Matters of fact

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Holly Dugan, in her Jan. 24 letter “Religious Burden,” joins Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik and the Little Sisters of the Poor in confusing matters of faith with matters of fact. Matters of faith apply to members of a particular religion, while matters of fact apply to everyone.

The Roman Catholic views on contraception and abortion are based on matters of faith, not fact, and are not shared by Jews and many other Christian denominations. Roman Catholics should expect other Roman Catholics to act in accordance with those precepts, but they should not expect others to do so. They should not act, or refuse to act, to induce others to conform to their beliefs.

Preventing non-Catholic employees of Catholic institutions from obtaining insurance coverage for contraception makes as little sense as preventing Catholic employees of an Orthodox synagogue from eating pork. While they say their actions preserve religious freedom for the Catholic institutions, they actually restrict the religious freedom of their non-Catholic employees.

Ms. Dugan, I encourage you to follow the precepts of your religion, but please do not try to enact them into civil law to force everyone else to conform to your matters of faith. Your religious freedom does not allow you the right to restrict that of others.


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