Harvard administrator Erika Christakis of the Time Ideas blog had a few choice words for who she considers the "hysterical" folks up in arms about the Obama administration's contraception mandate for religious employers -- namely, the Catholic Bishops.
But it gets worse.
Christakis, who considers those opposed to the contraception mandate as dealing in “hysteria with a fever pitch,” insists that if Catholic bishops don’t like being forced to cover the cost of contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilizations, then they should either pay for the cost of all the unwanted children in the world or, go to jail for civil disobedience a la Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King. Yes. Those were Christakis' two choices for Catholic Bishops.
The cost of living in a democracy is tolerating moral judgments we don’t always like. For those who object, there’s a clear alternative. Protesting the Mexican-American War in the 1840s, Henry David Thoreau withheld his taxes with the understanding that he would have to go to jail for his principles. In reality, he only served one night in jail, but he was willing to pay the price for his convictions. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela paid a much higher price for theirs.
Let’s see what our society would look like if we all had the luxury of imposing our unfettered will. At a minimum, the Catholic bishops and employers resisting contraceptive coverage should be willing to pay for the care of all those unwanted children. Or perhaps they’d be willing to spend some time in jail in protest. At my taxpaying expense, of course.
As Newsbusters points out, the link above takes Time readers to a February 13 post by Time reporter Tim Padgett titled, "Birth Control Debate: Why Catholic Bishops Have Lost Their Grip on U.S. Politics -- and Their Flock."
Christakis also painted a picture where Catholic bishops are encroaching on the "rights of millions of people who are burdened by unplanned pregnancy."
People who cry moral indignation about government-mandated contraception coverage appear unwilling to concede that the exercise of their deeply held convictions might infringe on the rights of millions of people who are burdened by unplanned pregnancy or want to reduce abortion or would like to see their tax dollars committed to a different purpose.
Why should an employer’s right to reject birth-control coverage trump a society’s collective imperative to reduce unintended pregnancy? Should employers be allowed to withhold a polio vaccine or cataract surgery or safe working conditions on similar “moral” grounds?
Needless to say, many will likely take issue with Christakis' suggestion that Catholic Bishops warrant jail-time for simply staying true to their faith.
(h/t: Tim Graham Newsbusters)