Church a 'buffer' for government?
Insight into contraception controversy
- Duration 5:20
- Date May 23, 2012
Insight into contraception controversy
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-- more today and the new challenges regarding the president's health care law I cafe as Catholic leaders filed suit in federal court.
To block the contraception mandate arguing the requirement to provide birth control coverage for their employees violates their freedom.
-- religion this is igniting yet again a conversation about how government.
And religion -- -- is a co exist in this country.
In an editorial on the Wall Street Journal our next guest Max out why she thinks institutions of civil society like the Catholic church and some of the services they provide.
To limited government the proper functioning of government in our country.
Her name is Marion Clinton she's a professor at Harvard Law School she's not so religious liberty -- so good person to talk to on the subject professor when a nice to have you today.
It's a pleasure to be here you know -- -- the parts -- your editorial that at least that's me was a war when he talked about.
Why it civil institutions.
Like the church.
The service an important buffer to the power of government.
For those of our viewers who didn't get a chance to see your editorial you -- just a little bit about.
-- that role in why it's important.
Well I think this controversy has been out widely understood as a religious freedom issue which it is.
But it's more than that and I think -- a deeper level what's involved is the kind of diversity issue or pluralism issue.
-- -- The institutions of civil society that provide so much of our education and social services and health care and we hope we'll continue to do so in the future.
The question would be whether all these institutions.
Can do so retaining their own -- proper character and following their own principles within limits of health and safety of course.
Or whether they all have to become instruments of the government following.
The government's political agenda.
And do you think that potentially could be a very slippery slope if if some of these institutions are not allowed to function then the state becomes.
All powerful and some of the services.
That that the state provide some people -- it.
Where do you see that tipping point happening and you think that this conversation we're having about health care as part of that tipping point.
Well I think that tipping point.
Occurs when government goes as it did in the health and human service regulations where government has not gone before.
These regulations apply to all employers.
And that they require all employers to comfort.
Aboard a faking and drugs and contraception.
It's much brighter than a cut perception mandate.
And normally this kind of regulation would contain a religious exemption.
For persons are.
Institutions that in conscience.
Have trouble with -- part of the mandate.
It's puzzling why the government chose to break new ground here.
By establishing a religious exemption it is so narrow that practically no one qualifies for it.
The exemption is for.
Institutions that serve and higher mainly their own cult religion -- That of course would exclude.
All of the organization's.
Most practically all of the organizations.
Who for religious reasons feel obliged to serve every one of whatever faith and the basis of need -- and -- of.
-- plus some critics suggested that that the administration did offer and critics your plain view.
Say the administration did offer that fig leaf and and -- That should be a sign that the administration's open to negotiations if you take a look at an editorial and that.
-- another magazine that.
That that's a Catholic magazine a religion and religious magazine they they say this is a -- a magazine.
The bishops and they're talking about this loss -- the bishops need to do much more to prevent their national campaign.
From becoming a not very Covert rallying point for the Republican Party and its candidates and that happens it's the church and the cause of religious freedom.
That will suffer if they're making the argument that.
There's a point not only where the government may be intrudes on religion but we're religion can intrude upon elected officials in government.
What do you think about that argument have the bishops in some cases -- may be overstepped their bounds and become too political.
Well I think its face -- and misunderstanding.
The government has not offered any accommodation.
And the religious exemption.
So -- -- of bishops I have to say it waited quite along time before going to court the bishops have tried very hard to negotiate.
The first lawsuits.
Filed by a Catholic and -- Catholic plaintiffs were filed back in November.
The bishops come along to this only -- I think that's very reluctant warriors and very late after having exhausted all alternatives.
To settle the matter by negotiation but as I understand -- they still are very hopeful.
That negotiation can cause the government either to withdraw -- the mandate or brighten the exemption.
It's a very interesting time this country as far as where this health care -- goes in Austin this conversation about just part of the law.
-- professor -- nice to -- today thank you so much for your expertise we appreciate it.