Professor Ben Gershman published an op-ed piece in the Journal News in which he expressed disdain for the Catholic Church’s reaction to President Obama’s contraception coverage compromise.
Gershman points out that the First Amendment does not provide Catholic organizations an exception from covering women’s contraception. He says, “The precise question is whether large religious organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities are required to cover the hundreds of thousands of female employees– including thousands of non-Catholic women — who seek birth control.”
The Catholic Church receives taxpayer money to “employ staff, educate students, and provide health insurance” and then argues that they should be allowed to discriminate against the 98% of Catholic women who use contraceptives.
Gershman concludes that “The freedom to worship and believe, or not to, without government interference, as Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson memorably observed, is the “fixed star in our constitutional constellation.” But conversely, this majestic guarantee does not give the Catholic Church, or any other religious body, the power to dictate religious dogma and try to coerce others to obey.”