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 —
Walk through Bethlehem
The second Walk through Bethlehem Christmas is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Vermillion County Fairgrounds in Cayuga.
Church to present ‘Music Inspired by The Story’
The Worship Arts Ministry of First Christian Church in Brazil will present “Music Inspired by The Story” at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the church auditorium. This multi-media program will feature the FCC Worship Band, Choir and several soloists.
Thirteen celebrate 60 years as Sisters of Providence
This year 13 Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods celebrate 60 years in the Congregation. In addition to other ministries through the years, six sisters served in the Wabash Valley, giving 105 total years of service at the places listed below.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: Dec. 7, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Shouldn’t we follow that star, bow down and worship Him?
Ask any person in any group of people to name a star, and you will get surprising answers. For instance, if you ask this certain preacher I know for the name of a star, he will smile and say, “Sandra Bullock.”
VERNA DAVIS Remember the perfect gift has already been given
I know some people who are experts at buying gifts. No matter what the circumstance, they find just the right gift for the right person at the right time. I envy those people.
CHURCH BRIEFS: Nov. 30, 2013
- Church briefs: Nov. 23, 2013
The Joy Lady: It shouldn’t be difficult to hide His Word in your heart
Psalm 119 is an interesting Psalm, too. Not only is it the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 devotes eight verses about God and His Word to each of the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
- Church Briefs: Nov. 16, 2013
Campus minister making a difference
When new campus minister Andrea Beyke drove through the Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College gates for the first time, she knew she was home.
Providence Center Gift Shop plans moving sale
The Gift Shop at Providence Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, is having a moving sale from Sunday to Dec. 15.
Joy Lady: ‘Everything that we have … comes from God’
If I were in charge of the world, I would make sure that under-eye concealers would actually conceal the bags under my eyes. I would make my cheeks blush only when I want them to, and my lipstick would never wear off. I would make my eyes do their own bifocaling so I would no longer need glasses. And that’s just to take care of my face.
- Church briefs: Nov. 9, 2013
Gary woman receives Guerin Ministries award
Frances Ginther of Gary was recently named the Guerin Outreach Ministries Leadership and Advocacy Award recipient for 2013.
- Church briefs: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: What’s a Christian to do when bad things happen?
Remember that children’s book by Judith Viorst titled “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day?” The story recounts how, through no fault of his own, things were not going well for poor Alexander. Boy, can I relate. Last week was a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad week for me. It was only God’s hand sustaining me that got me through it.
Sisters of Providence retreat offers spiritual renewal
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to retreat to St. Mary-of-the-Woods Nov. 8-13 for the retreat, “Woodscape: A Week at the Woods.”
Maple Avenue Church to host turkey dinner
Maple Avenue United Methodist Church will host its annual turkey dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the Family Life Center, 1203 Maple Ave.
- Briefly: Oct. 26, 2013
Joy Lady: Do we have so many blessings we have forgotten to thank God?
My father was a romantic soul. He would often buy flowers or perfume or jewelry for Mom for no reason other than he loved her. He went all out for anniversaries — new dress for Mom, dinner at a nice restaurant, and a mushy romantic card. But, there was one anniversary that was a bit different. It was Tuesday, Oct. 8, 1968, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
- Briefly: Oct. 19, 2013
Marshall church planning annual Chili Day
First United Methodist Church is planning its annual Chili Day for Nov. 5. The church is at 702 Plum St., in Marshall, Ill.
- Church briefs: Oct. 19, 2013
Church Lady: Music and singing in church is all about worshiping God
OK. Check the front of the nearest Methodist hymnal for “John Wesley’s Rules of Congregational Singing,” written in 1761. Among other things, Mr. Wesley wanted church-goers to learn the hymns before they learned any other tunes.
- Briefly: October 12, 2013
- Church briefs: October 12, 2013
Third Thursday lecture at ISU to address religion, marriage equality
The ISU Center for the Study of Health Religion and Spirituality is scheduled to present the second of its monthly Third Thursday Lecture and Discussion Series programs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
Clinton church to celebrate anniversary
First Christian Church of Clinton will celebrate the 125th anniversary of its organization, along with the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for the present-day sanctuary, during the 10 a.m. worship service on Sunday.
- Church briefs: October 5, 2013
- More Religion Headlines
- Walk through Bethlehem