More on President Trump's defense of religious freedom
The birth control mandate is very simple: Either you support forcing people to pay for something against their convictions, or you do not. If you believe that it is necessary to mandate birth control coverage from a policy standpoint, then say it. But this nonsense about how someone is "forcing his religion" on his employees by not covering birth control is dishonest.
This is actually the classic case of a bully who cries foul when someone stands up to him. Furthermore, it is utterly absurd (and bigoted, and ignorant, and closed-minded, and intellectually feeble) to argue that I "hate women" simply because I have a different opinion on that policy than you do. Grow up.
So, as expected, my letter to the editor praising President Trump's executive action on the birth control mandate (which was itself created by executive action) got a number of comments. One comment was deleted, but deserves to be addressed anyway:
And yet you want our taxes to fund private, religious schools. Perhaps you should take your own advice.
This is a damnable lie. I have been 100% perfectly consistent for two decades in my opposition to vouchers for private schools. I am on record in the Herald-Times as opposing vouchers. I have expressed my opposition to vouchers hundreds of times online, including at least dozens of times in Herald-Times Online story comments. No one who knows anything about my position has any doubt about where I stand. This is a pure smear, designed to assassinate my character by fabricating "hypocrisy" where none exists. This is shameful and deserved to be deleted.
Let's be real here: If it is an employer-provided health care plan that covers birth control, then the employer is the one providing it. There is no way to spin this. And yes, while insurance pools risk it is possible to pool risk while not forcing people to cover something that violates his/her religious beliefs. Birth control is not a risk, by the way, it is a lifestyle choice.
The claims that this is somehow nefarious are silly. Not covering birth control is not gender discrimination. No one is "forbidding" anyone from using birth control. No one is telling women not to do with their bodies by erasing the Obama birth control mandate. Obama forced his will and his political agenda on people against their religious beliefs. Trump reversed that.
The "insurance policy belongs to the employee, not the employer" meme is silly. Different employers offer coverage for different things in health care plans, and at different prices. That was the case before ObamaCare, and that is the case now. Let's not pretend that every insurance policy should cover every single thing an employee wants, from birth control to plastic surgery. An insurance policy is not the same as a paycheck or even a medical savings account.
Finally: No, you are not pro-choice if you support forcing religious employers to cover birth control. You can claim it all you want, but you are not pro-choice. You are pro-coercion. It is just that simple.