Thursday, March 1, 2012

Religious freedom and contraception coverage

I am getting sick to death of the conservative whining that the new rules on universal insurance coverage for contraception are an affront to religious freedom.

Yes, employers are entitled to personal religious freedom. However that freedom does not extend to making religious choices for employees because those people have a right to religious freedom too. They might not be members of their employer's religion or subject to its prohibitions on, for example, contraception. It is unconscionable to permit an employer to force religious rules on employees in a country that enshrines freedom of religion for its citizens.

Nor is it permissible for religions, religiously administered public services, or religiously influenced businesses to simply claim a theological or moral objection to the laws of our country and thereafter be granted special exemption from those laws. The law is the same for all of us. That is why if a religion has a belief in human sacrifice, it would still be murder to practice that ritual. That is why if a religion had a moral opposition to the mixing of races, it would still be illegal for its hospitals to turn away employees or patients on the basis of race.

Remember, your religious freedom is real and protected, but it doesn't grant you or anyone else immunity from the law or a right to bully subordinates.