Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Can we stand up for religious liberty?

Today, our California Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-1 decision that Catholic Charities must betray its religious foundation by offering birth control coverage to employees. The courts have said that they alone have the right to determine what is religious and what isn't. It doesn't matter that Catholic Charities says it is religious, even if it ministers to all regardless of their religious affiliation. It isn't even offered the choice of how it enacts its own health benefits, nor can it stand on its own conscience, according to the courts.
The California Catholic Conference, which represents the church's policy position in the state, said it was disappointed with the ruling and feared that it could open the door to mandated insurance coverage of abortion. "It shows no respect to our religious organizations," said spokeswoman Carol Hogan.
Justice Janice Rogers Brown, the lone dissenter, had this to say:
Here we are dealing with an intentional, purposeful intrusion into a religious organization's expression of its religious tenets and sense of mission. The government is not accidentally or incidentally interfering with religious practice; it is doing so willfully by making a judgment about what is or is not a religion.


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