From Eric Bugyis:
I clearly established that none of the possible objections to the HHS mandate and its definition of religious exemption have anything to do with “religion,” …
And Eduardo Peñalver:
I actually think that liberal Catholics, like many liberals more generally, tend to favor broader exemptions of deeply held conscientious objection, without so much regard for the foundations of the moral beliefs in question. Although liberal Catholics do not agree with the Church’s position on contraception, they accept it as sincerely held and therefore, because they generally look favorably on broad conscientious exemptions, they would extend the same courtesy to their own hierarchy (and perhaps to private Catholic employers as well), even in this borderline case of a mandate to either provide indirect aid to the practice or pay a fine.
Neither of these snippets do justice to the lengthy arguments they present. But considering that first bit from Mr Bugyis, I had to go scrambling to read my own bishop’s letter. And he’s right. It’s all about politics. Nothing about religion. Just the freedom of it.
I wonder if there were any bishops that declined to write such a letter. Probably not as many as the parishes that were spared a political message at liturgy.
I don’t even know that the bishops have completely thought through this civic position. They can drop health coverage, to be sure. Pay the fine, or whatever. (But I happen to think they will risk embittered employees, a far more expensive proposition.) But they still have to pay us. And if we want health insurance, we have to buy into some plan, somewhere. And if we buy into a plan (either by choice, or by no choice) that includes these “non-religious non-negotiables,” then the bishops are, in effect, sanctioning abortion, contraception, and elective sterilization, are they not? Just in a rather concealed way.
And speaking of concealment, I wonder who was the ghostwriter behind the letters read in churches and disseminated in bulletins this past weekend. Huge chunks of Bishop DiMarzio’s letter read just like my bishop’s. Good thing these letters weren’t living, breathing human beings. Such cloning would be immoral.
And picking up on a theme in that clone letter, there’s a reference to “almost all employers” and “almost all health insurers” and “almost all individuals.” Don’t the bishops mean “many?”