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.