Tag Archives: free exercise clause

Tension Between Two Friends: Church and State

Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.

As a practicing attorney and a practicing church mediator, I have an interest in issues pertaining to religious liberties.  In fact, it just may be that there is a series of posts coming in the future on this topic.  But with the  old debates in California over Proposition 8 and with the “experiment” by some conservative churches involved in political campaigning in the most recent presidential election, I noticed some pretty loose interpretations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  So, I thought I would chime in.

First, let me just say that, as a Christian lawyer (no, that is not an oxymoron) “the church” and “the state” are both good friends of mine.  I love them both and am loyal to them both.  So, I get a little miffed when either of them is misrepresented by “voices” in our culture who, frankly, haven’t studied either of them enough to be speaking on them in public forums.  Even  with 26 years of law practice and 30 years of Bible teaching under my belt, I don’t consider myself an expert on these issues.  But I think I can at least dialogue about them intelligently.  I cannot say the same for many of the voices I have seen and heard recently.  For the sake of the kingdom and the testimony of Christians everywhere, please do your homework before you sound off on issues of church and state.

Second, let me say that these issues involving church and state are dynamic issues, constantly morphing and shifting (even in the Supreme Court’s opinions over the last few decades) and are “blurry” to say the least.  So whenever you see or hear someone talking about …