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POLITICS

The Times' Orwellian view on liberty and dogma

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

It's stunning, the extent to which this New York Times editorial goes to paint President Obama's contraception-coverage mandate as something other than government forcing unwilling institutions to do something they find morally objectionable.

See how they describe what Obama's HHS is doing: "including contraceptives in basic health care coverage for female employees."

Someone who didn't know the policy would assume that the government is changing the "basic health care coverage" it provides for government employees. But no. The Times editors use "basic health care coverage" as a euphemisim for "government-required health care coverage."

But more eye-catching is how the Times describes what the Church wants. The editors say that allowing religious groups to set their own employee-benefit packages would amount to allowing "religious entities to impose their dogma on society through the law."

When I read "impos[ing] their dogma on society through the law" I think of groups pushing laws that require or forbid certain activities. It turns out that the party doing that in this case is the Obama administration. Meanwhile, religious entities are trying to govern their own affairs according to the moral law as they perceive it, and have taught it for millenia.

If religious groups are doing any "imposing" at all, it's that they are imposing conditions on those who would like to work for them. This is what employers do in all sorts of ways -- they set pay, dress codes, and even codes of conduct.

This isn't a slip of the pen by the Times' editors, though. They write it again, concluding the column with this line: "The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church’s doctrine on everyone."

Remember that the next time the Times frets about the Church imposing its doctrine -- these men and women find it offends their liberty if we want to conduct our own affairs the way we think best. If we dispose of our liberty and property as we please, we're intruding on their liberty.

The implications are a bit scary.

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