What a wonderful victory today for the pro-life cultural movement. With the news constantly inundated with depressing stories of losses, and the sense that stemming the tide of extreme dehumanization rampant in our culture will never be possible, the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby is a welcome breath of fresh air.
As a Catholic healthcare provider, I am reminded daily of the culture war raging between pro-life values and values that go against the good of the human person. I have to make daily decisions to practice in accordance with the Catholic faith and what it teaches about the human person. Every Catholic healthcare professional out there, in every kind of profession, has to think about how to treat the human person as a way of professional life.
The Hobby Lobby victory is a tremendous victory, but we can’t stop there. A much broader and deeper war is going on. It’s one thing to not have to pay for other people to receive “health” care (not really healthy) that goes against the truth about the human person, but what about the Catholic providers that are daily forced with decisions that could go against their conscience? Even if their decisions aren’t forced, these decisions might ostracize them from their professional community.
Admittedly the difficulty becomes much less by advertising as a Catholic provider. I do have to defend my faith and therapeutic decisions I make on a weekly basis – by email or in casual conversation. In my practice though, I don’t face the same kind of life or death decisions with my patients that many other doctors do have to face. People know they are getting a Catholic psychologist when they come to see me, and if they don’t share at least some of those values, they usually don’t come to see me in the first place. Not every type of doctor in every part of the country however, can afford to practice in the same kind of niche.
Catholic providers need to be recognized for practicing according to values consistent with the faith. They should have enough business to sustain them in their practice if they DID want to advertise their values. They should not have to be afraid of losing business based on how they market themselves. Just as businessmen deserve to make the choice to refuse support for practices against their faith, Catholic patients deserve the right to find providers that are consistent with their faith, and Catholic providers deserve to be able to offer healing to the human person without fear of repercussion for what they believe about the human person. This is one reason I created WellCatholic (www.wellcatholic.com). WellCatholic is an online directory for faithful Catholic providers. It is just one small way to help stem this tide. We need to start recognizing our Catholic providers who make daily sacrifices and decisions in their own particular field to confront the dehumanizing culture we live in. We need to start showing even more support for our Catholic providers.