On Paying the Piper, Yet Again
39% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the government should require a church or religious organization to provide contraceptives for women even if it violates their deeply held beliefs. Fifty percent (50%) disagree and oppose such a requirement that runs contrary to strong beliefs, while 10% more are undecided.
Which — alas — means that 89% of Americans didn’t care enough to challenge the question. We don’t know how many of them hung up in disgust, so perhaps there’s still hope. But to me, the real question is very, very simple: Does the institution take state money?
If yes, then the state may withdraw that money at any time for failure to comply with clearly stated policies for how it’s to be used.
If no, then the state needs to back off and let the church run its own affairs without interference. It doesn’t get a choice. That’s what it has to do.
Religious freedom doesn’t mean that you get to spend the public’s money in whatever ways your conscience dictates. It means you get to spend your money in whatever ways your conscience dictates. So discriminate all you like — with your money. With the public’s money, our representatives decide.
Democracy is wonderful — when it’s making decisions for the public’s money. When it’s making decisions for the private sector, it’s an abomination. And vice versa. Private religion is great, when it’s only spending private money. When it thinks it can take taxpayers’ money and do whatever it pleases, it oversteps the line.
So. That poll question deliberately obscures the only important issue. It embroils all of us even further in a conflict that doesn’t have any satisfactory solution. Why did they ask it? That’s why. That’s the whole point of it.