Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Thursday, Apr 27, 2006

Mary Mitchell writes this morning:

Should pastors serve as elected officials? […]

Frankly, the days of the preacher/politician are numbered. They should be.

It is the preacher’s job to preach the gospel and bring unbelievers into the church. Unfortunately, sometimes the actions of the politician/preacher make the preacher/ politician’s job that much harder.

Read her column and tell me what you think about this topic.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments
  1. - wndycty - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 6:41 am:

    There are nothing wrong with pastors serving as elected officials, however I belief that when they become an elected official they should take a leave of absence from their church. If I were a member of church where the pastor were an elected official I would be concerned about how the congregation might suffer when his or her duties as an elected official conflicted whith his or her duties as a member of the clergy.


  2. - Jim Mowen - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 6:55 am:

    Why on earth would a pastor be any different from any other citizen. Talk about discrimination! When we expect all people to take a leave of absence from their jobs to serve, then we need to ask pastors as well.

    Goodness, wouldn’t it just be terible to have people serving our State and Country that have (1) morals, (2) ethics, and (3) a servants heart. Assuming that a specific pastor has these qualities - bring them forward!


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 7:13 am:

    for you youngins out there, African American churches and their pastors were at the forefront of the civil rights movement due to the influence
    and access they provided to Dr. King. The local parish in Black neighborhoods is a source of empowerment spiritual, social, and economic. In case you haven’t noticed, it aint easy accessing the powerful and influential if you are a minority. I say Rev/Sen Meeks is doing the good work, UNLESS he is personally profitting (read:lining his pockets)with the proceeds from his massive congregation, or mixing up the coffers…


  4. - diane - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 7:24 am:

    At the beginnings of the American republic, this point of view was common and there was much debate over whether or not clergy should even be allowed to vote, so Miller has some historic precedent behind her opinion.

    Around the time of Jefferson’s presidency the church/state issue became heated between the republicans who demanded separation and the federalists who supported a union of church and state. Abraham Bishop wrote, “The clerical politician is an useless preacher; the political Christian is a dangerous statesman.”


  5. - CanI Getanamen - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 7:41 am:

    Ever been to one of these prayer breakfasts? Where all the ministers and holy men gather? The parking lot looks like a Lexus and Mercedes dealership. provided by their adoring flocks.

    What would Jesus drive?


  6. - Jim Mowen - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:14 am:

    CanIGetanamen, I expect that you do not hang around too many pastors/ clergy…nice cars at prayer breakfasts likely are driven by the businesspeople that attend. I know countless clergy and none that drive expensive cars - while at the same time a number of them are more capable of running a successful business than most successful businessmen. All-in-all (although there are a few charlitans, as in any profession) these people are truely sacraficing to do what they do.


  7. - Backyard Conservative - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:46 am:

    I don’t see a problem with it. What about the idea of a citizen legislator? Democrats are trying to drive religion and the founder values out of the public sqare. What surprises me about Rev/Sen. Meeks is that he does not advocate more faith-based solutions to some of these problems. And sadly, so far he has not shown real leadership on education:

    http://backyardconservative.blogspot.com/
    2006/04/meeks-leverage.html


  8. - Bill Baar - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:56 am:

    Nothing wrong from the public perspective. It’s their right as citizens.

    I don’t think they do their Churches any favors though… in the long run… Rush’s seems to do fine with him in Congress… but it’s not good for a Church. John Paul was right to tell Father Drinan to quit.


  9. - Levois - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:06 am:

    I’m not comfortable with it. I suppose though that the only reason they seek an elected office because no one else is able or willing to step up to the plate. That or whoever was already in office isn’t doing their job.


  10. - Daniel Darling - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 9:36 am:

    Pastors should not be kept from holiding public office and I think this has firm foundation in both religious and political thought.

    A pastor is someone who is generally a trusted member of the community who has hundreds of people who look to him for spiritual guidance. So why shouldn’t a pastor weigh in on the important issues of the day and why shouldn’t a pastor be someone, who fills the call of civic leadership if duty requires it?

    We always complain about the lack of good people in politics (a over-generalized and unfair perspective), so why not have some of the most trusted leaders in the community, step up and lead?

    Furthermore, pastors have real-world management and leadership experience. Pastors always scrutinized by boards and by their congregation. They are used the pressure of public office. They also have to get things done, have to managed budgets and multiple personalities. They are often gifted at public speaking and have to be organized in thought and quick on their feet.

    I don’t understand why every interest group and segment of American society is allowed to have a voice and yet Christians should be silenced, simply because of their faith. Our faith is the very fuel that drives us to speak out on issues of importance.

    Does that mean pastors should make Sunday just another Republican or Democratic rally? No, but that’s not for the state to decide. That’s for people of faith to decide. The church should be a lighthouse in the community, a beacon of hope.

    But it should also be a force for good.


  11. - Cynthia - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    No! I think this is part of the problem in the Black community. You have people for the most part, may know something about the bible, but are ill equip to go up against many people who have studied politics and/or law or other fields. Most will not agree to this but those who study and preach the bible are all to often one dimensional in their thoughts and are easily manipulated.


  12. - Anon - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 10:18 am:

    There should be nothing that legislates pastors from serving in elective or appointed office.

    Churches are already prohibited from endorsing candidates and ballot measures if they want to keep their tax exempt status. Congregations should take great care in selecting pastors lest they choose a pastor who endorses from the pulpit and suffer dire financial consequences.

    All government officials should be mindful of personal, professional, vocational and avocational conflicts. Why should pastors be singled out? Maybe we need MORE pastors in office.

    Great comments all around. thank you.


  13. - Wumpus - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:01 am:

    Cynthia, while I am not for a 100% clergy/legislature. As I said before, most pastors hold other jobs. People who have studied law know how to evade it and manipulate it. People who have studied politics, know how to make the system work for them. How can anyone be more naimupllated than our current politicians who will do anything for a donation. Many of them are lawyers who are one dimensional and discuss things like budgets, education, healthcare, etc. I am sure there are a few black pastors who are smart enough to speak on more than the bible. There may even be some lawyers who are also preachers…gasp!


  14. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 11:44 am:

    For forty years we have been seeing politicians and preachers using church pulpits for political power. I remember well when in 1976, both Carter and Ford campaigned their born-again Christian beliefs after Watergate. These presidents were not attacked because of this. Jimmy Carter taught a Bible class while president, and has written books about his religious beliefs. Bill Clinton held his Bible close to his chest in every Sunday photo shoot, while president. As a Democratic candidate, you saw Clinton singing in choir robes on TV when he was running in Arkansas. The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ran for president. Jackson was strongly considered for a VP slot with Michael Dukakis in 1988. How many times will we see Blagojevich behind a pulpit, using tax money to rebuild churches, promoting his political agenda?

    Why are we hearing complaints about this now?

    The reason is politics. The Democratic party used churches when it benefitted them. Now that the Republicans have learned the game and are the majority party, the Democrats are denouncing it.

    Mary Mitchell’s column confirms this. She uses the Rush scandal, then discusses how Meeks troubled her once he started courting Republicans. If Meeks was OK until then, why does it bother her when he reaches out to the GOP? Because she has a double standard.

    The blathering against church leaders serving as elected representatives is a facade. These questioners are actually bothered that churches are no longer in their hip pocket politically. The only exception being black churches. Meeks is an independant leader willing to consider ideas outside the Democratic party. Thats why Mary Mitchell is so troubled.


  15. - phocion - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:09 pm:

    Typical hypocricy of Mary Mitchell. She’s so far up Blago’s anal cavity that she needs a flashlight. Too bad for her she can never find batteries for her dim bulb that she calls a brain.

    How much is Blago paying her to write this type of tripe?

    Meeks is exercising his rights as a citizen. Period. That Blago is an untrustworthy, negative, divisive, slick politician that has broken every promise is well known. Meeks offers another way for his constituency.

    Mitchell can walk off the cliff with Blago all she wants. Just don’t make up reasons why others shouldn’t be able to challenge the incumbent.

    Time to use Mitchell’s column to clean up in the bathroom - where it belongs.


  16. - The original Bill - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:27 pm:

    “… that the Republicans have learned the game and are the majority party…”
    Not in this state, dude!


  17. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 12:50 pm:

    This topic begets a question of mine. We hear the term “reality based” being used to distinguish a group of people, often left-leaning or progressive, from the conservatives or so called “neo-cons”, who often wear their faith on their sleeve or try to use it to advance their agenda. Is a member of the “reality based” community necessarily atheist or agnostic, or can one be “reality based” and a peson of religious faith at the same time?


  18. - Jon Musgrave - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 1:11 pm:

    I’m not taking a position on a possible Meeks candidacy here, but the debate whether preachers should be politicians is as old as the state itself.

    Back in the 1820s the slave-holding political class (yes, it did exist in Illinois) didn’t take too kindly to preachers such as James Lemen and John Mason Peck who rose in prominence as anti-slavery advocates during the push for a new constitutional convention designed to allow the full legalization of slavery in the state.

    The state’s first constitution prohibited religious tests for public officials. A politician’s religious beliefs and public lifestyle are an important part of a character profile that voters should consider.

    Hypocrites beware though. Pastors face a high hurdle anyway in their public actions. Pastors who are also politicians face an even higher one.


  19. - Stan the man - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 1:12 pm:

    No, especially when they’re putting their own vanity (meeks) before the God they profess to speak for.


  20. - Moses - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 1:31 pm:

    I AM THE LORD THY GOD, THOU SHALT NOT HAVE strange gods BEFORE ME.


  21. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 2:35 pm:

    Holy crap! A citizen legislature? Bonus points.

    Vanilla Man is correct. When Bush was campaigning in 2004, the press ripped him a new one and said that he should not bring his beliefs into the public forum. At the same time, John Kerry was going around to black churches, using the bully pulpit to tear into Bush and the Republicans. It was complete hypocrisy on the part of the press. White conservative evangelicals deserve the right to use the bully pulpit for their advantage. Do I always agree with it? No, but they should not be held to a different standard.

    Pastors are professionals just like lawyers, doctors and car salesman. They have ideas and goals and if the electorate wants to put a minister into office so be it. My brother is studying to be a minister, and he has a nose for public service. I happen to think he would make a good public servant, but if pastors were unable to run I would be upset that some of the most honest and ethical people in our society were disallowed entry into the democratic process. Why aren’t lawyers in question? Or insurance agents? If I work for State Farm and run for office, couldn’t I give prospective clients a break in hopes for votes? It’s a never-ending web of ridiculousness.

    As for CanIGetA, any profession can be that way. Pastors can drive nice cars because if that’s what they want to spend their money on so be it. My old family doctor drove a beat up VW. A friend of mine who makes less than I do (which isn’t much) drives a brand new Mazda M6. He must be stealing from work! I know that’s cynical, but if church members continue to give and give and never ask for oversight you can’t just point a finger at the minister.


  22. - Joseph Grigoletti - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 3:31 pm:

    Pastors are guarenteed the same rights as everybody else. They have the legal right to run, as long as you are not arguing for a law I can tollerate your oppinion. What about Rabbi’s also? What about Priests? Why did you single out Christianity?


  23. - Peter - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 4:18 pm:

    Two points:

    First, I think this an issue where African-Americans and whites differ, i.e., the role of politics in the church. I am white and frankly cringe when I hear too much political bias coming from the pulpit. Whereas when I was down at Rev. Meeks’ church he had a candidate for office speak that Sunday.

    Second, I like the idea suggested above regarding a leave of absence if a pastor runs for office. As a proud Bible-thumper myself, I think the gospel message is constantly undermined by political bias, particularly this supposed tie between evangelical Christians and the GOP. I attend a large megachurch in the northwest ‘burbs and our senior pastor was part of this group that Karl Rove was reaching out to and inviting to the White House. And then we had to hear the Bush party line every Sunday and chatter about the tone at the White House immediately before the ‘04 election.


  24. - Southern Illinoisian - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 4:40 pm:

    If you read the article, she really doesn’t say that pastors shouldn’t run, they just need to be careful. I’d agree with that.

    But, the best quote was:

    “politics and religion are such opposites”

    ROFL. Stop, it hurts.

    Politics IS a religion. It’s all about free money (taxes are to politics as tithes are to religions). That’s why many church leaders are successful politicians, they are skilled at getting people to give them money for no good reason.


  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 27, 06 @ 8:53 pm:

    Diane,

    Can you please cite a reference for the claim that in the founding days of the Republic there was an argument concerning whether pastors would be allowed to vote?

    Thank you.


  26. - diane - Friday, Apr 28, 06 @ 7:07 am:

    Anonymous 8:53, The book, Separation of Church and State by Philip Hamburger has an interesting chapter detailing much of the early 19th century debate over what rights clergy should or should not have in American political society. In the forefront of the belief that clergy should stay totally out of the politcal realm was Abraham Bishop, a Republican polemicist who argued that although “the partisanship of ministers was ’strictly legal’ it was not a right they could appropriately exercise.” Chapter 5


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Question of the day
* Here we go again...
* Who raised what in AG race?
* Warning issued over putting medically fragile children in Medicaid managed care
* Schakowsky, Gutierrez endorse Lipinski's Democratic opponent
* Rauner tied to Greitens, Pritzker tied to Blagojevich
* Some states looking for ways around federal tax law
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker, Rauner, RGA respond *** Watch Dem candidates appear at Sun-Times
* Poll: Rauner leads Ives 65-21
* Not the governor's greatest day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Kennedy needs to dig deeper, but can he?
* The fight for second place
* Group offers possible fix to problems with Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in pa.....
* Rauner on Medicaid to Work Idea - Alton Daily News..
* Tracking Miles Driven? - Alton Daily News..
* Tracking Miles Driven? | Alton Daily News - Alt.....
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in la.....
* Man 'in charge' of state to visit Ottawa - MyWe.....
* 2 gov. candidates spend $26M in 3 months - The .....
* Man 'in charge' of state to visit - MyWebTimes.com..


* Chicago trader accused of killing friend, dumping body
* Illinois sheriff helping people find opioid antidote drug
* Judge keeping some documents secret in Hastert lawsuit
* Ex-Ataris bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Rock bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Suspect in terror-related case claims 'combatant immunity'
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Chicago group sues US Steel over Indiana plant's discharges
* 2nd case of measles confirmed in person who was at O'Hare
* Illinois woman gets 15 years for crash that killed teen

* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Rauner defends amendatory veto of school funding bill
* Rauner signs bill to focus on needs of female prison inmates
* Rauner tours Lincoln prison, touts reforms helping female inmates

* Here's Latinicity's new sit-down restaurant
* Paul Vallas says he's 'seriously considering' running for mayor
* Poll finds Rauner way ahead of GOP challenger
* Dow set to close above 26,000 for first time
* Dow closes above 26,000 for first time


* Pair of burglaries reported at South Shore businesses
* Dear Abby: Boyfriend keeps stalling on popping question
* Mother of child killed in 2017 crash with CTA bus sues her driver, CTA
* Horoscope for Jan. 18, 2018
* Northwestern’s down year continues with 71-65 loss to Ohio State
* Bulls can try and copy the Warriors system, but talent remains a huge gap
* 2 burglaries in 2 days reported in same Grand Crossing block
* Schweinsteiger signs one-year deal to return to Fire
* Loyola stays hot with a 79-65 win over visiting SIU
* White House official: Trump immigration views have evolved


* Warriors down Bulls 119-112, tie team record with 14th straight road victory
* Fact check: Trump's 'Fake News Awards' focused on reports that were wrong — and quickly corrected
* Two shot in Albany Park
* Quarterback's death permeates NCAA convention discussions
* Bastian Schweinsteiger re-signs with Fire for 2018 season: 'I love this city, this sport and winning'
* Government shutdown threat remains with divisions over immigration, military dollars
* Trump allegedly told porn actress she reminded him of Ivanka during their affair
* Gay couple who ordered wedding programs got pamphlets about Satan instead, lawsuit says
* Archdiocese: 5 Catholic schools to close, several parishes merge
* Warriors respect talent and potential of Bulls' Lauri Markkanen


» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty
» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
» Rauner Signs Law To Help Women Behind Bars
» A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality
» Democratic Candidates In Lockstep At Justice Forum


* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* Our View: Focus on cost-cutting, then turn to taxes
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Our View: Dubious tariff endangers newspapers' future
* Byron York: Paul Manafort has a point
* EJ Dionne: Will Trump exhaust our democratic capacities?


* LeClaire home offers beautiful views of the river
* Free workshop explains cancer
* David 'Hacksaw' Flannigan
* Paul D. 'Ike' Lincoln
* Jerrel Charles Mulvey
* Joe E. Boyd
* Eleanor Biley
* Doris Taylor
* Timothy Paul Cooksey
* Lloyd Higgs


* Russia probes come up against claims of executive privilege
* Clippers hang on to beat Nuggets 109-104 for 6th win in row
* Ducks score 4 in second period, hold off Penguins 5-3
* Lawmakers ask if states or feds should alert about missiles
* Australia PM says Olympic unity won't denuclearize N. Korea

* Hultgren makes strong mark on nation's new...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and...
* US places Pakistan on special watch list f...
* Letters to the editor: Election commission...
* Hultgren makes strong mark on nation's new...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and...
* Lawmakers back renaming Warrenville post o...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Durbin: Majority of Senate will support DA......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...

* Gutierrez offers Kelly an apology, and all it took was the White House chief of staff implying Donald Trump, misspoke
* At The Illinois Holocaust Museum | Speak Truth To Power
* Happy Anniversary, La Patisserie P!
* Watch a BellyQ bartender make a newfangled old-fashioned using dancing fish flakes
* Activists clash with aldermen over community benefits at Obama Presidential Center hearing, and other Chicago news
* The [Wednesday] Papers
* Fix Illinois by breaking the state apart? A gubernatorial candidate makes the case.
* Loy Webb shows us The Light
* Durbin says Trump's Haiti comments were "hate-filled, vile and racist"
* Di Leo: Setting the Record Straight on Israel


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Winter iPhone 8 and iPhone X demand forecast to be down
* Huawei integrating Android Messages app for SMS/RCS
* Apple’s future, iPhone addiction plans, Project Fi Unlimited & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Apple gives out $2,500 in stocks to most employees
* YouTube’s new monetization policies are cracking down on smaller channels
* Apple to Lease New Office Building in Culver City
* ASUS joins Project Treble with ZenFone 4 Android Oreo update

* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Pirates rebuild not met with enthusiasm
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Robert at ease during Sox hitters mini-camp
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller