The Collusion Of Church and State

October 17, 2019
Posted in Blog
October 17, 2019 Editor

Published on Thursday, October 17, 2019

Common Dreams

by Robert C. Koehler

Where are the values—religious or otherwise—that can save this recklessly careening, war-addicted, carbon-spewing state from participating both in its own and the whole planet’s destruction?

photo above: Considering that Pompeo is widely known as both a war hawk—a proponent of war with Iran—and an ally of blatant Islamophobes, his declaration of service to a perfect God is definitely troubling. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WN: Again, as in the previous post, the author speaks truth.

excerpts:

Intrigued by the controversy that erupted over Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech before the American Association of Christian Counselors last week in Nashville—it was titled “Being a Christian Leader” and was eventually removed from the State Department website—I wound up reading the whole speech. And I actually found one paragraph that I liked.

I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, ta tum, the controversy:

Considering that Pompeo is widely known as both a war hawk—a proponent of war with Iran—and an ally of blatant Islamophobes, his declaration of service to a perfect God is definitely troubling. It’s one step away from claiming divine justification for persecution of a given enemy.

Yes, yes, we need separation of church and state, and Pompeo’s headline-declaration of faith no doubt violated political propriety, but the real issue here is a little too gooey to be contained by political correctness. You know: Religion must stay over there in that corner while government goes about its business—wages war, maintains a nuclear arsenal, entertains the American public with air and water shows—free of all unelected interference . . . except, uh, financial interference, which is always appropriate and always welcome.

In other words, separation of church and state is small potatoes and hardly comes close to addressing the real issues of the day. Church and state, not to mention corporate wealth, are far too full of themselves and they all need to be contained by values that are immune to the corruption of power.

“We should all remember,”Pompeo told his audience, to a fusillade of applause, “. . . that we are imperfect servants serving a perfect God who constantly forgives us each and every day. He keeps using us—he keeps using us to do a higher work. And my work at the State Department, as it is for those who work alongside of me, is to serve America each and every day.”

Here’s where I felt the speech turn dangerous and start oozing collusion of church and state—the very thing the nation’s founders were allegedly worried about. To be an “imperfect servant of a perfect God”implies that one has a relationship with perfection: indeed, that one takes orders from a perfect being. Considering that Pompeo is widely known as both a war hawk—a proponent of war with Iran—and an ally of blatant Islamophobes, his declaration of service to a perfect God is definitely troubling. It’s one step away from claiming divine justification for persecution of a given enemy.

But back to Secretary Pompeo for just a moment. As much as I felt that the anger over the official posting of his “Being a Christian Leader”speech was justified, there was a paragraph in the speech that held me in momentary awe. Speaking of the difficulty of the job, he quoted Abraham Lincoln:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”

I believe most of the planet is on its knees right now, as the climate shifts, the fires rage, people’s homes become unlivable and Constantine’s jets and drones buzz overhead, loosing their bombs on the non-believers.

Please click on: Church and State Collusion

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.

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