According to the U. S. Constitution, there is an explicit separation between Church and State. Perhaps State doesn’t mean politics. I’ll explain. I was recently invited to cover an event at the 412 Church, a large expansion of land and building on the border between Hem and San Jacinto in the northwest corner of the San Jacinto Valley. It was billed as a “Townhall Meeting,” something, as a journalist, I was pleased to cover. However, what I sat through for an hour had nothing to do with townhall other than it was packed with people. The general public did not speak.

Honored guest speakers included a city councilman from San Jacinto and the Mayor Hemet.

There was a lot of discussion as to how the school district and State had no right to tell families how to raise their children. There were petitions to sign advocating no vaccines, no masks, etc.

Beyond that, once the “meeting” got started, it became clear that the church was being used for political purposes. Speaker after speaker discussed parents’ rights not to be told how to raise their children. They were anti-vaccine, anti-mask and “don’t tell us what to do” speeches.

The assault was on Unions, School districts, The federal government, President Biden and the current administration.

The host claimed we were living under a Marxist government and declared that on September 14th, we would have a new governor that wouldn’t be a Democrat. Councilman Brian Hawkins of San Jacinto claimed to be the Democrat’s worst nightmare, or words to that effect.

The California Teacher’s Union needed to be broken up, according to one speaker.

School choice was highly praised, Critical Race Theory was absolutely denounced, although I never did get the point of what that actually might be.

An attorney from Tyler & Bursch was there to give support to the anti-Newsom recall movement. (Newsom won that race by a good 50 or 60 percent of the vote. It was suggested that every means possible could be used to avoid vaccines and masks: Religious objections, other exemptions, etc., Everything except allergies.

The only thing that remotely suggested church was announcing that a Christian Teachers Union has been formed to advocate for faith and freedom.

I will always cover political activities but don’t be so cowardly as to hide it behind a so-called Christian Front. That dishonors both.

Church or State? You be the judge. Just sayin’ [email protected]

Rusty Strait | Senior Reporter

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