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 —
Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations
Terre Haute residents are invited to donate their shoes to help millions of peopleworldwide with a shoe drive at Cross Lane Community Church on June 2.
- Church briefs: May 18, 2013
The Joy Lady: A good morning: everything that rises must converge
Last Monday, I had a good morning.
Unity Presbyterian plans retirement open house
The congregation of Unity Presbyterian Church will stage a retirement celebration open house to honor the church’s pastor, Linda Jo Peters, from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 19 at 1207 E. Springhill Drive.
Organist will be the featured guest at church
Organist Benjamin Kolodziej will be the featured guest at an organ recital at 4 p.m. on May 19 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 645 Poplar St.
THE JOY LADY: Call your mom; tell her you love her, that you miss her
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution proclaiming “the second Sunday in May to be hereafter known as ‘Mother’s Day.’”
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 11, 2013
Celebrate the women in your life with The Living Rosary
On Friday, May 10, join the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods for The Living Rosary and experience the grace and power many people have discovered by “praying by hand.”
THE JOY LADY: When awe leaves us, we leave room for doubt
In any given gathering of grade-schoolers or even a gaggle of teenagers, in all likelihood, you will hear certain words over and over:
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
- RELIGION BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
Good Friday service today at St. George Orthodox
St. George Orthodox Church at 1900 S. Fourth St., Terre Haute, will celebrate its Good Friday service at 7 p.m. today (May 3) and its Easter service at 9 p.m. Saturday. The Agape (Love) service will be conducted at noon on Sunday.
Organist’s concert May 5
Organist Jonathan Rudy will be in concert performing works from the 1600’s to the present day at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
The concert is free and open to the public.
THE JOY LADY: Christ is coming again. Are you ready for that?
An older couple had a grandfather clock that announced each hour with the ringing of chimes.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 27, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Let us pray that our hearts be blessed by God
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my uncle and his family in Florida.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 20, 2013
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
THE JOY LADY: You can learn a lot from a box of crayons
Denis Omar is a handsome third-grader in Ocotillo, Honduras. The last time I was in his home, his colored chalk drawings decorated the concrete block walls. His mother said when she got tired of one drawing, she’d wash the wall and have Denis draw another.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
BBQ fundraiser April 13 at Allen Chapel
Historic Allen Chapel’s annual barbecue dinner fundraiser is Saturday, April 13, in the Chapel at Third and Crawford streets. Serving will be from noon to 6 p.m. with a full-line of dinner, sandwiches, sides and desserts available. Chef Stephen Miller, formerly owner of the Black Skillet and now a caterer in Cincinnati, will again prepare the barbecue.
THE JOY LADY: Most complaints tend to be pretty selfish
Complainers never think they are in the wrong. How could they be when they know everyone else is so wrong?
Church briefs: April 6, 2013
What's going on this week at area churches.
THE JOY LADY: Our attendance in worship services encourages other worshippers
There are all kinds of church attendees. Some attend church services once or twice a month, some once or twice a year. Some attend only Sunday morning worship.
African children’s choir to perform at Mount Pleasant
The Watoto Children’s Choir, traveling from Africa, began its five-month eastern U.S. tour in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Oct. 6 and are continuing the tour through Terre Haute, Lebanon, Indianapolis, Peru, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville and Vevay, from April 16 to May 1. All performances are free and open to the public.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 30, 2013
- Religion briefs: March 30, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Is it time to change your habits, attitudes?
I’m usually introduced to people as “the preacher’s wife.” No name, just “the preacher’s wife.” But I’d prefer being known by what I call my “I am” statements. For instance, I am a wife. I am a speaker, I am a writer. I am a mother, I am a mother-in-law, I am a grandmother.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 23, 2013
Public invited to explore Guerin’s connection to nature
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to St. Mary-of-the-Woods on April 6 to explore Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her connection to nature.
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- Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations