Taking a step back to view the recent imbroglio over the administration’s decision to require even objecting religious organizations to provide employee health insurance with contraceptive coverage, one might reasonably conclude that this was no mistake by an amateur political team. No one was talking about abortion and contraception before this decision: not the President, not the Republican candidates…no one. They, we, are now.
Here’s the problem with such discussions.
It is a right to engage in copulation. It is not enshrined in the Bill of Rights; there was no need. There are, of course, limits, and State laws restricting the ages of those involved, banning the use of force, and so forth are perfectly reasonable. But there is no right to be protected from the consequences of copulation, which, as we all know, is pregnancy. Which, we know but don’t always admit, is a small human.
The Administration and pro-abortion camps and ‘women’s reproductive freedom’ advocates see no problem with requiring insurers and the employers who contract with them to provide contraception and abortifacients — all of which seek to avoid the consequences of copulation — even when it violates the religious conscience of those involved and actually violates a right that IS enshrined in the U.S. Constitution: the free exercise of religion as expressed in the First Amendment.
If we apply that same logic to actual, specified rights, we see how flawed the thinking is.
The First Amendment also contains a right to speech and the press. Allowing for technological advance, this preserves the freedom to print speech, or to Tweet it, or facebook it, or blog it, or otherwise record it for others. There are certain limits, but again, applying the contraception imagination, this right of mine to speak and to record it for others includes the requirement that the rest of you pay for my printing press and the employees to run it, for my Internet connection, and for my computer.
The Second Amendment contains the right to bear arms. Applying the contraception imagination, this also requires the rest of you to purchase my Kimber .45 auto, my Armalite .380, ammunition, target practice, gun safe, cleaning supplies, etc. etc.
The Fourth Amendment prevents the government from infringement of security in our “persons, houses, papers and effects” against unreasonable search and seizure. I already have my “person,” thank you very much, but in order to act on my right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure in my house, why, all the rest of you are required to purchase a house for me to be secure in.
There are many other examples, of course. The right to education requires the rest of you to pay for mine. The right to life requires that the rest of you pay for my food, clothing and shelter. The right to the pursuit of happiness means that the rest of you fund my chasing of it. And on, and on, and on it goes.
The right to copulate — and the ensuing demand by some that the rest of us pay for their consequence-free practice of it — runs right up against the right to exercise religion freely, because a demand for the latter to fund the former violates a specified right. The reverse is not true.
I am unable to exercise my religious faith freely if required to pay for your contraception. Yet you may still copulate and attempt to do so without consequence if I am allowed to exercise religious faith freely.
This discussion about contraception demonstrates a woeful misunderstanding of the concept of rights. Rights restrict the actions of government; they do not place burdens on other citizens.