Religious Organizations Shouldn't Have To Provide Contraceptive Coverage To Employees

Here in America, we respect peoples' religious convictions -- to a degree.

In towns that have substantial numbers of Orthodox Jews, government employers have bent over backwards to incorporate the Orthodox into the municipal workforce, going so far as to modify rules so that Jewish cops won't be asked to work on the Sabbath, and Jewish firefighters won't be asked to shave.

In corporate America, companies that employ large numbers of Muslims have made accommodations to allow for multiple prayer breaks each day, and have set up prayer rooms, sometimes going so far as to segregate areas for men and women as per Islamic law.

American companies and the federal government tip toe around these issues so as not to offend, and avoid the lawsuits and negative publicity that come with denying religious freedoms to minority groups.

But when it comes to Christians, there are no such qualms.

If the federal government tip toes around requirements for other religions, then Obamacare's contraception mandate -- which has forced religious non-profits to provide all forms of contraception to employees -- is like a blunt instrument, a sledgehammer brought down on religious liberty without a care in the world about offending anyone or forcing them to violate central tenets of their faith.

There's nothing in the constitution that says Americans are entitled to free contraception. There's always the option to pay out of pocket, which is what responsible people do. If the government can't afford to keep millions of struggling Americans fed with SNAP benefits, what's it doing guaranteeing free condoms, birth control, and morning after pills to everyone? Isn't food more fundamental to existence than recreational sex?

More importantly, in a society that was founded on the idea of religious freedom, why does it suddenly become acceptable to force people to do things that diametrically oppose their religious convictions?

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments from religious non-profits, including East Texas Baptist University and the Little Sisters of the Poor, an organization best known for providing care for millions of elderly poor. Those organizations, and a half dozen others with religious roots, want the Supreme Court to strike down the parts of Obamacare that require them to violate their own beliefs with contraception and emergency contraception.

The Supreme Court has already sided with private companies owned by religious people, so it only makes sense that the court will once again recognize religious liberty and prevent the federal government from forcing private charities and non-profits to violate their own beliefs. If the court doesn't rule in favor of the religious groups, we might see the end of religious-based charities -- and that would be a shame for everyone.

Sources: KTBS, Longview News-Journal, The Hill, CNN / Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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