The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) of The United Methodist Church applauds the ruling by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) to ensure that all new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act include contraceptive coverage without patient cost-sharing, except in very narrow circumstances.
“This is a great day for women in the United States,” said Jim Winkler, GBCS chief executive. “This ruling ensures the availability of contraception for all women. It will result in millions having the services to be able to plan their families and prevent unplanned pregnancies regardless of the woman’s economic security.”
I support birth control. I do, I can’t help it. I don’t see in either Scripture or UMC doctrine where birth control is not allowed and nor do I see this as a pro-life issue. I understand Catholic Doctrine and respect it. More than that, I understand the basis of their doctrine and it has made me really reconsider my own stance. I do not believe that we have ‘rights’ that can be democratized before God; I do believe that we have rights in our political realm, and one such right is to our religious beliefs.
I do not support the HHS rule which requires religious institutions to pay for birth control although I do support a health care mandate. Further, I support the right of the Government to defend its citizens against religious beliefs declared contrary to the common good. For instance, Sharia Law, FGM, polygamy and other such things. The difference between these two actions is simple: choice. People make a decision to work at Catholic hospitals. They make a decision not to be Catholic or to be Catholic. They make a decision to use or not use birth controls. They know the expectations of all of these things. But, this boils down to choice. The Government should not interfere in these basic rights to for people to decide for themselves some of these issues.
I stand with my brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church who oppose the HHS rule and hope that, in the year given to come under the mandate, that this rule will be repealed. I do not think that either the President or the Secretary of HHS are evil for this; but I do think that this is a poorly thought decision which will have ramifications both in the immediate and if it is not repealed, in the distant future. There were other fixes for this, by the way, and they must be reached to preserve not only ecumenical relationships, but religious relationships which helped to fight for the healthcare law in the first place.
Also, this is why I support a single-payer health care law.
- The state of the Methodists. (4simpsons.wordpress.com)
- Lost Values of the #CallToAction 02: Togetherness – Re-forming the Reform, Re-aligning the Realignment (hackingchristianity.net)
- #CallToAction Roundup for Concerned UMC Folks – Topical Index of HackingChristianity Writings (hackingchristianity.net)
- FaithfulUMC.com – Holding the Church Ransom? – Critiquing the Tactic of Withholding Money (hackingchristianity.net)
- United Methodism in Context (barefootpreachr.org)
- United Methodist pension board says no to investing in prisons (barefootpreachr.org)