May 4, 2011

Rely on the Churches

ChurchConservative politicians generally agree that the government should not be in the business of providing any sort of assistance to unemployed or impoverished Americans. Let the churches do that, they say. By shifting this burden from the government to the religious sector, they aim to relieve the wealthiest 2% of most of their tax burden and shrink the size of government (at least in certain areas). But look at what happens if we play this scenario out.

The public has to count on churches to fulfill this role, the very churches the conservative politicians would like to free from any sort of regulation about who they hire and who they may choose to help. Aid comes with strings attached once churches are so freed. The government cannot discriminate, but churches would have no such constraints. Is it any wonder that conservatives and clergy are so often in bed together?

Being a fiscal conservative who prefers a smaller government is one thing. Supporting policies that force the needy to grovel before the churches to receive vital aid is something else entirely.

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