Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Convergence of Conscience and Command

Feb 21, 2012
Elizabeth Scalia

This brings us to what is fractured, which would be the previously sound relationship between the U.S. Government and religious entities that—for the past 230 years—have been considered efficient and helpful co-deliverers of social services beneficial to the public good, but are suddenly become public hindrances. On January 31, the administration amended the policies of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: those working for church-related schools, or charities are no longer eligible. An administration-supporting associate informs me that the move “was showing sensitivity to the establishment clause.” As a similar explanation seems to lay behind the administrations refusal to allow the USCCB’s continued assistance in providing aid to victims of human trafficking, I suspect such “sensitivities” will soon render ineligible for federal loans those students attending church-related schools. One wonders if such a hyper “sensitivity” will eventually find religious interests ineligible to parade (or protest) on public streets.

This is of a piece with the administration’s unprecedented assault on First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and the exercise thereof, a move calculated, some believe, to eventually push the churches out of the public arena altogether and redefine freedom of religion as mere freedom of worship. That notion seems a great deal less paranoid than it did, even a week ago as, at a recent congressional hearing, Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro appeared to suggest that religious liberty doesn’t extend beyond the right to worship. the rest 

The Catholic Betrayal of Religious Freedom


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