Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 2, 2004
LAW/RELIGION: No Such Thing As The Catholic Church?

The California Supreme Court rules that Catholic Charities can not decline to provide health insurance coverage for birth control to its workers. Of course, only big government run rampant explains why workers get to sue over the precise terms of health insurance coverage in the first place - well, that and the fact that the statute is explicitly targeted at religious employers who have objections of conscience. Tolerance of religion does not go far in California these days. Appalling.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:51 AM | Law 2002-04 • | Religion | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Of course, we know - because it is asserted - that court-ordered values pose no threat to religious institutions and freedom. Right.

But I agree that, even aside from the important religious angle, this is a bad precedent. If you donít like your health coverage, go find a different job.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at March 2, 2004 1:08 PM

This is a completely logical ruling and has nothing to do with a lack of religious tolerance.
The question is should we discriminate against employees of the Catholic Charities (many of whom are not Catholic) or should be discriminate against church dogma that offers secular services?
If the church had no secular services and only employed those of the faith then the ruling may have been different. But, look, they are a California business open to all - therefore they must comply by a law that is written for all.

Mad Hibernian
The bottom line is that health insurance is required by small business in California. They have to follow the rules. I'll follow your logic. If a Catholic worker is upset about this ruling. Tough. Let them quit and get a job where contraceptives are not handed out. This ruling hurts no one's faith but had it gone the other way it could have been a signal that other institutions (even non religious ones) could set whatever restrictions they want or don't want in their health plans.

Posted by: Matt at March 16, 2004 2:52 PM

1. "The bottom line is that health insurance is required by small business in California."

Health insurance, yes. But the state legislature knew exactly what it was doing when it added the requirement for coverage of contraceptives; the purpose was to target employers, principally Catholic employers, who declined to provide such coverage.

2. "If a Catholic worker is upset about this ruling. Tough. Let them quit and get a job where contraceptives are not handed out."

Um, what if a Catholic group wants to run a charitable organization, and call it Catholic Charities? The offense isn't to other employees, it's to the freedom to form an organization without compromising your religious beliefs.

Of course, the best answer is to change the market so that people can buy their own health insurance independently of their employers.

Posted by: The Crank at March 17, 2004 12:43 PM
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