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Friday, February 10, 2012

It's only the beginning.


Andrew Grodner said...

It seems to me that the controversy is only the result of lack of proper information.

Both Catholic Church and US Government agree that non-religious organizations should provide free contraceptives to women. Both Catholic Church and US Government agree that religious organizations, like Churches, can do whatever they want with providing contraceptives to women. So the question is whether Catholic-affiliated hospitals and other organizations are non-religious or religious organizations.

Well, thinking about Catholic-affiliated hospitals, they provide health care not spiritual services, and to be treated and work there one does not need to be a Catholic. Moreover, by creating Catholic-affiliated hospitals the Catholic church decided to provide services outside of their original mandate, and thus the moment they made that choice they agreed to follow the rules that govern all hospitals (they are hospitals first and everything else is secondary). So in that case, there is no other option but the Catholic-affiliated hospitals should follow the same rules as all other hospitals do.

Where is the controversy?

As for the article, it seems to contradict itself. The message seems that US government is somehow forcing Catholic Charities to do what they do not want to do. However, we learn from the read that it was Catholic church which voluntarily entered the world of charity organizations to expand its funds, and not to preach Catholic principles to more people. Thus, they have CHOSEN to follow the rules that govern charities, and NOT the rules for religious organizations. Also, the article summarizes that when Obama says "playing by the same rules" means CONFORMING to PRESIDENT's rules. Of course! He is the top representative of the executive branch of US government and we all play by "his" rules, whether we pay taxes, drive on the right hand side of the road, or use one currency in a country. What is wrong with that?

Thanks for posting a thought-provoking article.

Randall Parker said...

Follow the same rules? So Catholic hospitals should provide abortions too?

I don't have to follow the president's rules when they trample on people's first amendment rights. This country was founded first on the basis of religious freedom. The government has no business telling anyone what that freedom of religion is to include and not to include. The president wants us to worship "the state" and all of its mandates to equalize society. Well I am disdainful of false idols and they are not taking me alive.

Andrew Grodner said...

Actually, I would agree with both points. First, abortions are horrible things and, unlike contraception, they are usually more damaging to the mother's health than good. Thus I would separate abortions from birth control because oral contraceptives have a lot of non-contraceptive benefits (, besides allowing women to better plan childbirth. In fact, an invention of the oral contraceptive pill is sometimes regarded as one of the Greatest Medical Advancements of the 20th century (

As for the First Amendment, I completely agree as well. The government has no business in telling the religious organizations what to do, what to believe in, how they should be run, and whether they must provide any insurance for their workers or not. In fact, as I understand it, the new health care law says nothing about Churches and religious organizations.

So what I am confused about here is whether Catholic hospitals are religious establishments or hospitals? Or maybe there is something called a "religious hospital" which is neither of the two, and has to be governed by separate rules altogether? Thus, I only wanted to point out that the controversy may be coming from the problem in classifying what Catholic hospitals are, which I assumed were basically hospitals. But if Catholic hospitals are religious establishments then I think Supreme Court should put the government in its place for violating The First Amendment.

ArrrrrrrghDeeeee said...

I agree with John Cochrane, you guys are missing the big picture:

And Dr. Grodner, where is the contraceptive tree whose fruit will bear "free contraceptives to women" that you speak of?

ArrrrrrghDeeeeee said...

Another note, unless I'm missing a piece of the legislation, Dr Parker is incorrect in his first question regarding catholic churches following the rules by providing abortions. Yes, only if they choose to be an abortion clinic. However, they are hospitals. Are Johns Hopkins or Pitt Memorial providing services for abortions? I think not.

Randall Parker said...

I'm 100% on board with Cochrane.