Elected in a Church by the State

Since the greatest of excitement has mostly died down about the elections, I would like to ask you all a question.

Do you think it is strange that we (sometimes) vote in churches (or other houses of worship)?

Tuesday when I voted, I was sent to a church about a mile from my house. The convenience was nice, but something about voting in a church rubbed me the wrong way. It took some thinking, but I realized why it bothers me. Separation of Church and State. Isn’t that the reason this country was founded? A belief that the church and the state should not be influencing one another? Yet, there I stood, smack dab in the middle of a church voting for my government of choice.

I understand the reasoning behind using churches. They are plentiful, communal, and have rooms of an appropriate size for the event. But it just seems inappropriate to me. There are plenty of government building to house the elections in. Police stations, firehouses, city hall, libraries, senior centers, community centers…is there really a need to use a house of worship for elections?

Perhaps I am being overly sensitive about this issue, but it bothers me. It’s not that I feel as though the particular church I am in is going to try to influence my opinions, it’s just that it doesn’t seem like the appropriate forum in which to be voting for elected officials.

So far, the majority of the people I have mentioned this to have at first thought it was no big deal, but then after a minute or two of thought have come to the same conclusion that I have, that it is an inappropriate venue. I am curious what the Internets have to say, so if you have an opinion, please leave it in the comments.

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3 responses to “Elected in a Church by the State

  1. Many people would arge that our country was founded on the protection of the church FROM the state. The puratins were persecuted, so they moved to a new place (please excuse all my horrible spelling, no spell check).

    But I agree that state and church should be seperate-BUT lets be realistic, they are not. God is on our money, a president has never had an innaugural address without mentioning God. And frankly, they are just talking about any God, but a judeo-christian God.

    As for the churches, I guess I don’t really mind them, but then again, we vote by mail in Oregon so I no longer have to go to the polls. Maybe a potent crusifix would scare me into voting differently, but I doubt it. I would not, however, bring my children with me to vote at a church. I have made up my mind, but they have not.

  2. Sorry, yes, I put a modern addition on that one…protecting the Church FROM the State.

    It’s not that I mind the churches, or a synagogue or a mosque, it’s just that it seems inappropriate.

    Also, just to point this out, let’s say in some neighborhood, the polling place was in a Mosque. If you were Jewish, couldn’t that be a bit intimidating? You may still go there to vote, but it seems unnecessary to put someone in that position.

    As for God being included in much of our government, that is true, and honestly, that doesn’t much bother me. But none of the things you mentioned are things that change the way this country is run. Voting does.

    I like your point about not bringing your child there…

    Keep it coming guys!! I’d love some more opinions.

  3. I have always thought that was odd and made for strange bedfellows. Just strikes me as wrong….

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