Praying for the Camera

This is an article from NPR on a theoretical  conflict between religion and “Obamacare” —

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/11/261699145/when-the-right-to-religion-conflicts-with-a-changing-society?

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.

This would be NPR attempting to appear unbiased, I guess, but  – this doesn’t hold water. Religion is trying to fight for the cameras. If the issue is really individual liberty (so the individual has the right to choose his/her beliefs and whther or not to act based on those beliefs) then the nuns are attempting to subvert this freedom in their employees by believing for them and blocking all avenues of independent thought and choice.

As in all other forms of politics — “follow the money…” (Woodward and Burnstein, All The President’s Men), and “The thing you gotta know is / Everything is show-biz…” (Mel Brooks, The Producers.)  In this case, a bunch of nuns who want to

  1. generate press like this, and
  2. perhaps keep from having to pay something they don’t want to pay — or,
  3. to generate support among the flock, and
  4. accept donations gladly.

I’m attributing motive where there could very well be none — but with something as precious and basic as Freedom of Religion on the line — I don’t think we should assume naïvety.  Among other things — the “Little Sisters of the Poor” have the entire Catholic Machine behind them — including all the lawyers.  Surely someone has pointed out to them that they don’t have an honest Constitutional leg to stand on.  Maybe they’re trying to believe one into existence.

If I worked for these nuns — who took away my right to choose whether to use contraception or not — my own personal belief would be irrelevant because they are believing on my behalf. For my own good. Like a strict parent. If I stay out too late at night, will they also force me to live within their walls so I can be accounted for at every minute? Do they also take away my freedom to choose what to watch on TV? what to eat for dinner? What businesses to patronize?

Isn’t their whole argument a little patronizing? This is the paternal goal — to control by force, rather that letting the “children” learn and choose on their own?

The only limits to freedom of religion being discussed here are the limitations being attempted by this group of nuns.

REAL freedom of religion would let each individual choose what to believe, and then choose what to do and how to behave based on those beliefs — like whether to use all the insurance options.

REAL freedom of religion? — Not to take away the options.

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