Exemptions Granted to Imply Supremacy
Cardinal George Pell, of Sydney, is entirely correct that “part of the logic in attacking the freedom of the church to serve others is to undermine the witness these services give to powerful Christian convictions.” Providing, say, adoption services in Massachusetts is thus defined not as something done out of religious conviction, but a secular practice that a religiously founded organization opts to pursue.
A church-based charity is no different, in this view, than a company offering a service for profit or a non-profit corporation processing charity as a means of professional occupation for its employees. Even if a religious group is filling a void, it must abide by the state’s rationale for providing the service, and if it refuses to do so, well then, either the service must be ended or the state must pick up the slack.
To the contrary, says Pell:
Believers should not be treated by government and the courts as a tolerated and divisive minority whose rights must always yield to the minority secular agenda, especially when religious people are overwhelmingly in the majority. The opportunity to contribute to community and public good is a right of all individuals and groups, including religious ones. The application of laws within democracies should facilitate the broadening of these opportunities, not their increasing constraint
Modern liberalism has strong totalitarian tendencies. Institutions and associations, it implies, exist only with the permission of the state and to exist lawfully, they must abide the dictates or norms of the state. Modern liberalism is remote indeed from traditional liberalism, which sees the individual and the family and the association as prior to the state, with the latter existing only to fulfill functions that the former require but which are beyond their means to provide.
Civic involvement has been redefined as secular behavior, with the effect being that religion is a permissible eccentricity to be practiced outside of public view. Thus secularists foment the impression that the religious impulse does not increase charity and moral goodness, but is an unnecessary burden that our ancestors unfortunately attached to a feeling of fellowship that human beings naturally feel.
And if they do not feel that way (or don’t express their feelings in preferred way), well then, the government must correct them. Once again, we see that government-based “social justice” is a cure worse than the disease. Actually, it’s not a cure at all; it’s an opiate for control while the disease festers.