Kathryn has been right to focus incessantly on the threat posed by the Obama Administration to religious liberties. Obamacare isn’t just about access to health care, but created potent power allowing a hostile government to stuff freedom of religion into a constrained “freedom of worship” box. That is why the administration refused to give reasonable exemptions to religious institutions in the Free Birth Control Rule and only exempted actual houses of worship and monastic communities from having to comply.
Less attention has been paid to the impact of the Rule on faithful business owners who don’t wish to be complicit in what they consider to be sinful behavior. Not prevent others from so engaging, not prevent access, but not having to provide it themselves–an approach perfectly consistent with America’s traditional comity about such differences. But the Department of Justice has argued in legal briefs in the early cases–one preliminary win and one loss for religious liberty so far–that there is no religious liberty in the context of operating a business, because seeking profit is an exclusively secular endeavor.
Elsewhere, I get into the details of these cases and what they portend, with special attention paid to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress in 1993 to protect religious liberties against the encroachments led by the courts. And I note that these early birth control cases are really stalking horses for potentially greater infringements to come:
Some might dismiss these employers’ concerns because birth control is hardly controversial outside of orthodox religious circles. But these birth control cases are stalking horses for far more intrusive violations of religious liberty to come, e.g., requiring businesses to provide free abortions to their employees. Consider the Democratic party’s 2012 platform:
The Democratic party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. [Emphasis added.]
If Democrats regain the control of Congress and the presidency they enjoyed in 2009 and 2010, look for the Affordable Care Act to be amended consistent with their platform. After that, it won’t take long for HHS to promulgate a free abortion rule along lines similar to the free birth control mandate.
It wouldn’t stop there, either. The Left plans to use its looming technocracy to impose a culturally progressive morality on society whenever and wherever possible. In this sense, Obamacare is just a beachhead for greater aggression too follow.