Tuesday, March 02, 2004


The line keeps being pushed back as the California Supreme Court has ruled that a Roman Catholic charity must provide birth control although it goes against their religious beliefs:
The high court said that Catholic Charities (search) is no different from other businesses in California, where "religious employers" such as churches are exempt from the requirement. Catholic Charities argued that it, too, should be exempt.

But the Supreme Court ruled that the charity is not a religious employer because it offers such secular services as counseling, low-income housing and immigration services to people of all faiths, without directly preaching Catholic values.

In fact, Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote that a "significant majority" of the people served by the charity are not Catholic. The court also noted that the charity employs workers of differing religions.

It won't be long before the religious exemption itself will be tossed out, thus removing any protection religious groups have against the encroaching regulations of the government.

That said, groups like the Catholic charity has itself blurred the line between a religious group and just another well-meaning counseling/charity service. The point is made that the group itself does not "directly [preach] Catholic values". If they're not willing to preach them, then how can they argue they really are core principles?

It's a dangerous precedent, to be sure. But they, like the Salvation Army and its government money, have invited the problem, and thus made it all of us easier targets.

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