And unfortunately, we aren’t bringing to bear the in-depth philosophical arguments needed to carry the day. Baylor University’s Francis Beckwith explains it all in his latest post at The Catholic Thing. Here’s a snip.
This bigotry of superficial sophistication is so widespread that even some of our friends cannot extricate themselves from it. Thus, on the matter of the HHS mandate, and its coercion of Catholic and other Christian employers to violate their consciences, these allies have chosen to limit their battle to making strong religious liberty arguments in the courts.
That, of course, must be part of any effort to vindicate one’s rights in this republic. But by failing to provide the philosophical arguments for why they hold these moral beliefs – both for the wider culture, as well as through adequate catechesis of their own religious communities – such religious groups are making a mistake.
They are inadvertently contributing to the view that their grievance is just another instance of “faith” trying to quash “reason.” They will be accused of confusing two subjects, “religion” and “health,” as if the Church were arguing that the Food & Drug Administration should acknowledge the epistemic legitimacy of believing in transubstantiation or the Immaculate Conception.
The dispute over the HHS mandate is about whether the philosophical anthropology of Planned Parenthood is the only rational one that citizens may embrace in both their public lives and how they conduct business. Put this way, it’s clear that the government’s answer is illiberal, extreme, and unjustified.
So if you expect to affect policy – while at the same time failing to explain both the question that is contested as well as why the arguments for the Church’s position may be rationally held – do not be surprised when the Secretary of Health & Human Services praises you for being a class act and well spoken.
If we won’t shine forth with our deep tradition of faith being compatible with reason on this important issue of the day, when will we? Truth is a terrible thing to waste.