I’ve noticed that liberal sources (not to mention Facebook friends) have consistently made the mistake of calling the Church’s refusal to pay for employees’ contraceptive drugs a “denial” or a “deprivation” or an “attack on women’s rights.” This is, of course, absurd; by that standard, my employer is depriving me of my fundamental right to bear arms because it hasn’t purchased me a handgun. I couldn’t figure out WHY they kept making this obvious error, though.
It clicked with me this morning while reading the New York Times incandescently ignorant piece on the subject: Liberals have to convince themselves that the Church is exercising coercion against women in order to internally justify using coercive power against the Church. They then talk to each other across the left-wing echo chamber so they can forget, as quickly as possible, that they are affording the Catholic Church fewer First Amendment rights than they afforded Fred Phelps, burying the Constitution under a nice froth of anti-clerical know-nothingism. That the Church is not, in fact, exercising any coercive power at all, but merely demanding its constitutional right to refuse to directly participate in immoral activity, is an obvious fact that liberals must not allow into their heads. If they did, they would see instantly that this is an attack on religious liberty. Since they refuse to, they instead make it into a conversation about how fantastic The Pill is and how many Catholic women contracept anyway.
Thus my friend’s reaction last night when I pointed out this error: he feigned boredom and quit the thread, which is the Facebook equivalent of plugging his ears and going “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” This was the first time I’ve ever seen him abandon ship on a civil conversation, which startled me, but now it makes sense. Liberals are doublethinking on this. They have no choice: one of the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) — a provision related to the sacred liberal idol of “reproductive healthcare,” no less — is unconstitutional, and that is not an acceptable outcome to the liberal mind.
That’s my diagnosis. Prognosis looks bad, but I’m open to a second opinion.
It should be said that conservatives doublethink, too, on different issues. I’m not angry, just surprised, and I hope someone finds the insight useful.