The Story: “Birth Control and the Boss’s Religious Views,” editorial board of the New York Times.
The Lead: “Allowing employees to make independent decisions to obtain contraceptives does not violate anyone’s religious freedom. If the Supreme Court takes up these cases, it should soundly reject the warped view that some employers can get out of complying with the new law, and in effect use their religious beliefs to discriminate against women.”
Why it Matters: We have arrived at an interested cross roads in our country. As the debate over access to contraception grows, we see now that the cultural elite, buttressed by the arguments of the government itself, are suggesting that law may be used to rectify gender discrimination. The problem there, however, is that such attempts at rectification sometimes come at the expense of the stated right of religious liberty. While gender equality, so-called, is a laudable goal (and one implicit in a Christian worldview that finds equal dignity and worth, yet necessary and blessed differences, between the sexes (whether male or female), it is not a defined right articulated in the Constitution. Religious liberty is.
When the goal of gender equality conflicts with the stated right to religious liberty of ever citizen, who wins? In the immediate context, the question becomes: may one operate a business and exercise religious liberty? Today, your government (and the editors of the New York Times, is actively arguing that you cannot. Rather, the choice is stark: engage in business or exercise your religious liberty. You cannot do both.
The Supreme Court once famously held that, in the school context, students do not waive their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate. Do we really need SCOTUS to expressly state that bosses do not waive their First Amendment rights in the corner office? Sadly, I think we do.
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