Infanticide advocate tells Catholics to stop abusing their religious freedom

Kudos to the Cardinal Newman Society. Yesterday, CNS blogger Matthew Archbold reported that Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton, thinks Catholic hospitals and universities should close their doors if they don’t like the HHS mandate.

Singer’s column, “The use and abuse of religious freedom,” is incredibly naïve for someone of his stature. But I guess that’s what life in the Ivory Tower does to you. Here’s just some of what he had to say:

When people are prohibited from practicing their religion — for example, by laws that bar worshiping in certain ways — there can be no doubt that their freedom of religion has been violated.

[But] the Obama administration’s requirement to provide health insurance that covers contraception does not prevent Catholics from practicing their religion. Catholicism does not oblige its adherents to run hospitals and universities.

Of course, [if the Catholic Church] handed over its hospitals and universities to bodies that were willing to provide the coverage, Catholics would still be free to worship and follow their religion’s teachings.

As Archbold’s column points out, Catholics actually are compelled to operate institutions like hospitals and universities:

One may suppose that Singer isn’t aware of the Bible which says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

Unfortunately, Singer has a long history of attacking the Church.  In the past, he’s advocated for after-birth abortionbestialityeuthanasia, and a strict code of utilitarian ethics. He’s also an outspoken animal rights activist and has represented the atheist perspective in debates over the existence of God on a number of occasions.

And some Catholic sisters think Paul Ryan is the bad guy. Good grief.

Stephen Kokx is an adjunct professor of political science and featured columnist at Follow him on twitter @StephenKokx



  • Someone

    Why are you attacking Catholic Nuns?! That’s low. If you’re refering to those women who run around leading secular lives, and call themselves sisters, those aren’t Catholic Nuns. Those women are only a dying movement. This attack on nuns is similiar to saying that the majority of catholics approve of gay marriage.

    • Stephen Kokx

      That was not my intention. I trust you know what I was referring to, but you are right to point that out. I went and made the correction. Thanks

  • Deacon James

    Running hospitals is the same thing as running Starbucks. Both provide services that people want and need, but because people must pay for both, neither are works of charity.

    • Deacon James

      I’m dissapointed to see this kind of behavior where there is not enough respect for other peoples opinions that they would be hidden from view. If you have a response, please express it in words, not by suppressing the right of others to voice theirs.

      • Yes

        Apologies. There are some immature people on here that rig the comments. I don’t know why catholic vote won’t fix it, maybe they are a part of it. Fixed it myself for you.

    • Amanda

      Deacon James, are you a Catholic Deacon? Or is that just a screen name? Peace and joy! Amanda

  • heissinghal

    Not everyone is convinced that Keller is out of whack. One blogger on The Caucus blogs of The New York Times June 24, 2008 “Funny; Obama can stand in the pulpit of a church on Sunday morning investigation-he speaks to the national convention of his church-the IRS says that is OK-yet an internet evangelist calls out Romney for being part of a cult and lying to people about being a Christian and he is investigated???”

  • Mari

    The scary part is that he isn’t the only one narrowing down and limiting “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship.” Haven’t members of the Obama administration done the same?

    But, of course, they aren’t the same. Freedom of worship excludes many essential aspects of religion such as evangelization and works of charity. The former Soviet Union had “freedom of worship” (if you could find somewhere to worship, that is!) … but not freedom of religion. That fact helps me keep the difference clear.

    • Anil Wang

      Exactly. If someone, even an atheist, called you a “Sunday Catholic” he’d be calling you an a hypocrite, since you don’t practise your faith the rest of the week. This is actually one of the biggest complaints atheists have about religious people.

    • Deacon James

      Freedom of religion has bounds and always has. If a person believes in human sacrifice to attain true glory, we do not allow them to murder people in the name of religion because the victim’s right to life is more important than freedom of religion in this case. In this case, our society has decided that businesses can not deprive their workers of their right to choose their own healthcare coverage. This is not an intrusion into our freedoms of religion. In fact, businesses and charities are required to do nothing.

      • Randall

        Deacon James, this country was founded on the principle that all Christians should have the freedom to worship as they choose, without government interfering in any way. Your straw man argument does you no good because there is no valid reason to put bounds on the Catholic faith. Muslims? That’s another story. But to say that we need to rein in Catholics because other wackadoo faiths do crazy things like murder is ridiculous.



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