The Bush administration has broken new ground in its “faith-based” initiative, this time by offering federal employees a Catholic health plan that specifically excludes payment for contraceptives, abortion, sterilization and artificial insemination.
–from Federal Employee Health Plans Include One With Catholic Tenets
Special to the New York Times
September 25, 2004 (Yom Kippur)
WASHINGTON–After Jewish groups raised a flood of protest against the “Catholic” health care plan offered to federal employees, the Director of Faith Based Initiatives announced: “Shucks, we didn’t intend to offend our friends, the Jews. After all, if it weren’t for a Jew we wouldn’t be Christians now, would we? To show there’s no hard feelings, we’re announcing today a “Jewish option” for our Jewish friends in federal government.”
In the Jewish plan, participants will find a $279.99 Mohel’s Special, providing an all expenses paid circumcision for first male babies (including that ever important post-Bris reception). The Faith-Based Initiative director continued: “This new plan accomplishes two objectives: first, it affirms our pro-life positions by rewarding those Jews who choose to procreate; and second, it gets these damn kikes off our backs so we can go on doing what we’ve always been doing to do shape federal policy for the benefit of our Christian brethren.”
Seriously, I don’t understand (and someone who’s a lawyer might straighten me out about this) why there is nary a mention in the NY Times article about a legal challenge to these new rules on Constitutional grounds. Since when does the Constitution permit tailoring federal policy to the needs of Catholic employees? And if we’re creating plans for Catholics, why not for Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Southern Baptists, etc.?? This thing smells to high heaven.
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