Yesterday, Darrel Ehrlick's column was simply divine.
On both the federal and state level, Republican leadership has been carrying on about rethinking government and the way it conducts its business. In Church's missteps could solve the budget crisis, Ehrlick writes:
God may yet provide a solution to Minnesota's budget problem.
A minor squabble between a priest and his lawmaker parishioner this week may have inadvertently pointed out a partial solution to Minnesota's budget crisis.
The editor points readers to a post by Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent, which documents the dust-up between Rep. John Kriesel and the Rev. John Echert about the Catholic church's campaign for the marriage inequality amendment.
Ehrlick suggests a radical re-thinking of the limitations on a church's involvement with politics: set those priests free--free to promote a vote, free to pay taxes like others. After all, he points out, it's not just bishops testifying to the faithful this year, but to the legislature as well.
Rather than tut-tutting that, he suggests eliminating the tax breaks and the yoke that accompanies it:
I would like to publicly encourage the church to continue. I'd like to see it up its spending and maybe print some bumper stickers, clever buttons and even a few novelty foam hands and keychains.
. . .Granted, if the Catholic Church admitted that what it's doing jeopardizes its nonprofit status, it would be subject to taxes. Lots of 'em.
And that would mean at least something good would come out of this mean-spirited, decidedly un-Christian debate.
The Catholic Church could start paying into state tax coffers.
And who said gay marriage wasn't part of the budget solution?
Hmm, reminds me of an old saying about rendering unto Caesar ...
Perhaps God has a budget plan, and will release complete details. Or we could wait for various dark parts to freeze over, whereupon the Republicans will expose their complete plan to daylight.
Photo: When will we see the GOP budget?