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Total rip-off Tuesday

Wherein I rip-off another writer on the web.  Today's choice is one of my personal heroes, Helen Alvare':

...during the passage of the 2010 health care law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA), longstanding, bipartisan agreement to shield the religious freedom of healthcare providers—especially where abortion is concerned—broke down. Democrats in the Senate and then in the House either proposed or ultimately acceded to conscience provisions significantly weaker than those available in past federal laws. Very recently, the Obama administration realized religious institutions’ worst fears by mandating all forms of birth control, and some forms of abortifacient drugs, as mandatory “preventive healthcare” services under the PPACA. Under this regulation, religiously affiliated healthcare institutions that attempt to hire or serve people of other faiths are denied conscience protection. It is almost unnecessary to point out the irony, the shortsightedness, even the cruelty, of such a denial.
 
...in the struggle over same-sex marriage, some lawmakers are increasingly hostile to moral and practical arguments about the unique goods intrinsic to opposite-sex marriage, and to citizen demands for conscience protections. It appears that lawmakers are responding more to cultural and media elites who express overt hostility to religion, or they are simply confused about the true meaning and purpose of marriage and the family. Some groups and politicians supporting same-sex marriage brand religious ministries to the poor and vulnerable as “bigotry” and threaten the very existence of those ministries, during a time when the government would be hard-pressed to fund additional services itself. Witness the harassment, and in some cases termination, of Catholic adoption agencies that refuse to pair children with same-sex couples.

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