Separating church and state


If Hillary Clinton had joked at a big dinner for journalists that she uses condoms as Christmas tree ornaments, her audience would have thought (and not laughed), 'wait a minute, she does use condoms as Christmas tree ornaments!'

What made Laura Bush's routine the other night so funny is that she does not watch 'Desperate Housewives' and she does not frequent Chippendales. But this reality has been lost on some Christians, who have criticized her slightly risque monologue.

The churches of America have more important things to worry about than the First Lady's comedy leanings.  For instance, there are ministers in this land who turn over their pulpits to Democrat presidential contenders who wholeheartedly support abortion. There are ministers in the heartland that seek riches and fame above all else.  What's worse is that there are churchgoers who allow themselves to be bamboozled by these hustlers in priestly garb.  We send our $5, $10, or $50 gift to receive the tape series that we 'must have' to enter into the prosperity that is rightfully ours. 

As a Christian, this is what offends me:  preachers saying Jesus was rich because his robe was so valuable that Roman soldiers gambled to have it rather than tear it asunder as they did his other garments.  That robe represented the authority of heaven Jesus carried and was spared destruction for men and women who would accept that mantle as their own. Instead, it's been used to earn a million bucks 'God's way.'

If the President and Mrs. Bush share a laugh or two at an annual dinner designed for that purpose, and that enables them to break some tension associated with their positions, then God bless them. 

On the other hand, what is passing for 'church' in a growing number of communities around the country is not a laughing matter at all.  Let us all work to address that 'offense'.

J. James Estrada   5 03 05