I appreciate the justice of both sides of the recent argument about whether religiously affiliated institutions which employ and serve everyone should be required to offer contraceptives as part of their insurance coverage.
The issue is not about the freedom of religion. By way of comparison, if churches were required to provide something contrary to their doctrine to their ministers, who were required to adhere to the doctrine, that would violate the freedom of religion.
But practically every large denomination sponsors ministries that serve the public - the Catholic Church most of all. And nearly all of those ministries do not have a religious test for employment for every job. Therefore, as far as employee insurance goes, they are in the same boat as secular employers.
Nonetheless, I think the First Amendment requires the state to bend over backwards to try to accommodate the sensibilities of religious institutions, as well as what they can claim in strict justice.
So the decision by the Obama administration to not require church-related public ministries to pay for contraception directly, but instead to require their insurance carriers to do it, seems to me a just compromise.