The recent flap over the firing – and subsequent “un-firing” – of House chaplain Rev. Patrick J. Conroy raised a number of questions about House Speaker Paul B. Ryan (R-Wisc.) and his motives. An even more compelling question: How did a nation founded on separation of church and state end up with taxpayer-funded chaplains in Congress?
Having a chaplain puts the House of Representatives in the position to pick one religious leader over all others. Yet the House membership includes representatives who are Buddhist, Humanist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Orthodox Christian, Catholic, numerous Protestant denominations and those with no religion at all.