Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Vaporings about Church and State


Texas Governor Rick Perry has been causing quite a stir of late. It's not just because he's thinking of running for president.

Gov. Perry recently led a prayer meeting that has all sorts of people in a tizzy. Take Amy Sullivan's column in Time about the prayer meeting. Apparently she has a problem with the governor leading and organizing the prayer meeting. Violates church and state separation. You know, the same old folderol.

Let me educate a bit. The U.S. Constitution says that the Congress shall make no law ESTABLISHING a religion, i.e. making a national church like the Church of England. That's it. Period. The Constitution goes on to say that the free exercise of religion may not be prohibited. Period.

Now, the courts and politicians have done their level best to torture and stretch that out of the meaning of the Founders. Governor Perry has the same religious rights as any of us. It doesn't matter whether he holds public office. If he wants to personally call a prayer meeting in the Christian faith, he has the right to do so. He is not establishing an official state church by law.

It's time for people to quit bellyaching and vaporing over this, and stop trying to drive religion out of the public square. For the record, I have my own concerns about Governor Perry as a presidential candidate. I might even have issues with his prayer meeting on a theological level if I found it to be overly ecumenical. However, I have no problem at all with the fact that the governor organized, called and participated in a Christian prayer meeting.

I am pretty certain our Founding Fathers wouldn't have been bothered in the least either. Get over it.

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