Analysis: Bishops’ contraception objections fail their church’s own moral reasoning

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Illustration by Amy Lewis/The Salt Lake Tribune.

Illustration by Amy Lewis/The Salt Lake Tribune.

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(RNS) Some critics of President Obama's compromise on contraception have called it a "game of let's pretend." Yet that "game" is actually a venerable tradition in Catholic moral theology that for centuries has provided a way for Christians to think about acting virtuously in a fallen world. By David Gibson.

  • ctdkite

    This post comes close to making a straw-man argument. The bishops, by and large, have not objected to the mandate because it violates the principles of cooperation. They have several main objections, the primary being that the mandate does not respect religious liberty and that it treats religious-based social ministries as not truly religious. There are other objections, but all of them are prior to any consideration of material cooperation.

    In the end, it may be licit to cooperate in this way, but the real issue is whether the government should ever force religious institutions to cooperate at all.

    By example: It is true that some dioceses and institutions cover contraception in their policies now. But that is because the insurance market gives them no choice. Some of these institutions simply do not have the bargaining power to negotiate for a contraception-free policy. That is, however, very different than the government, especially one that purports to respect religious freedom, forcing cooperation on religious institutions. Whatever the principles of cooperation dictate, the mandate raises concerns as a public policy.

  • Bart

    when a religious institution accepts federal government / taxpayer money – universities, hospitals, charitable organizations – they should be held accountable to follow the same edicts businesses must follow.

    Mixing religion and government is a dirty business and these are the fruits of that unholy alliance.

    If the Catholic church doesn’t like governmental intrusion into their mindless archaic male dominated policies, protected and supported by a heirarchy whose understanding of sex drive and human sexualtiy is limited to masturbation, secret gay sex, and institutionalzed childrape, they should refuse all federal funding.

    Then they can treat women like the baby making machines they want them to be for as long as Catholic women are stupid enough to buy into it.

    I’d even support that decision.