Posted by: Donna
Nowhere in his Sunday Republic column does MacEachern mention contraception, but “religious freedom” serves as a handy proxy for what he and other conservatives really want to say (though Rush Limbaugh, bless his heart, did say it repeatedly).
It is that the threat to American religious freedom posed by this monstrosity lives on thanks to the Roberts ruling. And that may be the greatest “assessment” being levied by the proponents of the law.
There are 23 lawsuits challenging the ACA based on First Amendment freedom-of-religion grounds, including the lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic institutions — among them, Notre Dame University, whose president once took great heat for having invited President Barack Obama to deliver a commencement address.
The lawsuits object to the administration’s claim that it can decide what constitutes a religious organization, and so, command those organizations to provide coverage they judge morally objectionable.
Had the awful Blunt Amendment, which would allow any employer to deny any medical treatment in insurance plans for any reason, passed in the US Senate it might have been reasonable for MacEachern to describe the issue at stake with the bland and generic phrase “coverage they judge morally objectionable”, as if it could pertain to allergy medications or diabetes treatments or anything else. But since Blunt didn’t pass and everyone knows these lawsuits are about – birth control – it’s really pretty disingenuous for MacEachern to act prissy and tiptoe around the subject. He then goes on to quote at length from some lugubrious Heritage Foundation lawyer:
The founder of the Becket Fund, which represents many of the plaintiffs, Hasson framed the fight against the Obama administration as a fateful contest between religious-minded people “who seek to reach out and grasp eternal truths” and people who see humanity as a collection of “accidental organisms adrift in a cold and lonely universe where the only thing to do is try to wring whatever drops of pleasure we can out of an inherently absurd existence before we lapse into nothingness.”
“(N)ever before have we had a situation where the fight is not between principled people fighting over their principles. The fight is now between people who believe in something and people who believe in precisely nothing. They are nihilists, and this is a threat that is simply unprecedented.”
Not hard to figure out which side Doug is on in this battle. And let’s face it, had the 23 lawsuits against the Affordable Care Act been filed by 43 religious organizations objecting to covering blood transfusions or plantar wart removals, do you honestly think anyone would be blathering about “drops of pleasure” and “people who believe in something and people who believe in precisely nothing” and “nihilists” and what-have-you?
Perhaps Doug MacEachern should inform readers of the Arizona Republic what, exactly, his position on contraception is, since he quotes so glowingly from a guy who seems to be equating access to birth control in health plans with nihilism and moral depravity.
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