Civil Political Discussions are Possible

Piedmont National Forest - Georgia
Piedmont National Forest - Georgia | Source

Political Issues and Concerns


Thomas M. Smith, IV, a graduate of Reinhardt University where I teach, and currently studying at Columbia Theological Seminary recently made a comment about some of the political issue and questions which concern him. He expressed concern over the issue of "how ethical it is to take money from people that worked hard to earn it and giving it to those that didn't."

He is also concerned that "in doing so, the money taken is often used to finance certain things that are forbidden to a person's convictions, which infringes on First Amendment rights like on the ACA issue requiring the Roman Catholic Church to provide birth control."

Piedmont National Forest - Georgia
Piedmont National Forest - Georgia | Source

Relevant Conditions


Thomas, the collection by taxes and redistribution of money is a difficult and complex issue, but I almost always hear it discussed in simplistic Black and White terms by both liberals and conservatives...so we will save that discussion for another time.

But I have some ideas that govern how I think about birth control and many other health care, medical, or insurance issues. All of the following, in no particular order impinge upon whether birth control should be offered as part of medical insurance benefits, whether it is the Affordable Health-care Act (ACA) or United Health Care, Aetna Health, Kaiser Permanente, or Blue Cross Blue Shield.


Piedmont National Forest - Georgia
Piedmont National Forest - Georgia | Source

The Churches


To begin with, neither the Roman Catholic Church (or any other denominational church - Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc., is paying directly for the ACA benefits like providing birth control or eye exams or flu shots.

People who are employed by the Church, any church, like people employed by other businesses pay for (most people, not all) and receive certain benefits, which they as individuals are free to accept or decline.

Whether my place of employment offers me medical coverage through Aetna or Kaiser or Blue Cross, my personal opinion about birth control does not in any way, nor should it, affect other people's right to obtain birth control through those medical insurance plans.

Piedmont National Forest - Georgia
Piedmont National Forest - Georgia | Source

Limits of Insurance


There are any number of services or benefits offered through various Insurance Plans, that individual people or groups may disagree with, but they are not entitled to an opt-out provision that will deny benefits to other people who wish to use those benefits.

Whether an individual makes use of every provision of his insurance plan or not, we all contribute to the total costs of most provision. That is how Insurance works in almost all situations - health, business, home, and automobile. Individuals have some choice, but we do not get to pick and choose with respect to every benefit.

I pay for Home Insurance that includes coverage for furs, jewelry, crystal and fine china. although I have none of these. I also pay a set premium for Kaiser whether I approve, or not, of all the benefit options their plans include.

Churches Rights are not Infringed


The ACA and other Insurance Plans do not infringe upon the Catholic Church and its "non-existent" 1st Amendment Rights. But Individual American citizens have 1st Amendment Rights, and they are free to exercise them.

If birth control contradicts someone's personal convictions, then "they should not buy or use birth control. If your or my religious beliefs prohibit blood transfusions, then we will not get a blood transfusion. But our individual convictions, beliefs, and preferences, should not and must not be used to compel an entire group of people to abide by our personal convictions.

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Your Comments are most Welcome and Sincerely Appreciated ~~ Thank You 7 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting point of view Theresa. Thanks for sharing. Civil political discussion is rare, but welcome.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I only hope you have laid out this explanation in simple enough terms for the casual observer to understand. I would only add that if you are a business owner of a specific religious persuasion and you want to impose your beliefs on your employees via the insurance benefits you provide them, then you need to leave the commercial marketplace and convert your efforts into a not for profit or a ministry. In the public arena, you should provide the same benefits to your employees as every other commercial business. At the very least, disclose the limits you are going to impose on your employees before they agree to work for you.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 9 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Imposition of the will of one group of people on another seldom goes well. There are drawbacks to our system. Well done discussion.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 9 months ago from Olympia, WA

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I embrace civil discussions, but they do seem to be rare in today's political climate. Show me a person willing to compromise and I'll show you a person I can work with to solve problems.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Bill - Civility is so rare and yet all of life, relationships, business, and POLITICS requires compromise. Guess that is why we have had dysfunctional national politics for quite a while now. Sad. Hope all is well. See you soon at the Word Scramble Board. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hi Eric. It is a continuous problem everywhere in society around the world it seems. And we are so much more creative and constructive as societies and people when we live and let live. Take care. Theresa


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 9 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Kathleen - People are so inclined to anger and judgement and read and hear things the "way" they want to...it is very discouraging. Truth and facts are little discussed and compromise has become a dirty word. But occasionally someone is open to a rational discussion and once again I have hope. Thanks for reading. :)

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