As Thomas states, the First Amendment was not intended to prevent the establishment of state religions, but precisely the opposite, to protect the independence of such establishments from encroachment by a national religion.
thats exactly where Thomas, [and you] are confused. -- Thomas wrote:
"But even assuming that the Establishment Clause precludes the Federal Government from establishing a national religion, it does not follow that the Clause created or protects any individual right."
The 1st's "establishment clause" was intended, in part, to prevent the establishments of sectarian religions from ruling over the lives of 'We the People'.
We fought for freedom from such old world concepts.
That ~is~ the "individual right".
-- To protect our individual right to be free of State supported religions, 'we' demanded freedom ~from~ such religions as well as freedom ~of~ religion.
Such a right is not "putative", not supposed.. It is very real.
Try to tell me I have to support a State Church, And I will run for the ballot box, and also to the Courts for redress.
Insist that I do so, -- and unintended consequences may arise.
Justice Joseph Story was even more explicit: "The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government." - Commentaries on the Constitution
Story is as confused as you and Justice Thomas.
'We' have a right to be free of an 'official' Church, whether supported by Federal or State governments.
Your nationalist interpretation of the BOR does not resemble the intent of the Founders and is inimical to federalism.
I'm not 'nationalist'. I'm anti-statist.
You can keep your ACLU talking points.