Remember Quemoy & Matsu?
I didn’t think so. In 1960, when I was in elementary school, candidates Kennedy and Nixon argued over the importance and defense of two little islands located over 100 miles from Taiwan and close to Mainland China. The islands were claimed by both. The debate centered around whether the US should intervene if China attacked these islands.
The reason you probably don’t remember Quemoy and Matsu is because although they were a major campaign issue in 1960, they were not then and are not an issue of any importance to the real world.
Things have not changed. Today as we approach presidential elections, the economy is terrible. Housing foreclosures – both legal and Robocop signed illegal – continue. Jobs may have marginally improved, but there are still too many people out of work. Iran may already have a nuclear weapon that they’ve tested in North Korea. Israel is preparing to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran. Gas prices continue to climb.
And what is the big issue in the presidential campaign?
I know this can be an emotional issue. I agree that no person should be required to act against their moral beliefs, even if that person is acting on behalf of an organization. Christianity recognizes and honors a number of individuals who were martyred when they refused to compromise their beliefs. Is this issue on par with what the martyrs faced? To some people, yes. To others, not so much.
Perhaps the question really is much less philosophical. Maybe what we need to resolve is, “Can the federal government require people to expend money by means other than taxes?” – this is an interesting and potentially important question. However, this hardly seems worthy of being declared the key issue of the presidential election.
On the other hand, there are religious operated businesses such as hospitals, charities and schools, including universities. These were once operated as ministries of their respective religious organizations – often as works of mercy. Today, however, most of these are operated in a manner identical to their competitors who may be owned by government bodies, corporations, etc. The religious hospital bill collectors and lawyers are every bit as aggressive as those working for non-religious organizations. Does the religious hospital’s patient billing office reflect on the moral value of charging $20 for something as common as an aspirin or a band aid?
I can’t answer these questions, but I can answer the important one, below.
“Will history books in 100 years speak to the presidential election of 2012 as the one in which birth control played a decisive role?”
Unless the history book happens to have been published on either the island of Quemoy or Matsu.