Religion and Politics
The Obamacare law in the U.S makes it mandatory for the employers to provide health insurance that cover preventative services for women including contraception and sterilizing. The U.S Supreme Courts recently announced that the government may not enforce a part of President Barak Obama’s healthcare law on nuns and another Roman Catholic Church-affiliated group that requires to provide insurance covering contraception.
The groups that are raising the issue are the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Baltimore-based order of nuns and Christian Brothers Services. Over these religious objections, the groups had a partial victory. The court requires the opposing groups to first notify the Department of Health and Human Services in writing that they object to the contraception mandate. As long as the groups keep sending the letter to the department, they will continue to get the exemption while litigation continues in lower court.
The exemption has two aspects attached to it.
Firstly, the nuns should be exempted if having intercourse and taking contraception is against their beliefs. The constitution of U.S mandates freedom of religion but does it actually provide the people with this freedom? Since 1835, the Little Sisters of the Poor have been serving orphans, elderly and the sick. Such nonprofit religious entities should be allowed to opt out of that provision. In fact, anyone who believes that the contraceptives are immoral, be they non-profits or commercial businesses, should be exempted from this law.
Morality is not based on making money or not making money; it is based on truth as revealed by God and ones inner conscience. All people of Christian Faith have the right, and duty, to stand against that what is immoral.
Secondly, such religious groups should not be exempted from anything including taxes. I can understand why the Little Sisters don’t want contraceptives for themselves, but as employers they should be required to pay for the same health coverage as everyone else in the country receives. In addition, the Little Sisters don’t provide the contraceptives, the doctors do, in consultation with their secular patients.
If religious institutions can create their own tax policy, then the churches should get taxed like any other business. They should lose their exemption. Their belief requires women to get married and enjoy the life of luxury and freedom. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law, then why this exemption? There must be a lot of married working couple who despite wanting a baby could not conceive one. Why do they have to pay for the coverage?
The sole purpose of Obamacare program is to provide people with health care. What if the nun, at one point in life, will have to take the contraceptive pills as a medication for health reasons and not to prevent conception? Should they still be exempted?
When Obama tried to apply anti-discrimination laws to churches’ hiring of ministers a few years ago, the Supreme Court shot him down 9-0. I would not be surprised to see a similarly lopsided verdict in this case – along with a sharp rebuke of the president for not taking the hint the last time.