The Spirit of Scrooge Resurgent
Ebenezer Scrooge famously felt no obligation to contribute to furnishing “Christian cheer” to the needy at Christmastime because he had already contributed to their “welfare” as a taxpayer (prisons, workhouses). This exchange came to mind in thinking about the recent refusal of the D.C. Council to allow an exemption from the District’s sexual-orientation discrimination law that would have allowed the agency to continue its foster-care program without violating its own conscience obligations. The District, it would seem, prefers to do away with religiously motivated charity (or at least subordinate the religious element to the state’s monopoly on virtue) in pursuit of its ideological commitments. This is a tragedy.