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Fighting the good fight for religious right

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  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 18, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    Article quote Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, Executive Director, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty: "Objectively, I grew up poor. But I never felt poor. We were rich people temporarily without money. With education and will, we would eventually triumph. And we did."

    I'd bet you $1000 that she didn't vote for Obama.

    And I'd bet you another $1000 that she never would.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Why would anyone vote for someone that doesn't believe in religious liberty? BO doesn't, so I find it difficult to understand why anyone would vote for someone that wants to destroy religious liberty. Forget all the other 'social justice' issues. This Religious issue alone would bar any thinking person from voting for him, something most previous generations would have been educated enough to process to its conclusion.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Aug. 18, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    It isn't just religious liberty that's under attack by the Socialist-in-Chief. Freedom of the press, free speech, prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure, requirements for obtaining a search warrant, etc., are all under attack.

    Making religious speech or freedom of conscience a crime is part and parcel with socialism.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 18, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    @bandersen - "This Religious issue alone would bar any thinking person from voting for him"

    Hogwash!

    The kind of religious liberty the Right is currently championing is when a few activist religious people can bend every aspect of society towards their beliefs and pseudo-morals (e.g., birth control). Today it’s healthcare, but if they win this fight it will encourage religious intrusion into our lives for decades to come.

    Thankfully Scalia’s precedent in the Oregon Peyote makes it clear that should never happen.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Aug. 18, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    So, are we back to fighting 2012 all over again? Mr. Obama, now in his second term, will not stand for reelection again, though I suppose he could run for a different office, as John Quincy Adams did.

    bandersen's implication that current Americans are just plain dumber than their ancestors would be pretty hard to prove, unless, perhaps, you take into account that GWB was duly elected once (and that wasn't in 2000). If the voting public ARE dumber, then shouldn't the preceding generation take some of the blame?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    Great article about a great organization run by what appears to be a great person.

    I sincerely hope she and them the greatest of success in fighting for rights to freedoms of thought and expression that are under constant and mounting threat from not just the current Progressive in Power, but all like him.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    It's good to know that someone has the passion to never give up in fighting for my free agency. I hope that God watches out and over her.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    So, a positive article about a woman's success story...

    ...is turned into a Bash Obama tirade by off-topic, disruptive comments?

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Aug. 18, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    I contribute regularly to the Becket fund, and will proudly continue to do so. I encourage others concerned about these issues to do likewise.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    The premise here is that the employer has freedom to practice their religious beliefs AND to impose them on their employees. This reflects the bias conservatives have with the employer-employee relationship. Employees have rights too.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:35 p.m.

    @ A Scientist - Provo, UT - "So, a positive article about a woman's success story...is turned into a Bash Obama tirade by off-topic, disruptive comments?"

    Scientist -

    Obama is not being spoken negatively here for false reasons out of thin air.

    Obama IS being spoken negatively here because HE'S the guy that championed the disaster of a nationalized health care law.....they don't call it "Obamacare" for nothing.

    If you utterly refuse to see that then there's nothing we can do to help you....

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 18, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    @ marxist - Salt Lake City, UT - "The premise here is that the employer has freedom to practice their religious beliefs AND to impose them on their employees. This reflects the bias conservatives have with the employer-employee relationship. Employees have rights too."

    Seriously?

    That's the best you've got in this debate? "Employees have rights, too"?

    This may come as a shock to you but I agree with you 100%. Employees DO have rights.

    If an employee doesn't like where they work they have a right to look for another job.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 19, 2013 12:55 a.m.

    "Hobby Lobby is a business run by persons of faith in a way consistent with their values, which preclude paying for drugs that may cause abortions. "

    The drugs in question don't cause abortions. They work by preventing ovulation and fertilization. Hobby Lobby is applying its own label to the drugs. Perhaps Hobby Lobby should also protest against paying for anti-inflammatory drugs as well since they may cause a miscarriage early in pregnancy.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 1:42 a.m.

    RE: A guy with a brain "If an employee doesn't like where they work they have a right to look for another job." Speaking as a socialist, an employee has rights in his or her present employment situation - since he/she does the work. If he/she had a union such rights could be negotiated and enforced. But just because guys like you destroy unions doesn't mean such rights can't be asserted, which I do without apology.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    Maybe Ireland is on the right track and where some could be willing to compromise. Prove that the abortion to be performed is medically necessary, if not the pregnancy should progress as any other pregnancy. The same goes for brith control pills. Prove that it is medically necessary. Otherwise, why should anyone have to pay for another's recreational use for them.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Tyler & Marxist: It makes me realize why I am as close to being a Libertarian as you can get. Some people don't even understand the implication of arguing in favor or any government intrusion! It's called 'States' Rights' for a reason and its in the Constitution. If you don't believe in the Constitution, then I would much prefer the Libertarian values, something that doesn't threaten me at all. It's the 'government has all the answers' crowd that baffles me the most, and the outright giving up of Individual liberty they espouse, all for the 'greater good', of course. I laugh the most at this crowd. Liberty isn't even understood by this crowd. Everything is only seen through the eyes of Big Brother. Whether anti-religious fervor, Athiest boredom, or anti-capilist tirades, Government is their only means for redemption. Any other generation, and particularly our Founding Fathers, wouldn't even respond to such nonsensical caricatures of wisdom.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 19, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    @bandersen – “Any other generation, and particularly our Founding Fathers, wouldn't even respond to such nonsensical caricatures of wisdom.”

    That was quite a beating you gave your strawman.

    I think the Founders would share my view that the democratically passed and constitutionally affirmed laws of the land cannot be subverted by any individual’s religious or otherwise moral objections.

    And there is a long list of SC precedents upholding this view, including Scalia’s majority opinion in the case I cited above which contained the following unambiguous statement:

    The Court held that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to use a religious motivation as a reason not to obey such generally applicable laws. "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."

    So do you believe in the Constitution or can religious activists be “laws unto themselves,” and in the case of the “generally applicable” ACA law, decide how that law applies to others?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Tyler: You do have a point. However, I doubt the Founding Fathers would uphold Supreme Court justices that allow for murder of infants, something the Supreme Court has affirmed. The laws of the land in many cases affirm the 'legality' that which is abhorrent to any decent and liberty loving patriot. The Becket foundation has a pretty good record for upholding (Since you believe in upholding the law of the land, right?) religious liberty issues, Hobby Lobby being just one of them. Or do private organizations have any rights in your world? Is there any such thing as an individual right in your world, or are we all to be defined by what the state defines us as? I don't believe in government healthcare! So, in your world, I guess I just go to prison. Of course, I'm pretty certain your belief in sending me to prison doesn't equate with denying an irresponsible adult birth control. So much for common sense. Perhaps 'Animal Farm' would be a good read, or better yet, The Law, by Frederic Bastiat. Or, perhaps, just reading the bible would confer some wisdom about the importance of choice.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 19, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    Re:Bandersen
    "Any other generation, and particularly our Founding Fathers, wouldn't even respond to such nonsensical caricatures of wisdom."

    Would those be the same Founding Fathers who didn't think equal rights should include women and blacks?

    I thought this quote by Grover Norquist in an interview with Diane Rhem interesting:

    "NORQUIST10:49:57
    Well, obviously, there are some things that the government does that it does well. And our government is less destructive of economic growth and human liberty than most of the other governments around the world. So if you're grading on a curve, we're doing pretty well. I think we can do better yet and be less expensive and less intrusive.

    Norquist also conceded he didn't know what the various governmental depts do, so he wouldn't advocate for wholesale abolishment.

    Obviously Capitalism needs a referee. Otherwise we would return to the days of tainted air, food, water etc. i often wonder if it truly benefits taxpayer wallets to be paying for services once done by the military and now being done by for-profit entitites. The DOD is one of the largest blackholes in our economy.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 19, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    @bandersen – “I doubt the Founding Fathers would uphold Supreme Court justices that allow for murder of infants, something the Supreme Court has affirmed.”

    I think R v W was a bad ruling and abortion should have been left to the States. Surprised?

    That said, if you believe State protected life starts at conception, then don’t have an abortion. Pretty simple…

    “Is there any such thing as an individual right in your world, or are we all to be defined by what the state defines us as?”

    Rights are defined in the Constitution and we have a process for testing laws against those right. Like it or not, ACA has passed that test.

    If you don’t like it, you’re free to go through the same (democratic) process to repeal it. If you’re advocating something more subversive, then in my view you place a higher value on your own convictions than you do the Constitution and Democracy.

    And regarding birth control, you do realize that 99% of Americans have used it, yes? And it is paid for through premiums (i.e., earned compensation)… just like Viagra.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    This isn't about religious freedom, it's about a business wanting the same rights as an individual, when it is not a person.

    Why do they feel personally responsible for the sins of their wicked employees, but protect themselves against liability by separating their business from their personnel affairs?

    A fight for theocratic rule is never the "right or good fight, see history again and again.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    It's a fight. By no means arbitrarily a 'good' one, though.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    re: Mark B

    Dubya & S Palin were the "best & brightest" the religious right were able to hoodwink some with.

    So, what does that say about the kingmakers in the GOP & evangelical right?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    Tyler: I can't help it if people want to allow the Supreme Court to make a mockery of the Constitution, or if people would rather scrap it for something they like better, such as socialism. Anyone who thinks that ACA is Constitutional doesn't understand the Constitution, regardless of whether it has 'passed the test'. It 'passed the test' according to those who like Socialism and progressives that want something more 'up to date', like Socialism. I don't believe in Socialism, nor do I believe that the Supreme Court is upholding the Constitution. I like Liberty and Freedom. Just the way I am. I con't understand why there are those who don't! You can't have it both ways.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    @bandersen

    I believe everyone, with little exception, loves liberty and freedom. Where we disagree on is how they are best protected, and how to fund that protection.

    Some would equate liberty and freedom to be "I keep what's mine" others may interpret freedom in a more social aspect of "live and let live" as long as you're not hurting anyone else. P

    People can and do disagree over interpretation of the Constitution. That's why we have a Supreme Court, who's decisions are not uncommonly 5-4. Even those at the Convention disagreed over its meaning years after ratification. Because some might disagree with you, does not mean they are wrong, or that you are. It simply means that two informed adults with their life experiences, views, and readings have reached different conclusions.

    I love freedom and liberty, so much I am serving in the Armed Forces, but I align more with the liberal philosophy. Others I work with, align more with a conservative philosophy, and you know what? We get along just fine, because deep down we all want the same thing.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 19, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    @bandersen – “Anyone who thinks that ACA is Constitutional doesn't understand the Constitution, regardless of whether it has 'passed the test'.”

    Putting aside the question of whether or not the ACA counts as “socialism,” you’re missing the point.

    [By the way, the central feature of the ACA - individual mandate - was designed by the Heritage Foundation; hardly a socialist think tank. Yes, the subsidies are some degree of socialism, but the rest of it? Hardly.]

    Anyway, the point is it did pass the test. The only question now is what will you or any citizen do when they don’t like a law?

    If you believe in the Constitution, then you’re path is clear – vote for people who believe as you do and if enough people feel the same way, you can change the law.

    But if your views regarding right & wrong (and reasonable & moral people can disagree here) trump the law such that you’re willing to take the law into your own hands, then count me out.

    As you said, you can’t have it both ways.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Aug. 19, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    Bandersen, a fetus before 26 weeks is just that a fetus, not an infant and the Supreme Court has never sanctioned the killing of infants (a child after birth). Heartbeats, brain activity, prior to 26 don't result in conscious life. That occurs sometime around the 26th week.

    I know some passed on this but how in the world is the ACA socialism, when it simply has a mandate to buy private (capitalist) insurance? If that is socialism to you then I suppose compulsory education is, stop signs are etc.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    Since corporations are not people they obviously have no religious beliefs. The beliefs of the people who incorporate a business belong to the people and not the corporation, which has no legal right to a religious belief since it isn't a person.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Here are two questions for all of you. First, yes or no, If you, or your family, are the sole owner of a business, should the government be able to compel you to engage in business activities that violate your personal morals and ethics? Second, is it good government to force people to engage in activities that they find morally objectionable?

    Notes to Tyler D.:
    Rights predate the constitution. I refer you to the opening words to the Declaration of Independence. And in actuality , the constitution was not intended to define the rights of the people. Rather, the intent was to define what the government was permitted to do.

    There has been no supreme court ruling on ACA violating people's first amendment rights. The constitutionality of the decision was based on 'innovative' legal reasoning that it was a tax even though the administration said that it was not.

    On the subject of birth control. Pills are on the $4 formulary at WalMart, how is that a burden? And, abstinence is 100% effective in preventing both pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    Re: "The premise here is that the employer has freedom to practice their religious beliefs AND to impose them on their employees."

    The usual liberal sophistry.

    As liberals know, that's not the premise, at all. If it's important to them, Hobby Lobby employees are free to buy, without penalty, their own abortion and contraception insurance, or to work somewhere else, for a more liberal, cowardly, or pliant employer.

    Today's Hobby Lobby situation is actually much more closely akin to the situation that existed under Muslim rule in the Ottoman Empire -- Christians and Jews were "tolerated" in the Empire, so long as they practiced their religion quietly and covertly, didn't engage in the more lucrative professions, and were willing to split their hard-earned wages and resources with the Sultan and his bureaucrats.

    That's a much more apt comparison, and, as in the Ottoman Empire, the Obama regime's object is to benefit the Sultan and liberal "believers," at the expense of conservative, religious "infidels," as well as to use financial coercion to induce "conversion."

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Aug. 20, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    Strange how birth control is such a "fight" yet when people are polled there arr very few people that actually think birth control is immoral.

    Stanger still is that birth control was never a controversy before the ACA was passed by congress.

    What faux fight will be chosen next?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 20, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    @J in AZ;

    Is the business owner being forced to take birth control pills? Have a same-sex marriage? No to both questions.

    Being asked to allow your employees to choose to use birth control is an entirely different issue. The employees DO pay premiums for their insurance plans and they SHOULD be able to opt for a plan that offers the benefits that THEY require. Businesses, and their owners should NOT be allowed to refuse to provide services based on the beliefs of the owners.

    Providing an insurance plan that provides birth control for women is NOT a violation of the business owner's beliefs because the business owner is NOT being required to partake themselves. Selling cakes/flowers to GLBT couples for a wedding does NOT violate the business owner's beliefs; they're not being asked to have a same-sex marriage themselves. If they claim their beliefs are being violated, you have to look at the following: Do they sell or provide their services to adulterers? Murderers? Thieves? If they answer 'yes' to any of these questions, then they're lying to you when they claim selling to GLBT couples violates their beliefs.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Aug. 21, 2013 2:40 a.m.

    Re: "Providing an insurance plan that provides birth control for women is NOT a violation of the business owner's beliefs . . . ."

    So, if Obamacare required employers to offer insurance that covers sexual orientation conversion therapy, you'd be OK with that?

    I thought not.

    Funny how the left feels empowered and fully competent to decide for us what does and doesn't violate our religious beliefs, though they're quite likely to have none of their own.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    To the Old Switcheroo:
    Birth control was never a controversy before the implementation of ACA because it was not mandatory. It was an option that could be added to insurance plans.However, when the government mandates that coverage at the expense of the employer, this is when people who believe that birth control by medical intervention is a sin get concerned about their beliefs being marginalized.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Aug. 21, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    re: Ranchhand
    So your answer to my question is yes, the government can force a business owner to purchase services that violate his or her moral beliefs.

    Now a question or two about your logic. If the employer does not purchase a birth control rider, now is that prohibiting employees from buying those pharmaceuticals? Before you launch into your answer take into account that birth control drugs can be purchased from a number of retailers for as little as $4 for a 30 day supply without an insurance plan.

    The second question that I have about your logic is that you seem to be assuming that a person should only consider their direct actions in terms of right and wrong. Why do you discount the idea that many people have that if they participate in enabling another to do something that they believe is wrong, then they are morally culpable? As you answer this question remember that this is the exact argument behind dramshop laws that hold establishments responsible for letting drunk drivers on the road.

  • BalancedFulfilledLife MISSOURI CITY, TX
    Sept. 4, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    Great article!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    Nobody is being denied the right to believe or worship the way they choose. Nobody is being forced to do things that go against what they believe (for example, nobody is being forced to use contraception or an abortion, or enter into a same-sex marriage, if they choose not to).

    Religious liberty and religious freedom is not being attacked in the United States in any way. The only thing that is being contested is the "right" of religious organizations and their adherents to impose their religious views on society and demand that society live in accordance with those religious views (and deny people's civil rights if those rights operate opposite to the views of religious and their adherents).

    Despite any religiosity that the Founding Fathers may or may have not had, the United States is a secular country with a secular Constitution. The word "God" does not appear in the Constitution and the word "religion" appears once, in the First Amendment which has the effect of separating church and state.

    The argument that there is an attack on religious liberty is not well founded or made.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Oct. 6, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    "So, if Obamacare required employers to offer insurance that covers sexual orientation conversion therapy, you'd be OK with that?"

    If we are required to offer insurance that covers psychological and counselling services, and there were psychologists and counseling that offer sexual orientation conversion therapy, I wouldn't have a problem offering that to all of my employees. It's the employees choice whether or not to go to such a therapist, even though I disagree with that practice. You see, just because the insurance is being offered doesn't mean that the policy holder is going to be forced to accept and participate in it. That's where the true freedom stands--in the individual.

    I also don't believe in abortion, but as our current laws are, I am not going to deny somebody else that (currently legal) choice.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    @J in AZ;

    The business owner chose to obey the law when they got a business license. The owner also has no obligation to purchase the particular plan (for him/herself) that offers the contraceptives, they don't have to use them themselves. Offering a plan for their employee in no way violates their own personal beliefs; rather it allows their employees to choose which plans they'll use themselves.

    If an insurance plan provides purchase of male sexual enhancement pills, they should also provide for a provision that purchases contraceptives that are of benefit to women.

    How much do you want to bet that the person who has the problem "enabling" someone else to do what the owner believes is wrong, is actually doing something themselves? I'll bet they watch TV, and enjoy the same shows most other people do. Shows that are filled with fornication, violence, etc. That is hypocrisy.

    @procuradorfiscal;

    Sure, as long as they cover religious conversion therapy too.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Oct. 7, 2013 11:42 p.m.

    I guess the business owners of Hobby Lobby can have a religious viewpoint that they believe should be foisted on their employees. If that is the "religious rights" being promoted here, I want none of it. Perhaps this is another reason to argue against an "employer based" health insurance system in favor of one that grants every citizen the right to exercise his/her choices regarding their health concerns without the interference of your employer or the government.

    I find one odd similarity with the Hobby Lobby example and "Communist" China. In the recent past in "Communist" China, employers were given a lot of power over their employees. Your health decisions were made by your "boss" and you even had to ask permission from your boss to get married or conceive a child. Your boss was usually an avid communist party member who was making these decisions in the interest of the "party." Is that what we are seeing here in America? Are the interests of the religious right via the GOP making similar decisions for American workers. It certainly seems like it. Religious liberty is a two way street. It is not reserved for only business owners.

  • Gr8Dane Tremonton, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    I'm offended by the Headline to this article! It's patronizing and demeaning to the extreme. It presupposes that people of strong moral and religious beliefs are unreasonable zealots and that the fight is really political? No, it's a battle of deeply held religious conviction; something that the athiestic progressive left in this country truly do not understand.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 8, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Everyone has rights - employer and employee. However, if you OWN a company, your right to do business your way supercedes any other right. You built it...paid for it...risked it...laid in bed worrying about it...you have the earned the right to do things your way.

    Employees were not forced to write their own application, apply for the job, and come to work. If you don't like what Hobby Lobby wants, go work for someone else. Hobby Lobby will not force you to keep employment with them.

    Better yet, go start your OWN business and do things the way you want to do them.