Thursday, February 9, 2012

Individualism, Progressives and Contraception

The current flap over the demand by the Federal Government that Catholic institutions provide birth control in direct violation of their beliefs has been framed in two ways. By the Individualists it is what right does the Government have to tell me what to do when it violates my faith. To the Progressives this is women's health.

Now women often spend  hundreds if not thousands on makeup and skin creams, not yet covered by ACA but perhaps not far away, and likewise thousands on iPhones and other stuff but the law demands that all employers fund certain types of medication. On the other hand the law seems to be creeping along so that it will refuse PSA tests and prostate biopsies while funding birth control. Logic? Hardly.

But it does go to the heart of one's world view. To the Right it is the right to be left alone and make individual choices. To the Left it is that there is a central authority that deems what is best and we then all MUST follow it. Just read the comments in the NY Times and other outlets as to public views.

This is a true core issue, not the contraception issue, but who tells whom what to do and at whose costs. I had major problems with the current health care bill from the start. I imagined a morbidly obese GS 9 telling me what I can and cannot do, even with my own money. I was told the fear was unfounded. Yet we have a head of HHS doing just that to a Church, well "First they came for the Catholics .... and then they came for me, and there was no one left..."

One should remember that the current President was educated at Columbia University, a school which has had a long standing dislike, to say the least, of Catholics. I personally experienced that in 1960 when I was denied admission to Columbia expressly because I was Catholic, in writing, from a Dead! Thus perhaps we should not expect any different treatment from alumni. But as for the Individualists this is just another nail in the coffin of our freedoms, the creation of a country that De Tocqueville would hardly recognize.

The Progressives fundamentally believe that their truth is a universal truth, the only truth, and despite the belief of others they must all follow this humanly discovered truth. This, more than any other issue, is and must be the core of the discussion in the upcoming election. Do we have individual liberty and rights or is there some elite group whose ideas we all must follow, or else.

One is not forced to work at a Catholic Hospital, or University, and although I support universal health care, it is primarily for those tragic moments when survival is at the fore, not for runny noses, wrinkles, or even contraception. There must be a point when the individual makes a choice, and not the Government.

What of the employers who will fire someone who smokes, someone overweight, why are they free to do that. I agree they should but then why this flap over contraception. It is not cancer surgery, it is not testing for breast cancer, prostate cancer, it is in many ways akin to decongestants.

The problem is that we have empowered HHS and the hundreds of new agencies under ACA with powers we could never imagined. Remember, "you will see what is in the Bill after you pass it..." We are just beginning to see. The future looks terrifying.

POST NOTE: Just after posting this Greg Mankiw linked to a Cochrane Opinion in the WSJ which adds to the argument. Now Cochrane has a great economic argument but I further believe that the real issue is a battle of world views, Individualism versus Progressives, liberty versus Government control. When reading comments the Progressives write, they have a fervent religious belief, albeit ungodly, in the sole correctness of their conclusions and opinions. The Individualist says that anyone may hold any opinion, the Progressive demands that everyone comply with theirs. The issue is not what the Catholic Church says but that the Government believes that it is sine qua non, above all. The Progressive believes in a Government which has become a usurper of liberty. The question is; what world do you want your grandchildren to live in, unless of course you are consuming all those free contraceptives. In which case you may not really care.