Marci A. Hamilton is a visiting professor of public affairs at Princeton University and the Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. She is the author of God vs. the Gavel: Religion and the Rule of Law and Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children.
The idea that the United States is a "Christian country" is at the heart of the religious right's program for reconstructing America's constitutional and cultural order. For if this is a Christian country, religious conservatives reason, their beliefs rightly dominate the three branches of government, public schools, and public observances. Thus, they would re-institute prayer in public schools, permit posting of the Ten Commandments in any government building, and applaud crèches in both locations.