So the visible light from stars can be used to identify the elements in that star by looking at the spectral emission lines and comparing those lines to emission lines of various elements (and their isotopes) here on earth. These well-known line wavelengths can also be used to determine the relative motion of that star to the earth by looking at the red (or blue) shift of wavelengths of those spectral lines. It would then be reasonable to assume that our own sun emits those same well-defined spectral lines, which should show up at specific wavelengths (based on the elements in the sun).
However, sunlight appears (mostly) white, and using a prism shows a rather consistent rainbow of color across the visible spectrum, rather than what one would expect to see (based on analysis of emission spectrum from other stars) of spikes at specific wavelengths. So, what is causing the full-spectrum light from the sun to appear at the surface of the earth if what I'm assuming is specific spectral lines being generated from fusion on the sun itself?
I'm sure I'm missing something in my understanding, but I'm not sure what it is. I understand (from this question: How deep is the "A" Fraunhofer line in the solar spectrum? Is it from the Sun's or Earth's atmosphere?) that the earth's atmosphere absorbs specific wavelengths of light, but why would the sun's light be consistent across its visible spectrum if the typical star light is generated at specific spectrum wavelengths?