The quote from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney regarding congressional efforts to overturn the HHS mandate could take days to unpack. As Yuval notes below, it’s an affront on several levels.
“Let’s be clear about what’s at stake,” said Carney. “The proposal being considered in the Senate applies to all employers — not just religious employers. And it isn’t limited to contraception. Any employer could restrict access to any service they say they object to. That is dangerous and it is wrong. . . .” (emphasis added).
An employer who doesn’t provide a (“free”) vending machine in the break room isn’t restricting employee access to soft drinks. An employer cafeteria that doesn’t serve (“free”) hamburgers isn’t restricting employee access to meat. An employer that doesn’t construct a (“free”) parking garage isn’t restricting employee access to parking. An employer that doesn’t maintain a (“free”) nursery on its premises isn’t restricting employee access to child care.
But a president who commands that American employers provide a service that violates their core religious beliefs clearly restricts the free exercise thereof.