Did you know that the Supreme Court’s campaign finance decision last week threatens freedom of religion? Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance seems to think so:
Today’s campaign finance ruling by the United States Supreme Court should be of great concern to anyone who values freedom of religion. Interfaith Alliance has been a long time supporter of campaign finance reform based on the idea that equality, integrity and fairness are fundamental to the vast majority of faith traditions. Today’s ruling dismisses those principles in favor of unregulated spending by corporations and special interest groups.
Given that the court based its ruling around a misguided understanding of free speech, I am also concerned that this ruling may foreshadow the direction of the court on a church/state issue like clergy endorsements from the pulpit.
Got that? The decision undermines “equality, integrity, and fairness” (a debatable but defensible proposition), and therefore threatens freedom of religion. Because…a less egalitarian society is one that will shut down churches? I don’t know–your guess is as good as mine.
As for the claim that the court might overturn the IRS regulations that prohibit clergy endorsements of political candidates, that may or may not happen, and may or may not be a good thing, but what I don’t get is what it has to do with freedom of religion. You can argue that churches shouldn’t endorse candidates (I would agree with that completely), and you can argue that the law should prohibit churches from doing so (I’m of two minds about that–I can see it either way). But I don’t see how permitting churches to say things they currently aren’t allowed to can be anything but an expansion of freedom (whether a wise one or not). But let’s get real–the point here is that Welton Gaddy and supporters of the Interfaith Alliance are political liberals, and don’t particularly care whether their invocations of religion and religious principles make sense, as long as the political point is made.