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Secular Absolutism

Wall Street Journal

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Secular absolutism is becoming the most potent religious force in America. Just ask the Boy Scouts and Catholic Charities, which both fell afoul of secular orthodoxy and then found judges willing to punish them for it.

Start with Catholic Charities. The California Supreme Court just ruled that the social-services arm of the Roman Catholic Church must include contraceptives coverage to women as part of any prescription drug benefit it extends to employees. When Catholic Charities insisted that as an avowedly Catholic organization it fit the religious exemption provided by the law in question, the court simply said it was not a religious organization. Catholic Charities?

Leave aside the irony that of all America's Catholic institutions, Catholic Charities is arguably the most liberal and sympathetic to secular crusades. Even that didn't protect them. Nor did its practice of employing people outside the Catholic faith -- which was used here as reason for denying its religious claims. If the state can order a Catholic organization to include contraceptive coverage as part of its health benefits or drop all drug coverage, it's not hard to see where that's leading. This is what passes for civil liberties now.

Read the entire article on the Wall Street Journal website.

Posted: 3/11/04



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