Freedom versus Mandatory Charity

Editor’s Pick. Written by Jacob Hornberger.

Imagine if Congress enacted a law requiring everyone to attend church on Sunday. The idea would be that mandatory church attendance would be good for American society. With everyone being inculcated with moral and religious principles once a week, our society would be less drug-ridden, violent, and dysfunctional. The law would also be justified as being in everyone’s long-term interests in that it would likely cause more people to get into Heaven. Anyone who violated the law would be subject to a felony conviction and a possible 5-year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine for each offense.

Most everyone would find such a law repulsive, even if it did have positive benefits. Their response would be that such a law would be contrary to basic principles of liberty. People should be free to decide for themselves whether to attend church or not or to worship God or not. It is no business of the state to be forcing people to attend church.

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