Monday, October 01, 2007

Supreme Court bans prescription drug coverage for employees

Of course, it won't read that way in the papers.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to enter a church-state dispute over whether some religious organizations can be forced to pay for workers' birth-control health insurance benefits, a growing trend in the states.

The court let stand a New York court ruling upholding a state law that forces religious-based social service agencies to subsidize contraceptives as part of prescription drug coverage they offer employees.

Catholic Charities and other religious groups argued New York's law violates their First Amendment right to practice their religion because it forces them to violate religious teachings that regard contraception as sinful.

When are our robed masters going to figure out that no mattter how many laws are passed, the government cannot change religious tenets? You can see how much success the Chinese have had. What did they think, Catholic Charities was suddenly going to sit up and say, "Aha! God was wrong and the state of New York is so much smarter!" (It's not just New York, either; 22 other states have similar laws, including The People's Republic of Seattle and Vicinity Washington.) If churches can't offer coverage without sinning, they just won't be able to offer coverage. It's that simple.

Naturally, the next step will be to eliminate that option as well, and force the charities to close, so they can say, "Look what a bunch of hypocrites those people are, refusing to feed the hungry or house the homeless!" Of course, I don't see the backers of these laws stepping up to the plate to do the dirty work of charity. High-blown rhetoric is one thing, but actually consorting with the needy isn't in their job description.

The next paragraph is the money quote, with the real reason for the law:
"If the state can compel church entities to subsidize contraceptives in violation of their religious beliefs, it can compel them to subsidize abortions as well," the groups said in urging the court to take their case. "And if it can compel church entities to subsidize abortions, it can require hospitals owned by churches to provide them."

Bingo! (As we Catholics like to say.) Once again, "Choice" means doing as you're damn well told.

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