I’m a bit saddened and a bit outraged at how so many people, including our courts, mangle the Constitution in order to get it to support their position. The current debate over contraception, health insurance, and the Catholic Church is just another example of this. I don’t know who first said they’d view corporations as people when on gets arrested, but I think the same standard applies to churches.

As I learned it, the rights within the constitution are rights of the people. Each of us, as an individual, has the right to practice whichever religion we choose, or none at all. Any religion has the right to establish a house of worship and preach away to its congregation, and that is not the government’s business. I later learned that’s not quite true. If the practice of one’s religion includes animal or human sacrifice, or multiple wives, the government’s laws trump the practice of the religion.

Those who oppose the idea of the church as an employer having to provide health insurance coverage that included contraception argue via first amendment rights. I think this is an intentional twisting of that amendment, I think, only to confuse the people. The application of the first amendment in this situation pertains to the rights of the employee who is free to practice his religious beliefs whether or not they align with those of his employer. The church is perfectly free to oppose the use of contraception, or anything else for that matter, but that’s pretty much where their rights end in this case.

The church preaches not to have sex outside of marriage, but seems more than willing to perform the wedding ceremony of couples who already have children and/or have been living together for years. If we take a minute to think about that, we will decide it’s hypocritical, but when we compare that to the current debate on contraception, we see the church taking a less rigid position on sex outside of marriage than it is taking on birth control.

We frequently find the views of some opposing views of others. The question here is who gets to impose their views on whom. How and where do we draw the lines? My view is the rights granted by the Constitution are granted to the people, not the institution. Labor laws are designed to protect the employee. If we allow the religious views of the employer to trump those of his employee, we have violated the rights of the employee by forcing the views of his employer upon him. That is where the Constitution is violated.

I also think that people get paranoid when they don’t get their way. I had some thoughts here, but Jon Stewart expressed my view far better than I can.

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I also find it extremely hypocritical for the Catholic Church to think it’s “laws” are not to be subject to the laws of our secular nation, while they want to be sure Muslim Sharia law is entitled to less first amendment rights, or Mosques have less freedom to build where they please.

Most people I know don’t want either the government or the insurance company standing between them and their doctor. People, in God’s name, standing between a patient and her doctor is no better.

 

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