The Constitution only barred the Federal government from establishing a religion. States could, and did, maintain their state religions until late in the 19th century. I am a little fuzzy on it, but I think that the federal courts have since held that the 14th amendment prevents states from maintaining a state religion any more. The libs have sure gotten a lot of unintended mileage from the 14th amendment.
RE: I think that the federal courts have since held that the 14th amendment prevents states from maintaining a state religion any more.
I don’t see how religion is related to the 14th amendment.
The 14th amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
How does that relate to state religions?
If this were strictly true, a government could not enforce building codes on church buildings. Where religion is part of the culture, it is impossible to untangle the two. Lemon shows how the court can tangle itself into knows trying to come up with a rule. The ACLU approach is absurd but effective because no one wants to waste time and money mudwrestling with them in the courts. Now of course the Court has set their approach in concrete with rulings such as the one that forbids prayer at football games.