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 Obama vs. religious freedom

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happy jack

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PostSubject: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/3/2012, 10:03 am

For the record, I personally am in favor of contraception.
Also for the record, I believe that, in this case, the Obama administration is very clearly stomping on the freedom of religion like Godzilla on Tokyo.



http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0202-chapman-20120202,0,354032.column

Inoculating against religious freedom
Obama's health plan vs. the rights of conscience

Steve Chapman
February 2, 2012

A few weeks ago, Rick Santorum got some criticism for saying the U.S. Supreme Court erred in saying states may not outlaw contraception. The idea that Americans could legally be forbidden to buy condoms or birth control pills struck most people as a gross violation of personal liberty.
They are right, of course. But many of those who think it's wrong to forbid Americans to buy contraceptives think it's just fine to require them to buy contraceptives. In this group, unfortunately, are President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who are hell-bent on enforcing that mandate on nearly everyone.
Under the Obama health care plan, employers that provide health insurance to employees must buy coverage for contraceptives and sterilization. Individuals who buy their own policies have to get the coverage even if they've taken a vow of celibacy.
For Catholic institutions, this is not trivial. The church regards artificial contraception as a violation of the natural order, insisting that "each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life."
The administration makes only miserly room for such views. Churches are effectively excused from the mandate, but other religious institutions — such as hospitals, universities and charitable organizations — are not.
A hospital may be named after a saint, founded by an order of nuns, replete with crucifixes and motivated by the teachings of Jesus, but too bad: It will be treated as the moral equivalent of Harrah's casino or Bain Capital. Those in charge may regard birth control as inherently evil, but they will have to pay for it anyway.
This is particularly ungenerous considering that the administration has provided an exemption for another group. The Amish are excused from the individual mandate to get coverage because they have religious objections to insurance of any kind.
………
This is an issue on which the Catholic Church is drastically at odds with prevailing opinion and practice. Its position has a way of bringing out latent anti-Catholic sentiment. Writing in The Huffington Post, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn sneer at "the male hierarchy's opposition to birth control." The issue, they insist, "is too important to be left in the hands of a small number of men in robes."
But religious freedom is too important to be left in the hands of people who see it as an obstacle to be pushed aside whenever it's inconvenient. Any time it is feasible to let organizations and individuals follow the dictates of faith, it's essential that they be permitted to do so.
That's established policy in many areas. When the military relied on the draft, Quakers were allowed to opt out because of their pacifism. When a Seventh-day Adventist was fired for refusing to work on her Sabbath, the Supreme Court said she was eligible for unemployment benefits. Prison officials have to accommodate the religious practices of inmates.
Why? Out of respect for religious freedom and diversity. Most Americans regard that tradition as a mark of civic health. In this case, the administration treats it as an illness to be cured.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/3/2012, 12:03 pm

All these institutions have to do is stop taking federal money and their problem goes away.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/3/2012, 3:22 pm

happy jack wrote:
Also for the record, I believe that, in this case, the Obama administration is very clearly stomping on the freedom of religion like Godzilla on Tokyo.[/b]

Yup. We did similar things when we forced religious institutions to recognize interracial marriages (and will do for same sex marriage), when we didn't give the KKK a free pass, when we allowed women to vote and work, every time we don't give a Christian Scientist a pass for killing their child, etc. Like most things, there are limits.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/3/2012, 4:47 pm

Artie60438 wrote:
All these institutions have to do is stop taking federal money and their problem goes away.
If they stopped accepting federal funds, would they be exempt from this mandate?
And what about businesses, religious or not, that currently do not accept federal funding?
Would they be exempt as well?
If so, then by what mechanism?
I'm not arguing the point - I'm just wondering how they would go about exempting themselves.
After all, the simple fact that someone does not accept federal funding does not mean that that person may disregard all federal laws, does it?
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KarenT



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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/4/2012, 9:26 am

When you are in a group policy, you pay for everything the group needs covered. When I worked at a manufacturing facility, I paid for the insurance. A coworker got insurance benefits for her eight children. Did I think she should have eight kids? No, but it wasn't my business; and I would have been covered for things she wouldn't have approved of.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/7/2012, 8:05 pm

Sorry, GOP: Poll of Catholics finds majority supports birth-control coverage

Quote :
Given the fact that 98 percent of Catholic women who've had sex are using birth control, and 99 percent of American women are using it, support for its coverage by insurance companies shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone other than maybe Rick Santorum (or Mitt Romney, depending on which day of the week it is).
The sliver of people who are offended by the idea of health insurance policies—which people pay for, with their own money—having to cover contraception is small. And extreme. And unfortunately, heavily male. "Women are significantly more likely than men to agree that employers should be required to provide health care plans that cover contraception (62% vs. 47% respectively)."

Fighting President Obama over contraceptive coverage might be a great way for Republicans to fire up their base, but it's not going to have much appeal when the primary is over.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/9/2012, 1:04 pm

When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.


http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/209553-white-house-struggles-to-contain-uproar-over-birth-control-mandate

Obama administration struggles to contain uproar over birth-control rule
By Amie Parnes and Sam Baker - 02/08/12 05:54 PM ET

The White House struggled Wednesday to contain the growing uproar over its birth-control mandate, with Democrats peeling off one by one in what has become an increasingly divisive election-year controversy.
Pressure to roll back the new contraception policy mounted quickly as the day wore on, driven by divisions among Democrats, mixed messages from President Obama’s advisers and a constant drumbeat from the GOP.
“It’s becoming a thorny problem for the White House and it appears to only be getting worse,” said one Democratic strategist. “The politically astute move would be to modify this thing, and quick.”
Asked if the administration should shift course, a former senior administration official said, “I don’t see how they couldn’t. It’s pretty bad.”
With the consternation rising to a fever pitch, Republicans announced a plan to move a bill soon that would repeal the mandate. And prominent Democrats are breaking with the administration over the policy, which requires some religious organizations to cover contraception in their employees’ healthcare plans.
Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) urged the White House last week to broaden the exception for religious employers. Several of their Democratic colleagues have piled on since.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said Wednesday that the Health and Human Services Department “misstepped” in adopting the new policy.
“I just don’t think this is a fight that should have been picked and I think it needs to be fixed,” Connolly said. “I have every confidence that the administration will do so.”
Tim Kaine, a former Democratic National Committee chairman running for Senate in Virginia this year, also said the White House should revisit the rule’s exemptions for religious organizations. The current policy does not apply to churches, but institutions such as Catholic hospitals and universities have to comply.
“I think the White House made a good decision in including a mandate for contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act insurance policy, but I think they made a bad decision in not allowing a broad enough religious-employer exemption,” Kaine said in a radio interview, according to a transcript provided by his campaign.
Democrats who support the White House policy dug in Wednesday.
………
Still, one senior Democratic aide said the plan has put some lawmakers in an “awkward position.”
“A lot of Democrats just don’t want to talk about it and be in the position of defending it,” the aide said. “It’s horrible timing.”
The aide said the issue has become “great messaging” for Republicans, especially those who want to court Hispanic voters of Catholic faith.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/9/2012, 8:03 pm

happy jack wrote:
When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.
Couldn't figure out how to read the poll above I posted? LOL! How sad.
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/9/2012, 8:58 pm

Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:
When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.
Couldn't figure out how to read the poll above I posted? LOL! How sad.

Yeah. Well I'm willing to bet that the Obama administration will find a way to "walk back" this rule, and will do it quickly.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 7:16 am

Scorpion wrote:

Yeah. Well I'm willing to bet that the Obama administration will find a way to "walk back" this rule, and will do it quickly.
White House to Announce ‘Accommodation’ for Religious Organizations on Contraception Rule
Quote :
With the White House under fire for its new rule requiring employers including religious organizations to offer health insurance that fully covers birth control coverage, ABC News has learned that later today the White House — possibly President Obama himself — will likely announce an attempt to accommodate these religious groups.
The move, based on state models, will almost certainly not satisfy bishops and other religious leaders since it will preserve the goal of women employees having their birth control fully covered by health insurance.
Sources say it will be respectful of religious beliefs but will not back off from that goal, which many religious leaders oppose since birth control is in violation of their religious beliefs.
White House officials have discussed the state law in Hawaii, where religious groups are allowed to opt out of coverage that includes birth control, as long as employees are given information whether such coverage can be obtained. But this accommodation would not go that far.
This announcement would not go that far. Sources say it will involve health insurance companies helping to provide the coverage, since it’s actually cheaper for these companies to offer the coverage than to not do so, because of unwanted pregnancies and resulting complications.
-Jake Tapper
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 11:42 am

Obama announces contraception compromise

Quote :
President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.

Under the new plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.

Female employees at churches themselves will have no guarantee of any contraception coverage -- a continuation of current law.

There will be a one-year transition period for religious organizations after the policy formally takes effect on August 1.

"No woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes." Obama said at the White House. But "the principle of religious liberty" is also at stake. "As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right."
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 12:40 pm

Heretic wrote:
Obama announces contraception compromise

Quote :
President Barack Obama announced a compromise Friday in the dispute over whether to require full contraception insurance coverage for female employees at religiously affiliated institutions.

Under the new plan, religiously affiliated universities and hospitals will not be forced to offer contraception coverage to their employees. Insurers will be required, however, to offer complete coverage free of charge to any women who work at such institutions.

Female employees at churches themselves will have no guarantee of any contraception coverage -- a continuation of current law.

There will be a one-year transition period for religious organizations after the policy formally takes effect on August 1.

"No woman's health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes." Obama said at the White House. But "the principle of religious liberty" is also at stake. "As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right."

This is much better, and really should be enough to satisfy those who oppose contraception for religious reasons.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 12:46 pm

Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:
When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.
Couldn't figure out how to read the poll above I posted? LOL! How sad.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/10/politics/contraception-controversy/index.html
Obama announces contraception compromise



How sad.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 2:02 pm

happy jack wrote:
Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:
[b]When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.[/b
Couldn't figure out how to read the poll above I posted? LOL! How sad.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/10/politics/contraception-controversy/index.html
Obama announces contraception compromise
How sad.[/b
Only for the Repubs as they can now kiss this wedge issue goodbye. This was a win-win for Obama. Public opinion,including Catholics,was always on Obama's side. Everyone's happy and women still get their birth control covered.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 2:20 pm

Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:
Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:
[b]When one has stepped in it as deeply as Obama has, it is wise to lift one’s foot and scrape off the bottom of one’s shoe at the earliest opportunity.[/b
Couldn't figure out how to read the poll above I posted? LOL! How sad.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/10/politics/contraception-controversy/index.html
Obama announces contraception compromise
How sad.[/b
Only for the Repubs as they can now kiss this wedge issue goodbye. This was a win-win for Obama. Public opinion,including Catholics,was always on Obama's side. Everyone's happy and women still get their birth control covered.

I never looked at it through the lens of political opportunism for Republicans; I looked at it as a clear-cut case of right versus wrong. And now, as far as I'm concerned, the right thing was done. The fact that it took a major flip-flop by Obama to accomplish the goal is irrelevant to me.


Artie60438 wrote:
"Flipper"' is at it again.....
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KarenT



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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 7:24 pm

The right thing being contraception coverage. Too late for me -
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 8:03 pm

happy jack wrote:

Artie60438 wrote:
"Flipper"' is at it again.....

Making up quotes now? Is this a new low you've sunk to?
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 8:13 pm

Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:

Artie60438 wrote:
"Flipper"' is at it again.....

Making up quotes now? Is this a new low you've sunk to?

No, just quoting you.



Subject: Re: Mitt Romney v10.0 10/10/2011, 10:41 pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Flipper"' is at it again.....
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 8:31 pm

happy jack wrote:
Artie60438 wrote:
happy jack wrote:

Artie60438 wrote:
"Flipper"' is at it again.....

Making up quotes now? Is this a new low you've sunk to?

No, just quoting you.



Subject: Re: Mitt Romney v10.0 10/10/2011, 10:41 pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Flipper"' is at it again.....
My mistake. At least you're paying attention
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/10/2012, 11:37 pm

http://loyalopposition.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/so-the-white-house-didnt-cave-on-birth-control-right/?ref=opinion

February 10, 2012, 3:21 pm

So the White House Didn’t Cave on Birth Control, Right?

By ANDREW ROSENTHAL


………

The White House’s argument is that universal access to birth control will lower pregnancy rates (and costs) so much that it will all balance out, within a year. The idea, I guess, is that insurance companies won’t charge more for packages that cover birth control.
I’m skeptical. That puts a lot of faith in the willingness of insurance companies to pass their savings along to their customers.
I’m also uncomfortable with the spectacle of the president and the rest of the government having to tie itself in knots to make the law of the land conform with a particular religious doctrine. What will they do if Jewish- or Muslim- or Protestant-affiliated organizations start asking for specially tailored loopholes?




The spectacle of the president and the rest of the government having to tie itself in knots to make the law of the land conform with a particular religious doctrine?!?!?
WTF?!?!?
How about the president and the rest of the government obeying the law of the land in the first place, namely the 1st Amendment to the Constitution? You know, that obscure little passage that protects freedom of religion?
Who in the hell would hire this douchenozzle to write political commentary?
Oh, the New York Times would, I reckon.
Never mind.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/11/2012, 12:23 pm

happy jack wrote:
How sad.

Not so much.

Quote :
Obama Punks the GOP on Contraception

After two solid weeks of Republicans rapidly escalating attacks on contraception access under the banner of "religous freedom," Obama finally announced what the White House is proposing an accomodation of religiously affiliated employers who don't want to offer birth control coverage as part of their insurance plans. In those situations, the insurance companies will have to reach out directly to employees and offer contraception coverage for free, without going through the employer. Insurance companies are down with the plan, because as Matt Yglesias explained at Moneybox, contraception actually saves insurance companies money, since it's cheaper than abortion and far cheaper than childbirth. Because the insurance companies have to reach out to employees directly, there's very little danger of women not getting coverage because they are unaware they're eligible.

That's the nitty-gritty. The fun part of this is that Obama just pulled a fast one on Republicans. He drew this out for two weeks, letting Republicans work themselves into a frenzy of anti-contraception rhetoric, all thinly disguised as concern for religious liberty, and then created a compromise that addressed their purported concerns but without actually reducing women's access to contraception, which is what this has always been about. (As Dana Goldstein reported in 2010, before the religious liberty gambit was brought up, the Catholic bishops were just demanding that women be denied access and told to abstain from sex instead.) With the fig leaf of religious liberty removed, Republicans are in a bad situation. They can either drop this and slink away knowing they've been punked, or they can double down. But in order to do so, they'll have to be more blatantly anti-contraception, a politically toxic move in a country where 99% of women have used contraception.

happy jack wrote:
How about the president and the rest of the government obeying the law of the land in the first place, namely the 1st Amendment to the Constitution?

Then they'd have to allow all of this, right?

Quote :
We did similar things when we forced religious institutions to recognize interracial marriages (and will do for same sex marriage), when we didn't give the KKK a free pass, when we allowed women to vote and work, every time we don't give a Christian Scientist a pass for killing their child, etc. Like most things, there are limits.

That's if religious freedom is religious freedom is religious freedom. Or do we, as a rational functioning society, acknowledge there are limits? I think you do.

The missus had an ovarian cancer scare a few years ago. Pretty terrifying. She was put on birth control (horomones) to control the growth of the abnormal cells. The Catholic-based charity she worked for wouldn't pay for them, 'cause they make baby Jebus cry. Nor would they pay for any of the preventative tests, either, since taking cells from the uterus could impact fertility, and that makes baby Jebus cry too.

So, in short, they'd rather she get cancer than help her pay for any of the necessary preventative measures, because ovarian cancer doesn't make baby Jebus cry.

Yeah, I see no reason to protect them anymore than we protect the Christian Scientist parents who let their children die by withholding treatment. I don't think the blanket of religious freedom should allow people to victimize others. But that's just me; I'm not a Republican.
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KarenT



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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/11/2012, 4:20 pm

Hope your wife is doing well now.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/11/2012, 5:16 pm

Heretic wrote:
Quote :
We did similar things when we forced religious institutions to recognize interracial marriages (and will do for same sex marriage), when we didn't give the KKK a free pass, when we allowed women to vote and work, every time we don't give a Christian Scientist a pass for killing their child, etc. Like most things, there are limits.

That's if religious freedom is religious freedom is religious freedom. Or do we, as a rational functioning society, acknowledge there are limits? I think you do.

This is not about the church outlawing contraceptives for all citizens or imposing its will on all citizens; this is about the church standing up for itself against a government that is telling it that it must contradict its own teachings. The fact that the church does not want to effectively dispense contraceptives does not mean that anyone, church member or not, may not obtain contraceptives through other channels. Those who are upset that the church does not want to provide free contraceptives seem to somehow equate this with a violation of some fundamental human right they believe they have. And to equate this with a woman's right to vote totally demeans the struggles of the people who made that possible. If you are going to mess with the 1st amendment, you'd better put forth a stronger test case than this.
If you wish to make the case that access to contraceptives is some sort of human right, then fine - I don't even feel like getting into a debate about that. As I said at the very beginning of this thread, I have no problem with contraceptives. But to make the case that it is a human right to force someone else to pay for your contraceptives is ridiculous.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/11/2012, 7:22 pm

happy jack wrote:
And to equate this with a woman's right to vote totally demeans the struggles of the people who made that possible.

The same people upset over this contraception issue are the same people who were fighting against women and civil rights. Religious freedom is religious freedom. My point was that they eventually got over whatever violation of their faith that it was. I have faith that the same will happen here, considering it's such a minor issue compared to the former.

happy jack wrote:
But to make the case that it is a human right to force someone else to pay for your contraceptives is ridiculous.

We prosecute Christian Scientists when they kill their kid. Is withholding access to preventative healthcare for cancer any different? And sure, they weren't saying we couldn't have it, just that they weren't going to pay for it. Maybe you're lucky enough not to know, but it wasn't cheap. You know what organization did help us out? Planned Parenthood, which Republicans are dying to defund. So, yeah... sorry I can't rally behind Republicans on this one, 'cause they're certainly not looking out for my family. The health of my family > some asshole feeling uncomfortable. Let's be honest, that's all it is. There's nothing in religious doctrine actually holding employers cosmically responsible; their soul's not in jeopardy. That still lies with the individual actually using the contraception. Free will and all.

And it's all hypocritical horseshit to begin with. All these asshole complaining about contraception seem to have no problem participating in an economic system predicted on a violation of an actual commandment. They pick and choose every day of the week. They'll be fine with this, too.

And you've avoided my question twice now. Where does the line end when it comes to using religious freedom as justification? I'm willing to bet you wouldn't rally to the cause were it a bunch of Muslims feeling uncomfortable affording healthcare to the heathens.


Last edited by Heretic on 2/11/2012, 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Obama vs. religious freedom   2/11/2012, 7:23 pm

KarenT wrote:
Hope your wife is doing well now.

She is, thank you.
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