Separation of Church and State?

For those who peddle the separation of church and state argument, I have a perspective for you. I’m not here to debate the validity of the church vs. state argument of which I’m not a proponent. It’s an argument devised by those who don’t want the influence of faith into everyday life; something our founding fathers valued – faith in everyday life. Here’s my take – if the state doesn’t want the church meddling into politics, maybe politicians shouldn’t meddle into the church’s teachings. This may sound a little ridiculous, but if we’re going to abide by a non-contradictory principle, I need to be heard out on this one.

You’ve learned of Nancy Pelosi’s debacle on “Meet the Press.” As a self-proclaimed Catholic, she misrepresented the church’s teaching on the sanctity of life which includes the church’s position on abortion. Pelosi’s attempt to relay the traditional teaching of the church ended up becoming a rationalization and portrayal of her own stance. What she communicated under the guise of truth was false. On national television, she inaccurately relayed her church’s stance on life. Now here’s an observation, but not necessarily a judgment upon Pelosi. I’m sure her intentions were good, but I learned a long time ago that good intentions matter not. Follow through is what counts. Many well meaning persons never realize their potential with good intentions. Here are a couple of thoughts.

First, you should know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth and tout your statements as fact. If you’re going to communicate the church’s position, then know the position. If you’re going to communicate truth, and reference it as such, then know what you’re speaking about and its source. You’ve got to know the facts. Obviously, Pelosi didn’t know the facts. Please, if you’re going to communicate the church’s position and biblical principles/precepts then please know what you’re communicating. The world is confusing enough without convoluting truth in a culture that struggles with absolute truth.

Second, I think there’s a correlation between church attendance/participation and understanding what the church teaches. Apparently, according to church officials, she sporadically attends church. Her attendance is spread out among a couple of parishes. Maybe that’s a politics thing, I don’t know. One of “her” pastors termed her as a part-time attender. That’s a disengaged attender. You can’t learn if you don’t go. Too many folks claim a religious affiliation or heritage yet rarely warm the pew. Maybe by attending church more often, you’d learn more about its teachings. It is just a thought, but worth exploring.

The government has imposed guidelines for what can be said from the pulpit of our local churches. This didn’t exist in generations past. The consequence for violating these guidelines potentially jeopardizes the church’s tax exemption status. What are the guidelines of elected officials misrepresenting the positions of the church? Is there a consequence?