You might dismiss the debate about Shariah law in the US, but it’s not a minor point. We just aren’t experiencing the imposition of religious fundamentalism via legislative action; we’re experiencing it through lack of regulatory protection.
The problem, as illustrated above, is not the government establishing a particular code, but rather, refusing to protect the full range of citizens exercising our legal rights to personal choice when the professional arm of a faith-based organization moves to become the sole service provider in an area.
The Baptist chaplains are one example, but the real issue is the Roman Catholic medical-educational complex. While individual practitioners — many of whom are rebellious-spirited nuns — might not agree with the bishops’ pronouncements, they accede to such terms in order to receive funding, advertising, prestige. But sadly, whereas the medieval tradition of Roman Catholic nuns, with their hospitals and orphanages, was often highly universalist, today’s medical-educational complex has had to give that up to keep the big bucks.
This article talks about service to all women and men in harm’s way, but really, if your wife is in an emergency room with complications to a pregnancy you both wanted, if you and your same sex partner want your child to be treated equally in the nearest medical trauma center, you are just as much in harm’s way. You, like the men and women of our military, assume equal access, equal support, equal care.
It is time for our legislators to limit their support for faith-based organizations. Certainly the dominion-based religions do much good, and deserve enough funding to be available for those whose souls need what they offer. But at no time, through any mechanism, should they be allowed to become the sole or dominant provider, in terms of real-time access, for any part of the population.