Question posed

To the Journal editor:

Is there an absolute right for religious liberty, or are there several specific, equal and interdependent rights and a fundamental right?

National law states all employers must provide universal health insurance that includes coverage for contraceptives.

Catholic organizations (including colleges and hospitals) and some Catholic business owners oppose contraceptives coverage because it denies their absolute and natural right of individual religious liberty.

This Catholic position is based on justice for self. Supporters of contraceptives coverage state:

1. All persons have constructed several specific, equal, and interdependent rights and a fundamental right, and there is no absolute or natural right;

2. All have the right for an activist national government promoting all rights for all;

3. All have the right for religious liberty to act based on nonlegal religious-specific beliefs;

4. All have the right for rule of law, including paying taxes even though they oppose a specific expenditure or tax and following a health care law even though they oppose providing contraceptives;

5. All have the right for universal health care that includes contraceptives; and

6. All have the right for the common good, and special interest groups do not have special rights.

This position supporting contraceptives coverage is based on justice for all. Which position is based on our fundamental right?

Is our fundamental right justice for all or justice for self? Aspects of our fundamental rights are revealed in our Constitution, laws and regulations. Our most clear, comprehensive, and concise statement is in our Pledge of Allegiance that declares “justice for all.”

Based on our specific rights and on our fundamental right of justice for all, Catholic organizations must provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Gordon C. Peterson


Editor’s note: Gordon C. Peterson is not to be confused with Marquette resident Gordon J. “Gordy” Peterson of the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home.