Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It is about power, not religion

One of the more interesting objections to the current administrations plan to assure that all women have insurance coverage for contraception has been claim that this was a violation of the free expression of religion. I for one do not see it. There is no requirement that a person use this benefit. Anyone who, because of their religious teaching, doesn’t want to use birth control is free to continue to not use it. This policy does one thing, and one thing only, provides insurance coverage that the individual may chose to use. How is this violating anyone’s right of religious expression?

The right has tried to argue that it is religious institutions, Hospitals, Universities etc whose religious expression is being blocked. The Republicans argument seems to be that unless these organizations have the power to restrict their employees’ access to contraception the hospital or school will be a sinner in the eyes of god, and will be facing an eternity in hell. I for one was not aware that corporations or buildings had souls and could be facing eternal judgment.

The simpler truth is this is an argument over power. The administration’s plan ultimately shifts power to the individual, and removes it from the institution. This is the antithesis what the modern conservative movement and the current Republican Party want. That is why this latest culture war battle has erupted, Obama’s administration wanted to give the individual more options, and the Republicans want to prevent this.

It really is that simple.

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