Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Some days I feel like I’ve landed in an alternate universe where pesky little things like the Constitution don’t exist… This is one of those days, I sat down for breakfast this morning started reading our local paper. The first thing that caught my eye was a headline that read “Proposed Bill Angers Catholics“. It seems two of our genius legislators, Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, and Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, have proposed revisions to the state’s 1955 religious corporation law aimed squarely at Catholic churches.
The bill would remove the authority of the bishop and pastor over individual parishes and put a board of laymen in their place. Lawlor claims the proposed changes are in response to case of Rev. Michael Jude Fay, who was convicted of embezzling roughly $1.4 million from Darien’s St. John Church.
Regardless of Lawlor and McDonald’s reasons this bill is a blatant violation of the first amendment… Existing laws covering fraud and theft already apply to religious organizations. If fraud or theft occurred parishioners already have a recourse under existing law.
Ed has more at Hot Air.
Update (4:15 p.m. ): Tim Hoopes adds some potentially worrisome details at NCRegister.com:
Senate Bill 1098 was quickly labeled as payback to the bishops for the defense of marriage. But it may be worse than that: It may be part of a Voice of the Faithful strategy to “democratize” the Church. This is Voice of the Faithful’s plan that would gut the Church’s structure.
At annual meetings in Connecticut (at Fairfield University, for one place), Voice of the Faithful has been much more open about what it wants than it had been hitherto. Leaders in the movement dissent from bottom-line Catholic issues from women’s ordination to the sinfulness of homosexual acts to abortion. They also want to change Church structure (as a first step to changing Church doctrine, maybe?).
When I frist read about