Daily Archives: June 12, 2014
While attending an orientation the facilitator stated that if you are on a job site and asked to pray you are not to pray because of separation of church and state. I was intrigued by the statement and it took me back to when I worked with the U.S. Census mobilizing the faith-based community during the Decennial 2010 Census.
During my tenure with the Census it became apparent that they were highly dependent upon the faith-based organizations to disseminate the importance for every U.S. citizen to be counted. It was interesting that separation of church and state was not a concern, at least when they needed the faith-based organizations to help them.
As I listened to the facilitator make such a declarative statement without wincing about not praying in the workplace, I couldn’t help but wonder about my constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen. What happened to our constitutional rights of freedom of religion, assembling and speech? It appeared as though my freedoms were being infringed upon as I was being told not to willing take part in a practice that is second nature to who I am.
I am always intrigued how our society feels nothing about dictating the actions of believers, especially how it relates to faith and the workplace. Yet, the government clearly does not exercise that same practice when they need to get their message out and mobilize the community around an initiative that is important to them such as making sure every American is counted. In essence, as long as it is beneficial for them it is okay for church and state to comingle, but when it is the church or a believer initiating that action there is an issue.
Now, don’t get me wrong I am not some rebel, but I am always intrigued about the expectation that as believers we can turn our faith on and off. In essence, practice your belief on Sunday, but when Monday comes don’t bring it to work with you. How ludicrous does that sound?
Our faith is not some dress that you wear on Sunday, take it off and hang it up until the next Sunday. It is an integral part of who we are and what we believe. To be asked not to exercise our freedoms as Americans is an atrocity. In essence, you cannot saw us in two on Monday morning and leave our faith and our beliefs at home.
God has strategically placed each of us in careers and jobs to be influencers. That is not to say we walk around speaking in unknown tongues or crying out hallelujah to everything said. It does mean we are to be bright lights in the marketplace. It does mean we are to walk circumspect according to our calling by God and not by the vocation of man. I am not in agreement with those who practice lip service of their commitment to God, but their actions are far from what is intended. I do believe I have a God-given right and an American right to practice my belief—including willingly praying in a work environment.
We move seamlessly from Sunday to Monday without much thought about it. I have spoken to many who experience trepidation to exercise their faith at work because of the perceived notion of separation of church and state disregarding their constitutional right to freedom of speech, religion and assembling. If a group of individuals have determined that they want to come together and pray they have that right.
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Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Heb 10:25 (KJV)
I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1-3 (KJV)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Rom 13:1-2 (KJV)
Father, I adhere to the laws of the land as long as they do not conflict with Your statutes. I understand that you have instructed us to be law-abiding citizens because You created the governments and put the leaders in place. I also realize I have the right to exercise my freedoms of speech, religion and assembling with like-minded believers. I will not forsake assembling with them because of the perceived notion of separation and state. I will adhere to the laws of the land and even more to Your Word as You have strategically placed me in the marketplace to be a bright light. Amen.