www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-religious-freedom-20120621,0,6274247.story

baltimoresun.com

Bishops' call for 'freedom of religion' is misguided

8:15 AM EDT, June 21, 2012

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Sunday at mass the pastor of our church explained that the bishop of Baltimore was calling for a prayer vigil for "freedom of religion." The Catholic bishops claim they are making a stand against the Obama administration's policy requiring large institutions to provide health insurance that includes contraception for women.

Contraception is a significant health issue for women in this country and around the world — a world whose population has just exceeded 7 billion and is set to hit 9 billion in less than a decade.

This is a stressful world that needs families to stay together in order to provide for the emotional and financial needs of the children they already have or hope to have in the future. Meanwhile, the bishops know nothing about the true nature of sexual expression as one of joy, bonding and forgiveness between loving couples.

The bishops are calling this a defense of "religious freedom," but it is more like the bishops' freedom to hold the faithful in their power. The administration's order does not demand that women take birth control, only that it be available to them through their health insurance companies. Women of faith should have the freedom to reflect and pray and make their own spiritual choices.

Barbara Risacher, Joppa