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View Diary: The progressive fight against the encroachment of religion on our secular government (202 comments)

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  •  This is not an accurate parallel. Most schools (1+ / 0-)
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    (I don't know, maybe all) will allow children to miss school for serious reasons, including observing their religion.  Also the miitary will allow for conscientious objection if it's a seroius, established belief of that person, and being Quaker certainly helps establish credibility -- but non-Quaker pacifists have also been granted exemptions.

    All of this has to do with the government allowing space for people with non-majority beliefs to live by their own beliefs.  In a pluralistic democracy, we should do that as much as possible.

    On the other hand, the Bishops want to be able to affect the behavior of people who do NOT share their beliefs.  They want to deny a Baptist or atheist secretary working for a Catholic university the right to choose insurnace that will cover birth control or (if she ever needs it) abortion.  So it's a matter of the Bishops controlling be choices of non-Catholics.  That is fundamentally different from letting a Quaker do their Quaker thing, or letting a Jewish or Catholic school kid do their particular religious/cultural thing.

    This all seems straightforward to me.  When civil rights laws were passed, conservative protestant church organizations had to be willing to hire black people -- not in the chuch itself, but in any secular institution run by the church.  The Catholics didn't object to that, as they agreed.  Now we've hit an issue they disagree with, and they're going nuts.

    The only place I might see an issue is when a Catholic institution is self-insured.  THat means they're much more directly creating and providing a service (insurance) that woudl be required to facilitate behavior they consider gravely immoral.  I need to think about that some more.  Maybe it means they have to provide more than one choice for their employees, including a insurance provider who will cover bc and abortion.

    The bottom line is, choices for themselves are okay; but they can't impose Catholic rules on non-Catholic employees that deprive them of access to normal, legal, available health-care.

    "Every part of you belongs to you." -- from a story of Virginia under the Personhood law. Read it here.

    by Fiona West on Sun Mar 18, 2012 at 04:47:06 PM PDT

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