By LAMAR HANKINS
What public piety! The mayor believes that God willed her to be re-elected. When the initial votes were tabulated and it appeared that she had a majority, Narvaiz said “I have to give all the glory to God. I will always give the glory to God.”
I was brought up to believe that God had more important things to do than meddle in the outcome of a football game or in an election for mayor of San Marcos. Actually, I was taught that God created us and gave us free will to exercise in any manner we chose, though, apparently, he hoped we would choose wisely. Of course, I realize that Mayor Susan Narvaiz and I must come from different religious backgrounds, which bothers me not in the least. What does concern me is what the mayor has planned for San Marcos in the name of her religion.
It appears more and more that Mayor Narvaiz is a theocrat or a dominionist intent on having her brand of religion – some type of Christianity, apparently–take over this city. Dominionists generally disclaim the separation of religion and government, and believe that the government should be run by the principles of their form of Christian faith.
A year ago, she instituted an invocation near the beginning of city council meetings, given by those who follow her brand of Christianity (which excludes Jews, Muslims, as well as a lot of Christians and many others). City councils got along for nearly 33 years without the need to invoke a deity before taking care of the people’s business. There is no evidence that an invocation has made any improvement in city government during the past year. Since the mayor’s god doesn’t seem to be helping our elected political leaders do their jobs, maybe its time for the city council to open its meetings by praying to some other gods.
I don’t know the exact brand of religion the mayor follows, and I wouldn’t care except that she appears to have been running to become Pastor of the City of San Marcos, or the city’s religious guru. In reality, she was running for the secular position of mayor of the City of San Marcos – a city established under the laws of Texas and the United States and created by a charter written and approved by the citizens of this community. Whether the writers were religious, we don’t know. What we do know is that there are no religious requirements for the office and there is nothing in the charter about giving the mayor the duty or the right to promote any religion.
The mayor’s religious views are irrelevant, unless she is trying to create a city controlled by the religious community, which could be her plan. If God is telling her what to do, I’d like to get in on the conversation, but I don’t know what channel she is using. Is this the God of the Old Testament she is talking to? Or is it the God of the New Testament, made known to us in the person of Jesus? Or is it possible that I have misunderstood her religious choice and she is communicating with the God known as Allah? Or perhaps it is Krishna whose will she knows so well.
I’ve heard that there are some Wiccans in San Marcos. Does the mayor know the Will of the Wiccan God, which could be the god known as the “Horned God,” or the goddess called the “Triple Goddess,” both of which are part of a Pantheistic Godhead? This gets very complicated, I know, but since the mayor is following “God’s Will” in her duties as mayor, perhaps the citizens deserve to know more about the god whose will she is carrying out.
I know that there is a Buddhist temple in Hays County, and there are followers of Buddhism who live in San Marcos. While Buddhists don’t believe in a personal god, they do have a pantheistic view of the world. Is it the will of this force of nature that the Mayor communes with and whose will she senses?
Since Mayor Narvaiz wants to promote her religion through her position as mayor, maybe she owes the citizens of San Marcos a full explanation about just what religious views, doctrines, and beliefs she will be promoting. I would like to know what her god is telling her to do about all the issues with which the city must deal. What is she being told to do by her god about the potholes on Broadway? Or curb cuts on the Wonder World Extension? What is god’s will about the drainage problems on the south side of town? How many more millions of dollars in tax relief does her god want, given to the corporate stores being built on South Interstate=35? Does her god approve of some of those stores selling revealing tank tops? I know for a fact that birth control pills and condoms are sold in pharmacies and other stores throughout San Marcos, which many of us believe promotes sexual promiscuity. Are these sales her god’s will? What is her god’s will about more than two unrelated individuals living together in certain parts of town? And what is her god’s will about allowing people to drink two hours longer each night in San Marcos?
It is time for politicians to stop using their gods to manipulate religious people, intimidate other elected officials into allowing this religious manipulation, and using their elected positions to promote their brand of religion. This is a pluralistic community, with people representing a multitude of religious persuasions, including no religion. There are twenty-two major world religions, many of which have adherents in San Marcos. Our city government should not represent one part of one of those religions.
Based on our legal system, city government should not represent any religion, nor should it promote any religion. This I know because the Supreme Court told me so. This city should not be governed by the principles of the mayor’s form of Christian faith. It should be governed according to the laws and the constitution of the State of Texas and of the United States.
It is time for other public officials and other citizens to step up and tell Mayor Narvaiz to promote her religion on her own time, if she wishes, but not on the people’s time. Citizens should not be left out of city government because of their religious beliefs or because they are offended by the mayor’s officially conspicuous religiosity.Email | Print