The Spectacle Blog

Amanda Marcotte Will Buy Your Purity Ring

By on 1.23.14 | 1:54PM

Amanda Marcotte’s religious beliefs are more important than yours:

If my religious beliefs allow for contraception use or premarital sex or homosexuality, then having a boss punish me by withholding my earned insurance benefits or having a business refuse me service is, in fact, an attack on my religious beliefs that they don’t share.

But if your religious beliefs do not allow for contraception use or premarital sex or homosexuality or abortions, then having the government punish you by forcing you to pay (albeit indirectly) for that decision is an attack on your religious beliefs that it doesn’t share.

And what if the government required American tax dollars to go to Christian abstinence campaigns? What if Marcotte’s dollars (albeit indirectly) went toward purity rings, Bibles, and “True Love Waits” t-shirts? Would she support that? Or would she argue that those things are against her personal beliefs?

Marcotte’s argument is buried in the presupposition that all Americans are entitled to a job. Thus, if that job does not meet your requirements, your employer better change.

But that’s not how life works.

People can choose who they work for. A conservative Catholic organization probably won’t give you health insurance covering contraceptives. A more liberal organization probably will. As a job-hunter, you have the choice not to work for a company espousing beliefs opposite to yours, the same way they wouldn’t choose to hire someone they completely disagree with.

Pretend I was qualified for one of Planned Parenthood’s highest positions. No one can tell me that they would hire me. Why? Because my morality isn’t their morality. But isn’t that discrimination?

Marcotte doesn’t want to be forced to give up her private lifestyle on the job. Great news! She doesn’t have to. Because if her organization stopped paying for her birth control, she could leave.

However, plenty of employers are not so lucky. They will be forced to violate their private beliefs if Obamacare forces them to fund abortions and contraceptives.

Marcotte is also concerned about private business bigotry. Yes, a private business that bars homosexuals from entering is likely making a bad business choice and there will be repercussions. However, the state doesn't need to punish them. If public opinion supports gay marriage (as it does) and the business owner doesn’t, the public will boycott their enterprise and they will lose money. This has already happened in several cases.

Likewise, if Obamacare was not mandated, private insurance companies could decide what coverage to offer. If a woman’s contraceptives were not covered, she could find a different policy. The agency would lose her business and that is its choice to make:

Should employers be able to take away earned benefits from employees because they disapprove of the employee’s private decisions?

Well, what if your employer’s religious beliefs dictate that murder is immoral? Then, you stab a fellow employee on your way home from work. That was your “private decision” – should your employer have to continue to employ you because you were simply choosing a “personal lifestyle” he didn’t approve of?

“But murder is illegal! You are trying to legislate morality!”

All law is legislated morality. Your moral code, born from your religious beliefs – be they in Christ, Buddah, or the cosmos – determines the choices you make. Marcotte claims she is tolerant and is against legislating morality and condemning “personal lifestyles," but she will freely trash my belief that abortion is murder. Moreover, in 27 states I'm refused the choice to opt out of paying a surcharge for murder. 

Good news for Marcotte – she can have her contraceptives. I’d just prefer not to pay for them.

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