Thursday, December 22, 2011

OU and Agudah Unite Against Contraceptives

A Guest Post By E. Fink

This nugget comes courtesy of R' Josh Yuter

From what I can gather (I'm no expert), the government requires employers to provide insurance to their employees that provides them with access to contraceptives. Some religious groups find this incredibly offensive.

Most people just assume that those who find this offensive are Catholics. They think: "Those stodgy old-school Catholics are the last people on earth who completely reject contraceptives." But no, a letter signed by a large number of Protestant, Evangelical and other denominations of Christians stands tall with Catholics.

The money quote:
We believe that the Federal government is obligated by the First Amendment to accommodate the religious convictions of faith-based organizations of all kinds, Catholic and non-Catholic. We respectfully ask that your administration, should it maintain the current contraceptives mandate, devise an exemption for religious employers that accurately defines such employers and exempts them from being required to offer to their employees (and students, if they are among America’s many religious colleges and universities) health services to which they have deep religious objections.
Along for the ride are the OU and Agudah.

I find this hard to stomach. Orthodox Jews don't have deep religious objections to contraceptives. Like most things on planet earth, when used properly (and with a halachic or at least a hashkafic imprimatur), contraceptives have a place in an orthodox Jewish lifestyle.

Further, even if they did not, I find it difficult to understand why an orthodox Jewish organization would have a problem covering the insurance for one their employers who does use contraceptives. Not everyone who works for religious institutions is bound to the rules of their employers. There is no statement of approval being made, if that is the concern, because this is a government requirement, not an endorsement of a promiscuous lifestyle.

It's possible that this is just an example of pandering to Fundamentalist Christians for political reasons. That seems like the most plausible reason to me.

If anyone knows how to ask the OU or the Agudah for an explanation please do so. I would be very happy to hear their side of this.

Link: Becketfund

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HBS said...

For once, I agree with you.

HBS said...

For once, I agree with you.