Coercing Catholic Institutions Into Providing Contraceptives Is a Violation of Civil Liberties: A Libertarian Point of View

A couple of weeks ago the White House (via correspondent Jake Carrey) issued a mandate that would require all hospitals by August 2012, to prescribe contraceptives when requested of all its employees and clients. That mandate also forces those institutions to provide contraceptives at no charge. Many of those institutions are owned by catholics organizations that have discouraged the use of contraceptives among their followers for years. This mandate, if it holds, will force their entire institution to now have to give up their stance and to participate in something which they have never upheld.

So … I thought this was … “the sweet land of liberty”… “land of the free” ? I guess the only thing we really have liberty to do here is what government tells us we can. And if you can only do what you’re told .. then how is it then that we’re really free if we’re forced ?

And …is their still religious freedom in this country and do we no longer get to choose what we want to believe, practice or uphold? Or are we going all the way back to the old ancient days where people were forced to by government to worship in ways they don’t believe, in the same way that Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys were, in scripture (Daniel 3:13-19).

These are the thoughts that ran through my head when I learned about this mandate. What really gets me, are all the people who believe … this is a good thing. Now … let me say this … I have absolutely no problem with a womans right to choose. I am a libertarian and definitely believe in that freedom BUT that doesn’t mean that gives someone else the right to violate someone else’s freedoms which is what people are looking to do here with Catholic hospitals. The government is clearly violating THEIR “civil” rights , not to mention the freedom our constitution grants us  of religious expression.

Some may say …what about the rights of those who want to use contraceptives? Well … no one has ever said they can’t use contraceptives. There are many many hospitals that have no problem with having to offer contraceptives. Catholic Institutions don’t want to  and according to our constitution they have the right to uphold what THEY believe too. We all do. I wouldn’t patronize a hospital that shows no interest in what I want, nor would I feel obligated to go to a church, school or work on job that doesn’t offer what I like. I’d look to going somewhere else. And I definitely am not going to use the government to force an organization into doing something that it doesn’t want to do. I would hate it if someone used the government to force me to do something, especially if it was something that I didn’t believe in.

“Whatsoever ye would have men should do to you, do ye also to them” (Matthew 7:12)

Libertarians stand vehemently against coercive government (a government which forces people, who are not hurting others, to participate in things they don’t agree with), and these catholic institutions are not hurting anyone or saying they anyone can’t use contraceptives. They’re just saying “its not what we do we and shouldn’t have to just because someone else wants us to”.

People in the supermarket business sell food to the general public, but the government does not require them to cook it just because someone wants them to. NO ONE ELSE EXPECTS THEM TO. Its not what they do. There are other places that do that. The same with catholic hospitals. They are not in the contraceptive business and shouldn’t be forced into it. Libertarians are all about voluntary cooperation. If there is a demand for contraceptives and the catholic hospitals WANT TO meet that demand, then it should THEIR CHOICE to provide it. Government should not be allowed to coerce anybody or any entity ,who is not hurting anyone, to do something they don’t agree with. Its a violation of their civil liberties and every effort should me made to keep anyone (especially someone in government) from that kind of force.

While this is an issue a religious institution is faced with, this is not about standing up for a religious right, a religious group, and definitely not a special right which people think that is only given to the religious. Its not. Nor is it a about any majority or minority. Its about standing up for the civil liberties that our constitution GRANTS US ALL  …. whether we are religious or not.

This is a libertarians point of view.

A Libertarians View On Michigan’s Emergency Managers Challenge

One of the bedrock philosophy’s that I have learned about the libertarian view since coming over to the libertarian side is : YOU OWN YOURSELF.

So if we own our owns selves, that means that we are responsible for our own success’. That also means, if what we are in control of fails, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY and ours alone to fix it, and no one else’s. Its something I’ve always believed in personally, long before I learned this libertarian bedrock. Its also clearly reflected in Joshua 1:8, which lets us know that it is our OWN responsibility to “make our way prosperous” .

I believe this should apply to every citizen in every state. If we believe we own our own selves, then WE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE for our own selves and not our governments and we definitely should not allow any one official to control the directions OUR communities will go in. It is our responsibility.

Continually yielding those kinds of responsibilities over to government officials has continually failed us time and time again. Case in point: I live in the Metro Detroit area and I was dropping a friend off the other day in Highland Park and I noticed all the lights were out on the street. I thought perhaps it was just a power outage or something but my friend told me they had been out for months and not only were they out but the light poles had all been cut down. I did a little investigation to find out why and I learned that the lights were out and the poles were down because the officials at Highland Park hadn’t been paying their bills. Highland Park had a $4.5 million dollar debt with “DTE Energy” and when they didn’t pay it, DTE came in and turned the service off of 1400 street lights in the city and not only that but cut their light poles down as well.

I can’t imagine being a person who has purchased property in the city, paying for my property, sweating hard to get those big property taxes paid and then finding that the lights the city provided to keep me and my neighbors house lit, I can no longer have, not because I didn’t pay, but because elected officials didn’t pay. They say many in the community didn’t even know there was a problem until they saw the utility trucks cut down the poles and now the streets are pitch black in a high-crime area.

This is what happens when government officials are allowed “sole” control over the destinies of our communities. What makes it bad is they can force you to pay taxes but you can’t force them to provide service yet if you don’t pay them, they can force you out of a home you’ve paid thousands for. You’ve elected someone who has put you solely at their mercy. Once you elect them … its now in THEIR control, your control is over.

Mind you, Highland Park just had a Emergency Manager appointed by government just a couple of years ago, and now their own elected officials are back in office. Both were/are paid tax payer money, yet neither of them were able to avoid the taxpayers lights being taken away. Not because the taxpayers didn’t pay but because the government did not provide the services they promised. Yet we continue to make ourselves believe they will. Michigan’s state governor tried to remedy it by sending in an Emergency Manager and Highland Park tried once again through their elected officials. Both failed.

This is happening in cities all around Michigan and usually cities ran by officials in one party. What gets me is, these cities keep voting for officials in the same party, who keeps promising them that they will fix things FOR them. Libertarian influence would empower the citizens and work to keep government controls out of the way, so the citizens can fix it themselves. It is their OWN RESPONSIBILITY and not the responsibility of any government official especially when that official will not adhere to the things we say. We afford them the opportunity to be in those positions. They are paid by our tax dollars and since we pay them, they are to do what we tell THEM to do. It is not their jobs to tell us what to do and when we say NO EMERGENCY MANAGER , their response should simply be … “Okay you’re the boss. You’re the one that pays me.” Thats exactly why citizens should protest “Emergency Manager Laws”. It is our responsibility to control the destinies of OUR OWN COMMUNITIES, not an emergency manager, nor any government and we as citizens should be allowed to do it without any government interference,

If we want to see things change we’ve got to get things going ourselves and quit thinking “it’s up to the government to fix it”. Dr King, Bayard and the others didn’t wait on the government to fix it , they just moved on those situations and got them taken care of themselves. We’ve got to do like they did then . Get some stand-up Community Coordinators, that can round some folks up to get out and protest. Stop the emergency manager laws. Stop yielding all this control to the government officials who continually fail us. Knock on our neighbors doors. Tell them “We’re going to find out how much it cost to put lights on our lawns and then we’re going to pool our own resources together, have some fundraisers and then launch the career of a good entrepreneur to get them up. Since our officials have no plans to do it, we’ve got to do it ourselves and we’re going to protest everything that will get in our way to stop it from happening”.

We own ourselves ….and since we own ourselves we are responsible for our own success. Thats a real Libertarians way of doing things