"Religious freedom entails more than the right to worship".This is the most critical idea we are losing in the battle religious freedom
battle today. Too many citizens believe that religious freedom should only be a
private right, that religious expression and ideals have no place in public
discussion.I applaud this ruling, and personally uphold the ideal
that citizens have a right to have their religious beliefs provide direction to
their public views.
People who care about this issue need to use their wallets and checkbooks to
help get good candidates elected that will provide legislative leadership to
So these businesses are allowed to take actions that undermine the dignity of
the human person and the sanctity of human life by denying their employees basic
preventative health care. In other words, they are seeking the right to force
their employees to comply with THEIR religious beliefsf and practices. That is
@Kirk R Graves"I applaud this ruling, and personally uphold the
ideal that citizens have a right to have their religious beliefs provide
direction to their public views"I'm going to save a copy of
this quote for when polygamists push legislation to legalize their religious
I don't know why anyone would work for an institution that says to their
employee that we have the right to tell you what kind of health care you may
have or not.If I am a woman, who wishes to engage in birth control
in my private life, and employed by an organization affiliated with a religious
organization that opposes birth control, then I am frozen out of insurance paid
birth control options. Yet my male superior can probably get all the viagra he
wants. And that little blue pills probably costs more in one month than a
year's supply of birth control pills.This is not about health
care decisions. This is about power and control. It is about "big
daddy" employer telling his employees to do only what "big daddy"
wants them to do. Religious freedom. Bah!
@ Kirk R. GravesPersonally I welcome religious ideas into the public
square. This gives everyone a chance to analyze and debate whether any given
belief actually has merit. But I don't think this is what certain
believers mean when they say "religious freedom." What I think they are
actually calling for is immunity from critical analysis. What I hear is,
"It should be honored and respected simply because it is religious in
nature."This is what the Catholic Church is demanding. They
certainly aren't arguing on behalf of a tenet adhered to by their
followers. Nor are they providing evidence that this particular belief is good
public policy overall. They are saying only, "We believe this, so it must
be exempt from the rules." I don't think it's good public policy
to allow such special status absent evidence that it is justified.I
have my own problems with government telling private employers and institutions
what kind of insurance coverage they must provide, but this is an entirely
different question from religious freedom.
The Establishment Clause is the first of several pronouncements in the First
Amendment to the United States Constitution, states: "Congress shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion. . . .The Establishment Clause is
immediately followed by the Free Exercise Clause, which states, "or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are
called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.Forcing
anyone to abandon the free exercise of their religion is against the law,
period!What part of either of these simple statements don't you
@ordinaryfolks: "I don't know why anyone would work for an institution
that says to their employee that we have the right to tell you what kind of
health care you may have or not."You did not read the article.
The employer is not telling the employee what health care they can have. The
employer is only objecting to have to pay for it.I don't
believe life begins at conception. I don't object to using contraception.
But I recognize that other people's religious beliefs compel them to object
to contraceptives. I am open-minded and progressive enough to respect their
freedom to believe and to live how they wish.@Thid Barker:"What part of either of these simple statements don't you liberals
understand?"Quit deluding yourself. If the 'liberals'
you are talking about are trying to limit the basic human right of religious
freedom then they are not liberal. Liberal in name only. They aren't
conservative because they could be confused with Rush Limbaugh etc. I am not
sure what to call them. "Scary right"? "Illiberals"? "PC
dogmatists?" I struggle. But liberal does not come to mind.
This is why we need to get employers out of the scope of making health care
decisions for anyone. Churches, which always seem to seek power over the sex
lives of others, have been given undue influence through this little loophole.
The sooner we get single payer health care, for so many reasons, the better.
This is one of them.
It is important to recognize that is not a Liberal/Conservative issue. A core tenant of liberal philosophy is human rights, and the right of
worship and belief is a part of that.A core tenant of conservative
thought is the preservation of our long-standing cultural and social heritage.
The ability to worship and believe as one sees fit is central to that.We need to use different labels to define those fighting this fight. This is
about secularism at the extreme on one side, and religious dogmatism at the
other extreme. Somewhere in the middle is the 99% of the rest of us who are
both believers and non-believers who want to allow others to be guided by their
own beliefs (whether we think those beliefs are rational or not) and not
truncate their right to do so, as long as they are not causing harm to
others.When I use the term "harm" I am specifically talking
about denial of rights, not denial of benefits.As for what those
rights might be, we are still in the process of re-defining that here in the
@Hutterite:I agree there should be a single payer. But no one has
volunteered to be that single payer. Are you volunteering? I am not
volunteering either.In any event, I object that some people seem to
be volunteering my grandsons' generation, which is effectively what would
happen if the government took a big loan to become that single payer.Besides, my grandsons' generation is more than a single payer. It is a
lot of payers and we should get their approval first rather than us volunteering
them. But we'll have to wait until they are old enough to vote which
won't happen for about 15-18 years. So we have to figure out what to do in
the meantime.I would suggest that for the time being everyone be
responsible for their own healthcare, unless someone really wants to volunteer
to pay someone else's health insurance (you? Karen R.?, Ranch?), or we cut
the deficit to nothing and then some and use the excess to pay for medical
insurance if we still feel that it is more important than something else.
@Thid Barker"Forcing anyone to abandon the free exercise of their
religion is against the law, period!"Exactly! If someone's
faith includes polygamy, the government can't outlaw it. If a faith allows
marrying 5 year olds, the law can't interfere. If your god believes in
getting places fast, speed limits can't be enforced. My god says taxes are
sinful, so tax law shouldn't apply to me. Human sacrifice is a time
honored religious rite, certainly there should be no law against it.Absolutes! We need more of them.
Everyone needs to remember that the Federal Government does not require people
to use birth control, but if a person needs it and Chooses it they should be
able to have it (regardless of religion) This is the real freedom (to accept it
or not). The Catholic church can preach against birth control all they want
(that is freedom of religion) and people can listen or not!
slcdenizen:No need to worry about the polygamists. A recent court
ruling already made polygamy legal. they just can't get offical marriage
licenses (yet), but a man can live with as many women as he wants...This debate over contraceptives is a farce. Everyone has the right to obtain
contraceptives - you just don't have the right make your employer pay for
it. Our country has gone crazy with these demands for "rights" that
have nothing to do with the original intent of the framers of our government.We need to eliminate employers from providing health care. We also need
to change our system from one that pushes pharmacutical sales to one that
actually treats diseases and conditions. Doctors have been relegated to pill
pushers and nothing more.