In 1993, Congress required government actions that “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” to advance a compelling interest by the least restrictive means. The new contraceptive policy does that by promoting women’s health and autonomy.
And there was no violation of religious exercise to begin with. After religious groups protested, the administration put the burden on insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to women who work for religiously affiliated employers like hospitals or universities — with no employer involvement.
This is a clear partisan play. The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church’s doctrine on everyone.
I draw your attention to the comment someone forwarded to me from Facebook, written by a Catholic lawyer:Yes, it is the Church that is being partisan. The New York Times continues to sell its typical bs. “This is a clear partisan play. The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church’s doctrine on everyone.”
Look, I just don’t get why the NY Times and sympathetic readers get their rocks off on forcing the Catholic Church and her institutions to pay for abortifacients (which I think all can agree are at least morally problematic), sterilization, and contraception. Seriously, why not find a solution that allows the Catholic Church to do its good work without compromising its principles. If your religion requires free contraception, as the NY Times’ religion does, find another way to pay for it. Have a contraceptive lock box like the Social Security lock box. Why the insistence on forcing the Catholic Church and her institutions to do this? I just don’t get it.
It isn’t like the Church’s understanding of sexuality is some random bizarre religious view. It happens to be the one that many (perhaps most?) people adhered to for most of time — including all the Christian Churches until the late 1920s (or is 1930?).
I’ve said that I have problems with the Bishops pitching this as merely a religious liberty matter — because I think the merit of the actual position matters. If for instance the Church were saying that it shouldn’t have to pay for tonsilectomies, I think that would be an unreasonable possession. But we aren’t talking about that.
How is the Church imposing anything on anyone? Seriously. And the narrow vision that the Obama Administration and the NY Times have of religion has no basis in lived reality, in how religious people understand themselves. Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers weren’t some social service agency detached from their Catholic beliefs. They were the outgrowth and consequence of those beliefs.
Still at the end of the day I do think the breadth and depth of the Catholic Church’s involvement in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, and caring for the poor, should count for something and the fact that the Times and its readership think it perfectly legitimate to force Catholic institutions to pay for something they think deeply immoral just makes no sense to me. In other words, the special position of the Church vis-a-vis social services would seem to me to warrant an exception — if this is in fact is perfectly “legal” under the Constitution and RFRA (the latter of which I have my doubts).
But it is not only that they think that the Church should have to do it. It is that absurd notion that they actually think that the desire of a Catholic organization not to pay for this in fact an instance of the Catholic Church IMPOSING its religion on “everyone.” Seriously? How can such shallow logic and idiocy rule the day at the NY Times op-ed page?
“Should count for something”? Silly man. Don’t you understand that sex is the blessed sacrament in the Church of These People? The Catholic Church can do whatever it wants to for the poor, but the only thing that matters to the NYT and the people for whom it speaks is that the Church
HATES HATES HATES WOMEN AND GAY PEOPLE opposes their views on sex and sexuality.
Remember your NYT catechism, people: Attacks on religious liberty do not exist, and anyway, religious people have it coming.