“How is this different from Catholics participating in the health care plans at their non-Catholic employer that do cover contraception?!!? Aren’t they violating the same Catholic principle you’re saying the HHS Mandate will force you to violate?!!?”
That’s supposed to be a “gotcha, you hypocrites” series of questions. At least that’s how they’ve been used by some in the comments boxes.
They are valid questions, but that’s about where the “gotcha” ends.
The answer is two-fold:
First, those plans are voluntary. Anyone’s participation in them is therefore also voluntary. They could choose to get that extra money in their paycheck instead. Actions that are voluntary are different from actions that a government decides to compel through law and punishments. So even if the Catholics who buy into health plans that cover morally problematic services and items were, in fact, doing something immoral, they would be doing it voluntarily, rather than under threat of massive fines.
Sometimes the government even agrees that an action anyone *could* do is not the sort of thing anyone *should* do and passes laws against said action. Like murder. Still happens, despite laws against it. But here the government has decided to order, compel, force, require millions of Catholics and thousands of private entities run by the Catholic Church to do something that the Catholic faith tells them is horribly immoral.
Ergo, we Catholics have been told that we may not enjoy the “right” to our religion; we have been “prohibit[ed] the free exercise thereof.”
Make sense? Simple enough? Apparently not for some.
Second, … nah, I’ll post the second part, how the Catholic who buys into the office health care plan that covers contraceptives, etc., is not thereby doing anything immoral, in a day or two…