Subtitle: It is not about me forcing my beliefs on you!
In August, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a mandate that would require almost all employers in the US to provide health insurance which includes free contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization by August 2012. They have “softened” a bit on the deadline to provide this coverage, moving it to August, 2013. Secretary Kathleen Sibelius says this:
I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has come out vehemently against this mandate. This mandate asks Catholics to do things that are morally repugnant by providing these medications and services. Although Sibelius’ statement says
Scientists have abundant evidence that birth control has significant health benefits for women and their families
we know that birth control is not necessary, not the only manner of spacing or preventing pregnancy, and goes against the nature of the marital act (unitive and procreative as it is) as well as God’s law.
The HHS and President Obama would have you believe that pregnancy is a disease to be prevented in a medical manner. I counter that pregnancy is not a disease. In fact, it is the only manner of propagating the human species. It may come with its inconveniences, but it is the only manner our species has in order to ensure our survival. There is one very easy, healthy, moral manner of preventing or postponing pregnancy. In fact you are doing it right now (I sure hope you are, anyway): don’t have sex! If you are married, this, of course, is not the plan for you. You can learn how to use Natural Family Planning. From what I hear, many people today, including the current government administration, think that not having sex is impossible. Show some maturity, people! Self-control is the mark of an adult, not sexual activity.
Now, you probably think that I’m trying to force my morals on the citizens of this great nation. Absolutely to the contrary. In fact, I’m fighting to protect the right of every American to choose his or her own morals. In my view, there is not “balance” in this mandate. It may give us time to think, but in the end, still asks us to violate our conscience. When we go against the law of God and the law of the Church, we condemn ourselves… to Hell. As Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh puts it:
Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.
- To Hell with your religious beliefs,
- To Hell with your religious liberty,
- To Hell with your freedom of conscience.
We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under.
And Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York says
…in effect, the president is saying that we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.
Maybe you think it’s fine to ask some people to violate their consciences, if they disagree with the “majority.” Let’s indulge in a little reductio ad absurdum. If the government can force me to violate my conscience on contraceptive coverage, what else can they force me to do against my conscience? I’m a happily married woman. Many people believe that it is not wrong to cheat on a spouse. Can the government force me to cheat on my beloved husband? And “goody-goodies” aren’t the only ones who have a conscience. Who would want the government to force them to attend a religious service? If they can force us to do one thing against our conscience, why can’t they force another?
So, you see, the real issue here is the freedom of conscience that comes with freedom of religion. Just as you don’t want me to force my beliefs on you, I don’t want you to force your beliefs on me.
Convinced? Wondering what you can do?
E-mail your Senators and members of Congress here.
Sign a Petition to the White House.
See the USCCB’s Conscience webpage.
Sign a petition from the St. Gianna Physicians Guild
Spread the word. Tell people. Blog about it. Post about it on Facebook. Tweet it. Don’t let the government take away your right to conscience!