Religious Liberty and the Question of What We Believe

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.  


8 thoughts on “Religious Liberty and the Question of What We Believe

  1. I’m sorry but the Catholic church’s stance on birth control is just plain wrong. It is tuely abuse against women. Basically they are telling women not to have sex if they don’t intend to become pregnant. the church needs to get with it.. The government can’t allow a religious corporation to discrimanate against women. Look, They are profitting off the secular public and exploiting their secular workers. They are funded by the government with taxes paid for in part by the secular worker. How in good will can you call this a violation of the first amendment? Making birth control harder to access is clearly abuse against women. Why can’t you see that what the catholic corporation was doing was a violation against child bearing age women?

  2. Bonnie, nobody kidnaps women and forces them to work for the Catholic Church. You are acting as though that is what happens. It is a free will decision. Why should the government enter into it?

    • Nice try, Hunter:) Look, I don’t know what social income you were brought up in but I happen to know from a working class point of view that most co-workers I’ve known live somewhat desperate lives with regard to their jobs. The working class take the jobs they can get and understand that the exploitation of their class by their employers is something they just have to accept. Perhaps they were not kidnapped but forced to take service level jobs because otherwise their children will go hungry. Working class women don’t get to stay home with their small children.
      I made many more points in my short paragraph that you did not address. I believe that the government funding religious corporations is a violation of the first amendment, don’t you? If this Catholic Corporation refused government funding I believe they would never have had this “problem” of not being able to force their beliefs on the secular population. Those faith incentives that Boy George W Bush instated are also a violation of the first amendment. The Government isn’t obligated to support a religious corporation’s imposition of their faith on their secular employees. I’m guessing that the Catholic Corporation’s reliance on government funding is at the level where hey couldn’t survive without it. Seems to me that religious institutes slipped on a big oops of greed without thinking about what the consequences would be.
      Do NOT mix government with religion! Especially with regards to financial support…

      • Bonnie, Bill Clinton signed the charitable choice provisions into law back in 1998. And the mandate of which I complain in this blog post is not limited to employers who accept federal funds. It affects employers generally. Freedom means you get to decide what you include in the health coverage you offer to employees.

  3. Freedom means you get to impose sexist bigotry on your female employees? Is there anything in the bible about birth control? When did these MEN come up with forcing women to have babies? You do know that the Pope once determined that in a birthing where the circumstances are that either the baby dies or the mother because you can’t save both, the baby must be saved because he is more pure than the mom. Indeed, he changed his mind on that one. I believe it is time that he should examine this birth control issue and admit that it boils down to a power struggle between men and women that is perpetuated by men. It is NOT “natural” to subjugate women. Your and the Catholic father’s attitude with regard to the female body is nothing but objectification of women. You clearly don’t see them as real people.

  4. I already answered you on that one. The working class live lives of quiet desperation. You may have double standards in regards to males and females but the government is here to protect the individual’s rights. They simply took away your right to impose your bigotry on women. It isn’t the corporations providing birth control. It’s the insurance company. Stop being such a control freak!

    • Yes, but your answer is inadequate. Basically, you think the Church is wrong so you don’t care about violations of its conscience. Well, that’s fine for you, but I don’t think that’s a good basis for public policy.

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