Is the need for them.
The fact that people would even consider supporting government coercing private entities to perform ceremonies or even tacitly support things they consider objectionable is outrageous.
For instance, gay couples should enjoy the right to marry. In a society with divorce rates hovering around 50%, it’s rather doubtful that allowing gays to marry will do any further damage to the “sanctity” of marriage. Heterosexuals have already done enough of a bang up job on their own.
With that said, the government shouldn’t be in the business of forcing *ANY* private entity to perform said marriages. If the Catholic Church finds such unions morally wrong, then so be it. If the Scientologists, bless their strange hearts, agree with the Catholics, then so be it. The modern obsession with “If something is legal, then I should be able to do it anywhere I want and force everyone to play along with my wishes” is absolutely absurd in a free society.
If anyone of you disagree with me thus far, please feel free to stop reading. I’ll rely on the thread of logic in the previous argument to make my next one.
So let’s cut to the chase.
The recent decision by the Obama administration to require religious organizations to provide free contraceptive care to the employees of its hospitals and health organizations is wrongheaded.
Now, despite Google thinking I’m a 65 year old man, that is far from the truth. I’m all for contraception. To those of you who want to have sex but not risk pregnancy, go for it.
Just don’t demand that people who find such actions morally reprehensible pay for your behavior.
Furthermore, I’ll anticipate a likely response to this line of logic from my friends on the political left, which probably would go something like this:
“I think that the recent wars were morally reprehensible too, and we do that.”
Unsurprisingly, I agree. What this type of rebuttal misses, however, is the distinction between public and private mandates. The government quite frequently does things in my name that I find distasteful. Examples include going to war, torturing people, having illegal prisons, and allowing the indefinite detention of American citizens. These issues were lightning rod topics for the left during Bush.
While noticeably less vocal during Obama’s administration, many on the left continue to believe these things are *bad* policies that violate law and the spirit of a free society.
Therefore, I’m not sure how justifying any action from the government by saying “we already do things I don’t agree with” makes the slightest bit of sense.
From John Rawls we get the principle of overlapping consensus which seeks to create a public discourse free from personal prejudice or moral belief. In other words, if you want a certain policy, you’d better have reasons that can be at least understood by others in society.
Rawl’s position, however, makes no sense in this context. We aren’t talking about providing birth control for all women. We’re talking about forcing private groups, most notably the Catholic Church, to provide a service that they view as murder.
Say what you will about Obama’s political prowess, but this will not be remembered as his finest hour.