This past week, House Speaker Paul Ryan fired the House Chaplain. I applaud him for that. But he did it for all the wrong reasons. He did it because he thought the chaplain had butted into the political discussion during the debate around the ‘tax reform bill’. Speaker Ryan’s action was petty and partisan and clueless. Maybe the GOP should actually force a vote for a new speaker instead of staying with the lame duck.

But I want him gone too! For Constitutional reasons. I think that it’s about time that the House got rid of the chaplain. Not this one in particular, but any and all governmental chaplains. Under the principle of freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, there shouldn’t even be a chaplain in the house or the senate or any government agency.

If the legislative branch feels the need to have a counselor on staff…no issue with that…but they shouldn’t have a chaplain.

If you want to catch up on the controversy around Speaker Ryan’s decision, check here:

Ryan dismisses House chaplain, leaving lawmakers demanding answers

Tone-deaf Paul Ryan racks up another blunder

4 Responses to Paul Ryan Finally Fires the House Chaplain

  1. Your point may be one for a debate in a college classroom but in an election year where success for the good of the nation is paramount……

    What might be a better talking point revolves around how Republicans–in this case Ryan–have again proved to have two sides to their lives. One is the public folksy side who eats apple pie and only works hard for the country. But the other side is hard-asses who will use the reins of power to bluster and crush others.

  2. Edward Susterich says:

    Government should not be promoting any religion or favoring one religion over another. Every senator and representative has the opportunity to practice their religion without the need for a government chaplain.

    Even more egregious is that chaplains in the military often coerce enlisted personnel to participate in prayers or other religious activity.

  3. David Blaska says:

    Again, the First Amendment does not prohibit the practice of religion. It prohibits the government from imposing a religion or religious test on its citizens. The House chaplain does neither.

    • Bill Dunn says:

      One of the basic principles of the Establishment Clause is that government cannot require a person to contribute even “three pence” of tax money that will be used to support religion. As the Supreme Court put it in Everson v. Board of Education,“[n]o tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions.”
      About $800,000 annually of taxpayer money goes to fund House and Senate chaplains. How is THAT government remaining neutral toward religion?

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