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Notre Dame sues over health care law's birth control mandate

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  • djk blue springs, MO
    Dec. 3, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    obamacare 'obamadontcare' plan is going to create such heartaches and headaches and financial stress. there should be no insurance saying what you have to have . shows again that obama is an imperialistic nightmare

  • IMAPatriot2 PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    At least there is one University with some guts. Too many are just thinking they can do nothing which is exactly what this administration wants them to believe. GO IRISH!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 3, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    Rights accrue to individuals first, and we need a health care system in place that puts people before employers.

  • Another Perspective Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    If Notre Dame wins this lawsuit, then no one in America can be confident about their health care benefits anymore. All health care benefits will be subject to the religious rules of their employers.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 4, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    I don't see the problem. If you want birth control pills, buy them yourself! Also they are handed out free at most healthcare clinics and are very inexpensive. Why does Obama want to force this issue on others? Interesting question, isn't it?

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Catholic church has a long history of being on the wrong side of issues. Religous organizations continually think of their own best interests and most are opposed to free will. Where in the bible does it say "thou shall not particapate in family planning"?

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    I think it is great that they stand up for their beliefs. At the same time, I think any group that involves itself in politics should not have a tax free status! The LDS Church should have lost their status a long time ago!

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Sorry atheists - I'm on the Notre Dame/Catholic band wagon on this one. We need someone to shutdown this dictatorship.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    Sorry, religious zealots. You can be on Notre Dame's side; we will be on the side of equality, civility, truth and reason.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    Doug Robinson, DesNews 9/20/13: "Forbes magazine recently published a list of college football’s biggest moneymakers. Texas ranks No. 1... Then came Notre Dame... These aren’t schools; they are big corporations with schools attached."

    When it comes to religious liberty issues, the University of Notre Dame as a Catholic-owned institution would like you to think it is a quiet campus of pious seminarians learning catechism and how to serve Mass and that the contraceptive mandate of ACA would be a major obstacle to its function. This is hardly the case. UND, as Robinson observes, is largely secular and corporate in its mission.

    Tell me, other than the watchful officiating of "Touchdown Jesus" on the side of the Hesburgh Library, is there any meaningful difference between a concession stand worker or custodian at Notre Dame Stadium and one at the state-owned Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University, 90 miles to the south? It's not like the sodas in South Bend are brewed from holy water. Why should the workers have different employee benefit packages?

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    "Truth" and "reason" and "civility" have nothing to do with forcing people to do things they find morally abhorrent.

    Employment contracts are freely entered into, and the government has no business forcing the employer to give all kinds of objectionable items to the employee as part of such contracts.

    Imagine if the administration started requiring employers to give their employees five pounds of steak a week, or ten gallons of gasoline. Would you be here saying vegetarians and environmentalists who don't want to give these things to their employees have no right to follow their conscience as employers? Or would you admit that those employers and their prospective employees should have the freedom to enter into contracts based on normal wages, and that whoever wants steak or gasoline should either look elsewhere for employers who gave such freebies or use their wages to buy it?

    Those requirements are no more ridiculous than the birth control mandate. And while you seem to think that religious motivations are somehow less valid in the public sphere than all others, on the contrary, the Constitution protects the free exercise of religion.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 4, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    Proud of our Catholic friends, but you guys need to get of subsides. This makes it difficult on government mandates.

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    "Sorry, religious zealots. You can be on Notre Dame's side; we will be on the side of equality, civility, truth and reason."

    You forgot to list patriotism, enlightenment, and a host of other cardinal virtues.

    That being said, your self-rigtheous post is hilarious. Go Irish.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    Since the employees PAY the premiums for the insurance plan, THEY should be the ones to decide whether the plan they want offers what THEY need; not the religious bigotries of their employers.

  • GreatScot Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I support Notre Dame in this. Obama is carefully dismantling our religious freedom. Hilary will pick up where he leaves off.

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    "Since the employees PAY the premiums for the insurance plan, THEY should be the ones to decide whether the plan they want offers what THEY need; not the religious bigotries of their employers."

    Employees aren't the only ones paying for the insurance plans. In most cases, they pay one half to a third of the costs. If you don't like the "religious bigotries" of your employer, get a clue - find an employer whose ethical standards match your own. If you go to work for a church, you probably know what their standards are. Don't act shocked or indignant when they won't change to match your interests.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    Hutterite,
    No employers are individuals or people? Wow, talk about confusion.

    Another perspective, FT
    I guess the 1st amendment means nothing to you?

    The Catholic church not paying for contraceptives in NO way prevents ANYONE’s family planning. To say it does is absolutely ludicrous.

    Rflash,
    Please tell us how protecting religious rights is involvement in politics.

    A scientist,
    Truth and equality? CIVILITY and reason? From those ATTCKING Notre Dame? Oh please, you’ve got me laughing so hard my sides ache.

    Ranch,
    The employERS pay the majority of the premiums. And they are plans administered by ND. For the employee to buy it, ND has to offer it, which violates their 1st amendment rights.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    lost in DC
    Notre Dame's constitional rights are in no way restricted according the 1st amendment. They are free to excercise in telling any of their members or employees that they believe that the use of birth control is immoral. But they are not immune from the ACA based upon their religous beliefs. If the courts ruled that they are they would be "respecting an establishment of religon". Please read the 1st amendment.
    "United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances"

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 4, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    FT: You tell others to read the First Amendment, but it seems plain that you've never understood it yourself.

    The First Amendment protects the exercise of religion, not just speech about religion. To claim speech is the only protected form of religious exercise is absurd and would reduce that clause to a redundancy.

    "Respecting" here means the same as "concerning," i.e. "about." "Establishment" is not a synonym of "organization" - to establish a religion is to make it the national church, the official state religion. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" simply means no laws creating an official religion. Allowing people free exercise is not establishing a state religion; nor does it even fall under the broad activist reading of that clause which established the "Lemon test."

    Your readings of these clauses are totally at variance with the English language as used in the 18th century, with innumerable actions taken by the Founders and statesmen throughout our nation's history, and with all Constitutional case law.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 6:35 a.m.

    @lost in DC;

    Regardless whether or not the employer pays a portion of the cost; the EMPLOYEE is also paying; therefore THEY, not their employer, should decide what THEIR health needs are and how they are to be met.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    As Ranch points out, regardless whether or not the employer pays for part of the insurance premium... indeed, unlike many other civilized countries, in the U.S., medical insurance benefits are provided to employees as part of their compensation package. As such, putting religiously-based limits on how that compensation can be used would be akin to the owners of Hobby Lobby refusing to pay employees any funds that they MIGHT be tempted to use on drinking alcohol, or coveting their neighbors ox, or whatever other "sins" the owners want to clear out of their employees' lives.

    I have always thought religion was a facilitator of people (usually men) becoming control freaks, but this issue proves my suspicion in spades!

    Believers, quit trying to control other people's lives!

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Scientist, you apparently don't bother reading any of the comments you're replying to, and this is nothing "akin" to trying to limit how other people spend the wages you give them.

    ND not giving employees birth control as a freebie is no more a matter of "trying to control other people's lives" than is PETA's failure to give its employees five pounds of free steak per week. In either case, if the employee wants that, they're free to spend their wages on it rather than demand it directly from their employer.

    On the contrary, you and those like you are the ones trying to control other people's lives by limiting their ability to freely enter into mutually agreed contracts.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Prodicus-
    Your interpretation of the 1st amendment is not supported by any established rulings by the courts. Notre Dame will lose in court as many other organizations with similar arguments have in the past. They can excercise their religous beliefs and practices as long as they are within the boundaries of our established, upheld laws. Just saying, they're going to lose their argument based upon the court's previous rulings of constitional rights.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    OK my liberal friends I have a legitimate question for you.

    If Planned Parenthood, for example, was required to pay for counseling that aided in a person with gay tendencies to become straight under the ACA would you be presenting the same arguments that you are now?

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    "Believers, quit trying to control other people's lives!

    Yes, yes, we should leave these decisions to experts like Obama. Or those myopic twits in Congress.

    I love the sense of entitlement shared on this thread. Again, to restate the obvious, if you do not like the compensation package provided by your employer, then find work someplace else. I'm sure your employer will not have much difficulty in replacing you.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Conservatives keep arguing the world is flat when it's been proven round. The courts have already established that religon cannot be used as an excuse to avoid laws that have been upheld as constitionally sound. Notre Dame will not be allowed to withhold birth control from it's policies on the grounds that it violates their 1st amendment of freedom of religon. They would have more success citing economic hardships. Where as the ACA was upheld on a small majority (5-4) if this case goes to the Supreme Court the outcome will be even worse for opponents of the law.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    Live From the Swamp wrote:

    "if you do not like the compensation package provided by your employer, then find work someplace else."

    Likewise, if you don't like the law of the land, then find someplace else to live. Try Iraq!

    Prodicus wrote:

    "ND not giving employees birth control as a freebie is no more a matter of "trying to control other people's lives" than is PETA's failure to give its employees five pounds of free steak per week."

    If an employer does offer free steak as part of compensation, then it is certain they must follow the laws governing proper handling, packaging, and distribution of steak. And if it is part of compensation, then it is not "free", is it.

    Nobody is demanding anything from employers other than that they follow the law. And in the same spirit as the Swamp articulated above, if an employer does not like to comply with the law governing health and medical insurance, then DON'T OFFER IT!

    See how that goes.

    But if you are going to provide insurance benefits, you must do so in compliance with the law.

    Understand yet?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    1978 wrote:

    "If Planned Parenthood, for example, was required to pay for counseling that aided in a person with gay tendencies to become straight under the ACA would you be presenting the same arguments that you are now?"

    IF the recognized, legitimate mental health authorities in this country agreed that such "conversion therapies" were effective (which they are not), and should be covered by medical/health insurance plans, then SURE, I would fully support that.

    Bluff called.

    Next.

  • Sego Lilly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    I agree that birth control should be made available to those who choose to use it to prevent having children. There are also medical reasons for some women to use bc pills one is to regulate their cycles to having easier cycles. Let the parishners choose for themself. A lot of them already are using natural family planning and there is no garentee that it works any more than a women who can get pregnant because she missed just one pill.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    "IF the recognized, legitimate mental health authorities in this country agreed that such "conversion therapies" were effective (which they are not), and should be covered by medical/health insurance plans, then SURE, I would fully support that."

    I appreciate your consistency. I somehow feel like your position would be in the minority among those with your point of view.

    It would come as a great shock to my high school friend who went through that process that it is not effective. He was by all accounts gay (and he should know) and is now happily married with six children and minimal to no gay desires.

    Your bluff has been called as well. Have a great day.

  • Michael Matthews Omaha, NE
    Dec. 6, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    Ranch

    You bring up a good point. The employee also should have say. They pay part of the premium. But unfortunately the ACA has taken away some of that control for the employee too. Two cases to demonstrate. Case 1: Active believing Catholic (who believes just like Notre Dame does on this issue) working at Notre Dame. Case 2: Homosexual man working for himself.

    In Case 1's scenario. point the Catholic employee agrees with the university's position and also doesn't want his or her money going to pay for others to use condoms, birth control, etc. But she or he can't find a policy that doesn't force it, because of the ACA. He or she can not choose to not support this financially (even if it's pennies on the hundred of dollars).

    Case 2. Homosexual man. Wants to find a policy that doesn't have maternity costs part of it. Policies with these are much more expensive. But now he can't. He has to pay, out of his control now, for benefits in a policy that he'll never use.