More and more we see religious groups trying to push their agenda into laws, politics, and the government. Too many in the general religious populous think God has been kicked out of government, and they want him back in there. But what happens when the roles are reversed, and government proposes to push its policy into religion?
The church cries 'foul' and sputters quotes about 'the separation of church and state' and then holds a rally to gather support to stop the proposal.
Apparently Representative Michael Lawlor and Senator Andrew McDonald drew up plans for a bill that would take financial power from the catholic bishops and turn it over to a council comprised of church members. Their plans came about after concerns arose from catholic church goers about the balance concerning the choices that were being made with their money.
According to the director for the Center of Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, Paul Lakelan, "Catholic lay people provide all the funds for the running of the parish, but they have absolutely no executive authority for how those dollars are spent. That’s a situation that increasing numbers of people are unhappy with."
A particular incident cited was the St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Greenwich Connecticut, where an audit revealed two secret bank accounts and $400,000 missing from the diocese's funds.
I love irony; and I find a little here. Picture this scenario: A mother strolls into the living room and seeing her son, he blurts out "I didn't eat them!" without her ever saying anything. With a confused and quizzical look on her face she continues walking into the kitchen and discovering the cookie jar tipped over and empty. - - Now here we have Bishop William Lori, who upon hearing the government is proposing a regulation on the church, blurts out "this is a thinly veiled attempt to silence the Catholic Church on important issues of day, such as same-sex marriage." He's in such a hurry to defend himself, that he is defending the wrong action. To me it seems he's also (in a way) admitting that he knows sticking his nose in politics and speaking out against same-sex marriage is wrong.
Bishop Lori goes on to say "It is time for us to stop this unbridled use of governmental
power. It is time for us to defend our First Amendment rights." If only he was bright enough to realize there are those who have been saying the same things for years, with one word changed of course: "It is time for us to stop this unbridled use of religious
power. It is time for us to defend our First Amendment rights."
He and others are too blind to realize what's good for the goose is good for the gander
- in that the government cannot push laws down to policy the church, and the church cannot push policy into laws in the government.
The bill was shouted down before it could even make it to the legislature's judiciary committee scheduled for today. I've got to say I'm glad it didn't make it through, I'm fairly certain this falls into the First Amendment territory of the government not making laws about religion.
But seriously! I wish the church could see the irony!
Nod to Americans United for Separation of Church and State