The state of Connecticut’s attempts to silence the Church is not just a Catholic problem. And the sooner all Christians stand up to the bullying tactics of the state, the safer every religious organization in this country will be.
As we all know, the Office of State Ethics in Connecticut is investigating a Catholic diocese for allegedly lobbying state lawmakers. The diocese was simply trying to fend off an unprecedented power grab from the state which was trying to take the power of the Church away from bishops and forcibly hand it over to elected lay boards.
In response, the Diocese of Bridgeport appropriately arranged for busloads of people show up at the state capitol to protest the bill.
But because the Church attempted to influence legislation, the state’s OSE is saying that the Church must register as a lobbyist organization.
But oddly the blogosphere and many Christian organizations have been strangely silent on this issue. But surely we must all understand that if succesful the state will not content itself with silencing only one religious organization. Power obtained rarely rusts in the hands of the government. This tactic will be repeated until it is stopped or religious organizations are too afraid to speak their mind.
But thankfully, some are becoming aware enough of this awful situation and understand that if this move is successful it could lead to silencing every congregation of every religion in the country.
According to One News Now:
Mat Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Virginia, believes a constitutional right is under attack.
“If a church has to register with the state before it can take a position on a particular piece of legislation or an initiative, that is a significant violation and intrusion on the rights of the church’s mission,” he argues. “It’s certainly a violation, I believe, of the First Amendment.”
Staver believes it is an attempt by some who are opposed to the church’s position on morality and sexual behavior, wanting to intimidate the church into silence by saying it did not register to lobby.
“If anything, the church-state provision of the First Amendment means that the government cannot come in and direct the internal operation and mission of the church,” the attorney emphasizes.
But that is, in fact, what is being attempted on the Connecticut diocese, says Staver.
This is a good thing. We, as Christians must all stand together or the state will pick off each denomination one at a time seeking to encourage silence from all others.