Thursday, June 28, 2012

Religion and Feminism

A representation of religion biased against women would be the Catholic religion. Recently there has been controversy in the news about privately owned hospitals, Catholic owned, not accepting the ruling that they should pay and provide women with contraceptives. The Catholic Church believes that abstinence is commanded by the Bible, therefore it is an infringement of the government on their religious liberties to make something available for women to have access to sex outside of marriage more easily.

     The main argument I see for allowing religions to abstain from participating in providing contraceptives is two fold. First these religions own these hospitals outside of government funding. If the government has given no support to these people then they have no right to enforce practices within these institutions as long as they are safe practices. Secondly the idea of consent plays a large part in how people interact with their religion. In America people are allowed to choose what moral authority they adhere to. When one chooses to live by certain code in a certain society then they have opted to abide the privileges and the rules of that society. People who use Catholic Hospitals must submit to their code of living, if not choose a public institute. A government in America cannot infringe on a religious institute if they are not harming any one. Hence a religious organization, such as the Catholic Church, have the right not to provide a service that goes contrary to their beliefs.

     A contrary argument would be that if the Catholic Hospital is working within a country and a society than it should provide for the community in a way that best fits their needs. Women should have a choice whither or not they want to behave according to the Bible. The religious organization should not dictate the terms of the participants. The Catholic Church is consenting to operate within a certain field that the government has tight demands over to ensure the safety of those who use hospitals. Since the government has a strong presence within this business the government should be able to dictate that women have the choice to use contraceptives. In this instance the religious organization is abusing women’s right to choose whither or not they have the right to choose, therefore taking away people’s liberty of choice. The government should protect the rights of those women to choose.

     I personally agree with those who say that the freedom of religion should be protected. A larger group of people fall under the protection of religion then that of those individuals who wants the right to free contraceptive. People who want contraceptives have other choices besides that of the Catholic Church’s resources. Their rights of choice are not being affected because they can search else for it. Once you challenge one right of religion you open the door to challenge all of them. Therefore the opposing argument looses water due to the fact that there are other options and there is more at risk when challenging the rights of all those within religion.