On June 28, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a ruling that requires employee health organizations (regardless of what kind of employer it is) to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, to include abortion-causing drugs and sterilization. This is obviously an affront to the separation of Church and State, but it is only the churches that see it this way. With this ruling, churches across the country which provide medical coverage to any employees will be required to provide something that many of them do not agree with – contraceptives.
This seems to be only the beginning of a disturbing trend. “Big Government” is sticking its hands into places of society that need to remain untouched by the government. There was another recent situation, similar in nature to the HHS ruling, where the government was mandating that hospitals – including those associated with a religious group (such as the Catholic Church) – be required to provide these same contraceptive services and products. Again, the belief by those that ran the hospitals, the belief that these products and services are not right, came a distant second to the will of the State to impose what it saw as right.
There are regulations placed by the U.S. government on the activities of churches for a church to retain its tax-free status. No “preaching from the pulpit”. No partaking in certain activities (as a church). But this is not a two-way street – the churches do not have the power to impose regulations on what the U.S. government can do when it comes to the freedoms of these same churches.
How can we as a nation say that we separate Church and State when the State forces the Church (generally speaking) to do something against its will? The U.S. Constitution clearly calls for a separation, and it has been shown around the world (more-so recently) that a society in which Church and State are not separate seems doomed to failure. But, if the State controls the Church, then the State becomes none other than the Church.
If the U.S. Government cannot even abide by the most basic tenants of the Constitution, what do we as a nation have to look forward to? When the Government is mandating what churches must do, while at the same time telling them what they cannot do, what hope is there for the rest of society? In a country founded by religious men (and women), grounded in a set of ideals that have held the fabric of society together for thousands of years, what right does an institution set up by the same founders to protect those very ideals have to force a new set of ideals on the protectors of the original ideals of the founders?
In fact, if the State begins to force ideals on the Church, what is to stop it from doing the same for the Populace at large?