Some excerpts of must-read article entitled The Church of Big Government:
The state no longer criminalizes a belief in transubstantiation, mainly because most people have no idea what that is. But they know what sex is, and, if the price of Pierre Trudeau's assertion that "the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation" is that the state has to take an ever larger place in the churches and colleges and hospitals and insurance agencies and small businesses of the nation, they're cool with that. The developed world's massive expansion of sexual liberty has provided a useful cover for the shriveling of almost every other kind. Free speech, property rights, economic liberty, and the right to self-defense are under continuous assault by Big Government. In New York and California and many other places, sexual license is about the only thing you don't need a license for.
And so the peoples of the West are enlightened enough to have cast off the stultifying oppressiveness of religion for a world in which the state regulates every aspect of life. In 1944, at a terrible moment of the most terrible century, Henri de Lubac wrote a reflection on Europe's civilizational crisis, Le drame de l'humanisme athee. By "atheistic humanism," he meant the organized rejection of God — not the freelance atheism of individual skeptics but atheism as an ideology and political project in its own right. As M. de Lubac wrote, "It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man." "Atheistic humanism" became inhumanism in the hands of the Nazis and Communists and, in its less malign form in today's European Union, a kind of dehumanism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. "Post-Christian Europe" is a bubble of 50-year-old retirees, 30-year-old students, empty maternity wards . . . and a surging successor population already restive to move beyond its Muslim ghettoes.
The irrationalism of the hyper-rational state ought by now to be evident in everything from the euro-zone crisis to the latest CBO projections: The paradox of the Church of Big Government is that it weans people away from both the conventional family impulse and the traditional transcendent purpose necessary to sustain it. So what is the future of the American Catholic Church if it accepts the straitjacket of Obama's "freedom to worship"? North of the border, motoring around the once-Catholic bastion of Quebec, you'll pass every couple of miles one of the province's many, many churches, and invariably out front you'll see a prominent billboard bearing the slogan "Notre patrimoine religieux — c'est sacre!" "Our religious heritage — it's sacred!" Which translated from the statist code-speak means: "Our religious heritage — it's over!" But it's left every Quebec community with a lot of big, prominently positioned buildings, and not all of them can be, as Montreal's Saint-Jean de la Croix and Couvent de Marie Reparatrice were, converted into luxury three-quarter-million-dollar condos. So to prevent them from decaying into downtown eyesores, there's a government-funded program to preserve them as spiffy-looking husks.
The Obama administration's "freedom to worship" leads to the same soulless destination: a church whose moral teachings must be first subordinated to the caprices of the hyper-regulatory Leviathan, and then, as on the Continent, rendered incompatible with public office, and finally, as in that Southampton homeless shelter, hounded even from private utterance. This is the world the "social justice" bishops have made.