The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obama and the contraception mandate

Well, President Barack Obama thought he could make a compromise with the Catholic Church on the contraception mandate. And the Catholic bishops have spoken, and to a man, they have said it was unacceptable.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there is a First Amendment issue here. I don't agree with the Catholic Church's position on contraception, or for that matter on abortion. But they have a right to their beliefs. And forcing Church-related employers to pay for insurance to cover what they believe is against God's will is a violation of their beliefs. And disguising it by saying the employer will not be paying for it doesn't cut it. Somebody is going to pay for it, and if it's not the employee, the insurance company is going to factor it into the premium, so the employer is paying for this coverage.

President Obama calls it a compromise — the bishops obviously do not. And while I find myself usually opposed to Catholic bishops on lots of issues, and indeed on the underlying issue here — the sinfullness of contraception — I defend their rights to hold their beliefs and not be forced into subsidizing that with which they disagree on religious grounds.

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