Does the “Year of our Lord” Clause of the Constitution Raise any Establishment Issues?

May 14th, 2010

Eugene Volokh has a series of interesting posts, comparing the text of the Constitution in various print editions, and finding various disparities, focusing on the clause that provides “the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven.”

Does the phrase “Year of our Lord” raise any establishment clause issues? I mean, it says “Our” Lord, meaning that the United States is designating Jesus, who was born in the year 0 AD, as “Our” Lord. That sounds like a ringing endorsement there.

Granted, the Constitution predates the establishment clause.

Just curious if there are any conflicts. I raised this issue in class once, did not receive a satisfactory answer.