Saturday, May 26, 2012

Obama Administration Policy on Health Care is Defensible – So Opponents Choose to Invoke a Phony Attack on Religion

Republicans Continue to Divide American Along Religious Lines

The Obama health care reform includes requirements for women to have access to reproduction health care.  Health care insurance is largely employer sponsored and this means that employers may have to provide health care coverage that covers practices and procedures with which employers disagree.  Because this logic of allowing women access to needed health care practices cannot be assailed on logical grounds, the opponents are attacking the provisions on religious freedom grounds.

So for the last several months Conservatives have been on the attack. Recently Michael Gerson, a former Bush official said Catholics were against Mr. Obama based on religious issues. But Mitt Romney and not Rick Santorum got the Catholic vote in the primaries.  Like everyone else, Catholic voters are sophisticated and based their votes on many issues.

The most recent news here is that a large number of religious institutions have sued the government to prevent a law requiring them to provide certain reproductive health services from going into effect.  They argue that this is not about health care but about religious liberty.  After initially approving of the policy, Notre Dame University decided that they would oppose the provisions.

Father Jenkins said in a statement Monday that the decision to sue the administration had been taken "neither lightly nor gladly, but with sober determination."

"We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that the government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings," he said.

But what Father Jenkins says is incorrect.  Imposing religious beliefs on others is exactly the goal of their policy.  There is no provision in these laws that anyone has to engage in anything that would violate their religion and they way they worship.  If a woman does not want to use artificial birth control measures, she does not have to.  But that is not what the religious leaders want to do.  They want to deny those and other health care measures to people.  In fact that is the only logical conclusion one can come to.

The opposition to the policies is based on morality.  Religions oppose  practices like birth control because they think they are evil, that they are a sin and that they are forbidden.  Therefore they must have a moral imperative to prevent something like birth control pills, because in their minds they are preventing women from committing a sin.  So what they want is the freedom of religion as they define it, the freedom to practice their religion by imposing it on others.

Use of the state to force people to adhere to a certain religions has been taking place for millennia.  Men like Jefferson and Madison and others recognized that one of the greatest things they could do for the new nation was to rid it of practices that had produce massive amounts of torture and death over the long history of civilization.  They provided that everyone could practice the religion of their choice, but that no religion could be imposed on anyone.  But many church leaders believe so strongly in the morality of their practices that they feel it is their moral imperative to impose those views on others; they are doing for the good of society.

The United States is moving away from religious freedom and towards religious imposition.  Consider this scenario.

A woman is raped and denied access to ‘morning after’ pills which would prevent pregnancy.  Then she learns she is pregnant and she legally cannot abort an embryo.  She is forced to give birth.  Later the rapist is released from prison and because he is the father he is allowed to insert himself into her life and the life of her child. 

This is a horror story, but if religious zealots are successful this is a horror story coming soon to a neighborhood near you.


  1. I leave a comment when I especially enjoy a post on a blog or if I have something to add to the discussion.
    Usually it's caused by the sincerness communicated in the article I looked at. And after this post "Obama Administration Policy on Health Care is Defensible - So Opponents Choose to Invoke a Phony Attack on Religion". I was excited enough to create a thought :-) I do have 2 questions for you if it's allright. Is it simply me or do some of these responses appear like they are written by brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting on additional places, I would like to follow you. Could you list the complete urls of all your community pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
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  2. Thanks

    I only publish on this Forum. My my position on Facebook see my Post on the Rich Lowry comment on the Facebook phenomena. I expect to be the last person in the universe to join.