The “wall of separation” between church and state wasn't something Jefferson causally dreamed up one cold January day in 1802. Roger Williams used it earlier. Long before Williams, Richard Hooker used the phrase.
I can't sum the history of the phrase any better William Sierichs, Jr., so permit me to quote him at length:
Despite six centuries of pounding, the wall of separation between church and state stands higher and thicker than ever, boosted by vigorous defenders and supportive Supreme Court rulings going back to the late 1940s in the face of relentless assaults from religious zealots.For over two years that Bob has been repeating the lie that the phrase was “first used by Jefferson…”
Many people, including a lot of secularists, believe Thomas Jefferson coined the "wall of separation" metaphor in his letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association on Jan. 1, 1802. Religious Right propagandists like this belief because it lets them claim Jefferson was espousing an eccentric idea outside the mainstream of opinion among America's Founders. [Italics added.] After all, he was in France when the Constitution was written and therefore could not know what its authors intended.
In fact, the metaphor was more than 200 years old when Jefferson popularized it.
The union of church and state had been under attack in England since at least the 6th century. Richard Hooker, a defender of the Anglican Church who died in 1600, wrote that dissenters demanded that 'the walls of separation between [church and commonwealth] must for ever be upheld.'
Bob has never met a popular lie that he wasn't willing to repeat.