Do We Want a Religious Exemption?

2012_Do_We_Want_a_Religious_Exemption_It has been said that “the road to Hell is paved with religious exemptions.” There are always those who are willing to cut a deal with the devil to avoid having to confront a thorny moral issue.

This is certainly the case of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate which would now force employers to provide medical insurance that guarantees free birth control, tubal ligation, and morning-after abortifacients. There are those who hope to avoid the whole issue by rallying around the idea of a religious exemption.

In fact, the whole debate is even being framed by the liberal media as a mere question of religious exemption. What is at stake, they claim, is the question of a few stubborn religious employers such as Catholics hospitals and universities that object to supplying birth control to their employees. When the Administration agreed to “accommodate” them by ordering the insurers to provide these “services” free of charge, Catholic institutions, unwilling to cut a deal, are made to look unreasonable.

Such a vision is completely false. This is not just a case of religious employers. This is a case of any American, Catholic or non-Catholic, religious employer or factory owner, who refuses to act as an accomplice to a policy that treats pregnancy as a disease and sexual promiscuity as a right.

What this mandate essentially does is open the virtual equivalent of a Planned Parenthood clinic inside every factory, workplace, school, university or hospital in America. It forces employers to provide the virtual space inside their enterprises for these clinics to operate – free of charge.

Thus, we do not want a religious exemption. We cannot narrow the problem to specific religious institutions since it does nothing to address the problems of countless non-religious insurers, employers, self-employed and, yes, even employees who do not fall into the very narrow religious category and yet object to participating in any way in this travesty of health care. We do not want any exemption since exemptions are by their very nature “privileges” that are just as easily taken away as they are granted.

Revoking the mandate will not solve this problem. The problem lies in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly dubbed “Obamacare.” Its provisions allow for unprecedented government intervention and socialist control over the private health care decisions of all Americans. We cannot cut a deal. Until this act is revoked, we can expect to see a string of stern government measures steamrolling the rights of all since the road to socialism has always been paved by the discarded promises, special deals – and, yes, religious exemptions.

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About John Horvat II

John Horvat, II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker and author of the book Return to Order. He is vice president and a member of the board of directors of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

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