Governor Brown signed a bill prohibiting governments in California from banning male circumcision. Zealots in SF and Santa Monica had ballot measures up to do that. A "human rights" and "children's rights" issue. And with no exception for religion, of course. Would criminalize a central Jewish (and even Muslim) rite.
In short, Mr. Brown used the power of the State to prohibit the State from exercising power where it has no right to in the first place.
I am calling this The Jerry Brown Paradox and (naively) hoping for its wide application to many other laws, regulations and policies.
When America lost its mind in one of its period fits of utopianism and it constitutionalized Prohibition, it at least left a clear exception for religions. Without wine, Catholicism cannot function. No wine, no Mass. No Mass, no Catholicism. Contemporary liberal utopians are less flexible than the fundamentalist Womens Christian Temperance League was. If our contemporary do-gooders were up to re-enacting prohibition now (though they have substituted tobacco for alcohol) , they'd just tell the Christians to stop trying to escape equality. Which is, as we know, the virtue of virtues.
The Obama administration wants to force health services at Catholic colleges to provide birth control and abortion counseling; States with gay adoption force the closure of religious agencies who won't do it, and in Canada, no parent can be informed or ask for an exemption when grade school kids are educated in the evils of heterosexism and homophobia and encouraged to question gender roles.
When the victim becomes the tyrant. Such an old story.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.—C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock