Monday, February 13, 2012

“The State Ruling the Church” by Fay Voshell

The Obama Administration's war on religion, through Obama Care, is explained comprehensively and well in the original article:

Everyone knows that anyone who wants contraceptives has easy access to such measures even if he or she does not have a health plan that provides for them. The local friendly drugstore has aisles stacked to the ceiling with condoms and other “family planning” measures, while clinics such as Planned Parenthood hand out birth control pills and abortions with abandon — sometimes even to underage girls, as damning videos taken by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles have shown.

What are we talking about here? Are you really going to submit a receipt for $7.99 for a box of Trojans to your health insurance?

Any contraceptive option would be less than the deductible for any health insurance plan I’ve seen, with the exception of surgical sterlization.

The central issue is government intimidation of and control over religious institutions. It is government’s overriding of the consciences of Catholics and members of other denominations who oppose abortifacients and sterilization.

The 2013 deadline for Catholic institutions to conform to the health care mandate is the proverbial governmental foot in the door for controlling religious institutions — actually, for controlling all people of faith who disagree with the administration’s stance toward abortion.

This is where many people don’t get it.

First, they argue that government should intrude on people’s lives to the maximum extent, the outer boundary, of any power it can arguably claim to have. So if they can find any argument where government CAN do something, it SHOULD do it, to the extreme.

Second, government here is not prohibiting a practice that is independently in a neutral manner to religion prohibited. For example, Islamic sermons from Imams on Arab television teaching Muslims the correct way to beat their wives can be found all over You Tube. But the law in America prohibits anyone, regardless of their religion, from beating anyone, especially not their wives.

Here, the government is commanding religious institutions to *DO* something that their religion forbids. The government is commanding them to ACT in violation of their beliefs.

But there are even worse consequences if the government continues to try to coerce the church against its conscience and doctrines of faith and practice. If the push to force the churches into positions compromising its rules of faith and practice succeeds, and the church capitulates, there is absolutely no church or church institution the government will not seek to control completely.

An apologist for the Obama regulations - not a supporter of Obama, but an opponent of social conservative issues within the Republican party) debated this with me on a blog:

Is a religious institution bound by any laws, such as labor laws, health and safety regulations, ERISA, etc. etc.? Where does one draw the line in regulation.

Where that regulation conflicts with the institution’s core religious beliefs. For example, a business cannot hire people based on their religious beliefs. A religious institution has every right to hire people who share their religious beliefs, otherwise it could not carry out its religious mission.

(And by the way, people don’t understand that: An Italian restaurant is allowed to hire only Italians, in order to create an environment of an authentic Italian experience, probably with everyone speaking Italian. Where laws undermine the church’s ability to function, they must fall to the “free exercise of religion” commandment of the First Amendment.)

The Obama Administration is demanding that the Catholic Church publicly repudiate some of its religious teachings, by declaring (through their actions) as acceptable what their religious teaching proclaims as unacceptable.

If an employment law forbids a requirement for employees to pray during the work day, this cannot and must not be applied to a religious institution.

Do employees of a religious institution have any rights?

If they chose to work for a religious institution, they have chosen to conform to those beliefs. You have to accept THEIR choice to submit to those religious beliefs. It is not your choice to undo their choice of where they want to work.

If a religious institution accepts federal funding (for any reason) should they be allowed to ignore the conditions under which those funds were accepted?

YES. Federal funding is supposed to be to further a purpose — not as a backdoor means of controlling people, beyond the legitimate scope of authority of the Federal government. Where the Congress does not have authority to pass regulations, it should never be using Federal funding to do indirectly what it is not permitted to do directly.

Religious institutions already have the benefit of not being taxed, what’s next, their workers would not be considered employees?

EVERY non-profit organization has the benefit of not being taxed, including the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women (do you think I could get a job at N.O.W. as a conservative Republican male?), and even Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington where Melanie Sloan “earns” $230,000 a year for running around slandering people without foundation.

Many hospitals, religious and non-religious, are non-profit institutions.

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