Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Wheaton College stones its students
The Bible is filled with acts that horrify us today, morally. Disrespectful children being stoned to death, a vengeful God smiting people for trifles—look back over your shoulder when the Big Guy tells you not to and you find yourself a pillar of salt.
In that tradition, Wheaton College on Friday will stop providing health insurance, affecting about a quarter of its 3,000 students, because the Affordable Care Act mandates birth control coverage for those who want it.
This is the key thing to keep in mind: Obamacare doesn't force anyone to use birth control. It just makes it available, like any Walgreen's. If you want to manifest your religious beliefs and not use birth control, you are completely free to do so.
Just as those who feel no moral qualm about using birth control can use it.
That isn't how Wheaton College spins the situation of course. They make it a matter of their freedom being trampled on by the government. So rather than participate in a system of health care that might allow students to make a moral choice of which they don't approve, Wheaton College is yanking health care away from everyone, over a thousand students, giving them just a few weeks to scramble and find insurance coverage on their own.
That's the 2015 version of stoning a whore.
Religion should be voluntary. I don't know anybody who disagrees with that, at least publicly. That's why the government should be religion neutral: provide the full health care system and let individuals decide what part they avail themselves to, based on their individual moral beliefs. That's the only way a pluralistic society can work.
Wheaton College doesn't buy into that because, at heart, they lack the courage of their convictions. They can't tolerate a system where their students don't use birth control because they believe it's morally wrong and avoid it. They have to make it unavailable to them. If they were secure that their students would make the decisions they believe their faith demands, they wouldn't care what the government offered. Because they know that young people actually want access to birth control, their supposed dogma be damned, the school tries to reach over their heads and swat it away. The risk that students, caught without health care, could suffer and die, well, Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.