Monday, May 28, 2012

All the Illogic That's Fit to Print

Let's try this one more time for the logicians at the New York Times editorial page:

On Sunday, the Times attacked Catholic dioceses and organizations for commencing lawsuits to the challenge the unconstitutional restriction on religious liberty embodied in the Obamacare contraception/abortafacient insurance coverage mandate.

The Times describes the legal action as "a pure partisan play. The real threat to religious liberty comes from the effort to impose one church's doctrine on everyone" (My emphasis).

Now let us attempt to look at this statement as a matter of logic and language as it might be explained to a fifth grade class.

The Catholic Church runs an organization--say a hospital. It employs people to work at the hospital in all sorts of jobs. The hospital offers the jobs, each with a certain description and level of responsibility. The hospital also sets the pay level for the jobs it offers, as well as the benefits provided to those who fill those positions.

Perhaps the hospital pays certain people more than others based upon seniority or job responsibility level. It may offer a health plan that provides insurance coverage for some services, but not others. Perhaps the plan offers dental insurance, but not coverage for eyeglasses. Perhaps there are co-payments for some kinds of doctor visits, but not others.

The hospital, of course, makes these decisions based upon the labor market for particular jobs, its economic interests and financial abilities, as well as a host of other concerns the institution may have from time to time.

A person who wishes to work for the hospital will accept the pay and benefits package, or perhaps try to negotiate better terms. If the hospital and the prospective employee cannot agree on terms of responsibility, hours, pay and benefits, the prospective employee will not take the job--he will try to work elsewhere.

This is the way in which things called private businesses and private labor markets generally function. As a rule, not every citizen in the country works for the same private business, so, as a rule, pay and benefit packages vary based upon the employer for whom one works and the kind of job one holds.

Now these circumstances were considered pedestrian--the basic way in which a market economy functions--until a few months ago when Mr. Government Official discovered that certain forms of insurance were deeply unjust.

Government Official, who knows what is fair and right for the entire society, meets the private business that is the Catholic hospital. Government Official doesn't like the hospital's health plan--you see, Government Official says that the people working for the hospital, through their own free will, must have a different health plan--one that Government Official says is superior.

But, protests the hospital, we don't cover eyeglasses because it's too expensive. "Too bad!" commands Government Official. "I know what's best for all of society. And the right to eyeglass insurance coverage is a basic right. Stop trying to impose your anti-eyeglass prejudice on everyone else."

But, protests the hospital, we don't cover contraception or drugs that cause abortions because we morally object to such products. "Stop imposing your morality on everyone else," says Government Official, echoed by his enablers at the Times. "We told you everyone has to have the same plan according to our command. If you refuse us, you are imposing your morality on society because you will not allow us to impose our morality on you! Get it?"

So there you have it. By objecting to a blanket fiat of the government, imposed upon all employers, the Catholic hospital is imposing its "doctrine" on others, including those person who freely work from the hospital in return for agreed-upon compensation. 

This opinion is truly pitiable, born of such completely corrupted logic, Orwellian language abuse and barely-latent distaste for Catholicism that, in truth, it makes basic dialogue with the Times and its fellow Leftists nearly impossible. One can merely observe that this intellectual bankruptcy is the inevitable result of an investment in the defense of the indefensible.

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