Brian Dahle, a newly elected Republican state senator and farmer from Beiber, California, has come under fire for conducting what critics say is a town hall that was advertised for Christians only.
The event held last Thursday in Redding, was billed the “Faith and Values Town Hall,” and moderated by Mayor Julie Winter and held at Little Country Church.
“So excited to be in Redding to talk about my faith and the role it plays in my public service. Thank you Mayor Winters and the Little Country Church,” Dahle wrote in a post on his Facebook page a day after the event.
The Republican was criticized, however, for how the online invitation appeared to only invite “Christians from local churches.”
“As an interfaith minister I have to express my disappointment and disgust. Holding this in a Christian church is a slap in the face to your constituents that are Pagan, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist, Odinist and other non-Christian religions. This is a saddening blurring of the line between Church and State, and if your meeting were held in a Mosque there would be an uproar,” wrote Teresa Garcia in response to the state senator’s post.
“Faith is important, yes. Yours is Christian, yes. However your job is not to proselytize your faith. As a Senator of California in the United States, a country based on the separation of Church and State and religious liberty you MUST remember your MANY constituents of ALL and NO religion,” she added.
On the Facebook page for the event Dahle made a special appeal to Christians but also appeared to reach out to “all citizens.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair