WILLIAM P. CLEMENTS, JR. GOVERNOR OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR STATE CAPITOL AUSTIN, TEXAS 78711 March 13, 1979 STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR CLEMENTS' POSITION ON CHURCH VS. STATE Thank you for your well-expressed comments on the principle of separation of church and state. I do, indeed, consider them constructive. I do not want to take refuae in a claim that my February 20 remarks to the Texas Conference of Churches were taken out of context or misquoted. I do wish the news reports had been presented in better-balanced detail. In the brief address, I stressed that the church can and should make an impact on government, business, and community through programs which build moral fiber and exert ethical influence. While I did state that I do not believe the place of the church is in politics per se, I added that it must be an integral part of the community system, must make contributions outside its own flock and must be open and outreaching. I stated further that a church thrives only by involvement in the community, by helping the sick, the underprivileged, the nealected, the mentally retarded, the young, the old, and armed forces, the poor, the people in prison and all other segments of society. I recognize that the churches must be totally integrated into our system. Yet I stated, and I hope you agree, that the churches must protect their independence and separateness from government. Please accept my appreciation for your views on this important matter, and I hope we are closer together on it than you probably thought from hearing the media reports. I appreciate your good wishes and would encourage and covet your prayers for me as I attend to the affairs of state to bring about a better way of life for all Texans.