Another reason why we should be wary of leaving the provision of basic services up to charities, particularly religious charities: they use their position to force their religious point of view on our governments, to the harm of real people.
Major New South Wales adoption agency Anglicare is threatening to withdraw its services if the State Parliament passes a bill allowing same-sex couples to adopt.
Anglicare is one of the three accredited non-government adoption agencies in the state.
Of course it’s a disgrace for Anglicare to play politics with the provision of a fundamentally-needed service (what an ugly look for a supposedly humanitarian organisation) – but it’s more of a disgrace that governments have let themselves (and we’ve let them let themselves) become so dependent on these organisations that this kind of threat is in some way persuasive. They’re kind of like loan sharks – they offer to help the government out of a jam, and then threaten to break its kneecaps if it ever stands up to them.
Peter Kell: Sure we’ll help you out with that social welfare problem. And if we ever come to you needing a favour, like tax-free status or forcing our religious beliefs on the whole state, you’ll do what we say…
Reminds me of the dearth of drug rehabilitation services provided here in Victoria, which means that young addicts are regularly given a choice of reoffending, staying in jail, or being bailed to the care of a religious group that will use the rehabilitation opportunity to indoctrinate the patient in their religious beliefs. Join their cult or you get no help, says the government.
Governments being addicted to outsourcing their responsibilities in this way is a serious problem. And the only way to beat it is to take the first step to weaning themselves off it: call Anglicare’s bluff, and increase the funding for the government service to pick up the slack. Where will they find the money? Look at cutting the religions’ special tax-free status, which is only there because of exactly this sort of bluff. Seriously, CALL IT.
PS Mr Kell? Children do not “need” a parent of each gender, and to arrogantly assert they do is a serious insult to the many excellent single parents out there who are doing a fine job of raising them.