A while back I was watching The Daily Show and though they obviously broadcast with a liberal agenda, it’s generally a fact based provider of news. The story they covered was on the freedoms that The Church or religious organizations have. Churches can terminate employees without the risk or repercussions secular organizations must follow. That seemed like more than just religious freedom or protection. This policy gives too much latitude to a Church to treat their people right. Then the Supreme Court backed up the Church and basically told people that they had no legal recourse if terminated by a Church. Wow! Of course, this is the same court that said Corporations are people too, so I’m not really surprised.
So, let’s start this discussion with my belief that Churches get too many breaks.
Then the new Contraception rules were released by President Obama and I honestly thought they went too far to restrict freedoms. Requiring a Church to provide contraception coverage to women when the Church actually has a long-standing position against contraception seems wrong. It’s actually challenging a Church’s principles and freedoms. I truly believe that if you decide to work for a church, you should prepare to submit to the church’s beliefs and rules. At least while you’re at work. And you shouldn’t expect the church to help or pay for you to break their rules or beliefs.
But that’s not the whole story and I was looking at it in a limited capacity.
I read further, because my wife fervently disagreed with my position and that’s a rarity. If she stands against me on a topic, then we need to discuss it further. I prefer us to see eye to eye on everything so we debate things to see other points of view. She’s an incredibly intelligent woman and I would be foolish not to consider her input. So, I read more to better understand the topic. Here’s the thing I didn’t realize. These religious freedoms are not just being applied to Churches. They apply to Churches and their affiliated organizations likes schools, universities, and hospitals. That, is over-reaching. That is over protection of religious freedoms.
If you work for a Church, you should expect to follow their rules. If you work for the St. Somebody Hospital, you they should treat you the same as an employee of any other organization. That SAINT in front of the organization’s name shouldn’t protect the company from their legal obligations to their employees. Unfortunately, according to our government, they do.
Good news is that Obama found a fair, in my opinion, concession to the Church (& affiliated religious organizations) regarding the New Contraception Law. Now they have the freedom to not offer contraception coverage in their insurance plans to their employees, but all insurance companies must offer it for free. Sure, it’s really about semantics, because the Church is offering the coverage despite their objections, but since these religious freedoms are too far-reaching, I think it’s a fair compromise.
Along those lines, the government just plays with words when they say they don’t federally fund abortions. Planned Parenthood gets money from the government to provide a lot of excellent services (not abortions) for women. Of course, when money comes in from one area, it isn’t guaranteed to never touch the money from another part of a company. It just doesn’t work that way. Of course, in that case, it’s more about accountants playing with numbers rather than words. I personally don’t have a strong opinion on federal funding of abortions (since there are numerous situations where I can see the need for Planned Parenthood’s most controversial services), but I do find it humorous whenever the topic comes up.
So now I probably upset everyone who read this in one way or another. I guess my job is done here.
** By the way, I’m a Christian and a life long member of various religious organizations. I was, at one time, fervently Pro-Life, but my position evolved over time. The Pro-Life crowd actually turned me against them with their harsh words. I believe if you’re Pro-Life, you should approach the subject in love. And not just Love for the unborn, but Love for the woman going through the ordeal of an unplanned pregnancy. Operate in some grace and maybe more people will listen to your point of view. Maybe you can actually help someone.