There’s been an interesting exchange among libertarians in response to the Catholic Church’s kick-off of a campaign against application of the HHS mandate on contraception and “morning after” pills to certain religious institutions without an adequate conscience exception.
Jay Carney, writing in the Washington Examiner, began the conversation by suggesting that social conservatives recognize big government as an enemy of religion and calling on libertarians to reassess their political alliances. Walter Olson of Cato responds, observing that libertarians have been out front in opposing state impositions on religion, but pointing out that there are limitations to co-operation between libertarians and social conservatives to the extent that the latter support state intervention as an instrument of the culture war. Walter’s Cato colleague, David Boaz, argues that social conservatives have often called for impositions on liberty to advance a particular moral view, citing a number of historic examples.
Two things. First, it is always heartening to see libertarians understand that freedom requires resistance to impositions on voluntary associations as well as restrictions of individuals.