Friday, September 24, 2004

Church Politics

This evening I was on the telephone talking with my mother; we chatted about what was on Fox news right at that moment. It seems there is a lot of talk about bloggers lately; see what you've done Dan Rather? The conversation meandered around aimlessly, as all really good conversations do, and touched on all of the usual topics that we like to discuss like the election, the war, and her grandson.

During the course of our conversation my mother mentioned that a visiting pastor at her church was expounding on the virtues of voting your principles. She said that he stood there and talked to the congregation about how important it was for every American to vote, to take part in the system, and how it was important to cast informed votes based on their principles as christians. The man mentioned no candidate's name, he merely stated that they should vote according to their conscience, not the latest sentiments pushed by the media.

When she started telling me about it my first impulse was to warn her that they should be careful lest the church get it's tax-free status revoked. I've heard of such things happening to evangelical churches that discuss politics. It could happen to any church, unless the speaker is a Democrat like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

I immediately felt ashamed and checked myself before I told her what I was thinking. We are in the United States of America. This is not Nazi Germany. This is not the USSR. Why should I warn my own mother that bad things could happen to her church if they utter anything political? It may be a fact that it could happen but it is wrong to worry about such things here. We are a free people in a free society. Conservatives have the same freedoms of speech and assembly as the liberals. I felt ashamed because in this great nation, with these God-given rights, I felt moved to tell my mother that her church should be careful about telling it's congregation that it was important to go out and vote against partial-birth abortion and gay marriage. I felt ashamed because for a moment I was knuckling under. I was playing the liberal's game.

People, don't be intimidated by strong arm tactics. If the left can walk into a church and scare it's congregation into voting Democrat because the Republicans want to do various and sundry evil things in the world, then it is only just that a small church can discuss which candidate will best uphold the standards that they expect in a leader.

Okay, I have that off my chest now.