I usually avoid writing about politics on this website, but the recent Health and Human Services coverage mandate debacle has annoyed me to no end, as I feel that it's one of the first incisive and direct attacks on the freedom of my religion I've witnessed.
Basically, the mandate is telling me (if it is ever enforced), "The U.S. Government has the right to make its citizens pay for whatever the U.S. Government deems necessary for whatever reason, even if a citizen is morally opposed due to a religious belief." In a way, this happens from time to time (like with a war I don't support), but never as a direct, out-of-pocket expense, like that of my health insurance premium (something for which I pay more than my residence).
The key here is the separation of Church and state, and the first amendment of the constitution, which clearly states the government's mandate to not prohibit the free exercise of religion. Forcing a religious employer to pay for something it believes to be wrong means the government is meddling in my religion (and the whole line in the compromise about the 'insurance company paying for it, but the religious institution not' is hogwash. Anyone that believes the pay will not come out of our pockets needs an education in fundamental economics).
Besides the attack on religious freedom, who says that birth control is a fundamental women's healthcare right (which will be free for all women, everywhere), while other things (like breast cancer treatments, childbirth admittance, etc.) are not? I know many population-control theorists would presume that birth control is the answer to all life's problems... but do we want to take their unproven theories and violate religious freedom (and pay for convenience medication*) because of them?
Additionally, it has come up time and time again in this debate that many Catholics (if not most) don't even believe what the Catholic Church teaches—namely, that artificial birth control (as opposed to something like Natural Family Planning) is intrinsically evil, meaning it should never be used in any situation whatsoever! (And is the government going to mandate NFP coverage? Meh, don't get your hopes up...). This is a sad, sad reality that only time and proper catechesis will heal.
I also keep hearing 'Church haters' (as I'll call them) parroting the old line "Nobody wants 13 children anymore! The Church should get out of the middle ages."
Many people do want 13 children, and would raise all those children to be prosperous, wonderful adults who would contribute much to our world. However, the Church only teaches responsible parenthood (part of modern NFP... there's no such thing as 'Catholic roulette' anymore). This means that each married couple is called to plan their families in conformity to God's will for them, but in such a way as to ensure all their children will be well-cared-for, educated, and holy. Most Catholic families who practice NFP don't have too many kids. They have just the right amount.
A law that mandates artificial birth control (and even some abortifacient drugs—I maintain that a fertilized egg is a human life) is a slap in the face to any Catholic, and any person who realizes what a scam this is.
I'll end my rant now, but here are a few articles that explore the response and the mandate a little more in-depth, for those so inclined:
- Jimmy Akin: Don't be deceived! Evil Obama policy now even MORE evil!
- The Forum: Elephant in the Room
- The Forum: 'No'
*I call artificial birth control convenience drugs because people can choose whether or not to have sexual relationships, and when to have relations. We're not monkeys.