What war on religion?

Surely the Republican presidential candidates have bigger fish to fry

Let’s see whether we’ve got this straight: President Obama authorizes a rule that church-owned businesses such as universities and hospitals, but not churches themselves, include contraception in the health insurance they provide their employees. It’s a rule that 28 states already have, with nary a peep of protest until now.

Catholic bishops get all upset, saying being forced to provide contraception is an assault on the church, so Obama compromises, requiring insurance companies to provide the coverage. The insurance companies are fine with that, since contraception is less expensive than birthing babies. Catholic woman are OK with it too, since 98 percent of them who are sexually active and of child-bearing age use contraception.

But that isn’t good enough for the bishops. They loudly protest this assault on their “religious freedom,” and the Republican presidential candidates pile on, charging the president with “making war on religion” and attacking “religious liberty.”

Whose religious liberty? The bishops’? Because nobody else is upset about this. In fact, most people think contraception is an everyday fact of life and don’t understand why such a fuss is being made. If anything, the bishops are trying to impose their religion on the non-Catholics who work for Catholic businesses.

Is this the best the Republicans can come up with? Don’t they have bigger fish to fry—like the economy, the war in Afghanistan and the looming war with Iran?