Politics and the Pastorate
What role do politics play in the church?
What role do politics play in the public life of a pastor?
Is it alright for a pastor to leave politics completely out of his sermons and his or her “church business,” but post extreme views all over Facebook? This is not just for the neocons of the pulpit, but the leftists as well. Granted, I’ve seen more political Facebook posts from pastors to the right, while pastors to the left tend to be a little more private about their views (in my friends list anyway), but it does happen on both sides.
Where does the pastor’s public life stop and his or her private life start? If someone posts on the internet, is that their public life? What if they strictly limit their friends list? Does the church have a right to dictate what a pastor can or cannot say on his or her Facebook wall or blog?
Personally, I would propose that if a pastor would not be willing to say it from the pulpit, he or she should not post it on the internet, say it at a “town hall meeting,” or hang it from one of those annoying signs that pop up in everyone’s yard around election time. Then the question becomes: is the pulpit ever an acceptable mode of communication for politics?
I would say no, unless the issue directly involved or affected Christianity (for example, if the government was holding an election and one of the issues to be voted on was whether or not religious groups could continue to meet, then the pastor certainly should bring it up). Luckily, the U.S. Constitution protects us from most of that mess.
What do all of you, out there in the blogosphere, think about this?