I ranted for about an hour on this, but as it was almost entirely expletives, and it is something that I've wanted to write about for a while, I decided to delete it all and attempt to put forth my thoughts a little more... reasonably(?).
The extremists on the right are once again raising the ante in the game of "Which side can I hate more?"
To summarize the above link for those of you too lazy to read it yourselves, it basically says that the Arizona government will concede that yes, birth control has other uses, but if you want your employer to provide you with insurance that covers it, you must prove to your boss that you are using birth control for a medical reason other than responsible family planning.
So the Republicans, who I was under the impression were pro-small government, want to get all up in my bedroom. Their shining rationalization for such absurdity? Why the First Amendment of course.
It happens to say in relation to this topic:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"
The second part is the particular section they are lifting up as the bastion of their defense. They claim that forcing an employer, who provides insurance for their employees, to provide it in a secular fashion, would be breaking the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
At this point I will avoid all other aspects of the conversation that do not directly relate to the above argument in regards to the First Amendment as I have touched on the other parts of it in multiple other posts regarding the issue which you can find in the archive section of this blog. (Over that way I do believe ---------->)
I will just walk down their path of rationalization in an attempt to discover how they are coming to the conclusions they are coming to.
They say that they can't have their money go towards something that is against their religion because...
That is as far as I can get before I stumble face first over the hurdle of common sense. My mind is simply unable to overcome it. When I see a logical fallacy so obvious, I lack the ability to trick myself to just glaze over it.
The very first fault in their logic is the thought that our government should give a flying fractal about their religion in the first place. If you have a problem with your religion, pray about it, go cry to your priest, or whatever your church does. Making a law is counter to what our government's job is. As a matter of fact, I believe if you read the first sentence of the First Amendment of which you hold so dear, it states something to that effect.
You wish to argue that this law wouldn't be respecting "a" religion, but all religious beliefs? Well then what happens when two religions are at odds over a particular belief? Which side does the law take? It seems to me that we've hit a paradox. Also who gets to decide what a religion is? Need I have followers to have my beliefs be considered a religion? How many must I have? Would not the government deciding these things once again be counter to the First Amendment?
Secondly, we as a civilized society already restrict the exercise of religion. If your religious belief requires you to break a law (such as animal sacrifice, illegal drug use, polygamy, etc...) it is already prohibited or strictly monitored. I don't hear you crying foul for any of these other religious beliefs.
Lastly, the blatant irony of course is that the government is not in fact hindering you from exercising your religion. All it is doing is what it is supposed to: providing equal opportunity. Nowhere is the government forcing an individual to take birth control against their religious belief. It is just forcing employers to allow their employees to make their own choice on the matter. If they make the choice, well then the employer must pay what the insurance company requires them to pay, the same as they do for any other drug.
Now, many right wing nutjobs will not see these truths as self evident and will in fact argue until the cows come home that we are stomping all over their "right" to force their religious beliefs on others.
There is only one good way to deal with people like that, and you need only to study American history to discover it works quite well.
I call your First Amendment with my First Amendment, and I raise you my Second Amendment.
[Full aside: I hate it when people string bet, but in cases like the above, it's not poker and it clarifies it better so I have granted myself a temporary waiver to do it.]