Thursday, February 2, 2012

So you think religious groups should be able to deny insurance coverage for contraception

Michael Gerson’s op-ed “Insurance rule declares war on religion” is just one of many I’ve seen lately that make this entirely spurious claim. No one said that any of those who believe that contraception is immoral has to use it, the Obama administration simply said that insurance has to cover contraception for those who choose to use it.

But let’s assume for the moment that the Bishops and others making this case have it right, what then do you say to the Christian sect known as Quakers who say that war is against their religion, should we close the Defense Department? Should we allow Quakers a discount on their taxes so they aren’t paying for this nation’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the not quite wars in Yemen and Libya?

What if a religious group opposed Viagra and other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction? Their argument might be that if God intended you to have sex he wouldn’t have taken away your ability to have an erection. Would that group have the right to deny coverage for such drugs from any insurance plan they offered their secular employees?

As the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State frequently reminds us, this is a secular nation of laws not a theocracy based on the Christian Bible. That’s a good thing, because as you can tell from the variety of Christian sects they don’t even agree on a single interpretation of their own holy book.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for putting in to words an argument that I knew instinctively, but had not formulated! This is exactly why religious views should not be given such heavy weight when developing policy.