The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Catholic bishops are doubling down in their opposition to the Obama administration mandate that church-sponsored institutions provide employees health plans that include contraception. The issue is not women's reproductive rights -- the Catholic Church recognizes each citizen's prerogative to make informed choices -- but rather the right of faith-based institutions to continue in their historically established roles serving American society. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. The First Amendment prohibition of laws "impeding the free exercise of religion" was written in an age of very limited government. Prior to the New Deal, Washington left the aid to the homeless and poor, health care and other social services largely to the states and private sector. With little or no public funding, churches and other private charities established schools and universities, social service agencies, and hospitals to help educate the young and aid the sick and poor.