Articles

Separation Of Church And State. The Czech Way

In In The News, Politics on August 12, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

All Roman Catholics should contribute to the church, Minister For Legislation Cyril Svoboda thinks. His plan was published in Mlada fronta Dnes daily. According to Svoboda it should be one percent of the person’s income.

The church’s income should be between .6 to 2 bln. The proposal is linked to the church property restitutions and if approved the plan would finally make the church independent on the state.

It is surprising that nobody came with this plan a long time ago. Generally speaking, giving money from the state budget to churches is plain nonsense. Being organized in a church does not require money and wanting the money from people who have nothing to do with the religion is almost arrogant. True, churches organize charity events and programs for the poor and needy [homeless]. But such programs can be funded the same way programs of NGO’s are funded.

Much injustice had been done to some churches between the years 1948 and 1989. Their property was seized and never returned. Church personalities were in jail. There is now an expert commission established by the Culture Ministry that is said to be trying to come up with some arrangements. According to the daily Svoboda found inspiration for the novel in Italy or Austria.

But law is not everything. Czechs are masters when it comes to cheating laws and explaining them in a way that will save them more money. The whole basis of contributions will probably not work very well in the Czech Republic. The church would have to have written contracts and agreements with its members, otherwise it would have to be voluntary. In other words, many Czech “Catholics” will say “I am not that much of a Catholic, I only go to church once a week and I don’t want anything from the church…” and they won’t pay.

According to all coalition parties “this is a good topic for coalition discussions”.

This is what happens when you have political correctness. I am surprised that none of the politicians said something along the lines of “well, anything that will save money from the state budget”. Why? Because everytime they cancelled some benefits for people they had their calculations ready and knew very well how much the state budget will save. 

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::SERIOUS UPDATE:: If there is anything I don’t understand about this issue is this: the U.S. Constitution begins “We the people…” and separation of church and state is often being praised just for its pure existence, but at the same time witnesses at couts must say “so help me God” — and same thing with people who are being sworn in. If I was an American, I would not want my president to be helped in his daily work by God.

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One Response to “Separation Of Church And State. The Czech Way”

  1. interesting… an unintended, genius aspect of democracy is that the state of the government will represent the state of the people. We needn’t impose any particular religion on our government. Whether or not our government is morally stable will reflect the moral stability of us, the people. So how are we doing?

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