Found on the inside cover of a Bible that was given to a soldier during the Great War (WWI) with a special message from the president, Woodrow Wilson:
“The Bible is the word of life. I beg that you will read it and find this out for yourselves,–read, not little snatches here and there, but long passages that will really be the road to the heart of it. You will find it full of real men and women, not only but also of the things you have wondered about and been troubled about all your life, as men have been always; and the more you read the more it will become plain to you what things are worth while and what are not, what makes men happy,–loyalty, right dealing, speaking the truth, readiness to give everything for what they think their duty, and, most of all, the wish that they may have the approval of the Christ, who gave everything for them,–and the things that are guaranteed to make men unhappy,–selfishness, cowardice, greed, and everything that is low and mean.
“When you have read the Bible you will know that it is the Word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty.”
No one thought this encouragement the equivalent of state establishment of religion then. Has the definition of state establishment changed? If not, then what has? Good discussion question for rhetoric stage students.