Third Party & Independents Archives

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Apparently the California Supreme Court has declared that Catholic Charities is required to provide birth control coverage to its employees. As I see it, thanks to this heavy-handed government intervention, the charity has three options- (1) violate the articles of their faith by providing contraception coverage; (2) cut off prescription drug coverage for all of its workers, thus escaping the scope of the law they were sued under; or (3) stop offering “counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to people of all faiths, without directly preaching Catholic values”, and then it can be classified as a religious employer under the statute’s exception.

What progressive social policy this is! It punishes religious organization for giving its workers prescription drug coverage and it punishes them on top of that for providing important services for the poor and immigrants of all faiths. Keep in mind that if they offered their services to only Catholics or gave none of their employees prescription drug coverage, they could avoid the scope of this ruling all together.

I am not in the least bit religious and I support and encourage the use of contraception but this decision strikes me as a clear violation of this group’s first amendment rights and as monumentally stupid social policy. Oh, I forgot, first amendment rights of Catholics are not important anymore- Isn’t that right ACLU? (who, mind-boggling applauded this decision- its amazing how the people who currently run the ACLU repeatedly profane the name of this once impractical and great organization). Religious groups who want to help those in need should be applauded, not forced into making untenable decisions that they must violate one article of their faith (against contraception) to fulfill another (the duty to help their fellow men- regardless of their religion).

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at March 2, 2004 2:38 AM