The pastor of an evangelical church in Minnesota stood before his congregation of 5,000 and said that the church should not be about politics. He lost 1,000 people, but the rest of the congregation stayed. Some breathed a sigh of relief, because they had been thinking the same thing but were too afraid to voice their opinion.
There is an article in the New York Times today about this pastor and his decision to keep his church away from politics. It is well worth your time to read. Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/us/30pastor.html?pagewanted=1
There is a reason for the separation of church and state. I have been disturbed by the growing number of evangelical churches aligning themselves with the Republican party. It was almost as if they believe that G.O.P. stood for "God's Only Party."
In my opinion, the Republican party and the Bush administration have been moving away from the teachings of Jesus in its policies. Since this administration has taken office, the policies have reflected a concern for the wealthy and corporate America, especially the oil companies. They have taken away services for veterans, the poor and middle class. They cut back on environmental safeguards, worked to release national parks for development and oil exploration, and even lied about the effects of global warming. And now they want to do away with the estate tax so that the richest people (top 1%) in America do not have to pay taxes on their inheritance.
When my husband and I were pastors at a church, we talked about spiritual principles but avoided talking about politics. We acknowledged that everyone had a right to support the political candidates and issues that they believed in. Our philosophy was to address issues from a spiritual standpoint and allow people to decide for themselves the course of action they would take. I do not believe that people should be told who to vote for in church.
I highly recommed that you read the article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/30/us/30pastor.html?pagewanted=1.
And I applaud Rev. Gregory Boyd in Maplewood, Minnesota for having the courage to stand up and say what many Christian ministers have been afraid to say for fear of losing conservative congregants. Bravo!