What freedoms will be left?

Birth control issue will be powerful test of Americans' rights

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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
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David Parker
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David Parker 01/06/14 - 04:58 pm
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Humble

I don't explain things mam, I comment and then cut myself off. Sorry if it came across so unclear, but the point to begin with isn't that clear.

Insurance companies being forced to buy someone's spermacide is killing the 1st amendment?!?!

I don't see the direct connection as much as I see big brother telling a private business how to sell their product / service.

David Parker
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David Parker 01/06/14 - 05:12 pm
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GAD

Exellent point. Religious interpretation is all so flexible and pliable.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/06/14 - 05:22 pm
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Your right, David. Especially

Your right, David. Especially when men are running the show.

corgimom
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corgimom 01/06/14 - 05:37 pm
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"Muslims killing their

"Muslims killing their children? Extremists letting their children play with poison snakes? Marrying your children off at 10 or 11? Providing birth control to employees? ONE, of these things, isn't even in the same ballpark as the others!! As they say on Monday Night Football, C'mon man!!!!"

To those people, their beliefs aren't extreme, they deeply believe in those things and think that they are the right way to believe. And if you open the door and say that religious groups can override laws, then you have to allow all of it.

How does an employer distinguish between hormone pills used for birth control and hormone pills used for medical reasons? Why should a woman be denied coverage for hormone pills prescribed for medical reasons because some people use them for birth control?

corgimom
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corgimom 01/06/14 - 05:40 pm
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myfather, here in the South,

myfather, here in the South, you will meet many Pentecostal Holiness members. They are not religious extremists in the slightest. They are nice, normal people. You probably already know some, there are many in Augusta. I don't agree with their beliefs, but they are very sincere in their beliefs.

The same way with Muslims. There are very nice, decent Muslims that believe that their religion says a man can have 4 wives. In the Old Testament, men had more than one wife, and we don't label them extremists, do we?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/06/14 - 05:45 pm
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(GAD) "So the Catholic Church

(GAD) "So the Catholic Church doesn't want to pay for birth control. Do they pay for boner pills? If they do, then that's a little hypocritical."

Difference is GAD, according to the Catholic Church birth control pills prevent life from being created, where as "boner pills" don't. I suppose in a way they help create it, wouldn't you say?

dahreese
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dahreese 01/06/14 - 07:21 pm
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"In the Old Testament, men
Unpublished

"In the Old Testament, men had more than one wife, and we don't label them extremists, do we?"

Except in Utah.

The Song of Solomon is a sexy story equal to anything that is written today. It's "God's word."

corgimom
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corgimom 01/06/14 - 05:54 pm
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"Because when they start

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

GROW UP.

Geez.

People have lives other than this blog. When people get off, it's because they have other things to do.

And there are people on here that have lost sight of what this blog is about- it's about sharing opinions and viewpoints, and discussion, NOT "WINNING" and "LOSING". It's about accepting the fact that the world is not all about you, that different people think different things, and that's ok.

Unless, of course, you're mentally still a middle-schooler.

There isn't any "winning" and "losing" on here, what do you win?

I don't take this blog seriously. It's fun, it's entertaining, it makes me think. It makes me understand other people's viewpoints (even when I think they are very odd.) It's my cyber crack.

It is apparent to me that some of you take this very seriously- WAY too seriously- and that's sad; that, to me, speaks of a life that is focusing on the wrong things.

"Winning" on a blog? Really?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 01/06/14 - 06:19 pm
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" In the Old Testament, men

" In the Old Testament, men had more than one wife, and we don't label them extremists, do we?"

Corgimom, have you ever studied God's Word to understand why polygamy was allowed in Old Testament times. The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman. This is only my speculate on God's Word but it's as good as your opinion so lets just examine it. Let me first state that just because God is silent in His Word on a subject matter does not mean He approves or disapproves. Allowing something does not necessarily mean it is the way God intended it to be.

In Old Testament times (as well as today) there are many more women than men and most women had longer life spans (especially in biblical times). Due to warfare there would have been a large number of women who could not provide for themselves or protect themselves. Most women were uneducated and untrained, leaving them in a higher position of prostitution and slavery. It is possible that God allowed (I didn't say approved of) multiple wives in order to take care of the abundance of widowed and single women.

The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman and it appears that after the coming of Christ, the New Testament speaks clearly the benefits of a husband having one wife. It is a requirement for a spiritual leader mentioned in Timothy and Titus. Ephesians speaks clearly about the relationship between a husband and a wife (not wives).

In most modern societies, there is absolutely no need for polygamy. In most cultures today, women are able to provide for and protect themselves—removing the only “positive” aspect of polygamy. Due to the “one flesh” aspect of marriage that God ordained, the lack of need for polygamy, it appears that polygamy does not honor God and is not his design for marriage.

So no, in biblical times, men who had multiple wives were not considered extremist. As for in today's age, and the unnecessary aspect of having multiple wives, I'd say they would be considered very much an extremist.

corgimom
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corgimom 01/06/14 - 06:39 pm
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This really has a lot of

This really has a lot of facets to it.

What about equal protection under the law, both for employers and employees? What about religious discrimination against employers who aren't Catholic, who will be forced to pay higher costs because they have to provide birth control, but a Catholic organization doesn't?

My prediction- the exemption won't be granted, the rights of the individual are more important than the rights of an institution.

wayne2410
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wayne2410 01/06/14 - 06:40 pm
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If the libs have their way
Unpublished

If the libs have their way there will be none.

bob0142
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 06:52 pm
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Some of us conservative
Unpublished

Some of us conservative Christians refuse to be silenced. Remember that libs

bob0142
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 06:53 pm
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Duplicate
Unpublished

Duplicate

carcraft
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 06:57 pm
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Good grief! Employer health

Good grief! Employer health care is an inducement to work at a business. As I pointed differant businesses offer differant work schedules, benefits etc to employees AS THE OWNERS OF THE BUSINESS SEE FIT! IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE BENEFITS DON'T WORK THERE! Home Depot had a profit sharing plan and many employees become millionaires. Should every business be forced to have profit sharing, should Chic Fila be forced to be open on Sunday. Health care is no differance. If a business choses not to give birth control and you want it DON'T WORK THERE!!!!!!!!!!! YOU GET TAXED ON THE COST OF YOUR HEALTH CARE so a less Expensive plan costs you less in taxes!

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:07 pm
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Liberal- a person so open
Unpublished

Liberal- a person so open minded their brains fell out

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:10 pm
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Some true comments about
Unpublished

Some true comments about liberals

At the most basic level, the Liberal is anti-God. He is an intellectually dishonest, unprincipled, mentally immature, spoiled child who is forever in search of a world without moral consequence. That is why the Liberal makes "The State" his god. The Liberal worships THE STATE. The Liberal attempts to use his god (government) to eliminate all moral consequences for immoral behavior. In the name of "Justice," the Liberal also pretends to make his god (The State) "level" all peoples so that the wise or the beautiful or the genius will have no advantage over the unwise, the ugly and the simpleton in the marketplace. The Liberal calls this tyrannical State of Government, UTOPIA.

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:11 pm
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The Liberal vainly imagines
Unpublished

The Liberal vainly imagines that freedom from moral consequence can be secured by a collectivist, totalitarian state.

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:12 pm
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Liberals use moralistic
Unpublished

Liberals use moralistic platitudes and catchy phrases like "social justice" and "The Brotherhood of Man" to appeal to the naive masses who are duped into believing that the ultimate goals of Liberals are genuinely benign and beneficient. However at the root, like the Prince in Machiavelli's greatest work, the single moral principle that Liberals adhere to is the continual accumulation and centralization of all power.

bob0142
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:16 pm
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Liberals believe since hatred
Unpublished

Liberals believe since hatred is horrible, it's okay to hate haters. And independent people. And SUV-owners. And gun owners. And business people. And the merit-conscious. And other individualists. And any other politically incorrect policy advocates. And whoever else it's chic to hate today. In fact the new definition of "hater" is "anyone who disagrees with them

carcraft
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 07:19 pm
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Corgimom, what about non

Corgimom, what about non Christians who work at Chic Fila on Sunday, are they denied their rich to work on Sunday?

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:20 pm
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Liberals believe that guns in
Unpublished

Liberals believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists

KSL
134725
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KSL 01/06/14 - 07:26 pm
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Or the Iranians and N

Or the Iranians and N Koreans.

dahreese
4743
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dahreese 01/06/14 - 07:40 pm
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There was a time when
Unpublished

There was a time when businesses proudly offered retirement, health benefits, profit sharing, stock in the company.

Companies competed for the best workers.

The country was in financial balance.

But somewhere along the line Corporate Greed became the 'in' thing.

Most of you forget or just never learned that the top one percent feel towards you like you feel towards those who have less than you.

You, too, are on the take.

"In 1969 the median salary for a male worker was $35,567 (in 2012 dollars). Today it is $33,904. So for 44 years, while wages for the top 10 percent have continued to climb, most Americans have been caught in a 'Great Stagnation'"

Today’s highly skilled professional is making less in real, comparative terms than yesterday’s unskilled worker."

InChristLove
22481
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InChristLove 01/06/14 - 07:42 pm
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Corgimom, seriously think

Corgimom, seriously think about your statement

"What about religious discrimination against employers who aren't Catholic, who will be forced to pay higher costs because they have to provide birth control, but a Catholic organization doesn't?"

There is no discrimination......a non religious organization pays more because they provide more (ie. birth control pills). A religious organization pays less because they are not providing the same service. Where is it stated that all insurance policies have to provide the same coverage at the same cost?

bob0142
480
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bob0142 01/06/14 - 07:48 pm
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Liberals are like the monkeys
Unpublished

Liberals are like the monkeys in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book who explain: 'We all say so, and so it must be true'

harley_52
23959
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harley_52 01/06/14 - 07:54 pm
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"But somewhere along the line Corporate Greed...

....became the 'in' thing."

One man's "greed" is another man's incentive for working to achieve success. If you're lazy and don't care about achievement, in the eyes of a "progressive" you are not "greedy" and are, therefore, a hero.

"Progressives" don't understand the real world.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A

carcraft
27123
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 08:07 pm
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Of course it is evil

Of course it is evil corperations fault. We have not had globaliztion of industry, increases in costly goverment regulations (the founders of Home Depot said because of government regulations they could not start the business today) . Look at Obama care, because of the increased costs and regulations businesses are chiding to stay below 50 employees and several businesses are going to more part time employees (see Darren Group). This isn't a one dimensional issue. When I was in Korea in 1985 one of the Doctors I worked had a husband who was an Economist at Seoul University. He said "The problem is, the American worker makes $15/ hour, the Japanese worker makes $5.00/hour, the Korean worker makes $1.50/hour, BUT the Chinese worker makes $0.50/ hour and THAT FACT SCARES EVERYBODY ". On the flight to Korea I had read a news article about the economic structures China was building along it's coast. Corperations have a responsibility to earn profits for the investors.

KSL
134725
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KSL 01/06/14 - 08:12 pm
3
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Sometimes they are like the

Sometimes they are like the flying monkeys in The Wizzard of Oz.

mrenee2003
2946
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mrenee2003 01/06/14 - 08:15 pm
2
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So Seventh Day Adventists

exercise, primarily eat plant-based diets, maintain their body weight, and do not smoke. If a SDA were to own a business, shouldn't they be able to opt out of providing insurance to people who smoke, eat pork, and are fat? Why should they have to pay for insurance that provides treatment for someone's lung cancer? or their gastric bypass surgery?

carcraft
27123
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carcraft 01/06/14 - 08:14 pm
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The middle class has lost

The middle class has lost under Obama the average American house hold income was $51,310.00 when Obama took office. 4 years of Obamanomics and that income has declined by $3,850.00 dollars. This is from Moneymorning.com

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