A reader asked Mark how the HHS Mandate is any different than paying our taxes and watching the government waste them on all kinds of things Catholics may find unjust and wasteful. They wondered how the HHS Mandate is any different from this. Mark’s reply clears things up for those who are still sitting on the sidelines.
A reader writes:
I have had some debates with a friend regarding the HHS Mandate. He claims that Catholics shouldn’t be in such an uproar regarding the mandate given the newest changes by the Obama administration to require the insurance companies to offer contraception at no cost to the Catholic institution or business. His argument is that it is no different than him paying taxes for wars that he doesnt agree with and finds morally objectionable and contrary to his beliefs.
Is the latest form of the mandate the same as tax payer dollars being used for morally objectionable wars or even abortion? Either way it seems like you are paying indirectly for things that you might not agree with. My friend’s comparison between the two situations have me at a loss for what the difference is between the two situations. IS there a difference?
No. It’s not the same. Our taxpayer dollars have been paying for all sorts immorality, including unjust wars, abortion and contraceptives, and the Church, though it urges a change of policy in such matters, has never mounted the sort of resistance we now see being directed against the HHS Mandate. Why? Because with taxes, the State, though it may mishandle money, nonethless has a legitimate role in providing for the common good that outweighs the inefficiency and corruption that often accompanies government. So Paul, for instance, urges, the Romans to pay their taxes — even when the Emperor is Nero (Romans 13).
But the HHS mandate is not taking from a fungible pool of tax dollars providing for the common good and spending it badly. Rather, it is ordering — targeting, really — Catholic institutions and commanding them to do something specifically repugnant to their conscience and threatening to destroy them financially and legally if they do not comply. The entire and sole point of the HHS Mandate is to make open and naked war against the Church and punish her for her beliefs about sexual morality. The Church has a duty to resist such an act of war against her teaching.
Read the rest and remember: our government has never turned it’s sights onto the religious freedoms guaranteed it’s citizenry until now. Remember how Henry VIII destroyed the monasteries in England? Danny Boyle missed sharing that episode in his opening ceremonies for the XXX Olympiad. Here’s a reminder…