Worrying about the religious right

Worrying about the religious right

This is curious. First The Boston Globe is doing a multi-part series on the Bush administration directing foreign aid funds to faith-based organizations, and now the parent company’s flagship, The New York Times is doing its own multi-part series on religious groups benefiting from “an increasingly accommodating government.” Hmm, two related newspapers with generally liberal audiences, less than a month before an election, run a series of articles warning of the power that the Left’s bogeyman—conservative Christians—supposedly wield in Washington. It is another transparent attempt to build the case that “theocons” are building a modern theocracy. Who would have thought that liberals would resort to the politics of fearmongering and highlighting divisions in society?

In any case, yesterday’s installment in the Times claims that the government is increasingly remaining hands off while “employees” of religious groups lose their employment rights. I put “employees” in scare quotes because what they’re talking about in general are people called to religious vocations. The first example is that of a novice in a religious order who was dismissed from the novitiate, she claims, because she was diagnosed with cancer. She sued, but a judge dismissed the case because he said this was an “ecclesiastical decision” protected by the First Amendment.

Exemption for ministerial functions

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