Message modified by user Al 6/13/2012, 2:44 am
I guess I am not making myself clear. Our voice should be heard, and must be heard in support of religious freedom. As an Orthodox voice, not simply a coalition voice.
The sticky wicket with "freedom" is that for it to be afforded, one person's "freedom" requires a forfeiture of "freedom" on another person's part.
The old saying, "Freedom isn't free" does not just apply to soldiers dying. For a black person to have the "freedom" to sit at any lunch counter he chooses, many white proplr lose the "freedom" of not sitting only with whites when they eat. For a Methodist to be allowed to have contraceptives provided by an employer's health insurance plan, all employers have to respect that Methodist's religious views on contraception.
In my lifetime, observant Jewish businesspeople had to close their stores two days per week. One day to observe their Sabboth, and a second day to observe everyone else's Sabboth. Meanwhile, everyone else conducted business on the Jewish Sabboth. When our locale considered an "either-or" law, non-Jews were furious that a small minority would have an "exclusive and unfair advantage" to conduct business on Sunday. After all, those Jews choose not to open on Saturday. They are free to open, just like the rest of us.
It's a difficult issue, and we Orthodox can support religious freedom in the main without being drawn in on specific issues that have no real meaning to us, lest it be seen that we support the issue rather than the freedom of another faith's right to express that issue.
It is made more difficult in that in the coverage of contraception by insurance, it is an argument in favor of imposing a Roman Catholic dogma, albeit indirectly, on non-Catholics, by Roman Catholic affiliated business enterprises. While most freedoms are granted by the society at large making accomodations, this issue requires the people who have no religious objections to contraception to make all the accommodations. Just like the Jews who were "free" to be open or closed on Saturday - but not Sunday. That's "freedom" with strings attached.
I don't claim privy to the wisdom to provide an answer. However, to me, there is a difference between the institutional imposition of religious views on people and the individual's choice to adhere to them. There is a huge gulf between supporting the right of individuals to practice their faith and supporting the right of any faith to make non-adherents follow their practice. But then, we already legislate against many religious practices, such as Christian Scientists refusing medical care for their children, Sharia, polygamy, animal sacrifice, etc. So our support for religious freedom is not absolute, is it?