Another last-minute twist courtesy of the current occupant:
The Bush administration today issued a sweeping new regulation that protects a broad range of health-care workers — from doctors to janitors — who refuse to participate in providing services that they believe violate their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
The controversial rule empowers federal health officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan, doctor’s office or other entity if it does not accommodate employees who exercise their “right of conscience.” It would apply to more than 584,000 health-care facilities.
The 127-page rule is the latest in a flurry of federal regulations that the administration is implementing before President Bush’s term ends, including a number that would weaken government protections for consumers and the environment. [WaPo]
This is ridiculous. Yet another weapon of the fundamentalists in their war to turn this country into a Taliban-esque theocracy. Seriously —if you are against dispensing birth control, why did you become a pharmacist? If you think abortions are wrong, don’t take a job as a physician in an abortion clinic. These people who complain that doing their job is against their religious beliefs are beyond the pale — they deliberately took a career where they could then turn around and refuse to do the work in order to advance their fundamentalist agenda.
Imagine for a moment that I was morally opposed to, say, religious fundamentalists. And I decided to take a job working for Focus on the Family. Would I then be allowed to sit back, not do any of their noxious work, and yet continue to get paid? Don’t think so. Can I join the Army voluntarily and then refuse to carry a gun or fight because as a Christian, I was taught that one of God’s fundamental laws is Thou Shalt Not Kill? Oh, wait — seems like those fundamental laws of God don’t count anymore.
Which brings me to another rant: ever notice how the ultra-fundamentalists out there dig around in the Bible for tenuous prohibitions against, for instance, gay people… but completely ignore the big 10? You know, the big 10 rules that they love to post up in courtrooms and on public property? Seems like those rules mean nothing at all. Especially the one about adultery, the one about killing…