Churches shouldn't have to take politics out of the pulpit

Regarding your Oct. 5 editorial, "Too much politicking from the pulpit": The fundamental idea that politics and religion should not intersect or overlap is flawed. It sounds great in theory; however, in reality I would suspect that most people do not divide their worldview into secular and sacred. For better or for worse, the marriage of politics and religion will not be undermined by political correctness or even the laws governing the seperation of church and state.

We as a society must be mature enough to realize that although we all come to the table of brotherhood, we all do not sit on the same side. All Christians, Muslims, and Jews did not come to the table of America via the same journey, parentage, cultural perspectives, or starting points. Naturally we will not all share the same views on social or political issues.

How someone understands his or her faith and how a person uses his or her vote are part of a total picture of how we as a collective people create our world views.

The IRS should not seek to antogonize churches for participating in the democratic process. Yes, the church is an institution that is a community of faith, but the church is also an institution that is a community of concerned citizens who usually share the same or simular values and worldviews.

What people vote for or against is usually an extension of what they believe on a sacred level.

Therefore, I do not see anything wrong with like-minded people who happen to belong to the same institution discussing and exercising their right to vote for or endorse a particular candidate.
The Rev. Andre Lamont Leaphart
Newport News, Va.

Eating out isn't always the best choice

The Oct. 6 article, "For not that much more, Americans opting to eat out," raises some important issues. First, it underlines the reality of two Americas that exist as parallel tracks in our society. One America finds a $17 meal a cheap buy. The other America struggles to manage on Social Security payments of $800 a month or on income from low-paying jobs. After paying for rent, taxes, medical costs, utilities, fuel, gasoline, and clothing, how many restaurant meals can one afford on $800?

A second issue is the relationship of high-calorie restaurant meals and America's problem of increasing obesity among all age groups. Still another issue is the relationship of credit-card debt carried by so many Americans and the cost of meals bought outside the home.

When all but the wealthy struggle to make ends meet, even a "Big Mac" can add stress to the budget. While eating on the run may be convenient, it is not necessarily a good choice.
Dathene Stanley
West Townshend, Vt.

A mom's love shines through

Regarding Sue Diaz's Oct. 3 Opinion piece, "A soldier returns ... and his mom hopes for meaning": I have read all of Ms. Diaz's essays that have appeared in the Monitor, and I would like to say thank you to the Monitor for continuing to provide readers with her writings about her son and his military service. When these essays first appeared, I thought that they would be emotionally difficult to follow. But rather than being difficult, they have proven to be uplifting. The faith and the love she has for her son and for us, her readers, shines clearly through every line.
Tom Bliss
Kirkland, Wash.

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