That is what Newt Gingrich wants us to believe. During his speeches Gingrich has stated several times that President Obama is anti-religion. He then goes on to say that once in office (ha!) he will change all of the anti-religion policies of the Obama administration. I was honestly very confused by this! Despite rumors of President Obama being a Muslim, he is a Christian so why would he be waging a war against religion, particularly Christianity from the oval office? Aside from being a Christian let’s also not forget the provision in American government called “separation of church and state”. Well I decided to head over to Google and do some research on this issue.
From what I can tell it appears that Gingrich believes that a contraception regulation amounts to a war against Christianity. A new regulation by the Department of Health and Human Services requires employers to provide contraception for their employees. There are of course exemptions to these rules including Churches. Gingrich and others are up in arms about those who the exemption does not extend to, Catholic Hospitals and Universities. In my mind that means they would not want a professor at Notre Dame to be able to have contraception covered under her insurance. That is definitely not the entire Catholic Church as I was led to believe by Gingrich’s statements.
Of course the line between contraception and abortion has been blurred with Gingrich even claiming that the Obama administration is forcing Catholic churches to pay for abortions for their employees. I wish we could make these two things very clear categories. For one I believe that giving people access to contraception lowers the numbers of abortion. I have no stats to back this but it just makes sense to me! If birth control is covered under a woman’s insurance, she is able to prevent a unplanned pregnancy through the insurance that she already pays for. We need to stop confusing two, it’s inflammatory and appears to be stoking the flames.
Catholics groups have argued that this rule stops their religious freedom. I think it does something different, it allows the employees to have a choice. If an employee follows the strict rules of Catholicism, which does not even condone the pill, then they will decide not to get a prescription through their insurance regardless. If they are someone who does not follow this mindset but just so happen to work for a Catholic organization, I do not believe they should be prevented from making their own choice based on their own beliefs. I guess the solution would be to hire people who adhere to your beliefs but determining this obviously creates other problems including privacy issues.
Call me crazy but I do not think this one little regulation amounts to a war on religion. This policy seems to enable the employee’s religious freedom. More importantly Gingrich’s claims constantly include the word “abortion” which runs contrary to the actual rule from the Department of Health and Human Services. So I am going to label this Gingrich claim to be a complete exaggeration with a few untruths thrown in the mix as well!