Prayer Rattles Speaker Ryan, but House Chaplain Gets to Stay in Politics -- Sightings (Martin Marty)
Last week there was quite a ruckus centered around the firing and then re-hiring of the chaplain to the House of Representatives, who happens to be a Jesuit, and apparently said a prayer that got the Speaker of the House and some of his friends upset. The focus of the prayer was the tax bill under consideration. As is often the case in such things, everything got really messy, really quick. Statements were made that seemed to be anti-Catholic, and that didn't go over well with some. Martin Marty points us to a few places that might help us make sense of things. But at the root of the issue is the intersection of religion and politics in America. While many want something clear cut, nothing about the church-state relationship in America is clear-cut. There are protections of religious freedom, but also expressions of civil religion. The very presence of chaplains in Congress is a reminder of the ambiguities that the founders left us with -- so take a read and ponder where we go from here.