I don’t understand the nature of the “religious freedom” issue that supposedly prevents Catholic employers from complying with the contraception mandate in Obamacare.
Under the original contraception mandate, the conflict was clear: Catholic employers would have been forced to directly cover contraception for their employees in clear violation of Catholic teaching.
But then the mandate was changed: Instead of forcing Catholic employers to provide contraception coverage, the government would instead force the health insurance companies to provide the coverage.
Now, if a particular health insurance company were a Catholic business, I would understand the conflict. But the “religious freedom” complaint still seems to be originating with the Catholic employers, as if their paying for the policy, which the government is mandating must cover contraception, constitutes a breach of morals. I don’t understand that position, given that (1) it’s the health insurance company that is providing the coverage, not the employer, and (2) it’s up to the individual covered by the policy whether or not to actually obtain the contraception.
Consider a similar situation: Many covenience stores sell condoms and other forms of contraception. So if a Catholic shops at Walgreens, for example, that Catholic is giving money to a company that provides immoral services. After all, it’s not like the Catholic can say, “I’ll pay $2 for this bag of chips, but you have to promise me that this $2 won’t go toward the condoms in aisle five.” Rather, that money goes into the pool with all the other money earned by the store, and part of that money will go to buy condoms for aisle five, which perhaps some people (perhaps even people employed by a Catholic organization) will purchase. Does this mean Catholics can never shop at any store that offers contraception (or pornography, or anything else a Catholic should frown upon)? If that’s not the case, and Catholics can indeed purchase goods and services from convenience stores that offer immoral products, what’s the difference between this situation and the health insurance situation?