Mayor McCoy, keep your church out of my state

Thousand Oaks Mayor Rob McCoy believes justice comes from God. He believes that all rights are granted by God. He believes morals are based on God. He does not believe in the separation of church and state.

Religious beliefs are not shared by everyone, but the First Amendment applies to all. However, McCoy seems to think his religious beliefs should apply to all, and that the First Amendment only applies if it fits his goal.

Now, there is not necessarily a problem with having a religious figure as a mayor. However, when that person intends on inspiring a religious revival through his mayoral position, there definitely is. In an interview with the Church and Liberty Coalition, McCoy said that the reason he joined the political arena was to inspire disciples to follow his path and teach the American people morals. He also told the interviewers that people are “inculcated” to believe in the separation of church and state, “which does not exist.”

Further, at an American Legacy lecture at the Godspeak Calvary Chapel, he said, “Progressivism is a religion disguised as a political movement while Islam is a political system disguised as a religion. Christianity is counter-culture.  The push (must be) to change (or) transform culture” even when it goes against what is politically correct.

If McCoy cannot take his religious preference out of the City Council, then there is a conflict of interest that compromises the integrity of the City Council. While all views should be respected, there is no need for any certain religion to be touted in disproportionate favor.

The First Amendment of the Constitution, in guaranteeing religious freedom, also gives the basis for the separation of church and state. However, many believe that just because the Constitution does not explicitly say the words separation of church and state, it is perfectly okay to legislate religious-based precepts. However, in the case Town of Greece v. Galloway, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that “the First Amendment ensures both that the government does not show preference to a certain religion and that the government does not take away an individual’s ability to exercise religion. In other words, the church should not rule over the state, and the state cannot rule over the church.” Keeping religion out of legislation and vice versa is supposed to be an American guarantee. The fact that McCoy so flippantly disregards the Constitution and Supreme Court shows that either he is ignorant or simply does not care.  

If he wants to inspire a moral community, he has the right to do that within the walls of his church or in a public space. But using a position of authority to legislate and indoctrinate a community with a particular religion’s belief system is unethical and an abuse of power.

1 Comment

  1. Paul SCHMEER

    February 10, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    FYI- According to the Ventura County Civic Alliance’s “State of the County Report” for 2015, on page 30, the majority of Ventura County residents have historically chosen not to be affiliated with any organized religion.
    “The portion of Ventura County residents who belong or
    adhere to a religious denomination grew throughout the
    1980s and has dropped since then. At nearly every 10-year
    interval, though, at least half of county residents claimed no
    particular religious affiliation.
    In 1980, just 35 percent of county residents were church
    members or adherents. That figure grew to 51 percent by
    1990. In both 2000 and 2010, about 45 percent of county
    residents were members or adherents of a congregation,
    leaving the majority of residents either nonbelievers or
    unaffiliated with any particular denomination.”

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