Religious burden

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Americans are free to choose whom we work for. We are free to choose which, if any, religion that we belong to. Employers, especially religious institutions, have a right to decide what they offer in health insurance plans. Portions of the Health and Human Services mandate of the Affordable Care Act put an undue burden on religious liberty.

Mandating that an employer who morally objects to covering birth control, sterilization and abortion as “preventative services” provide it anyway violates their conscience and faith. Simply passing off the task to a third party does not alleviate it. If I asked someone to arrange for a harmful act, yet I did not actually do the negotiating, I am still culpable.

The Catholic Church is crying foul on how this violates one’s freedom of faith. It is not because the church opposes family planning. It promotes natural family planning methods such as the Creighton Method and the Sympto-Thermal Method. By challenging the mandate, Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik is being a shepherd of his people by speaking the truth in love and law. This doesn’t force others to believe because they are free to seek work elsewhere.

I choose to belong to the Catholic Church and am grateful for its holistic view in upholding the dignity of families. Our Constitution has a separation of church and state so that the government cannot reach into the operations of a church or religious institution and tell it what is wrong in exercising its faith. To me, religious liberty is the bigger question.

HOLLY DUGAN
West End


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