She's talking again about contraception and religious liberty. And in the process sets up a strawman argument.
Let's take a look. She sets up the strawman. First the frame:
Let's say you're a pacifist, and you belong to a pacifist religious organization. Maybe it's the Mennonite Central Committee, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi or any of numerous Quaker groups.And then the conflict:
Let's say your organization needs a new staffer and you hire me because I'm a perfect fit for the job and an all-around wonderful human being.There's two references in there of employees getting the weapons for free. She keeps going:
Imagine that at some point during my tenure with your organization, a right-wing president and Congress so advance the cause of a citizen militia, as it existed in the Founders' day, that a law is passed mandating employers to provide employees with free guns if the employees wish to have them.
And I do!
Unbeknownst to you, I feel strongly about the Second Amendment. I believe it's necessary to my personal safety and well-being to bear arms, but the weapons and ammunition I need to exercise this right can get quite expensive. It would be very helpful to my budget to get them for free.
There is much public controversy over this new legislation, of course, and you, my pacifist employer, are among its most outspoken opponents.There it is again. The employer buying birth control for the employee - not that the insurance company has to cover contraception in its health benefits.
"I have the right to own a weapon," I remind you, "and it's so fundamental a right that it should be part of the terms of my employment."
"But a central tenet of our organization is that using weapons is wrong," you say. "Buying you a weapon violates our doctrine and therefore our constitutional right to the free exercise of religion."
"But I have a constitutional right to bear arms."
"Yes, you do, but we should have no obligation to buy them for you."
Guns are property. Health care isn't. Her analogy fails right there.
Besides that, Dailey's argument falls flat because she's assuming that her strawman pacifist organization can deny such coverage.
But if it's the law, it can't. Religious conscience is no get out of jail free card. Who says?
Antonin Scalia and the US Supreme Court:
We have never held that an individual's religious beliefs [494 U.S. 872, 879] excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate.And:
We first had occasion to assert that principle in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879), where we rejected the claim that criminal laws against polygamy could not be constitutionally applied to those whose religion commanded the practice. "Laws," we said, "are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself." Id., at 166-167.Better luck next time, Ruth Ann.
Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a "valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)."