Friday, May 2, 2014

Force Means Denying Someone the Right to Refuse.

Correspondents often stray off-topic, and that was the case regarding to comment below. Under The Right to Choose Death, which has to do with assisted suicide, bayshore lady wrote:
I never said that.What I said is that so-called faith based employers should not be able to refuse it to their employees,thuis [sic] forcing their faith on them.

Even though off-topic, I thought this was an excellent concrete opportunity to clarify the relation of force with individual rights.

Bayshore, you are conceptually confused.

The right to refuse is precisely what liberty is all about. Under proper laws, the employer is simply choosing not to provide the contraceptive coverage. This is not  "forcing their faith on them," since he is acting only within the confines of his own business. His employees or prospective employees have no right to that which he does not willingly offer to provide. They are simply free to accept the terms, attempt to negotiate terms more to their liking, or seek employment elsewhere.

If the faith-based employer were to seek a law legally forbidding any employer from including contraceptive coverage, THAT would be forcing his faith on others. But the opposite is, in fact, the case. Since the contraceptive mandate legally forces all employers to cover contraception, it is the faith-based employer who is being forced to accept ideas he disagrees with. THEIR right to say no is infringed. Absent any law one way or the other, there is no force. The employer is free to refuse to offer the coverage, and the job-seeker is free to refuse the job.

Related Reading:

Gay Marriage: The Right to Voluntary Contract, Not to Coercive “Contract”

How the Catholic Church Paved the Way for the Birth Control Mandate

Private Sector Anti-Discrimination Laws are Rights-Violating and Destructive

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