Obama’s Most Important Choice about Church: Keeping it Separate from the State

The New York Times has a front page story on the next important decision President Obama will make: where to go to church for Easter Sunday.

In a briefing for reporters on Friday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed that President Obama and his family will be attending services at a Washington, D.C. area church tomorrow, but he wouldn’t say where. The Obamas last attended services on the Sunday before the inauguration, choosing to visit Washington’s Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, which incidentally is on 16th St., N.W.

Personally, I don’t care where the President worships God, or for that matter, if he worships God. What’s more important to me is that the President uphold the Constitutional principle of the separation of Church and state. In his visit to Turkey this past week, the President demonstrated that he understands this principle, but his remarks clearly upset the theocrats within the GOP.

As a Christian in the Baptist tradition, I believe in the strict separation of Church and State. I don’t want the government to favor one faith over another and I certainly don’t want the government to sanction prayer in schools. (But as a friend of mine once said, as long as there are math tests, there will be prayer in schools.)

The reasons for my opposition go back to the basic tenets of Christianity. Jesus invites us to His table, but no one should compel us to come. When we come, we come not because we must, but because we may.

But back to President Obama and his church choice. It seems to me the most important thing a church can offer the Obamas is a place where they can connect to unofficial Washington. Finding that in a community of faith will go a long way toward keeping the President and his family grounded and focused on what really matters in life. If a local church can help the President and his family in that regard, we’ll all be better off.


Filed under Obama administration, Separation of Church and State

2 responses to “Obama’s Most Important Choice about Church: Keeping it Separate from the State

  1. patchman

    Separation of Church and State wasn’t meant to used in a metaphorical sense for the division of Church and State. If the creator of this site were to look into her Va. Historical roots, she would find that the State actually required people to attend Church in order to fill certain posts. I have roots in the Mason family from Stafford and Faquier counties. (Faquier not yet established) I was inspired to read the book “The Five George Masons”, wherein you could get a feel for the spirit of that time and place.

    We need to understand the mind-set of that time period. Why would Christians involved in local politics desire to see a separation of church and State? For one, it would give them the freedom to worship in a manner and Church of their choosing. It would also loosen the yoke that England held over them. Of course the non-Christian would back up any such separation. Such separation was initiated by Christians, not the non-Christian. It’s important to understand this foundation.

    Here is understanding; The seed of a annual plant can’t produce a perennial. A non-Christian wants division, whereas the Christian looks for separation. There is a big difference. Separation is more of an arrangement, or setting things apart in order. Division is like having a wall between one and another. It’s more akin to the position of a ‘widow’ or one who is legally divorced. Separation is more of a legal arrangement where certain bounds are agreed upon. Its absurd to imagine that the Christian wouldn’t want his faith and morals involved with his political ideas.

    The concept appears simple, but in truth it’s deeply spiritual. It’s logical, but no one notices it. Why? Because spiritually, ‘if you can divide you can conquer.’ Herein is how spiritual wickedness can take the Christian and place them on the side of the unbeliever. Understand that when a non-Christian speaks of separation of Church and State, they really mean division, and they say that’s what the forefathers meant. If a wall is placed between your leaders and your Christian beliefs, in time the leaders will fall and the city/country with it.

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