It’s easy to have a field day with that Catholic hospital in Colorado arguing in court that it is not responsible for the death of two seven-month fetuses on the grounds that they were not persons. So bishops will go to the mat to be able to keep their hospitals from performing abortions and covering contraceptive services for their employees, but come a lawsuit and all of a sudden canon law is out the window. What hypocrisy!
Over at NCR, Michael Sean Winters cautions against such umbrage. After all, lawyers are supposed to do the best they can for their clients, and since Colorado law doesn’t recognize fetuses as persons, why should a Catholic hospital play by different rules?
There’s an answer to this, however. It’s that every now and then you ought to demonstrate your bona fides by acting on principle against your material interests. Especially when the principle is leading you to accuse the government of conducting a war on religion. Call this the put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is principle.