Conscience for Me, But Not for Thee

| Mon Feb. 13, 2012 2:29 PM EST

The world has long needed a Shorter John Holbo, and today Matt Yglesias provides it:

Start with the assumption that ObamaCare is repealed, in its entirety, tomorrow. The day after tomorrow Abdul Hussain, owner and CEO of a large private firm with 5,000 employees, announces that his firm will no longer offer employees health insurance that permits women to visit male doctors or male employees to be treated by female doctors. This is a newsworthy event, and the day after the day after tomorrow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder both offer the opinion that this is a form of illegal discrimination and that if it's not already illegal it should be made illegal. Will Mitch McConnell and other congressional Republicans stand up for Hussain's "freedom of conscience" in this case? Will my conservative Twitter followers?

I'm going to guess no.

Yeah, that's my guess too. Likewise, if a hospital owned by a Muslim charity insisted that its patients all sign arbitration agreements that were governed by Sharia law, I think the conservative view of freedom of religion would take a sudden turn for the worse.

But I'm cynical that way. Perhaps some outspoken conservative will prove me wrong.

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