“I have never seen such a determination to divide”

Another Catholic responds to Obama’s HHS mandate, and vigorously:

VictoryTo whom it may concern, 

This response to our petition to remove the HHS mandate is an insult. Pardon my language and frankness, but you must really think that people like me are idiots. As disappointing as this may seem to you, I can actually read and understand the true intent of this letter…just as I understand the intent of this mandate. You can’t hide your true intent behind the niceties of this letter. Your intentions are clear and they still threaten quite a few freedoms. 

This response proves to me that you are ignoring our concerns and simply going ahead with a plan that violates the consciences of many employers who will now have to choose between adhering to an unfair law and forgetting about religious freedom…or refusing to violate their conscience and face the legal repercussions. For an administration that sold messages of “hope” and unification in the last election, I have never seen such a determination to divide a nation for the sake of self-interests. I know exactly what sort of organizations support this mandate and who they supported during election time. You can’t hide this between pleasant words and your futile attempts at relating to our cause and concerns are appalling. 

Your response to our petition is shameful. You should be ashamed of your condescending tone, your attempts to patronize the people behind the petition, the biased sources you used to justify your argument…and your inability to cooperate with those whose conscience you refuse to understand. I am ashamed that this country’s history will be forever blemished by this unreasonable administration and forever tarnished by the lack of willingness on this administration’s part to truly cooperate with people who simply cannot and should not comply with a law that violates consciences. America was not created for the rights of its citizens to be trampled upon by a government that refuses to genuinely address our concerns. It was created in defiance, in response to an unreasonable king and empire that refused to address the concerns of its colonies….a king that chose, instead, to impose restrictions and unfair laws on his “colonists.”

Surely you must see how this mandate controversy parallels with the controversy that led to the formation of this nation. 

I was born into a country that prided itself in the freedoms held by its people. These freedoms made this nation great and they were a hope to the oppressed of nations ruled by tyrants. How dare you support a blatant violation to these freedoms? How dare you attempt to promote a known carcinogen as health care? How dare you quote Planned Parenthood in a matter of conscience and religious freedom…an organization that PROFITS from abortions, contraception, etc? 

How dare you mock us with such a rubbish compromise? Even if the burden falls on insurance companies to carry these “treatments,” it is still the money of the employer (Catholic or otherwise) that pays for this coverage. NOTHING CHANGED WITH THIS COMPROMISE. Did you really think we were stupid enough to believe this “compromise” was actually a true compromise? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED for attempting to pull the wool over our eyes. You should be ashamed for insulting our intelligence with your condescension. We are not fools. We are Americans who know our rights. We know what the word “freedom” truly means…even if the current administration is confused by this concept. 

America deserves better than this administration. America deserves better than this mandate. I will continue to protest against it. I will continue to make my voice heard.

Thank you,

Barbara Soares

I’m adding The Catholic Science Geek to the blogroll [at my place] as a regular read.

Shortlink:

Posted by on February 12, 2012.
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I blog more regularly at my own place where plain thoughts are delivered roughly. My about page gives you more on who I am.

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  • jim_m

    We elected a man who admires tyrants and coddles dictators.  We should not be surprised when he starts acting like one himself.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Fortunately that man left office in 2008. Whew…

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

         Really?  Just who was sworn in as President in 2008?

        As for admirers of tyrants and coddling of tyrants, that would be yet another similarity between James Earl “Dhimmy” Carter and Barrack Hussein Obama.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          No, once again you guys appear to be displaying that amazing and singular amnesia towards George W. Bush. There, I named him. You know, that guy who was handed a perfectly functioning country in peace and prosperity, squandered them both, and then left them for someone else to clean up.

          Keep dreaming re: this comparison between Carter and Obama, too. Seeing as how Obama has continually freed hostages and had our enemies killed. If facts and logic matter.

          • jim_m

             So Bush was coddling Kaddafi when he intimidated him into surrendering his nuke program? 

            Bush was coddling mullah omar when he drove him into the hills and installed a democratically elected government in Afghanistan?

            Bush was coddling Saddam Hussein when he wrested Iraq from him?

            You sir are a fool.  obama has sat mute while Ortega from Nicaragua excoriated our nation.  He supported the former President of Honduras when he was trying to turn that nation into a dictatorship.  He has played patsy to Ahmadinejad.  He has coddled Assad in Syria.  He is backing the dictatorial regime down in Argentina as they try to lay claim to islands that they have never in the history of the earth occupied.  obama loves dictators.  He wants to be one himself.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             So Bush was coddling Kaddafi when he intimidated him into surrendering his nuke program?

            Yes – because he forgave Kaddafi for all his terrorist acts. Which is not intimidation, unless you define intimidation as “appeasement”.

            Bush also completely ignored North Korea – which is how they went from zero nuclear weapons to at least 6 during the Bush administration.

            This, by the way, is in addition to Bush kissing the Saudi leader on the lips. As for Assad – I don’t see any difference between Obama and Bush’s support for him. Nor have I heard any other different policy suggestions.

            Bush in addition lent US support to these dictators:

            Mubarak, Musharraf, Obiang, Meles, pretty much all of the gulf
            state’s rulers, Uribe, Karimov, and more.

            Karimov, as only one example, is the fine upstanding leader of Uzbekhistan who is well known for boiling his enemies alive.

            Obama helped take Kaddafi out, without losing the life of a single US soldier. He also ended the war Bush started in Iraq. He also got Bin Laden. He’s also continued pursuing our enemies in Pakistan. He also withdrew support from the Mubarak regime, which contributed greatly to his being overthrown and thus starting the Arab Spring.

            I mean, I get that you hate Obama and you don’t like his policies. But I really don’t understand how you can consider that coddling. Let alone coddling “more” than Bush.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            So who was it that was sworn in as President of the United States in 2008 again?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            President “Cleaning up Bush’s messes and getting blamed for not doing it fast enough” Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Interesting. 

            On the planet where I reside Barack Hussein “SCoaMF” Obama was inaugurated on Tuesday the 20th of January, 2009. 

            You should visit us some time.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            These visits are enough, thanks. Little gotchas of “inaugurated in 2009″ vs. “elected in 2008″, notwithstanding.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             These visits do illustrate the shallowness of your knowledge and your inability to stop and think, or to admit error.  In both of those traits you bear a strong resemblence to the SCoaMF.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Still awaiting you responses to several posts, below.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Still waiting for you to answer my question above as to just who was sworn in as President in 2008 (per your claim above).

            Who was sworn in as President in 2008?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            As stated above, President “Cleaning up Bush’s messes and getting blamed for not doing it fast enough” Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Interesting. 

            On the planet where I reside Barack Hussein “SCoaMF” Obama was inaugurated on Tuesday the 20th of January, 2009. 

            You should visit us some time.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             These visits are enough, thanks. LIttle gotchas of “inaugurated in 2009″ vs. “elected in 2008″, notwithstanding.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            These visits do llustrate the shallowness of your knowledge and your inability to stop and think, or to admit error.  In both of those traits you bear a strong resemblence to the SCoaMF.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Speaking of inabilities, still waiting for you to respond to my posts below.

  • GarandFan

    Arrogance and condensation have been hallmarks of this administration.

    King Barry can’t wait for four more years.

    • jim_m

       You think he’ll stop at that?  Good luck!

  • Commander_Chico

    I sympathize with the church on the religious liberties thing, in the sense of Voltaire’s “I may not agree with what you say, but will defend your right to say it,” but, man is the Catholic Church marginalizing itself in this battle.  What percentage of practicing Catholics use birth control?  I’d bet north of 90%.  Rolling off of the pedophile scandals, with war, poverty, bank rip-offs, this is where they draw the line?

    The way the deal is structured now, it seems like no direct money is going to go from the church to pay for contraceptives.  Essentially, it’s a tax on the insurance companies to pay for it.  In that regard, how is the Church’s moral objection to contraception different from a Mennonite pacifist’s objection to taxes for war, or other people’s moral objection to taxes for the death penalty?

    • jim_m

       Of what relevance is the percentage of people in the Catholic Church that live up to their moral ideas?  The church is not only for those who achieve perfection in compliance with he moral code.  It is for everyone.  It’s also extremely arrogant to suggest that just because not all Catholics follow the church’s teaching regarding birth control, that they are happy to sit by while the church is forced to surrender a belief that has existed for many centuries.

      I think that most people (present company accepted apparently) are able to recognize that forcing the church to give way on a matter of belief because the federal government demands it do so, is a clear signal that the First Amendment is dead and all our constitutional protections with it.  It will be a matter of time before the left simply sweeps it aside and declares that the executive is the sole power in the land.

      • Commander_Chico

        First, the relevance is that it’s a sign of the Church’s decline and marginalization.  After they covered up for pedophile priests, some of the same bishops, celebate old guys are now putting a priority on shutting down contraception for their employees, even if the Church does not have to pay for it.

        Second, the belief has not “existed for many centuries.” It was issued as a fatwa by Pope Paul VI in 1968, after oral contraceptives were invented

        Third, I note that you avoided my question of whether an indirect tax on the insurance companies in any way implicates the Church, if the Church’s not paying, nor did you address the point that many people have to fund things they find morally objectionable and forbidden by their religions through their taxes.  How is this different?

        Fourth, I’ll add that while I understand the Church’s has a right to run its business in accordance with doctrine, I don’t support their right to regulate the off-duty private lives of all of their employees, just as I’m against employers banning smoking for their employees across the board.  It’s not just the Church that has rights – the non-Catholic nurses, for example, working in Catholic hospitals have rights, too.  The Church has only a right not to be forced to pay for contraception, not to prevent its employees from getting it if it’s paid for by someone else, like through the “tax” on the insurance companies.

        • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

          Uh, just what is preventing employees from paying for birth control with their own money?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6UJJOM4PP4XLSBG6N4LROVSQE Retired Military

            Nothing.  But the libs just refuse to see that for what it is.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6UJJOM4PP4XLSBG6N4LROVSQE Retired Military

            Nothing.  But the libs just refuse to see that for what it is.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            It just seems a sensible thing to make sure contraceptives are covered, since that has been proven by studies to pay for itself by avoiding unwanted pregnancies.

            And believe it or not, some people are actually poor in this country and have a hard time budgeting $50 or more for contraceptives per month, every month.

            And I would think that people who believe abortion is murder would be especially be interested in reducing the amount of unwanted pregnancies.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Your sense is not binding on anyone who lives outside your skin.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Oh, alright. But your sense is binding outside your skin, I take it?

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            Not my sense. Constitution says: “…no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion].

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Sure. But that’s an an entirely different statement than “Religions get to ignore any laws they want to.”

            And because of this, your (or someone else’s) religious sense is no more binding on me than my sense is binding on you. 

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             The Constitutional protection of the free exercise of religion is binding.  You are delinquent and 0bama foresworn.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            So you think Rastafarians should be able to ignore any law they want to, as well?

            Yes or no?

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Irrelevant to this discussion.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Responding to your lack of response below.

            You are refusing to deal with questions that are difficult for you. Why?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7YIUZMXOD5JGZZTCYMVA75KFU Shadow

          What percentage of elected officials follow The Constitution?  They marginalize themselves by stealing taxpayer money and funneling it through supporting endeavors.  Rolling off the lies, theft, and immorality with wars, poverty programs, and bank bailouts, is this (attack on religious freedom) where we draw the line?

        • DocEpador

          First, are both the established political parties and even our government marginalized by the continued sex, money and corruption scandals, and dwindling active supporters, just like the Catholic Church?

          Second, you are so wrong there is no point in even trying to respond to your ignorance of Catholic Dogma.  [Disclaimer:  I am a previous Presbytarian/Methodist/Friend who grew up a minority in Catholic, Jewish, or Seventh Day Adventist neighborhoods and learned their dogmas from childhood friends, their church schools and reading extensively, not Wiki or Fairy Tails].

          Third, this whole “tax” thing is smoke and mirrors.  The tax was created specifically to address the issue, and attempt to skirt the Pandora’s box they’ve opened.  It IS a different issue than the other examples you cite, which usually relate to general taxes that pay for many things including morally objectionable issues.

          Fourth, any employer pays at least a portion of the insurance bill for benefits awarded employees.  They select what plans they want to offer.  Unless the government says they can’t.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

          SO what about the long history of sexual abuse in public schools?  Just as many or more cases.

          • jim_m

             More.   They are now estimating sexual abuse in US public schools to be in the millions of victims nation wide.  That seems a stretch to me, but heck, if the academy wishes to indict itself they can go right ahead.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yeah, sexual abuse in public schools = hot female teacher seducing 15 year old boy

            Sexual abuse in church = creepy 40 year old priest anally raping 12 year old boy.

          • DocEpador

            Sexist!
            [and probably still wishing he had bonked his 11th Grade Math teacher]

          • Commander_Chico

            No, 9th grade English teacher.

          • jim_m

            You are really sick Chica.

            A 2009 study showed htat in California the number of students being sexually abused was over 400,000.  And we have seen from Penn State and Syracuse that public school teachers can be homosexual rapists too.

            Obviously you are willing to laugh off  little girls being raped by their teachers as long as there are some teenage boys who are getting to screw their teachers, an idea that you too clearly think is cool.

            You disgust me.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             It took you long enough to join me…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            The main difference is, public schools haven’t covered up the abuse from the top of the hierarchy down, and moved the teachers around, refused to open their records, attacked the victims, etc.

            FYI.

          • jim_m

            The main difference is, public schools haven’t covered up the abuse from the top of the hierarchy down,

            Penn State is a public school.  Fool.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Catholic institutions have only one ultimate leader, the Pope, doofus.

            Public schools don’t have one eventual executive leader who knew of all the abuses among all the public schools, and made sure they were all covered up.

            you can see the difference between those situations, can’t you?

            Please tell me that you can.

    • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

      If you think that insurance companies are going to provide contraception for free, then I have some ocean-front property in Arizona to sell you. Of course the cost is going to be passed on in the form of higher premiums.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

       I want a Range Rover.  Will you buy me one?  Why not?

    • LiberalNightmare

      >>”What percentage of practicing Catholics use birth control?  I’d bet north of 90%. ”

      I suggest that defending Obama’s birth control mandate by oh so subtly calling the opposition hypocrites isn’t going to help much.

      In fact, this issue isn’t really about birth control, at least for normal people anyway. (everything is about birth control for liberals. birth control or racism. or both).

      This is about freedom of religion. Obama cant tell the church to fund birth control. He cant put birth control in a bucket, then tell the church to pay for the bucket either.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
      prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
      speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
      assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      >> In that regard, how is the Church’s moral objection to contraception
      different from a Mennonite pacifist’s objection to taxes for war, or
      other people’s moral objection to taxes for the death penalty?

      Simple answer – no difference at all. In both cases, religious freedom is being violated.

      The only practical difference is that the catholic voting block in this country is big enough to absolutely screw Obama to the wall in the next election. And it only gets worse if the evangelicals and Mennonites also decide that Obama is going to make a habit of violating the 1st amendment.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        If the Federal government can tell pacifist religions their believers still have to pay for wars, then the Federal government can tell anti-contraception religious they still have to cover costs for their employees contraception.

        And that isn’t even what the government is doing here. As I understand it, the government is just saying that the Catholic church can’t **deny** its **employees** access to free contraception.

        Now, I can understand how that might upset someone who believes that contraception is against God’s will (but somehow anesthesia, antibiotics or Viagra aren’t.) But their feelings don’t overrule what’s not only good but also legal for the rest of the entire country. How could it?? Why should it??

        All religions must be treated the same re: their beliefs, period. That is one of many things that makes this a great and free country.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

           Here is where we get into institutions vice individuals.

          We grant the institutions (churches) tax exemption so that they are not funding that which they may find to be athema.

          Individuals are indeed so taxed, and the Christian churches (for the most part) do not object as they are commanded to “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, render unto God that which is God’s.”

          Now if you really want to break that tradition down into a matter of Individual Conscience, with each and every one of us having a line item veto on which portions of our taxes we will pay, I’m all for it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             The problem with that is, the church is an employer here – and an employer of people of other religions as well.

            If we grant churches exemptions for applying federal laws over the people they employ, then we quite simply have a mess.

            If you or they don’t like the law that guarantees contraception, then fight the law. But a Church can’t just try to get an exemption from a law because they don’t like it. That’s not a nation of laws – that’s a nation where church beliefs override laws.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Choose: Institutional exception or individual.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            ? How is that the choice?

            I choose neither. Federal law makes the call. Those who don’t like that call, try to change the law.

            You know, representative Democracy. That thing.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Constitutionally limited democratically elected representative Republic, actually.  Specifically designed to prevent a tyranny of the majority inherent in the system you champion,

            “…no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]…”

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Also, no law establishing the supremacy of one religion over others, OR over established law.

            As you well know. Or, among other things, polygamy would still be legal too.

            Sigh.

          • jim_m

            So does the church’s refusal to pay for contraception prevent anyone from paying for it themselves?  Of course not.  That alone invalidates the majority of your argument.

          • jim_m

            It’s not a right if someone else has to pay for it for you.  That’s called freeloading.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Where’s that definition in the Constitution? just curious.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            No, and it doesn’t prevent insurers from covering it for free – in accordance with the law. As you well know. so, my argument is still valid, sorry.

  • Brucehenry

    And, please, no “money is fungible” nonsense. The Church evidently has no problem paying premiums to, say, BCBS, for its “no-contraceptives-included” plan, even though BCBS also offers contraceptive care in other plans, and the all monies go to the same general fund.

    This issue, it seems to me, is a tempest in a teapot being flogged by the Right because they think it will hurt Obama. I think people see how transparent this is.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6UJJOM4PP4XLSBG6N4LROVSQE Retired Military

      You may think that Bruce but in the PRACTISING Catholic community it is a lot more.  And Obama got more than 50% of the Catholic vote last election.  I doubt it will be anywhere close to that in Nov.

      • Hugh_G

        Not in the Catholic community I belong to. It the right wingers who are also Catholics who are out of sorts. 

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

         Well, since well over a majority of Catholics use contraception I think the results won’t shift much due to this matter.

        • jim_m

          obama is polling 59% negative amongst Catholics right now.  Sounds like it matters to them regardless of whether they use contraception themselves.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            As i said, this is unlikely to shift that issue – especially since 57% of Catholics ***approve of*** the Obama administration’s position on this issue.

            http://themoderatevoice.com/138307/poll-catholics-support-obamas-contraceptive-policy-compromise/

            : )

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            You might want to check your statistics.  Last polling I saw had Catholics polling favorably in regards to contraception

            Catholics: Despite the church’s teachings, 84 percent of U.S. Catholics believe a person who uses artificial birth control can still be a good Catholic, according to a CBS News poll. And 89 percent of Catholic women favor expanding access to birth control for those who can’t afford it, the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute found. 

    • LiberalNightmare

       Yeah, that whole freedom of religion thing is so tiresome.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        Yeah! Who wants to be free from what the Catholic church wants, anyway? Just a bunch of commies. It’s a shame so many of our founding fathers were commies a century before Marx.

  • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

    If I recall correctly, the U.S. Constitution does not permit the Executive branch to levy any tax on its own.  The U.S. House of Representatives has to initiate a tax bill. So, the President cannot simply mandate that a particular industry pay a particular tax.

    • jim_m

       watch him.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6UJJOM4PP4XLSBG6N4LROVSQE Retired Military

      Since when has Obama paid attention to the constitution.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    This is NOT a “Catholic” or even a religious issue.  It’s a liberty issue. 

    Government health care isn’t so much about health care as it is about government.  This needs to be stopped, and now.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

       Exactly.

      An Administration that will violate it’s oath by abridging one Constitutional Right is unlikely to respect any other.

  • Par4Course

    If they can just iron out this one small wrinkle, ObamaCare will be perfect.  

    “A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have….”  President Ford (often attributed to Thomas Jefferson).

    • Ken in Camarillo

       Great quote. However, I think I first heard it during the Goldwater campaign, perhaps from Goldwater himself.

  • ackwired

    Rick is obviously quite emotionally involved in this.  Can anyone tell me why contraception is viewed as such an evil?

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

       Can anyone tell me why a [P]resident who would violate his oath of office by subverting the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment can be trusted to uphold any other section of the Constitution which he finds inconvenient?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        Sure! I’ll give you the closest thing to a possible answer: that isn’t actually what happened here, because that’s a complete misunderstanding of the freedom of religion clause.

        See, the clause doesn’t mean that anyone with a particular religious belief gets to do whatever they want, when what they want is contrary to passed laws.

        Otherwise Rastafarians could just walk around smoking pot on airplanes. See what I mean?

        That was fun. Next question?

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          You misunderstand the design purpose of the Constitution.  It exists to STRICTLY LIMIT the powers of Government and to protect the rights of the Individual citizens.  One of the things forbidden to Government is the power to dictate to religious organizations.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            That’s a very interesting and unique interpretation, Rodney. It’s also completely and entirely wrong of course. But you’re welcome to it.

            If the long list of arguments I’ve already gone into, which show that not only the Catholic church, but all churches, have to follow US law above their own beliefs – if that doesn’t convince you that this not only nothing new but also the only way our society will work, then I give up.

            Continue believing that holding the Catholic Church to obey US law to the same degree as all other churches in America – and, in fact, **acommodating** the Cathlic church by making the insurance company give contraception for free to **private employees** of the Catholic church – is somehow magically unconstitutional because it “tells churches to do something”.

            Continue conflating “having to allow other people to get something I don’t like” as “tyranny”.

            Just have fun in your bubble world. Why not? It’s a short life. Just don’t have the illusion that this is any sort of rational, logical, or constitutional-based worldview that you’re in.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            “…no law…prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]…”

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             As you’ve avoided answering elsewhere – do you think that Rastafarians should be able to exercise their religion freely by smoking pot on airplanes?

            Since the obvious answer is no, the obvious conclusion would be that sometimes people don’t get to avoid any laws they want because of their religion.

            is there some reason you’d like to state that people SHOULD be able to avoid any law they want to?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IZ5BM5GNLA54OADSWGSXAMA7SY Jay

            What’s interesting is how the GOP has responded by proposing legislation that have made this even MORE of a women’s rights issue.  

            Chuck Grassley, Rick Santorum, and Sheldon Adelson are not doing your argument many favors.

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      I don’t see that it’s an evil thing – but I also don’t see it as anything that the government should supply for free, or force people who don’t want it to pay for it.

      Realistically, the cost of birth control is a small one – people are likely to pay more per month for their cable or cell phone bills.

      Government can’t pay for everything.  We’re seeing that – and whether you believe such a thing is the responsibility of the government to fund, we’re at $15 tril, soon to be $16 tril in debt. 

      You blow your household budget, what do YOU cut back?  The essentials, like rent, inexpensive  food, power?  Or do you chop the luxuries like the 47 premium channels nobody ever watches, leave the lobster at the store in favor of bulk chicken parts, and turn up the thermostat to 80 when it’s 95, just to provide some dehumidification?

      Pretty soon we’re going to HAVE to cut back spending massively, or go the way of Greece.

      • ackwired

        Thanks for your response.  I understand the economics of it, and I agree that it is not an essential service for government to provide.  But as I understand it, that has nothing to do with the Bishops extreme response.  They seem to feel that it is a great moral issue.

        • SCSIwuzzy

          The Catholic Church does not believe in artificial contraception, and is morally opposed to abortion.To them it is a great moral issue.

          • jim_m

            The philosophical/religious basis for this objection goes all the way back to Aquinas.  This is not just a whim of the Church today.  The left thinks that because they can find Catholics who do agree with church teaching that they are justified in forcing the church to do what ever they please.

            The simple answer is that the left no longer cares about religious freedom and they are finally admitting it.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Having found the “free exercise [of religion]…” clause inconvenient, the left proposes to ignore that section of the First Amendment.  Worse, the Chief Executive of the United States has done so in violation of his oath of office.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            No, the simple answer is that the Catholic Church’s hierarchy doesn’t like having to follow US laws, and you are falling for it.

          • jim_m

             Idiot.  The change is forcing them to pay for contraception.  They HAVE been following he law.  It is obama who is violating THEIR rights.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Poopy doopy pants. Just because a Church doesn’t like it, doesn’t make it against the law.

            Otherwise, that would mean churches can do whatever they want – which is a violation of EVERYONE’S rights.

          • ackwired

            I guess that they can declare anything immoral that they want to.  It just seems strange to me that they would be so adamant that contraception is immoral when it is the one thing that has had the most beneficial effect on women’s health and well-being in history.  I would like to understand the thinking behind their position.

          • SCSIwuzzy

            I said moraly opposed to abortion

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        Even if that were true, covering contraception pays for itself.

        So this is a case where a minor investment drastically reduces unwanted pregnancies – which both reduces the number of abortions (which should sound good to “Pro-LIfe” folks, right?), the amount of money the government spends at the state and Federal level (which should sound good to “Fiscal conservatives, right?) and actually makes things better and easier for the poor and their families.

        • jim_m

          It doesn’t matter if in the long term contraception might prove to reduce insurance costs.  The fact is that it costs something NOW.  Or do you think that IUD’s and condoms grow on trees?  You apparently think that money will magically become available through insurance companies and they will not pass their costs along to anyone.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Well that’s where you’re wrong, a couple of times. First, it does matter in the long term – that’s the source of the policy itself, and why insurance companies won’t mind paying for it. See companies don’t mind INVESTING in cost-saving measures even if it “costs something NOW”.

            But whether or not they pass on their costs is not at all relevant. Free contraception is not only a smart thing, it is now the law. This compromise enables churches to not directly pay for it. That’s as far an accomodation as they are entitled to receive – because neither the Catholic Church, nor any other church, has or should have the right to dictate public policy according to their own beliefs.

            I don’t understand why you don’t like that, but that’s your right and you’re welcome to it.

    • Ken in Camarillo

      I am not Catholic, but I think they are opposed to birth control that eliminates an egg after it is fertilized on the basis that it is essentially a very early abortion of a conceived fetus. They may be against any other birth control also, but I’m not sure.

  • herddog505

    Advice for lefties:

    Stop digging.  Calling Catholics hypocrites because they PERSONALLY may use birth control in contravention of church doctrine or gleefully yapping about pedophile priests does you no good.  Are you trying to convince Catholics that they really ought to go along with Barry, or just rub their faces in it?

    And that’s really what’s going on here: Barry is flaunting his (flatly unconstitutional) power to FORCE people to do things that they really don’t want to do.  Now, this sort of thing happens all the time.  Our government that allegedly rules with the consent of “we the people” and supposedly is constrained by the Constitution and in principle exists to secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, routinely pushes us around.  Uncle Sugar takes our money in taxes.  Uncle Sugar tells us when we can tap our own retirement savings.  Uncle Sugar tells us how much we have to pay our employees.  Uncle Sugar can slap a uniform on our backs, put an M-16 in our fists, and send us off to kill or be killed in some far away land whether we really want to or not.  In short, we do and have always have surrendered liberty to the government.

    What’s happening here is that Uncle Sugar – well, Barry – has gone too far.  Worse, it’s blatant because it affects a large fraction of the population who, whether they go to Mass every Sunday, use birth control, engage in homosexual sex, or eat meat on Friday, consider themselves good Catholics and at least nominally support their church’s WELL-KNOWN stand on contraception.  Yet, they are told that, under the rubric of a health care “reform” law that’s already unpopular because it was shoved down our national throat, their church MUST provide money for contraception.  Not only is this a pretty blatant usurpation of government power, it’s flatly stupid, akin to telling Jewish churches or mosques that they MUST pay for BBQ dinners.

    And the left, of course, is totally cool with it, even to the point of mocking people who (gasp!) find the government’s action morally repugnant and dangerously unconstitutional.

    Tell me, lefties: is there ANYTHING that Barry could tell the Catholic Church to do that wouldn’t meet with your wholeheated approbation?  Perhaps he can tell them that they MUST ordain female priests.  Sanctify homosexual or polygamous marriage.  Grant divorces.  Allow priests and nuns to marry.  Remove crosses and other Christain symbols from its buildings and property.  Teach evolution in its classrooms.  Appoint a “Catholic czar”.

    Once you decide that the church – ANY church – exists at the pleasure of the state, the sky’s really the limit.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Stop digging.  Calling Catholics hypocrites because they PERSONALLY may
      use birth control in contravention of church doctrine or gleefully
      yapping about pedophile priests does you no good.  Are you trying to
      convince Catholics that they really ought to go along with Barry, or
      just rub their faces in it?

      Advice to Righties: Please don’t throw us in the brier patch! Contraception and similar sex-related culture wars are ***totally bad*** for us Lefties – so keep making this a big issue! After all, only an overwhelming majority of the US thinks contraception is good. Maybe you can knock it down to a slightly less overwhelming majority!

      Concentrating on this issue is **totally** going to unite everyone against Obama. Keep going for it! Ignore any and all polls. They’re just evil science-y nonsense anyway.

      Tell me, lefties: is there ANYTHING that Barry could tell the Catholic
      Church to do that wouldn’t meet with your wholeheated approbation?

      Sure! That would be anything President Obama said that was illegal. Since this is a Democratic Republic, that should keep all members of the US pretty safe from unfair laws. :) :) :)

      • herddog505

        Yes, you’re right.  We should all of us just chuck any personal values that we might have and think of the Big Picture, which is who is warming the seat in the Oval Office.

        How silly of me.

        /sarc

        How fortunate that various Americans in our history DIDN’T take this attitude: abolitionists, suffragettes, civils rights advocates, etc.  They swam against the tide, too.  But – happily – they actually believed in and were willing to struggle on behalf of their moral values.

        As I note in another thread, this argument along with the one about MMFA has been very instructive.  We see the left in its naked authoritarian, hateful ugliness.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

           OH, yes. And you should include in that list people who fought for the right to choose, and for people to be able to have access to contraceptives. As well as gay rights, public education, the GI Bill, and many other liberal ideas.

          I would suggest that if you’re seeing “naked authoritarian hateful ugliness” in the idea that the Catholic Church doesn’t determine which parts of US law it wants to follow, that’s a pretty surreal interpretation.

          • herddog505

            Well, if you want to give lefties credit for all that, feel free.  Can we then say that you agree with my basic point, i.e. that people standing up for their morality instead knuckling under has often been a good thing?

            “Naked authoritarian hateful ugliness”:
            The left’s position here, I think, can be summed up as follows:

            “We want to force employers to give their employees money for birth control because we think that it’s a Good Thing and will bend the cost curve down, and damn those pedophile-priest-loving Catholics (almost all of whom use the pill themselves, the hypocrites) for DARING to say that they don’t want to and for hiding behind their church and all that claptrap about what some musty old book and imaginary ‘god’ tells them!  Churches don’t get to dictate what’s right and wrong for their members: WE do!”

            What part of Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… do you people not get?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            To start with, your picture of the “Leftie” position is wrong, three different ways.
             
            a) it’s not the “leftie” position. It’s actually the moderate position.

            b) this part is specifically wrong:

            Churches don’t get to dictate what’s right and wrong for their members: WE do!

            That’s fiction. All the government is doing is requiring that **insurers offer** birth control to EMPLOYEES **for free**.

            c) this part is also specifically wrong:

            Churches don’t get to dictate what’s right and wrong for their members: WE do

            It’s wrong because Catholic institutions don’t only employ Catholics. And when it comes to universities and hospitals, might even be employing a majority of NON-Catholics.

            As for this,

            What part of Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof… do you people not get?

            I don’t get how you say this is prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. This is a WORKPLACE, where once again you have people who AREN’T ALWAYS Catholic.

            So to do what you guys want, would be allowing Catholicism to run over other people’s beliefs. Which COULD actually be violating the exact part of the Constitution you’re quoting – because it would be respecting Catholicism OVER their own religions.

            Do you understand that?

          • herddog505

            jb[I]t’s not the “leftie” position. It’s actually the moderate position

            The “moderate” position is, in contravention of the First Amendment, telling one of the largest churches in America that they MUST provide funding for contraception in direct contradiction of that church’s orthodoxy???  Seriously???  What the hell would be the “exteme” position?  Forcing priests and nuns to perform abortions???

            And how is it that we’ve – somehow – missed that women have the “right” to have their employers pay for contraceptive for all these years?

            jb All the government is doing is requiring that **insurers offer** birth control to EMPLOYEES **for free**.

            1.  The government’s initial position was the the church had to do it directly.  When the political fire got too hot, they resorted to the fiction of the third party purchase.  Having failed to make the church buy the pig, Barry shoved the pig into a poke and claims that he’s making the church buy that, which is, like, TOTALLY different.

            The bishops don’t seem to be buying it, and neither am I.

            2.  I also object to the government telling ANY employer what benefits it MUST provide.

            3.  It’s not “free”: SOMEBODY has to pay for it.  If you really, truly, deeply want women to have “free” BC, then I suggest that you lay off the Catholics and insurance firms and go bother the companies that make rubbers, diaphrams, and the pill.  Not that I support that, o’ course, but it does make more sense.

            2.  jbIt’s wrong because Catholic institutions don’t only employ Catholics. And when it comes to universities and hospitals, might even be employing a majority of NON-Catholics.

            And your point would be?  The church is not telling its non-Catholic employees that they cannot purchase birth control.  It isn’t setting up separate insurance programs for its employees based on religious affiliation.  Rather, it is simply objecting to having to pay for something that violates its religious tenents.

            The left’s argument is, basically, that the church can stuff its tenents because – dang it! – poor women have a RIGHT to Trojans, and it’s up to the Catholics to pay for them.

            O’ course, if the church solved this problem by hiring only Catholics, the left would shriek about discrimination, wouldn’t they?  And can you imagine the outcry if the church simply cancelled all its insurance policies and said, “Due to government interference, we aren’t insuring our employees at all any longer”?

            Tell me: what rights DOES the Catholic Church – or any church – have, by the way?  Aside from the right to shut the f*ck up and do what they are told?  Since Barry can tell them what health insurance options the MUST provide, can he tell them – or any other employer – that they MUST offer coverage?

            3.  jbI don’t get how you say this is prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. This is a WORKPLACE, where once again you have people who AREN’T ALWAYS Catholic.

            1.  Employers traditonally set the terms of employment: pay, hours, benefits;

            2.  In this particular case, the employer is a religious organization, and the Constitution recognizes the freedom of religion.  If the government can mandate how a church must treat its employees or spend its money, this makes that church a de facto “Church of the United States”.

            Who, by the way, should set workplace rules?  The employer, or Uncle Sugar?  If Uncle Sugar, then I suggest that people aren’t employers any longer: they are merely managers on behalf of the government.

            jb[T]o do what you guys want, would be allowing Catholicism to run over other people’s beliefs.

            How?  Again, the Catholic Church isn’t pressing to DO anything.  They are merely demanding that their right to be free from government interference be honored.  By your reasoning, you are robbing me of the rifle that I have a right to own and you must provide for me.

            If the bishops were demanding that contraceptives not be sold at all, then you’d have a case.  As it is, you are rationalizing tyranny.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            The “moderate” position is, in contravention of the First Amendment,
            telling one of the largest churches in America that they MUST provide
            funding for contraception in direct contradiction of that church’s
            orthodoxy???  Seriously???

            a) once again, you’re misunderstanding! Get it clear: the Obama administration is NOT TELLING THE CHURCH THEY MUST PROVIDE FUNDING.

            Do you understand that? Is there any part of that which is not clear to you?

            But even if they WERE, that would still be fine and legal – especially because in this place the Church is an EMPLOYER.

            b) Yes, this is the moderate position. Even moderate CATHOLICS agree with the administration’s position:

            http://themoderatevoice.com/138307/poll-catholics-support-obamas-contraceptive-policy-compromise/

            According to the poll, 57 percent of Catholic voters — and 59 percent of
            Catholic women — support the mandate Obama outlined Friday.

            See? Seriously. Those are facts.

            1.  Employers traditonally set the terms of employment: pay, hours, benefits;

            I’ll stop you right there – IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAWS.

            The government has a legal right, indeed an obligation, to regulate employers in the workplace.

            Indeed, we tried things without government regulating the workplace – and we got things like the Robber Baron era and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. So, yes! I want the government regulating the workplace. It is far more impartial than an employer.

            But even more than what you or I might like, this is how it is as a legal reality.

            The possibility that you might not like this, doesn’t change this reality.

          • jim_m

            it is nothing but sophistry saying that the church will not be funding contraception.  You claim that the insurance companies will pay for it out of their profits.  Where do the profits come from? from their contracts with employers, including the church.  Oops.  The church stil ends up paying for it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            As noted before, insurance companies paying for contraception **saves them money** in the long run.

            But even if that isn’t so, sure. Some money the Catholic church pays to cover it’s PRIVATE SECULAR EMPLOYEES will go to pay for contraception.

            And?

            How does the Church’s butthurt over this, in any way entitle them to have their religious beliefs placed above the law?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             It is not only sophistry but pure lunacy, to say the Church should have veto power over THIRD-PARTY transactions when the Church is operating in a business realm.

          • jim_m

            Oh and your poll was conducted by PPP (a dem organization) on behalf of NARAL.

            Typically PPP overweights liberals in their polls and they poll over weekends which also skews results to the left.  In this case they have not posted their poll details on line so we cannot see what the breakdown is of the demographics.  They do have a similar poll from 2/7 but they withhold the demographics, which they do not notrmally do leading me to siuspect their methodology.  They also asked if people were against the GOP taking away the birth control benefit from everyone, something that is not even up for discussion.  That tells me that this was a push poll meant to steer opinion.

            How about this Rassmussen poll that shows 59% of Catholics think obama is doing a lousy job.  http://hotair.com/archives/2012/02/14/rasmussen-poll-shows-obama-job-disapproval-59-among-catholics/

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            And?

            If you don’t like it, prove it wrong. Show how it’s biased.

            Otherwise you pushing a poll from a conservative source that you like doesn’t carry any weight either.

          • jim_m

            My point was that I cannot show whether or not the PPP poll is biased because they don’t reveal the underlying data, whereas the Rassmussn poll does show their demographics and those indicate that it is reliable.

            So I have a poll that looks reliable and you have one that we have to take on faith.  Funny how you cling to your issues of faith so bitterly.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             No, you have a poll you like because it confirms your bias – AND is on a separate subject.

            So you are in effect saying, “No that orange can’t really have seeds. See how this apple tastes?”

  • dougindeap

    Arguments for a “religious employer” exemption have gone from wrong to ridiculous.

    Questions about the government requiring or prohibiting something that conflicts with someone’s faith are entirely real, but not new.  The courts have occasionally confronted such issues and have generally ruled that under the Constitution the government cannot enact laws specifically aimed at a particular religion (which would be regarded a constraint on religious liberty contrary to the First Amendment), but can enact laws generally applicable to everyone or at least broad classes of people (e.g., laws concerning pollution, contracts, fraud, negligence, crimes, discrimination, employment, etc.) and can require everyone, including those who may object on religious grounds, to abide by them.  (E.g., http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/494/872/case.html  http://www.aafcp.org/cplm/files/12.pdf.)  Were it otherwise and people could opt out of this or that law with the excuse that their religion requires or allows it, the government and the rule of law could hardly operate. 

    When moral binds for individuals can be anticipated, the legislature may, as a matter of grace, add provisions to laws affording some relief to conscientious objectors. 

    The real question here then is whether there is any need for such an exemption in order to avoid forcing some employers to act contrary to their consciences.  Those demanding such an exemption initially worked themselves into a lather with the false claim that the law forced employers to provide their employees with health care plans offering services the employers considered immoral.  The fact is that employers have the option of not providing any such plans and instead simply paying assessments to the government.  Unless one supposes that the employers’ religion forbids payments of money to the government (all of us should enjoy such a religion), then the law’s requirement to pay assessments does not compel those employers to act contrary to their beliefs.  Problem solved–except perhaps for an employer who really desires not just to avoid a moral bind, but rather wants to retain control of his employees’ health plans, limit their choices to conform to the employer’s religious beliefs, and avoid paying the assessments that otherwise would be owed.  For that, an employer would need an exemption from the law.

    Indeed, some continued clamoring for just such an exemption, complaining that by paying assessments they would be paying for the very things they opposed.  They seemingly missed that that is not a moral dilemma justifying an exemption to avoid being forced to act contrary to one’s beliefs, but rather is a gripe common to most taxpayers–who don’t much like paying taxes and who object to this or that action the government may take with the benefit of their tax dollars.  Should each of us be exempted from paying our taxes so we aren’t thereby “forced” to pay for a war, health care, or whatever else each of us may consider wrong or even immoral?

    In any event, they put up enough of a stink that the government relented and announced that religious employers would be free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking and not be required to pay the assessments otherwise required.  Problem solved–again, even more.

    Nonetheless, some continue to complain.  They fret that somehow religious employers ultimately will pay for the services they oppose.  They argue that if insurers (or, by the same logic, anyone, e.g., employees) pay for such services, those costs will somehow, someday be passed on to the employers in the form of demands for higher insurance premiums or higher wages.  They counter what they call the government’s “accounting gimmick” with one of their own:  the “Catholic dollar.”  These dollars remain true to an employer’s religious beliefs, it seems, even after paid by the employer to others, e.g., insurers or employees, in that they can be used only for things the religious employer would approve.  The religious employers’ aim, we are assured, is not to thereby control the actions of others, oh no, but rather is merely to assure that the employers themselves do not somehow act contrary to their own beliefs by loosing “their” dollars into hands that would use them for things no self-respecting religious employer would himself buy.  Their religious liberty, they say, requires not only that they be exempted from the law, but further that anyone to whom they pay money also be exempted and thus “free” to act according to their desires.

    I wonder what they would think of their follow-the-dollar theory if they realized they had some of my “atheist dollars” in their wallets that can be used only for ungodly purposes, lest I suffer the indignity of paying for things I disbelieve.

    • herddog505

      So, as I understand it, the logic is as follows:

      Government demands religious organization pay for something against its teachings / principles = unacceptable

      Government demands religious organization launder money through a third party (insurance agency) to pay for something against its teachings / principles = what are you complaining about???

      “Hey, WE didn’t kill that Jesus fellow.  The Romans did it.”

      — Chief Priests of Israel

      Do I read the riddle aright?

      Lost in this is the central question of the government’s power to force ANYBODY to pay for this sort of thing.  Insurance in America has been basically taken under two ideas:

      1.  People pay for insurance to guard against catastrophe;

      2.  Organizations offer insurance as a form of additional compensation in lieu of more pay (I believe that this dates back to World War II).  In this case, “insurance” is actually a supplement to help pay health care costs, not a precaution against catastrophe.

      Now, we have government MANDATING that somebody pay for contraception.  We’re told that – somehow – this will lower health care costs.  Quite aside from moral / religious issues, are we to sacrifice our liberties willy-nilly on the altar of “lowering health care costs”?  Can government also require us to pay for gym memberships?  Weight Watchers?  Running shoes?  Where DO we draw the line?

      • dougindeap

        1.  Employers are free not to take contraceptives.

        2.  Employers are free not to provide contraceptives to others.

        3.  Employers are free not even to provide their employees with health plans that afford the employees with the choice of using contraception.

        4.  Employers who choose not to provide the foregoing health plans must instead pay assessments to the government.  The amount of those assessments is substantially LESS than the cost of the health plans the employers would otherwise provide.  They thus not only avoid having to provide the offensive health plans, they reap a financial windfall by doing so.

        5.  Even though the law provides that the amount of the assessments will be adjusted annually to reflect the growth in national insurance premium costs, employers worry that the government might someday change the law and increase the amount of the assessments to a point where the employers might be tempted instead to provide health plans affording their employees with choices the employers deem immoral.

        6.  Under the recent compromise revision, employers with moral objections are free to provide health plans with provisions to their liking and they need not pay the assessments that otherwise would be required.  To be sure, they are not allowed to control others, e.g., insurers, and prevent them from providing contraception services.

        Where in there is an employer “forced” to act contrary to his or her beliefs?

        • herddog505

          Um, that’s really the problem, isn’t it?  Barry tried telling an “employer” – the Catholic Church – that it MUST provide contraceptives.  Then, when he got more backlash than he expected, he said “compromised” by telling insurance companies that they MUST provide coverage for contraceptives, whether the actual employer wanted that to be part of the plan or not.

          Or are the bishops just imagining things?

    • Brucepall

      Just wow Dougindeap,

      Replace your State and its Class tax with Sharia and its Jizya tax… and what’s the difference?   

      What you advocate is a slippery slope indeed; and completely misses the point of why so many immigrants came (and continue to come) to America in the first place.  

      Perhaps your an atheist, or you worship yourself, and so religious freedom is not that important to you.  If that is the case, then I’m fine with you being yourself, and hope you reach your potential as an adult in the pursuit of whatever makes you happy.  But for many others in this world, I acknowledge that their faith can be an issue of life and death for them. 

      For example, Bahai’s in Iran have to pay for the bullets which the state uses to execute their family members…such “humiliation” and “submission” is desired and required under the Islamic Religion (of Peace).  

      Dougindeap, we have freedom of religion for a very good reason in America, whether you wish to acknowledge it our not;  I’m not a Catholic, but I oppose all those who would advocate a diminishment of one’s right to be Catholic.

      Until you are able to understand, or at lest acknowledge, other’s freedom of religion, you will continue to be confused and mystified as to why there is such a huge blow-back from our citizenry when our state attempts to chip away at this freedom.

      Semper Fidelis-

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        Freedom is such a powerful thing.. isn’t it nice to see how the folks on the left don’t want us to have too much of it, lest we misuse it?

        • Brucepall

          I hear what you are saying, JLawson.  They are free to hold such opinions, but they will never convince more than a minority of the bent, that there is too much freedom, and thus we need a larger and more powerful state to keep everyone in line.

          Note how, you’ll never hear from the left, a concise, honest-to-the-heart or coherent argument of the duties and responsibilities which come with citizenship in our Republic. 

          What we hear from the them instead, is they have the superior education, intellect, and talent, which justifies their beneficent status and the right to be the elite who rides herd over the rest of us “common folk.”

          But guess what?  Us common folk refuse to be saddled and ridden by those who graduated from the school of BetterThanU; we reject their situational ethic view of the world; and we expect those who we elect to represent us, to work for us… and not the other way around.  

          Our self-government is what freedom is all about.  And as corny as this may sound to many on the left:  This is still America, and so the last six words of our Pledge of Allegiance pretty much sums up what makes us most proud of our country.  

          Semper Fidelis-

      • dougindeap

         If you can hear me from way up there on that soapbox, know that, as a member of a “religious” minority, I strongly support freedom of religion.  As a lawyer, I know that the constitutional law on this subject is largely as summarized in my comment.  (Inform yourself; check the links I offered.)  I framed the issue based on the law, not my or your wishful thinking on what the law should be.

        Even given your fanciful notion of freedom of religion, how do you suppose it is impinged by a law that does not require employers with conscientious objections to take contraception or provide it to others or provide health plans offering it to others or even to pay assessments that otherwise would be required.  Pray tell, how is such an employer “forced,” as some commentators rage, to act contrary to his or her beliefs?

        • Walter_Cronanty

           Hey Mr. Lawyer man, how do you square what you’ve said above with Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal [8-0 opinion, Alito not taking part] and it’s interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, strict scrutiny, and compelling governmental interest, especially since we’re talking about a Federal Law, which the Supreme Court has held is subject to RFRA, note especially this holding, summarized as follows: Congress enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) in response to Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith, 494 U. S. 872, where, in upholding a generally applicable law that burdened the sacramental use of peyote, this Court held that the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause does not require judges to engage in a case-by-case assessment of the religious burdens imposed by facially constitutional laws, id., at 883–890. Among other things, RFRA prohibits the Federal Government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, “even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability,” 42 U. S. C. §2000bb–1(a), except when the Government can “demonstrat[e] that application of the burden to the person (1) [furthers] a compelling government interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furtheringthat . . . interest,” §2000bb–1(b).

  • jim_m

    Now Notre Dame is joining the fray declaring that obama is violatiing the people’s right to religious freedom

    Twenty-five Notre Dame faculty members–led by the university’s top ethics expert, and including some of the school’s most eminent scholars–have signed a statement declaring that President Barack Obama’s latest version of his administration’s mandate that all health insurance plans in the United States must cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions, is “a grave violation of religious freedom and cannot stand.”

    But by all means we will listen to the likes of Bruce and Chica who wil tell us that this isn’t violating anyone’s rights and we should all just shut up and take it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Oh yeah. Totally take what the Catholic Church and its institutions say, over any secular authority. When has that ever gone wrong?

      • herddog505
        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          OK. He said ask Galileo and Giordani Bruno, and all the kids who were raped by pedophile priests.

          See, in all those cases the Catholic Church tried to put itself above secular authority.

          Do you agree or disagree, that the Catholic Church was wrong in those cases?

          • jim_m

             Fewer kids were abused by the Church than are abused by our public schools but that doesn’t seem to bother you.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            The Catholic Church covered up its crimes from the top, but somehow you seem to think the fact that crimes occurred elsewhere negates this.

            I really don’t understand your argument here, honestly. What does whatever number of crimes committed elsewhere have to do with anything we’re talking about?

          • herddog505

            No, the Catholic Church didn’t try to put itself above secular authority: it tried to hide and cover up criminal behavior much as Penn State has apparently tried to do.

            And, yes, it is undeniable that the Church was wrong to do so.  The priests in question should have been handed over to the local police for trial.  I don’t think anybody else suggests otherwise.

            [EDIT] By the way, is this the standard for rights these days? “Hey, somebody in your organization did something bad, so you get no rights!”

            Although this WOULD make prosecuting the Mafia and other organized criminal gangs (al Qaeda, KKK, Teamsters) much easier…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            First, you skipped Galileo and Giordano Bruno.

            Second, you’re wrong – that is **exactly** and **literally** what the Church did – it tried to put itself above secular authority.

            The Catholic Church used **all kinds** of arguments to declare that secular authorities had no right to even investigate, let alone prosecute – including the argument that the Catholic Church had its own laws that would work just fine – ‘Canon Law’.

            http://www.markfulton.org/child-abuse-in-the-catholic-church

            “The Vatican has always claimed it had its own “Canon Law.” Yet canon law only applied a disciplinary process in which the punishment was spiritual, such as prayer or penance, or (very rarely) a defrocking. It had no public hearings, no forensic tests and no punitive measures likely to be severe enough to deter offenders.”

            Penn State would have loved to try that. Unfortunately for them, their football program was only emotionally a religion. (And their sad and ridiculous students still rioted in support of the program’s failed leaders, which is a separate outrage.)

            In any case, this is exactly why *NO* Church, including the Catholic Church, should be above the law.

            If the law is wrong, then that must be dealt with at the law level – which in a representative democracy means electing people to change the law.

          • jim_m

             What BS.  Cannon law does not apply outside the church and the church does not hold that it supersedes secular laws with regard to criminal acts.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             What BS? The Catholic Church DID hold that Canon law superseded secular laws, because IT did cite Canon Law as a reason secular prosecution wasn’t needed.

            In addition to other MULTIPLE excuses to avoid revealing and turning over CONFIRMED PEDOPHILES (!!!! ) to the secular authorities.

            Are you denying that this happened?

            What other possible interpretation can there be for NOT turning over CRIMINALS WHO WERE RAPING CHILDREN to secular authorities, than that the Church people in charged considered the Church’s authority more important than secular ones?

            I await your answer.

          • herddog505

            OMG!  You mean to say that an organization trying to cover up criminal conduct (and why cover it up if it’s not criminal, eh?) argues that THE LAW “DOESN’T APPLY”???

            SHOCKER!

            / sarc

            The CC – wrongly, let’s be clear – did just exactly what every other organization does when it is interested in trying to cover something up.  They did NOT claim that this is still the 14th century and the Pope has authority over the king.  Rather, they covered up.  They tried to silence whistleblowers.  They transferred troublemakers.  They paid hush money.  They claimed that their “internal investigations” were taking care of the problem. (sounds rather like the Congress)

            Again: the Church did not – even according to the article you linked – attempt to assert that Church Law has primacy over the criminal laws of the United States.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            OMG !! You still are ignoring Galileo and Giordano Bruno! Why are you doing that? 

            But back to the Catholic church’s “Musical Pedophile Priest Chairs” deal.

            Here’s the thing: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BROKE THE LAW.

            We are not talking about isolated incidents here. We are talking about secular laws which were broken,  known about, and covered up for decades – according to a specific and DOCUMENTED plan **directly from the top ALL the way down** – incorporating a specific set of Catholic policies called Canon Law.

            The Catholic Church and its members followed this Canon Law, and broke secular laws to do it. Remember, covering up a crime is being an accomplice to that crime – which is ALSO breaking a secular law.

            So, you tell me – which way do you want to have it? Either:

            a) the Catholic Church is a lawful organization, in which case they obviously held their Canon Law to be more important Secular Law.

            b) the Catholic Church is a lawless group of organized criminals, in which case they “merely” defied the law with Canon Law as an excuse.

            Which is it? And then we can proceed from there.

          • herddog505

            see below

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Which answer? I don’t see you addressing my specific question below: which way do you want to consider the Catholic church?

            I’ll also note again that you’re ignoring the examples of Galileo and Giordano Bruno.

    • herddog505

      Say… didn’t Notre Dame, to much fanfare, invite Barry to speak at their graduation exercizes a few years ago?

      Boy, I’ll bet many of the faculty feel like fools now!

  • jim_m

    The problem with trying to make the left understand this issue is that the admin is asking the church to pay for an activity that they find religiously and morally reprehensible.  There is very little that the left finds morally reprehensible so they have no ground for understanding the objection.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Let’s walk this out a step or two.

      Some US citizens have the religious belief that all violence is religiously and morally reprehensible. They should still have to pay taxes even if that money goes to the US military, right?

      Since that is true for them – why should the Catholic Church be treated differently regarding what the Catholic Church deems reprehensible – but what the overwhelming majority of US citizens (and even individual US Catholics!!) find completely reasonable?

      • jim_m

         Not a valid analogy since military defense is an obligation of the federal government under the constitution.  Providing contraception is not.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          Sorry, it’s an exactly valid analogy. It shows how directly the national law supersedes religious law.

          Insurers providing contraceptives is now the law – **and** insurers agree with it, because it saves them money in the long run.

          So, the church doesn’t get what it wants. If individuals don’t like this, they can try and change the law. That’s what makes us a nation run by laws, not a nation run by bishops and priests.

          • jim_m

             See my comment below.  You are asking for someone else to take on an obligation so you can exercise your rights.  The one thing you can say about all the rights in the Constitution is that it does not place a burden on others for you to exercise them. 

            It does not place a burden on someone for you to have freedom of speech, or religion, or the press or to assemble.  It doesn’t place a burden on someone else for you to own a gun )it does if you murder someone but that is not a necessary consequence of gun ownership).  It does cost you for the government to billet soldiers on your property so you have a tight to be free of that.  It does cost you to have your rights taken from you without due process so you are protected from that.

            Your concept of rights is that you get to do whatever you want no matter what it costs everyone else because you feel that you should have it that way.

            You are an anti-christian bigot and a fascist.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            You are a pro-Christian bigot and a fascist. And a poopypants.

            Sometimes people have to do things they don’t like, in order to be a part of a country.

            You don’t get, or don’t seem to want to get, that other religions are THE EQUAL OF Catholicism.

            And you don’t seem to want to get that THIS IS HOW AMERICA STAYS FREE.

            You don’t want Sharia law? Then you can’t have Papal law either.

            It really is that simple.

          • jim_m

             I’d settle for constitutional law, but that is what you are arguing against.  The religious exemption has been respected for many years.  Only obama does not respect it.  Only obama wants to trample constitutional rights. 

            You don’t give a damn because you hate religion so you don’t care if religious freedoms are destroyed.  Don’t come crying to me when your constitutional rights get violated.  Your messiah will do so eventually.  He just hasn’t gotten around to wanting something you have

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            I honestly don’t see how I’m arguing against Constitutional law. I’m arguing for it – I don’t see how churches can or should be exempt from obeying laws simply because their leaders don’t like them.

            I don’t see how churches have some sort of exemptions from following secular laws if they don’t like them. Which appears to be what you’re saying.

            But please make it clear to me: do you think that religions should be able to break laws if they choose? Yes or no?

            I don’t hate religion. I LOVE my religious freedom. And one of the only things that maintains it, is that:

            a) no churches are above secular law
            b) we the people are able to change laws in our representational democracy

          • herddog505

            jbI LOVE my religious freedom.

            What’s that freedom worth if it can be curtailed or altered at any time by majority vote?  Or presidential diktat, for that matter?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            That depends on my beliefs, and how those beliefs work with the laws of my society.

            If my religious freedom means, I should be able to spit on my employees of other religions without repercussion – is that freedom “worth it”? I think we can both agree, the answer is no.

            Is a restriction against that, therefore “diktat”? The answer again is no.

            If my religious freedom means I get to feel up all of my employees without repercussion, whether they’re my religion or not – is that “worth it”? Answer: no.

            So, then, if my religious freedom means I can’t let my insurance company give my employees contraceptives for free – EVEN IF I’m not directly paying for those contraceptives, and EVEN IF the employees are not my religion – then, yes, that freedom is not “worth it”.

            The thing is that “worth it” is a subjective viewpoint. So we have law, because law attempts to be more objective.

            So to have proper objectivity and no religious favoritism, ALL RELIGIONS must be treated as equal before the law.

            Why should it be any other way?

            Why should ANY religion’s law be above secular law?

          • herddog505

            See below due to space restraints.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Let’s walk this out a step or two.

      Some US citizens have the religious belief that all violence is religiously and morally reprehensible. They should still have to pay taxes even if that money goes to the US military, right?

      Since that is true for them – why should the Catholic Church be treated differently regarding what the Catholic Church deems reprehensible – but what the overwhelming majority of US citizens (and even individual US Catholics!!) find completely reasonable?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Shorter Another Catholic:

    “The President’s refusal to do everything I **really** want by doing only what I **said** I wanted, is OPPRESSION!”

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

       Shorter SCoaMF: I don’t care what my oath or the Constitution say.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        Shorter sudden Catholic Church fanboys:
        “The Constitution clearly says the Pope gets anything he wants!”

        • jim_m

          I find it amazing that you consider that the church is violating someone’s rights by refusing to pay for something the church finds reprehensible. 

          I suppose that you find condoms just too damn expensive and you still harbor resentment because the parish priest refused to buy them for you?

          It’s not a right if it costs someone else something for you to have it.  It doesn’t cost you money for me to speak.  It doesn’t cost you money for me to pray or worship or have religious convictions. 

          It costs the church money for you to have healthcare or contraception.  It costs doctors and hospitals money for you to have health care or an abortion.  They aren’t rights.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            That’s a misunderstanding of my position.

            What I’m saying to you is that:

            a) the Catholic Church does not and should not have any greater rights than any other religion, and

            b) since all members of all religions have belief systems which sometimes clash with Federal law,

            c) if those other churches have to give way, then the Catholic Church does too

            Now, as to your example:

            It costs pacifists such as the Quakers to go to war.

            It costs Christian Scientists to pay for Medicare.

            It costs people who don’t believe in education, to pay for public school.

            It costs people who don’t believe in science, to pay for NASA.

            Should their beliefs override the Federal laws? Yes or no?

            If the answer is no, then why should the Catholic Church’s?

          • jim_m

             Defense is a constitutional obligation and they benefit from it even though they do not participate.  Nor have they objected.

            As for Christian scientists there was a bipartisan bill introduced to let them claim reimbursement for  “affirmative Prayers” but the dem controlled senate stripped it from the bill.

            Public education is predominantly funded at the local level.

            Everyone believes in science, but not everyone believes that science always has the right answers.  In fact anyone who believes that science always has the right answers is an idiot.  I find most of those people are found on the left (although there are some on the right.

            You still have avoided my point.  If you make healthcare a right then someone has to provide that health care.  You need to pay that doctor or nurse or lab tech.  They don’t do it for free.  You are requiring many people to work for your right. 

            Whereas it does not cost me anything if you refuse military service.  It does not cost me anything if you refuse medical treatment.

            Every example I have seen about costs claims hat it is a savings over all.  But on a case by case basis it still costs to take care of the individual right her right now.  The only savings are seen when the whole of society is aggregated. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Defense is a constitutional obligation

            Which means it’s a law. Which means religions in America have to comply with it, and the only way to not comply with it is to change the law.

            Thanks for making my point.

            … and they benefit from it even though they do not participate. Nor have they objected.

            No, that’s where you’re wrong. Many people have objected to their taxes being used to fund the military, and have done so on religious grounds.

            Do you think that these other religions should have the right to not pay for the military, or should they be forced to?

            If you think they should have to pay, then why should the Catholic church have rights that other religions don’t?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            I don’t see how I’m avoiding your point. As I said, you appear to have a misunderstanding of my position. I’m actually not even clear on what you think my position is.

            My position is:
            We are a nation of laws. All of us are subject to them, including some we don’t like. If we don’t like any of the laws, we are free to try to change them.

            We require people to pay taxes. We require parents to send their children to school or at least prove they’re giving them an adequate education on their own. We require people to wear clothes in public. We require people to get car insurance. We require many, many things, all the time, because most of us have decided that works better for all of us.

            If anyone can just up and decide at any point that they just don’t like a law and don’t have to follow it, our entire system won’t work. It’d be a lovely if things could work that way, but they simply can’t. Or we wouldn’t have developed governments and laws in the first place.

            So, in the course of these laws, we have created the concept of trying to cover everyone with health care. There are many positive and sensible as well as moral reasons to do this – all of which are besides the current point. The point is, this is now the law.

            Individuals have to obey this law, even while they’re trying to change it. So do groups of individuals, including churches.

            So if the Catholic church doesn’t like the law, try and change it. But it or others shouldn’t suddenly go all anarchist now because they don’t like this one law – that is, if they want to be morally and logically consistent. Otherwise, the only way to be consistent would be to agree that anyone can choose to disobey a law if they disagree with it.

            In which case, you should have no problem with the examples I mentioned above: People not paying taxes to public education, or a military, or wearing clothes in public, or refraining from smoking pot in an airplane for that matter.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          I support the Catholic Church in this for the same reason I would support the LDS, Bhudists, etc. in this matter: The First Amendment guarantees the people’s right to the free exercise of religion.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            So do you support the right of pacifist religions to not pay taxes, because a very large portion of those taxes go to the defense department?

          • jim_m

             They benefit from a national defense even though they do not participate in it.  Even the Quakers recognize this.  Your argument is pure BS.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Sorry, avoiding my argument doesn’t make it BS.

            We’re talking about rights here. If the Catholic church has the supposed “right” to be free from obeying laws it doesn’t like, do other churches have the same right to be exempt from laws THEY don’t like?

            Yes or no?

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Please note the decision in Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006).  I haven’t looked at this case in awhile, but as I stated above in response to dougindeap, the Supreme Court relied on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act [RFRA] which is applicable to Federal Laws, and which requires strict scrutiny when analyzing a Federal Law which impinges on one’s Free Exercise clause.  As far as I know, Obama’s law would be a Federal Law.  Note this introduction to a symposium on Gonzales, and the difference between RFRA’s application to Federal vs. State law: “This symposium piece examines the state of religious liberty after the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), which gave a strong interpretation to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). While Gonzales
            offers religious believers significant protection from federal laws,
            most free exercise disputes happen at the state and local level, where Gonzales does not apply.”http://papers.ssrn.co/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1666268The Court in Gonzales, the Court held that the Feds could not apply the Controlled Substances Act to the church’s sacramental hoasca use. 

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

           Shorter jb: I got nothing, now making shit up.

  • herddog505

    Man, I had no idea that the left hated the Catholic Church so much!  I thought it was Evangelicals…

    Anybody ask Jean-Francois or SanFran Nan about this?  Or are they the “good Catholics” who can say “f*ck the Chuch and it’s teachings!” on Saturday and kneel for Communion on Sunday?

    • jim_m

      The left hates religion because the left hates God.  The left hates anything that tells them there is a right and a wrong or that they will have to be called to account for their actions.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

         Oh yeah. That’s why we’re interested in health care, public education, peace and human rights: we hate the idea of right and wrong.

        Do you really, honestly believe that? Seriously?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    Just a question, more out of curiosity than anything else.

    Who, commenting on this thread, is a practicing Catholic?

    Who was raised in the Catholic church but is not practicing.

    Who is not a Catholic.

    I’ll start, I’m not a Catholic.

    • Walter_Cronanty

       I am not a Catholic.

    • herddog505

      Not a Catholic.

  • herddog505

    Continued from a thread above:

    jbThe Catholic Church and its members followed this Canon Law, and broke secular laws to do it. Remember, covering up a crime is being an accomplice to that crime – which is ALSO breaking a secular law.
     
    I’m sorry: are you seriously trying to imply that the Catholic Church holds that its law allowed – REQUIRED? – priests to molest children???  Or that Canon law allows such a thing?  Given the well-known Catholic position on homosexuality, this is absurd.  Or are you claiming that Canon Law allows – REQUIRES? – that the Church evade the criminal law in the United States and other countries, which is equally absurd?
     
    So, the answer to your question is, as I explained above:
     
    (c) The Catholic Church disgraced itself by covering up criminal behavior on the part of some of its priests.  This, of course, involved further criminal behavior such as obstruction of justice.
     
    The Catholic Church did NOT claim that it is “above the law” or that Canon Law supersedes the US criminal law; it covered up because it was aware that those priests had BROKEN the law, and did not want to deal with the negative publicity arising from people finding out about it.
     
    Now, if you can find a statement by the Catholic Church that it is illegal to try the priests in criminal court because they are not bound under US criminal law, then you’ve got a case.  Otherwise, I must conclude that you are either unable or too dishonest to see the difference between “covering up” (which includes the tired claim of “internal investigations”) and claiming immunity from prosecution on religious grounds.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      I’m sorry: are you seriously trying to imply that the Catholic Church
      holds that its law allowed – REQUIRED? – priests to molest children??? 
      Or that Canon law allows such a thing?

      I don’t even know how you got that from my statement.

      What I’m saying is: the Church covered up these crimes, as a matter of policy, FROM THE TOP. When you cover up a crime and aid and abet a criminal, you become an accomplice in that crime.

      Is there something about that which you disagree with?

      The Catholic Church did NOT claim that it is “above the law” or that
      Canon Law supersedes the US criminal law; it covered up because it was
      aware that those priests had BROKEN the law, and did not want to deal
      with the negative publicity arising from people finding out about it.

      Covering up a crime is also breaking the law. That’s why it’s illegal to be an accomplice after the fact.

      Now, I personally think it’s pretty clear that when an organization adopts as a matter of policy rules that repeatedly break the law over a period of decades, they are setting themselves above the law. Whether they say so explicitly or not.

      But, you appear to be taking this as not setting themselves above the law – just having no respect for it when it might be inconvenient for them.

      So, going back to my original question upstream, it appears you’d rather have it that the church is a criminal organization. Fine with me.

      In either case, this seems like a distinction without a difference. Because in either case, we can see the danger that occurs when a group of people don’t have the law applied – as long as the law is just.

      And in a representative secular democracy such as we are fortunate enough to have, laws are created, changed or annuled – but are not to be ignored. Especially by religious organizations acting in the public field.

      That’s just how it is.

  • herddog505

    jbThat depends on my beliefs, and how those beliefs work with the laws of my society.

    An uncharitable interpretation of this remark would be that you regard your liberties – your rights – as dependent on what everybody else thinks.  In other words, you support to mob rule.  If enough of us vote to outlaw a religion, is that OK?  What if enough of us vote to round up people based on their religion?

    And how does one’s (ahem) right to protest fit in?  If it’s “the law” that members of this or that religion must behave in certain ways, does that settle the matter?  Must they be silent?

    This is, of course, is why the Bill of Rights exists.

    jbIf my religious freedom means I get to feel up all of my employees without repercussion, whether they’re my religion or not – is that “worth it”?

    The old saying goes that my rights stop one inch short of your nose.

    The Catholic Church is not asserting a right to do anything to anybody.  Outside of proscribing its use to Catholics, it is not denying contraception to anybody.  They merely assert their right to NOT be forced to pay for it, either directly or through a third party.

    jbWhy should ANY religion’s law be above secular law?

    Sigh… Nobody is asserting that a religious group be “above” secular law.  Rather, I am others assert that the First Amendment prohibits the government telling religions how to conduct their business, which includes how they must spend their money.  More broadly, I object to the government assuming that it has the power to tell ANY employer what benefits it MUST offer.

    BTW: there’s nothing “free” about this.  SOMEBODY has to pay for it.  TANSTAAFL.

    Incidentally, even the Catholic Church isn’t asserting that it’s “above the law”.  Rather, it is doing just what every other organization in the country does when faced with a law or regulation that it doesn’t like: petitioning for redress of grievances.  I realize that, as far as lefties are concerned, the “corrupt” Catholic Church deserves no rights, but (dang it!) that pesky First Amendment rears its head again.

    My initial point concerned the difference in attitudes between left and right toward government power and religious liberty.  The Enlightenment ideal in this regard, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, is that government exists to SAFEGUARD liberty.  Its power is supposed to be limited to the bare minimum needed to maintain a civil, lawful society; everything else, in the words of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, is supposed to be left to the states and the people.

    Now, which side in this matter is in the business of dictating?  Which side is trying to rationalize why it is ordering somebody else to do something that they don’t want to do?  Which side is forced to claim (essentially) that somebody else must do something for the good of the state?  And is that really the side that any American would want to be on?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      An uncharitable interpretation of this remark would be that you regard
      your liberties – your rights – as dependent on what everybody else
      thinks.

      Sure. But that would be silly.

      What I am stating is the reality that we are a society, and not a group of individuals. This means the unavoidable necessity of compromise, from within a framework of laws.

      In other words, you support to mob rule.

      No, not at all. I “support” (more like acknowledge) the reality that for a society and a nation to work for everyone, sometimes people must do SOME things they don’t like.

      Is that really so controversial? The only argument I’d expect on this would be from a nihilist – even anarchists tend to agree there must be some laws and some order.

        If enough of us vote
      to outlaw a religion, is that OK?  What if enough of us vote to round up
      people based on their religion?

      No of course that’s not okay. Also that’s an entirely different situation than what we’re talking about. That would violate the Bill of Rights, among other things -AND THIS DOES NOT.

      This is not people’s private worship. This is not even their church conduct. This is how the Catholic Church treats it’s EMPLOYEES – which is covered by ESTABLISHED LAW that is **well** within the Bill of Rights.

      And, just as people aren’t allowed to go and smear their crap on a public street even if that’s their belief, so the Catholic Church isn’t going to be able to stop it’s SECULAR EMPLOYEES from getting free contraceptives, that the Church ISN’T paying for, in accordance with Secular law.

      • Walter_Cronanty

         Your argument that the Church isn’t going to pay for the contraceptives is pedantic bs.  Who’s going to pay? The abortion fairy?  The insurance company will just up its premiums so that the services at issue will be paid for by the premiums paid by the Church. 
        The law that this particular provision of Obamacare violates is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress in response to the Court’s decision in Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Ore. v. Smith. RFRA prohibits the Federal Government from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except when the Government can demonstrate that application of the burden to the person (1) furthers a compelling government interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest [I don't believe any law or regulation has passed this test before the Supreme Court].  In GONZALES v. O CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL the Supreme Court, in an 8-0 decision [Alito did not participate], held that the Federal Government could not prohibit the members of the church from receiving communion by drinking hoasca, a tea brewed from plants unique to the Amazon Rainforest that contains DMT, a hallucinogen regulated under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.  Thus, the application of the Controlled Substances Act [a law of general applicability] to the churches use of hoasca was prohibited. 
        The same logic applies here, except that instead of prohibiting the exercise of a religious belief, the law requires the Church to do precisely what its religious beliefs forbid it to do.  That is a textbook definition of a substantial burden on the exercise of religion.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

           Your argument that the Church isn’t going to pay for the contraceptives
          is pedantic bs.  Who’s going to pay? The abortion fairy?  The insurance
          company will just up its premiums so that the services at issue will be
          paid for by the premiums paid by the Church.

          First you’re linking contraceptives and abortion. You really should be clear that they are two entirely separate things.

          Second, let’s say that’s the case and the insurance company does up its premiums to cover the cost. So what?

          The Catholic Church does not, can not and should not have the authority to dictate what a THIRD PARTY offers the Catholic Church’s EMPLOYEES.

          IF you think that is a “substantial burdening of religion”, then do you think that ANY church should be able to avoid obeying specific laws if they offend their beliefs?

          As I’ve stated earlier above, this would mean people wouldn’t have to pay taxes because they’re pacifists and they don’t want to support a military; it would mean Rastafarians could smoke on planes; and it would also mean literal Sharia law if muslims scare you.

          You cannot in America just avoid any workplace law because it conflicts with your religious beliefs. It has never been this way, and hopefully it will never be this way.

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Good lord, so much wrong in so short a missive.  Why didn’t you respond to the gist of my comment which is that RFRA clearly applies to this regulation?  What do you believe is in RFRA that takes this regulation out of RFRA’s ambit?  Do you know what RFRA is?  Do you actually think RFRA protects Rastafarians smoking on airplanes, or is that just another straw man you throw out to obfuscate? 
            The regulations clearly “substantially burden” the free exercise of religion: “They would still require employers with religious objections to select an
            insurance company to provide contraceptives and drugs that induce
            abortions to its employees. The employers would pay for the drugs
            through higher premiums. For those employers that self-insure, like the
            Archdiocese of Washington, the farce is even more blatant.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204795304577223003824714664.html?
            mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
            We’re not talking about “any workplace law”.  We are talking about a law that requires a religion to do that which its basic principles prohibit.  There couldn’t be a more direct burden on the free exercise of religion.  Your “any workplace law” is as bogus as the rest of your comment. 
            Do you know what an abortifacient is?  Do you know what an abortifacient contraceptive is?  Are abortions and contraceptives really two different things when discussing abortifacient contraceptives?  Do you agree that Obamacare requires that abortifacients be provided free of charge?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             I didn’t respond to the gist referring to the RFRA, because it is besides the ultimate point.

            The ultimate point is, it is historically well established in the US since it’s founding that Churches must obey secular laws when they are functioning in the secular realm, such as when they are running a business.

            You have not responded to this point, in this question:

            “IF you think that is a “substantial burdening of religion”, then do you
            think that ANY church should be able to avoid obeying specific laws if
            they offend their beliefs?”

            Well? Do you think that any church should be able to avoid specific secular laws if those laws run contrary to their beliefs? Yes or no?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            The question is not what I “think.”  The direct question is whether this particular portion of Obamacare violates US law.  I say it does, and that it violates RFRA.  You’re going off on some tangent about what you “think.”  I don’t care what you “think” unless you can back it up with some rational argument within the confines of US law.  What you “think” is entirely irrelevant.
            And no, it is not “historically well established in the US since it’s founding that Churches must obey secular laws when they are functioning in the secular
            realm, such as when they are running a business.”  Just last month the Supreme Court denied the EEOC’s ability to bring a lawsuit against a church organization concerning the firing of a teacher at the church’s school.  See, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School v. EEOC. 
            And, again, the question is not whether a “church should be able to avoid specific secular laws if those laws run contrary to their beliefs” the question is whether the government can require a church to do that which the church’s principles prohibit it from doing or prohibit a church from doing that which its principles require it to do.
            A different question, which is what I think you’re getting at, is, given the above legal context, whether I believe the current state of the law is the way it should be.   I suppose I do because, despite the fact that I may not like the result in certain cases, overall the principle is more important than what I like or dislike in particular cases.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            The question is not what I “think.”  The direct question is whether this particular portion of Obamacare violates US law.

            Ok -  then the direct answer is “no it does not.”

            If it DID violate US law, then it is highly unlikely that the Legislative Branch would have passed it. And in addition, it has withstood multiple court challenges across the country.

            If the SCOTUS rules on it and strikes it down, then it won’t be law. Until that unlikely event and in all other cases, it IS law.

            But you already knew that.

            If you’re discussing whether or not the Health Care Reform bill SHOULD BE law, then we’re wandering into these hypothetical issues.

            And if your major objection here to HCR is that the Catholic church is obligated to obey secular legislation if it is operating a business – then I ask you again:

            Do you think that any church should be able to avoid specific secular
            laws if those laws run contrary to their beliefs? Yes or no?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I don’t trade comments with bullsh!t artists.  “…it has withstood multiple court challenges across the country.”  Bullsh!t.  HHS Secretary just announced the rule on January 20, 2012, that HHS, in implementing Obamacare, would require most health-insurance plans to include in the preventive services they cover all FDA-approvedforms of contraception (including contraceptives that sometimes operate as abortifacients).  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/01/20120120a.html   There have been no court challenges to this rule.  Thus, this rule has not “withstood multiple court challenges across the country.”
            You wouldn’t answer my questions about RFRA because you simply don’t have the knowledge to give an answer, and you don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it.  Instead you play irrelevant word games and bluff with lies.  Piss off.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            I don’t trade comments with bullsh!t artists.

            Good for you. Don’t trade comments with them. Me, I don’t accept invented excuses when people are avoiding tough questions.

            As re: the RFRA – you have my answer but I’ll make it clearer: it’s currently the law. And I think churches should have to obey the secular law in the business realm.

            If you’re right and it’s struck down, then churches won’t have to obey it any more.

            But I don’t get to just disobey any law I want outside my house, because it conflicts with my beliefs, even if “it has yet to be challenged”. Why should the Church be able to disobey any law it wants IN THE BUSINESS REALM?

            Now, please answer my question. Do you think that any church should be able to avoid specific secular
            laws if those laws run contrary to their beliefs? Yes or no?

          • Walter_Cronanty

             The only tough part about your question is its inartful drafting.  It has no relevance to anything but your your tiresome sophistry.  Let’s review – The law [RFRA] is as follows: If a federal law/regulation substantially burdens the free exercise of religion, then the federal government must prove that the law/relation serves a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of serving that interest.  I believe in the law, especially when that law has been tested against the Constitution.
            Now, to your question [oh, and screw you as to your petty little "Yes or no?" - we're not trading notes in grade school]: “Do you think that any church should be able to avoid specific secular laws if those laws run contrary to their beliefs?” Assuming that the secular law substantially burdens the church’s free exercise of its religion AND the federal government cannot demonstrate that both the law serves a compelling governmental interest AND that the law/regulation is the least restrictive means of serving that interest, then I think that the church “should be able to avoid [the] specific secular law” [your phrase of "if those laws run contrary to their beliefs" so lacks any type of specificity that it is virtually meaningless].  Change one of the three assumptions [substantially burden; compelling governmental interest; least restrictive means] and, in all probability, my answer will change.

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Oh, and no apology for bluffing with a lie?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Out of room, responding
            below.

  • herddog505

    jb,

    You keep yapping about Galileo and Bruno.  Is there some point?  Other than the tired old meme about just how doggone NASTY the Catholic Church was to them with the implication that the Church is so bad and wicked that any right-thinking, decent person wouldn’t have anything to do with it so don’t pay any attention to anything that the Pope or the cardinals or bishops or priests say?

    If so, I get it.  You hate the Catholic Church, see absolutely nothing good in it, and regard all that as a rationale to trample their First Amendment rights.  Got it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

      Yes there is a very specific point re: Galileo and Bruno in this discussion. I thought it was obvious, but I’ll make it clearer:

      Galileo and Bruno were LEGALLY persecuted, because Catholic Church beliefs were held as equal to or more important than any secular laws.

      This shows that religious beliefs should NOT be above secular law. Because when religious beliefs ARE held above secular law, then eventually people get **Legally imprisoned or executed** for contradicting thse religious beliefs.

      This is WHY religious beliefs are NOT held above secular law.

      Clear enough, right?

      The flip side of it, is that the government is not, cannot and should not be legislating what other people should believe. AND this includes not respecting any one religion over any other. I’m sure we both agree there, right?

      So – for the Catholic Church to have what it wants here – to not have to ALLOW it’s employees to even get free contraception from a THIRD PARTY – would be:

      1) the Catholic Church’s beliefs being placed above secular law, and

      2) the US government respecting the Catholic Church above other religions. Unless of course we also let radically conservative Muslims actually have their Sharia Law in the US, let Rastafarians smoke dope whenever and wherever they want, let Mormons have polygamy without changing the law, and on and on.

      • jim_m

        Wow. I had no idea that Galileo was prosecuted under US law.  That’s amazing considering he lived several hundred years BEFORE the US was founded.

        You fail to realize that in Galileo’s day the church was a secular power as well.  The Papal states controlled much of central Italy.  To try to distinguish between religious and secular power at that time is futile. There was no distinction.

        Once again your argument is empty.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          No duh Jim.

          What I’m talking about, if you’re paying attention, is the danger of having religious belief be ABOVE secular law – and not below it.

          You can see how that’s relevant to this discussion, right? If not, let me know so I can explain further.

          Going further – yes, thanks for making my exact point re: secular law – and how religious belief must be not only separate from it but below it. Otherwise we will get abuses of power such as what occurred to Galileo and Bruno.

          What other point did you think I was making?

          • jim_m

            My point was that your example was irrelevant as it was from another time and another place in history where the political and social factors were wildly different than today.  It does not reflect in any sense the current situation.

            If anything it shows that todays climate is a total reversal of those conditions and that is not desirable either.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Your notion that it’s irrelevant because it was “another time and place” is sheer wishful thinking. We make sure that churches aren’t placed above secular laws BECAUSE OF this “other time and place”.

            This is what created the climate of freedom which we now enjoy – because that “time and place” was a lot closer to the Founding Fathers, they saw the damage that it caused – and was still causing, in their day, in other ways including the fact that the King of England was head of England’s church. So they were wise enough to a) separate Church and State, b) make sure no religion was respected above another by the state,  AND c) make sure that all churches are subject to secular laws on matters that are outside of churches – such as workplaces like hospitals and universities.

            Is there any part of that which you disagree with?

      • herddog505

        jbGalileo and Bruno were LEGALLY persecuted…

        Yeah, that’s about what I thought.  Say, maybe you can throw in the Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the persecutions of the Hugenots, the Albigensians, and the Cathars, Jan Huss, John Wycliffe, Bloody Mary, the Avignon Papacy, the Borgias, and the time that Father Julius said a cross word to my brother in first grade while you’re at it.

        But, quite aside from Catholic bashing (and I’m not even a Catholic), your “evidence” is in support of a false premise, i.e. that there’s a nefarious plot afoot to establish, if not a Catholic theocracy, then at least elevate the Catholic Church to some special, extra-legal status in America.

        As I see it, the Catholics take the very reasonable and constitutionally-protected position that they do not want to be forced to into the unprecedented position of having to pay for something that they regard as a sin.  The objections offered by lefties include:

        1.  But it’s for WOMEN’S HEALTH! 

        Nevermind that women are free to buy all the birth control that they want.

        2.  This is discrimination against women!

        See #1 above.  Nobody is stopping them buying all the want.

        3.  Birth control is EXPENSIVE!

        Condoms are very cheap.  Abstinence is free.  Both also have the virtue of reducing (eliminating, in the latter case) STD’s.

        4.  Birth control is a woman’s right!

        See #1 above.  Nobody is stopping them buying all they want.

        5.  Lots of Catholics use birth control!

        First of all, that’s between them and God.  Second, the sins of individual Catholics have no bearing on the official position of the Catholic Church.  Or, because some Catholics steal or murder or rape, do we presume that this is condoned by the Church or in accordance with its orthodoxy?

        6.  Catholic priests molested little boys!

        Yes, the Catholic Church certainly did itself no favors in this matter, but what has that to do with paying for birth control?  Oh, wait, I know!  It is part of an attempt to establish that the Catholic Church is a corrupt, criminal organization that has no moral authority and no rights so it’s OK to steamroller them.

        7.  Non-Catholics work for the Catholic Church!

        True, and the Church is not denying them all the birth control that they care to buy.  The Church simply does not want to pay for it.  In the same way, the Church does not deny its employees the right to drive any car they want or eat in any restaurant they want (including meat on Fridays, the horror!), but simply refuses to pay for it.

        8.  The Catholic Church is behaving as if it’s above the law!

        Um, no.  The Church is stating its objection to paying for something that it regards as a sin.  The First Amendment protects churches from government coercion and diktat.

        9.  Well, we’ll get an insurance company to pay for it.  Won’t cost the Catholics a thing!

        Quite aside from the fact that this is a blatant third-party purchase, it also represents unconstitutional government coercion of private insurance companies.  Further, what benefits are offered by an insurer is a matter for the buyer to decide, not the government.  Finally, nothing is “free”; somebody has to pay for the benefit.

        10.  The government gives lots of money to the Catholic Church, so it has a right to tell the church how to spend it!

        There’s some logic here.  On the other hand, it’s generally considered to be in (ahem) bad taste to give somebody money, then demand that they spend it in ways that they don’t want.

        11.  Republicans do it, too!

        Sorry, but the voting records of some Republican members of Congress isn’t a particularly good argument for me to change my opinion on something.

        12.  You just hate Obama!

        Pretty much, and the sooner that corrupt thug is out of office, the better for our country.

        Etc., etc.

        The left is dodging the central issue, which is government control.  If Uncle Sugar can tell a church that it must pay for what it considers sinful behavior, or if it can tell insurance companies that they MUST provide what amounts to cash payments to insurees for “free”, then what other powers has it got?  Do we really want the president to have this sort of dictatorial authority?

        I say no.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          jb – Galileo and Bruno were LEGALLY persecuted…

          Yeah,
          that’s about what I thought. 

          No, apparently you missed my point. Again. Somehow. I don’t understand how. But whatever.

          As I see it, the Catholics take the very reasonable and
          constitutionally-protected position that they do not want to be forced
          to into the unprecedented position of having to pay for something that
          they regard as a sin.

          Then you see it wrong, because this position IS NOT constitutionally protected, and their situation IS NOT unprecedented.

          Churches can not do anything they want in the workplace, whether or not their reasoning is that it clashes with their beliefs. Do you understand that?

          Do you understand why? Because if they were able to just say no to any law because it conflicts with their beliefs, then their beliefs would be above secular law.

          IS there anything about that statement I just made, which is unclear?

          The rest of the numbered statements below aren’t really central to my points. Those are all versions of why it’s a good idea in this specific case – but those don’t answer what I’m trying to get through to you.

          This is the gist of my point is here. And it’s kind of ironic that you claim “the Left” is dodging this issue – because it’s what I’ve been trying to get through to you the whole time.

          If
          Uncle Sugar can tell a church that it must pay for what it considers
          sinful behavior, or if it can tell insurance companies that they MUST
          provide what amounts to cash payments to insurees for “free”, then what
          other powers has it got?

          The US doesn’t have other powers. These are covered under the powers it already has – the powers OF A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

          The US has ALWAYS had, and ALWAYS used, these powers. The US has told churches what to do outside of their churches, since well before we made polygamy illegal. The US has told companies what to do, since well before it started forcing them to pay for proper meat and safety inspection, and safety features on automotive products.

          If you don’t like this, then you don’t like reality as it currently is and historical reality as it has been since our creation as a country.

          You’re free to not like it. But that doesn’t change a thing.

          Do we really want the president to have this
          sort of dictatorial authority?

          Christ, IT’S NOT JUST THE PRESIDENT. Can you please at least understand that? This is a packet of laws that was passed by the Senate and Congress!!!!!!!!

          !!!!!

          I mean, really.

          • herddog505

            jbThe US has told churches what to do outside of their churches, since well before we made polygamy illegal. The US has told companies what to do, since well before it started forcing them to pay for proper meat and safety inspection, and safety features on automotive products.

            Shorter version: we’ve been violating people’s right for years, so what’s the big deal about doing it some more?

            Say… we’ve had Indians rounded up on reservations for decades.  AND we locked up Americans of Japanese, German, and Italian descent during World War II.  Does that mean that we can round up (for example) Muslims, too?  You’d be fine with that, right? I mean, if the Congress passed a law for it?

            jbThe US doesn’t have other powers. These are covered under the powers it already has – the powers OF A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

            Which are listed – and it’s a fairly brief list – in Art. I sec. 8 of the Constitution, and which are explicitly limited in various Amendments, notable I, IX, and X in this case.

            To borrow from President Madison, I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that part of the Constitution that gives the president the right to tell a church, insurance agency, or any other person or entity that they MUST offer free contraception – or any other free good or service – to any other person or organization.

            jbThis is a packet of laws that was passed by the Senate and Congress!!!!!!!!

            1.  Out of curiosity, can you cite the law (paragraph or section) that gives Barry this power?

            2.  The Congress could pass a packet of laws stating that Baptists have to sell liquor out of their churches, or that Jews must eat shellfish every Friday, or that Muslims must cross themselves when swearing on a Bible in court, but that doesn’t make those things “right” any more than giving a hoodlum my wallet when he’s got a gun to my head is “right”.

            As I wote at the beginning, the right in this case is on the side of liberty and less government power.  The left is hell-bent on rationalizing MORE government power.

            Why am I not surprised?

            [EDIT] RE: Galileo and Bruno

            Yeah, yeah, yeah. Church and state, theocracy, Catholics are bad, blah-blah-blah

            [/EDIT]

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Shorter version: we’ve been violating people’s right for years, so what’s the big deal about doing it some more?

            Shorter shorter: It’s a violation of rights because I say it is!

            To borrow from President Madison, I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that part of the Constitution that gives the president the right to tell a church, insurance agency, or any other person or entity that they MUST offer free contraception – or any other free good or service – to any other person or organization.

            Well let me help you put your finger on that. It’s called the Commerce Claus. That gives Congress the right to create legislation about health care, and thus the Church’s activities in the business realm that interact with health care.

            So, to “borrow” from the law as it actually stands, when a church is operating in a secular realm such as a business, it can and should be subject to this secular law.

            Out of curiosity, can you cite the law (paragraph or section) that gives Barry this power?

            Sure. Here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution

            The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as
            follows…

            See, first he signs or vetoes the laws which were passed by Congress. If he signs them, that gives him the obligation to execute those laws.

            You should know this.

            Yeah, yeah, yeah. Church and state, theocracy, Catholics are bad, blah-blah-blah

            No, not quite. The Church should not have power to dictate laws to the state, and decide which laws it will and won’t obey. This is so because it has been historically bad.

            You know, history blah blah facts blah blah blah established law in action since the beginning of our country that has kept us all free and kept religions from oppressing each other blab blah blah.

          • herddog505

            Shorter:

            The Constitution means what I say it means today, though – somehow – it didn’t mean that to the people who wrote it or who have lived under it for the past two centuries.

            We have reached the point where we are talking past each other.  I fundamentally disagree with your view, you fundamentally disagree with mine.

            Until we meet again…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             I don’t at all mind you disagreeing with my view. What bothers me is how you disagree with facts.

            Let’s take this seemingly final statement:

            The Constitution means what I say it means today, though – somehow – it
            didn’t mean that to the people who wrote it or who have lived under it
            for the past two centuries.

            NOw, I have repeatedly shown and explained that Churches have been placed under secular law since the beginning of the founding of this country. I have mentioned numerous examples throughout this page – from Mormons and polygamy, to religious pacifists and war.

            And yet, somehow after all that, you cling to this thoroughly contradicted notion that this is some new thing that Obama cooked up, that a Church **Doesn’t** get to have it’s way in the business realm and ignore any secular law it wants.

            I really don’t understand this. Why do you still cling to this, when it’s been thoroughly disproved? I really don’t get it.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

     Those “Some who may perceive it as a problem…” are civil libertarians.

  • Walter_Cronanty

     Why wouldn’t it apply?  Are you saying that there are even more provisions of Obamacare that no one knows about and that one of those unknown provisions might exempt Obamacare from the provisions of RFRA?  If so, then Obamacare is even worse than I thought.  This is a federal law and RFRA applies to federal laws. 
    As to your question concerning whether the feds could demonstrate that the law meets RFRA’s standards, I have a question in response: Can you cite one case wherein the Supreme Court held that a law or regulation both: (1) furthered a compelling government interest; and (2) was the least restrictive means of furthering that interest?  I’ve not found one, but I haven’t looked in a couple of years.  The standard Congress adopted in RFRA is a literal death penalty for any law to which it is applicable.
    While the First Amendment argument is fun, it’s clear that RFRA provides more protection for the Catholic Church in this situation.  Why go on about the Smith decision when Congress [and the general public] was so upset about that decision that they enacted legislation to negate its holding?  I think the government will do everything in its power to attempt to find that RFRA doesn’t apply – an argument I don’t see being a winner.  If RFRA is found to be applicable, the law will be struck down.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

    There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

    Robert Anson Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

       Great science fiction writer. He also was okay with incest.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

        How can we possibly object to jb dictating to us when he does so for our own good?

        Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

        C. S. Lewis

        Come to think of it, he has also proposed jailing folks without trial, no doubt for their own good as well.

        Scratch a progressive and a fascist yelps.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

          How can I possibly object to Rodney never answering straight questions?

          Like this: I do.

          Also, I object to Rodney accusing me of fascism. Also, I could be wrong, but I really don’t recall ever proposing that people be jailed without trail. Can you find that quote for me? If so, I’ll own up to it. If not, you should take it back.

          Scratch a conservative like Rodney, and find someone who likes to avoid straight questions with hyperbole and accusations.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            The creature who poses questions of the form “have you quit beating you wife yet” wonders how others could possibly object to answering them.

            He would deprive others of Rights guaranteed under the Constitution, and supports the SCoaMF in his crony capitalism, and objects to being called a fascist.

            I, at this point, will admit to conflating Jay with jp (it was Jay who proposed jailing folks sans trial).  Mea culpae.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            The creature who poses questions of the form “have you quit beating you wife yet” wonders how others could possibly object to answering them.

            He would deprive others of Rights guaranteed under the Constitution, and supports the SCoaMF in his crony capitalism, and objects to being called a fascist.

            I, at this point, will admit to conflating Jay with jp (it was Jay who proposed jailing folks sans trial).  Mea culpae.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            The creature who wastes many more electrons avoiding questions than it would take to answer them, has at least graciously admitted his fault.

            Thank you.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Who knew I was applying anti-electrons for an elecron-anti-electron anti-matter reaction.  How else could one “waste” electrons?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            By causing electrons to appear in the form of answers like that one, rather than an answer that actually responds to the question.

            This would be “waste” in the sense of “squander” you see.

            It’s true, though, that there are certainly plenty of electrons to squander.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             The thing most squandered here has been the time taken by folks to read your drivel and reply to it.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Imagine how much time you could have saved, then, by directly answering my questions the first time.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             None.

            But I’ll save time now…

  • Walter_Cronanty

     First, your link states the opinion that the regulations are unconstitutional: “The absence of a compelling governmental interest in a contraception
    mandate renders this portion of the Affordable Care Act, at least as
    implemented in this instance, an unconstitutional violation of the Free
    Exercise Clause. The principled thing for the Administration to do is
    set up a process by which religious institutions can apply for and
    reasonably obtain exemptions from being required to comply with this
    portion of the Act.”  Thus, it seems to counter your argument above. 
    Second, your link uses the wrong test for RFRA [the author mixes his discussions of 1st amendment and RFRA - perhaps he is talking about the traditional "strict scrutiny" test, I don't know].  The author says that the government must demonstrate a compelling governmental interest and that the regulation is narrowly tailored to serve that interest.  Under RFRA, the second prong of the test is whether the regulation is the least restrictive means of serving the interest.  See, Sec. 3, (b) (2).  As I stated above, I do not believe that test, unlike the traditional strict scrutiny test, has ever been passed, at least in the Supreme Court [I could be wrong, as I haven't looked at this issue in a couple of years, but I don't think I am].
    Third, the author of your link states that maybe RFRA doesn’t apply because: “by passing the ACA, Congress carved out (perhaps unintentionally) an
    exception to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which
    legislatively reinstituted the Sherbert test after the Smith case, and even if Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal did not make clear that Sherbert
    is the appropriate framework under RFRA for at least Federal-level Free
    Exercise claims, we’d still be in the world of needing to find both a
    compelling interest and narrow tailoring.”  In addition to using the wrong second prong of the test, as discussed above, Congress CANNOT “unintentionally” except a law from RFRA.  “RFRA itself provides
    that a later-enacted federal law is subject to RFRA (as are regulatory
    implementations of that law) ‘unless such law explicitly excludes such
    application by reference to this chapter.’ In other words, RFRA bolsters
    the already-robust presumption against implied repeal by stating that
    any repeal or override of its protections must be explicit.There
    is nothing in the Obamacare legislation that explicitly overrides RFRA.
    (Nor is there anything that impliedly does so with respect to the HHS
    contraception mandate.)”  That quote comes from this article, which I wish I was aware of sooner so I could have linked to it sooner – I stumbled upon it while doing additional research on RFRA in response to your comment.  Well, at least I feel better knowing someone else has written what I believe to be self-evident.  Here’s a link, and it is well worth reading. http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.4654/pub_detail.asp

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Responding to Walter Cronanty here.

    The only tough part about your question is its inartful drafting.

    Great! Strange, then, that it took you so long to answer. But so be it.

    It has no relevance to anything but your your tiresome sophistry.

    No, your RFRA question has no relevance to YOUR tiresome sophistry. Nyah nyah nyah.

    Now, to your question [oh, and screw you as to your petty little "Yes or no?" - we're not trading notes in grade school]:

    We aren’t? You apparently like to throw around epithets as if we were. Screw you too, and up your nose with a rubber hose.

    Now, if you’re ready for an actual adult discussion?

    Change one of the three assumptions [substantially burden; compelling governmental interest; least restrictive means] and, in all probability, my answer will change.

    Thank you for finally replying to my question. The interesting thing is, I quite agree with your stipulations. I just disagree that they apply in this case.

    Re: this point -

    Assuming that the secular law substantially burdens the church’s free exercise of its religion

    …which this law does not, as this is an example of the Church operating PUBLIC BUSINESSES, on which business taxes are collected and many other business regulations are already applied, and have been since these businesses’ existence, which should be sufficient to prove that they are not solely non-secular non-taxable church entities engaged solely in religious worship…

    AND the federal government cannot demonstrate that both the law serves a compelling governmental interest

    …which the Federal government can, as it has the right and obligation to regulate businesses due to, among much other established law, the Commerce Clause…

    AND that the law/regulation is the least restrictive means of serving that interest,

    …which it also is, because in this case the accomodation to the Church is so thorough that they aren’t even paying for the contraception, it’s coming to the Church’s PUBLIC BUSINESS employees from a third party…

    then I think that the church “should be able to avoid [the] specific secular law”

    Okay!

    This situation re: health insurance, is as stated above regarding Chruch activity in the PUBLIC BUSINESS realm. Which means it is a) a secular business, which b) the government has the right and duty to regulate according to passed laws, and which c) has nothing to do with Catholics private religious beliefs. Catholics remain free to accept or refuse contraception as they choose.

    To put it another way, it is not the duty of the US government to provide services and regulate public businesses in a way that the Catholic Church prefers. And especially not third-party businesses, such as the insurers providing the business-to-business interaction.

    Oh, and no apology for bluffing with a lie?

    If that’s what you did, no apology necessary. I forgive you.

    Oh, were you accusing me of bluffing and lying?

    Please show exactly where I said anything that was factually untrue.

    • Walter_Cronanty

       I already did, and it’s way up the post.  You know I did, and you ignored it because you’re a bullsh!t artist.  Yeah, it was in that post, which you already replied to, while ignoring your lie.  I don’t forget posters who try and bluff me in an argument with a lie. 

      • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

         Indeed, what he cites as facts (e.g. GWB leaving office in 2008 to be replaced by SCoaMF in the same year) are anti-facts on the planet most of the rest of us live on.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          His lie to me was blatant.  Here’s what he said, with the first portion in italics a quote of me, with his response not italicized:

           ”The question is not what I “think.”  The direct question is whether this particular portion of Obamacare violates US law.

          [his response] Ok -  then the direct answer is “no it does not.”

          If it DID violate US law, then it is highly unlikely that the Legislative Branch would have passed it. And in addition, it has withstood multiple court challenges across the country.”

          Of course, “this particular portion of Obamacare” had just been mandated by the Obama administration and hadn’t had the chance to be challenged in court, let alone “withstood court challenges across the country.”  Thus, in my reply to jb, I stated [my reponse]:

           ”I don’t trade comments with bullsh!t artists.  “…it has withstood multiple court challenges across the country.”  Bullsh!t.  HHS Secretary just announced the rule on January 20, 2012, that HHS, in implementing Obamacare, would require most health-insurance plans to include in the preventive services they cover all FDA-approved forms of contraception
          (including contraceptives that sometimes operate as abortifacients).  http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/…  
          There have been no court challenges to this rule.  Thus, this rule has not “withstood multiple court challenges across the country.”
          You wouldn’t answer my questions about RFRA because you simply don’t have the knowledge to give an answer, and you don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it.  Instead you play irrelevant word games and bluff with lies.  Piss off.”

          He responded without any reference to the lie.  Now he claims he doesn’t know/remember what he lied about: “Please show exactly where I said anything that was factually untrue.”  He is a weasel.  I should have stopped responding to him when I told him to “Piss off.”

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             Yep.  I was following the exchange and noted all that you relay above.

            Now you know it’s not worth engaging him, though I do encourage you to continue making comments which do ad to this site.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Thanks for the encouragement.  I really do like your [I suppose that's the imperial "your"] site.  Very interesting and thoughtful.  Commenters, for the most part, are very good as well.  Often times I read a post and want to comment, but someone has already said what I was thinking, and usually said it better than I would have.  Other times, commenters come up with ideas/thoughts I would never have come up with.  Don’t know how you guys work and keep up with all of this at the same time.  Excellent job – excellent site – please give my best to all who work with you.  OH, and where’s Jay Tea, really?  As long as he’s healthy and well…..

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            You are welcome.

            In the end this is Kevin’s site, he’s just (graciously) allowed me to post here.

            I’m perhaps the most “controversial” of the regular contributors here currently.  The commenters are, as you have pointed out, quite informative as well (for the most part).  I find it’s often better to sit back and watch vice engaging directly on my threads.  I’m often quite impressed with the knowledge and patience (a trait I’m not over endowed with myself) of our community here.

            As for Jay Tea, I really don’t know what’s going on there and I decline to speculate.

          • Walter_Cronanty

             I don’t know why you’re controversial, you seem perfectly reasonable to me.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

            Please see my response to your tantrum below.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

           Indeed, what Rodney likes to cites as “fact” is hairsplitting, as Obama was elected in 2008. But we all know that. It would be great to see Rodney actually comment on something of substance. But he has at least withdrawn a false accusation he made of me, which is something.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

             What jb dismisses as “hair splitting” is his penchant for doubling down on stupid.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

             Rodney, please explain to me the importance of “elected in 2008″ vs. “inaugurated in 2009″ to ANYTHING in this discussion.

            I would love to hear why you think that is not hair-splitting, but instead a directly relevant fact.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        Walter, it’s up to you if you want to get your panties in an uproar because I asked for some clarity on what you were talking about – but it’s certainly reasonable for me to ask what you specifically mean, when you are accusing me of lying.

        Sheesh.

        I was talking about a) how the Catholic Church’s rights to worship don’t apply to it’s business realm transactions, and b) how Health Care Reform, which *has* withstood multiple court challenges across the country, is a Constitutionally justifiable Federal regulation of business realm transaction.

        You were talking about the RFRA as may affect **one part** of this law, as executed by the executive branch.

        And then I **EXPLAINED** to you, with this comment, a couple of posts ABOVE where you first had a tantrum and called me a “bullsh!t” artist:

        I didn’t respond to the gist referring to the RFRA, because it is besides the ultimate point.

        Now, you can disagree with me about whether the RFRA actually is besides the ultimate point. But if I **ALREADY TOLD YOU** I consider your RFRA point an irrelevant tangent – then how am I being a bullshit artist?

        I mean, is it up to me for me to reread all my comments for you?

        And by the way, I also responded more directly to your RFRA point, in the post right after you called me a “bullsh!t” artist:

        But I don’t get to just disobey any law I want outside my house, because it conflicts with my beliefs, even if “it has yet to be challenged”.
        Why should the Church be able to disobey any law it wants IN THE
        BUSINESS REALM?

        Another question you haven’t answered, btw. So it goes.