The Following article was submitted for inclusion in the In Theory section of the La Cañada Valley Sun, Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader the week of March 22nd, in response to a question about two lawsuits initiated in response to this week’s healthcare reform measure:
Regarding the first lawsuit mentioned, as far as I know there has been a commitment made that no federal funds will be used to pay for abortions. If federal funds were used for this procedure the suit might be justified because, it can be argued, individuals who are morally opposed to abortion should not have to contribute their taxes to those ends.
However, since this is not the case, the issue seems to be one of attempting to force one set of religious values on individuals who have their own and should be free to act upon them. Such manipulation of the legal system, in the name of religion, is not only disrespectful it is abusive.
As for the second lawsuit, I can only imagine that this refers to the exemption of those religious traditions that do not believe in medical intervention. If this is the case, I’d like to know if the exemption was initiated by the government, or was the result of petitions?
In both law suits I do recognize moral implications. The one of greatest concern to me has to do with individuals focusing on themselves, their values, their well-being – at the expense of the larger whole of which we are only a part.
While universal healthcare may not be a constitutional right, it is a moral imperative – just as was the federal abolition of slavery. In both cases the focus had to/has to be about something other than one’s personal preferences. Do I like being “required” to have car insurance? No. But the only way the insurance system will work is if everyone participates. The same holds true for health insurance.
The Rev. Stefanie Etzbach-Dale
Unitarian Universalist Church of Verdugo Hills, La Crescenta, CA