Thursday, July 16, 2009

Church Must Give Up Free Speech

When should a state investigate a church? One would think that it should happen only when the some clear abuse is suspected. One might not think that such an investigation would be started because a church holds a rally of dissent over proposed legislation. Or one might think the investigation is very proper if one assumes that churches do not have a right to speak out on an issue without being constrained by lobbyist rules. I guess that's my point. Somehow many people seem to think that religious people and groups have fewer rights than others.

The Connecticut Office of State Ethics was preparing to investigate the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport. It seems the group was to be considered lobbyists because they rallied at the Capitol regarding a proposed bill that was to affect them directly (and without precedent).

Fortunately for all concerned, the state's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, convinced the Ethics office to cease their "unusual" course. Perhaps he realized that the First Amendment not only guarantees freedom of religion, but also protects free speech.

Read the whole story here:

Hartford Courant

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