LETTERS

On religion and politics

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune

In Jon Koonsman's Sunday article, he laments, in effect, that the Democratic Party platform does not shamelessly manipulate Christianity for political purposes and that it does not abandon the Constitution in favor of a state-directed religion as does the Republican Party in its platform. Well sir, let me give you 'a bit of history' -- these United States of America are a Democratic Republic, not a theocracy, and that our very first amendment in the Bill of Rights states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." Yes, many of our Founding Fathers did flee persecution from King George's Church of England but they had no intention of becoming persecutors themselves by implementing a Church of America. ?You see, we Democrats understand the need to maintain a separation of church and state so modern day Pharisees like yourself who haughtily assume to know God's will can't force your interpretation of the Bible down our throats. We are and should be free to practice what we believe. Does it mean Democrats do not have religion? No. It means that Democrats respect religion and don't use abuse and misrepresent it for political advantage like Republicans do. Christ said: "Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray while standing in synagogues and on street corners so that people can see them... But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6).? On Sunday, be wary. There are those who would not only bring the moneylender but the politician into the House of God. God is not a Republican or a Democrat! If the Sunday school lesson or sermon mirrors the Republican Party platform, then it is not a church you are in but a Republican Country Club for those who would choose a Christianity of convenience over the true word and for those who would put on the mantle of righteousness by narrowing their vision to some of God's truth and turning a blind eye to the rest of it. Politics does not belong in the church, and religion does not belong in politics. Your spiritual salvation does not depend upon you being a Republican or a Democrat. But, Mr. Koonsman, if the actions of the Republican Party sum up Christianity, then I think you're on a highway to hell.

Michael Snyder

Stephenville