“The move to dismantle the Catholic conscience — or at least to redefine it as a threat to the public good — is underway”

The Anchoress sees what’s taking place with clarity:

Obama_planned_parenthoodSome may remember that back in November, Mrs. Pelosi proclaimed her love for the church but noted regretfully, “they have this conscience thing”. And it is really getting in the way of where she thinks society should be.

Thus, the move to dismantle the Catholic conscience — or at least to redefine it as a threat to the public good — is underway. To that end an administration that didn’t need to involve the churches in its policies at all has gone out of its way to do exactly that.

And now, comes a “nuanced” assist.

Planned Parenthood called Paul’s Pantry, part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the biggest food pantry in Wisconsin, and asked them to come and pick up donations, which may have been noble, but wasn’t something the Catholic organization felt comfortable doing — sending a truck over and perhaps giving the abortion provider a photo opportunity. The American Life League reports what the worker at the pantry said:

All I told the young lady from Planned Parenthood was that I couldn’t send a truck to pick up, and gave her a list of other food pantries that might want to pick up, I gave her no reason at all and she didn’t ask why. Soon after, I started receiving the hate e-mail and phone calls. I politely explained to callers that although we are non-denominational in regards to those we serve, we are a Catholic organization who shares a board of directors with our sister organization, St. Vincent de Paul. We adhere to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and to the Rule of St. Vincent de Paul. I also explained our Gift Acceptance Policy and how acceptance of the donation would compromise our core values and possibly damage the reputation of Paul’s Pantry.

What happens next, of course, is entirely predictable, and of a piece with President Obama’s move with the HHS Mandate; this is all gauged to eliminate the churches from the public square.

Read what happens next and understand that it’s coordinated, willful and frankly wicked.  

To suggest otherwise is to be obtuse or ignorant… or an accomplice.

Liberal Tactics: Just Lie, No One Will Check!
Jennifer Rubin Hits Santorum with Quote Out of Context
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  • Walter_Cronanty

    The spawn of Sanger find something else they believe to be undesirable; therefore, they must destroy it.

  • Hank_M

    “Soon after, I started receiving the hate e-mail and phone calls.”

    Of course. With the left, it’s always do as I say or else. Never ever any consideration for differing points of view. Never any tolerance.

    And you know, this “donation” seems like a setup to me.

    • Mr Kimber

      I was talking to one of my co-workers yestarday about this. He nailed it. Give this guy another 4 yrs. and the Catholics in America will be like the Jews in pre- war Germany. Before any one says Im nuts let me ask them: Has any one seen how far this Administration is willing to go to “fundamentally change America”? 

      Picking this kind of fight dosen’t make sense to me. What I do know is nobody picks a fight if they think they are going to lose. What do they know…Im thinking massive voter fraud.

      • Hank_M

         Good points, but I think they’re picking this fight for 2 reasons.
        One, to continue to diminish the influence of the Catholic Church, and by extension all religion (except one of course) and two, to divert any and all attention from the abysmal Obama record.

        Dems always think they can win on social issues, especially their holy grail – abortion. They cannot win on the economy and national defense.
        So may as well change the subject. The Repubs, cementing their status as the stupid party, always fall for the feint.

        • jim_m

          Yes they want to play to their base and they feel that abortion is a strength.  But they have overplayed their hand. 
           
          They have moved to violate the rights of Catholics and specifically their church.  Now they are saying that people who work for religious organizations will not be eligible for their government programs. 
           
          Religious organizations and people of faith are being designated by this government as second class citizens.  It is not a coincidence.  But in doing this they have pissed off a lot of people and done more to energize conservatives than they have done to energize their own base.  They have given reason for many moderates who would have otherwise voted for Barry a solid reason to oppose him.

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        Or no election.

        Crap.  I thought that was nuts when far-libs would mention the possibility.  Now? I’m not convinced such a thing is off the table. Obama strikes me as a ‘by any means necessary’ sort when it comes to maintaining power – and now that he’s got it, he’s not going to give it up willingly.

        And the funny thing is – I think he hates the job.  It’s the perqs that are so good, and the adulation he’s getting that so turn him on that are addictive. It’s not about he can do for the country, it’s what the country can do for him.

        • jim_m

          I have thought for a long time that it is totally on the table.  They were fast to accuse Bush of wanting to do that. And as we have pointed out the left’s primary excuse is “everyone does it!”  They will use the same excuse when they do it themselves.  It will be, “Well, Bush wanted to.”

          I have thought that if we don’t get him out now we never will.  I’m starting to think that even if we vote him out that he won’t leave.

          • Mr Kimber

            I have said this before on this site: if he gets a second term he goes after the Second Ammentment. If he gets that, remember we are only one Justice away, he gets a third term… or longer. Seeing what I have seen from this guy I could see this happening. We have a Senate and a DOJ that breaks any laws it wants and a Republican leadership that can’t stick to it’s principles. Too many politicans only interested in the next election.

          • jim_m

            When he took office he told Bob Scheifer that he expects to be president for more than 2 terms

            “the objective of this trip was to have substantive discussions with people like President Karzai or Prime Minister Maliki or President Sarkozy or others who I expect to be dealing with over the next eight to 10 years.”

            Yes.  obama expects to stay in office a long time.

            [corrected]

    • JWH

      Of course. With the left, it’s always do as I say or else. Never ever any consideration for differing points of view. Never any tolerance.

      Please don’t insinuate that the right is somehow more virtuous.  When the right wing is dealt a defeat, they’re not exactly paragons of tolerance.

      • Hank_M

         Fine. I won’t insinuate it. I’ll state it.

        The right is more virtuous, tolerant and charitable than the left while also noting that both sides have their lunatic fringe.

        • JWH

          I will believe that at the moment the right wing stops poking its nose into other people’s medical business.  

          • jim_m

            The comment does not necessitate that the right is virtuous.  Only that the left is far worse.

            You cannot tell me that the left with their intollerance of people with religious beliefs, with it’s inability to allow people to express differing opinions is more tolerant than the right.  Look at the lunatic teachers and college professors who punish students for having the timerity to publicly state their beliefs about premarital sex, homosexuality, the existance of differences between man and woman, 2nd amendment rights, social policy, etc. 

            Students cannot be allowed to express those beliefs.  It is forbidden!  Holding beliefs contrary to leftist doctrine is intollerable.

            And if you want to talk about charitable, I will point you toward the most easily measured aspect: Charitable donations, and you can find any number of studies that shows that conservatives give far more to charity than the left does.

          • JWH

            Yes, Yes, I recall a case where a student was in trouble for the Ten Commandments in his locker, and those right-wing lunatics at the ACLU came in to defend him.

          • jim_m

            I can tell you that the ACLU hardly ever defends Christians on their rights to say grace in school on their own or to pray on their own or to even have a bible in their locker or book bag.

            Far more likely is that there will be intervention from a group like the ACLJ that actually does look after the religious freedoms of Americans.

            ACLU has more often come out against those rights.  It’s almost funny that you think the ACLU is a defender of the rights of Christians. They are the exact opposite.

          • JWH

            Jim … I’ve seen the ACLU generally come down on individual rights in the context of religious-liberty disputes.  

          • jim_m

            Sorry.  I’ve seen them come out against public expression of religious thought so many times that I find it difficult to believe that an organization founded by atheist communists really cares about religious expression.

          • JWH

            Question:  Are these misbehaving teachers disciplined for their transgressions?

          • jim_m

            So it doesn’t matter that they do it in the first place as long as sometimes they are punished for it?  The point is that they have a mind set that says that nonleftist thought is illegal.

          • JWH

            The point is that there are always bad actors, and said bad actors should face consequences for their transgressions.  

    • UOG

      Hank, has any person from the left ever told you that they needed to learn to be more tolerant? I don’t know about you, but I can say that the only thing I’ve ever heard is people on the left telling me I have to learn to be more tolerant.

      • Hank_M

         UOG, no, I have never heard that from my friends on the left. Then again, the only way I can stay friends with those on the left is to keep my political leaning and opinions to myself.

        I’ve found that, at least here in my neck of the woods, when people get together, conservative folks gently approach the subject of politics. If they find the other is also conservative, then they relax as they can express themselves freely.

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

    It is a huge mistake to speak of this as a Catholic issue, and the Bishops have demonstrated a virtually complete abandonment of everyone but themselves in their narrow opposition by demanding only an exemption for religious institutions and organizations.

    What about lay business owners who object to paying for abortion and contraception on moral grounds?  Under the Bishops’ bus.  It’s a disgrace.

    This is an issue of conscience for every American, even those who favor abortion on demand on the basis of individual freedom.  Catholics should be making this point instead of allowing ourselves to be carved out from the herd as if by a cattle dog.  We should be joining with private business owners and pro-life Protestants and fighting for right on principle.

    You know dang well the second Obama blinks and gives the Bishops an exemption for their operations, they will leave the rest of us hanging – with best wishes and perhaps a blessing as they leave the battlefield celebrating their victory.

    • JWH

      Actually, I’ve seen (can’t remember where) that at least some Catholic leaders have thrown their support behind a congressional bill that would allow any employer or insurer to refuse a facet of medical coverage on conscience grounds.  

      I assume my position on such things is well-known here, so I’m not going to reiterate it.

      • jim_m

        I am going to assume that you do not believe such grounds to be valid then?

        • JWH

          From a constitutional standpoint, I don’t think you can argue that the right to freely exercise one’s religion extends to the denial of certain health benefits to employees. Of course, you can make a strong case that the federal government can’t interfere with a religious institution itself, and I would agree with that case. You can make a weaker argument on behalf of religiously affiliated institutions — i.e., a Catholic hospital or a Catholic-affiliated book publisher. But I think, say, a Catholic who owns a shoe store is going to have a hard time arguing for an exemption under the Constitution.

          It’s been a while since I seriously looked at this area of the law, but even under the most stringent test — strict scrutiny — I think the government could argue that it has a compelling interest in ensuring that all Americans have access to contraception, and it could argue that requiring employers (or insurers) to cover such things is the least restrictive means to do this. And please recall that I am assuming for the sake of argument that PPACA passes muster as a valid exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.

          It’s important to remember that very few cases pertain only to a single right or single element of the Constitution, but involve resolution of the tension between different aspects of the Constitution, or between two different individuals’ rights.

          Of course, Congress would be entirely within its rights (I think) to write
          a conscience clause into law. I believe that would be bad public policy.
          I would prefer that Scientologists and Christian Scientist commercial
          employers not be able to write their medical preferences into their
          non-Scientologist and non-Christian Scientist employees’ insurance.

          • jim_m

            What constitutional right to health care ahs ever been identified?  Dumbass.  It isn’t a right when it puts a burden on someone else to provide it for you.

            What does it cost someone else for you to exercise your right of free speech?

            What does it cost someone else for you to exercise your right to assemble?

            I can go on.  It doesn’t cost me a thing if you want to exercise your rights. Your rights becom elimited when they start costing other people something.

            You ignorantly demand that other people syurrender their basic human rights so you can have healthcare on demand in any way you please?  Screw you!

            Look at the law dope. RFRA was passed to explicitely prevent what obama is doing today.  What he is doing violates existing statute as well as the constitution.  But you lefties don’t care about the law it is whatever you say it is today and tomorrow when you change you mind it will say whatever you want it to then.

            Sorry, I don’t want to live in your jackbooted uptopia.

          • JWH

            I said “assuming for the sake of argument,” meaning that I was not touching on that question here. Try sticking to the scope of my argument.

            And, no, I did not press for a jack-booted utopia. I analyzed the issue, and I did so without your rhetorical flourishes. Now, can you argue without hyperbole? Or are you dependent on make-calling?

          • jim_m

            You assume a constitutional right to healthcare that does not exist.  You also assume that this nonexistant right trumps other constitutional rights.

            Your self declared right actually imposes costs on others for you to access it.  You demand that someone provide the contraception or the abortion for you.  You declare that your right to what you want is superior to the wants and needs of others. 

            You are creating a right that does not exist and setting it above all other rights.

            I point to my comment below:  If you can force someone to pay for the contraception or abortion against their will, what is your argument that you cannot force them to perform the abortion then?  You cannot possibly argue it while staying logically consistent.

          • JWH

            I point to my comment beloew:  If you can force someone to pay for the contraception or abortion against their will, what is your argument that you cannot force them to perform the abortion then?  You cannot possibly argue it while staying logically consistant/

            First off, the word is “consistent.”  

            Second, I have not even spoken to the merits of the contraceptives issue.  I have merely said that I believe granting broad religious exemptions is a bad policy.

          • jim_m

            typo duely noted.

            So you believe that religious rights are bad public policy?  At what point does anyone have any rights under your formulation?  By your reasoning our rights are not rights at all but merely dependent upon what is expedient for the government.

            Remember when I said you wanted a jackbooted utopia?  This is why.

          • JWH

             So you believe that religious rights are bad public policy?  At what point does anyone have any rights under your formulation?  By your reasoning our rights are not rights at all but merely dependent upon what is expedient for the government.

            No.  I argue that broad religious exemptions for nonreligious activities are a bad public policy.  As to the individual rights, I think they have to be resolved on a case-by-case basis.

          • jim_m

            By broad religious exemptions you seem to mean exemptions to organizations.  So an individual has a right but a religious organization may not? 

            An individual has a right sometimes since we will resolve whether or not they have those rights on a case by case basis?

            These are no longer rights by any definition I know of. A right is not conditional of government approval.  However that seems to be your position.  When it no longer serves the collective you no longer have your rights.

          • jim_m

            I’ll further note that you didn’t answer my question: At what point do you want to stop on your slippery slope?  And how are you going to justify it?

            A person has a right to health care so you are going to demand that someone pay for it.  If they have such a claim that they can demand that the employer pay for it regardless of religious conviction what excuse is there that they should not also be forced to provide that service?

            There is none.  To you rights are arbitrary and given only when you find them convenient.

          • JWH

            I don’t believe a person has a “right” to healthcare.  I believe it is an open question as to whether the federal government can compel the purchase of such healthcare.  Assuming that is a valid exercise of the Commerce Clause, I do not believe that a simple “this is against my religion” is sufficient to overcome such a valid exercise of the Commerce Clause.

          • jim_m

            So then a person does not have a right to healthcare.  Therefore you must be saying that statute should overrule the constitution.

            So you are also saying that the commerce claus should allow the government to regulate nonactivity and compel people to do things against their will?  That’s nice. 

          • JWH

            To your substantive points: first, I did not argue for a constitutional right to healthcare. I argued that if PPACA is a legitimate exercise of the Commerce Clause power, then it follows that the proper constitutional test is not a simple First Amendment analysis, but a balancing test between the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment.

            Also, I do not demand that others bear costs so I cam have “any healthcare I please.” Rather, I find that a religious exemption is bad public policy, particularly in an industry that depends on group benefit plans.

          • jim_m

            If obamacare can force you to pay for healthcare options that you find objectionable what is to say that the next step will not be to force healthcare providers to provide those healthcare options that are found objectionable?

            After all, the abortion is being paid for and the patient has an inalienable right to murder her unborn child.  Why should the Catholic Hospital, which we have already ewstablished has no rights to any religious or moral objection, be forced to provide that abortion?

            After all, the religious exemption is “bad public policy”.  I suppose “bad public policy” is anything that stands between you and your leftist ideals.

          • JWH

             I suppose “bad public policy” is anything that stands between you and your leftist ideals.

            No.  “Bad public policy,” in this sense, is an overly broad exemption that stands to do more harm than good.  

          • jim_m

            So it is less harmful to abbrogate the 1st amendment than it is to make some one pay for their own condoms?

            That’s nuts.

          • jim_m

            So it is less harmful to abbrogate the 1st amendment than it is to make some one pay for their own condoms?

            That’s nuts.

          • jim_m

            But I think, say, a Catholic who owns a shoe store is going to have a hard time arguing for an exemption under the Constitution.

            Read this: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/democrats-warn-new-menace-religious-liberty-fight-christian-scientist-shoesalesmen-democrats-warn-new-menace-religious-lib

            Idiot. So we should force everyone to provide healthcare even when it violates their concience, despite there NEVER HAVING BEEN FOUND A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HEALTHCARE!!.

            You bigot.  You think that your ideological ideals are bigger thatn everyone else’s human rights.  You are loathsome.

          • JWH

            And you don’t know how to spell.

            But since you need me to (again) spell out my position, it is this: I dot believe the Constitution guarantees healthcare. It does, however, allow regulation of such things via state government (intrastate commerce) or possibly by the federal government (Commerce Clause, unresolved at this time).

            If you seek a religious exemption from aspects of the law under the Constitution, it is not as simple as asserting your individual right.

            Courts have ruled that law trumps religious liberty in cases where, for example, a Christian Scientist parent denies medical care to his children, or where an Indian tribe seeks to employ peyote, a controlled substance, in its religious rituals.

            Again, this is established law. These instances are more extreme than the contraception issue, but they similarly involve a balancing test.

            I think the Blunt amendment is a poor policy choice because of the scope of potential exemptions, those exemptions’ possible impact on policyholders, and because it extends religious exemptions into an area of secular, rather than sectarian, concern.

          • jim_m

            Read the whole article.  The point is that the objections about scope are bogus.

            And I’d rather make typos and spelling errors than deny people their rights.

            Your whole position is based on either a right to healthcare or that you believe that statute should overrule the constitutoion. Neither are correct.

            You seem to feel no compunction agianst eliminating a person’s religious rights because you think that there is some broader social purpose.

            So if there was a broader social purpose to billeting soldiers in people’s homes you would invalidate the 3rd amendment?

            The whole point of the 1st amendment is that it protects religious conviction from secular bigots like you who have no respect for or understanding of religious principle.

          • JWH

            Jim, if you would tone down your histrionics and browse some case law for a few minutes, you’ll find I am on rather solid ground here.  

            Infringements on certain rights are allowed in certain cases; For nearly a century, the Supreme Court has employed varying levels of review (rational basis, intermediate scrutiny, strict scrutiny) to government action to determine if a particular alleged infringement is constitutional.  

            I’ve chosen not to answer your questions about “where to stop” simply because they are not germane.  The only question here is whether the federal government can compel coverage of contraceptives by a religious employer.  

            I think that if the entity challenging the law  a religious function, then that entity will successfully challenge the law.  If that entity does not — if it is an ordinary business, merely owned by somebody who is religious — I do not believe the challenge will succeed.

            I consider the Blunt amendment bad public policy because such broad, sweeping exemptions often create a number of unforeseen consequences and can lead to unfortunate results (not to mention a raft of unneeded litigation).  If Congress were to pass a narrowly tailored law that covers religious objections to contraceptives, I think I would disagree with it, but I also think it would have far fewer adverse consequences than the Blunt amendment.

          • jim_m

            The only question here is whether the federal government can compel coverage of contraceptives by a religious employer.

            My point is that if religious conviction is not sufficient for a religious employer to avoid having to pay for contracpetion or abortions, then why should religious conviction on the part of that same employer (a hospital) not also be found to be insufficient cause for them not to provide abortions?

            After all, if the commerce clause is sufficient constitutional justification to force the church run hospital to pay for abortions should it not also be sufficient cover to force it to provide them?

            Or perhaps the government could resort to tactics used in the past and say that if the church run hospital does not provide all the services mandated by law that it will not receive any Medicare payments.

            The truth is that you have no answer for why they should not be forced to do abortions other than you thinkit is wrong today.  That’s because you have already taken the position that religious conviction is not a sufficient excuse to not comply with laws that you like.

          • JWH

            I actually do have an answer.  It’s below.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QTKFCCUIJILNB3ZG3CZNMWJJNY ThanM

            When did health care become a constitutional right?

            When did contraception become health care?

            When did birth control become a constitutional right?

            How about we pay everyone $20 a month to abstain from sex? That is great way to control births! Plus, no side effects!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NLDVHVBNBKSUODWOIAFHQBAHII Stan

     What religion is safe, besides Islam? We all know that Barry is a closet Muslim and would like to see an all powerful Muslim caliphate in the United States.

    • jim_m

      Maybe if Catholics start cutting the heads off of leftists the left will start to respect the rights of Catholics.  I don’t think anything short of that would work frankly.

      • Meiji Man

        This is the same advice I gave the Mormons after the Proposition 8 issue in California.

    • jim_m

      I don’t think Barry is a muslim. I think at heart he is at best an agnostic if not an atheist and sees religion as a tool to manipulate people.  The communists saw it that way. obama was raised by communists.  Why would he think differently?

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

      Yeah, right. And your proof is . . .

  • GarandFan

    Her Highness of Heath Care is going to be very busy in the next year.  Replacing 600+ health care clinics and hospitals.   Wonder where Barry is going to get the money for that.

    • jim_m

      I agree.  I think the RCC should get hard ball with these idiots. But the reality is that restriction of access to healthcare is exactly what obama wants.  By reducing access you reduce the cost. Then he can blame the waiting lists on the church and not on the fact that he is cutting back funding. 

      People dieing is far cheaper than actually having to treat them.  Just look at the arguments the left puts out for contraception and birth control.  They want dead bodies becaue they are far cheaper than the living.

      • Mr Kimber

        Agree with you jim. If Obama can take over GM he will take over the hospitals the Church closes. It will be that simple and if people don’t think the the left would rather have dead bodies then treat people then answer: why obamacare now…just in time for the baby boomers.

        • jim_m

          He will have to use eminent domain to seize the property because the property is owned by the church.  In fact he will have to go beyond eminent domain law in order to seize them fast enough that the workers do not go find other employment elsewhere.  I would expect him to do exactly that as he has already shown that he is not beholden to the law.

          Heck.  He might try to seize the hospitals anyway.

  • jim_m

    Seriously, this is just the opening salvo in making beliefs other than far left ideology illegal.

  • 914

    I guess Barry’s not into religion? Or, is it, He’s GOD and everyone else is ..?? Fondling’s of his Utopian Orgasm!!

    • Commander_Chico

      Sometimes you reach a level of poetic brilliance.

      It’s demented, but brilliant.

      I request you get rid of that devil figure and bring back Pikachu, though.

      • jim_m

        I have to agree. The Pikachu was cool. This one is kind of creepy.

  • 914

    “a threat to the public good ”

    Yes Barry is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JWH

    Given how visually narrow my dialogue with Jim M has turned, I thought I’d state a couple points:

    First, assuming PPACA is found constitutional, my preferred accommodation is not to force Catholic employers to pay for birth-control coverage for their employees.  Instead, I would encourage them to set up HDHPs to cover employees’ catastrophic healthcare needs, then encourage (encourage, not require) those employers to supplement this HDHP with some level of contributions to individual employees’ HSAs … or .  The money in the HSAs could, indeed, be used for contraception.  Or abortion.  Or it might not.  The spending of that HSA money would be up to the employee, not the employer.  

    Second, I’d like to throw out a hypothetical.  Let us suppose for a moment that the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against the blind in the sale of transit services.  A Muslim cab driver refuses to transport a blind person with a seeing-eye dog, claiming that his religions prohibits him from transporting dogs.  Whose rights should triumph here?  The blind person’s?  Or the Muslim cab driver’s?  

     

    • jim_m

      I am aware that there is a belief that dogs are unclean. Is there an actual religious prohibition in transporting them?  I am not aware of such.

      However, there is a well defined doctrine stemming from the 13th century that the Catholic Church uses to support its prohibition of contraception and abortion.  These are not inferred prohibitions, but have been made explicit in church teaching ver the centuries.

      You compare an apple to an orange.

      Plus you still have the church paying for abortions and birth control.  You, like obama, offer no compromise at all.

      Nor are you apparently willing to discuss how far your dislike of a religious exemption should be allowed to go.  You say that there should be no religious exemption that allows an employer to not cover paying for abortion and contraception, but should that not also extend to the providing of those services?  Why not?  On what grounds do you now declare and exception?  If a Catholic Hospital is the primary provider of services in an area why should it not be forced to provide abortions? 

      What makes you think that if you can force the hospital to pay for abortions for its workers that you can say that they hospital should not also have to provide them?

  • JWH

    Jim M, I am not comparing apples to oranges … I am merely inviting you to comment on a parallel situation that involves a quest for a religious exemption to a law.  

    On what grounds do you now declare and exception?  If a Catholic Hospital is the primary provider of services in an area why should it not be forced to provide abortions?  

    This is both tricky and not tricky.  In general, I would not require a Catholic hospital to provide the contraceptives, but I would be OK with a law that requires them to provide a healthcare plan that includes coverage for contraception.  The difference is in the action.  In providing contraceptives, the Catholic hospital is forced to take an action and is acting in its capacity as a healthcare provider.  In providing coverage for its employees, that hospital is providing coverage that may or may not be used; the actual contraceptive use is not guaranteed.

    Additionally, I would argue that a health-insurance plan is similar to paying an employee directly.  I don’t think a Catholic hospital could argue that wages paid to its employees are “Catholic dollars” and therefore should not be used to purchase contraception.  Similarly, if an employer provides healthcare coverage, the decision of the actual use of those benefits pass from the hospital and to the employee.

    But I am open to compromises to accommodate bishops.  I outlined one above.  A second possibility is to require insurers to break out the contraceptive coverage as a separate policy available to the policyholders as an add-on.  The policyholder could then purchase the coverage, or not, via payroll deduction.  

    As far as providing abortions, I have one proviso.  If a Catholic hospital is the only hospital in a geographic area, and there is an emergency that requires a pregnancy to be terminated to save a mother’s life (and such things are thankfully rare), I would prefer that the hospital provide that termination.

    • JWH

      Incidentally, I’ve offered a couple possible compromises to the bishops.  Interesting that you don’t seem interested in them.

    • jim_m

      Thank you for finally answering.  You make a reasonable distinction between paying for it and actually doing it, but I am not sure that such a distinction will be meaningful to our current government.  My reason for feeling that way is that this government does not see the objection as valid in the first place and most of your arguments are along the same lines, that public good is at stake and that mere religious conviction should not be allowed to stand in the way of the public good.

      Secondly, the current RCC position is that paying for contraception is a form of encouraging the activity and is promoting something that is against their beliefs.  That position is not unreasonable.

      Thirdly, the church sees hospitals and schools etc as part of it’s missionary obligation.  Thus the conduct of providing healthcare and education arises from a specific biblical mandate.  When you say that these are not religious activities you are denying the very reason they are being done in the first place.  At what point will you decide that these kinds of missionary outreach are actually religious activities?  Who should be deciding?

      Since you seem to like case law I would direct you to the Hosanna Tabor vs EEOC ruling last month where the admin lost 9-0.  One of the chief points that the court unanimously agreed upon was that the government has no place in deciding what positions are miniterial positions and what activities are religious or nonreligious or how much religious activities are required for a position to be considered ministerial.  My point is that the court has demonstrated a clear reluctance to pare away anything from the current understanding of religious exemption under the constitution and RFRA. 

      The court says that the government has no business deciding what is protected under the exemption and what isn’t.  Wisely it sees that the government will continue to reduce what is exempt until there is no freedom remaining.

      • JWH

        Finally, we’re getting to something reasonable.  

        To my eye, how an exemption should apply to a religious employer turns on what, precisely, the definition of “religious employer” is.  I see three possible definitions:

        If it’s an actual religious organization, fine.  The Catholic Church can offer bennies that don’t include health insurance. Presumably most of the employees are Catholics anyway.   

        If it’s a religious-affiliated employer, it gets trickier.  To my eye, the Catholic hospital is fulfilling a religious role when it, say, ministers to the sick.  But I think its role changes when it’s acting as an employer. 

        When I said that I don’t think they’d prevail on a challenge to the law in that regard, I’m not just enunciating my own views on the rightness or wrongness of the claim.  I’m also estimating the claim’s chances of succeeding as a constitutional claim.  And I’m dubious about that.  

        The third category is of an employer who happens to be religious, but doesn’t fulfill any sort of religious function.  When you get to that realm, it’s rather well-established that federal and state governments have the greatest freedom to regulate.  And that’s what I was getting at with the Muslim cab drivers.  They’re claiming a religious exemption for what amounts to a business … I don’t think their quest for an exemption from the ADA is going to fly, and I don’t think that a Catholic tire manufacturer would be able to argue for an exemption from a contraceptive mandate.  

        I am familiar with the Tabor decision.  I actually found the decision somewhat frustrating because the court did leave open the possibility that some employees of a religious-affiliated institution are not going to be covered by their employer’s religious exemption from certain labor laws … but the court didn’t do that great a job of elucidating the distinction.

        The Obama administration, I think, erred in that case, which involved a teacher’s quest for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  In the first place, the Obama administration argued that the teacher was not a minister, despite the fact that her job duties included a substantial religious component.  In the second place, the Obama administration tried to argue there was no ministerial exception at all … a position that was clearly wrong.

        I think a case like that would turn out differently if, say, it was a minimum-wage claim by a Luthern church’s Wiccan janitor.  

        • JWH

          Lutheran, not Luthern.  

      • JWH

        The court says that the government has no business deciding what is protected under the exemption and what isn’t.  Wisely it sees that the government will continue to reduce what is exempt until there is no freedom remaining.

        This is not entirely true.  The court did not overrule a 1990 decision that allowed the feds to prohibit the use of peyote in Native American rituals.  

        • Walter_Cronanty

           I hate to be repetitive, but my harping on RFRA was on a dead thread.  Peyote/Native Americans was the Employment Division v. Smith case. While the Court did not overrule Smith, Congress passed RFRA in response, which largely sidesteps Smith RFRA was upheld as it applies to Federal, as opposed to state, law in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, which held that the federal government could not prohibit this particular church from using hoasca [a Schedule I substance] to make a scramental tea.
          In the body of RFRA it provides that the purpose of RFRA is to reinstate the law that was controlling prior to the decision in Smith [it actually goes beyond that, but only a 1st Amendment geek like me would have any interest in that discussion].  In any event, RFRA specifically provides as follows:
          (a) Findings: The
          Congress finds that–

          (1) the framers of
          the Constitution, recognizing free exercise of religion
          as an unalienable right, secured its protection in the
          First Amendment to the Constitution;

          (2) laws ‘neutral’ toward
          religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws
          intended to interfere with religious exercise;

          (3) governments should
          not substantially burden religious exercise without
          compelling justification;

          (4) in Employment
          Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) the Supreme Court
          virtually eliminated the requirement that the government
          justify burdens on religious exercise imposed by laws
          neutral toward religion; and

          (5) the compelling
          interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings
          is a workable test for striking sensible balances between
          religious liberty and competing prior governmental
          interests.

          (b) Purposes: The
          purposes of this Act are–

          (1) to restore the
          compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert v.
          Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963) and Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406
          U.S. 205 (1972) and to guarantee its application in all
          cases where free exercise of religion is substantially
          burdened; and

          (2) to provide a claim or
          defense to persons whose religious exercise is
          substantially burdened by government.

          Please see http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.4654/pub_detail.asp for a detailed discussion of why this new mandate of the Obama administration violates RFRA.  RFRA provides that the federal government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.I do not believe that any law/regulation has ever passed this test before the Supreme Court.

          • JWH

            Thank you for the information, Walter. I wasn’t sure which test would apply to a contraceptive-coverage mandate, but I’m (somewhat) gratified to see that it’s strict scrutiny.

            But I don’t think RFRA gives you an entire “get out of jail free” card when it comes to the law. Since you’ve got some expertise here, how do you think RFRA would affect a contraceptive-coverage mandate imposed on a business that is not religious in function, but is run by a religious person?

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Sorry, see my reply below.

  • herddog505

    Planned Parenthood called Paul’s Pantry, part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the biggest food pantry in Wisconsin, and asked them to come and pick up donations, which may have been noble, but wasn’t something the Catholic organization felt comfortable doing — sending a truck over and perhaps giving the abortion provider a photo opportunity.

    Clever.  Not unlike the local mafia boss inviting the DA over to his house to attend a police charity fundraiser.


    Planned Parenthood (and its friends) are entities that serve the public good; the Catholic Food Pantry (and its friends) are entities that block the public good

    “Public good” being wholly defined by the left.  And the Catholics are hardly alone in this as Susan G. Komen found out a couple of weeks ago.

    Once again, it’s like organized crime: “We’re here to collect money for a… um… neighborhood protection association.  Youse is gonna pay $50 every week for dues, y’unnerstand?  It’s to keep the neighborhood safe.  Youse WANNA keep the neighborhood safe, right?  Like your shop here.  It’s nice.  Be a shame if somethin’… happened… to it.”

    It will be interesting to see if Paul’s Pantry knuckles under.

    AdjoranThis is an issue of conscience for every American, even those who favor abortion on demand on the basis of individual freedom.  Catholics should be making this point instead of allowing ourselves to be carved out from the herd as if by a cattle dog.  We should be joining with private business owners and pro-life Protestants and fighting for right on principle.

    Excellent point.  The other food banks in the area – for that matter, the other churches – should side with Paul’s Pantry on this.  They must all hang together, or they will certainly hang separately.

  • Walter_Cronanty

     Whatever my “expertise” may be, it comes to a screeching halt when it comes to predictions, but since you asked….. Assuming that RFRA would cause the mandate to be invalid for the Church itself, if one is intellectually honest, I don’t see how you could then require an individual to provide that same product when his religion prohibits the provision of said product.  I like that result as it means more individual freedom and generally aligns with my thinking on religious freedom.  But, when one starts taking RFRA to its logical conclusion and also attempts to stay intellectually honest, the law becomes more problematic.  When the Little Sisters of Perpetual Promiscuity open their House of Whoreship and paying the High Priestess for sexual favors is the church’s method of fulfilling its sacrament of tithing, an entirely different sort of result ensues.  To make it a bit more realistic, how does RFRA apply to jihad.  If that’s too easy, how does RFRA apply to various facets of Sharia, say female circumcision?  That I don’t know, and I don’t want to think about it, really.  Hope we don’t get there, but unintended consequences can be a bitch.  Oh, and my prediction is worth every cent you paid for it.

    • herddog505

      Walter_CronantyAssuming that RFRA would cause the mandate to be invalid for the Church itself, if one is intellectually honest, I don’t see how you could then require an individual to provide that same product when his religion prohibits the provision of said product.  I like that result as it means more individual freedom and generally aligns with my thinking on religious freedom. 

      I go further: how can the federal government require the individual to provide that same product when his personal preference is NOT to provide said product?

      This goes beyond the immediate issue of providing free birth control and gets into issues such as working hours, wages, and even workplace safety.  Fundamentally, what right has the federal government, under the Constitution, to tell a businessman how he MUST run his business?  We’re told, of course, that there’s a “compelling government interest” in ensuring that workers are not oppressed, that they get a “fair” or “living” wage, that they aren’t made to work too hard, etc.  Again, why has the federal government got this power?

      What we’re seeing here, in my opinion, is the logical outcome of the fact that we ceded that power to Uncle Sugar.  Once we let government dictate one aspect of how a business must conduct itself, it’s very difficult to rationalize why it shouldn’t be able to dictate ANY aspect.

      For the “public good”, of course.

      I add in this regard that this is what unions are supposed to be for.  If workers don’t like the conditions at their place of work, they should, either individually or as a body, negotiate with the owner to improve them.  What has happened, however, is that Uncle Sugar is involved and HE decides what the conditions will be.  It’s wonderful if he happens to decide in your favor.  If he doesn’t… not so much, and there’s nothing you can do.

      Other than buy more politicians than the other guy, I suppose.

      • Walter_Cronanty

         Sorry again – see reply below.

    • JWH

      I don’t have specific RFRA expertise, but I can tell that that with law related to religion in general, the further you get from a particular religious purpose, the harder time you will have claiming that your religions beliefs merit an exemption from a particular law … at least as far as pure First Amendment claims are concerned.  As RFRA (which applies the strict scrutiny test) implies, there is a balance between government aims and free exercise of religion.

      At the extreme end, Christian Scientists have faced loss of custody (and criminal prosecution) for refusing to seek medical treatment for their children’s major illnesses.  

      More prosaically, you have (as I described above) Muslim cab drivers who refuse to transport blind people with seeing eye dogs.  This particular situation raises a confluence of rights:  1) The right of a blind person (guaranteed under ADA, IIRC) to access modes of public transportation and not be discriminated against in commerce; 2) The cab driver’s religious right not to have a dog with him in the cab; 3) The business owner’s right to have his business conducted as he sees fit; and 4) The cab driver’s right to seek from his employer a reasonable accommodation for his religion 

      Despite Jim M’s rants above, I’m not interested in creating some sort of anti-religious dystopia.  Rather, I acknowledge the reality that many controversies involve a balance of multiple rights and multiple aspects of the Constitution.

      As far as a Catholic business owner, I don’t think it’s that close a call as to whether RFRA and/or the First Amendment will exempt him from a mandate to provide contraceptive services.  From my own observations, the courts place substantial weight on whether the activity is religious in nature, as the “free exercise” aspect must be balanced with Congress’s (and state governments’) power to regulate business.  

      So I don’t think the Catholic business owner would be able to claim the exemption.  

      • herddog505

        JWHI’m not interested in creating some sort of anti-religious dystopia.  Rather, I acknowledge the reality that many controversies involve a balance of multiple rights and multiple aspects of the Constitution.

        A very good statement of the general problem.  The government has a right – a duty, really – to govern in the interests of promoting the general welfare.  However, it also has a responsibility to respect religious principles (and freedom of conscience generally).  On the other hand, people of faith – even very strong faith – are also members of the society in general and have an obligation to live within its bounds; one can’t say “I answer to (insert deity here) and you have no authority over me”.

        Thus, it’s a balancing act. 

        In my view, the government has pushed to far in this case: they are insisting that the Catholic Church to act in a way that is contrary to a well-known, well-established tenent of its faith.  If, in contrast, the government said that Catholic institutions must obey the minimum wage laws, collect various withholding taxes from its employees, observe fire regulations in its buildings, etc., there would be no problem as these do not touch on the Catholic faith; the Catholic Church is not asking to be set above the law, but rather that its faith be respected.

        Now, have female, non-Catholic employees of Catholic institutions have some rights here?  I suggest that they have: the CC should pay them in accordance with the various wage laws, provide safe work environments in accordance with various safety and health laws, etc.  But the employees have not got a right to ask the church – their employer – to violate ITS rights over their rights, especially when the “right” in question is not a right but rather a demand to be given money.

        I suppose that this will ultimately go to the SCOTUS.  Anybody know what religion that erratic fool Mr. Justice Kennedy observes?

        • jim_m

          It pushes it too far by asserting the claim that refusing to pay for someone’s wants is equal to forcing your religious viewpoint on them.  At what point has the Church EVER sought to constrain the private, at home behavior of it’s hospital and school employees in this matter?  The answer is that it has not. 

          The admin and the left have trumped up this issue to claim that the church is forcing their beliefs on others and it simply isn’t so.  The real bigots are those who demand that the church pay for contraception and anbortion.  THe real fools are those who think that this will not make way to force Catholic hospitals to provide those services as well.

          Yes there are difficult intersections of people’s rights.  In the case of the cab driver there may not be any other cabs available for the bloind man.  In the case of the employee wanting contraception, there is plenty of opportunity for him or her to go out and get it.

          Actually, that leads me to my second point: If you say that we should force the cab driver to take the seeing eye dog, how can you argue that we should not be forcing Catholic hospitals to perform abortions? After all, where else can people go to get their healthcare? The Catholic hospital system has far greater reach than Planned Parenthood.

          You can’t.  You won’t.  In a couple of year’s time (if that long) you will be arguing that we should force them to do the abortions or take them over.

          • JWH

            Actually, that leads me to my second point: If you say that we should force the cab driver to take the seeing eye dog, how can you argue that we should not be forcing Catholic hospitals to perform abortions? After all, where else can people go to get their healthcare?

            In the first place, my initial reaction is to look for some reasonable accommodation.  In the case of the cab driver, I’d look into, say, setting up a divider between the driver and his passengers like they have in New York cabs.  

            But if that wouldn’t satisfy him, I’d tell him tough noogies.  He’s engaged in commerce, he runs a public accommodation, and his religion doesn’t give him the right to discriminate against the disabled in his secular occupation.  

            As far as the hospital, I would not require the Catholic hospital to perform elective abortions.  When it is functioning as a hospital (as opposed to as an employer), it’s engaged in an aspect of its mission.  

            I think the best compromise (and one I’d hope that both the administration and Catholic-affiliated employers would agree to to avoid litigation) is to break out the contraceptive coverage as a separate line item in insurance coverage, and each employee could elect to purchase the coverage via payroll deduction.  

          • herddog505

            JWHHe’s engaged in commerce, he runs a public accommodation, and his religion doesn’t give him the right to discriminate against the disabled in his secular occupation.

            Should the government have the authority to tell businesses that they “can’t discriminate”?  I suggest that the fact that we have granted that power – with the best of intentions – has caused unexpected complications, such as the government telling the Boy Scouts that they must admit homosexual scoutmasters or female “boy” scouts, or telling the Catholic Church that they must provide birth control to their female employees.

            I don’t defend businesses who go beyond “no shoes / no shirt / no service” into outright bigotry (if for no other reason than it’s economically stupid to deliberately reduce one’s potential customer base), but shouldn’t private businesses have a right to decide what customers they will serve?  Should, for example, a private club admit ANYBODY because they can’t “discriminate” against non-members?

            JWHI think the best compromise (and one I’d hope that both the administration and Catholic-affiliated employers would agree to to avoid litigation) is to break out the contraceptive coverage as a separate line item in insurance coverage, and each employee could elect to purchase the coverage via payroll deduction.

            That seems a workable compromise to me, though I can understand why the church may not like it as it is too close to subsidizing behavior that is anathema to it.  Imagine telling the NAACP that, while they haven’t GOT to pay KKK dues for any employee who is a member, they will allow the employee to have the dues stopped out of his check and they’ll handle the administration.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        A law/regulation requiring a believing Catholic to provide contraceptives, including abortifacient contraceptives, to his employees, requires that Catholic to do what his religion prohibits.  If that statement is correct, then that law/regulation is a “substantial burden” on that Catholic’s fundamental right of free exercise of his religion.
        Your statement concerning “…the ‘free exercise’ aspect must be balanced with Congress’s (and state governments’) power to regulate business” is incorrect.  When speaking of First Amendment/RFRA rights, there is no balancing test, unless you count RFRA’s strict scrutiny, which is literally a death sentence, as somehow “balancing.”  I suppose it is the type of “balancing” where the butcher is pushing down on one side of the scale with his thumb.
        RFRA clearly, by its terms as written by Congress, applies to other laws written by Congress, no matter whether they regulate business or not:
         
        Sec. 6.
        Applicability.

        (a) In General.–This Act applies to all Federal and State law,
        and the implementation of that law, whether statutory or
        otherwise, and whether adopted before or after the enactment
        of this Act .

        (b) Rule of Construction.–Federal statutory law adopted after the
        date of the enactment of this Act is subject to this Act
        unless such law explicitly excludes such application by
        reference to this Act .

        (c) Religious Belie Unaffected.–Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize any government to burden any religious
        belief. [Note that the City of Bourne v. Flores decision held that RFRA was unconstitutional when applied to state laws].  

        I don’t see how you get around the text of RFRA.  It would apply to this federal mandate.  Whether you think RFRA is a wise law is a philosophical question, not a legal question.  Whether RFRA may lead down a path that is not where I would like to go is certainly a possibility.  But, I don’t see how you get around it.

        • JWH

          Actually, Walt, you’re incorrect. “Strict scrutiny” is indeed a balancing of a sort … if one can find a “compelling government interest” in this whole thing. Also, RFRA has been amended so that it doesn’t apply to state governments, so states, in the absence of a mini-RFRA, do have more latitude than the feds doing.

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Strict scrutiny is not your typical balancing test.  If you want to think of it as a balancing test, then it is, as I said in my comment, a balancing test with the butcher’s thumb pushing down on one side of the scale.  With RFRA, you replace the butcher’s thumb with his whole arm.  If you want to call that balancing, that’s fine by me, but know that the scales are rigged.

            RFRA has not been amended so as to make it inapplicable to state law.  As I said in my comment, the case of City of Bourne v. Flores held that RFRA was unconstitutional when applied to state law.  We’re talking about federal law here.  The case of Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal held that RFRA is constitutional when applied to federal law. 

          • JWH

            Walter, I am aware that it’s not a typical balancing test. But when differing powers and rights come into play, yes, there has to be a balance between the competing rights.

            As far as amendment, Wikipedia (citing to a legal book) indicates the law was indeed amended. I’ll see if I can find it in Google books later.

            During my lunch break and off hours today, I’ve actually spent a lot of time going through some RFRA-related precedent to see what I can find.
            Honestly, the case for a religious-affiliated employer such as a hospital being able to claim an exemption is murky. i found a Catholic Law Reporter article from the (I believe) mid 1990s that implied the protections available in such a situation (at least for getting an automatic exemption from a state-level requirement) are not good, even with a state RFRA, absent a specific law from the federal government.

            While searching for something relevant to a secular employer managed or owned by a religious person — I found very little case law that provided a useful guide. I did find a case in California (antedating the invalidation of RFRA as applied to state law) holding that unmarried couples’ right not to be discriminated against in housing outweighed the religious landlady’s religious objection to renting
            to unmarried couples.

          • Walter_Cronanty

             Alright, alright, alright…..I admit it – I’m anal when it comes to 1st Amendment tests.  I hate the short hand of simply saying “balancing” or even “strict scrutiny” tests.   1st Amendment jurisprudence is filled with very specific, different tests.  For example, the Brandenburg v. Ohio incitement to imminent violence test has about 6 elements [no, I can't remember them all right now].  To hear someone say the “Brandenburg balancing test” is useless, unless you’re sure everyone knows what you’re talking about.  Same with obscenity,child pornography – and don’t get me started on commercial speech and libel/slander.  The same is true when you move to the area of freedom of religion.  The free exercise clause has a specific test [see, Employment Division v. Smith and progeny] – and I’ve lost track of the test to determine whether some governmental entity has violated the establishment clause.  In short, all 1st Amendment tests, and there are at least two dozen, are different and I prefer not using shorthand because the elements are specific and very important.
            That California case is interesting [thanks for the link].  It’s a 1996 case, but the Court’s struggle with what constitutes a “substantial burden” is fun to read, and that is the issue which decides the case, at least as far as RFRA. 
            Assuming this analysis would be followed in our discussion, I don’t think it’s quite the same.  The court made a big deal out of housing discrimination law and the effect on third parties.  I don’t think that’s particularly relevant in RFRA and if it is, I just don’t think refusing to provide free contraceptives is on a par with refusing to rent an apartment – but that’s a judgment call.  But, more on point, note that the mandate already provides for a [very narrow] exception for religious reasons – what most religious institutions are are asking for is a more expansive exception.  If there is already an exception, how important is the provision of free contraceptives in the first place?
            If they don’t provide free contraceptives, I believe they are fined $2,000.00 per employee, per year.  For example, in one case, Colorado Christian University (the plaintiff) has 280 full-time employees and is facing an annual base
            penalty of $500,000.  That will put them out of business.  Thus, I think it will be relatively easy for a Catholic business person to demonstrate that requiring him to provide contraceptives to his employees is a substantial burden on his free exercise rights – and I think, in fact, it is a substantial burden.

  • LiberalNightmare

    JFK would be so proud.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    “What we’re seeing here, in my opinion, is the logical outcome of the fact that we ceded that power to Uncle Sugar.”  Well, you’ve taken my lines about about logical conclusion and unintended consequences and took them 180 degrees in the other direction.  I think that you’re right.  But I believe the states would have had the power concerning conditions of employment and exercised it, certainly in many different ways.  But we’re trying to rewrite about 80-90 years of history and I don’t find that a rewarding pursuit.  We’re stuck with what we’ve got.  The relevant issue now, at least in my opinion, is how to reign in the power of the federal government. And for the first time in my life, I’m beginning to think we’re beyond the tipping point on that issue – maybe that’s why I like RFRA.

    • herddog505

      Walter_CronantyI believe the states would have had the power concerning conditions of employment and exercised it, certainly in many different ways.

      I agree, and this is what lefties miss: under our federal system, the states, counties and municipalities have TREMENDOUS power.  California, for example, has some pretty tough environmental laws.  Various states are recognizing gay marriage.  These things are within their purview as states.  The Constitution does not grant the federal government these powers BECAUSE they were to be left to the states and the people.

      Unfortunately, the left has latched onto the top-down model, mostly because they’ve had quite a lot of the power over the past century and it’s much easier to influence one president and one Congress than it is to influence fifty governors and state legislatures.  Eventually, the worm will turn and they’ll be a sorry lot of people howling about enumerated powers and the Tenth Amendment.

      Walter_CronantyBut we’re trying to rewrite about 80-90 years of history and I don’t find that a rewarding pursuit.  We’re stuck with what we’ve got.  The relevant issue now, at least in my opinion, is how to reign in the power of the federal government.

      Exactly.  We can’t overnight get Uncle Sugar out of the business of running businesses, but we CAN say, “You’ve come this far; you shall go no farther.”

      • Walter_Cronanty

        From your keyboard to God’s ear, or should that be God’s monitor? 

  • essieokeefe

    You don’t have to spend countless hours dumpster diving, stealing newspapers, feeding your family processed-only foods and hoarding in order to save big instead get samples from Get Official Samples site

  • 1crappie2

    Anyone with a sense of history knows full well that Obama is merely setting up the Church instituted by God, for attack, as did Hitler in scapegoating the Jews.

    It is no secret that many will support this hatred – and not too few will be Catholic
    themselves.

    The Spirit of Vatican II has left its foul smoke in the sanctuary, and the un-shepherded sheep have turned into wolves….

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