Wednesday, July 16, 2008

UPDATE --- The Church in MO CIty Hall

As I had posted previously, Steve Helms is a clerk in one MO county & Steve has the idea that faith can be given a Most Favored Status by his official gov't office. Even after a citizen complaint, the Good Clerk believed that his poster was appropriate, despite the fact the poster was clearly sectarian. As long as it was his office, Helms said, the poster stayed because it reflected the Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation's founding.

Well, it would seem the lawyers convinced Mr. Helms of the error of his ways. According to the News-Leader, the lawyers agreed that he had no legal standing for his poster.

Let's hope his history was corrected as well.

Nonetheless, Mr. Helms has ordered 100 copies of the poster & has said he will give a copy to anyone who wants it.

That is the way it should be.

Gov't must remain neutral in matters of faith at all times, even when it is the faith of the majority --- even when it is my own faith. We Baptists have a history that knows all too well what happens when the majority decides minority faiths are heretical & unworthy of an audience: oppression. It wasn't just in Colonial America where the minority faiths were persecuted: history is replete with this guaranteed reality. Where church & gov't intersect, there is a danger that one or both will begin to control the other & the result is always a means of using the majority faith to coerce others.

Maybe this seems not that big a deal to many people. It was, after all, just a poster. But it could just as easily have been a display on the courthouse lawn; a revival service before a council meeting; an Official Call for Prayers towards Mecca; or even a sacrifice to the Big Oak Tree Out Back, right there in the council chambers.

Let there be no chinks in the Wall of Separation.