The Left's tortured logic on the First Amendment and those birth control and abortion mandates
Benjamin Wicker expounds on the tortured logic by which "progressives" try to make the right to have abortificants paid for by insurance provided by one's employer a matter of an employee's freedom of religion, while weaseling out of the more logical conclusion that forcing an employer whose religious beliefs include the conviction that abortion is the wrongful taking of a human life to pay for what, according to those beliefs, is nothing more or less than murder.
I, for one, know of no religion which includes the commandment, "Thou shalt have abortion and birth control, and it has to be paid for by one's employer." Only if that stipulation as to the payer were included as a part of an employee's religious conviction would the is the Left's "freedom of religion" argument even be logically coherent. On the other hand, "You shall not murder" (the literal translation of the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Fifth Commandment, and the Jewish and Reformed Sixth) is an oldie but goodie, acknowledged in principle at least in principle by most religions.
On the other hand, forcing a person who believes abortion (or birth control, for that matter) to be morally wrong to pay for them is so patent a violation of that person's freedom of religion that it's hard to see how even the most sheeplike "progressive" could honestly fail to see that while the argument doesn't even come close to working for the employee (who could always pay for the services in question some other way, or for that matter get a new employer), mandating employer-provided abortion and birth control services even for those whose religion regards them as serious moral wrongs is pretty much the textbook definition both of "establishing religion-" the employee's secularism- and "prohibiting the free exercise" of the employer's faith.
And yes, secularism is a religion within the meaning of the First Amendment. So is any systematic world view, whether or not it includes belief in a deity or an afterlife. The First Amendment's purpose was to establish an equal footing for all belief systems concerning ultimate questions and their impact on our communal lives, not to create a special class for those whose world views happen to include certain specified subject matter.
There's a scientific discipline called "fuzzy logic." I'd think a liberal must have invented it, were it not for the fact that- "fuzzy" or not- it is, after all, a form of logic.
Ethicist Robert George of Georgetown University discusses the issue here.