If you want some intelligent, well done and civil discourse among Catholics on the Obama birth control mandate I recommend going daily to the Mirrors of Justice . When there is tension on the specifics at least it's handled in a respect full way. The comments are very good also.
At the comments related to Garnett: "HHS Mandate Still Undermines Religious Freedom" , Prof Francis J. Beckwith of Baylor Univsity makes an appearance. In fact he goes into another subject I wll post in another "Question" post.
Ellen: You raise a good question, but the government has already conceded that the cases are different, since it does presently accommodate some religious organizations, i.e., those that the government defines as engaging in "religious activity." This indicates that the government concedes that the question over which contraception is debated--what the proper use of our sexual powers--is one over which there is reasonable disagreement. If not, then it would not give any exemption.
Remember, that in Griswold v. Connecticut the Supreme Court grounded the right to contraceptive use in the newly found "right to privacy," a right that implied that on certain matters of intimacy the government was not fully competent to issue coercive judgments. To extend that right to allowing businesses and individuals not to pay for it, on the basis of a conscience exemption, makes perfect sense given the nature of the activity in question. After all, if you say that contraception is as medically essential as a blood transfusion, then it means that some citizens, like the minor children of Jehovah's Witnesses, may be fitted for contraception by the state against their will and the will of their parents. So, the analogy cuts both ways.
That is quite true. It seems that if the Government is not competent to issue a coercive judgment on this intimate matter of Birth control as to banning it , then how in Heavens name can it use it's coercive judgment to make people or groups provide it. Either the Government is competent in such matters or not.
Perhaps we should revisit Griswold in the Courts if we think differently But I have a feeling my more progressive friends would be wary of that option.