I have to say that I think Chief Justice Roberts has illuminated something important for us. Governments do have some authority over the money our economy produces. So, dear ones, the loyal opposition speaks…
Our assertion: Catholic Church will not pay for contraceptives / abortifacients / sterilizations.
Reasonable response: Fair enough. Granted. But there is no question of Catholic Church, Inc., paying for objectionables. Because the $$$ to be used for these—and all other healthcare items involved in the ACA (Obamacare) regime—the money does not belong to the Catholic Church.
Ergo: No formal co-operation with evil. No material co-operation. No co-operation at all. Ain’t yo’ money, homes.
Gosh. This actually makes sense. Yes, the right to private property proceeds from nature, not the state. But the universal destination of goods also proceeds from nature; i.e.: in the end, everything is for everybody.
Which of the following statements can we gainsay?
1. The resources needed for health care belong to the common weal.
2. The government has the authority to dispose of these resources for the common good.
We can’t deny these statements. The idea that the money produced by our corporate enterprises—in companies, apostolates, what-have-yous—the idea that all this money “belongs” to the captains of these enterprises: this idea can be disputed. In fact, it must be disputed by any conscientious person.
I work for a Catholic institution. I receive a salary. I receive benefits. The money that goes into the great, burbling health-care “pot:” whose money is that?
If Bishop DiLo, or the CEO of the parish that pays me (namely, me) were to say, “that money belongs to my company,” such a statement would be false. The money doesn’t belong to the company; it doesn’t belong to the institution; and it doesn’t belong to me individually, either. It belongs to the sick people.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that no one can make a political argument against “socialized medicine.” To the contrary, one might make an eloquent argument against the ACA based on the principle of subsidiarity (i.e., the more local the authority, the better the authority functions).
But the underlying idea, namely that the ways and means of health care belong to everyone: this idea cannot be disputed by a just person. Anyone who is ill has a right to the care that the community can provide. Whatever it costs, that amount belongs to the sick person.
Now, please bear with me. I have no intention of raining on the Fortnight-for-Freedom parade. These weeks are like a wonderful little American Lent declared by our bishops. And many graces have showered down from heaven—at least they have in this ecclesiastical neighborhood. No doubt the shower will continue until next Wednesday.
But it seems to me that we cannot avoid an inconvenient fact: In this particular game, our religious-freedom hand does not actually have any aces in it.
Our religious-freedom argument rests on the idea that the money to be spent on objectionables is our money. But it isn’t our money.
If it isn’t our money, then it’s a religious-freedom non-issue. No one in America is being forced to take the pill. Our argument against the HHS mandate has to do with the money. We say money = formal co-operation, and you can’t make me. But the counter argument—that it isn’t our money—this argument proceeds from our own principles of justice.
No problem, though, peeps. Don’t panic. Our religious-freedom hand has never been our best hand in this game. We have a royal straight flush in our human-rights hand. The lives of the innocent and defenseless unborn, which begin at conception, cannot be endangered in any just society.
And we have four-of-a-kind, ace-high, in our What-Counts-As-Health-Care? hand. If a man were to scalpel my pelvis in order to cut something in there–so as to render me impotent–would that qualify as an act in favor of my health? Not on any sane planet.
As I have feebly tried to point out before: When it comes to the health-care objectionables, the group with the kooky religion is actually the other side.
Where does a person get the idea that pregnancy is a disease, against which preventative measures must be taken?
Ready for the answer? From Satan.
Babies are good. Babies are so obviously good, so wonderfully good, so manifestly good and wholesome and a blessing and worth-more-than-any-money-could-buy; babies are so awesome and beautiful and full of promise and peace and joy; babies themselves are so much more medicinal than any human concoction could ever be—only the Enemy of the human race could convince anyone otherwise.
We need freedom from the false cult which teaches that babies are bad. That we can’t afford them. That there’s no room for them here.
No one has the right to practice the Babies-are-Bad religion. It’s violent. It’s unnatural. It’s demonstrably ridiculous.
So…okay, government: You regulate health care. Go for it. Do it nobly, reasonably, studiously, fairly, decently… (dare we say) lovingly.
But you “doctors” of the Babies-are-Bad cult, you priests of this false religion: You suck! Knock it off! Quit killing, poisoning, impeding, fussing at, messing with, dealing unkind blows to, disrespecting, maligning, and otherwise molesting the babies!
Dear government: You have a bounden duty to protect the babies from this abuse, from this homicidal frenzy. Can’t you see that the Babies-are-Bad religion is a dangerous cult?
May we be free of it. May the long arm of the law stay the hands of the baby haters. (By the by, Baby Hater generally tends to = Catholic Church Hater.)
May justice be done. May health care seek health, not death.