I was absolutely horrified to find this in my news feed today. Thoughts? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=1...
That links isn't working for me. Seems to just be the # on the end.
What's disturbing to me is that these church-state arrangements aren't well known to the general public.
Australian states have had that same core problem since they were setup in the 1950s:
We're naively expecting our governments to enforce strict church-state separation. Even if we had america's stricter constitution, that's evidently no deterrent to intense 1st Amendment legal challenges.
Voters don't see special interest groups heavily pressuring our elected politicians, policy-makers, law-makers. Wealthy, well-established, highly-organized politico-religious lobbiests insist they're our moral leaders. And those religious leaders are overwhelmingly socially conservative. Impeding liberal progress is their (god-breathed) doctrine. Monotheism's mission will increasingly expand into the public schooling of children. Because contemporary academia is known to be the church's anti-christ. Systematically undermining christian teachings. Including the discovery that sectarianism produces inferior moral leaders.
History ensures monotheism's organisations (within democracies) have asymmetrical advantages over their political enemies. Eg, the Aussie Tax Office still accepts "advancing religion" to be (not self-serving to the business of evangelism but) a "public" good. Perhaps they're misled about what scripture teaches insiders to think about outsiders. Moreover, not only is organised piety a legal entitlement to numerous tax exemptions (helping themselves to the public purse, like scientology), it even excuses them from detailing for us their internal financials. Busy feeding the poor we're led to believe. That's business as usual for the "Purple" Economy. Helping clergymen to maintain their unfair advantage, so very disproportional to their thankfully decreasing number of christians --despite sneaky fictions to the contrary-- who's political views these far-right lobbiests (the pope, the ACL, etc) speak as if they still IN FACT represent.
by "sectarianism" I mean seminaries.