Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you for tuning into the program. My name is Isaac Crockett. I’m the Pastor at Hamburg Bible Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania. We’re joined by Sam and Gary. Sam is the President of the American Pastors Network and Dr. Gary Dull is the Director here at the Pennsylvania Pastors Network. He’s also the Pastor out in Altoona, Pennsylvania. We don’t have Dave with us today, so we have just the Pennsylvania representation I guess going on. We have a special friend with us who’s been on before not too long ago. Perry is with us from Capitol Ministries. We’ll talk about him in just a moment and introduce him onto the show. But there’s been so much going on, so much … Really, a storm it seems like brewing in Washington D.C. right now.
Isaac Crockett: Of course, the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice and here on the program they’ve talked about this from a biblical point of view, a biblical viewpoint on how this process should be going, so we’ve already looked at that. But today I want to look at a specific issue, at really what is going on at the forefront of the fighting over the Supreme Court. Many believe that the Supreme Court is one of the most major factors, maybe the most deciding factor in our country of how our country will go, how our culture will go in regards to religious liberty. Sam, what really is the role that the Supreme Court … There’s the three branches of government, they have accountability to each other. What’s the role of the Supreme Court and is that how they’ve actually been operating as of late?
Sam Rohrer: Well, you know what? If you were to ask that … I’m going to give you an answer, by the way. But that’s a question that if you were to ask members of Congress, or the Senate, or go across the country, you’re not going to get the same answer. It’s unfortunate, because the answer is clear. If you go back … I’m going to go to the Federalists Paper, Federalist Paper 78. That’s where Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, and John Jay, the first Supreme Court Justice, actually commented on the branches of government. They believed very clearly that the judicial branch of government was the least powerful. They called it the weakest branch. That’s completely different than what most people would say today right now. Why is it to be weak? What’s to be strong? Let’s put it this way. The creating of the law. The law giver. The legislature. The law is where you start. If it’s a law, it’s the law. All right?
Sam Rohrer: Then you have the enforcement of the law, that’s the executive branch. The court has neither enforcement abilities nor lawmaking authority, but they are to decide certain decisions relative to the Constitution. We’ve turned that upside down, where the court is now the pseudo lawmaker and politically, if you can’t get it passed in Congress, you lean on the Supreme Court and you have the kind of thing that’s happening right now with Kavanaugh, where it’s become so political. It’s not over to the merits of the ability of the individual constitutionally, it comes down to what he believes about certain issues, which is a matter of law, not the court. Anyways, long answer to your question. It should be the weakest, but by all appearances most people think it’s the strongest.
Isaac Crockett: Well, Gary let me ask you real quickly before we bring Perry on why it’s important for our Supreme Court Justices to be good men and women, upstanding citizens, but also for them to know our Constitution, and for them to be committed to upholding it, especially as a Pastor thinking about religious freedoms that we have guaranteed to us in the Constitution?
Gary Dull: Well, there’s no doubt Isaac that they need to be good upstanding citizens, but as it relates to being scholars of our Constitution, that goes to the very nature of the court. When you read in Article 3 of our Constitution, it says the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may form from time-to-time. But then Section 2 says, “The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution.” Which basically would reach into the 18 responsibilities that Congress has in accordance with the Constitution in our country.
Gary Dull: It’s very, very important that those who are put on the court understand their responsibility. As Sam brought out, they are interpretive, not legislative. Unfortunately, there are those who would try to legislate from the bench. They are not to do that. They are to interpret the law and therefore if a Justice is going to do that effectively, it’s important that he be a person of good character as scholar of our Constitution and committed to upholding it as it was written. Not as it might be changed.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you so much for this clarity, for this insight on this matter. I do want to go to now Perry Gauthier. He’s the Capitol Ministries Vice President. Perry, thank you so much for coming back on our show. It’s always a pleasure to have a friend on the show with us, but especially when they’re willing to come back, that we haven’t scared them off. Thanks for being with us today.
Perry Gauthier: How have you been? I think it’s great to be with you, man. We at Capitol Ministries just love what you’re doing in the Pastors Network as we try to have influence very similar, but slightly different in the realm of government. We as believers know that government is God’s idea and it’s just so critical. I love the privilege to be with you and I thank you for letting me be on again.
Isaac Crockett: Well, Perry you were on with us this summer on a program talking about the mission to politicians of Capitol Ministries and we learned some aspects of your ministry there. You, as a former architect are now a ministry leader to government officials, showed us the biblical foundation for reaching authorities in the government. As we saw, it’s so important to our religious freedoms, what’s going on in the government. Well today, I want to talk with Perry about our religious freedoms, specifically the role of church and state. How do they work together? How should they work separately? But before we get into those questions, we’re going to delve into it more in the rest of our program.
Isaac Crockett: We have just a couple of minutes here. I know, Perry, that you and your wife Faith have been doing some traveling recently. In fact, you’ve kind of been crisscrossing all over the United States of America to help equip, train, motivate, encourage and pray for the different leaders throughout Capitol Ministries North America who have been charged with making disciples of Jesus Christ among the political leaders in our own nation’s state capitals. Could you just maybe tell our listeners a little bit about the purpose for your travels and maybe some of the things you saw God doing as you had an awesome opportunity to travel around our country?
Perry Gauthier: Yeah. Isaac, I’d love to. It’s a real privilege to travel for Capitol Ministries as North American Director. For the last two years, we’ve been in about over 50 capitals. We’ve gone to some capitals more than once. We’ve probably driven 40,000 miles in the last couple of years ministering in state houses all over the country, East and West, high and low, all over the place. All these capitals are the same and they’re all very different, so it’s really a privilege. Really, our purpose is to establish missionary Bible teaching ministries in all 50 state capitals. It looks slightly different in each capital. We train and we mentor. Some capitals, we recruit. We have no leader there. For example, in North Dakota. We love on these people. We strengthen the bonds in Christ. We minister to officials in each capital and all three branches, as we have time. We network and we really spread the good gossip of the gospel in every state capital trying to get an awareness for Christ peaked in that state capital.
Isaac Crockett: Well, welcome back. To get into this discussion of separation of church from state, we were looking at the Supreme Court and the importance of what that means for our religious freedoms, but it really gets us to this issue, this hot topic of separation of church, not just and state, but the separation of the church from state. Is something that Perry I think is going to point out to us. But first, we need to understand the institutions of society that God has given us. These are foundational to our culture, to our society. Sam, I know that you talk about this a lot with our biblical worldview and constitutional worldview. What are the four God-given pillars that God gives to society and to a nation?
Sam Rohrer: Those four are very simple, but they tend to be so greatly overlooked. It really comes down to understanding of a biblical worldview, so this is God’s idea, this is … What I’m going to share is not something that comes off the pages of some secular textbook. It certainly didn’t rise out of a communist mentality or a socialist mentality, but it does rise out of God’s idea. That is this. God created the world and He created human beings. Man sinned, the fall was there, and God now put into place the plan of redemption. That’s the biblical worldview. How’s it tie into that? Well, God is truth. The scripture says, “God is truth.” Truth is authority, so you have authority. God is authority. When God set up society, and nations, and mankind, He also put into place an order, a system by which if it was followed it would function very well. If it was neglected, it would not function well at all.
Sam Rohrer: Where did He start? Well, He started with the individual. He created Adam and then Eve. Individuals are the first institution of authority. Authority meaning, having the ability to choose, so they were able to choose. They had to choose relationship to God. Each one of us comes to God on our own. I can’t do it for my children. I can’t do it for my grandchildren. They have to make their own determination. That’s the individual. Secondly, God brought Adam and Eve together and said, “Have children.” That’s the family. You have the family structure, the bedrock of all societies from all time, fathers and mothers, relationship to their children, relationship to God, and they’re accountable to God for how they raise their children. That’s the family. Then God created civil authority. Now civil authority is for the whole purpose of nations and out of that God established national authority and those who are in positions of authority, in Romans 13, then talk specifically about that.
Sam Rohrer: But then when Christ came in the New Testament he set up the church, or church authority. You have the church as a pillar, you have civil authority as a pillar working backwards, then you have the family, the bedrock, individually you have the individual. They all work together like fingers on a hand. When they function and do what God says they’re to do, and the church does what the church should do, and the government does not do what the church is supposed to do and vice versa, they all work perfectly. But it assumes God had a plan, we know what God’s plan is, and people follow it according to His plan.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you Sam. That really helps us see that worldview that the Bible gives us. Perry, what do you see then are the main roles as we really focus in on these two authorities, the government and the church, or the civil authority and our religious authorities? What do you see are the main roles that God has given to the church and the main roles given to the state or to civil authority?
Perry Gauthier: Yes, that’s a great question, Isaac. Believers need to know this and so do government leaders, whether they’re Christian or not. These principles are sound. The church really is given to evangelize the culture. We take the good news of the gospel, the love of God, the free grace gospel, and the full counsel of his word. Because Jesus says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word.” Really, the Bible’s for every one. He didn’t just say, “Israelites shall live by God’s Bible.” God’s word is good for all people. The question is, are they in rebellion to Him and to His word? In a nutshell, the church evangelizes the culture. It tells all people everywhere in every institution by the way, it tells them what thus sayeth the Lord. Give them the good news of His love, the supremacy of His holy kingship, the fact that He’s God of all souls, God of all nations, and that His word is … You’ve heard it said, B-I-B-L-E, basic instructions before leaving Earth.
Perry Gauthier: The Bible was given so that men and women everywhere might thrive. That’s key for the church in a word, evangelize the culture. The state in contrast to that is to moralize the culture. Because in a fallen world where not all have faith to change them from the inside out, and the best change comes from the inside. In a fallen world where not all have faith, God has invented this brilliant tool called civil government, and I say it’s a blunt and forceful tool, and the state moralizes the culture by making laws. Laws are rules. Rules are guidelines about what’s right and wrong. Right and wrong is what we call ethics or morality. Well, the church provides ethics and morality for the state, so the best governments are informed rightly by the church about morals and ethics. But if the state’s one word definition and it’s role in culture is to moralize the culture, what we mean by that is that government rulers make rules. That’s why they’re called the rulers.
Perry Gauthier: They make rules which are basically just laws and they don’t just make laws, like one Congressman told R. C. Sproul, “I think you should make laws, but not enforce them.” He said, “What?” Government must make laws, which are based on morals and enforce them upon the culture. They use handcuffs, they use bullets, they use fighter jets, they use jail bars. Government uses force, Romans 13:4, “Beareth not the sword for nothing. It’s the minister of God revenging wrath on Earth.” That is a summary of what government is to do. In a fallen world, government forces cultures, and the better governments do it better, but it forces cultures to be generally moral. Government moralizes culture, the church evangelizes culture.
Gary Dull: Perry, that’s a great answer to Isaac’s question. But let me delve into this just a little bit more if you don’t mind. [crosstalk 00:14:25] What are the dangers when either of these institutions tries to do the role that God has given to the other? In other words, what happens when the church tries to be the government, or the government tries to be the church?
Perry Gauthier: Yes Gary, that’s a great question. One of my Nebraska state Senators in Bible study as I’ve taught these concepts, the roles of the institutions in culture, he said, “Oh, you got to tell the other senators this.” I said, “What’s that, Senator?” He said, “Tell them that each institution has to play in its own sandbox.” I said, “Okay, I’ll tell them.”
Gary Dull: Yeah.
Perry Gauthier: The institutions are separate and they’re separate as Isaac said by God’s design and as Sam said as five independent fingers, they each do a beautiful thing on their own. The ring finger isn’t the thumb. But these institutions they really do their own thing designed brilliantly by God. I’d like to say, Gary, that the church isn’t expected to arrest all the grocery store thieves in the state, and we don’t expect commerce, as one of God’s five institutions, to raise the children. We don’t expect marriages to economize the whole culture, so you don’t mess these things up. It’s ridiculous. They do each have to do their own thing. If the state tries to become the church, which it has historically, you get a theocracy. If you’re not anglican in England, you’re going to be in the stalks and you’re going to die if you don’t worship in the Church of England in the 1700s and the 1600s, so people fled to America, right?
Perry Gauthier: When the state tries to become the church, you get a theocracy. Another example is when the state interferes in commerce, instead of letting commerce economize a culture to bosses and workers, you get socialism. Then the state runs a socialistic society, because man, surely bosses and workers they can’t generate wealth with good ideas and hard work. It’s up to the state, so they got to levelize everything and you get a socialistic philosophy. Which of course, we know leads to communism, which we know bankrupts cultures and robs human souls of vitality. Now the last illustration is when the church tries to play the … When the state tries to play the role of ethical inventor of morals you’ll get something as perverted as gay marriage, so-called gay, so-called marriage. In the Bible, sodomy was a capital punishment. Mid-Testament Christians, we take this sin of sodomy very seriously and so for the state to without ethical correct information, to say they define marriage, redefine marriage, is ridiculous. The institutions, they do have to stay separate, as you know.
Isaac Crockett: Well, yeah. You’re saying God really knew what He was talking about when he lined this up, and you’re right. [crosstalk 00:17:24] I want to ask you a really quick question because we just have a moment here before we go to one of our breaks. But you’re an architect and you get to travel to Washington D.C. You’ve traveled to most of, if not all of the capitol buildings in our country. What do you make of the Bible verses and biblical quotes literally carved into the walls? What does that show us about the intentions of our national founding fathers and our state fathers?
Perry Gauthier: Yes. Great question. As an architect, I realize that cultures put their values into their architecture. They put their money where their monuments are. You look at the buildings of history and you’ll see what culture’s valued. In Washington D.C., in our state capitols, you’ve got a 550 foot tall Washington Monument and in the aluminum top there’s these words engraved in Latin, “Laus Deo, Praise God.” You’ve got the D.C. SCOTUS Chamber has 52 depictions of the decalogue. Two engraved on the doors, the 10 Commandments. They intended that this country be led by those great moral laws, among other great biblical laws. It’s just chiseled everywhere and our money even says, “In God we trust.” It’s all over the place. This country has valued that supremely and we can return to that. I’m not pessimistic, we can return to that.
Isaac Crockett: What a great point and what an exciting point to think of, returning to actually trusting in God, rather than our money and our materialism. This idolatry that we’ve given ourselves over to. We’ve been talking with our friend, Perry Gauthier, Vice President of Capitol Ministries. We’ve talked about that ministry in the past and it’s a great partnership we have with them. But we’ve been talking about the important roles, both the church and the state play in our nation and in our culture and how they are both ordained of God. It’s not something that our founding fathers came up with, they were merely acknowledging what God had already given us. I want to talk in this segment about biblical precedent and see if these two pillars of our society can work together. We’ve talked about the title kind of today is separation of church from state. What is the biblical precedent for this? Perry, did Jesus give us any information? Did he give any insights about these two, about the church and the government or the state?
Perry Gauthier: Yes, Isaac. He sure did in Matthew 22:21 we read, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” That is one of the verses we use theologically to understand that these are two separate institutions. Even in the Old Testament, even in a theocracy, they were still separate. When you get into the time of the kings in 2 Chronicles it takes about Judah’s King of Uzziah and he entered the temple to burn incense, and Azariah the priest entered after him with 80 priests of the Lord, valiant men, I love that. They opposed the king and said, “It is not for you King Uzziah to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests who are consecrated to burn incense,” get this, “Get out of the sanctuary.” These 80 manly men confronted power, like that term originates in Quaker tradition, “Speaking truth to power.” They said, “Get out. You are to be separated.” When Jesus talks about rendering to Caesar and to God different things, he is in one sense honoring the institution of government.
Perry Gauthier: That doesn’t mean that government isn’t very pervert-able. People always say, “What about Hitler?” Well, Hitler shows that God’s idea of government can go terribly wrong, but that doesn’t mean God has not instituted the state. We do see Jesus instituting church and state as separate things. The other thing I’d mention in the great Apostle’s Creed that crystallizes key theology for millions of saints throughout the millennia, the Apostle’s Creed says that we remember that Jesus suffered before Pontius Pilate. Paul told Timothy, “Remember Jesus Christ who gave the good confession before Pontius Pilate.” That’s a command, by the way, “Remember.” One theologian taught me that the reason that there’s only three people mentioned in the Apostle’s Creed, two of which are Jesus and Pilate, is that we must never forget how the state can damage the church and how the church must always stand up correctly in culture, including in front of the state. There’s a little grab bag for you. Not sure if it’s what you’re asking, brother.
Sam Rohrer: Well Perry, I think that was good. I want to go back and ask you right now about why the church should influence the state. Now, earlier on you said that the church’s purpose was to evangelize the culture. [crosstalk 00:22:28] That’s where you were saying taking the truth of God’s word, the reality of God, all biblical worldview, all wrapped up, all the whole council of God and taking that into the culture, which of necessity means government also, it’s everywhere.
Perry Gauthier: Yes, yes.
Sam Rohrer: But you said that governments or civil authority was to moralize the world, the culture.
Perry Gauthier: Yes.
Sam Rohrer: To me, that brings together these two, but make it very clear for our listeners if you could. Why the church then in the communication of the truth is so critical that they communicate truth, moral truth to those who are in positions of authority [crosstalk 00:23:05]?
Perry Gauthier: Absolutely. Yes, great question Sam. The way [Bob Hoffer 00:23:10] put it was that the church must speak truth to the state. The truth must not only reach the state with salvation, and we are indeed called to save the kings of the Earth. God cares about them as much as every soul and they’re critical in culture, so the church must reach the state, save the state. The church must teach the state. Bob Hoffer said, “If the church doesn’t teach the state,” get this, “The state is always corruptible.” I like to say this, the state is doomed without the church. Because Bob Hoffer said, “We have a better ethic.”
Perry Gauthier: Now in my little paradigm, which I spoke to earlier, what he means is what I’m saying when I say that the church’s duty, designed by God, in cultures were the pillar and support of the truth. Well yeah, marriages should be truthful, businesses should be, the state should, rulers, all that come from, the church as a pillar and support of the truth. If we don’t stand in the gap, if we don’t stand for truth, if we don’t stand against King Uzziah saying, “Get out of the sanctuary,” with a Christian-like motivation … If Thomas Jefferson doesn’t say, “Listen, a wall of separation exists keeping the federal government out of religious liberty.” If we don’t that, then things erode and, again, government is doomed without the church.
Gary Dull: That’s a very good answer you’ve given there Perry and I appreciate it. But the question that comes to [crosstalk 00:24:48] my mind right now is how can the church actually teach the state? I’m certain that we’ve got listeners out there today, pastors and otherwise who are saying, “Well, I know that we are to have Godly influence and yes indeed we must teach the state, but how can we do it?”
Perry Gauthier: Yeah. Just like you do it with your neighbor, just like you might do it at work, just like you might do it with your children as the institution of family catechizes the children, you just speak up. You speak up and within relational … First of all, you say it’s possible and it’s a duty. As believers we say, “Okay, we need to speak Christian truth, because we believe as Christians we have the best ethics in the world. We believe there’s only one God and He has spoken. He’s spoken a perfect word.” It behooves us to spread that word, shine that light. Don’t keep it under a bushel basket, but go out and spread it. By evangelizing, and teaching, and sharing, and talking, and even caring … I like to tell people, “You want to reach your Mayor’s office for Christ, you could start with a plate of cinnamon rolls every week and drop off the cinnamon rolls and say, ‘We’re praying for you Mayor. We’re praying for your [crosstalk 00:26:05].”
Gary Dull: That’s not bribery, is it?
Perry Gauthier: No, it is not. It’s only bribery if Jesus feeding those he preached to is bribery.
Gary Dull: There you go.
Perry Gauthier: Yeah. Me and my wife, we serve a whole hot breakfast, and we get to the capital in the dark in January of cold Nebraska winters at 6:20, and we walk with a full hot breakfast to feed our Nebraska Senators, and we set that up at 6:45AM, and they arrive, and we eat. Then we give them an hour of the word of God. But people say, “You don’t have to do that. You don’t have to go to that expense. You’re missionaries.” We say we want to, because we love you, we want to serve you, we want to touch you, minister to your body. There’s different ways, but in most basic terms evangelize and teach the word of God and speak up. You don’t have to be mean. You should not be mean, but you can surely be forceful like the valiant men who spoke forcefully to the king, “Get out.” The church can be forceful. We should always try to be winsome, but not afraid to be courageous. We’re the holders, we’re the pillar and support of the truth. If we drop the ball-
Isaac Crockett: Amen.
Perry Gauthier: It is dropped.
Isaac Crockett: Well Perry, that’s so helpful, so practical. Just a few seconds here, could you just give us the website that people could go to to see more things about Capitol Ministries and some devotionals and things as well as maybe your local Nebraska Capitol’s Ministries website as well?
Perry Gauthier: Yes, sir. I’d love to Isaac. Www.capmin.org. Like Capitol Ministries, capmin.org is our national website. You can go there and see several years worth of Bible studies taught in Washington D.C. My own Bible studies, including the study called Cooperation or Separation of Church and State are available in audio and PDF on my website. It’s just necapmin.org, Nebraska Capitol Ministries.org. Www.necapmin.org.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thanks for tuning in. If you’re just now tuning in or if you’ve been with us the whole program, this is Isaac Crockett, Pastor at Hamburg Bible Church. We have Sam Rohrer, the American Pastor Network President and Dr. Gary Dull, Pastor out in Altoona, Pennsylvania and we are interviewing our friend, Perry Gauthier, Vice President of Capitol Ministries. We’re talking about the issue of church and state and the separation of church from state, as well as the influence that the church should have on the government.
Isaac Crockett: It’s hard to believe that we’re already almost to the end of the program, but Perry as we’ve looked at these issues, I just want to get to some of the questions that come up sometimes about like a high schooler that’s giving a speech, maybe a valedictorian address, or coaches kneeling in prayer and maybe in the speech the high schooler quotes a favorite Bible verse or a coach after the football game is over, he goes out on the field and takes a knee and is praying. Are those things, based on what we’ve been looking at and learning about the separation of the church from the government influence, are those things violating our Constitution when those happen?
Perry Gauthier: Isaac, they certainly are not. I like to say in Nebraska and then now as we travel the country, whenever I get a chance I like to say the separation of church and state is a myth. It’s a myth. I like to overstate it that way, because what I mean by that is the current interpretation, the misinterpretation of modern days is a total 180 degree misunderstanding of what separation of church and state is. It means to keep the federal government out of the business of the church. It’s a one way valve. We can influence them. We always have, we always will, we always should, but they cannot dictate to the church. We don’t live in a theocracy here. The state can’t decide one federal denomination and force it on all of us.
Perry Gauthier: When a valedictorian prays or shares her favorite Bible verse in her graduating class, or a coach kneels on his football field to pray, that is not a violation of the separation of church and state, or as it’s stated in our Constitution, because the Constitution and the 1st Amendment are talking about Congress making laws, not football coaches and goodhearted Christian little girls who … I don’t know, I guess they’re little when you’re in your 50s. A high school graduates a little bit … A valedictorian in a class. No, that’s not a violation.
Sam Rohrer: Perry, let me just go just one layer deeper if I can on the 1st Amendment. We’ve concentrated on the church and civil authority. Now we also identified families and we identified individuals upfront. The church is a position of authority, but the church is made up of individuals. Government is a position of authority, but it’s made up of individuals too. Same with the families, same as individual. We are in a self-governing republic. That’s what our founders called it, so therefore it comes down to the very bottom ingredient, the individual. The 1st Amendment, connect it to the 1st Amendment, which is the right of an individual to communicate, to religiously worship however they want, and a number of things. How and why that 1st Amendment was never ever established to separate values and morality from the government or people from speaking in that regard? Put that together again because that’s a link that a lot of people have forgotten, I think, to misunderstand greatly.
Perry Gauthier: Now the 1st Amendment says Congress, and that’s a federal thing, shall make no law, we’re talking about laws here, respecting an establishment of religion. Religion in that context … At the time this was written, America was 98.4% professing Protestant, 1.2% professing Catholic. A Catholic priest in Omaha told me, “Yeah, we came later.” In America, you’ve got 99.6% of the entire culture professing at least Christian values. In context, the 1st Amendment means this, the federal Congress cannot make a law establishing one Christian denomination. Now, think about that historically. Why did the pilgrims come to America? They were seeking religious freedom. Why did they leave England? Because the Anglican Church said, “You worship in the Church of England while you’re here in England and you’ll be in the stalks and you’ll be in prison if you don’t.” That’s a theocracy.
Perry Gauthier: The 1st Amendment basically says, “We don’t want to … As we found this nation, we individuals have rights of conscious, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness,” but they have the right to worship and have religion as they see fit and exercise it and speak about it freely. Congress has no business deciding any parameters for religious freedom. That’s what it’s saying. It’s saying, “Congress, keep out of the federal dictating of a denomination, thus establishing an American theocracy.” That’s why it’s so ridiculous for a valedictorian to be told, “You’re violating separation of church and state.” That’s bunk.
Isaac Crockett: Well Perry, this has been so helpful and informative I know to myself and to our listeners. As we get ready to close and we’ll have closing prayer here in just a moment, but Sam, do you have any just quick comments you would like to make to our listeners before we wrap this up about separation of church and state? Then hopefully we’ll have time for Gary to close us in prayer.
Sam Rohrer: Yeah, absolutely. Just very briefly, a lot of people, and I think our conversation today has talked about it and made it clear, that a lot of people have come to believe that the separation of church and state, which they go back to one letter from Thomas Jefferson and it did not mean that there was no morality and nobody was to speak truth into government, most people have come to think that that means a separation of God from politics. Well, all right, fine. If that is the case, then God would never have said, “Seek to have righteous in authority. Because when they’re there, the people will rejoice.” God would have never said that if those who are in positions of authority obey and follow God’s rules that he will bless that nation who does so. Separation of church and state, it’s like fingers in a glove. Keep the jurisdictions separate, keep them focused, may they all effectively do exactly what God has told them to do. Don’t let them cross over, but of all the cases, it’s never separation of God from authority or His institutions that He created.