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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Drawing the line
on religious state

c We’ve all heard and read enough about elections these past few months to last a lifetime. I am taking Timothy Lara’s advice to write a column about it anyway.

I didn’t listen to much of the rhetoric in the Presidential campaign, because my mind was made up long ago, and it would have been a waste of time to hear the candidates trash each other. I understand, though, that George Bush’s moral stance attracted a lot of votes from what some call the “religious right.”

Birdie Slack, who has my admiration for her political activism as well as her Christian example, says it was the Christian vote that put Bush over the top.

More of us probably should follow Birdie’s example and take more responsibility for government at all levels. Not just to vote, but to offer ourselves for public office at the local level first, then move up if we are qualified. (I’m not, so don’t even think it.)

We are not all going to agree on candidates, nor on issues, actions or policies. I am looking at an address card for my sister-in-law, whose political stance is 180 degrees from mine. One of my sisters agrees with her. I think the other one would agree with me. We are all Christians, so that has little or nothing to do with it.

Some of our founding fathers were Christian. Some were not. They got together and pounded out a document that would serve the best interests of everyone. Written into it are protections against government intervention in religion and in the private lives of individuals.

My recent perusal of a booklet on the Inquisitions in Europe, written from a Catholic point of view, points up the danger in an alliance between government and religion. We might also take a warning from the turmoil in the Middle East, much of which has a religious undertone.

A surge in both patriotism and Christianity following the 9-11 tragedy may have blurred the lines somewhat. I see that some Baptists are warning that the American flag has no place in the church sanctuary. Christians should have a concern for all the world, not just America, they say.

Others say that America cannot police the whole world, and we should never have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. I like Robert Fulghim’s answer to that. Maybe, maybe not.

“This is the year when the Lord God will show kindness to us and punish our enemies.” Isaiah 61:2, CEV

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is Enterprise business manager and webmaster. Contact her at

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