution, but even in his letter, the metaphor was never intended to apply to our respective states. He was reassuring the Danbury Baptists that our Federal Government would not, and could not, make any laws that would abridge their religious freedoms.
It is the [Federal Government] Supreme Court, who, nefariously, used Jefferson’s metaphor to lead people to believe that there was no role for even state Governments, in our respective states, in the area of religion.
The Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment, was intended to ‘protect’ our individual liberties, in our respective states. In the Everson vs. the Board of Education case, members of the Supreme Court used the case as a way to begin removing some of the state’s and the people’s [First Amendment] religious liberties – which, traditionally, would have been a matter for the citizens and their state constitutions to address.
Prior to that decision, state and local Governments did have some role, in our respective states, in the area of religion. It was after this Supreme Court decision, that public schools started removing prayer from schools etc. And, this is the same Federal Government that, for the last 30 or so years, many Conservative (likely, well-intended) groups have been working to ‘further empower’ with certain powers that, Constitutionally, have always belonged to (and, should always belong to) the states.