NOW Do You See How Big Government Hurts People – Again?

Something must be in the water. Hot on the heels of the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle, we are seeing yet another high-profile example of big government bullying its way into places it is not wanted or needed, stomping on people’s freedom all along the way. In this latest example, the victims are Catholics.

Regardless of how one feels about the Catholic church and their views on contraception, any person who truly believes in freedom must agree that it is the right of Catholics to practice their religion as they see fit. It is not up to others, especially government, to tell anyone how they should believe or how they should practice their beliefs. It is a core founding principle of this country, affirmed in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” It seems pretty clear to me, “Congress shall make NO law…” It’s not “Congress SHOULD make no law…” or “Congress shall make no law EXCEPT …” No law means NO LAW.

Yet some people think it is just fine for government to infringe on people’s religious rights, conveniently ignoring that government’s only just and proper role is to PROTECT rights. Often people will justify the infringements because they don’t agree with the position of the religion being violated. In this case, many people (including many Catholics themselves, if we are to believe the figures being reported) do not believe in the Catholic church’s position on contraception. So when government is forcing all employers, regardless of religious affiliation, to provide contraceptive insurance coverage, the overt trampling of rights is considered no problem to some people because they don’t agree with the Catholic church.

Of course, this works out just fine for people until it is their own rights being infringed. At which point of course they’ll cry foul and expect others to come to their defense. But how can we except our own rights to be protected when we advocate the trampling of others’ rights – either explicitly or implicitly? I’m not sure which is worse, to explicitly advocate for the infringements of others’ freedom, or to implicitly legitimize that infringement by staying silent.

A famous quote often attributed to Voltaire comes to mind, “I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I personally do not agree with the Catholic’s church’s position on contraception. But I will defend their right to hold that position, just as I will defend anyone else’s rights on any subject.

If you claim to truly believe in freedom, you can not suspend that belief just because you don’t agree with the way others exercise their freedom. To do so makes one an insincere hypocrite. Perhaps it is time some people reexamine just what they truly believe.