No surprise here: the Boston Globe editorializes in favor of a bill to make churches publish all their financial details. It all sounds so good. Financial transparency ensures that donated money and goods go toward their intended purpose. But the motivation is more sinister. What it will do is open the Church to government meddling, such as that from Attorney General Tom Reilly who held the Red Sox’s charitable foundation’s feet to the fire when the team was sold a couple of years ago. It’s an invitation to government interference in religion. And the Globe only seems to mind the breaching of the “wall of separation” when it’s the Church trying to get involved in government-controlled activities, and not vice-versa.
Financial transparency seems a small price to pay for independence from taxation, one that doesn’t interfere with the ability to practice religion.