The Elimination of Church from State?

After the Supreme Court ruled that it was acceptable for this cross to be displayed in the Mojave Desert, vandals took it down (again).

Which returns us to the topic of religious expression and public funds and property. Billy and Angelise decried religious oppression when the University of California disallowed registered groups from hiring on the basis of religion and sexual orientation. Ben W pointed out that this case does not oppress the freedom of religious groups, only their ability to take advantage of public benefits.

I do not think it is the obligation of the state to support religious groups, or even provide benefits to all groups as long as they are equal benefits (and I mean benefits, not freedom). But what of the fact that federal and state governments are financing a bigger and bigger share of society? At this rate, is it possible that what is being called separation of church and state may de facto become elimination of church? I don't mean immediately, but eventually.

For example, the freedom to assemble requires a place to meet. I would guess that thousands of churches nationwide rent public schools as their meeting places. Someone could challenge this practice and tell those churches to meet somewhere else. Oftentimes such churches could not meet somewhere else, or would have to drastically change their structure in order to do so.

I am reminded of what Doug Wilson writes: “The political state in our day is swollen and overgrown, and has gotten into everything. Politics, the great secular idol of modernity, has virtually filled up every public space. This means that it is not possible to go into any public space in order to have a public witness of any kind without it resulting in some kind of political confrontation.”


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