Narvaiz’ religious strategy for re-election
Our Mayor hosts prayer breakfasts for local Christian and nonChristian clergy. These are meetings to discuss the current events of the city and get feedback from the community. An article was written critical of her motives and said she is using taxpayer money to support religion in government. I responded to the article (read below)
you can click the link for his article.
As a pastor in San Marcos, I have attended many of the breakfasts described in the article. In 2004, I was apprehensive about the mayor’s motive. Was the mayor trying to get more votes? Or maybe promoting a religious agenda in our ’secular’ government? I have found neither to be the case. The mayor is connecting with leaders that are more connected with the social and economic situation of San Marcos than probably any other ‘profession or group’.
From my experience the agenda is clear: communicate the city’s agenda to community leaders so that they will disseminate the information to their congregants. EXAMPLE: 2005 Hurricane Rita was bearing down on Central Texas. The city Government needed to communicate with the public asap. Pastors played a vital role in that process. Ken Bell and other leaders gave instructions on how to assist locals and evacuees. I am SURE the taxpayers were pleased that approx. 30 churches were standing by to offer assistance in food, clothing, shelter, and counseling. (from their own expense acct NOT taxpayers)
There is a short time available for leaders to express concerns. These are not concerns about how evil the government is or how to get more prayer in the schools. The concerns deal with cleaning up neighborhoods, the homeless problem, drugs in parks, low-income housing, relations with TX State, etc.
Your quote: “…the events have the flavor and appearance of religious activities” is comical. If these events are ‘religious activities’ I might want to quit my post. Your reasoning is that prayer is offered at the beginning. Yes, we pray before the mtg and to close the mtg. Do you realize that prayer has been offered at the beginning of every gathering of the US Congress since the beginning of our government? The President sponsors a Prayer Breakfast every year. You support the Constitution, but the Constitution does not include the separation of church and state. That was mentioned in a letter written after the fact. Its intent was to keep government from controlling religious expression. Go back and read all the historical references of Presidents and other government leaders praying IN office (not just as private citizens).
Of course these comments are my own and may not represent the Mayor.