This morning, NCPR begins several days of conversation with people in the North Country wrestling with moral and political questions surrounding social and family planning issues, as well as religious freedom.
We begin with an in-depth conversation with Bishop Terry LaValley, head of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, which you can hear here.
This issue sparks a lot of really thorny, tangled questions.
Is it fair, appropriate or constitutional for the Federal government to require faith groups to provide insurance coverage for care that some churches disapprove of, including contraception, vasectomies, and so-called “morning after” birth control pills?
Should existing state laws in New York be overturned?
Is it fair for faith groups to deny those insurance services to employees — including non-believers — thus denying them the right to make their own individual moral choices?
And what about the social services that faith groups provide, often with taxpayer support? Should those be shaped by religious conviction, even when the services are provided to people of other faiths, or to people of no faith at all?
Do you feel that religion is “under attack” in America? Or do you feel that religious groups are trying to shape laws that will force you to adopt their moral codes?
These are the questions that we’re exploring this week and I’m interested for your views. This is difficult stuff, not exactly water cooler conversation. So please chime in, but keep it thoughtful and civil and respectful.