Familiar Tightening of Rules for Religions of Which the State Disapproves


Of course, it would be easy to overstate the parallel, but there’s something familiar in this Catholic News Agency article about political events in China:

President Xi Jinping of China announced this week that he wants to tighten Beijing’s strict government controls on religion in the communist country.

In a speech this week during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Xi said that religions not sufficiently conformed to Communist ideals pose a threat to the country’s government, and therefore must become more “Chinese-oriented.”

One gets the sense of a similar intention in progressive corners of the United States.  The Obama Administration wouldn’t recognize the Little Sisters of the Poor as a religious organization for the purpose of exempting them from ObamaCare mandates.  With the onset of same-sex marriage, the Catholic Church in Massachusetts was no longer recognized as sufficiently “Massachusetts-oriented” to offer adoption services.

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For the time being, congregations in the United States (even New England) can still meet and practice their religion within the church walls, but unless they adhere to an ever-expanding list of mandatory virtues handed down from the government, their ability to act in public is increasingly restricted.  Meanwhile, the government is giving less and less credence to the notion that it ought to remain neutral with respect to its own activities, particularly in public schools.