The Corner

Religious Freedom for All

Kathryn, if you’re correct that we have comboxers who think the Little Sisters of the Poor are seeking to impose Catholicism on America — I am not assiduous in reading the comboxes, even on most of my own posts, so I take your word for it! — I guess my post was more relevant to today’s practical policy arguments than I initially thought it was. As I said, the Catholics who oppose religious liberty are a tiny minority within a minority; they are not just few in number but also lack influence within Catholic public life. (John Zmirak was correct in pointing out that they exist, and in arguing against their ideas.) But if polemicists are alleging that there is a serious Catholic movement against freedom, it’​s absolutely essential to point out that this is false. Those who raise the specter of theocracy when arguing for, e.g., the HHS mandate, need to be told about the truth that I discussed in my post, and to be told about it repeatedly, until they understand it. I am delighted to have been of assistance in this regard.

We cannot stress enough that a vigorous regime of religious liberty is the exact opposite of theocracy: Letting a religious person follow his or her conscience is not an imposition of beliefs on others. As it happens, I support contraception; the decision of someone else not to pay for contraception harms me not in the least. That, in my view, is the core of the HHS-mandate debate. 

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