The current uproar over mandates that Catholic-owned businesses offer contraception to insured employees seems, at best, insincere.
Ignoring the fact that Catholic Charities receives $2.9 billion of taxpayer money, and that the Catholic Church and other religious organizations own billions of dollars worth of real estate and collect billions in donations without paying taxes, theres a simple principle at stake. Regardless of its ownership and non-profit status, a hospital or retirement home is not legally a church. Its a business and an employer. And in order to operate as a business, it must meet a variety of legal and government requirements. For example, it must pay half of FICA for its employees. It must meet OSHA requirements for a safe work environment. It must pay for unemployment insurance and workers compensation. It can’t discriminate. And if it offers health insurance, it can’t choose which procedures or pharmaceuticals it wants the insurance to provide.
Such requirements were put in place to protect employees and our society at large.
Interestingly, Catholic-owned enterprises have already complied with the contraception mandate in 20 states. The Church did not raise a fuss until the Obama administration issued the mandate. Only then did the Catholic Church claim that the mandate violates the separation of church and state. What next? Will the Church claim moral opposition to paying FICA? To paying for unemployment insurance? Will it decide that all pharmaceuticals and medical procedures interfere with God’s will?
If the Church is sincere about separation of church and state, will it stop its practice of campaigning for political candidates from the pulpit? Will it no longer allow its tax-free facilities to be used for political gatherings? Will it refuse to take a position on any political issues?
Some Catholic leaders and, of course, Fox Noise Channel claim the contraception mandate is further evidence of an attack on Christianity. Of course, what organization would recognize attacks more quickly than the church that inspired the Crusades? Or the church that attacked indiginous people in order to force them to accept Catholicism? Or the church that slaughtered and tortured millions as part of the Inquisition? Or the church that created an environment for sexual predators in its ranks to attack children?