EDITORIAL: Separation of church, state should not be forgotten post-election season

Editorial Board

In the aftermath of the election, we just can’t get a few issues off our minds. And they all tie back to the same concept — the separation of church and state.

You might recall that a few Ames churches made headlines when they became satellite early-voting locations in October. While the churches were adamant that no electioneering would take place during sermons, we’re still skeptical that the people who voted at places like Cornerstone Church weren’t influenced by that particular church’s beliefs. Or by the fact that Tim Gartin, Republican candidate for the Iowa Senate who was defeated by Herman Quirmbach, is identified on Cornerstone’s website as part of the church’s “full elder team.”

Let us also remember that the funding for Bob Vander Plaats’ “Iowa for Freedom” was a collaborative effort on behalf of national “family values” organizations — the Mississippi-based American Family Association, the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, and the aptly named Faith and Freedom Coalition — to name a few. Highlights from the AFA’s Mission Statement, pulled from its own website, include:

“Decency and Morality

AFA works to promote decency and morals in American culture,

1. to restrain evil by exposing the works of darkness and to promote virtue by upholding that in culture which is right, true and good;

2. to convince men of sin and drive them to Christ’s grace and forgiveness; and to

3. to guide and encourage Christians to live-out the new holy identity that is theirs as citizens of Christ’s kingdom.

The Family

AFA works to strengthen families, to protect families from government intrusion, and to preserve the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of a husband and wife.

Religious Liberty

AFA defends the rights of conscience and religious liberty from infringement by government and from subjugation in popular culture.

Sanctity of Human Life

AFA upholds the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, against abortion, experimentation that is not for the benefit of the subject, euthanasia, destruction of cloned embryos, and interspecies cloning.”


“..To that end, AFA spurs activism directed to:

  • Preservation of Marriage and the Family
  • Decency and Morality
  • Sanctity of Human Life
  • Stewardship
  • Media Integrity”

The difference between other people’s lives and fast food is none too subtle; so why do people get so angry when they don’t get to have it their way?

Why do they expect others to be concerned with their every whim?

When offense is taken by someone over something that has nothing to do with them, that’s called a personal problem.

The business of “why” is a dirty one that requires people to unearth things that maybe they wish would have been left to rest. We have a duty to ask the question, to delve into the reasons. If we fail to make the “whys” our business then we embrace willful ignorance.

We aren’t mad, we’re just disappointed. Although having the Iowa Supreme Court Justices cherry picked out of their seats is disheartening, the sun continues to rise and fall as it always has, and LGBT marriage is still legal in the state of Iowa.