Editor's note:

The Health and Human Services mandate has been a major fundamental problem for the Catholic church and Christians in general. Simply put the current administration in the White House has said they think employers should be required to pay for contraceptives for their employees as a part of their medical coverage. Many would argue pregnancy is not a disease that needs to be cured, it's the natural biological result of a sperm fertilizing an egg. Those who don't agree with this are making a lifestyle choice, and do not have a medical need to obtain these drugs for free. They are available widely and aren't that expensive, in fact you can get them for free at some clinics if you can demonstrate your need.

The Supreme Court, on June 30, 2014, ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties and said they do not have to provide contraceptives as part of their employees' health care coverage as it violates the company owners' religious beliefs. Patrick Madrid had a fantastic show on this very subject and I felt I would grab the highlights of that show and post them not as a typical question with a response article, but more as a summary of the show. Please, listen to this show in its entirety!

Here are a few excerpts from the show that jumped out at me.

Patrick Madrid said:

(quoting from this article)

"... Among the fundamental rights our Founding Fathers enumerated is the right to not be coerced into doing something that violates your sincerely held religious beliefs. If a person (or the family business he operates) can be forced to transgress those beliefs, then the guarantee of free exercise of religion is not worth the paper on which it is written. Any law or government policy that furthers such coercion is fundamentally unjust.

But in this debate over the legality of the mandate, the left has created and exalted a "right" to employer-provided abortifacients — a right James Madison must have missed when drafting the Bill of Rights. This "right" demands that my employer, who I probably knew was religious when I applied for my job, must pay for pills that can terminate a human life. Apparently, it is too much of a burden to expect a person who wants these pills — which cost less than a couple of large pizzas — to pay for them."

Charles LiMandri said:

" ... we don't have another example in our nation's history where the government has forced people to buy goods or services that could be directly contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions in general. As you know the Affordable Care Act, Obama Care, was upheld by the United States Supreme Court when that came before them and that was a statute passed by Congress. What we have with the HHS mandate is not a federal statute passed by Congress; basically a role-making exercise or regulation by an executive department - the Department of Health and Human Services ... "

Patrick Madrid said:

"Why must contraception be free? ... Why shouldn't my water bill be free? I can live without contraception, I can't live without water."

Charles LiMandri said:

"... it's ideological. When you think of insurance you think of purchasing ... protection against some type of major risk. So you'll buy fire insurance on your home or collision insurance on your car. You don't typically buy insurance that will provide you to get your house painted every few years or will for your car. These are maintenance items.

Contraception falls in the same categories. It's not a major medical expense unlike having to go to the hospital for some type of surgery or even having to go to the doctor because you've got a bad case of the flu ... it's more of a maintenance item if you want to look at it that way for people who use it like aspirin would be, or band-aids would be...

There's an ideological aspect to this to even consider contraceptives as health care because what's it trying to prevent? It's trying to prevent a natural bodily process, not a disease process. Pregnancy is not a disease. It's not something that is unhealthy whereas in fact the contraceptives themselves have been designated as carcinogenic, even by the United Nations because of some of the adverse health effects we've seen ... breast cancer ...

I have heard no good answers [Editor's note: responding to Patrick's earlier question on answers defending the need for this], I'll tell you the answers I have heard. The other side tried to make it sound like, 'well it's a war on women if you're trying to prevent access to contraception.' Well it's a false argument because no one is trying to prevent access to contraception. They're widely available. They're practically ... ubiquitous ... People can go and get them for free at some clinics if they can't afford it ... The whole question is should an employer be forced to pay for it if it violates their religious or moral beliefs? ... It's purely [an] ideological [argument] and beyond that it's a matter of control.

Because once you accept the concept that contraception is a good thing, which the Obama administration and their appointees and department of health services have done that, then it's a matter of making people basically tow the line, and punishing them if they will not go along with you, if they disagree with you. We're seeing this across the board now it's not just with this issue, it's basically conflicting world views. So if you have a wedding photographer, or florist or baker that doesn't want to go along with a same sex wedding or commitment ceremony they need to be punished as well, because their world view be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish or just based on some other moral conviction, that they don't want to participate in a ceremony that they don't believe is according to God's plan or for whatever reason they're not comfortable with it then it's not enough that someone else will provide it, it's not enough that the employee can continue to go out an buy contraceptives as they've been doing for decades elsewhere. You want to punish the person for their beliefs and try to bend them to your will. And that's the bigger and broader picture."

Patrick Madrid said:

"We all know that legally speaking the courts have said that it's none of my business what a woman does with her body. It's up to her to do with her body what she wants ... And I've been told that not only as a man but as an other person who is not her, it's not my business what she does with her body. All right then why is it my obligation to fund it?"

Robert said:

... I have really seen this as ideological from the start because objectively speaking ... it poisons people, it promotes promiscuity and pollutes the planet so it's not got a benefit, it's purely, it's like the pagan's peyote. It's something that these folks just want and it's very disturbing to see this.

Charles LiMandri replied:

"I agree with him entirely. That's the point I was trying to make and he said it in some respect more powerfully and to the point. It really is a conflict of ideological views. There is no reason for them to inflict this ... you need to draw the line here. Contraceptives is not by any means indispensable to anyone's health and it really does more harm than good. And it tends to, you know, make children out to be something that are bad for people, are bad for their health, to have kids when in fact that's the only way we can propagate the species. It's part of God's plan. Whereas to eradicate children is part of Satan's plan. It's really kind of diabolical."

Mark's take:

On a related note (which was brough up on this show), I've talked with others about issues where photographers and bakers and other businesses with moral convictions are requested to provide services for customers whose beliefs are contrary to the business owners. How many gay "marriages" have we heard about putting businesses out of business? What if we as Christians specifically targeted anti-Christian/Catholic businesses with requests to provide food and photograph our rallies for anti-abortion events, baptisms, confirmations, and what not? I'd be curious to see how that would play out in the country. What if anti-Christian/Catholic businesses started going out of business left and right? Of course this isn't the Christian way of behaving. All I'm saying is what if?

Source material:

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USA Today (online edition) "A victory for integrity, not just Hobby Lobby: Column" by David A. Cortman 11:53 a.m. EDT June 30, 2014

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of the answer provided. For the complete response download the podcast.

Click icon for archived podcast answering this question in its entirety.

Show air date: July 1, 2014

Question appeared in show: 45:07

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