This was brought out by my friend in Louisiana, the good one and not the one in Hammond who never writes any more:
By stretching the religious liberty strategy to cover the fine points of health care coverage, the campaign devalues the coinage of religious liberty. The fight the bishop’s conference won against the initial mandate was indeed a fight for religious liberty and for that reason won widespread support. The latest phase of the campaign, however, seems intended to bar health care funding for contraception. Catholics legitimately oppose such a policy on moral grounds. But that opposition entails a difference over policy, not an infringement of religious liberty. It does a disservice to the victims of religious persecution everywhere to inflate policy differences into a struggle over religious freedom. Such exaggerated protests likewise show disrespect for the freedom Catholics have enjoyed in the United States, which is a model for the world—and for the church. (read ALL of it here)
My friend has a lot to say about this, and a few other links to others as well.
To be honest, I continue to struggle with my position that this was a wrong move by examining the fact that we simply do not allow all religious liberties to be taken. Sharia Law (although that Judge in Pennsylvania disagrees) is not protected and more than likely will not be protected by the American Justice System. Further, polygamy is out as well. And, Christian fundamentalists who let their children die because they do not believe in modern medicine are held accountable. At what point are religious liberties to be had and at what point are they to be denied?
There is also this bit of news which will more than likely defeat lawsuits based on the HHS decision:
A multi-year review of 176 Catholic hospitals in seven states found that 48 percent have performed direct female sterilizations. The author of the study, Sandra Hapenney, warns this could undermine Catholic health institutions’ ability to invoke conscience clause protections to opt out of performing sterilizations.
To earn a Ph.D. in Church-State Studies at Baylor University, Hapenney requested data from 1,734 hospitals in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Washington. Of these, 176 were Catholic hospitals that offered obstetric services.
By tracking medical codes in hospital records, she discovered nearly half of these institutions had performed female sterilizations.
That amounted to 20,073 sterilizations.
Her faculty advisor, by the way, is Dr. Francis J. Beckwith.
Anyway, there you go. As balanced as I can get it.
- American Roman Catholics and “Religious Liberty” (sandwalk.blogspot.com)
- Letter: Religious liberty threatened by ‘health care’ mandates (tcpalm.com)
- Defending Our Religious Liberty (fearlessconservative.com)
- Bishops decry Obama birth control plan, yet Catholic hospitals report sterilizations (philly.com)