Nothing says freedom of religion like telling me that I have to pay for someone else’s birth control pills when my beliefs say this it is immoral. New York’s highest court has ruled that Catholic organizations must provide contraceptive coverage to all employees under a state law. The court has narrowly defined a religious employer exemption as applying only to groups with a specifically “religious” mission, by which they mean performing acts of worship. Regardless of whether as Catholics we believe that providing charity to the poor is a religious imperative, Catholic Charities and Catholic hospitals and the like don’t qualify.
Seems to me that if the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” then telling religious organizations what they can consider to be part of their religious mission as well as what their religion is allowed to include.
The New York law does exempt some entities from having to comply with the prescription drug-coverage mandate. The [sic] include churches, seminaries and other institutions with a mainly religious mission.
But groups such as Catholic Charities of Albany, which sought to overturn the law, weren’t exempted because their missions weren’t deemed to be religious.
This is just the precursor to stripping away our other First Amendment rights too, when we’re told we can’t criticize “protected” groups like homosexuals and that the Church must perform same-sex marriages. Don’t believe it can happen? That’s what our friends in Canada thought.
I hope they pursue it to the Supreme Court and whatever happens they don’t just capitulate like the Catholic institutions did in California when they agreed to cooperate with evil and pay for the pills.