Little Sisters of Poor ought to compromise
In the March 28 News, Doug Turner opined that the Little Sisters of the Poor (whose mission is the care of the poor elderly) are being required to include birth control in their employees’ health insurance, contrary to their religious beliefs. One can only admire the charitable activities of religious groups over many centuries. However, the advancing nature of modern civilization has outstripped the capacity of charity and philanthropy to suffice.
In 1932, 70 percent of elderly Americans lived in not so genteel poverty. Thanks to what Turner decried as statism, the average person over 65 now receives a benefit of $18,000 in Social Security, as well as Medicare. Poverty is reduced to 20 percent, and we elderly are living longer and healthier than ever.
During one of the recurring economic downturns of the 19th century (1890s), Maria Love, a leader of charitable activities in Buffalo, succeeded in recruiting the churches to provide basic necessities to the needy in their respective parishes. It was a failure. Only the taxing and redistributing power of the state can eliminate the deprivation of the modern post-industrial state. Perhaps the good sisters might be willing to compromise a bit inasmuch as the state does a job they could not hope to achieve.