Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Emergency Contraception

Binky aggregates a number of discussions to provide an absolutely stellar overview of various moral inconsistencies, terminological difficulties, and potential legal problems arising from permitting pharmacists to resist, on moral grounds, dispensing the legally prescribable "morning after" pill. I'm still mulling, so I've nothing in particular to say, but if you're interested in the topic this is a must-read.


Anonymous MarkPele said...

I guess the sum total is: let's start marking off professions that committed Christians cannot have...

HR (diversity req'ts)
teacher (esp. science)
doctor (before too long)
government servant
chaplain (of any sort, apparently)

and by the way, most of the issues have happened recently, so you can't "not enter" a profession you entered 40 years ago.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Forgive my effrontery, if that it be, but as Binky and others ably point out, in most professions there are ways to avoid putting oneself into moral pickles. Not every pharmacist works at a pharmacy counter, not every HR professional works in a field that is subject to "diversity req'rs," not every teacher works in a public shool, not every doctor performs abortions . . . and frankly, I have no idea what you're talking about with regard to chaplains.

Moreover, even if you're right, even if all of these professions are entirely unsuitable for Christians due to conflicts between the law and their religious commitments, I don't remember the New Testament ever saying anything about faith being easy, or observance requiring anything other than abject sacrifice.

I don't see Nevada Christians bitching about ho their religion precludes them from engaging in the oldest profession. Every choice precludes others. That's in the very nature of things. And faith is a choice.

In the meantime, I see an awful lot of Christians who would describe themselves as "committed" whose idea of charity is dropping a weekly twenty in the offering plate, and who utterly ignore scriptural admonitions concerning the accumulation of wealth. I see them, in a true spirit of idolatry, guarding jealously every penny and declining even to give the secularly suggsted of 10% to those in less advantageous circumstances than they enjoy. I see an awful lot of "committed" Christians arguing for further restrictions on our already woeful (as a percentage of GDP) foreign aid allocations, and conditioning their charity, when they give it, on so many non-scriptural criteria as to make a joke of the enterprise.

Perhaps you'll pardon my skepticism about the supposed plight of the Christians.

10:22 PM  
Blogger brian said...


As far as working in HR, as long as it isn't the HR department of a church, you better damn well follow anti-discrimation laws. If you're willing to fire someone because they're gay, you better start lining up all the other folks who are sinners too (including yourself). Of course, what about a church? Do the anti-discrimation laws apply there, too? I'd argue (probably weakly) that, no, the State should not force a church to hire an openly gay minister if that practice goes against the teaching of the church. I'd think you might be able argue that from an employment-requirements position -- you can't sue Target if they won't hire you to be a pharmacist if you don't meet the requirements of the position.

But like I said, I haven't thought through the argument very well....

and by the way, most of the issues have happened recently, so you can't "not enter" a profession you entered 40 years ago.

I think that has as much to do with the politicization of everything. And that goes for the Right and the Left. Everything is a political crusade these days. Contraception has been around for a long time (and Christians have been using it for a long time), but suddenly Christian pharmacists are in the midst of a cultural war over it. Of course, we could endlessly debate the theological necessity of a cultural war, but it would be just that -- a theological discussion with a different answer for each system of belief.

9:46 AM  

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