Bartender I’ll Have A Standard, And Make It A Double

I wasn’t going to offer my thoughts on the Sandra Fluke controversy figuring the market would be over-saturated on the issue by the time my readers read my thoughts.  Putting aside that Fluke has greatly exaggerated the cost of birth-control, or the notion that a college student is somehow required to have sex while attending school (See: Can’t Hardly Wait), or that someone other than the participants partaking in the sexual experience is responsible for preventing your pregnancy (See: Don’t You Know Who I Am?), today it occurred to me today there is an aspect of this story that has not been commented on — at least not that I have read, anyway.

The argument from Fluke’s endorsers more or less seems to be that regardless of the Catholic church’s association with Georgetown University (or any other affiliation for that matter), it is acting as an employer and not a church, per se.  Though an employer who provides health insurance, that fact does not entitle the church to dictate the specifics of the insurance or deny certain coverages according to their conscience since not everyone who associates with a Catholic organization shares the church’s moral convictions.

I don’t agree with this line of reasoning given the fact that the Catholic church is a private employer who is not obliged to offer health insurance in the first place.  However, it dawned on me that the advocacy groups who share Fluke’s agenda are usually the same lot of people who believe that if religious-based charities receive government funds, the government should be allowed to dictate the policies involved with using the funds.  I.e., if a religious-based charity receives government funds to any degree, they should not be permitted to exclude individuals from employment who do not share the religious convictions of the charity.  For instance, a Christian charity must allow non-Christians or those who do not share their moral convictions (practicing homosexuals, for example) to work for their organization if funds are received.

At this point some readers might be thinking to themselves “Separation of church and state, Johnny boy!”.   But that is an objection (and a misplaced objection at that) to the use of funds in the first place, not the autonomy of the agency.  The government doesn’t get the right to dictate policy simply because it funds in part the charity.

What this sheds light on is the ever-present double standard of those who harbor antipathy toward religion and the religious.  I don’t believe that just because a religious institution offers employment to the general public, and decides to offer a health insurance package as part of the compensation for employment that they forego their right to offer employment on their terms and conditions.  This is especially true when the inclusions and omissions are made known prior to employment.  Fluke knew of Georgetown’s contraception  exclusion and she is merely flexing her “now that I’m here” mentality.  Whether one agrees with the policies of a particular institution or not, they ought to have the right operate according to their own principles (See: A Little Discrimination Never Hurt Anyone, Show Me The Money).

Isn’t it strange how the people who proclaim “don’t force your morality on me” the loudest are the most likely to be trying to force their morality on someone themselves?  Miss Fluke, I’m looking in your direction.

Comments

  1. Last paragraph hit the bulls-eye

  2. Terrance H. says:

    John,

    You wouldn’t believe the level of insanity I’ve had to endure on my blog from some leftwing readers over Sandra Fluke and the subsequent Limbaugh debacle. It’s unbelievable the level of hypocrisy.

  3. Marshall Art says:

    Well, that WAS the whole point of the hearings in which Fluke was NOT invited to testify. It had nothing to do with contraceptives, but the establishment of non-religion of this current gov’t on religious businesses. I take the notion further. I insist that my NON-religious based business should be free from the same mandates that insist I offer what I don’t want to offer, or how I want to offer it. I wouldn’t want my benefits package to provide for non-married couples—homo or hetero—that I provide to married couples, for example. True people of faith intend to live their lives, professionally as well as privately, as their faith dictates, not as a secular gov’t dictates. Free expression of one’s faith is not supposed to be merely Sunday service, anymore than one’s profession of faith is supposed to exist within that hour. One isn’t supposed to be a person of faith only in church, but in every aspect of their lives. This gov’t, with the help of activist jerks like Fluke, would have us reject our faith outside of church or the confines of our homes.

    As to gov’t funding of religious organizations, if the work done by the organization is itself regarded as worthy of support without mention of faith, then there is no reason that faith-based organizations should be barred from receiving such funding, if such funding is being redistributed. It doesn’t matter who they hire, or what they offer in their benefits package. It’s the quality of their work and the good they do that matters and demands support. Otherwise, the focus is taken from the work and put where it doesn’t belong…on the people who think they deserve to work there.

  4. Obama has no more authority to mandate health insurance companies provide contraceptives than he has mandating religious employers do.

    For the sake of our republic, churches, universities, insurance companies have the obligation to disobey Obama’s mandate.

  5. “The government doesn’t get the right to dictate policy simply because it funds in part the charity.”
    Yes. That’s exactly when they get to dictate policy. Certain religious organizations want to live in a world where sex is the devil and all education about, enjoyment of, or mitigation of the outcomes of sex are blasphemy. Enjoy your church.
    But if your church can’t afford to spread its message by itself and starts taking government funds, then the government gets to impose civil rights and human rights according to the government standard rather than the church standard. Or you can go without the funds.
    The real problem here is that religion doesn’t have a stranglehold on morality. As the people, through their government, stand up for a sex-positive, education-based, women-empowering set of moral standards, the sex-negative, fear-based, patriarchal clergy become disempowered. Our understanding of human rights have progressed enough that we can cast scorn upon those who enforce Colossians 3:18 just as we do those who practice Colossians 3:22.

    • Jason

      You do know the difference between churches and religious based or affiliated charities, don’t you? They are not necessarily evangelistic but do a whole lot of good for society that they couldn’t do without funding. The things many do are very beneficial for the individuals involved as well as the burden they lift off society.

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