The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. (from here (en.wikipedia.org))
There is a wall of separation between church and state, and the court borrowed the phrase “wall between church and state” from Thomas Jefferson, but they took what he said out of context (see Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists). Consider the way the First Amendment is written.
The First Amendment restricts CONGRESS. The First Amendment protects the church from the state, not the state from the church. The object here is to prevent any church from using government power to establish itself as a state supported church.
The First Amendment specifically protects the free exercise of religion. That means we have the right to follow the dictates of our conscience, to vote for people who will not use government power in ways that violate our religious beliefs or force us to violate our religious beliefs.
So why should Christian churches should take an interest in politics? Consider the questions we are asking the candidates running for seats on the Prince William Board of County Supervisors => County supervisor survey–Family Alliance. What are some of the issues we address?
- Taxes? How much money will our government let people keep so that they can take care of their families?
- Zoning decisions? Don’t these decisions involve health and safety issues? Isn’t one of the problems government officials must resolve is deciding where churches can be built?
- Abortion? Euthanasia? Don’t Christian churches have a role in protecting life?
- The Equal Rights Amendment? Should we add these words to the Constitution as an amendment?
Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
How would this amendment be implemented? It is one thing to say that men and women should be treated equally before the law. It is not the same to insist that men and women are the same, that such amendment should be used as an excuse for abortion “rights” or same-sex “marriage”.
- Education? The Christian church has no interest in who teaches children or what children are taught?
- The Difference between rightful and wrongful discrimination? Isn’t discrimination often wholly appropriate? Should parents be forced to entrust their children to the care of people they don’t trust? Should churches be forced to hire people who will not — have shown a flagrant disregard for — the tenets of their faith?
- Illegal Immigration? Is God the author of confusion? Should Christian churches advocate the creation of chaos? Would it be wise — would God consider it wise — for the United States to open its borders and accept the consequences of unregulated immigration?
- Gun control? How does the Bible define human rights? Do we have a right to self defense?
- Sex? Gender choices? Do we choose our sex? What does God require us to do to respect our sexual differences? What is appropriate subject matter for the instruction of children about sex?
- Family law? When does the responsibility of the state to protect children supercede the responsibilities of parents? Should school officials be required to provide parental notification when they counsel children they believe have suicidal impulses, problems with depression, drug abuse issues, and “problems” with pregnancy and contraception.
- Charity? Should faith-based providers be allowed to compete for government contracts without compromising their beliefs?
Should pastors tell the members of their churches how to vote? Probably not, but can the members of Christian churches rightfully ignore such issues. Don’t Christians, as part of the Body of Christ, have the responsibility to help the members of their church become informed so we can vote responsibly? Isn’t what the Bible says relevant?
The Bible teaches us to work together, to love each other enough so we can carefully discuss important matters without unnecessary conflict. Currently, we are in the process of getting the candidates participating in the June 11th primary election to respond to our surveys. On Monday we will provide a list of the contested elections in Prince William County. We need your assistance in encouraging the candidates to respond to our surveys. With your help we can get timely responses from the candidates and distribute informative voter guides for the primary election on June 11th.
Thank you for your assistance.