.- Massachusetts Senate hopeful Martha Coakley has come under fire recently for her comments that Catholics who oppose emergency contraception shouldn't work in emergency rooms. Analyzing the remarks in an article this past Saturday, one political commentator said her âNo Catholics Need Applyâ mentality is a âgenuine threat to American freedom.â
Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of the National Review Online, criticized Coakley's statements in a column on Saturday and examined what she believes to be their far-reaching consequences.
Lopez's article focused on the history and involvement of Catholics in health care, citing the Sisters of Providence as an example. In 1858, Mother Joseph and her sisters traveled some 6,000 miles from Montreal with tools in hand and literally built St. Joseph Hospital, the first permanent hospital in the Northwest, said Lopez. She also stated that similar stories about America's first hospitals, orphanages and schools âabound.â
âIf Democrat Martha Coakley is elected to the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as the elected successor to Edward M. Kennedy, she might eventually encounter the statue of Mother Joseph that stands in National Statuary Hall,â Lopez said.
âBut Mother Joseph doesnât belong in the U.S. Capitol, if you follow Martha Coakleyâs thinking,â she continued. âNot if Mother Joseph wanted to run her hospital in accord with what her faith taught (and still teaches), what her life gave witness to, and what her habit represented.â
Speaking on the widespread implications of Coakley's on-air statement, Lopez argued that âMartha Coakley is effectively saying that faithful Catholics canât work in emergency rooms, whether in public or Catholic hospitalsâ and that âfaithful Catholics cannot be pharmacistsâ either.
Lopez also argued that Coakley âis saying what the U.S. Senate just said: that an American should not have the freedom to choose whether or not his tax dollars will fund abortions.â
âThey will be so used, consciences be damned,â the National Review editor wrote.
Lopez then raised the question of what religious liberty means in our society and what its place is in legislative debate. âIs religious freedom a concession by the State?â she asked. âOr is religious freedom really about the fact that government is limited in its scope and competence, and that some realms of life stand outside the circumscribed authority that a free people is willing to grant its government?â
âCoakley believes that religious liberty is not something endowed by our Creator,â reasoned Lopez, âbut something the law allows, something the state can change depending on who is in power, or whatâs polling well.â
Lopez warned that much hangs in the balance for Massachusetts voters on Tuesday. âThe issues theyâre grappling with now are national issues of conscience, ones in which the very concept of freedom is up for debate and, even, sale.â
Lopez concluded by saying that âMartha Coakleyâs 'No Catholics Need Apply' mindset represents a genuine threat to American freedom â and not just the religious kind.â To read the full column, visit: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=M2Y2YjQwMTAwZTYwNGVjMDVmNzcwOTA4Y2ExOGFhOTY=