What freedoms will be left?

Birth control issue will be powerful test of Americans' rights

  • Follow Editorials

This may be the year our First Amendment sees its most serious threat.

The Affordable Care Act now requires big employers to provide birth control as part of health insurance coverage, irrespective of the employers’ religious beliefs on the matter.

Many have religious beliefs that consider either contraception or the morning-after pill morally wrong and abhorrent to the conscience. The government is nonetheless ordering them to arrange for it and, in many cases, even subsidize it.

Hobby Lobby has famously challenged the mandate in an ongoing lawsuit. But it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve that the U.S. Supreme Court took action to temporarily block that portion of the law.

Remarkably it was liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor who issued the stay – though, notably, only until Friday, when the Obama administration was ordered to make its case for the mandate.

She appears to have had little choice but to issue the emergency order. And, indeed, given an opportunity to protect Hobby Lobby with a similar reprieve in December 2012, Sotomayor passed on it.

A vital tenet of religious freedom is at stake. Can the government force Americans to participate in activities that are of the highest moral repugnance to them and their religious views?

And if it can, what freedom is truly left?

The current case, involving the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged in Denver, provides a stark background for the question. How can nuns be ordered to provide birth control in a free country?

But truly, the impact of this debate is sweeping. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed by the intrepid, and many more thousands of Americans not directly involved in the legal cases will have their rights either affirmed or trimmed.

The politics of the mandate are quite interesting, too – that is to say, hypocritical. Those of the same political ideology that once bitterly protected conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War would now deny the same right to conservatives who object to tampering with (and ending) embryonic life.

It also puts the religious between a rock and a hard place: Which one are they to obey, man’s law or God’s?

Those folks are normally assiduously law-abiding. But unless the court steps in to protect their fundamental religious rights on a more permanent basis, they may be tempted to resort to “nullification” – the act of singularly nullifying laws they find unlivable.

How many people, for instance, will ignore the requirement to buy insurance?

If so, they’ll have company in high places. As we noted in an editorial nearly a year ago, the Democratic-led U.S. Senate ignored its duty to pass a budget for the entire first Obama term, and the Obama administration has unilaterally and openly ignored provisions of immigration law, the Defense of Marriage Act, drug laws and more – and even encouraged defense contractors to ignore laws requiring layoff notices in advance of “sequestration” cuts.

“Nullification has rarely seen this much favor since the Civil War,” we wrote last January, “and may only gain steam if Washington continues down the path of trying to run everyone’s lives.”

Unless the courts step in, that may only be truer this year than last.

Comments (131) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Bodhisattva
8148
Points
Bodhisattva 01/06/14 - 08:17 am
5
4
The issue is not about

The issue is not about requiring religious business people to violate their religious beliefs, it's about them trying to force their religious beliefs on their employees. The business owner is free to follow any beliefs he or she chooses, but to think that he or she has the right to make every employee live under those religious guidelines is a farce. What freedoms will be left? If just by getting a job you surrender your rights and your beliefs and are subjugated to those of your employer the answer is none.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:19 am
2
3
ICL,

You can be passionate about your beliefs and not come of with having the propensity of commiting terrorist acts by exercising tact.

I TRY to do that whenever possible, however, I am still young-ish and have a lot of Celtic blood and occassionally get hot-headed.

Little Lamb
50775
Points
Little Lamb 01/06/14 - 08:20 am
2
1
Deny

Corgimom posted:

Why would anyone want to deny their workers proper health care?

Don't forget that these companies have no obligation to provide health insurance for those employees. It would probably be better for all if companies were to get out of the health insurance subsidy business all together.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:24 am
2
0
Bizkit,

COOL STORY

Robert, Not everyone that doesn't agree with you wants you put to death. Nor are they on "the other side." If you feel that it is a personal attack on you, I assure you it's not. A little bit of tact goes a long way.

nocnoc
54241
Points
nocnoc 01/06/14 - 08:30 am
3
1
2014 - The year the Taxpaying Majority takes back control

Given the Fed's and/or the Obama Admin have ticked off just about every left or right wing taxpaying group in America, at 1 time or another in 4 years.

I seriously expect 2014 Elections (if allowed) to be a landslide for the Sensible Taxpaying Majority Left and Right.

Confused, you shouldn't be.
Show me a taxpayer that likes paying more and more taxes and I'll show you a person has a Good Tax Shelter, hidden offshore account, or a person doesn't pay the taxes he's make others pay.

Yes even Democrats Taxpayers are fed-up.
Which explains the number of Democrats that have joined the TEA Party in the last 3 yeard, once they read past the phony Anti-propaganda campaign that both parties put out.

Remember I did say "if allowed".
It would not surprise me if we have a "Election week" national disturbance, that provides a reason for the FED's to step in and postpone the elections, until they can get control of the "situation".

That type of thinking 15 years ago, is what I use to call a
Paranoid Person.

But given the FACTS and the FED's increase in powers over the last 13 years, it even has me wondering now.

justthefacts
27195
Points
justthefacts 01/06/14 - 08:27 am
6
3
Bod

You do realize that, as an employee, you have the right to not participate in the employer's healthcare plan..right? No one forces them to join. Freedom.

InChristLove
22486
Points
InChristLove 01/06/14 - 08:29 am
6
2
(Bod) "..but to think that he

(Bod) "..but to think that he or she has the right to make every employee live under those religious guidelines is a farce. "

But they don't Bod. They just have to pay for the part that violates the owner's religious guidelines, themselves. It's available, they just have to go through different means to get it.

robert2410
1628
Points
robert2410 01/06/14 - 08:31 am
1
0
Fine Paul, I have no personal
Unpublished

Fine Paul, I have no personal angst here and am not particularly sensitive so I do not feel personally attacked. My views can be pretty blunt but I honestly believe it is neccessary, I strongly perceive an attack on my faith coming from the progressive left but I also realize not everyone will see it the same way. That will not discourage from expressing what I feel to be true however.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:32 am
2
2
ICL

I actually think that's a fair compromise. The employee most likely knows they are working for a religious institution, so therefore should know the employers' stance on that from the beginning.

robert2410
1628
Points
robert2410 01/06/14 - 08:34 am
0
0
Now, back to what we
Unpublished

Now, back to what we Christians are up against. Here is a list of 10 reasons why liberals seem to hate Christians as they do. There are more but I do not want to get too long winded here:

1) Liberals are relativists and hate Christians because Christians believe in absolute truth.
2) Liberals do not want anyone to say that immorality is immoral.
3) Liberals are selfish and are more interested in their "feelings" then they are with what is right for others.
4) Liberals misunderstand what Christians really believe.
5) Since liberals see themselves as the superior enlighten ones they do not recognize that taking a position against their position is not automatically hate.
6) Liberals do not want to listen to what makes sense, they would rather listen to their senses.
7) Liberals ignore the clear evidence of the result of their philosophical positions influence on the last 40 years. It had been a social disaster and they do not want to hear it.
8) They see Christians as intellectually inferior.
9) Liberals see Christians as wanting to impose their religion on them when in truth it is the liberals who have used the courts system to impose their secular humanism religion on all of us.
10) Liberals are spiritually lost and blind to the truth of the gospel.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:36 am
2
1
Robert,

I can certainly respect your opinion on that, and as a person with a different faith background, I can see why you could possibly perceive that, at times.

The only point that I was trying to make with the "red flag" conversation was that had it been a Muslim that made it, a lot of people on here would be very uncomfortable.

I believe that all faith groups could possibly get along one day, if we use a little tact with each other, while at the same time being firm in our beliefs.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 08:38 am
5
3
Seems to me when the
Unpublished

Seems to me when the President refers to Republicans as the ENEMY who should be punished, that would be considered an insider threat...right Paul? Don't recall you throwing up any red flags at him.

carcraft
30222
Points
carcraft 01/06/14 - 09:20 am
5
3
I gotta love liberal logic!

I gotta love liberal logic! Owning guns is a constitutional right actually mentioned in the constitution. Liberals fight all the time to limit gun ownership. Now health care and various types of health care are a made up right. If we take the phrase general welfare, put in right to privacy well gee every American is guaranteed health care. Oops except you can't keep your doctor, insurance policy or hospital like promised. Oh don't grieve over that because you can get birth control and abortion even if your employer doesn't want to provide it and you may not want it you pay for it any way! Health care is a benefit provided by employers as part of your wages because of WAGE FREEZES DURING WORLD WAR II. Good Grief. If I don't like like my wages or benefits I am FREE TO WORK ELSE WHERE or buy what I want! For goodness sake grow up, if you want birth control work for a company that provides it or pay the $50/ month to get it! If you can afford the 41% increase in premiums for services you don't want you can afford birth control!

Bodhisattva
8148
Points
Bodhisattva 01/06/14 - 08:42 am
3
4
If they don't want to offer

If they don't want to offer health care, fine. If they do, don't try to add religion into health issues. If they compensate the employees the amount they would pay in lieu of health care benefits, that would be fair to the employees.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 08:43 am
4
3
Bod...I know you won't
Unpublished

Bod...I know you won't answer, because you only hit and run, but please explain how an employer not paying for someone's birth control is in any way forcing their beliefs on them? Is the employer telling them that they are not allowed to USE birth control?

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:47 am
3
3
There is SO much of that list

There is SO much of that list that I, respectfully, disagree with....but I will only address #9.

The Founding Fathers based the Constitution on Masonic ideals, which are, in fact, secular humanist from that time period. Everything about America was supposed to be up to YOU, the individual, how you wanted to live your life. If you wanted religion, be religious. If you wanted no religion, have no religion.

This country has gotten the way it is because we have allowed our children live in excess, without basic understanding of respect and discipline, which crosses ALL faiths....even atheism.

I'm not saying Christianity is a bad thing...I know the message of Christ well....I'm just saying it's not a "cookie-cutter" fix all.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 08:51 am
2
3
Angela,

That's because I took a hiatus from the AC for a while. I am known, in person, for putting credit where it's due...both good and bad. However, my situation is a bit different when it comes to politics because I can actually get in real trouble for mocking or disrespectful speech toward ANY elected official. I short, I have to word my opinions on the matter VERY carefully or keep them to myself...especially since this is my real name that I use.

robert2410
1628
Points
robert2410 01/06/14 - 08:52 am
0
0
One more about the modern
Unpublished

One more about the modern liberal and then I am done for a bit:

The Liberal applauds the imprisoning of home-schooling parents who dare to raise their children outside the control of collectivist public schools.

Private ownership of guns is the single greatest symbol of individual power, and therefore is despised by Liberals.

All individual freedoms demand the responsible behavior of the individual, and therefore demand a moral code. Liberals despise freedom because they despise morality.

The Liberal despises national sovereignty. Why? Because the best protection of individual freedoms is found in small decentralized governments.

The Liberal promotes the growth of multi-national and international governments such as the European Union and the United Nations because these organizations advance the cause of socialism and seek to destroy the very individualism that is best protected by sovereign states.

The Liberal fears any hint of individualism in any part of the world, and is obsessed with the centralized control of all human activity and thought. Thus the Liberal constantly seeks total control over all forms of media.

"Multi-culturalism" is the code word for a single, oppressive, collectivist culture. The root word of "culture," is the word "cult," meaning religion. Christianity is the only religion that finds a perfect balance between allowing mankind maximum liberty within the guidelines of clearly delineated moral absolutes, without the need for an oppressive State. Because a genuine Christian populace will be self governing in the matter of moral issues there is no need for an all-powerful government to police an unruly populace. The Eighth Commandment, "Thou Shalt Not Steal," presupposes the right of individuals to own private property. The Eighth Commandment is therefore the foundation of Western Capitalism and the engine of our prosperity. This is another reason why Liberals hate the Bible. If Liberals are successful at transforming America into a totally multi-cultural, i.e., multi-religious, non-Christian society, we will lose our freedom.

Liberals speak often of tolerance, but they only tolerate Liberals and Liberal ideas. For instance, Liberals hate Christianity and conservative Bible believing Christians are persona non grata in any gathering of Liberals. Liberals are extremely intolerant concerning Christianity because of its insistence upon personal responsibility and moral absolutes. Liberals know that a society without moral absolutes and a society without strong emphasis upon personal responsibility will fall like a ripe apple into their greedy socialist clutches because self reliance and rugged individualism are traits that are only found amongst moral peoples who come from strong families.

The Liberal seeks to criminalize any speech that promotes morality or individualism as "hate speech." Thus we see Liberal Judges and Liberal Courts outlawing the Bible and gutting the free speech provisions of the first amendment of the constitution. Liberal Judges are now declaring that the Bible's proscriptions against homosexuality are illegal "hate speech" and scripture is now in the process of being outlawed from any appearance in public discourse or the public square. If one speaks in favor of individualism and against affirmative action in a public forum at work, Liberal Judges and Liberal Courts are now saying that such speech amounts to intimidation of minorities and is prohibited by law.

These are just a few, sometime later when I have time I will pass along some more.

InChristLove
22486
Points
InChristLove 01/06/14 - 08:52 am
5
1
"The only point that I was

"The only point that I was trying to make with the "red flag" conversation was that had it been a Muslim that made it, a lot of people on here would be very uncomfortable. "

Paul, if this had been an atheist laminating about how Christians were treating them, would you have the same viewpoint. Would you consider the atheist as a terrorist threat also?

myfather15
58535
Points
myfather15 01/06/14 - 09:13 am
4
4
Yes, having a debate is hard with Bod;

Because when they start losing, which is usually the case, they disappear!!

"The business owner is free to follow any beliefs he or she chooses, but to think that he or she has the right to make every employee live under those religious guidelines is a farce."

Once again, just another LIE to further a point. By not providing BIRTH CONTROL, THAT is forcing religious beliefs? Really?

So, the worker, doesn't give up their rights when becoming an employee, BUT the religious person by becoming a business owner, does give up their rights? Is that what you're saying Bod?

So the worker, has NO free will to decide whether to work for this person, is that what you're saying?

"What freedoms will be left?" What freedoms will be left? The most important freedom of all, FREE WILL!!! If I don't like how my employer is running things, no one is forcing me to continue my employment. I have FREE WILL to walk away at any given moment; or I can do the wise thing and start hunting for a new career, while still employed with them.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 09:02 am
6
3
If the President said roughly
Unpublished

If the President said roughly half of the American people are the enemy who should be punished, and you are in the military, as it appears, then your oath of service DEMANDS that you defend the American people from him, because you swore to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC. Have courage and speak out if your leader is an enemny of the American People....which he openly declared.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 09:02 am
3
2
ICL,

Yes. 100%. If I were able to be objective about it, I would also take it as a terrorist threat if someone form my faith expressed those same views. Extremist behavior is not linked to any one specific religion or mindset. It is, however, expressed through certain statements.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 09:11 am
3
3
Angela,

I can certainly sympathize with your opinion, and I assure you, my TACTFUL opinion has been expressed on issues that I feel are contradictory to the Constitution. With that being said, I feel that the President is not the enemy a lot of Americans wish him to be. I feel that he is doing what he feels necessary, in certain situations, to make America what a younger generation wish it to be....now, let's take a look at the younger generation that WE have created....

Most of them are lazy, self-centered, rude, have no sense of community or what it truly means to struggle. Our younger generation puts more emphasis on celebrities that act crass in public and, in some cases, literally spit on the same people that make them famous.

carcraft
30222
Points
carcraft 01/06/14 - 09:20 am
5
1
How is choosing what benefits

How is choosing what benefits I offer an employer forcing my religion on them? Should the government force 7 th day Adventists to have their business open on Saturday so their religion isn't forced on the employees? Should Chic Fila be forced to be open on Sunday? There are over 10,000 applicants for th 75 Chic Fila franchises sold every year. So forcing them per contract to be closed on Sunday and forcing the franchise buyers to follow Truet Cathy's religious beliefs doesn't seem to hurt the franchise. Perhaps the government needs to force Chic fila to be open on Sunday huh?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 09:13 am
5
2
Hmmmm....a President who says
Unpublished

Hmmmm....a President who says 1/2 of the American people are the ENEMY and should be punished doesn't throw up a red flag, but someone saying he doesn't believe there will be a peaceful solution does? Interesting.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 01/06/14 - 09:15 am
5
2
Let's use Bod's an other's
Unpublished

Let's use Bod's an other's "logic" about an employer "denying" rights.

My employer doesn't provide me with a gun, free of charge, therefore, they are denying me my 2nd amendment rights.

How is this ANY different?

InChristLove
22486
Points
InChristLove 01/06/14 - 09:20 am
5
1
(Paul) "President is not the

(Paul) "President is not the enemy a lot of Americans wish him to be. I feel that he is doing what he feels necessary, in certain situations, to make America what a younger generation wish it to be..."

Seems to me if you have a President more interested in what the younger generation wishes America to be (and that is by your words, Most of them are lazy, self-centered, rude, have no sense of community or what it truly means to struggle) instead of being an adult and doing what is best for us as a whole Country, then Paul, yes he is the enemy.

carcraft
30222
Points
carcraft 01/06/14 - 09:22 am
3
1
Paul, I hate to say it but if

Paul, I hate to say it but if you are at work working why are you posting on the internet?

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 09:25 am
1
4
Angela,

The difference is CONTEXT.

Also, please re-read the last post and take in the context of what I typed.

Also, I don't feel as if he's the enemy a lot of Americans want him to be because of what you may perceive is bad for you, i.e. greater distinction between religion and government, is not necessarily bad for EVERYONE. Furthermore, if you want to find the culprits that are doing the most damage to America, aside from We the People, you are looking in the right city....just the wrong building...Just my opinion.

paulbaughman28
215
Points
paulbaughman28 01/06/14 - 09:27 am
2
3
carcraft

24 hour duty....I am actually only allowed to be on news sites in between my security checks. I assure you, I am in compliance with all regulations.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Subcommittee finalizes plan for city septic tank fee

A city subcommittee on Friday finalized plans to impose a mandatory monthly fee of $14 for three years on approximately 3,500 landowners still using septic tanks when a city sewer line is located ...
Search Augusta jobs