Open Letter To El Paso Churches – Stay Out Of Politics [OPINION]
Last year, during the height of the fight over domestic partner benefits for El Paso city employees, the church that led the charge against those benefits, the Word of Life Church, came under fire for meddling in politics. Churches can't do that. And they shouldn't. But it has nothing to do with the IRS rules against them doing that. It has to do with God and free will.
Ok, first, a little background: Pastor Tom Brown, the head of the Word of Life Church, got all worked up over some city employees who didn't fit his definition of people worthy of getting basic health benefits - gay and unmarried people, specifically - getting health benefits even though they worked for the city, and those benefits were supposed to be available to all city employees and their families. Brown said giving health benefits to gay employees partner's would effectively change the definition of marriage.
But, just so I don't have to repeat myself, check out this blog to see why I think that's a load of baloney.
Fast forward to today's El Paso Times and a story on St. Raphael telling it's parishioners in a church bulletin back on August 5th, to "go to the polls and be united in replacing our present president with a president who will respect the Catholic Church in this country. Please pass this on to all your Catholic friends."
Well, St. Raphael Catholic Church, I'm a Catholic, and I think you guys need to stop telling people how to vote. You are not the Taliban and we are not mindless minions. God gave us free will - don't try to take it away.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can take my religious beliefs to the polling place, but when a church, ANY Church, tries to force it's way into politics, the followers of that church need to rise up and tell them, STOP!
Church law is church law, public policy is public policy. When you start mixing the two, you get people who tell us they are speaking for God, deciding to unspeakable things in His Name. I'm sure He's reallllllllly tired of that happening.
I do vote my conscience. But it is MY conscience, not my Church's. God gave me free will to question EVERYTHING, including people who tell me, in His House, to get rid of a president they don't like.
I'll vote for whomever I please, thankyouverymuch, and answer to only ONE person in the end.
And it isn't anyone on Earth.