religious conservatives understandably are upset with the latest Obamacare mandate, which will require religious employers
(including Catholic employers) to provide birth control to workers receiving healthcare
benefits. This mandate includes certain birth control devices that are
considered abortifacients, like IUDs and the
“morning after” pill.
Catholic teachings forbid the use of any sort of contraceptive devices, so
this rule is anathema to the religious beliefs of Catholic employers.
Religious freedom always has been considered sacrosanct in this country.
However, our federal bureaucracy increasingly forces Americans to subsidize
behaviors they find personally abhorrent, either through agency mandates or
direct transfer payments funded by tax dollars.
this mandate do not understand the gravity of forcing employers to subsidize
activities that deeply conflict with their religious convictions. Proponents
also do not understand that a refusal to subsidize those activities does not
mean the employer is “denying access” to healthcare. If employers
don’t provide free food to employees, do we accuse them of starving
In truth this
mandate has nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with the abortion
industry and a hatred for traditional religious values. Obamacare
apologists cannot abide any religious philosophy that promotes large, two
parent, nuclear, heterosexual families and frowns on divorce and abortion.
Because the political class hates these values, it feels compelled to
impose—by force of law—its preferred vision of society: single
parents are noble; birth control should be encouraged at an early age; and
abortion must be upheld as an absolute moral right.
political class simply tells the American people and American industry what
values must prevail, and what costs much be borne to implement those values.
This time, however, the political class has been shocked by the uproar to the
new mandate that it did not anticipate or understand.
hospitals face the existential choice of obeying their conscience and
engaging in civil disobedience, or closing their doors because government
claims the power to force them to violate the teachings of their faith. This
terrible imposition has resonated with many Americans, and now the Obama
administration finds itself having to defend the terrible cultural baggage of
the anti-religious left.
many Catholic leaders originally supported Obamacare
because they naively believe against all evidence that benign angels in
government will improve medical care for the poor. And many religious leaders
support federal welfare programs generally without understanding that
recipients of those dollars can use them for abortions, contraceptives, or any
number of activities that conflict deeply with religious teachings. This is
why private charity is so vitally important and morally superior to a
government-run medical system.
The First Amendment
guarantee of religious liberty is intended to ensure that Americans never
have to put the demands of the federal government ahead of the their own
conscience or religious beliefs. This new policy turns that guarantee on its
head. The benefits or drawbacks of birth control are not the issue. The issue
is whether government may force private employers and private citizens to
violate their moral codes simply by operating their businesses or paying