The public and the Presidential debate already includes denunciation as anti-Catholic bigotry of the mandate that employers who provide health insurance cover contraception. A dangerous flash-point is near. Though the Church peacefully coexists in many countries where such coverage is provided by national health insurance schemes the employer-based U.S. system provides a unique friction point. Yesterday's National Catholic Reporter editorial concludes with a call for calm:
It is worth taking the year to investigate how this matter is handled in those states that require religious institutions to cover contraception. One model that a number of commentators have advanced is Hawaii, where religious organizations can refuse to cover contraceptives but must notify employees of the restriction, tell them where they can obtain such services and where employees can purchase separate riders to provide coverage for contraceptives.Issues of conscience, without hyperbole | National Catholic Reporter:
Institutions change, the standing of bishops and other religious leaders is not what it once was, the demands of pluralism and the possibilities of medical science push through what once were comfortably kept boundaries. It is futile to wish for a simpler time. The challenge on both sides is to figure out, given the increasing complexities, how the church can continue to act with integrity, and how the state can provide for the greatest good, freed itself from the strictures of individual religions while simultaneously freeing religion as far as possible to act without interference from the state.
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