Contraception Debate About Rights, Not Church & State

The contraception mandate debate can easily be won by boiling down the argument to its core.  At its core, the debate is not about government mandates, the so-called separation of church and state, or morality.  It is simply about God-given rights.

Our God-given rights are active.  They are rights to do things.  God-given rights are not passive.  There are no rights to receive material wants or services, or rights to be free from things.  We have a freedom to religion, not a freedom from religion.  The only actions that we do not have the right to do are those actions which violate, infringe or restrict the God-given rights of other individuals. (for more on God-given rights, please check out You Can't Do That!)

Freedom to religion is a God-given right because we are able to believe in what we want and to practice our faith in any way we want, unless it violates, infringes, or restricts the God-given rights of other individuals.

Education is not a God-given right because an individual receives education.  To provide education requires the time and resources of other individuals.  Since no God-given right would demand the time and resources of other individuals, education cannot be demanded as a God-given right.

Therefore, on the basis of God-given rights, the government cannot demand that any company provide any health insurance (whether or not it includes contraception).  To do so restricts a God-given right to decide what one wants to do and what one doesn't want to do.  Whether the individuals who run a company decide to provide coverage or not, the decision does not violate, infringe, or restrict the God-given rights of individuals working for the company.  The workers do not have a God-given right to receive material wants or services and are still free to seek employment from a company that offers such benefits.

The only way for the government to be able to institute such a mandate would be for the constitution to be amended and Congress granted the explicit authority to institute the mandate.

Congress cannot legally mandate that companies offer contraception insurance any more than it can mandate that a vegan restaurant serve bacon.

While the debate circles around religion and morality, emotions will cloud the discussion.  Employing legality and logic makes it all very clear.

Stephen Gnoza is the author of You Can't Do That.

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