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May 20, 2011

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Jim Rongstad

There shouldn't be an opening prayer at the legislature. It mixes government and religion.
Truly religious people should also oppose mixing government and religion:

"Just as the church should not be a state, so the state should not be a church. The state is not a religious establishment or church through which its members hope to come to eternal life. The state is rather an institution ordained by God for this life, to protect each person's property, administer justice and ensure that each person can live here with his family in peace.

The church, on the other hand, struggles not against armies, but against unbelief and sin: it seeks not to conquer lands, but hearts. Therefore, how can the state help the church with its prisons of stone and weapons of steel? Christianity holds sway only in the hearts and consciences of people. Its weapon is the Word of God, and its power is faith. It needs neither the support nor help of the government.

What therefore, is the greatest boon that the state can grant religion? Not privilege, but freedom: not laws which command adherence to its teachings, but freedom to proclaim these teachings to all the world; not the extension of its message by worldly power, but freedom to spread this message with the sword of the conquering Word; not dominion in the state, but freedom to dwell therein as a refuge and a haven."

--Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther. He served as the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

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