What "Religious Liberty" Used To Mean

Via CaseyOR, John F. Kennedy on September 12, 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

[. . .] I would not look with favor upon a president working to subvert the First Amendment's guarantees of religious liberty. Nor would our system of checks and balances permit him to do so. And neither do I look with favor upon those who would work to subvert Article VI of the Constitution by requiring a religious test even by indirection for it. If they disagree with that safeguard, they should be out openly working to repeal it.

[. . ..] And in fact,this is the kind of America for which our forefathers died, when they fled here to escape religious test oaths that denied office to members of less favored churches; when they fought for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom[. . . .]

More . . .

[. . .] Whatever issue may come before me as president on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject I will make my decision in accordance with these views, in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

[. . .] I ask you tonight to follow in that tradition, to judge me on the basis of my record of 14 years in Congress, on my declared stands against [. . .] unconstitutional aid to parochial schools [. . .] [consider] the statement of the American Bishops in 1948, which strongly endorsed church-state separation, and which more nearly reflects the views of almost every American Catholic.

Today's Republicans and religious leaders have launched a culture war, and people like E.J. Dionne are applauding that war. Shame on them.

Speaking for me only

< Disingenuous Dionne | Monday Morning Open Thread >
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    I wasn't in the room, wasn't in on (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:50:59 AM EST
    the telephone calls, but at what point should Obama have said to the Bishops,

    "Look, I respect your beliefs, but I don't and can't answer to them; that's not my job.  I'm here to make policy and advocate for laws that empower people to make the best decisions they can for themselves, and preserve their ability to answer to whatever higher power or religious authority they choose.  With all due respect, there are Catholic institutions across this country who have been complying with EEOC regulations that have resulted in women employees and female family members of employees having coverage for contraception.  That you are choosing this moment to rise up and protest the contraception provisions of the ACA might lead me to believe that you see this as an opportune time to drive a political wedge, and turn millions of women into political footballs.  I hope I'm wrong about that, but in any event, I'm just not going to have it.  I've devised a way for the Church not to have to contribute to the cost of this coverage, but I cannot and will not allow you to use the law as a cudgel to force your female employees to abide by a religious belief they may not subscribe to."

    And, if that didn't work, why not go before the country and invoke the words of JFK and add a few of his own that build on that platform?

    It's not the job of secular government to assist any religion in corralling its members into obeying the laws of any Church, and unless and until that message gets out, we're going to continue to play political football with the rights and health of women.  It has to stop - I just wish Obama was the one who was going to take the lead on that, but I have no confidence that he will.

    He could also invoke Mario Cuomo (none / 0) (#2)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:54:04 AM EST
    who make a very public statement as Governor of NY that while his (Catholic) religion meant he would never promote abortion, he strongly believed in the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state, and did not need public laws banning abortion to make it possible for him to be a good Catholic.

    Searching for a link....


    Here is the link (none / 0) (#5)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:29:06 AM EST

    Speech is extraordinarily powerful -- so much good stuff, I did not know what to excerpt.


    Which part of the following, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Farmboy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:00:01 AM EST
    [W]omen will have free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where she works.

    is knuckling under to the Catholic Bishops and the right regarding the rights and health of women?

    You know (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:09:28 AM EST
    not everything is about President Obama.

    I'm pretty sure this post is not.

    Try again.


    I agree with you - not everything is about Obama (none / 0) (#7)
    by Farmboy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:29:58 AM EST
    Which is why my reply was to Anne's post stating that:
    "I just wish Obama was the one who was going to take the lead on that, but I have no confidence that he will."

    Not sure how it ended up one level higher in comments - it looked good in preview.

    Sorry for any confusion.


    Didn't show up as a reply (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:35:15 AM EST
    Sorry for my confusion.

    Delete it if you would, as it makes no sense (none / 0) (#11)
    by Farmboy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:38:17 AM EST
    as a standalone post.



    Well, if we want "religious liberty" (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:36:56 AM EST
    to mean what it used to, Democrats can't just sit on the sidelines and blame conservatives, Republicans and religious leaders - we have to do what we can to move things to where they used to be, and where we want them to be, don't we?

    Which means that, just as Candidate Kennedy drew the line in the sand as he prepared for the 1960 election, so does President Obama have to draw that line again, defining religious liberty in the JFK model from the front line that is the Oval Office.

    Obama has to act, not react;  he has to lead, not follow.  He needs to be the secular president, serving and leading a secular government.

    That's why I referenced Obama.


    E.J. Dionne (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:36:09 AM EST
    wants to keep his MSM job in a coming theocracy, maybe?

    Better stay away from those
    That carry around a fire hose
    Keep a clean nose
    Watch the plain clothes
    You don't need a weatherman
    To know which way the wind blows

    -- Bob Dylan

    The opinions of Catholics, (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:46:16 AM EST
    such as Dionne, Matthews and O'Donnell, seem to me to
    be an overhang of, if not a hangover from,  perceived cultural oppression.  They may agree on access and availability of contraceptives, but they soon lose their way in knee-jerk defense of their indoctrinated loyalties and subservience to Catholic Magisterium.

    This loyalty and subservience has shown up in heavy doses with the sexual abuse scandals---condemning the actions of clergy but rationalizing too much about their actions (e.g. bad apples), disparaging the victims intentions (e.g., just out to get money from the Church), and tolerating and making excuses for cover-ups from the Pope on down (e.g.  Cardinal Ratzinger's "overlooked memos", Cardinal Law's promotion, Cardinal George's shocking deposition, in 2008)  

    The "religious freedom" crowd may respect, say , the Amish beliefs and find reading by kerosene lamps and getting around in black buggies to be quaint but they are unlikely to support such requirements for all employees of a Amish affiliated hospital.  But, then, who can name an Amish cardinal?

    Exactly Dan (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dr Molly on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:03:07 AM EST
    They may agree on access and availability of contraceptives, but they soon lose their way in knee-jerk defense of their indoctrinated loyalties and subservience to Catholic Magisterium.

    They just can't get past the Church. Even if/when they know it's wrong.


    Tribalism and loyalty (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:27:32 AM EST
    I oppose a strike on Iran because it will, among other things, create a nationalistic backlash causing those pro-U.S. groups to turn into patriotic anti-U.S. groups.

    That is what is at play with the Catholic men at MSNBC.  

    Taking a shot at E.J. Dionne I think is counterproductive, as the issue of a mandate for birth control has been settled, at least among Democrats.  No need to take on liberal Catholics, and Dionne speaks for a lot of them, when a battle may still occur with conservatives over the mandate.

    Too much of  a circular firing squad.  


    pardon my language, but (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:51:10 PM EST
    Jesus C

    Taking a shot at E.J. Dionne I think is counterproductive, as the issue of a mandate for birth control has been settled, at least among Democrats.

    BTD's point is precisely that this "settled" issue evidently is not settled among Catholic Democrats like E. J. Dionne & other "progressives," at least not when it comes to, surprise, the right & freedom of women to obtain safe & effective contraception without blowback from the Catholic Church

    i don't see these guys challenging the separation of church & state over men's right to obtain condoms


    Dionne and the heads of Catholic Charities (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:37:06 PM EST
    and the Catholic Hospital Association are now in full support of the Obama compromise.

    Sister Carol Keehan and Father Larry Snyder issued statements of support before the Bishops could act.  They have thus already stuck their necks out for a compromise that provides for full contraceptive coverage for all employees of Catholic Charities and Catholic Hospitals.

    They had to know they had to act fast after Obama's announcement--and before the Bishops, else they be challenging Church authority.  This may not mean not much to anyone else, but they have taken a lot of risk.  They, and now Dionne, are allies against the Bishops.  

    I'd take their help--rather than criticize them for their earlier concerns.  


    you don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 07:19:03 PM EST
    or maybe you refuse to get it - there never should have been a compromise

    Obama should have pushed back with a public, unequivocal defense of the separation of church & state

    apparently the "constitutional lawyer" is unwilling to offer such a defense

    no surprise there, given his repeatedly demonstrated failure to voice unequivocal support for a woman's right to control her own body without inteference from her husband, her pastor, & now blowback from the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, not to mention their "progressive" acolytes in the media

    to cite JFK again (emphasis added):

    Whatever issue may come before me as president, . . . I will make my decision . . . without regard to outside religious pressures or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

    As a liberal Catholic (none / 0) (#71)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:52:33 PM EST
    I think that MKS gets it very much. 'Understand what you are saying Addams Family, but (in some respects) there is--and maybe inevitably had to be--the ability of Catholic Charities and the Catholic Hospitals Assoc. to speak.  All I can say is: There are many different levels of what is going on here...apart from the major external issue.  What Sister Keehan & others (including liberal journalists) are doing for standing up within the Church is very important to a number of Catholics as we move forward...and, I appreciate them very much.

    they can speak (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:25:11 AM EST
    as much as they want to & i have no desire to silence them

    i am criticizing President Obama for his failure to speak back in terms that leave no question about the separation of church & state & no openings for further intrusions of religion into public life


    also, christine (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:34:31 AM EST
    i have great respect & appreciation for social justice Catholics

    my own mother was a Catholic more or less in the same tradition, & although i count myself as agnostic, i regularly send donations to the Catholic hospice that cared for my mother, just as i periodically give the Catholic church in my neighborhood the modest of sum of $10 to say a mass for the repose of my mother's soul because that is what she would have wished - i trust both organizations to spend my modest contributions on their humanitarian work, which i am privileged to support in the shared spirit of humanitarianism

    so i hope that you have not inferred any disrespect on my part for Catholics like yourself

    it's true that i am not informed, as you clearly are, about the many different levels of what is going on inside the church (apart, as you said, from the major external issue), but i think that's essentially the point - there is no reason at all why i should be aware of the church's internal issues, which should remain internal, not be brought for resolution into shared secular space, at the cost of further & continued erosion of the separation between church & state

    i understand that Obama's compromise will probably work out well for him politically, & i appreciate that the compromise is also likely to work out badly for the GOP, but those undeniable benefits come at a price that i, as a citizen, have been paying for a while & find too high

    if there is something i've misunderstood about what you said, please do feel free to correct me, if you so choose



    There is nothing more to say (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:10:58 AM EST
    to your post.  I could not agree more and you couldn't possibly be more right on.

    I am being so tested lately (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:38:59 AM EST
    I raised my children to seek their own spiritual path.  I did that very very deliberately.  And after all my "teaching" my daughter is trying on Christianity.  I have told her that if Jesus is her Buddah that's great.  It isn't exactly what she wants to hear though, she wants me to tell her that I think her choice is great.  I bring up my concerns about how Christianity has devolved so far away from Christ's teachings though, and that they seem to be mostly about the exercise of exclusion and exclusive magic and being hurtful and damaging to others using their own special mass hysteria justifications :) The conversation goes downhill from there :)

    She even told her brother two days ago that Christians have been persecuted for hundreds of years (whew....victim card, victim card).  I had to bring up that so had Jews, and Muslims, and Hindus, and Buddhists, and wow....like everyone else too, just ask Native Americans.

    But I took care of my grandchildren this weekend so that their parents could get a weekend getaway in and recharge their batteries.  Being the parents of toddlers is hardwork and it would seem all Gods agree on that.

    Zoey is four now, and she likes this praying before eating thing.  I'm not exactly against acknowledging gratitude for what nourishes our bodies.  I'm not exactly against taking a moment to ponder how it may have come to our plate either.  What acts of sacrifice were involved here?  I'm not exactly for a portrayal of magic though being involved in it getting to our plates.

    So before we eat lunch yesterday Zoey holds her hand out for me to take so that we can pray she says.  I told her that I did not pray to God before I eat.  She was a thousand percent shocked, her face said it all.  I shrugged at her and I said, "I guess your NeeNee is a Pagan Zoey".

    Naomi turned two in October and when I said that she gasped and grabbed my hand with great concern and said, "No NeeNee!, you are not a pig."  Couldn't quit laughing after that.  I will be teaching my grandchildren though what the real definition of religious freedom and religious liberty is.  They prayed, I even reminded them about that Amen part because Zoey got a little lost and asked for help from me, and I did not pray.....and then we had lunch

    There is a Christian Left in the US ... (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by cymro on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:38:31 PM EST
    ... though it's not nearly as well-organized and vocal as the so-called "Christian" right. Does your daughter have time to read? Here are some books you could consider as gifts:

    God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It by Jim Wallis
    Original Blessing by Matthew Fox

    As you can see from the Amazon listings, neither is a recent publication, so new copies are now relatively inexpensive. Also, while looking for other material with a Christian left-wing perspective, I found these. They looked interesting enough for me to order copies today:

    Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican...Or Democrat by Lisa Harper
    Left, Right & Christ by Lisa Harper and D.C. Innes

    Just some thoughts. The Wikipedia page on Christian Left has a lot more pointers that may be useful.


    You (none / 0) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:51:45 AM EST
    are an excellent role model.

    I just hope your daughter isn't affiliated with an "Acts 29" network church.  The leader of the network is a well-known Seattle cult leader (Mark Driscoll of the Mars Hill Church).  He's set up this network really for the sake of stealthily converting other churches to his cult.  Driscoll is also a well-known misogynist and his own church as well as those of the Acts 29 network are decidedly anti-woman.


    I'm not sure what affiliations (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:33:22 PM EST
    she has going on right now.  She's definitely been around someone talking about Christian persecution lately :) (Patience mom.....breathe.....)  I know that respecting your children while you raise them is the best way to protect them from those who desire to emotionally abuse them, use them, disrespect them.  It isn't foolproof though, nothing ever is.  She gets mad at me sometimes, but we always talk a few days later.  If someone treats her too badly, I don't think she'll be able to hang out.  She has no good calluses for it :)

    My husband is horrible.  He keeps saying he's going to give her the lecture soon on being obedient to her husband :)  Cuz that's worked out so well for him :)


    Are you trying to make sure you (none / 0) (#42)
    by oculus on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:09:56 PM EST
    aren't granchild-sitting in the future?

    You would think huh? (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:41:31 PM EST
    I told them the story about our lunch.  I thought it was precious.  I thought it was cool that Zoey went ahead and prayed when I told her that if she wanted to that was fine, but I was going to sit it out.  She did, she did her thing.

    The odd thing was that my kids (not my grandkids) thought it was "good of me" to tell Zoey she could pray if she wanted to, even if I didn't.  As if I would have thought for one minute to disrespect Zoey's spiritual choices.  What bull$hit!

    My daughter has always known that if she wanted to pray she would be respected in this house.  She could pray over Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving dinner or whatever here and my husband and I would have been respectful of that even though this is our house.  There's been some crazy stuff focused on and preached about Christian persecution around those two recently if you ask me.


    I cannot (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by lentinel on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:43:42 PM EST
    endure the "under God" bit in the pledge of allegiance.

    I also don't care for the "in God we trust" bit on our currency.

    I really want God the hell out of anything to do with our government.

    I keep thinking about what J.C. had to say about praying in private.
    Of course, no one gives a hoot about what he had to say. So naive, that guy.

    As I have said before (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:29:50 AM EST
    I disagree with the Catholic doctrine in this matter.

    But I cannot read the First Amendment without knowing that Obama is violating it.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I see no violation... (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:56:25 AM EST
    a religion is subject to workplace regulations when they employ people.  If they don't wanna be party to providing health benefits that include contraception they can staff their hospitals entirely with priests and nuns...problem solved.

    Not that the 1st carries any weight anyway..ask a rastafarian about how free they are to practice their religion.


    So your answer (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:08:55 AM EST
    is that the First doesn't apply anymore.


    But I don't think a religion is forced to violate its own doctrine just because they allow non-members to freely work for them.

    What's next? Shall we make the Church of Christ's congregations install musical instruments because failure to do so violates the rights of non-members to hear them played??


    No one is suggesting that Catholics be forced (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:18:04 AM EST
    to use birth control. If the government passed a law requiring all women to use contraception, well, that could be construed as  violating the 1st amendment.

    The 1st amendment protects everyone from government prosecution and persecution based on their religious beliefs or lack thereof. It also forbids the government from establishing a state-santioned religion. That's it.

    It does not bestow upon religious organizations the special privilege of picking and choosing what laws to follow and what laws to ignore. It also does not give religious organizations the right to deny people the rights and protections provided by the government.

    Nothing that Obama has done in regards to this contraception rule violates anyone's 1st amendment rights. And I am getting pretty frikken' tired of people who are clearly talking out of their @sses throwing around erroneous interpretations of the BIll of Rights.


    To say that providing (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:56:30 AM EST
    the means for artificial birth control doesn't make the provider responsible is like saying a bartender is not responsible for providing the liquor that gets the drinker drunk.

    And no one is denying anyone the right to practice birth control.

    The church's position is they should not be forced to violate their doctrine.

    And I frankly don't care what you are tired of.

    The amendment speaks for itself.


    The church is not the provider (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by Towanda on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:07:24 AM EST
    The church is the employer.

    The health insurance company is the provider.

    This is not hard to understand.


    Hmmm (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    So you are saying the insurance company would provide insurance if no one paid for it.

    If this is their doctrine why were they (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:08:20 AM EST
    "violating" it on so many different fronts before this "debate" even started?

    Good question (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:16:39 AM EST
    I think it falls under me deciding to clean my home office vs my wife telling me I must clean it.

    My right of choice has been violated.


    Didn't answer my question at all (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:47:36 AM EST
    You believe in having a clean environment obviously.  They don't believe in using birth control they claim.  If this is their doctrine, why were they violating their own doctrine all over the place?

    MT, I'll try to answer you (none / 0) (#37)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:15:11 PM EST
    Individuals are free to violate whatever church doctrines they wish.

    Churches are free to expel them if they want to.

    But the government isn't allowed to mandate that churches violate their doctrines.

    That's what the First Amendment is all about.


    The churches have willfully violated their (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:49:22 PM EST
    own doctrine and have been providing birth control coverage until this "debate".

    The churches (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:00:09 PM EST
    are not being forced to do anything. The hospitals are run by Catholic Charities not the Catholic Church. Catholic Charities has sued over this type of thing a few times lastly in NY State and has lost every time. So this argument is over and has been over for quite a while BUT people on the right who are either willfully ignorant or deliberately ignorant cannot seem to understand what is going on here.

    So you are telling us that state law (none / 0) (#64)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:37:42 PM EST
    trumps federal law?

    Has anyone told Arizona?


    My point (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 06:45:24 PM EST
    is that after Catholic Charities sued and lost in NY they applied to the supreme court to hear their case and the supreme court rejected them.

    So I guess you think that CVS should have a religious litmus test and not hire anyone that's Catholic as a pharmacist? When the catholic church decides to run hospitals that's when it becomes different. No one is forcing the Catholic Church to do one thing.


    If you would read before commenting (none / 0) (#70)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:40:50 PM EST
    you would have known that I disagree with the Catholic Church's position.

    As for the court. One more time. The issue in hand is federal, not state and reaches beyond Catholic Charities.


    You can keep trying to make (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:30:02 AM EST
    your point fit the actual facts, Jim, but you will still be wrong. And your bartender analogy is ridiculous.

    Given your previously stated concerns regarding the possibility that sharia law will take hold here, well, muslims could make the exact same arguments about the 1st amendment that the Catholic bishops are making. And they would be just as wrong as the bishops are.


    All of his analogies are ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:48:49 AM EST
    on this subject

    I see the "facts" as simple (none / 0) (#38)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:27:33 PM EST
    1. Obamacare, according to the Catholic Bishops and others, violates church doctrine.

    2. I think it violates the First Amendment.

    That you, or I, may disagree with church doctrine is meaningless. The Catholic Church is not run by popularity polls.

    As secondary point, I object to the President trying to change the law. He should enforce it. If the Catholics want to the constitutionally of it that is their right.

    I mean, we are supposedly living in a constitutional republic.

    As for Shariah law, since you assure me that it is has not and will not become part of US law I see no problem.


    This may be a fool's errand on my part, jim (5.00 / 0) (#48)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:49:02 PM EST
    But, there can now be no argument of any substance that the accommodation announced last Friday by the President violates the First Amendment.  That is so because the Church would not be required to do anything in the way of informing providing coverage for nor making $$$ expenditures regarding contraception.  The legal requirements would extend to the insurer(s) only.  (Asfor the insurers, there has been no outcry from them, apparently, because the actuarial projections under which such companies operate suggest that it is a cost saver for them when compared with the costs of unplanned pregnancies.  And, it may result in more transfer customers.). Since the WH's adjustment would not place any dollar or regulatory burden on the Church, there would not be standing to sue nor does it seem that the case or controversy criterion would be met.

    At this point, the opposition is left with trying to argue that some exclusion should be afforded "self-insurer"  situations if the Catholic institution closes that option.  The obvious problem there is that it would be difficult to press the religious liberty argument when choosing to enter the regulated world  of insurance.

    Finally, the Republicans and other Righties "better tread very carefully"' as ol' Republican TV guy Joe Scarborough remarked, if they keep up the opposition after the accommodation...since the will most likely be seen by women as opposing or infringing on the access to contraception.  ( Scarborough particularly mentioned "suburban women" when alluding to voting consequences.)

    Something to consider.


    I love it when a RINO, (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 03:00:10 PM EST
    Joe S as an example, decides that country women are different from suburban women. One of the reasons I quit watching him. I hate people who sail under false colors. But I digress.

    And you seem to think that I am defending some position that you think all Repubs will think.

    Let me refresh your memory. I disagree with the Catholic Church on this. Always have. And I'm not a Repub.

    And if anyone thinks Obama is supporting a woman's right to birth control provided by her company provided insurance, then they missed the press conference where he tried to say that the Catholic Church doesn't have to.

    What he did was try and throw some women under the bus for political purposes. He wants votes.

    But, that didn't meet the requirements of the Catholic Bishops. They said:

    ·It would allow non-profit, religious employers to declare that they do not offer such coverage.
     But the employee and insurer may separately agree to add that coverage.

    The employee would not have to pay any additional amount to obtain this coverage,

    and the coverage would be provided as a part of the employer's policy, not as a separate rider.


    Are they right? I don't know,  but it appears to me that they are.

    Does the law violate the First Amendment?

    I think it does. But Obama should quit trying to buy votes, announce he will enforce the law as written and then let it go through the legal process.

    That's one of the differences between us and a dictatorship.


    Hahahahahahahaha .... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:09:41 PM EST

    I hate people who sail under false colors.

    followed by this:

    And I'm not a Repub.

    Sometimes you make it hard to breathe, Jim.


    "RINO" lol (none / 0) (#78)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 02:19:33 PM EST
    when was the last time anyone heard a non-conservative in all seriousness level that charge at anyone?

    Reactionary bigots in name only keep an eye on that Joe S..


    You see no problem.. (none / 0) (#54)
    by jondee on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:51:38 PM EST
    primarily (and let's be honest for once), because the Fox/right-wing talk radio script doesn't require that you to make a public stink about the suppression of the First Amendment rights of fundamentalist Muslims, polygamist Mormons, or members of the Native American Church..

    Of course, if any of the above mentioned represented a larger, potentially-Republican-voting bloc, you and the wingnut noise machine would be all over it..


    Jondee (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 03:01:30 PM EST
    I'm not going to let you lead me off topic. If you lile, bring it up on an Open thread and I will discuss.

    I thought the topic (none / 0) (#77)
    by jondee on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 01:42:54 PM EST
    (you wished to dictate) was the protection of religious group's First Amendment rights?

    I was just following your lead, Bishop Limbaugh.


    It's a tangled web... (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:19:52 AM EST
    when we tie access to healthcare to employment.

    I fail to see how their beliefs are violated...nobody is forcing catholics to use contraception or preventing the Vatican from teaching what they want to teach, or believing what they want to believe.  But if the Catholic Church wants to be an employer otoh, secular rules apply....as they should in a secular nation with freedom of and from religion.

    btw...did the first ever really apply? ;)


    Don't Forget... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:28:31 AM EST
     ...when it comes to making a profit, these same institutions will perform elective surgeries, sterilization, that directly conflicts with their ideology.

    The very doctor performing sterilizations is not privy to employer paid birth control because of ideological reasons.  Makes no sense.

    I wonder if their insurance covers sterilization.


    "Secular" (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by MKS on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:57:33 AM EST
    That argument was taken a little too far when it was said that Catholic Charities was engaged in secular and not religious activity.

    This argument is extremely offensive to liberal Catholics.

    Social Justice Catholics take Jesus's injunction to feed the poor--without regard to their religious affiliation--as very, very religious.  To argue with this is to demean social justice Catholics, who vote in large numbers for Democrats.  The secular argument also rubs salt in the wounds of liberal Catholics who have been told by conservative Catholics that they are not really Catholic at all.  It also undercuts the nuns who run Catholic Charities and who were very quick to support Obama's compromise.  

    I would rather save the criticism for the Republicans who are intent on charging off the cliff on the issue of birth control.


    A special Thank You for your statement (none / 0) (#51)
    by christinep on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:59:55 PM EST
    The role of the hospitals in carrying out spiritual responsibility to heal, comfort is a central component of social justice.  Always has been. Thanks, MKS, for expressing something that has been getting lost in the last few weeks of debate.

    No, no one is forcing (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    Catholics to use birth control or teaching or believing. But that is not the issue. Here is the issued as defined by the Catholic Bishops last Friday after reviewing Obama's supposed accommodation.

    BTW - I don't know how a President can "accommodate" a law. I grew up thinking he was supposed to enforce the laws Congress passed.

    Anyway, this is a key point the Bishops raised.

    ·It would allow non-profit, religious employers to declare that they do not offer such coverage.

     But the employee and insurer may separately agree to add that coverage.

    The employee would not have to pay any additional amount to obtain this coverage,

    and the coverage would be provided as a part of the employer's policy, not as a separate rider.



    You're right on one part: (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Farmboy on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:30:37 AM EST
    The administration is enforcing a law passed by Congress. Congrats for getting that.

    The GOP and the Bishops are on the wrong side of this issue in every aspect: morally, ethically, and legally.


    Actually the adminsitration (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:30:54 PM EST
    is not enforcing the law.

    Or did you miss the President's press conference?


    What's next (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:55:09 AM EST
    if your view was held?  B&H Photo in New York City is being sued because some women were denied access to sales jobs.  The women were told that they were being denied for religious reasons (B&H Photo is owned by orthodox Jews).

    Should it be all right for orgs run by orthodox religious men to deny women employment at all?...because what you're saying implies that's okay too.


    I don't have any details on the B&H situation (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:41:59 PM EST
    so it's hard to take a position.

    But. If it can be shown that hiring non-Jewish women for these positions violates a religious doctrine of their faith then I say what I have said before.

    I disagree with the doctrine. But, if the government forces B&H to violate their religious doctrine then the government has violated the First Amendment.

    Now, does that apply to "all?" Only if it violates a religious doctrine.


    I would say that if your religion (5.00 / 6) (#41)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:00:18 PM EST
    prevents you from operating a business according to the laws governing businesses, you probably should not be in business.

    No one is forcing Catholics to run hospitals.


    I would say that is what the (none / 0) (#52)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:35:39 PM EST
    First Amendment is all about.

    And, of course, no one forces you to do business with a Catholic entity or to work for one.


    What if a religious doctrine calls (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:16:07 PM EST
    for animal or human sacrifice? Or plural marriage? We have numerous laws restricting what can be done in the name of religion. I think a woman has as much right to get birth control as she has to be free from the danger of being sacrificed.

    I agree with the bishops on one thing. The 'fig leaf' of who pays for it is irrelevant.


    And am I the only one who laughs hystercally (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 01:17:50 PM EST
    at the 'fig leaf' metaphor being used in this case? The church ought to know - they invented it.

    Uh, the issue isn't about (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 02:41:49 PM EST
    sacrifice... human or other wise. And the government has the right to define what a religion is... see those who thought they could skip paying taxes by declaring themselves a church or member.

    And no one is saying that a woman doesn't have the right to obtain birth control. The issue is that Obamacare says that the Catholic Church's various entities must provide it through their employee insurance.

    Again. I disagree with the church. But I believe they have that right.


    I believe they are in muddy water operating (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 04:19:15 PM EST
    businesses under the auspices of the church. No one is dictating their religious practice, but the state has the right to govern business practices. Providing health insurance to employees is not a sacrament, last time I checked.

    Maybe they should just stop providing insurance at all, and take whatever devout employees they get at that point. See how long they can run their hospitals.


    Maybe the government should (none / 0) (#59)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:30:10 PM EST
    just say, "Hey! You wanna work for these folks who don't provide insurance with BC? OK, that's your right."

    I mean if we you are so concerned over individual rights, and all.


    I get it now (none / 0) (#58)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:17:22 PM EST
    It is not a violation of the First Amendment for the state to declare you are not a religion for the purposes of avoiding taxes, but it is a vioation of the First Amendment for the state to control the business practices for your state-affirmed religion.

    Thank you for clearing that up.


    You mix and match so well.... (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:46:17 PM EST
    The argument over what is or is not a religion has been hashed over for quite sometime. I'm not familiar with what the criteria is, but I am sure that "Joe's Church of Not Paying Taxes" doesn't meet them but the Catholic Church does.

    And we're not speaking of business practices, but personnel practices. And yes. When the state tells the Church run business that it must violate its religious doctrine then the state has violated the First Amendment.


    Yes, and the Catholic church happily accepts (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ruffian on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 05:58:03 PM EST
    that state-defined status. I just find that a little ironic, for some reason.

    Personnel practices are business practices, when the persons in question are working for your business, and if the church wants to also be in business, it has already signed up for those and myriad other rules regulating business.

    I am perfectly happy for all businesses to stop providing insurance altogether. It is the only thing that will ever make sense.


    To me personnel practices and business (none / 0) (#72)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 09:03:27 PM EST
    practices are separate but I won't worry about that.

    The issue is, can the state regulate religious doctrine?

    What I find ironic is that just about everyone here is claiming that the state can. Yet Obama has, with no push back from Democrats that I have seen, said that he would give the church a pass.

    Yet that didn't satisfy the Catholic Bishops.


    The state can't regulate religious doctrine (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:19:59 AM EST
    but it can regulate the behavior of individuals and businesses. Religions don't get a free ride to commit crimes under the cover of religious doctrine.

    and Obama got plenty of pushback from (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by ruffian on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:25:12 AM EST
    people here, and other progressives, for even giving the Church a minute's worth of attention on the subject. Just another example of the way mainstream Dems, including Obama are not very progressive.

    Utterly ridiculous (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Yman on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 08:00:43 PM EST
    When the state tells the Church run business that it must violate its religious doctrine then the state has violated the First Amendment.

    You really shouldn't post cr@p like this on a blog frequented by people who actually know the law.


    Republicans and religious leaders (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 10:42:20 AM EST
    have launched a culture war?

    This is going to take some pretty serious and hardnosed down on knees moving forward bend over backwards extending the hand of inclusiveness bipartisan accommodating to deal with. There's got to be an 11 dimensional solution to this somewhere...

    Didn't it used to mean that (none / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 11:07:53 AM EST
    people had the freedom to delude themselves and even gather together to celebrate and build shrines to mass delusion, but not impose their delusions on others?

    Or did I miss something? That wasn't enough for them?