One of the interesting parts of the debate over the Health and Human services mandate has been the focus on the question of how serious Catholics are about their beliefs and therefore whether their institutions are entitled to act upon those beliefs. At various points, I heard commenters in favor of the mandate proclaim that 97% of Catholic women use contraception. I have doubts about the validity of that study. Certainly, it ignores the question of abortion and abortifacient products.
But with regard to the Bible and church doctrine, I can tell you this: 100% of Protestants sin. I suspect the same figure holds for Catholics. Guess what? We’re still against sin. It doesn’t mean we don’t believe in God. It doesn’t mean we have abandoned our faith. It doesn’t mean we don’t care when the government oversteps its bounds and tries to push the churches out of community life. We don’t need the government to tell us what church doctrine is and what we believe or don’t believe. Religious liberty and the separation of church and state means that it is up to us and the churches with which we voluntarily associate to determine those matters.