I’m not Catholic. With an estimated 70 million Catholics living in the United States out of a population of 310 million, statistically speaking, there’s about a 78 percent chance that you’re not Catholic either. But as a result of the arrogance of an administration that believes that there is no aspect of American life into which it does not have the unlimited right to intrude, we are all Catholics now.
In case you missed it, the Department of Health & Human Services issued regulations under Obamacare late in January that require virtually all private health insurance plans to include coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortifacients, the so-called “morning after” pill. Employers from across the spectrum are upset with the ruling, but none more so than Roman Catholic churches, dioceses, hospitals and charities.
Observant Catholics believe that the sexual union between a man and a woman is laden with the potential for creating human life and that life is a divine gift of God. Thus they believe that anything that willfully strips the sexual act of its life-creating potential is sinful.
You are free to disagree. If you are an atheist, on the pill and willing to have an abortion if you somehow get pregnant anyway, the same first amendment that gives you the right to reject the teachings of the Catholic Church on these matters gives the Catholic Church the right to live by and be governed by its own beliefs.
Which means that using the force of government to make Catholic institutions provide contraceptives and abortifacients as a condition of hiring employees is a gross abuse of power and a clear and present threat to liberty.
The argument is not about theology. It’s not about abortion. It’s not pro-life versus pro-choice. It’s not about birth control.
It’s about freedom.
Aside from this direct assault on the faith of practicing Catholics, the fact that a cabinet secretary can, of his or her own volition, without an act of Congress and with no practical avenue of redress, issue regulations mandating that someone must do something that he or she as a matter of personal ethics or faith would otherwise never do, is an assault on the country’s very foundation.
Predictably, some (but not all) prominent Democrats are circling the wagons around the administration. “The power to decide whether or not to use contraception lies with a woman, not her boss,” said New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand. True, Senator. But the power to decide to hire the woman in the first place lies with the boss. There is no right to employment and there is no right – Obamacare notwithstanding – to employer-paid health care.
All of this is further evidence, as if evidence is needed, of government that has slipped its constitutional bonds. If you, like me, are not Catholic and have no opposition to the use of contraceptives, and thus think that you’re not affected, think again.
If a practicing Catholic or a Catholic institution in the United States can be compelled by the government to act against religious faith, it’s only a matter of time before some equally offensive compulsion is brought down upon you by the same heavy hand of a government that refuses to respect its limits.
That’s why we’re all Catholics now.