We were inundated recently by the media with around the clock coverage of the unprecedented, historical visit of the Pope that climaxed with his address before the United States Congress. It seemed that the whole world waited in anticipation as the excitement grew. This was unheard of – The worldwide leader of the Catholic Church, and some would even say the foremost Christian leader of the world, speaking to the Congress of the United States!
But wait! I thought we had laws about “separation of church and state!” I thought it was illegal to mix religion and politics. I was under the assumption (and you know what they say assuming does) that someone would have stopped this terrible illegal atrocity before it happened. I thought that for a certainty the ACLU would appear on the scene at any given moment, filing law suits and protesting and raving about the church/state line being crossed. I mean, this is Constitutional law, isn’t it; the government and the church separation thing? (Well, actually no. It is not to be found in the Constitution. But that’s another topic for another day.)
But my problem with all of this is that the Pope gets a free pass to mix with and give his religious speech to the lawmakers of the land; the very ones that stand behind the liberal courts, who declare this type of activity to be unlawful, unconstitutional and a blight in our country. Could it be that the rules are good for some at times, but not necessarily good for others? Hmm…Couldn’t be that, could it? Who made the decision that the Pope could come to the “halls of justice” (gag) and give his speech? Who temporarily overlooked the law to suit themselves?
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy here? Let’s look at some contrasting examples:
. An elementary school child in Plano, Texas passes out candy canes at Christmas to his classmates with a note describing how the striped cane speaks of Jesus and the school principal said he could not pass them out and this has led to court cases and nationwide recognition.
. Nativity scenes on courthouse lawns are declared to be unconstitutional.
. The Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross stood for 70 years in the Mojave National Preserve without a problem. One man in Oregon complained and the ACLU filed suit.
. A moment of silence (not prayer) at a public school statue was ruled to be unconstitutional because the original motivation for the placement of the statue was the encouragement to pray.
. A school board that posted a list of “common precepts” was brought to court because these precepts are based on the Bible.
. The state motto of Ohio, “With God all things are possible,” was seen as “Government endorsement of the Christian religion.”
All of these are just a small sampling of hundreds of cases that stem from the notion that our government and religion are to remain totally separated. The court rulings have said that any endorsement by the government of Christianity is unconstitutional. However, the Pope addresses the joint session of Congress, the world goes “ga ga crazy” about it and it’s ok.
But let an elementary school kid say a prayer at school over her lunch or bring a Bible to school and, brother you have a criminal on your hands that needs to be dealt with.
I’m not Catholic and I don’t have a problem with the Pope addressing the joint session of Congress. I think it would be a great idea for Congress to bring ministers in on a regular basis and address these leaders. God knows they need some moral instruction from somewhere. They are obviously not getting it on their own.
What I am opposed to is the hypocritical government bodies that throw so many resources and energy at censuring people for their Christian beliefs and then give this man time before them and greet him with thunderous applause. (I do offer the Pope kudos for visiting Kim Davis while he was here.)
So I ask, “Where was the outrage?” Where was the ACLU? Where was the Freedom from Religion Foundation? Where was Southern Poverty Law Center? Surely the actions by the Pope and Congress were much more heinous than a silent gathering around a statue in light of the Establishment Clause.
But they were all strangely quiet about the Pope. However, all these organizations and many more have joined in efforts to silence religious speech and practice across our land. This seems to be hypocritical political correctness at its best (or worst).
But, I suppose that’s just me on my soap box today. I haven’t heard very many, if any, protests. So I’ll get down now. But that’s how I feel about it.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” Isaiah 5:20