Monday, September 17, 2012

The Intersection of Church and State

Monday after Pentecost 16
September 17, 2012

The Lord be with you

The public debate centering on issues of church and state has been growing in recent years. The prominence and the potential impact of these issues make their appearance a regular item in headlines. The recent decision of the Health and Human Services Department to require health plans of religious institutions to pay for contraception is only one example. The Supreme Court convenes and decides on these controversial issues with growing regularity. Politicians line up on both sides of the issues, adding to the rancor.

"The separation of church and state" seems like the easy solution. Both church and state have their unique and separate function. The purpose of the state is to "promote the general welfare" of its citizens on this earth. The purpose of the church is to deal with spiritual issues and truth as people live out their lives in this world, with an eye to the next. Yet the intersection of these two entities is unavoidable; they both seek the improvement of the life of our country"™s citizens. Instead of being a point of controversy, this intersection can and should be an empowering relationship.

The Intersection of Church and State explores the history of this issue, especially in light of the First Amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"¦." It will explore the surprising fact that every state in colonial times had an established faith. It will examine the origin of Jefferson's description of the church-state relationship as a "high and impregnable wall of separation."

The Intersection of Church and State will trace the history of cooperation between these two groups—in bringing care to the needy, the settlement of refugees, the adoption of children, the service of military chaplains, and others ways. It will also consider how these historical church and state partnerships are jeopardized.

This groundbreaking program will suggest that a far superior metaphor in describing the church-state relationship is not one using a wall or barrier but, instead, an intersection, which benefits us all.

as paid programming
DATE: Sunday, September 30, 2012
TIME: 5:00 PM Eastern, 4:00 PM Central, 3:00 PM Mountain, and 2:00 PM Pacific.

Information for this post was taken from the Lutheran Hour Ministries web site. You can find out more by going to that site. Just click the link.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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