Dolan is Right: It is a Matter of Religious Liberty – and He’s Against It


Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a March 16th Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion column, correctly characterizes the contraceptive insurance coverage debate. He says: “This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all.” But well-hidden under his rhetorical robes is that when it comes to religious freedom, he’s against it.

The Cardinal, in an ecclesiastical lift worthy of Samson, invokes the Declaration of Independence to prove that freedom of religion is “God-given.” With that jawbone, the Cardinal smites the Philistines of insurance coverage for contraceptives, which he misleadingly refers to as “abortion-inducing” drugs.

  • The Cardinal hopes the readers will accept his point-of-view that drugs which prevent pregnancy cause abortions. Most people, faithful or not, do not accept the theology that a woman can have an abortion before she is pregnant.
  • The Cardinal hopes his faithful Catholic readers will forget the First Commandment (which forbids ‘religious freedom’ outside Jehovah) in his defense of the First Amendment.
  • The Cardinal hopes that readers will accept his explanation of the bill of rights. When he says: “Catholics and other people of faith and good will are not second-class citizens,” he invokes a constitutional interpretation under which a woman employed by self-insured employers (most people), or a business owned by someone who objects to contraception, or a religiously-affiliated insurance company can be denied the guaranteed preventive care coverage that other citizens have been granted.

Cardinal Dolan asks readers to accept a first amendment under which people of faith are not second-class citizens – unless, of course, they are women.

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  • waterjoe

    (1) Red herring.  You know very well that the bishop is talking about preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Disagreeing on definitions of “pregnancy” and “abortion” are irrelevant to his claim.

     

    (2) “the First Commandment (which forbids ‘religious freedom’ outside Jehovah)”

    That is a strange interpretation of the scripture passage.  Do you really believe that?  If not, why would you fault Dolan for not believing that?


    (3) Whether the First Amendment protects the religiously-affiliated institutions from refusing to cover contraceptives is a matter of debate, but no serious constitutional scholar would argue that the First Amendment, or any part of the Constitution, gives employees a right to contraception coverage.

  • prochoiceferret

    (1) Red herring.  You know very well that the bishop is talking about preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. Disagreeing on definitions of “pregnancy” and “abortion” are irrelevant to his claim.

     

    I suppose if the bishop defines ham sandwiches as “abortions,” he’ll have an excuse to close down deli shops, too!

     

    That is a strange interpretation of the scripture passage.

     

    What, you mean “Thou shalt have no other gods before me?” I wonder what that means for people who worship gods that are not the Judeo-Christian god…

     

    (3) Whether the First Amendment protects the religiously-affiliated institutions from refusing to cover contraceptives is a matter of debate, but no serious constitutional scholar would argue that the First Amendment, or any part of the Constitution, gives employees a right to contraception coverage.

     

    Which is funny, because Mr. Newman was not arguing that, either. It’s the ACA that gives employees the right to contraceptive coverage (excepting those who work for churches and such).

  • crowepps

    There is ZERO evidence that the birth control pill works by preventing implantation.  All of the available evidence, including the fact that being on the pill prevents ovarian cysts, indicates that the birth control pill works by preventing ovulation.  Nobody can prove a negative, but bringing up mere possibilities as arguments is enormously unconvincing.

    As is your use of your incredible psychic powers to tell us that you have information beyond the bishop’s own words that gives you special knowledge of what he is talking about.  You have a cite where he makes it clear he’s talking about implantation?  My impression was this was just more of the usual Catholic agricultural view of women: ‘any female who isn’t a virgin should have a calf every year!’