Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Response to an Atheist who would Like to See the Secular Government Impose Moral Uniformity

You correctly reported that,

  • The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted 51-48 to table a measure by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would have allowed employers and health insurance providers to exclude any coverage that they deem immoral or contrary to their religious beliefs.
However, you congratulate the:

  • Concerned secularists, and the Center for Inquiry, which has worked hard to protect health care from religious control.
However, I think that this is a mis-charaterization. We are all trying to influence legislation, even the secularists, as you aptly point out. It is far from a matter of “religious control.” If anything, we are seeking First Amendment protections against secular government control and the freedom to exercise our own conscience without imposition secular values.
I think that your next statement is also a mis-characterization:

  • Blunt amendment would have effectively allowed employers and health insurance providers to impose their religious beliefs on employees and recipients.
The freedom to choose our own insurance coverage does not represent an imposition of our “religious beliefs on employees and recipients.” Potential employees are always free to seek employment according to the insurance coverage that they deem important. This has always been the case. Different employers have offered different coverage, and this has always been deemed acceptable. Why do you insist that the government must impose uniformity?

You lament that if religious employers have their way,

  • This could have left millions of Americans -- including our most vulnerable citizens, and pregnant women -- without essential and preventative health coverage.
I find it odd that you would deem the inclusion of abortive drugs would protect the “vulnerable… such as babies.” If you are truly concerned about the vulnerable, perhaps you should reconsider requiring the religious to provide such drugs?

You add that the Blunt amendment,

  • Would have stripped Americans of their right to make their own health decisions, and placed them at the whim of someone else's religious beliefs.
I fail to understand why you are so concerned about the “right” of the former while you are entirely insensitive to the right of the latter group. If you think that the one group should have that freedom, why do you deny it to the latter, who you describe as exercising “the whim of [their] religious beliefs?

This characterization is needlessly dismissive. It can be turned around in terms of “the whim of secular religious belief.” Why is your position less whimsical than mine?

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