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State churches, O’Reilly and Kim – what if ..?


Uncommon Sense with Glenn Mollette

An encumbrance will often weigh us down or prevent us from going forward. Trinity Lutheran church in Columbia, Missouri, for example, should not receive taxpayer dollars for its preschool daycare playground.
A few years back, the church’s leaders requested money from the state to rubberize the surface of their daycare children’s playground. The money was denied and it has since become a case appearing before the US supreme court.
A church asking the state for money sets a bad precedent, especially if the supreme court rules in its favor. If churches and any of their ministries take money from the federal government, then they should pay taxes from their weekly offerings and endowment funds that some of them pile up for future endeavors.
Most churches couldn’t make it if they had to pay such taxes. A state-controlled church is the last thing America needs. Once that happens to a church, there will be no going back.
I don’t think Christian churches want to be told they have to hire gay and lesbian leadership. Many already do so by their own choice but it’s they who make the choice, not the government. Equally, the churches that do hire gays and lesbians don’t want to be told they can’t.
Most churches do not want to be told they must hire a Muslim to teach daycare Bible stories either. They have demanded and fought for a few liberties and it’s not wise for any church or religious group to give up its freedom in order to teach and exercise its faith free from most federal encumbrances for money.
Speaking of encumbrances, neither Bill O’Reilly nor Fox News should ever have paid a dime to anyone if the allegations against him of sexual harassment were false. Paying out $13 million does not speak of innocence.
We understand that $13 million is small change to O’Reilly and Fox. We also understand them wanting to settle and move on without further encumbering themselves. Unfortunately, though, malignant cancers return unless met head on and dealt with in a conclusive fashion.
Putting a little salve or a Band-Aid on a tumor does not bring about real resolution or a cure. For Fox, the end result is a network that is now reeling and the greatest primetime cable program in history is now just that – history.
Still speaking of encumbrances, Kim Jong-un of North Korea is a pain in the neck. The world has already faced his aggravations and rear ends and now we are staring at one again.
The people of South Korea have to live in the realms of “what if”. What if Kim really messes up and fires a missile at Seoul?
America cannot battle North Korea, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Russia. We don’t have enough tax dollars to fund enough military, nor the weapons and ships, to cover all the territory.
I remember a cartoon character who ran out of breath while trying to keep seven plates spinning on sticks. He was successful but only for a few seconds.
Our wars and nation building go on for years while our country and people are neglected. I would rather fight any war in another country than have one come to America. We must be defensive in our daily strategy against terrorism and threats like Kim’s. If we have to attack, then so be it, but how many nations can we battle before we begin to crumble?
Encumbrances come to all, including churches, national figures and even our nation. Avoiding or freeing ourselves from too many or from the wrong encumbrances seems too difficult for most everyone.
Glenn Mollette is an American author whose syndicated column is read in all 50 states

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