Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pastors on wrong side of issue, can't have it both ways

The Ebola crisis has taken some of the focus away from other stories, although one issue a rising above the noise about the deadly disease. (By the way, I am working on the medical discussion.)

The right-wing cackling crowd and pundit classes have launched a campaign against the Houston officials who have subpoenaed sermons from pastors who opposed, and from their pulpits lobbied against, a failed attempt to overturn a human rights ordinance in Houston. The Texas Tribune reportson the situation and ABC News reported on it Thursday evening.

How ironic is it that leadership of Christian churches would oppose equal rights for anyone? But, that aside, we had a long-standing tradition in our country of separation of church and state. The faux outrage of the right-wing Christian community reflects that community's attempt to impose their churches’ views on our state. This troubling trend over the past three decades or so has led to the hot-button issue fights over birth control, abortion and gay marriage.

In all of the coverage of this issue in which the pastors are given substantial voice about the violation of their rights, I have not seen anyone point out that the religious community is acting in a political fashion that imposes their views on others' rights. In fact, given the long standing tradition of separation of church and state and the prohibition of using the church to influence political decisions, these actions should jeopardize the nonprofit status of those churches interfering in the political process.

In short, if these pastors want to engage in the political world, that they have to expect to play by the rules in the political world. And so, if that makes someone acting in a fashion that requires investigation and a subpoena, they will have to get used to it.

Like many of the right-wing and fundamentalist Christian branches these days, these pastors can't cope with the facts that life is a two-way street. They can't have it both ways.

How sad that they forget Jesus' admonition to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.