A. Barton Hinkle on the Politics of the Catholic Church


Today's pop quiz: A religious organization that seeks to influence public policy is (a) bravely "speaking truth to power" or (b) "trying to impose its values on the rest of us."

For many people writes A. Barton Hinkle, the answer to that question is: It depends. If the religious organization is, say, the Roman Catholic Church, the policy in question forces Catholic institutions to pay for employees' birth control, and the church is opposed, then conservatives (generally speaking) will praise the church for its principled stand in defense of religious freedom, while liberals (generally speaking) will denounce it for theocratic oinkery.