Religion: Denominational Democracy?

Ben Franklin started it in 1787 with his suggestion that sessions of the Constitutional Convention be opened by a minister praying for divine guidance. Ever since, one of the notable chinks in the U.S. wall of separation between church and state has been the election of official chaplains by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Once they preached at the Capitol on Sundays. Today their duties consist of a short prayer beginning each day's session, plus sick calls, marriages, baptisms, funerals and spiritual counsel for the legislators and their staffs. For this, Methodist Chaplain Frederick Brown Harris of the Senate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!