When government helps to finance the operations of a religious organization, it violates the rights of the people whose wealth it forcibly takes for the purpose. Such funding violates not only people’s right to control their resources, but their right to follow their conscience, insofar as they are forced to propagate ideas with which they disagree. I’ve argued these points in a first, second, and third article responding to the Supreme Court’s decision that a playground operated by Trinity Lutheran Church must be considered for government grants available to others.
But when exactly does government funding constitute a subsidy to a given party, when does a subsidy promote a religious purpose, and what are the ethical implications of various government programs, such as tax-funded vouchers that parents can spend at religious schools? Continue reading “Why Vouchers Subsidize Religion”
Tax subsidies to religious organizations are not justified just because laws that ban such subsidies arose from anti-Catholic sentiment.
We expect people on the left to argue that government should counter bigotry by forcing private parties to do things they otherwise would not do, such as, in the case of a Christian baker who opposes homosexuality, bake a cake for a gay wedding.
We do not usually expect conservatives to make comparable arguments, but, when it comes to tax funding for religious groups, many conservatives do just that. Continue reading “Conservatives Play the Bigotry Card to Support Tax Funds for Religious Groups”
Many conservatives back freedom for religious business owners but not for taxpayers when it comes to matters of conscience.
Many conservatives are logically inconsistent when it comes to religious liberty, as their positions on two prominent legal cases illustrate. Continue reading “Cakes, Playgrounds, and Conservative Hypocrisy on Religious Liberty”
The forgotten person, whose freedom of conscience and right to direct his wealth are ignored, is the one forced to help finance a project a government agency deems best.
Religious organizations have the same right as nonreligious ones to use wealth taken from others by force, according to the Supreme Court and its conservative cheerleaders. Continue reading “The Religious Liberty to Spend Other People’s Money”
The gullible ones are the journalists who unquestioningly swallowed the survey claiming that seven percent of people think chocolate milk comes straight from brown cows.
Seven percent of Americans are so gullible they think chocolate milk comes straight from brown cows, right? Wrong. The gullible ones are the news reporters and their readers who unquestioningly swallowed the incredible survey result on the matter. Continue reading “Chocolate Milk Does Come from Brown Cows”
A critical review of Dark Times: A Visual Dialectic in Four Parts, by Q. E. Armstrong
The first panel of Q. E. Armstrong’s innovative Dark Times series reveals a playful conversation between black and blue, with other friends chirping in the background. Q. E.’s choice of canvas, simple 8.5 by 11 inch paper from a common retail store, dares us to compare the artist to a two-year-old boy whose father is too cheap to buy him proper supplies, strikingly undercutting the visual independence of the piece. Continue reading “The Abstract Artist We Need in the Age of Trump”
The climate apocalypse is coming now that Donald Trump has stepped the United States away from the Paris climate agreement, if we believe some critics. Never mind that compliance was voluntary and that, at least absent tighter controls in the future, the agreement was unlikely to have much effect on global temperature increases by 2100.
The effects of continued industrial emissions of carbon dioxide—and what (if anything) governments should do about it—are important discussions. Unfortunately, those discussions frequently are derailed by nonsense economic claims by some advocates of “climate action” that throttling fossil fuels and subsidizing solar and wind energy somehow deliver an economic boon rather than a painful cost. Continue reading “The Nonsense Economics of “Climate Action””
What’s crazy is not that a Colorado teacher let his students smash a piñata with pictures of Donald Trump and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto on it; that was merely foolish. What’s crazy is what happened after that, culminating in a local newspaper blaming the woman who publicly complained about the incident for threats of violence made against her and her daughter. Continue reading “In Trump Piñata Case, Greeley Tribune Shamefully Blames Victim for Threats”
Pope Francis recently condemned the “liberal-individualist vision” of economic liberty, saying it is “urgent to act . . . especially in the financial field” to limit “market activity and the manipulation of nature.” Continue reading “Pope Francis Denounces “Liberal-Individualist Vision””
Arturo Hernandez Garcia was working peaceably in Denver putting in floors when he was arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Garcia is married with two children—both U.S. citizens—and he has no criminal background. Yet he was forcibly taken from his job and his life and confined, and he now faces the possibility of being forcibly ejected from the country. Garcia is one of thousands of people treated in this manner so far this year.
America’s immigration “policy” in many cases is to send out heavily armed thugs with badges to snatch peaceable people from their homes and jobs and rip apart families. This policy is a moral outrage and a profound violation of people’s rights. Continue reading “Ongoing Violations of the Rights of Immigrants”