USA Today recently released an article with statistics showing most people want employers to provide birth control; including Catholics and Evangelicals. So why is the conservative right fighting it so badly? Is it a moral issue? The problem I see with most Christians on this issue is they see the whole thing as black and white. It’s like everyone is thinking this debate is about whether to provide condoms to promiscuous college students. Would it really be an issue if it wasn’t a doctrine of the Catholic Church in an election year with two Republican hopefuls who are Catholic?
Jesus taught his followers to honor the leaders appointed over them and to work within the political framework. And I respect the Catholic church for doing just that. And they have every right to. But have we thought through all of the questions related to this issue and their affects on the church?
What are the consequences of not providing birth control?
Will abortions increase?
How will the church support unplanned pregnancies or unwed mothers?
The issue can’t be looked at as black and white. By doing so you leave yourself with only 2 options:
1. Mandating birth control is an infringement on religious freedom and opens the door to government control in other areas.
2. Religion should have the freedom to apply government policy at it’s own discretion? With 38000 denominations, that could be interesting.
The issue itself is a moral gray area for Christians, most of whom don’t know how to believe, but are scared of one of the two extreme alternatives above. No one likes the government dictating what they should do in relation to their personal beliefs. But dragging young, sexually active singles through the mud over it is the wrong approach to defense.
As I mentioned in Abortion and the Debate on Birth Control: part 1 the humanity of this situation gets lost. Religion is not looking at the bigger picture of how this will impact it’s members. Members who are sexually active married or not. We are protecting the walls of the church and forgetting the people who live inside of them.
I don’t know if there’s a sound mind presenting a moderate approach to the situation. Could employers allow contraceptive coverage and just charge an additional surcharge like many employers are doing for smokers? What will many large Catholic operated Healthcare facilities do if non-catholic nurses and physicians leave to work at an employer who provides the coverage?
I support both sides, one for religious freedom and the other for healthcare coverage. What I hope doesn’t get lost are the lives created in the aftermath, and the people drug through the mud in the middle.