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Letter: Turner appears confused about meaning of statism

Turner appears confused about meaning of statism

Douglas Turner’s column, titled “HHS mandate pushes nation closer to statism,” necessitates a response. It is apparent over the last few years that Turner loses all sense of proportion regarding all things Obama, but this latest hyperbole cannot go unchallenged. The Little Sisters of the Poor are employers with non-Catholics in their employ. Providing health insurance that includes birth control coverage goes against their religious beliefs. The accommodation offered by the government allows the Little Sisters to sign a document saying that they do not wish to provide this coverage in the health insurance they provide. The government then picks up the tab for this coverage. The Little Sisters appear to find this odious and burdensome, and Turner seems to believe this puts us on the road to statism.

That we have allowed some in our culture to redefine religious freedom is troubling. You do not get to infringe on others’ freedom if it conflicts with your religious beliefs. Free exercise of religion means that if I am opposed to birth control on religious grounds, I do not get to prevent you from availing yourself of that service. I freely practice my religion by not using birth control myself.

Health insurance is part of an employee’s compensation package. It is basically part of one’s pay. Denying your employees access to legitimate medical services (yes, providing birth control coverage really does promote women’s health) included in the insurance you provide them is tantamount to telling them how they can or cannot spend the money you are paying them. Otherwise, these employees are free to use the birth control coverage or not, as dictated by their own consciences and needs. If the government mandated every woman of childbearing age to use birth control, that would be statism. Do you see the difference?

Kevin Rainforth

Orchard Park