I was asked to deliver the invocation at an event that brought representatives from various NV towns together a while back.  After I had done so, someone from some other city asked me why I did what I had done.  I told her I was the Chaplain for the City Fire Department and I was asked.  She told me that it was inappropriate for me to pray at a government function.  I suggested “the separation of church and state?”.  She replied yes, religion (any religion) does not belong in government.  I told her that I disagreed.  She asked why. 

First of all, I told her it would be impossible to separate a person’s religious convictions from the person.  I pointed out that even she could not do it.  Secondly I told her that Christianity in particular was important to the life of a city.  Christian History is full of examples of people bringing their religion into government – for better.  She asked for examples, and after about the fifth person I mentioned, she then repeated that religion has no place in the public life.

I told her (again) I disagreed.  I told her that through my preaching I hope to bring people closer to God.  Being closer to God makes us better people – better citizens of the community.  For example, Jesus taught we should pay our taxes, that we should obey the laws of the land, that we should take care of those who cannot care for themselves.  The more the Christian does what they are supposed to do – the lighter the burden on the government.

Of course she brought up all the “religious bigots” the abortion clinic bombers, etc.  “you mean ‘the nuts’?” I said.  She smiled and said yes.  I told her I question both the teaching they have received and their dedication to God.  Sure they “believe” they are serving God, but I know Him and I know He would not ask anyone to do or say these things.  As a pastor I most definitely do not teach that people should.  Though I do believe that at some point the laws established will contradict God’s clear direction for people and at that point Christians are going to have to act – but not with violence or threats.

She “thanked” me and walked away saying, “still……” 


You can’t win them all