“In God We Trust”, but should we trust God with our government? Throughout centuries, the role of the church in politics has been highly influential. History has shown us that church and state should be two separate entities. However, even in modern times, the church still affects the government’s decisions, and gets away with it -tax breaks and all.
In the past, the Church was a big part of politics. The parishes and temples kept records of every child born as baptism was mandatory. They were also responsible for keeping the town’s morality in check. In United States, they performed “witch hunts”; in the rest of the Americas, the Catholic Inquisitions burned the heathens and heretics. Currently, the Church and the State, through a constitutional mandate, no longer interfere with each other. However, the Church still influences some people in the government, and still manipulate the masses.
Organized religion in Puerto Rico behaves as a social club. Members of these Christian non-catholic cults behave as if they were “the chosen ones”, and are either trying to “save” someone, or “condemning” someone. Churches such as “Fuente de Agua Viva” and “Congregación Mita” get tax breaks from the State, even though they collect high revenues. These ministries and churches usually ask their congregation for donations that amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, allowing their leaders to live a luxurious lifestyle, at the expense of the parishioners.
With such a high economical power, the next step would be to influence lawmakers: Governor Luis Fortuño currently has in the State’s Board of Advisors a “Faith and Community Affairs Advisor”, namely, Miguel Cintrón. Mons. Roberto González Nieves, archbishop of San Juan, is known to influence and intervene with religious affairs.
Most lawmakers on the Senate and the Representatives’ Chamber, in cahoots with social leaders, use religion to justify their agendas regarding ammends to the Constitution and the Penal Code that would make an impact on the LGBT community, or on unwed mothers and children conceived out of wedlock.
State and Church are two separate entities that cooperate with each other in a way that infuriates many people, as they believe it alienates believers from fiscal corruption, by having them focus on moral corruption instead. In God they trust, but should they trust God with their government? The Bible may say yes, but history and logic say no.