In response to My Turn “Church and state: Leave politics outside the church” by Shirley Thagard, I suggest the following. Ms. Thagard is not familiar with the Constitution. The Constitution clearly prohibits the formation of a state religion. It does not prohibit the church from having a political opinion or exercising that opinion. This whole church or state nonsense as I may recall has to do with an internal revenue ruling that was enacted in the last 50 years or so withholding the tax-exempt status of a church if it expresses a political opinion. Frankly that ruling as I recall came about in a democratic administration as a means of bridling a church hostile to their more liberal views. (Does this sound a bit like the hold up on tax-exempt status of conservative organizations by the IRS under Obama to anyone?) It has been promoted as a constitutional issue for so long that many believe it to be stated in the constitution. This is nonsense!
The pope resides in Italy. This pope is not bashful about expressing his frequently more liberal views. Should the Catholic Church be banned from promoting those views? I find it high time that churches find the backbone to stand for their beliefs in the political arena and challenge this false dogma of “Separation of Church and State!” They have been intimidated far too long!
Perhaps Ms. Thagard would have found it more acceptable if Raul Labrador had addressed his audience at a local watering hole with copious amounts of libation to grease the skids of serious state business. I in fact think that this is where the church of the liberal left meets to come up with their worldview.
I for one am refreshed that the Candlelight Christian Fellowship and others have had enough of this “Separation of Church and State” nonsense to find some backbone. This is a flimsy IRS ruling, not law, and certainly not an issue of our constitution. I found it refreshing that such men as Franklin Graham and others were able to gather behind the support of a flawed candidate who is now President Trump because he supported Christian values even though he was flawed just like the rest of us.
It is time for all men of faith to rebel against the tyranny of this false dogma of “Separation of Church and State.” Like the Founding Fathers, I do not think that a religion should be mandated by the state but I do believe that a religious view should be a part of the discussion of state issues.
Don Phelan is a Coeur d’Alene resident.