A recent California case provides a real dichotomy in logic vs doctrine. A mother and her husband agree that after the birth of their second child, they did not want any more children. The mother is to give birth in a Catholic Hospital and the Hospital will not perform a tubal ligation which would prevent future pregnancies because it violates church doctrine. If this is allowed to stand, the mother will have to drive 150 miles to another hospital to have this procedure. Is this right? Which of the competing interests is number one here? Is it the patient and her husband’s rights? Is it the church because it is their hospital? Is it the insurance company who is paying or may pay the medical procedure? Should patients/families have the right to get health care without having to worry about religion at the health care facility?

On a related note, a court clerk in Kentucky will not perform same sex marriages because this would offend her religious beliefs and would cause a “searing” injury to her beliefs. How can the simple ministerial task of issuing a license have this type of effect on a person? If it does have this effect, can’t the clerk just pass this task onto someone in the office who would not suffer from this “injury”? Can clerks dictate policy when the Supreme Court has already sanctioned same sex marriages? Will the city, county or state be sued if they condone this action by one of their employees? Should the employee suffer personal liability and free the government from responsibility? Is not the exercise of religion a personal one that should be conducted personally and should not interfere with the exercise of others legal rights?

What say you?