Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Myopia and perhaps a bit of schadenfreude

Over at Letter from Hardscrabble Creek and Bookworm Room there are some good posts (here, here, here) about the ramifications of the Obama administration's attempts to force Catholic and other religious groups to pay for and provide birth control, etc. as part of their health insurance plans, contravening their First Amendment right of free exercise of religion.and the additional prohibition of the Defense Department of the reading of a letter written by Catholic leadership during military chapel services "because it seemed to encourage civil disobedience, and could be read as seditious against the Commander-in-Chief."  thus affecting another part of the First Amendment, the freedom of speech.

I have to admit that I'm not Catholic and I do think that the Catholic Church has been hoist on its own petard on this issue (as has also been pointed out here).  Because the Catholic Church was one of the big supporters of Obamacare, I imagine they were more than a bit surprised to find out that the Obama Administration didn't create an exemption just for them in the administration's push for birth control and sterilization services (I consider the 'exemption' put into the rules to be unworkable in today's world).  And I can try to imagine the look on the bishops' faces when they realized that the Catholic Church would be forced to PAY for those services as well.  Welcome to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

But still and all, there are several larger issues that are at play here and ones that are getting lost in the whole healthcare/health insurance debate.  The main one is the obvious attempted destruction of the First Amendment.  If the government can force a group to pay for something that is inimical to its stated beliefs, then what's next??  If the government can prohibit free speech due a stated reason of 'sedition towards the Commander-in-Chief' then what's next??  

I this this is one bandwagon worth getting on.


Old NFO said...

Yep, this one IS causing some interesting rumbles in the five-sided puzzle palace... :-(

Don said...

It's the law. In most cases a serviceman gives up some of his civil liberties when he raises his hand. That includes restricting your right to free speech.
It's BS-on-a-stick, but it is the law, and you were told about it in Boot Camp.
The case of the Church being forced to violate one of its core principles is a violation, and is un-constitutional. Good luck with that one given the current "legal scholars" in the Federal courts.