On not making people pay for things they morally oppose

| February 19, 2012 | 3 Replies

Bill Moyers applauds the Presidents position on mandating birth control coverage:

The president did something agile and wise the other day. And something quite important to the health of our politics. He reached up and snuffed out what some folks wanted to make into a cosmic battle between good and evil. No, said the president, we’re not going to turn the argument over contraception into Armageddon, this is an honest difference between Americans, and I’ll not see it escalated into a holy war. So instead of the government requiring Catholic hospitals and other faith-based institutions to provide employees with health coverage involving contraceptives, the insurance companies will offer that coverage, and offer it free.

At Huffpo (same link as above), a writer named Michael Dodd, perturbed that many conservative politicians oppose even this compromise, turns their argument (why should citizens be made to pay for things that they morally oppose) on its head:

Okay, people, those of you who think it is all about “why should we pay for anything?” Why should churches NOT pay taxes? Why do I have to support THEM by paying taxes so that the roads to their buildings are built and the snow plowed? Why do I have to support churches who use the money they save by not paying taxes to pay advertisin­g firms to produce anti-equal­ity ads to suppress equal rights for tax-paying citizens who happen to be LGBT? Why should my taxes make it possible for them to use the money saved to pay salaries to lawyers to shield pedophiles­?

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Category: Bigotry, Civil Rights, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Adam Herman says:

    Paying taxes is something Jesus told Christians to do. I’m sure Caesar spent money on a lot of things Christians opposed(like lions). But he did not make an exception, he said it’s Caesar’s money, has his face on it, give it back to him as he requests.

    However, the issue at hand is direct buying of something the Catholic church is opposed to. And your position unknowingly helps the fundy Christians, who would love to sweep away religious protections for other religions to do things like reestablish Sunday law. The government simply cannot force religious organizations to do something they are opposed to on faith grounds. Unless the government can demonstrate a compelling interest, and there is none here. We’ve lived without free birth control up until now, and women will still readily get their hands on birth control if Catholic organizations do not provide it as part of their health coverage. If this case goes to SCOTUS, the administration will lose 9-0, just like they did on the last religious freedom case they lost.

  2. Karl says:

    There is no “free lunch” without costs or strings attached somewhere. If you think its free, it will only add to deficit spending.

  3. “Why do I have to support THEM by paying taxes so that the roads to their buildings are built and the snow plowed?”

    Individuals pay taxes, not ‘persons’ {corporations}.

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