Friday, August 04, 2006
When I started this blog, I was determined that I would not write anything out of anger. But only a month into the blog, I am going to break that. Today I read an article about a ruling of US District Judge Robert Pratt. He ruled a Christian program called the InnerChange Freedom Initiative in Iowa unconstitutional because it violates church and state. If he would have left it at that, it would not have been a big deal. This program, which has been very successful, is an evangelical effort to help prisoners rehabilitate and gets money from the Faith-based initiatives. What Judge Pratt did that greatly overstepped his bounds was define evangelicalism in a twelve page opinion. He found that Evangelical Christianity to be "anti-sacrimental which downplays baptism, holy communion, marriage and ordination." Evangelicals are also "comtemptuous of Roman Catholic practices." I'm all for seperation of church and state. Whenever the church gets into bed with the government, the church gets raped. However, what this man did was as a judge define Evangelicalism as a narrow, mean-spirited minority. He also took a step toward a court defining what is and what is not legitiment theology. Seperation of church and state was really created to protect the church from government. Why then in this ruling, supposedly upholding church and state, did a government appointed judge define evangelicalism? That is over the boundary that the government is supposed to abide by because it could then be applied to any church-related program that does good in society. I hope this decision gets thrown out in appeals court.