Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Religious Right(s)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Sounds pretty straight-forward doesn't it? It's my religion, you can't tell me how to express it. You can't make me pay for contraception insurance coverage for my employees, even if they're not of my faith.

Reality is more nuanced though. Mitt Romney can only marry one wife, even though Joseph Smith said otherwise. If I were a worshiper of Satan, any human sacrifice would be considered murder. Mohammed Atta, if he'd lived, would not have received a free pass even though the hijacking was an expression of his perversion of Islam. All these things have something in common: they are religious practices that harm other people. Refusing to include contraception coverage in your insurance coverage for your employees harms those employees. You, as an individual, are free to not use contraception, but the government is within its rights to insist that you cover contraception in your insurance package, just as you cover erectile dysfunction treatments. QED.


Brent Noorda said...

Dear PWM, I’m quite sure that “refusing to include ‘payment for X’ in your employee benefits package” cannot be considered “harming your employees”. I can’t follow the logic in your statement. You might be able to argue that “covering pregnancy and delivery and children’s health costs up to age 26, but not covering contraception” is not cost-effective, or that not covering contraception might drive your employees to choose a different employer, or that it could be illegal, but I would not consider it “harmful” alongside murder and hijacking. It is probably safe, however, to say that “Firing employees for purchasing X with their own money” is harmful. I could get behind a statement like that.

(Putting the “one wife” law in there is logically inconsistent of you too, unless you really think the government should be deciding who we can marry, their gender, their number, their age, whether they’re alive or not, etc…)

My insurance did not cover my contraception (vasectomy), and I was cool with that when I elected to choose that insurance plan (yes, I’ve grown accustomed to the insurance system dictating men’s reproductive health choices). I would have preferred that the operation had been covered. I would also have preferred that my insurance cover weekly massages, a weekly vat full of mind-altering drugs, a harem of 40 concubines, and a crapload of mounds candy bars that magically are zero-calorie, but most employees’ plans don’t include those (except probably Google).

Anyway, I expect more logical consistency from a fellow PWM trying to score points with his lady friends by being all feminist and shit, so I had to speak up.

Unknown said...

The harm comes from the creation of unwanted children / the inability to create children when they will fit in the employee's life if the employee is unable to afford contraception. It's true that many people with limited means find it possible to afford cigarettes, which mystifies me on so many levels, so you would think that they would make similar sacrifices to purchase contraception. But really: the whole employer-purchased health care insurance system is a crock. If health care were provided by the government, there would be no issue of the "conscience" of the employer, and taxpayers could suck it up just as I have to suck it up that a lot of my money goes to corporate welfare.