Letter: Mistake to combine state & church

Published:

 

Since the vote that self-declared the right for Clark County commissioners to pray at the taxpayer's expense, and as I write this, there have been 18 invocations and three "moments of silence." Despite the promise that the invocation "shall not be used to lobby or advance a particular religion," all but one invocation has been Judeo-Christian.

The exception was Aug. 13, one week after speaking with David Madore and expressing my consternation at the complete disregard of this promise. I asked him what the protocol was for selecting a speaker, and he replied that it was up to "the staff" to decide, implying that he personally had nothing to do with it. Either the commissioner has shockingly little influence over the actions of his staff, or he is downplaying his influence.

This illustrates well the value of separating church and state. The commissioner's promise is nearly impossible to honor in a diverse religious community. In a community where only approximately 28 percent of the population is affiliated with a religious congregation (http://bit.ly/19fgtnn), does it make sense to combine religion and government?

In an effort to downsize government and save taxpayer money, let's leave matters of religion to the private sector, where they are best advanced by the multitude of sincere members of the local religious community.

Matthew Logan

Camas