Leftie Sarah Posner has a... a ... well... dumb post in Religion Dispatches:
At his speech to the National Rifle Association convention this afternoon, Mitt Romney brought up the alleged infringement on religious freedom by the Obama administration:
Now, the Obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what Catholic charities, schools, and hospitals must cover in their insurance plans. It’s easy to forget how often President Obama assured us that under Obamacare, nothing in our insurance plans would have to change. Remember that one? Well, here we are, just getting started with Obamacare, and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscience.
In all of America, there is no larger private provider of healthcare for women and their babies than the Catholic Church. But that’s not enough for the Obamacare bureaucrats. No, they want Catholics to fall in line and violate the tenets of their faith.
As President, I will follow a very different path than President Obama. I will be a staunch defender of religious freedom. The Obamacare regulation is not a threat and insult to only one religious group – it is a threat and insult to every religious group. As President, I will abolish it.
Of course when he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney made no effort to shield religious institutions from a very similar rule. According to the Boston Globe, there was a substantially similar requirement in Massachusetts, and when proposing his own overhaul of the state's health insurance system, he made no effort to change it based on the religious objections of Catholic institutions.
As I noted yesterday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and their allies are ramping up the "religious freedom" wars for the campaign season. Romney has taken up their cause before, but never in such an unlikely venue. He somehow wrapped the Bishops' "religious freedom" complaints in the same packaging as gun rights. (And, for good measure, his wife Ann made a special appearance to assure one of the most powerful special interest groups in Washington that women are "special" but not a "special interest." Ba-dum-bum.) Funny how owning a gun is now a more important right than health care and how the "culture of life" rationale of the Bishops' opposition to birth control gets play at a convention celebrating guns.
Romney compares religious freedom to gun rights because... they're both Constitutional rights. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment, and the right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. It's analogous to comparing the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures to the right to not be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against yourself. It's a fair comparison because each right is a Constitutional right.
Funny how owning a gun is now a more important right than health care and how the "culture of life" rationale of the Bishops' opposition to birth control gets play at a convention celebrating guns.Second Amendment rights are more important in a legal sense than health care because... Second Amendment rights are Constitutional rights, and health care isn't. We all agree that health care for all is highly desirable-- the folks at the NRA convention, good conservatives that they are, have undoubtedly contributed much more personally to charities such as Catholic Charities and World Vision that actually provide health care to poor people than liberal Ms. Posner (conservatives contribute much more to charities than liberals do).
The differences between liberals and conservatives on health care are not differences about rights. Health care is not a Constitutional right. It can't be a Constitutional right, because our Constitutional rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights protect us from government, not from disease.
And the differences between liberals and conservatives on health care are not differences in goals. Conservatives and liberals want health care available to all. The difference is in methods of reaching that goal. Liberals want a massive government program to provide health care, and conservatives want to use the private sector and tax relief and free-market approaches to accomplish it.
Of course, liberals don't want you to understand the real differences between the liberal and conservative approaches, because it is difficult to make the case that an federal bureaucracy that has run up a 15 trillion dollar debt and that has over a 100 trillion dollar unfunded liability problem with entitlements should be given dictatorial powers over health care.
Solving problems with health care by letting the government run health care is like solving our economic problems by letting a tax cheat run the economy.
Oh-- actually we did let a tax cheat run the economy...