Another Fake War on Faith

One thing strikes my as curious about the uproar following President Obama’s announcement last week that those seeking medical care in public, church related hospitals must have the same access to medical care, including help with their family planning, as those seeking care in secular hospitals.  The religious right exploded in outrage, suggesting that Obama was conducting a “war on faith.”  

 I don’t get it.  What we have in this country are a large number of different faith groups, each with it’s own view on birth control.  As well as individuals in each of these religions with views which may differ dramatically from the official one promoted by the leadership of  his or her particular group.

The President was trying to do one thing:  ensure that those seeking medical care in church related hospitals could get the same medical care as those seeking care in secular hospitals. And this was labeled a “war on faith?”  No one forced Catholics to run hospitals that are open to the public and recieve public funding.  Suppose a religious group runs a hospital, but believes that blood transfusions are immoral.  Would such hospitals have any right to refuse blood transfusions to the public, including those whose tax dollars go to support public hospitals. Clearly not.  Churches and other religious groups should be free to uphold any doctrines they hold dear, but they should not be free to accept public funding while denying members of the public medical services that are vital to human thriving.

About the author

Charles is a Presbyterian minister, writer, editor, activist, publisher and public theologian.

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