I really wish conservatives would understand why getting entangled with government is bad. Now that President Obama is proposing that faith-based charities that get grants from the government be prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, I want to point out that I warned about this back in 2001. With government money comes government strings. (Thanks Monica Boyer for the tip.)
See? I told you so!
Yes, I am gloating about being right. Republican after Republican told me I was being an alarmist, but the test of time has proven I was right all along. But it is much more important that conservatives understand that we cannot trust the government to simply give you “free stuff” without expecting anything in return.
This conflict is exactly why government needs to be smaller and less powerful. It is inevitable that things like the faith-based charities program will be abused, like a drug dealer expecting more from the people hooked on his product. Once you get faith-based charities addicted to the narcotic of federal money, you can use that as leverage to force them to compromise their beliefs. Every single time you create a government program – like the “faith based charities foolishness” – you can count on it being abused.
And here is the frustrating thing about this controversy. I am not a prophet. I am not a genius who sees things people of lesser intellect cannot. The only thing I used to predict this is an understanding of human motivations, a knowledge of history and current events, and an understanding of human motivations. This requirement was easy to predict and everyone – including the Bush Administration – should have seen this coming.
This does not mean I believe all government is bad. I am not an anarchist. We see in Romans 13 that government was given to us by God for our benefit. It is righteous and good when government punishes the wicked and protects the innocent. But because human beings are sinners, government needs to be strictly limited. When you extend government’s reach beyond its core duties, you have to know that sinful men will – not may, will – abuse that power. When you take the government’s money, you accept the government’s strings, and you better believe those strings will pull you in a direction you will not like.
By the way, this is exactly why vouchers for private schools are a terrible idea and a threat to liberty.