Current Events & Trends: American religious freedoms undermined

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American religious freedoms undermined

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Supposedly, in order to cope with the reality of our sinful plight and its horrendous consequences, some liberal voices maintain that the real contraceptive scandal is that people are not using them more. As an article teaser in the London Times stated: “If we can’t stop teenagers having sex, we can stop them having babies. That means firing the contraceptive big guns” (“Hard Cases Mean Hard Choices. Like Implants,” Feb. 11, 2012).

Under provisions of Obamacare (the U.S. health insurance law put forward by the administration of President Barack Obama), the federal government will require that health-care coverage include contraceptives for the obvious purpose of birth control along with free sterilization and medications that can and will induce abortions.

A column drophead in The Economist boldly declared that “the president picks an unnecessary fight with the mighty Catholic Church” (“Obama’s ‘War on Religion,’” Feb. 11, 2012). Official Roman Catholic doctrine opposes all of these practices, yet enterprises owned or controlled by the church (or by other religious institutions) would be compelled to provide employees with such coverage. Even if changed to having only insurance companies provide such coverage, many insurers who are Catholic would be acting against conscience. Moreover, all individuals are effectively being required to purchase such coverage.

Church officials regard these aspects of Obamacare as a direct attack on the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

And indeed, forcing the coverage of birth-control means in violation of people’s basic moral values is correctly viewed by a great many as blatantly unconstitutional. In fact, merely forcing individuals to enter into contract and pay for health insurance, whether independently or through their and employers, is deemed unconstitutional by a large part of the country—and the case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This matter, particularly the issue of government trampling over religious freedom, causes the gravest concern to many if not most American citizens. Furthermore, dressing up abortion by using such phrases as women “exercising their reproductive rights” is clearly repugnant to many with moral views based on the Bible.

The birth-control debate remains just one more aspect of the intense moral battle Americans are waging against each other along several fronts. Our free booklet The Ten Commandments spells out the behavior God requires of human beings. (Sources: The Economist, The Times [London].)

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