TERRE HAUTE —
I first wrote the following words in November 2004. Unfortunately, things don’t appear to have changed all that much. So, here goes — prepare yourselves for a “rerun.”
Charles J. Chaput, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Denver, said, “Democracy depends on people of conviction expressing their views, confidently and without embarrassment. This give-and-take is an American tradition, and religious believers play a vital role in it. We don’t serve our country — in fact we weaken it intellectually — if we downplay our principles or fail to speak forcefully out of some misguided sense of good manners.” (You can read the whole essay on www.orthdoxy
The role of faith and religion has become a hot topic politically. Those with conservative religious views are told they are trying to “impose their beliefs on society.” Let’s say you and a friend disagree about abortion. Your friend says that a fetus is a fetus till birth, when it becomes a baby with its first breath. You counter with Scripture, including 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 that says our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, received from God and bought with a price and that we are to honor God with our body, then you will more than likely be told you are trying to impose your religious beliefs on someone and that is a wrong thing to do. If you say you are merely wanting a healthy debate (as explained by Archbishop Chaput), you might be told that religion has no place in politics and it would be best if you kept your religious views to yourself.
I overheard a conversation in the grocery store — I didn’t eavesdrop; it was one of those overly loud conversations between two people who didn’t care if the whole store listened in on what they were saying! One said to the other, “I’m sick of all this religious nonsense we are hearing about with this election. Don’t people know about the separation of church and state?”
Those two phrases — “imposing beliefs” and “separation of church and state” are used for one purpose only: to stop Christians from debating moral issues. We have laws in place that were written and are carried out by those who impose their beliefs on the rest of us. It’s what keeps us from living in chaotic anarchy.
For the most part, separation of church and state, is a good thing. None of us want our churches controlled and manipulated by the government. The separation of church and state promotes the protection of religious freedom, not the absence of religious freedom. When someone invokes the separation of church and state, what they really want to invoke is the silence of the church.
God forbid! It’s time we realize, as Chaput says, that “exiling religion from civic debates separates government from morality … That road leads to politics without character.” It’s time we realize that it’s time to speak up. The future of our country depends on our doing just that.
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at
TERRE HAUTE —
Lizzy Long, Little Roy Lewis to perform at Union Christian Church in March
Lizzy Long and Little Roy Lewis are scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m. March 28 at Union Christian Church, 5350 E. Hulman Drive.
THE JOY LADY: Don’t let the grouchiness seep in with the snow
I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but people are starting to get… well… umm… how can I say it gracefully? People are starting to get grouchy. And that makes me kinda grouchy, too.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Feb. 22, 2013
Lenten book study series set
Those who wonder what happened during the second Vatican Council can plan to attend a Lenten study series based on John W. O’Malley’s book, “What Happened at Vatican II,” scheduled for the four Thursdays in March.
National Catholic Sisters Week
Sister Editha Ben, vocation director for the Sisters of Providence, will attend the first National Catholic Sisters Week March 8-14 along with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College student Josephine Nieto.
Joy Lady: Finding the importance of truth described in the Bible
The Bible. It’s my favorite book of all time. I read it. I study it. I teach it. I quote from it. I write about it. I sing songs about it. I love the Bible in many formats, for I use several translations and paraphrases. And I’ve even been known to borrow my husband’s Greek New Testament to check on some phrase or word from the original.
- Church briefs; Feb. 15, 2014
Ministry hosts teen suicide presentation; announces call for actors
Innovative Anointed Ministries in Terre Haute is hosting a presentation Saturday, Feb. 15, on teen suicide, and how people should not be afraid to speak out and help save lives among their peers.
“Speak Life — Show Love” begins at noon Saturday in Saints Home Church of God In Christ at 2210 N. 13th St.
Church presents ‘Love Languages’ author’s video seminar on Valentine’s weekend
Gary Chapman wrote the original edition of “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” in 1979.
Now a nationally known author and relationship counselor, with a radio program heard on more than 100 stations across the United States, Chapman first published the book under the title, “Toward a Growing Marriage,” 35 years ago.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Feb. 8, 2013
THE JOY LADY: A half-crazed squirrel, Sister Bertha and secret sins
Today we’re going to discuss Sister Bertha Better Than You. She’s the dear sister who was immortalized in Ray Stevens’ “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival.”
Brenda Doreen Murphy
MARTINSVILLE, Ill. — Brenda Doreen Murphy, 66, of Martinsville, passed away at 5:55 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at her home.
THE JOY LADY: Be joyful, pray continually, give thanks for God’s glory
There’s a special framed picture in our house.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: Feb. 1, 2014
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Jan. 25, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Those good Old Testament stories teach us many lessons
I love a good story — the kind of story that makes me think about it long after I’ve heard it or read about it.
Joy Lady: Jesus’ last words give step-by-step approach to personal evangelism
We all want to have the last word, don’t we?
- Church briefs: Jan. 18, 2014
‘Winter Night of Prayer’ set for Thursday
The Sisters of Providence invite people of all faith traditions to St. Mary-of-the-Woods for “A Winter Night of Prayer” in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
Joy Lady: Wish we would all be a bit more child-like; don’t you?
Recently, our two oldest grandchildren spent a few days with us. When their parents came to pick them up, their daddy asked them, “What was the best thing about staying here?” Without hesitation, they both pointed to my husband and me and said, “Being with Nonnie and Papaw!” It melted our hearts.
- Church briefs: Jan. 11, 2013
Joy Lady: Want a way to keep your resolutions? Resolve to change your thinking
It should come as no surprise to my regular readers that I don’t “do” new year’s resolutions. Nope. Don’t believe in them. In fact, the entire time I’ve written this little column — going on 14 years, now — I have not once dedicated a column to any new year’s resolutions. I’ve confessed that I know any resolution or promise I make will be one I will break before the new year is even a week old. I’m just that kind of gal.
- Church briefs: Jan. 4, 2013
Joy Lady: We shouldn’t play the exchange game with God
The packages have been opened and the wrappings discarded. The toys have been played with. The electronics have had their batteries charged and their software downloaded. The cookies and candy have been passed around and eaten. The leftovers have been forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. That’s because Christmas is … well, it’s ummm … it’s over. Now it’s the season for The Great Gift Exchange.
- Church briefs: Dec. 28, 2013
Seven Sisters of Providence celebrate 70 years
This year, seven Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate 70 years in the congregation.
Joy Lady: At the top of my list of favorite things …
Here is this year’s list of a few of my favorite things.
- Church briefs: Dec. 21, 2013
Four celebrate 75, 80 years as Sisters
This year two Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods will celebrate 75 years in the congregation, and two will mark 80-year anniversaries.
New Providence Associates commit to works of love, mercy, justice
Recently 21 Providence Associates pledged “to make a commitment that will honor Divine Providence and further God’s loving plans through works of love, mercy and justice in service among God’s people.” Most did so in a ceremony Nov. 9 in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.
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- Lizzy Long, Little Roy Lewis to perform at Union Christian Church in March