The state does not control the church and the church does not control the state. The influence is applied from one to the other through the citizen. The citizen is not the all important check currently but it keeps a balance. The church as well has the important characteristic of not being run by one man or having it primary authority ie. God available for direct commentary. It is open to some small amount of interpretation and still stands. It can bend and not break. Demonstrated by the many denominations the have come along over the years. It is mildly amorphous and does not have the force of law behind it.
The popular alternative is the state. No balance at all. It's authority is there to speak, no interpretation and no flexibility. Everything falls under it's purview and it can use force of law to enforce it's ideas. The state should never be the core of a society. That should be pain to see at this point in history. U.S.S.R., 1930's Germany, 1950's China, Cuba, and on and on. The state becomes the core of a society and it ends in ruin.
Just an aside. Other candidates for the core? Humanity as a whole or the human being lends it self to more of a collectivists ideal. The individual? May lead to to much chaos. If the individual is all important them do the rules apply to you as an individual? The French revolution is an interesting case study in all of this. Nationalism end in stateism so no. I have given it more than a little though and have two conclusion. The state can not fill the void. Change can not happen with out chaos or oppression with out well rounded educated citizens. Back to the point.
As with most of the policies of Obama, he made small changes that right now and by themselves look harmless. Trouble starts when you add them up, take in the long term effects and others take action along the same ideology. It is becoming more clear that a move from the church to the state at it's core is being directly pushed by the administration.
It has started from loud small parts of the people. The marriage issue is the the tip of the attack. This is the others with similar ideology. They believe in the issue but are not looking down the road.
State encroaching on church
"As you know, one of my main reasons for supporting Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, was because I believe that move to redefine marriage has the potential to put the State and religion organizations — especially the Catholic church — into a head-on collision.
Liberals, when confronted with this notion, will often argue that, while the Catholic Church objects to abortion, that’s never created a constitutional crisis. What they ignore is the fact that, while the church is not in the business of providing abortions, it is in the business of providing marriages. It also ignores the fact that abortion is a legal right, not a constitutional one, while gay marriage proponents have been framing it in the opposite way: they say gay marriage as a constitutional, rather than a mere legal right."
Then we have the naked and direct attack and take over of the church. They of course argue that it is for the good of the people. The government must act to fix the problem . That argument must necessarily ignore the fact that there are already laws to punish the the acts that are the problem.
Connecticut looking to regulate the Catholic church?
"This should send a chill down your spine, Catholic or not. What this will do is basically take away the existing organization of the Catholic church, and replace it with a governing board selected by the state. The pastors, bishops, and archbishops in Connecticut would see all of their authority in the church taken away. The archbishop or bishop would have a seat on the board, but would have no right to vote. This bill is directed only at the Catholic church. "(cont.)
"Here's the problem with that reasoning. Theft and fraud are already against the law. If a parishioner believes that theft and/or fraud has taken place, then they can take legal action. If they feel they've been deceived, then obviously there's no legal action they can take -- there's no law against lying or deception, even if it's not very nice to lie to or deceive someone. A parishioner can, though, stop donating money to that particular parish. They can attend another parish. Or they could cease attendance of Catholic churches altogether. No one is required to donate money to their church, nor are they required to attend a particular church. The government, however, does require people to donate their money, and what recourse does an unhappy citizen have when they feel their money is being mishandled?"
It is entirely unconstitutional. It removes the balance and puts the state at the heart of society. They can use the church as a puppet as they always do when the state takes over.
Connecticut moving to regulate the Catholic Church
"According to the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause, the government has no business dictating to religious organizations how they should structure themselves. In Connecticut, though, some lawmakers seem to have skipped over the Constitution. "(cont.)
"In other words, bishops would no longer have power over the actions of the parishes. That’s the Connecticut legislature’s vision of Roman Catholicism, but in America, government doesn’t get to structure religious organizations to suit itself. That, in fact, is a form of fascism that we routinely decry in other countries. The State Department objects to China’s insistence on picking Catholic bishops itself to suit their political oppression of religion, and Lawlor’s motion would find a welcome in Beijing as another means to the same end: state control of Catholicism."
Currently there is a rally planed. The actions of the state is unclear after all the press.
Via Gateway Pundit
"UPDATE: Canceled: Following the biggest political firestorm of the 2009 legislative session, a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday on the financial and administrative management of the Catholic Church has been canceled."It is direct and easily demonized. It is just the idealism with the best intention. It gives cover to other action that can results in the same ends. Money begun coming to faith based programs under Bush and was expanded under Obama and included other not for profits. The so called community development funds. Shouldn't communities develop on their own? The end result is that churches are getting funding from Washington in increasing amounts. The scope of the purse strings has yet to be decided. If a church decides that it is not in their best interest to follow the rules that are set forward they just don't take money. Pretty harmless in the long run.
Obama have also decided to cut the amount that can be deducted in taxes for charitable giving. It has not happened yet. Of course that doesn't mean that all giving stops and I don't have the number on how much of that goes to churches. Churches will get less money how much is an open question. That by it self is not the end of the world.
Put the two together and it opens a path for a massive and direct control of the church by the state. Take away money coming from the people and replace it with money from Washington. The Church has to "play ball" or lose their money and influence. I hate conspiracies. Unfortunately just because your paranoid does not mean they aren't watching you.
The clear structure of both programs is yet to be worked out. The results will not be clear for years. That is the problem. It can all not only be spun away but there is not enough evidence to prove it is a state take over. Obama or the ones pulling the string are very bright politicians and manipulators. It all points to a deliberate take over buy the state, but there is no hard evidence and there will not be until it is to late.