Commentary Religion

Dolan is Right: It is a Matter of Religious Liberty – and He’s Against It

Lon Newman

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a March 16th Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion column, correctly characterizes the contraceptive insurance coverage debate. He says: “This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all.” But fact is that when it comes to religious freedom, he’s against it.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a March 16th Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion column, correctly characterizes the contraceptive insurance coverage debate. He says: “This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all.” But well-hidden under his rhetorical robes is that when it comes to religious freedom, he’s against it.

The Cardinal, in an ecclesiastical lift worthy of Samson, invokes the Declaration of Independence to prove that freedom of religion is “God-given.” With that jawbone, the Cardinal smites the Philistines of insurance coverage for contraceptives, which he misleadingly refers to as “abortion-inducing” drugs.

  • The Cardinal hopes the readers will accept his point-of-view that drugs which prevent pregnancy cause abortions. Most people, faithful or not, do not accept the theology that a woman can have an abortion before she is pregnant.
  • The Cardinal hopes his faithful Catholic readers will forget the First Commandment (which forbids ‘religious freedom’ outside Jehovah) in his defense of the First Amendment.
  • The Cardinal hopes that readers will accept his explanation of the bill of rights. When he says: “Catholics and other people of faith and good will are not second-class citizens,” he invokes a constitutional interpretation under which a woman employed by self-insured employers (most people), or a business owned by someone who objects to contraception, or a religiously-affiliated insurance company can be denied the guaranteed preventive care coverage that other citizens have been granted.

Cardinal Dolan asks readers to accept a first amendment under which people of faith are not second-class citizens – unless, of course, they are women.

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