Helen of Marlowe's Blog

What’s the Significant Difference?

Posted in Government, Politics, Religion by helenofmarlowe on February 18, 2012

What is the significant difference?

There is something I’m  missing here. The Catholic church went into a frenzy in their moral outrage at the idea that a Catholic institution should be required to provide for their employees an insurance policy that includes birth control, which they say they believe is immoral.

I won’t get into the seeming contradiction that they hate abortion even more than they hate contraceptives, and are sticking by their guns in spite of the evidence that the one reduces need for the other. There’s probably some logic there that I just don’t get.

And I won’t yet try to understand why the compromise offered by the White House, that insurance companies would instead provide contraception coverage separately and at no cost, was not welcomed by the bishops.

What I’m really trying to figure out is this:  What’s the significant difference between appeasing the Catholics on this issue, and requiring Quakers to pay for war (via taxes)?

Quakers are  opposed to war and to all forms of violence.

And what about requiring Seventh-day Adventists to support our government’s policies on  factory farming?

 For more than 130 years Seventhday Adventists have practiced a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the holistic nature of humankind. (http://www.sdada.org/position.htm)

Yes, I see that in the case of the Quakers and the Seventh-day Adventists, it is tax policy that pulls them into the fold of a behavior that contradicts their religion, but is that a substantial difference?  Does it follow, logically, that Catholics should impose upon non-Catholics their beliefs (well, just some of their beliefs; institutionally, they are also against the death penalty but I haven’t heard our Catholic presidential hopefuls mention that)?  That they should impose upon non-Catholic employees, for example, a Catholic rule that even 98% of Catholics don’t actually follow?  And what about Christian Scientists?  Should employees at Christian Science establishments be required to forego health insurance altogether and rely upon prayer?

Is there really a substantial difference, or is it just that Quakers and Seventh-day Adventists, and Christian Scientists,  are not trying to defeat our president?

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Joseph Gilmore said, on February 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm


  2. Jim Wheeler said, on February 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Good points all, Helen. IMO, your examples highlight the difficulties involved when a society grows to the point where their numbers outstrip humanity’s evolutionary tribal size. Things were simpler when we were hunter-gatherers, the Native Americans being an example. When those tribes got large, wars broke out.

    Living together in large numbers requires compromise and I submit that we are still in the early stage of social evolution. I just hope we don’t become extinct before we figure it all out.

  3. helenofmarlowe said, on February 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Yes, Jim, I hope the next stages will take us in a cooperative direction.

  4. Gloria Fitzgibbon said, on February 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Quakers and other individuals have long been allowed to gain Conscientious Objector status. On the other hand, they like the rest of us pay taxes to support programs they abhor. That’s democracy.
    What is at issue in this recent dispute is the Bishops’ claim that institutions as well as individuals have rights of conscience which the state must respect and accommodate. This is a dangerous step back to a time when clergy were tried in ecclesiastical courts in deference to the Church’s institutional rights and privileges. The United States is a polity made up of individual citizens who are free to organize associations and even to belong to associations with conflicting political agendas. Institutions with large memberships inevitably wield considerable political power, but they have no special rights beyond those outlined in statutory and especially corporate law. In Federalist No. 10 Madison described the competition of rival groups, not the privileging of some groups over others, as the basis for liberty. Corporatism has no place in America.

    • helenofmarlowe said, on February 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      You and Donald Kaul do help shed light on this. Donald Kaul, today’s paper,

      The Constitution is there to protect the rights of individuals, not the right of institutions to deny rights they find offensive.

I like comments. Put 'em here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: