Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declared last Thursday a day of prayer in Iowa by issuing a proclamation. It drew the ire of Leftist groups in Iowa.
“Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proclamation promoting Christianity violates the principle of religious freedom enshrined in the Iowa and U.S. Constitutions,” the ACLU said.
Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, said the group was “alarmed and disheartened” at the idea Gov. Reynolds would declare a day of prayer.
One note of interest, the ACLU’s press release started out claiming the organization “strongly supports religious freedom.”
However, for what it’s worth, the ACLU of Iowa’s lobbyists were all registered against a bill strengthening religious liberty in Iowa filed by Sen. Dennis Guth.
Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen elected officials criticized for sharing their faith.
A couple of years ago, Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R-Orange City) was asked to remove a Bible verse he included in his legislative email signature by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Nearly two years later, Wheeler’s newsletter includes the same Bible verse it always has.
Anyone honest would acknowledge the role of faith, and specifically, the Christian faith, played in founding America. Ignoring such a fact requires one to be willfully ignorant of basic American history.
But, they exist.
Nonetheless, the Constitution restricts the government from making a law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
A proclamation certainly is not a law. So no problem there.
President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the U.S. on April 17, 1952.
Truman was a Democrat. Remember that fact the next time someone tries to convince you it is the Republican Party that has radically changed.
The thing about faith is it is a part of someone all of the time. It isn’t something that a true person of faith just switches on or off. It is fundamental to everyday life.
Someone who is running for office should make their policy positions clear. And to clearly understand those policy positions, understanding what shapes that someone’s worldview goes a long way.
If someone is a genuine person of faith, their faith will shine through on the campaign trail. Whether or not their faith is put front and center of the campaign or not, voters should be able to figure it out.
And, voters should then expect that faith to guide that person in pretty much everything they do — if they believe that person to be a genuine person of faith.
There were countless examples of elected officials in Iowa sharing Easter messages yesterday. Was every one of those messages illegal or unconstitutional?
Now, if we asked that question back during the founding of this country, I’m confident the answer would have been a resounding no.
But we live in an age where it’s a legitimate debate whether a 40-year old man who thinks he is a woman should use the bathroom stall next to my 7-year old daughter.
The obvious just isn’t so obvious for everyone anymore.
Christianity has shaped our country. And because our country was shaped by Christianity, our country has done much to shape the world.
There is no doubt that Earth is a better place because of America.
It is easy to forget today, but when America started, it was essentially a huge social experiment that had never been attempted on our planet. The country’s early success is difficult to explain without believing there was a divine hand in our country’s earliest days.
Elected officials should not be expected to check their faith at the doors of the Capitol. They should be able to express it however they choose, so long as it does not infringe on someone else’s faith.
I would encourage those who oppose a day of prayer to relax. There’s no reason to fear the faith of our elected leaders.
Despite its scars, America has been a faithful nation since its very beginning. It was certainly a more Christian nation back then than it is now.
Do we really think we’re better off because of our country’s decrease in its faithfulness?
Consider the following:
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:6
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” – Matthew 28:19
It isn’t optional for Christians. Faith encompasses a Christian’s entire life. It dictates everything they do — or at least that is the goal.
I am thankful for elected leaders who refuse to abandon their faith once in office. That’s a reflection that their faith is genuine. Which is a reflection that they are genuine.