Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Screw You, D.J. Tice

I gave it a few hours but I'm still frothing mad about D.J. Tice's opinion column in Sunday's STrib: Yes, indeed, religious latitude can be messy.

If Hobby Lobby and Conestoga were to win, might some employers claim religious objections to blood transfusions, vaccinations, treatments for sexually transmitted disease and who knows what else? They might.

In many such cases, the crucial — one might say “compelling” — importance of uniform coverage for lifesaving medical interventions would seem harder to dispute than it is in the case of birth control. Yet some other employers might well secure the right to “opt out” here and there.

But if religious freedom is as central to American life as Congress seemed to believe when it passed the RFRA, some piecemeal erosion of uniformity would seem an affordable price to pay.

Religious latitude is messy. But the issue isn't between "uniformity" and liberty. It's about the right of an employee to not have those religious beliefs dictated by his or her employer. Religious liberty means liberty for individuals, not the feudal liberty of a prince to pick Lutheranism or Catholicism for his state. Tice ignores this dimension entirely, too wrapped up in the desire to find a comfortable, reasonable middle ground.

Sure, the employment relationship is voluntary. So is the decision to offer health insurance--- there's an alternative for Hobby Lobby here too. But health insurance is part of the compensation package, and it should be the employee's decision what is or is not moral to do with that compensation.
Tags: health, politics, rant
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