Author Archives: holynewsdaily

Cops Forced to Resign Due to Christian Beliefs

A former cop from Georgia, who quit his job after receiving a reprimand for a Facebook post discussing the Bible’s stance on gay marriage, stated that he felt the need to “support God’s teachings”.

Jacob Kersey, 19, was a police officer in Port Wentworth, Georgia, for less than a year, when he found himself in the crosshairs of controversy earlier this month. He joined the force in May 2022 and graduated from the academy last September.

Months later, despite receiving what he said were highly favorable on-the-job reviews, he’s vacated the position with the Port Wentworth Police Department he worked so diligently to secure.

“On Jan. 2, I made a Facebook post while I was off-duty about God’s design for marriage,” Kersey told CBN’s Faithwire. “And the post simply stated that God created marriage, marriage refers to Christ in the church, and that’s why there’s no such thing as homosexual marriage.”

The former officer said this sentiment is a “deeply held Christian belief” and one seen throughout the entirety of the Bible. But despite purportedly posting on his own time, he said his direct patrol supervisor contacted him on Jan. 3 and informed him someone had complained about his Facebook post.

“He stated that someone had complained, that I would need to remove the post,” Kersey said. “And I stated, ‘Well, that’s a deeply held Christian belief of mine. I won’t be able to remove it.’”

The ex-cop said he was then told the situation could lead to his termination. Kersey also claims he was advised to remember the “separation of church and state” — something that stunned him.

“That’s a terrible misunderstanding of what separation of truth and state means,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was on a traffic stop … I wasn’t handing out Gospel tracks. This was when I was off-duty on my Facebook page.”

With Kersey refusing to budge, he said his superior called the lieutenant. The lieutenant then reportedly told Kersey the department didn’t want to be faced with any liability if a use-of-force situation unfolded between Kersey and a member of the LGBTQ community.

The young officer found that statement shocking, as he stressed his professionalism and love for others, regardless of disagreement over external issues. But the situation purportedly didn’t end there.

“A few minutes later, my major called and told me to turn in everything that belongs to the city,” Kersey said, noting he thought he was fired at that point. “So, I pack up everything, I go in the next morning, turn in everything, give them the keys to my patrol car, park it in the back, go inside.”

From there, he met with the police chief and was purportedly told his original post was likened to saying the N-word, something Kersey found deeply alarming.

“He equates me to the most horrific kind of racist, simply because I have a belief in God’s design for marriage,” he said, noting the entire situation left him in “complete disbelief.” “I knew immediately that I needed to take a stand for God’s Word. I believe that was the Holy Spirit, because I loved law enforcement, and I love law enforcement.”

Kersey said he was initially placed on administrative leave while officials explored his podcasts and social media posts to see if he had violated department policy. A week later, he said he was told he hadn’t violated anything on the books, but that restrictions would be in place.

“[They said] … I would be allowed to post Bible verses and Scripture verbatim,” he said. “However, if I gave a quote, interpretation, or opinion of scripture that is offensive to someone, somewhere, that I would be fired for.”

In the end, despite not being fired over the initial post, Kersey said the situation forced him to reconsider his position, specifically considering the lack of trust on display.

“I just looked at the whole situation and said, ‘Law enforcement is a dangerous job to begin. My command staff has equated me to the most horrific kind of racist. They’re telling me that they’re going to fire me if I don’t abide by this new policy. If I express my Christian beliefs again, they’re going to fire me,’” he said.

Kersey continued, “I just thought, with the nature of the job, it’s not fair to … go back … when my command staff doesn’t have my back.”

The former cop chose to resign Jan. 17, stating his decision to vacate the role had everything to do with the ultimatum he felt he was given.

“A law enforcement officer needs to know that their command staff has their back,” Kersey said.

He’s still dumbfounded by the purported presupposition he would have treated anyone in the LGBTQ community in an improper way.

“When I went to work … you’re professional. You do your job that God called you to,” he said. “You do it professionally. You treat people with courtesy, fairness, and respect.”

As for what the future holds, Kersey said he plans to tell his story and take a stand for Christians, using his experience to fight for Christians’ rights to speak freely and practice their faith.

After The Daily Signal initially reported the story, Police Chief Matt Libby purportedly announced his retirement. Details on his departure are not fully available.

CBN’s Faithwire reached out to the Port Wentworth Police Department and was told no one was available to comment; a voicemail requesting comment has not yet been returned. We will update the story upon receiving a response or as new details emerge.

Biblical Prophecy That Came True

Written by Pastor Joe

The term “biblical prophecy” describes the foretelling or prediction of events that are referenced in the Bible. Numerous Christians contend that the fulfillment of numerous of these prophecies is proof of the Bible’s divine origin.

One well-known example of fulfilled prophecy is the prediction of the birthplace of Jesus. In Micah 5:2, it states that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as recorded in the New Testament.

Another example is the prophecy about the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people. In Jeremiah 25:11-12, it was predicted that the Babylonians would conquer Jerusalem and take the Jewish people into captivity for 70 years. This event took place as recorded in the book of Daniel and other parts of the Old Testament.

The prophecy of the restoration of Jerusalem is also significant. In Ezra 1:1-4, it states that God would restore the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple after their captivity in Babylon.

There are also prophesies regarding the coming of the Messiah and his death and resurrection. For example, in Isaiah 53, it predicts that the Messiah would be crucified and die for the sins of humanity. This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, as recorded in the New Testament.

In conclusion, the fulfillment of biblical prophecy serves as evidence for many believers in the divine origin of the Bible. These fulfilled prophecies provide insight into the power and omniscience of God and continue to inspire people to this day.

Louvre Museum Confirmed Evidence of Biblical Kingdom!

The Moabite Stone, also known as the Mesha Stele, on display has a reference to King David in the Bible, according to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The stone, which dates to 840 BC, was discovered broken in Moab, Jordan, not far from the Dead Sea, in 1868.

The stone sustained further damage in 1869, but archaeologists had earlier made a paper-mache likeness of the text, which was written in an extinct Moabite language, and described events in the Book of Kings from the Old Testament.

The stele includes phrases such as “House of David” and “Altar of David,” but the damage to the stone’s face made accurate translation of the text difficult.

By using newer technology, including enhancing techniques in digital photography, researchers verified that the text does refer to the biblical King David.

The Moabite Stone is about 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide and was hewn out of black basalt. On it was inscribed the deeds of the Moabite King Mesha, including territorial battles against Judah, Israel, and Edom.

The description of the House of David on the stone is only five letters, BTDWD, which in Hebrew would refer to BT or Beit (House) and DWD (David).

The references in the Bible are found in 2 Kings, Chapter 3.

Faith and the Abortion Dilemma: How to Stand Firm

I inquired with my physicians about the likelihood of a positive outcome, and if they had any previous experience with this. My doctor, who has been practicing for many years, stated that she had never encountered such a case before,” shared Morgan Farr. “My husband and I had been praying for a son, despite our love and adoration for our daughters.

We both, and even our daughters, felt a longing for a son. I took this desire to the church altar and asked for guidance from the Lord. During my prayer, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.

“I went back to my seat, and I told my husband, I’m like, ‘He’s gonna give us a son. I don’t know when but he’s coming.’ So, when we found out we were pregnant, we were just completely overjoyed,” she stated.

Morgan and her husband, Charlie, announced the pregnancy at 15 weeks. A few weeks later, the unthinkable happened. “Very unexpectedly, my water broke at just 19 weeks,” Morgan recalled. “So, we go to the maternity ward. We’re sent to triage and the doctor comes in and does an ultrasound. And she turns the machine off and just says, ‘I’m very sorry, there’s no fluid left. It’s completely gone.’ And she said, ‘I’m very sorry to tell you this, but you’re going to go into labor within hours, days.’” 

Hours went by, then days. But Morgan did not go into labor. She was also still producing water, which gave her hope. But the doctors were concerned and advised her to induce to avoid infection. 

“He would be too little to even intubate. There was nothing that they could do,” said Morgan. “They really stressed to us how dangerous this was. It was even said that I needed to think about our other children at home, because my life was now at risk.”

“We knew what they were telling us,” Charlie stated. “We knew that there was going to be, within the next 24 hours to 48 hours of possibly her getting an infection. And if that happens, it can be terminal, you know, and then I could lose my wife and child. So, this was like the first biggest trial of my life that I’ve ever really solely had to depend on God.”

Morgan recalled, “But something just was in me, and I know it was the Holy Spirit saying, ‘Just-just wait. Just see what I can do. Just see how this plays out.’”

After a few days and no answers, a traveling nurse happened to be assigned to Morgan’s care. She told her that this was called, “preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM)” and she had seen it happen before.

“So, she really started to advocate with us with the other doctors and just begged them to not write us off,” said Morgan. “And that was just everything that we needed in that moment of just such despair. I was in this hospital for about three days. Nothing had happened. And so, they said we’re gonna go ahead and send you home. Which was terrifying. I put myself on strict bed rest. I did nothing. My family did everything for me, for our children. And I laid in that bed, and I prayed, and I drank water like it was my job. Literally hundreds of people around the world praying for us.”

Morgan continued. “People in different states and even in different countries would sign up, and every hour of the day we were covered in prayer for weeks. And that was amazing. Because being on bed rest, you feel helpless. It is very emotional,” she added. “You’re in that room, in that bed, by yourself, that’s when the devil can really wreak havoc and there were just many times it was just me and the baby. And I had to just turn the worship music on. It would just play for hours. And so, I had a follow up with my doctor, and at that point we were just hoping that everything would seal and that there would be amniotic fluid in the next scan,” said Morgan.

But the ultrasound showed there was still no fluid, yet her baby still moved within her. One of Morgan’s doctors supported her decision to continue the pregnancy, but another had a different opinion. “He was very worried about me and highly, highly pressured us to abort,” said Morgan. “Best case scenario, if the baby did somehow survive, it would be a damaged survivor.”

“We knew that we weren’t going to go the route that they really want us to go,” Charlie stated. “And we stood firm on that, that no matter what or how our baby came out, we were gonna love it no matter what. And we weren’t going to terminate a pregnancy just because a doctor asked us to.”

Morgan noted, “I left that appointment completely devastated. I sat in the bed and the baby was the most active that it had ever been since the water had broke. And I knew that was the Lord saying, ‘We’re okay.’”

Morgan went to appointments every week, and every week it was the same hopeless news. But Morgan and Charlie clung to hope in God.
“There was still no infection, which was great. The baby was growing, despite them saying that it wouldn’t be able to,” said Morgan. “And I also just prayed once it became clear that the womb wasn’t going to reseal, we just began to pray for the living water. You know, it was like, “Lord, there might not be fluid in there, but let your living water be there to grow and to develop this baby as it should be. We don’t need the amniotic fluid if it’s not your will to replace it, but give us the living water.”

At 24 weeks, her baby was considered medically viable, and Morgan was allowed to be admitted to the hospital while awaiting to go into labor.
“At 25 weeks the doctors came in…it was just a normal morning, I felt fine. And just moments after that, I get up and realize that I have experienced prolapsed cord,” explained Morgan. “So, they come in, there was doctors everywhere. They knock me out. They end up doing the fastest C-section the hospital has ever done. They got him out in eight minutes. I remember waking up and my husband’s trying to tell me his weight, his height, all of that, and the only thing that I said is, ‘Is he alive?’ And he said, ‘he’s alive.’” 

“We realize, you know, and he’s normal. He has all his fingers, toes, he can move. At that point, there was nothing wrong with him physically,” said Charlie. “That just fueled us.”

“I knew that he was gonna be okay, because the Lord had kept him this far, and he was promised to us,” noted Morgan. “And so surely, because the Lord’s hand was upon him this entire time, he was gonna be with him and he was going to be okay.” 

Kohen’s battle for life continued at the NICU for four months, with God’s miraculous hand still evident at every turn. “Our biggest struggles and goals in the NICU were trying to get him to gain weight, were trying to get his lungs in a healthy place, and to try to protect and take care of his eyes,” said Morgan. “Thankfully, the Lord healed him, and he was able to come home on some oxygen, but he was able to come home.”

“It’s been a journey just by looking at him, you just know that he’s special,” explained Charlie. “We have some struggles that we have to overcome. But we’ve seen how far God has brought him from just 1 pound 12 ounces and 12 inches. And that just grows our faith to say, ‘But look what God did.’ So, looking now at him and you see this beautiful, healthy, thriving little boy that could have never been here. I’m just so thankful for the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit that we didn’t give in to abortion. That we didn’t give in to induction.”

Charlie explained, “Always fight for what you feel in your gut and in your heart. And you know that you’ve heard from God and you have faith that God is giving you a word or spoken over your life, then to stand firm on that.”

“Your situation may try to steal a lot of things from you, your peace, your joy. But don’t let it steal your hope. Because I can’t imagine our life without him,” Morgan concluded.

Witchcraft: Animal Hearts Found All Over Church Yard

Five animal hearts were discovered on a triangulation pillar near an English countryside church, surrounded by candles. This disturbing incident occurred just over a month after a dead cat was found hanging from a flagpole at the same location.

According to The Times (U.K.), the hearts were found on top of a triangulation station, with candles in a circle around the stone landmark near the 12th century St. Peter’s Church in Bramshaw, near Southampton.

When the incident was reported to police, officers reportedly said they were patrolling that area as it had previously been a target of suspected satanists.

Last month, the church’s vicar, the Rev. David Bacon, told the press that women came to clean the church to prepare it for Christmas and found a dead cat hanging from the flagpole.

Just weeks earlier, a dead fox was found lying on the church’s doorstep. “Every so often we get things like this happening. It makes everybody feel very uncomfortable,” the vicar said at the time.

In 2019, sheep had been stabbed and sprayed with pentagrams, and graffiti with the same occult markings were found on the church walls.

In January 2020, The Telegraph reported that St. Botolph’s Church in the Lincolnshire countryside was being repeatedly desecrated by satanists who would break in to perform occult ceremonies and scatter the blood of sacrificed animals.

“They sometimes bring chickens and slit their throats and the blood spills out all over,” Martin Chapman, a farmer who had been visiting the church site to clear the remnants, was quoted as saying. “It’s just escalated over the years. They damage and break things. They make rings of candles and salt. They smash graves. There is no fear. There’s a group of serious witches that come down.”

Many young women had been traveling to St Botolph’s, Chapman added.

“Churches often have a palpable sense of God and goodness because they have been saturated with the prayers of people down the ages,” Justine Allain Chapman, archdeacon of Boston in the Diocese of Lincoln, was quoted as saying at the time. “That quality doesn’t disappear easily, and so people are drawn to religious places. It is important to remember that God’s blessing is stronger than any curse, and light more powerful than darkness.”

Alarming Occultic Uptick Shocks America

According to a research firm that specializes in surveying youths, a significant number of young people are incorporating herbs and crystals into their regular spiritual practices.

Springtide Research Institute told CBN’s Faithwire it found 44% of young people between the ages of 13 and 25 “engage with herbs/crystals as a spiritual practice.” Shockingly, 21% do so on a weekly basis.

These results were found in the polling firm’s “State of Religion & Young People 2022” report, underscoring the reality that young people are finding alternative sources of religion and spirituality in an era of rampant secularism and less attachment to Judeo-Christian values.

With culture skewing away from the faith, a vacuum is in its place, and young people are desperately looking to fill the holes.

“Young people today are lonely and desperate to experience a deep sense of connection,” Kevin Singer, head of media and public relations at Springtide, told CBN’s Faithwire. “If that isn’t happening in churches and other faith communities, they will find it elsewhere — typically online — where independent spiritual teachers are making their living.”

Crystals and herbs are two New Age practices some believe hold the power to offer healing or ward off evil spirits, with these elements and practices sparking concern among many Christians.

As explains, “According to crystal healers, the careful placing of crystals on a patient’s body is supposed to line up with or stimulate the body’s chakras and promote healing.”

Considering the Bible’s stance on avoiding occultic practices, the use of crystals and herbs for such purposes has sparked no shortage of controversy. Yet young people, increasingly being raised disconnected from Scriptural influence, seem to be more fervently turning to these mechanisms.

“Crystals, in particular, are fostering connection between young people without the added baggage they fear comes with traditional religion,” Singer said. “They also feel crystals are an inclusive expression of spirituality, whereas traditional religion excludes.”

The Springtide data also yielded additional data worth noting. Young people who considered themselves “non-binary” were likelier to engage in crystals and herbs. While 58% of these youths use these practices, just 44% of females and 42% of males said the same.

This same dynamic was observed among gay youths as well, with 53% using crystals and herbs versus 39% of those who are not gay.

And among people of faith, those most likely to use crystals and herbs are Christian Orthodox (73%), those without traditional religious categories (65%), and Latter-Day Saints (64%).

Meanwhile, 40% of Protestants and 36% of those who identify as “just Christian” participate.

Singer cautioned people to be careful assuming young people using crystals and herbs fully understand the spiritual implications and practices.

“We shouldn’t assume that every young person who engages with crystals has a deep well of knowledge and perspective on crystals,” he said. “For some, they’re a cheeky hobby, while for others, their day-to-day decisions are informed by the ‘energies’ inhabiting different relationships and spaces, which crystals help them discern and connect to.”

Understanding this dynamic could help open doors to discuss the spiritual dangers of these practices and what Scripture truly has to say on the matter.

This isn’t the first time Springtide has uncovered fascinating information about such spiritual practices. In fact, the research firm conducted a survey in 2021 and found 51% of 13 to 25-year-olds were engaging in fortune-telling or tarot cards.

It should be noted and reaffirmed that the Bible warns against occultic practices and other elements that seek to place faith in tools, people, and elements outside of God and Scripture.

Using crystals and herbs for such practices — or relying on other elements of witchcraft — violates biblical truth and puts people in spiritual peril.

Tennessee Pastor Is only Survivor of Tragic Plane Crash

After a plane disaster on Tuesday that claimed the lives of four of his fellow church officials, the pastor of a Tennessee church was the only survivor, shocking parishioners and loved ones.

Harvest Church in Germantown, Tennessee, released a statement Tuesday expressing sorrow amid the monumental loss and noted the congregation is “without the proper words” to articulate its grief.

“We ask for your prayers and request the families involved are given proper space to grieve,” the statement read.

Lead Pastor Dr. Kennon Vaughan, the lone survivor, is in a Texas hospital in stable condition after the plane went down Tuesday around 11 a.m. near Yoakum, Texas.

Church members Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer were killed, as were Executive Pastor Bill Garner and church elder Steve Tucker, WMC-TV reported.

Tucker, who was piloting, reportedly owned the plane; further details on the exact issue leading to the crash are currently unknown.

Parishioners reportedly gathered Tuesday night at Harvest Church to mourn the immeasurable losses.

On Wednesday morning, the church updated the public on Vaughan’s status, releasing some encouraging developments.

Despite requiring surgery Tuesday night to treat significant injuries, the preacher is breathing on his own and is communicating — two miraculous signs unfolding just one day after the deadly incident.

“We rejoice this morning in God’s goodness. Kennon is breathing on his own and has been able to communicate some through writing,” the statement read. “The latest reports from the doctors are all positive.”

The church said the preacher is at a top trauma hospital and expressed gratitude to the Lord while also asking for prayer for his continued recovery.

“We are so thankful for God’s provision,” the statement continued. “Kennon still needs to have some surgeries to repair injuries to his abdomen, so please continue to pray for a full recovery.”

Michael Allen, a former classmate of Garner, said the pastor was truly a special individual who loved and cared for others.

“He was always helpful to other people and wanted to give his heart and show other people love no matter who they were,” Allen told WREG-TV.

Officials are investigating the cause of the tragic crash.

Be sure to pray for the church, families, and loved ones suffering during this difficult time.

Christian Killed After Religious Debate

A 37-year-old father of four was killed on Jan. 2 after participating in a Christian-Muslim debate in eastern Uganda at which 13 Muslims put their faith in Christ, sources said.

Ahamada Mafabi was returning from the debate in Nakaloke, Sironko District outside Mbale when men on two motorcycles shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar[God is greater],” knocked him off his motorcycle and sliced his neck with a knife, one of the Christians sent to escort him said.

The attack took place at about 10 p.m. in Munkaga cell, Bukasakya Ward in Mbale, said his pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons.

“Muslims responded openly to receiving Christ,” the pastor said of the public debate that took place before the attack. “There were shouts from the Muslims demanding that Mafabi leave the grounds of the meeting, saying, ‘Mafabi, stop your blasphemous utterance of equating Issa [Jesus] to God, calling him the Son of God.’”

Seeing the hostility, the pastor assigned two Christians to escort Mafabi to his home in Butaleja District, he said.

One of the men escorting him, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said they saw two motorcyles coming from behind carrying four people after they reached Munkaga.

“As they bypassed us, they shouted the Islamic slogan, ‘Allah Akbar’ and then hit our motorcycle down with a metal object,” he said, adding that he and the other escort fled for their lives. “The attackers overpowered him and cut his neck with a long Somali knife.”

Mafabi is survived by his wife and four children, ages 3 to 14 years old, all of whom need to be relocated, the pastor said.

Mafabi had left Islam to put his faith in Christ in December 2020 after several visits with the pastor in an undisclosed village in Butaleja District. Initially the pastor housed him to protect him from Islamists upset with his conversion, and later his church rented a house for him elsewhere.

Knowledgeable in both Islam and Christianity, Mafabi helped the pastor begin Christian-Muslim debates in mid-2021, and in one year more than 100 Muslims put their faith in Christ, he said. Mafabi faced severe Islamist hostility, escaping four assassination attempts, and the pastor also received threatening text messages.

One such message, he said, read, “Stop taking our members to your church. Let this be known to you that your church and your life is at risk.”

The pastor requested prayer for the widow and her children, who need support for food, shelter and school fees. He also expressed concern for his ministry’s newly built center for converts from Islam, where they are discipled and trained in job skills to make up for losing employment because of their faith.

The pastor has reported the crime, and police are investigating.

“I have some fears, but this is part of the spiritual warfare that comes with Christian persecution, and I am ready to face it,” he said.

The attack was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

Definitive Proof of Pontius Pilate

The “Pilate Stone” is an inscription that bears the name and title of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea during the time of Jesus.

This historical artifact provides evidence for the existence of Pilate and his role as the prefect who ruled over Judea during the reign of Emperor Tiberius.

While Pilate’s role in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus is well-known through the Gospels, this inscription is one of the few physical pieces of evidence that confirms his existence and his role as a historical figure.

The discovery of the “Pilate Stone” provides a deeper understanding of the historical context of the Bible and the life of Jesus.

That was until the 1961 discovery of the “Pilate Stone,” a piece of carved limestone inscribed with the name of Pontius Pilate. Italian archaeologist Dr. Antonio Frova and his team came across the “Pilate Stone” while excavating an ancient Roman theatre in Caesarea, Israel, which was built by the decree of King Herod, around 10 BC. explains that Pilate had his base of operations in Caesarea, which replaced Jerusalem as the administrative capital of Judea in 6 AD.

Although weathered by time, fragments of the inscription on the limestone may still be distinguished. From what archaeologists can read, it appears to be a dedication stone. It says:

To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum … Pontius Pilate … prefect of Judea … has dedicated [this]

This discovery corroborates Pilate’s position as prefect of Judea, as well as the era in which he held office. UCatholic notes that there are several other secular sources that mention the prefect, such as the writings by Flavius in Antiquities of the Jews circa 94, Philo of Alexandra in On The Embassy of Gauis, and by Publius Cornelius Tacitus, one of the most well-known Roman historians. However, these works were all written many decades after Pilate was removed from his position as prefect of Judea. The “Pilate Stone” remains the only first-hand evidence of Pilate, which, quite literally, has set his historical relevance in stone.

Make sure to visit the slideshow below to discover some of the places frequented by Jesus of Nazareth, from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, including the Via Dolorosa. 

The Truth Behind the ‘Separation of Church and State’

The phrase “separation of church and state” is widely used in sociopolitical discussions, but many people mistakenly think it is written verbatim in the US Constitution.

The term, typically used to claim there can be no intermingling of faith and government, has a fascinating history, according to Howard Goldthwaite, senior creative director at First Liberty Institute.

Goldthwaite recently wrote, directed, and produced a short animated video titled “No Better Letter,” an effort to explain where “the separation of church and state” term originated and why some misunderstand not only the history but also its application to constitutional law.

“The phrase is from a letter; it’s not in the Constitution, like everybody seemed to assume,” he said. “It’s from a letter written on Jan. 1 of 1802 by Thomas Jefferson [to] a group from Danbury, Connecticut.”

That group had written Jefferson expressing concern “they were going to be … told what to teach, what to preach,” Goldthwaite said.

Jefferson, then the third president of the United States, told them in his reply they had nothing to worry about and that the government didn’t have the power to tell them what to do in their house of worship.

But Goldthwaite said this letter has been used to drive a wedge between church and state — one that disallows the two from any proximity.

Atheist and Satanist groups, among others, often invoke the phrase to target nativities and other religious displays if and when these images are present on public property.

Voluntary prayer has also been targeted, with football coach Joe Kennedy losing his job before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor last summer.

The natural question, of course, is why so many believe this term is somehow implied in the U.S. Constitution. And the broader discussion, of course, is just how much church and state can intermingle without violating the First Amendment — something over which both sides continue to haggle.

“I encourage everybody to read the original Danbury letter and then Jefferson’s response,” Goldthwaite said. “Jefferson was clearly putting their minds at ease that the government’s not here to tell them what to teach, what to believe.”

He continued, “That misunderstanding is kind of where the train jumps the track with a lot of people. They think the government has the right to tell any religious group to just back off anytime they want.”

Goldthwaite said he believes some of the motivation in using the term centers on a quest some secularists have not to see people of faith engaging in politics and government.

“They want to keep them out. They want to keep their values out,” he said. And so they wrap themselves in this ‘separation of church and state’ phrase.”

In the end, Goldthwaite said the “wall of separation” protects the church from state control, expressing his belief that many critics simply get it backward.

He’s hoping “No Better Letter” helps set the record straight.

It should be noted that organizations like the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, seem to take a very different view, seeing the Danbury letter as a call for separation.

“As president, [Jefferson] issued his famous letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, on Jan. 1, 1802, explaining that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment builds ‘a wall of separation between church and state,’” the FFRF wrote. “He refused to issue any days of prayer or thanksgiving, believing civil powers alone were conferred on public officials.”