This is a Nature of Government Question you are not going to get past in a blog entry or even a lifetime of them.
I've been reading excerpts from depression era literature essays and history lately. It's fascinating stuff. That generation is almost gone and in its place we no longer have a generation that believes that government can or should help, or that one of the roles of government is to make life less hellish economically or any other way for its citizens. The new role of Government, according to this old philosophy made new again, is to get the hell out of the way and let business do its thing.
Philosophically speaking things like the Civil War the Great Depression and the New Deal were supposed to have solved the question of States Rights and weak if not anemic government. The left has taken it as an Article of Faith that government has a role to play in protecting its citizens not just from foreign military threats, but also domestic economic threats. At least government was that for Depression Era Americans. This generation of Americans is hell bent on reliving the mistakes of other eras. After the land had been laid waste economically and physically, by the effects of the great depression Americans saw the role of Government much differently. It saw capitalism much differently, much more suspiciously.
To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment would result in the demolition of society. Robbed of the protective covering of cultural institutions, human being would perish from the effect of social exposure; they would die as the victims of acute social dislocation through vice, perversion crime and starvation. Nature would be reduced to its elements, neighborhoods and landscapes defiled, rivers polluted, military safety jeopardized, the power to produce food and raw materials destroyed.
One wonders as that is read who he is talking about. Actually as a Mormon you wonder if you're reading some Book of Mormon commentary. But that was the real aftermath of the depression if not for Government. It was the real result of States Rights in large portions of the South. That is demonstrable. The result of Government deregulation of Banks is evident in The Great Recession. The reasons for our current predicament are pretty clear, not blame it on Bush, but 30 plus years of systematically dismantling Government. Taking the teeth out of regulations, defunding Government Agencies to the point that they can't accomplish their functions, putting incompetents in charge of those Agencies or worse, individuals who are philosophically opposed to the Agencies they run (Brownie in charge of FEMA, James Watt the
It is a big picture question. Given the greedy nature of almost all men, and we are carnal, sensual and devilish, can we be left to our own devices. If the answer is no, and it most certainly is (is a list necessary, or do I merely need to mention the Church's latest stance on Affinity Fraud to make the point that a number of us simply cannot be trusted not to prey on the others. And that's the illegal stuff, we make prey of one another in a legal way every day). Again if the answer is no, who do we go to regulate these things if not Government? The Church? Which church? I'm sure the imposition of Christian law, whatever that is, would be just as onerous to Mormons as the pretended fantasies of Sharia is to Christians. We have no choice but to try to get along which means allowing one another as much room as possible. All of this leads to the big question and the most interesting:
Can you be a health care conscientious objector? Of course.
Does the President's plan to exempt religious institutions allow for that? I believe it does. It probably doesn't if you object to the President. There is a big difference.
Addendum by PMM
The PPACA or Health Care Reform Act does have an exemption for religious objection (not political). Snopes.com has a good explanation of this discounting several rumors.
Also, I met James Watt when I first started working for Interior. I don't plan to tell that story until after I retire.