Even in his victory speech Tuesday night, Mr. Romney hinted darkly at the tone of the campaign to come. He accused President Obama of ordering “religious organizations to violate their conscience” and vowed to defend religious liberty.
It was a reference to the Obama administration’s requirement that large religious institutions, like hospitals and universities, provide insurance coverage for birth control. He was promising to defend the Roman Catholic Church’s “religious liberty” to deprive its tens of thousands of employees and university students of their own liberty.
Emphasis added. “Those scare quotes around religious liberty,” quipped Taranto, “constitute the most shocking act of punctuation since the early days of what Reuters deemed “the ‘war on terror'”:
The New York Times editorial board–and, to judge by his actions, the current president of the United States–has as little respect for religious liberty as this column has for Keynesian “stimulus.”
That’s what struck him. What struck me was that the Times assumed that a private entity was depriving an individual of liberty by not giving him the benefits he demanded. So by that notion, a company is depriving its client of liberty if it can’t provide him the product he wants.
Do the editors of the old gray lady even understand that even if Catholic institutions don’t provide their employees with insurance coverage for birth control, said employees still remain free to procure contraceptives on their own?