taking the king’s coin

Once again, Catholic Charities has opted to close down operations rather than comply with state requirements to provide services to same-sex couples: Bishops Say Rules on Gay Parents Limit Freedom of Religion.

Because practicing your religion means impinging on people’s rights to conduct their civil lives, apparently.

While it’s true that an organization cannot be discriminated against on account of its beliefs, it is ludicrous to argue that a contract should go to an organization that will refuse to fulfill a part of the obligations of the contract. It’s like saying “oh hey I want this job but I’m only going to do half of it” and expecting to get the job.

If you receive taxpayer dollars in any amount, you must conform with the legal requirements the same as everyone else does. Religion is not a free pass to ignore the law, and it’s not a means to use public funds to deny services that the public has the right to access. When you take the king’s coin in exchange for performing some of his responsibilities, you become his agent and subject to his rules.

The right to practice your religion is for you personally. It is not the right to restrict other people’s behavior or force them to conform to the dictates of your religion’s doctrine. It gives you a little bubble for yourself, not the right to get in everyone else’s space. You are not being oppressed when you are not allowed to use taxpayer dollars to inflict your belief structure on other people.

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