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 abortion, bestiality, euthanasia, 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 RenewAmerica.com. Follow him on twitter @StephenKokx