Over at Public Discourse I have a piece on the consequences for religious liberty if the HHS mandates are allowed to stand.
I disucss the possibility that the mandates could provoke a schism in the American Catholic Church. After all, under the pressure of the fines to be imposed on those who don’t play ball, some Catholic institutions might choose to go along, thus putting themselves in public opposition to the bishops. I also discuss the ways in which the mandates would reduce faithful Catholics to second-class citizenship. They will have to pay a price to enter the public square: either surrender their own principles, or pay the fines imposed for adhering to them.
I conclude by asking what has become of American liberalism’s supposed commitment to pluralism, and whether the America of the mandates would be recognizable to anyone as the free country we used to cherish.