The fact that it's Fox News should be anough to put it down, but...
Catholic bishops are doubling down in their opposition to the Obama administration mandate that church-sponsored institutions provide employees health plans that include contraception.
This is healthcare.
The issue is not women’s reproductive rights, but rather the right of faith-based institutions to continue in their historically established roles serving American society.
So, we don't like that whole separation of church and state here at Fox News. In history, the government was less up-to-date on the individual settlements and citizens. The church stepped in, at that point a vast majority of people were religious, and better than religious, most Americans were Christians. Now we're got a blend of religions. The problem with "faith-based institutions" is that they tend to include conditions with their aid. You may receive care with this program, but not if it's illness or injury caused by what we consider to be sinful.
The First Amendment prohibition of laws “impeding the free exercise of religion” was written in an age of very limited government. Prior to the New Deal, Washington left the aid to the homeless and poor, health care and other social services largely to the states and private sector. With little or no public funding, churches and other private charities established schools and universities, social service agencies, and hospitals to help educate the young and aid the sick and poor.
This is like I was saying above. But things like scarlet letters, witch trials and other atrocities come as a side-effect.
Before Medicaid was established in 1965 and the federal government began supporting Planned Parenthood in 1970, no one gave much thought as to whether church-sponsored institutions should be required to provide birth control services, or pay for those for their employees. However, now that the government has chosen to provide health insurance to all Americans, directly or through private mandates, the issue is cast through a wholly different prism.
As federally mandated health plans must pay for sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—those mandates will require Catholic Church-sponsored hospitals, universities and social service agencies to act against Church teachings.
And there it is, when you take morality into legislation all you get is an open can of worms. Not everyone who needs help agrees with the invisible dude who lived 2000 years back.
In deference to the First Amendment, Health and Human Services will exempt religious employers who only hire and serve primarily those of their own faith, but that is too narrow—effectively, it only exempts houses of worship.
But it isn't! That's a good solution for the most part. You don't have to do things which offend you if you mostly serve people who agree with you. We're to accept that people's opinion of what is right should be legislated?
So, uh... God doesn't like that porn. And God doesn't like your music. Guess what, God doesn't like those clothes, he doesn't like your lifestyle, your choices, or your free will which he so readily advocates. This sounds like something I want to join in on! Which morals do we legislate? The catholic church, where if you're having fun, you're doing something wrong? The baptists, where you've got to be a right-wing nut to have any respect, to have your opinion even noted? Muslims, who want to expand their agenda, just like the church? Any of those sound like fun, or should we be objective?
To comply with its own teachings, the Catholic Church would be compelled to either limit the faculty and student body to substantially only Catholics at Notre Dame University, and thousands of schools and other universities, or shut their doors. The same applies to employees and clients at hospitals and social service agencies.
Or stop being prudes with antiquated morals.
This would effectively limit the Church’s role in America to one similar to the one it had in Eastern Europe during the Soviet era. Churches stayed in business but were isolated places. Citizens could visit houses of worship, but the Church could not effectively reach out to the sick, homeless and poor, and participate in education. Its humanitarian role—which is as much an expression of faith as the Mass—was almost totally usurped by the state.
The soviet era, there's something to just throw around. Well, there is a difference between the concentrated effort to destroy religion and having healthcare terms that the church doesn't agree with.
HHS has offered Catholic bishops a compromise—it would require insurance companies to offer contraceptives through health plans at Catholic hospitals and similar institutions, but not permit those companies to charge for contraceptives in premiums.
In other words, the government proposed that the catholic hospitals and such would have to provide birth control. The phrase "those companies" used here is confusing. I take it to mean that the hospitals cannot then mark up the birth control products.
That is an economic and theological fantasy—someone has to pay for birth control services and those costs would simply be disguised and passed on to Church-sponsored institutions anyway.
Those institutions still would be compelled to pay for something the Church teaches is morally wrong—by any reasonable reading that violates the “free exercise of religion.”
Since Franklin Roosevelt, Americans have increasingly gravitated to a welfare state that guarantees income security, cradle to grave health care, access to higher education and the like, but those are not free—increasingly those guarantees come at the expense of free speech, religion and other constitutional protections.
Do we have to buy the "constitutional protections"? That welfare money is somehow reducing free speech? What? Fear not, I'm sure the author will explain that below.
For example, virtually every college and university receives some federal and state dollars, and young people must attend one of those to get a college degree.
That's the "college" part of "college degree"....
Yet religious organizations are increasingly circumscribed in what they must tolerate to gain access to campus facilities and service students.
Maybe not because the regulations of the state are flawed, but the regulations of the church are.
They're limited in what they must tolerate? The church is limited in what they tolerate, the state is pretty tolerant. Blurb out those big words there.
A Supreme Court decision recently upheld a state-sponsored law school’s decision to deny a Christian group funding and recognition, because it did not permit gay students to join. Students pay taxes and compulsory fees to fund campus organizations and facilities—gay rights organizations are free to get that funding and access, why not religious groups that believe their lifestyle is wrong as long as they
pose no threat to others?
That whole discrimination thing, it makes the government a bit less generous with their funds. Don't act like it's ridiculous. Gay rights groups get funding because they are inclusive, not exclusive. Religious groups who believe a gay lifestyle is wrong and pose no threat to others have every right to express what they will, but the government cannot fund bigoted organizations.
It all becomes not a question of the free practice of religion, but whose religion we are free to practice.
Kind of like the conservative war on everything but Christianity?