The Contraception Issue Turned Upside-Down Cake

Three silhouettes depicting the outlines of a normal sized (left), overweight (middle), and obese person (right). Image by Victovoi via Wikipedia. Public domain.

Hypothetical situation:

I work for a Greek polytheist.

My boss believes in moderation in all things.

My boss refuses to cover any weight-related medical condition through my insurance because they believe it is a result of my immorality.

If I was moral according to my boss’ definition, then I would not be overweight.

My boss chooses to make a religious exemption on my insurance for any procedure or treatment that might be related to my weight.


Is this legal?

How is this different from the contraception fight?

Could Muslim employers deny treatment for any procedure or treatment that might be related to alcohol consumption?

Could Jewish employers choose to exempt an emergency room visit for food poisoning because you ate some bad ham?


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About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Crystal Kendrick

    Yep, this is the logical conclusion to an ill thought out argument.  Thanks, Star, for illustrating it so well.

  • Klynn0216

    theres a difference between the catholics and their refusal to pay for contraception, this question, and the jew/muslim comparison. the thing is, in order to work as an employee at the catholic hospitals, you must agree to follow their ethics. the polytheistic boss probably did not have the employee sign a contract to follow those beliefs. so, in this case, its probably a good idea to consult with a lawyer. as far as the jewish/muslim claim, that would also be just as sketchy unless a similar contract had been agreed to. typically these sorts of contracts only exist when working in a facility/organization owned by and/or governed by a religious organization (as in the catholic hospitals, the catholic diocese for that region purchased the property on behalf of the church, for the purpose of the churchs ministries, and is overseen by the diocese under the government of the catholic church and its beliefs.) the issue is not simply “you cant have something you want because im the boss and i say so,” its more about where you work, what the employment contract specifies, and if that job is within a religious organizations governance. in which case, the government, per the US constitution, needs to keep their statutes out of religion.

    • Star Foster

       So you are saying that janitors at Catholic hospitals are required to submit to their employers religious beliefs? I believe that is unconstitutional in every profession other than active ministy and/or requiring promoting the faith.

      • Anonymous

         But Catholic hospitals can enforce Catholic-based work rules. So, no abortions, no contraceptives, no living wills that say “refuse care” will be respected. It any of this bothers you, don’t go to a Catholic hospital.


        They have to hire with respect to EEOC laws. They have to treat people without regard for the patients’ beliefs. Etc.

        • Sarenth

          If you read Catholic philosophy and explorations of doctrine, it is not so black-and-white as “no Catholic institution will deny a DNR order”.  Also, technically speaking, the Church endorses the will of a person to die by lethal injection.  There is, however, a ton of caveat in front of that, such as “the lethal dose administered by hospital personnel must be to prevent suffering of the patient and not intended to kill the patient”.  

          It makes no difference to me; I am not Catholic, however, if I end up in your hospital I expect you to abide by my will as given in a living will, DNR, or what-have-you, whether you agree with it or not.

    • Bill Kilpatrick

      I can only work for you if I agree to surrender my right to plan my family as I see fit?  What happened to “my yoke is easy and my burden is light”?

      • Anonymous

        No, you can plan your family any way you see fit. You can use contraceptives and obtain abortions for you partner/wife. But the Catholic Church doesn’t want to pay for it.

        They are NOT saying they want to forbid it. (They may want to, but that isn’t the issue here.) They ARE saying they don’t want to pay for it.

        I realize that entitlement thinking is strong in America, but I didn’t realize that “If I have to pay for it, that means you are forbidding me from having it.” Under that thinking, every employer should buy every employee a firearm – otherwise they are FORBIDDING the free exercise of rights under the 2nd Amendment.

        If you are going to argue with the “enemy” it looks better if you respond to what their actual position is. Not any strawman blowing in the wind.

    • Gus diZerega

       In a free society employers should not have a right to say anything at all about an employee’s actions so long as it is not directly related to the job. 

      Some priests’ sexual habits with children are related to the job they allegedly perform, and the church has long since demonstrated no interest in bringing their child abuse under control. 

      So not only is this argument, when given by a Catholic, inappropriate in a free society, I am afraid it is also either blind or hypocritical.

      • Anonymous

         They mirror argument to this is also going around….

        “My employer should pay for my health-club membership because my being healthy saves money on medical bills.”

        “My employer should pay for my ….  because …. I think it is the right thing to do.”

        In a “free society” employers wouldn’t be forced to pay for your anything. Including your health care. If the government wants to completely control health care – and they do. they want to control what you drive, what you eat, whether you smoke, in short everything. But if they want to control health care they should offer it.

        Or if they gave people tax credits (NOT deductions) for insurance, we could all buy the insurance we wanted. Without negotiating with our employers.

  • Bill Kilpatrick

    Jewish employers should be able to exempt coverage of anybody who mixes meat and dairy.

  • Symi

    wow – this is crazy that the question even has to come up. nobody has the right to decide someone else’s morals, or through their prejudice deny medical care to another person.  you are sovereign, and your beliefs are your own.  i’m also over weight, which is resultant of probably  my life style, but also due to a genetic disorder that we only found when i was 40 already.  so.  that would just confuse the issue further, seeing as all the way up to the age of 40 i was just fat because i was fat.  now i have a medical reason for it; does that change my moral standing with this person then?

    absolute hogwash!!!

    tell him you don’t believe in his way of doing things, that your belief structure and physical appearance is not trying to be like his, when day when you grow up.  you are a complete and self-actualizing human being, and he is insulting you.  refuse to enter into the conversation any further, and claim your rights.

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