Connecticut Liberals Push For State Control of the Catholic Church

by Mike on March 9, 2009

in Culture,Judicial Watch,Law,Politics,Religion

Connecticut State Senators Andrew McDonald and Michael Lawlor (Democrats) have proposed legislation that would strip Catholic clergy of control over their budgets and place it in the hands of the laity.  The Church has denounced the move and the Catholic League has called for the two libs to be expelled from the Senate.  People routinely make a slippery slope argument in opposition to outrageous proposals, but that would be inappropriate here.  As Creative Minority Report argues:  “This is not a slippery slope argument. This is the thud at the bottom of the slope, folks.”

When a religious institution loses control over its finances, it loses control over much more than its books.  It loses control over how it uses its money in areas related to the practice of its religion, no matter what exclusion may be written into the law.   By interfering with Church operations, this legislation is an attempt to undermine the Catholic Church itself.  That is something that should frighten everybody.

An attack on any religious institution is an attack on the core of every human being who devotes his life to that institution.  It is an attack on people of other faiths and those with no faith at all because it is an assault on individual liberty.  Invading something so central to the humanity of every person is also an assault on human dignity itself.  This legislation smacks of the kind of interference one would have seen from East European Communist regimes or that we do see in Communist China today.  Those regimes understood and understand that one of the easiest ways to undermine a religion is to control its operations.

On the bright side, this legislation is blatantly unconstitutional.  Even in this era when so many jurists have taken the view that ignoring the Constitution is what constitutes Constitutionality, we are still nowhere near the point where a law like this would be upheld.  However, every time legislators like McDonald and Lawlor propose something like this, it makes it that much easier for their ideological successors to try again, with greater numbers than before.  That is of course, unless people of goodwill resist.

I’m pleased to see that there is a strong backlash to this asinine proposal.  It shows that parts of our culture remain strong.  It also makes it more difficult to pass such a law both now and in the future.

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