If a department of state government, the Department of Education for example, were to have a religious leader on staff (paid for by the tax payer) who gave prayers at the beginning of the work day, and considered it part of their job to proselytize to state employees and insure that their job was done according to Christian principles (as they defined them)...I think most people would say this was wrong and unconstitutional.
The state legislature on the other hand has chaplains on staff and has daily prayers, which have been very sectarian at times. The argument made for maintaining such positions is that they are 'historical tradition'.
The current chaplain of the Minnesota State Senate, Dan Hall, has said... (from Pastor leads outreach to state leaders)
"...these committed public servants have a need to understand the bigger purpose of life and to know the Lord in a deeper way.”
"We must pray that they would know God’s heart and have the courage to vote as Jesus would."
I accept that military chaplains serve a purpose of allowing for freedom of religious expression (with limits) to members of the military. Can anyone provide any good reasons (other than 'historical tradition') why taxpayers should be paying for a chaplain for a group of state employees (who happen to be working in the legislature), and not other employees?
This is part of the Blog Against Theocracy project....more pictures of Cat coming soon (I am waiting for her legal people to get the signed releases back to me).
Blog Against Theocracy Part 2 - Blog Against Theocracy Part 3
I've added a new post with a correction to this entry and more information.