Please, Don’t Take Offense

The Catholic Church claimed they were being forced to pay for someone else to use contraceptives. They took offense at that. And many people took offense with them.

Is the claim true or false? Are they actually giving money to a person that they know is going to spend it on contraceptives? No. All they are doing is buying  health insurance for their employees.

If their employees are Catholic, and follow the church prohibition against contraception, then not a dime goes to contraception. If an employee chooses to use contraception despite Church rules, then the Church may enforce its rules to the extent of its own authority, which is excommunication. But the Church has never had the legal or ethical right to regulate the insurance industry.

If they did it would be chaos. Catholics would object to coverage for contracepion. Jehovah’s Witnesses would object to coverage for blood transfusion. And the Mormon’s could insist that not a dime be spent on coffee or tea! (Drinking caffeinated beverages is actually an Honor Code offense at Brigham Young University. No kidding).

Taking offense, where none was given, has never been a valid argument for anything. In the old South, before desegregation, white people took offense if a black college student sat down at the same lunch counter to buy a cup of coffee. The “offense” was imaginary, created by the person “taking” it, and existing only to serve the prejudices in place at the time.

The vast majority of us are blessed with health insurance that lets us visit our doctor without worry about cost. There is a significant moral good in assuring that several million Americans currently without health insurance might also access medical care. To destroy this good over a point of doctrine is like objecting to Jesus healing a blind man on the Sabbath.

So, please. Let’s stop taking offense where none is intended and none is given. Let’s stop imagining harms that do not exist.