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Friday, September 21, 2012

"Keep America Weird": One way to think about the HHS mandate . . .

William Mattox writes, in USA Today, that for reasons similar to those that (rightly) make Austin residents eager to "Keep Austin Weird", we should oppose policies like the HHS mandate that have the effect, even if not the aim, of standardizing and homogenizing the sometimes-"weird" institutions and associations of civil society:

    I worry that Obama's health care plan is doing to Catholics what those cookie-cutter national chains were threatening to do to Austin's bohemians: Rob them of their distinctive identity. Of their unique character. Of their freedom to be authentic.

    Yes, I know Obama's contraception mandate provides an exception for Catholic churches. But it offers no such relief to those running Catholic schools, hospitals and charities who want to live out their faith (and follow their church's teachings) on more than just Sundays. In essence, the Obama administration's message to these Catholics, despite a cosmetic compromise, is akin to telling Austin's bohemians that they can dress like hipsters on the weekends so long as they behave like corporate shills Monday through Friday. . . .

Well, my thirteen-year-old daughter certainly thinks I'm weird . . .  I guess there are worse things!

Posted by Rick Garnett on September 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM in Religion, Rick Garnett | Permalink

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Comments

As both an Austinite and a Catholic, I rather enjoy the comparison!

Posted by: Leland Unruh | Sep 21, 2012 10:15:17 AM

Austin is weird to the extent that it is a socialist enclave in the midst of a sea of sensible Texans.

Posted by: Jimbino | Sep 23, 2012 12:20:57 AM

Or, Austinites (and members other liberal TX enclaves) could be viewed as weird because we have actively fought against a one-party state that doesn't care about the poor and because we have the nerve to suggest that poor women should be able to plan their pregnancies like everyone else. If Catholics want to be authentic, they might acknowledge the groups of Catholics that have fought for health care reform.

I have a hard time finding this state of affairs "sensible": http://www.texasmonthly.com/preview/2012-08-01/feature2.

Posted by: aprof | Sep 24, 2012 9:44:38 PM

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