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Anna Rittgers: The ACLU's attack on civil liberties

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    March 8, 2012 3:54 p.m.

    The people who want contraception covered by insurance plans are people who pay premiums for that coverage.

    They should be able to receive the healthcare coverage for which they are paying.

    They should not be denied the healthcare coverage they want and for which they are paying simply because someone else (the "boss" or the "owner" or a covey of priests?) don't believe in it.

    If you do not believe in contraception, don't use any. But stop twisting this issue around and trying to make it into a violation of YOUR "religious freedom". Only YOU can violate your religious beliefs. Nothing someone else does in their personal life can ever violate YOUR religious beliefs.

    Capiche?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 8, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    As the writer pointed out, there is no right to contraceptives or to abortion in the Constitution, but there is a prohibition of government interference into religion or into making laws pertaining to an establishment of religion.

    The ACLU should be firmly on the side of the Catholic Church. It should be using its resources to vouchsafe the 1st Amendment rights of that Church against intrusion by the government.

    OUR religious freedom will always invalidate YOUR desire to have any person supply YOU with contraceptives, particularly if that "person" happens to be an establishment of religion.

    There is NO RIGHT delegated from the people to the government to allow that to happen. Just in case some might not understand, the Constitution enumerates all duties that the people have delegated to the federal government. Supplying insurance or contraception or providing abortions is not on that list of 17 duties.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    I have very strong feelings about America, our government, and our people. I am very distressed about the efforts of business, religion, politicians and people like Anna Rittgers, who in my mind are trying to take us back into the dark ages of enslavement and confusion.

    Anna is probably a very nice wonderful person, but she does not have the slightest inkling of what freedom really is and who should have it. Our Constitution is about freedom for individuals, human beings otherwise known a people. Our Constitution is not about freedom for business, religion or any other sort of collection of a group of people.

    Freedom in American for the people of America and is simply that people have the right to do, be and believe as each of us wishes so long as we donÂt infringe on the right and freedoms of others, without being told by someone else.

    Our Constitution does not give freedom to religion, business or any other organization, the words are there to protect and enable the freedoms for people against the actions of religion, businesses, and other such. Freedom for religion is for people, not religion.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 8, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    J Thompson

    A church, a religion or any business does not have rights and freedoms given them be the Constitution of the United States Of America. The Constitution only gives rights and freedoms to people, human beings.

    A church, a religion or business operation is not people. Groups do not have rights and freedoms that people have.

    The government does have the right to make rules, regulate and control business activity. The may include some rules about religion. The rule that prohibits human sacrifice in religion would seem to some to infringe on religious freedom.

    However, when viewed as protecting the American right to life, liberty etc, we see that our government does have the right to interfere with religion to protect the rights of people. That is because people have rights, religions do not.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 8, 2012 7:22 p.m.

    The question that needs to be asked is whose rights get to be protected? Do the rights of the business get to be protected? Or do the rights of individuals get to be protected?

    Why should the religion of my boss dictate my life? If we decide employers and businesses get to force their beliefs onto their employees, where does that stop? The recently defeated Blunt Amendment would have allowed employers to decline insurance coverage for anything they objected to based on their religious or moral beliefs.

    Are we really advocating that personal rights be subservient to the beliefs of others?

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 8, 2012 8:13 p.m.

    The ACLU is relentless in itquest to impose an atheistiagenda on American society. A major part of this quest is a stated goal to destroy traditional marriage.

    It is absolutely absurd to suggest that a private business must provide free products to consumers. Insurance companies are no different. If they are forced to provide contraceptives, they will simply pass the cost on to other consumers by raising their premiums.

    Unmarried persons should not be having sex in the first place. The ACLU's quest to force others to finance indiscriminate sex by the unmarried violates every principle the Founding Fathers stood for.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    March 8, 2012 8:26 p.m.

    RE: Ultra Bob

    YOu are wrong,
    the constitution gives rights to ALL.

    The limits are placed on congress, not the "people", be they individuals or groups (however formed).

    The 1st admendment is good example. NO distinction of who the right can be exercised by is ever given, if they did not apply to groups then no right to assemble would be needed, no need to mention "an establishment of religion",

    The rights of the "people" belong (retained by) to the "people", both individually and collectively.

    Without such protection the government could deny right to whole groups of people.

    Ask how that worked out for the japanesse and the native indians or the jews.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 12:45 a.m.

    The ACLU works diligently to keep this nation from becoming a repressive, authoritarian theocracy. Good for them.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 3:10 a.m.

    Great op-ed. Well said.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 9, 2012 3:11 a.m.

    This is not a 1st Amendment issue, period. The Catholic Church is exempt under the law; however, if the Catholic Church decides, of its own volition, to move beyond its protected sphere and enter the private market and/or receive federal funding for endeavors it alone decides to undertake, then the Catholic Church, in that setting, must be treated as any other business owner and must play by the rules set forth for all business owners.

    Just as my Church, the LDS Church, is protected in its exclusionary practice to only let Temple-worthy members enter the Temple w/out fear of legal claims but it would not be protected should it decide to only hire Temple-worthy members to work at the DesNews, which is a private entity owned by the Church.

    What this situation entails is a religious attack on our secular system of governance. The Catholic Church is overreaching and I, for one, am upset that Obama even offered them an olive branch. I would have preferred to see this play out in Court and watch the Catholic Church be dealt a heavy-handed loss that reverberated as a warning to all religious institutional encroachment.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 9, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    I think the church can allow only temple worthy people to work at some places though most for profit businesses not a requirement. Issue here is not should they provide it as some insurance compnaies do. Should they be forced to provide it.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    The ACLU never has and never will defend religious liberty for all. The ACLU is NOT an organization dedicated to protecting individual civil liberties against government intrusion. It has one true mission, evident in the unspoken, but all too evident mantra: If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek to suppress it in support of the base, the crass, the vulgar, and the de-humanizing.

    A Scientist,
    First off, EMPLOYERS pay the majority of health insurance premiums, not the employees, so you first premise is FALSE.

    Scientist and Spring street,
    Tell me, which religious organization being forced to pay the additional premiums for contraceptives is currently invading their adherents bedrooms and forcing them not to use contraceptives in the manner BO is FORCING the religious employers to pay for them? There is NO parallel.

    UltraBob,
    I guess you missed the SCOTUS decision many have derided Romney for citing.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    March 9, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Religious liberty entails the right not to have contraceptives as a benefit in your health insurance package? Really?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 9, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    the truth.

    It is quite possible that you will win out. The Supreme Court has already given the distinction to private corporations as people. It is only a tiny step farther to regard religions and other groups as people.

    Grouping people takes away the individual prerogatives and gives them to the single person or few at the top of the group.

    It is sort of like adding one more level of representation to our republic form of government. And because that top person has the ability to direct the resources of the entire group, his prerogative is more powerful that any other individual. And because it is a private group the member people have not recourse.

    Thus equal justice before the law is void.

    The part about Âthe right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesÂ, does apply to all people, even Catholics. But it does not give those people as individuals or the group the right to break the law.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 9, 2012 10:16 a.m.

    Good for the ACLU, protector of religious freedom and freedom from religion.
    There is a war on Non-Christians in this nation, to repress there rights of conscience.
    There is a war on intellect as a bad thing, and blind faith in leaders as a admirable.

    Amazing how going to foreign countries to kill others doesn't bother a religious conscience, as much as sex does, we haven't come very far in 2,000 years.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    Religious colleges can't violate child labor laws, this contraception policy falls under labor law and thus would not fall under a violation of the first amendment since churches are exempt.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 9, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    Republicans/Conservatives love using the "money is fungible" argument for things they don't agree with such as planned parenthood and healthcare mandates.

    However, the "money is fungible" argument can also be applied to religious organizations. For example, it could be argued that despite a church's claim that tithing money isn't mingled with "for-profit" church enterprises, payment of tithing enables a religious organization to continue to grow "for-profit" enterprises instead of using those profits to maintain church facilities, clergy stipends etc.

    Religious organizations enjoy wide latitude in many different ways. For example, in the U.S. churches are not required to make public their financial statements but are required to do so in other countries.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    March 9, 2012 12:51 p.m.

    Why on earth did the DN publish this astoundingly silly op-ed? Religious liberty is utterly and completely irrelevant to this dispute, which is entirely about what health care benefits employers should cover. No one's religious liberty is even remotely threatened.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    @Truthseeker
    Both sides do that fungible asset thing. Democrats went after the Chamber of Commerce for taking in foreign money on one wing, and donating large sums to Republicans with another. Republicans went after Planned Parenthood in this manner.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    March 9, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Great article! Explains perfectly, how much of a farce the ACLU has become, and how it is not about civil liberties as much as it is about leftist agenda liberties. She also details perfectly what the problems are with this administration and the unconstitutional actions they are imposing on the country. Probably the best op-ed of the year!

    Love how the "Scientist" talks in one line about persons who "pay" for coverage, getting what they want in healthcare. Then in a later line, he actually, accidentally swerved into the real truth of how the "boss, owner, covey of priests" make the decisions for coverage THEY actually paid for, not the persons he referred to. He is on the right track. The entire healthcare issue would be resolved tomorrow, if everyone had to start paying for their own healthcare coverage and insurance!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 9, 2012 1:33 p.m.

    If you look at the origins of the ACLU, it shouldn't be supprising that they would side with a socialist plan. See the article "The ACLU's shocking legacy" at the Worldnet Daily. In 1931 congress found that 90% of their activities supported communists. One of the Founders, Rodger Baldwin said "I am for Socialism, disarmament and ultimately, for the abolishing of the State itself ¦ I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."

    Their founders were socialists/communists and athiests, and now people have been told a lie so many times that they think that the ACLU is about protecting the little guy. Throughout their history they have done very little outside of making government bigger and easier for socialists to operate.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    A Scientist,
    First off, EMPLOYERS pay the majority of health insurance premiums, not the employees, so you first premise is FALSE.

    Scientist and Spring street,
    Tell me, which religious organization being forced to pay the additional premiums for contraceptives is currently invading their adherents bedrooms and forcing them not to use contraceptives in the manner BO is FORCING the religious employers to pay for them? There is NO parallel.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    March 9, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    Is attacking the TSA, who violates peoples rights on a daily basis, a violation of our civil liberties? I don't agree with everything the ACLU does but they have been getting better in my opinion.

  • UT Brit London, England
    March 9, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    So let me get this straight, if someone employed by the church is overweight and needs diabetes medication, the church should deny their coverage?

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 9, 2012 8:10 p.m.

    @redshirt
    once again redshirt you site far right wing sources and take a lot of short cuts through the facts. It is true that at one point Baldwin did advocate for democratic socialism but soon there after seeing what stalin was doing renounced the position calling it nothing more then a "new form of slavery." In 1931 our country was in the grips of the red scare and the attorney general was shredding peoples civil rights conducting searches without warrants detaining people without charges etc etc.. and the ACLU did come to their defense .I know it does not fit your agenda but telling the whole story instead of just thee bits and pieces that fit our agenda may actually help with your credibility but then again it is probably to late, I think most people on these threads already have caught onto you.

  • Phranc SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 9, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    As an employer I can tell you that you are dead wrong sorry. I pay half of my employees insurance they pay the other half. I now of several other business owners that have found ways to pass all the expense on to their employees and many that have just dropped it all together. Employers really are not the victims you make us out to be. Good businesses get the value of helping their employees maintain good health.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    March 10, 2012 5:29 a.m.

    Some people claim there is an attack on religion. But if often seems the other way around.

    How is an employee wanting or needing contraceptives attacking religion?

    If a woman wants or needs to take birth control pills, is she then standing in front of your church and trying to block you from entering? Does she come into your home and slap your hands down when you attempt to pray?

    Yet with some, their want or need to practice religion virtually causes them to snatch the birth control pills out of that woman's hands. So exactly who is attacking who?