Incense of the altar

Today the discussion of almost any issue is distorted by the great lie of Relativism. Relativists claim that there is no truth, just opinions. This is logically impossible, since by definition truth is a statement which correspond to reality. To say there is no truth is to say there is no reality. Not only that, the statement "there is no truth" cannot be true if there is no truth. Of course, the Relativists don't really believe that all opinions are equal. They think they are right and those who disagree with them are wrong, and not only wrong, but mean-spirited, bigoted, hateful, discriminating, unscientific and stupid.

Relativists claim to be promoting tolerance, but they are not themselves the least bit tolerant. They use their positions in academia, in professional organizations, and in government to force their opinions on others and silence their opposition. They invent rights and then use these invented rights to impose tyranny of relativism. They try and sometimes succeed in passing laws which will make disagreeing with them illegal.

The modern Relativists remind me of the ancient Romans. Most of them didn't really believe that the emperor was actually a god and they didn't really care what the Christians actually believed, all they wanted was for the Christians to make a sign of submission to the ideology of emperor worship -- to throw a little incense on the altar. A simple act, no big deal. After all what did it matter if there is no truth?

But those early Christians understood exactly what was at stake. It was a huge thing -- a betrayal of everything they believed in. They refused. They were tortured and martyred and we remember their names to this day.

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued new regulations governing what must be included in mandatory health insurance coverage purchased by employers. HHS claims for itself the right to define what constitutes a religious organization. According to HHS's supposed accommodation, religious organizations -- as defined by HHS -- don't have include abortifacient drugs (the morning after pill), sterilization and contraception in their mandatory health care coverage, because -- and here is that handful on incense on the altar of the omnipotent state -- the insurance companies will provide the coverage at no cost.

Of course, these things cost money, but HHS argues that these services are ''preventive care,'' not that they will prevent disease, rather they prevent the birth of babies, including babies already conceived. Since having babies costs more than killing them, HHS argues the insurance companies should be happy to provide this coverage without passing the cost on to their clients.

HHS can't see why we should object. They really think that an accounting gimmick is enough to sooth our consciences. All they want is a small act of submission.

But what about the many religious institutions that are self-insured? Their employees who want this free coverage will, according to HHS spokesperson Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, be able to arrange it through outside insurance companies, at no cost to themselves and without financial or even administrative support of the faith-based institution. In other words, a woman will be able to go to an insurance company she has no policy with and pays no premium to and get free coverage. These companies will not receive the financial saving that supposedly will occur when the babies are "prevented" from being born, which means their clients will have to pay for it. And what about the private businesses who owners object? There is no relief for them.

We must resist this by every means possible. Can a religious institution breathe a sigh of relief because they aren't going to be shut down by draconian fines, while knowing that the cost of killing babies is simply being passed on to someone else? If pro-life persons, organizations and businesses are forced by law to provide health insurance or face massive, punitive fines, they must have the right to purchase that health insurance from companies that do not cover abortifacients, contraception, and sterilization, period. No exceptions.

Dale O'Leary is a freelance writer and author of "The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality" and "One Man, One Woman."