Advanced discussions of religion and politics like oil and water. They just don't mix. When these negotiations begin, there are no winners. Prolonged expression of thought does not bring positive results.
Disguised as "separation of church and state", it is at best disturbing to most people, at worst spreading false and misleading information to those unfamiliar with this constitutional concept.
Needless to say, we do. lawyers and courts still struggle with religion and politics. Suffice it to say, regular discussions can become heated and unproductive if the parties involved are not polite and willing to disagree.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that complete separation of church and state is virtually impossible. The government maintains a "good neutrality" towards religion, neither encouraging nor prohibiting it. This is a reasonable arrangement. Hence the tax exemption for religious organizations.
Much of the conversation centered on the fact that the voters of Gadden had duly elected several priests to public office. Two pastors are elected to the city council. The pastor was re-elected to the school board. The pastor was elected district head. There may be others we don't know about.
All those who acted as sponsors immediately won their races. People who voted thought they were the best fit for the job they were looking for.
I hasten to say that just because you are good at one thing does not mean you are good at something else or everything. This applies to any profession or "payment". All men are created equal, but not all talents, gifts, and abilities are created equal.
Those who enter politics may find that they cannot understand what is going on. It can be determined that the arrows of the unfortunate citizens fly hard and often.
On the other hand, they may see an opportunity to restore civilization and do what is right on behalf of all people, regardless of what others think.
The story continues
Sometimes it takes courage to leave your comfort zone if you want and want to change something.
Reverend Randy B. Kelly most recently served as chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. Georgia Rev. Raphael Warnock has been elected to the US Senate, and his efforts to help Democrats retain the Senate majority are now being challenged by another African-American candidate.
Bishop William J. Barber II is the leader of the Campaign for the Poor. Despite his deteriorating physical condition, he campaigns with others: "If we must vote for democracy and justice, we must vote now." They call on people to mobilize around issues, not individuals.
An ethics review of voter education has been requested in 15 states, including Alabama. Millions of disaffected voters have been told that to change politics you have to get involved in the political process.
Ministers and lawyers have been at the forefront of change in this country for a very long time. Still the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Thurgood Marshall and Rev. Margaret Bush Wilson, the number of famous public servants has declined.
What if one of them bows down to skeptics and vocal critics? Restrictive covenants (relating to apartments and land) remain in effect. Education will remain segregated and unequal. (There's more to be said for education these days.) Poll taxes and other restrictions on voting rights would be worse than new statewide restrictions.
Perhaps properly elected ministers will use the power of the people to bring about positive change for all people. They will remember to treat others as they would like to be treated. They will not forget the oppressed and the constant struggle for justice and fairness for those in need.
Priests, like judges, are human and have the same feelings and emotions as everyone else. They are not supernatural beings and sometimes they need a word just like you and me.
The standard they must uphold in public service is the same as everyone else: do what is right for the people honestly, with integrity, with dignity and publicly, no matter what the naysayers keep shouting.
I've often said that some things need to be said no matter who says them. A few weeks ago, Reverend Sam Hayes of First United Methodist gave a sermon. "Who says it matters?" With the election of these ministers, I no longer say this.
It really matters who speaks and what they say.
Eileen Harris Spearman, Esq. , a Gadsden-born attorney and former advisor to the St. Louis City Comptroller. Reflexology is his property.
This article was originally published in The Gadsden Times. Elaine Harris Spearman discusses policy ministers.