Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pastors and Politics

Well it seems the editor of the Coeur d'Alene Press is upset that a number of local pastors have expressed "political" opinions and may very well have influenced the last election. There was an article in the press expressing Representative Ed Morse's exasperation at his and others' defeat in the recent election. In the article he is quoted as claiming that he is going to bring these actions to the attention of the IRS. More disturbing than Representative Morse's exasperation was the editorial piece of the same day. Yikes!

I debated writing a letter in response but couldn't get myself sufficiently motivated. Fortunately, a number of folks have written some excellent responses. Scott Grunsted offered a compelling critique of the editorial and corrected many of the misrepresentations of the Founding Fathers found therein. Unfortunately, the Editor missed Grunsted's point and entitled his article, "Church, State are inseparable." This is not the point Grunsted was making and very few Christians would defend it.

We must distinguish between the issue of church/state and relgion/state. Church and State are separate in Scripture - kings were not priests and priests were not kings. Consider that King Uzziah was struck with leprosy when he tried to assume priestly duties for himself. While Church and State are separate, religion and state are not. Every state, ancient and modern, is built upon some religious foundation. The reason is that states impose morality - they penalize certain behaviors and reward others. So how does a state decide which actions to penalize and which to reward? Religion. Historically the religious foundation animating our public policy has been Christian. We are now in the process of apostatizing and abandoning this foundation - and the ease with which this is being accomplished is due, in part, to the failure of our Founding Fathers to articulate in our founding documents the necessity of this Christian foundation. While they did make the point in their private correspondence and public letters and speeches, they did not make this explicit in our Constitutional documents and this was a tragic error. It seems unlikely that our great republic will be able to persist as a result. Hopefully, the next time such an experiment as America takes place, their founders will repudiate the heretical notion of the secular state and recognize that every state is built upon some religious foundation. And the religious foundation that provides for personal liberty, liberty of conscience, and constitutional limits on political power is the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Another excellent letter responding to the editorial was written today by Kim Cooper. She demonstrates the absurdity of the editorial's attempt to compartmentalize portions of people's lives. She gives a great example of worldview thinking! Excellent work.

Let us just note in passing the inconsistency of the editorial as well. The press has campaigned rather clearly for numerous moral principles lately. They've opposed bullying, advocated the homosexual agenda, and portrayed the transgendered agenda sympathetically - and on each of these issues prominently featured within the articles is the Human Rights Education Institute and Mr. Tony Stewart. Is bullying wrong? Let's ask Mr. Stewart and find out. Should homosexuality have public sanction? Let's ask Mr. Stewart, he'll tell us. But has anyone cried foul? After all, I think that the HREI is a 501c3 entity. How dare they dabble in politics? Sheesh! Haven't they read those regulations? But of course it's ok for them to express opinions, teach at the local government schools, nurture our children in the evils of discrimination because - well, because they agree with us! But those pastors - shut them up! Wisdom is justified by her children.