What has happened to the separation of church and state in the U.S.? I would argue that it has nearly been abolished. Although we still say that we separate church and state, we have come to accept co-mingling of faith and policy. If you think I exaggerate I urge you to watch the first segment of this week's Bill Moyers Journal (link above).
Ironically, the religious rights' success may lead to its downfall. Some Americans are beginning to "sweep the scales from their eyes;" recognize the danger in blurring the line between church and government.
Over reaching has historically lead to the failure of popular movements, e.g., the Salem witch trials. I choose the witch trials deliberately because of the similarities it bares to the religious extremism we see all over the world today - and that includes some of the extremists heard on Sunday mornings here in this country.
A recent poll revealed that the fastest growing ' religious' group in the U.S. is atheists. So the pendulum (a hallmark of democratic societies) is beginning to swing in the other direction and may lead to a time when an agnostic or atheist is elected to national office. The arc of the pendulum will have swung from puritanism to secularism. I hope I live to see it.