Leave it to an academic to get things exactly backwards. In today’s WaPo, we’ve got a professor of law telling us that, according to the article’s headline, “Exemptions from the ‘contraception mandate’ threaten religious liberty.”
The case concerns private businesses whose owners have, on religious grounds, refused to subsidize things that violate their conscience. Since those things happen to be contraception and abortion, it is expected that Democrat house organs such as the WaPo will entertain virtually any argument, however flawed, against those Neanderthals who don’t support what the Left believes is a sacred right.
The argument used by this professor boils down to this extract from a religious liberty case in which people were forced to work on the Christian sabbath. Key word? “Forced.” Here’s the extract:
“The First Amendment . . . gives no one the right to insist that in pursuit of their own interests, others must conform their conduct to his own religious necessities.”
In lifting Obamacare’s mandates to cover contraception and abortion on religious grounds, employees whose consciences allow these things are not being forced to not use contraception or have abortions. They are simply not going to be subsidized in so doing.
So it boils down to money, as so many things in life sadly do. But the last thing this might be is about religious liberty. No one’s liberty has been violated. Any employee is free to practice her faith, and if that faith allows contraception or abortion, so be it. Just don’t ask the proprietor of a private business to subsidize something that violates his faith.
The professor dresses up his diatribe against the common-sense reading of the First Amendment by citing Thomas Jefferson’s religious tolerance. Thereby falsely equating tolerance of different beliefs with being forced to subsidize someone else’s beliefs that happen to directly violate your own.
This would be a clear violation of religious liberty.