So a bill has been proposed in the Connecticut state legislature that would completely destroy the First Amendment protections of the Catholic Church. For starters, the first line of the bill starts “In regards to the Roman Catholic Church…” Right away, that tells you this is going to shred freedom of religion, by naming a specific church. It goes on to give the state legislature complete control of the Church’s finances. See, rather than allow the bishops and priests to make Church financial decisions, it comes up with a government panel that manages the collection and use of Church funds.
This is unbelievable. Un-freaking-believable.
This is what the “separation of church and state” is about. The church is not run by the government, the government is not run by the church. (Note that this does not mean religious people can’t be elected to office or can’t express their views once elected; that George Bush prayed every morning did not make his administration a brutal theocracy.) And you should be furious about this. You don’t have to be Catholic, Christian, or religious at all to have a deep objection to the idea of the government controlling the operations of a religious organization. Because once the government has the power to do that, they have the power to either establish a state Church or shut down the Church altogether. Neither of those two is a good thing—and both are, of course, flagrant First Amendment violations.
In response to massive backlash, the Connecticut lawmakers have shelved the proposal—for now. Does anyone think that it won’t come back once some of the outrage dies down?