Archive for May 22, 2012
When do the religious rights of an organization override the religious rights of an individual? Does the health of an employee take second place to the religious or political preferences of an employer? If corporations are people for the purposes of political contributions, are they also people for purposes of religious observance?
A number of Catholic organizations are suing the Obama Administration over contraception, claiming that new rules under the Affordable Care Act violate the religious rights of those organizations. This is an extension of the flap starting last February, when the Health and Human Services department proposed that employer-provided health care must cover contraceptive services. The Catholic Church objected, insisting that providing such services is contrary to Church doctrine, and that, therefore, Catholic organizations which employ people must be exempted. This led to overinflated rhetoric from the right about the Administration’s “war on religion.”
HHS responded with a compromise, requiring instead only that the insurance companies, not the employers, would be subject to this rule. This would provide proper and adequate health choices for women, while respecting the doctrinal dictates of the Church. That wasn’t good enough for Catholic Bishops, though many other Catholic organizations praised the move. The issue refuses to go away. (more…)