Jesus' Opinion on Religion in the Public Square
One of the things most frustrating about the evangelical and fundamentalist Christian forces in this country is how little heed they take of their own Bible and Jesus' commands therein. With all the Christian complaints about secular attempts to "take religion out of the public square," perhaps we should consider what Jesus had to say on the subject. I think these verses from the Gospel of St. Matthew speak for themselves (from the King James Version):
6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before
men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward
of your Father which is in heaven.
6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do
not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of
men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know
what thy right hand doeth:
6:4 That thine alms may be in
secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as
the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the
corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say
unto you, They have their reward.
6:6 But thou, when thou
prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast
shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy
Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the
heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.