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It’s just a bill… um… a resolution

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012

* This was bound to get some publicity, but it means absolutely nothing

In an action late Monday, Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who narrowly lost to Democrat Pat Quinn in the 2010 gubernatorial election, filed a resolution calling on Congress to overrule new insurance regulations issued by the Obama administration.

The resolution says the rules “would dramatically affect the ability of many religious-affiliated schools, universities, and health care facilities to continue to provide educational and health care services to their employees and families and to people of faith.”

The rules created a bit of a furor when first issued by the president because they would have ordered religious employers in almost all instances to provide and pay for contraceptive coverage in insurance policies.

Mr. Obama later partially backed off, saying that contraception still would have to be covered but the cost would be picked up by insurers, not religious employers.

The resolution quotes both Madison and Jefferson

WHEREAS, President Thomas Jefferson warned that “to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty”;

Just so we’re clear here, this is a federal rule that would require health insurance policies to cover contraception. Religious institutions wouldn’t have to pay for the extra coverage.

* Meanwhile, on a related topic

Controversial legislation that would require women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound or decline to do so in writing is working its way through the Illinois State House, and the American Civil Liberties Union says Illinois voters are not happy. […]

The measure in Illinois was approved by the Agricultural Committee in the House last week, sending the bill to the House floor for debate.

The ACLU released a poll Tuesday that showed only one in three Illinois voters support the bill. The poll also found the majority of both men (57 percent) and women (53 percent) were opposed to it.

Subscribers have more results from the poll.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - fed up - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    Not to be nit picky here but “Just so we’re clear here, this is a federal rule that would require health insurance policies to cover contraception. Religious institutions wouldn’t have to pay for the extra coverage.” Do you really believe that the insurance companies wont just jack up the rates on everyone to pay for this rule. I agree with providing contraception to those that want it, like most preventive care it is very cost effective, but I dont think we should force religious groups to provide this if they dont believe in it. The right needs to get away from abortion as an issue altogether. forcing someone or even shaming them to have an unwanted baby is wrong.

  2. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    Interesting that 57% of men oppose this bill, while only 53% of women oppose it.

  3. - Served - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    B-b-b-b-but I thought the legislature didn’t have time to be focusing on social issues!

  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===Do you really believe that the insurance companies wont just jack up the rates on everyone to pay for this rule===

    There are tons of coverage mandates. Try not to act like this is the first one ever.

  5. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    If the religious groups don’t want the women who work for them to have the same coverage as women who don’t work for them, they can opt out of the exchange and go buy insurance on the free market.

  6. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    I don’t think pressing forward with an ultrasound bill is helpful to the Republicans at this time. I can’t imagine it ever passing the House, anyway.

  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    And what if the religious group is self-insured?

  8. - fed up - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    Rich, Im not acting like this is the first mandate but you saying that Religious groups wouldnt have to pay for the coverage is wrong. Everyone including religious groups will have to pay for the coverage through higher premiums.

  9. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    @fed up.

    If cost were truely an issue with contraception…one would think they’d exclude pregnancy then. The cost of ‘the pill’ is inconsequential to your overall insurance bill, particularly in light of pregnancy expenses, and fertility treatments etc.

    It’s a red herring arguement.

  10. - Mom - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    This is yet one more attempt for certain politicians to codify their religious strictures. How much joy it must bring them to harken back to a time when a woman’s body was chattel.

    Of course these same moralists are mum when it comes to the philandering of brother legislators. It’s a mutual destruction pact where nobody wants to lob rocks because of their own glass house.

    Other states have tried to make public the medical records of women who have received abortions, so it’s hardly a stretch of the imagination to say that this is just one more way to intimidate doctors and silence the voices of women.

    Their draconian tactics won’t work, and they will face the wrath of voters in future elections.

  11. - Today - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:31 pm:

    From the Cardinal.

    The Cardinal’s Column

    Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I

    “This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must “give up” her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year.

    Why does a governmental administrative decision now mean the end of institutions that have been built up over several generations from small donations, often from immigrants, and through the services of religious women and men and others who wanted to be part of the church’s mission in healing and education? Catholic hospitals, universities and social services have an institutional conscience, a conscience shaped by Catholic moral and social teaching. The HHS regulations now before our society will make it impossible for Catholic institutions to follow their conscience.”

    “So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society. The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.

    What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.”

  12. - titan - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:35 pm:

    This is a substantial issue to Catholics (and many Evangelicals, and Orthodox Jews, and Muslims, and perhaps several others).

    It is the the leftward side of the government butting into the lives of teh populace (the opposite end of the spectrum from the past practice of illegalizing abortion or contraception).

    The idea that the religious institutions won’t be paying for it because the insurers will have to provide it for “free” is absurd (unless the government plans to require pharmacuetical companies to provide to the insurance companies at no cost)

  13. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    I am morally opposed to war, yet my taxes finance it. Catholics are morally opposed to the death penalty, yet our taxes finance it.

    This is hardly the first time someone’s had to pay for something he or she wanted no part of. I’m sure you can add your own examples.

    It’s the price of living in a free and democratic society.

  14. - TwoFeetThick - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    Since religious institutions are hardly politically neutral anyway, why don’t we take away their tax-exempt status and use some of that revenue to pay for contraceptive coverage. I’m sure they’d be fine with that. Problem solved. Right.
    47th Ward sums it up perfectly.

  15. - Bigtwitch - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:56 pm:

    “Precisely because “we are a cosmopolitan nation made up of people of almost every conceivable religious preference,” Braunfeld v. Brown, 366 U.S. at 366 U. S. 606, and precisely because we value and protect that religious divergence, we cannot afford the luxury of deeming presumptively invalid, as applied to the religious objector, every regulation of conduct that does not protect an interest of the highest order. The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind — ranging from compulsory military service, see, e.g., Gillette v. United States, 401 U. S. 437 (1971), to the payment of taxes, see, e.g., United States v. Lee, supra; to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, see, e.g., Funkhouser v. State, 763 P.2d 695 (Okla.Crim.App.1988), compulsory vaccination laws, see, e.g., Cude v. State, 237 Ark. 927, 377 S.W.2d 816 (1964), drug laws, see, e.g., Olsen v. Drug Enforcement Administration, 279 U.S.App.D.C. 1, 878 F.2d 1458 (1989), and traffic laws, see Cox v. New Hampshire, 312 U. S. 569 (1941); to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, see Susan and Tony Alamo Foundation v. Secretary of Labor, 471 U. S. 290 (1985), child labor laws, see Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U. S. 158 (1944), animal cruelty laws, see, e.g., Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye Inc. v. City of Hialeah, 723 F.Supp. 1467 (S.D.Fla.1989), cf. State v. Massey, 229 N.C. 734, 51 S.E.2d 179, appeal dism’d, 336 U.S. 942 (1949), environmental protection laws, see United States v. Little, 638 F.Supp. 337 (Mont.1986), and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races, see, e.g., Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U. S. 574, 461 U. S. 603-604 (1983). The First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty does not require this.

    Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) at 488, 489

  16. - Elo Kiddies - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:00 pm:

    From the resolution: 9 WHEREAS, President James Madison, the father of our Constitution, understood that “religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate”

    I wonder if Brady realizes that his solution would allow employers to interfere with their employees “right… to exercise (their conscience) as these may dictate” in direct opposition to the Madison quote he uses? Hes’ just trading employers for the government in this situation; he’s not really supporting an individual’s right to self-determination. But maybe he also thinks that corporations are people, too…

  17. - Mom - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    Back in 2007, a woman professor was fired from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary because (according to the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.) in the bible the Apostle Paul says “I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man.”

    So here’s my question.

    Should Southern Baptist members be excluded from paying taxes that ends up in the pockets of female teachers, legislators, military personnel? Employing women in positions of prominence over males is obviously against their beliefs, like birth control is against the belief of Catholic officials (not Catholics who overwhelmingly use birth control, just the male hierarchy).

    I can’t believe I’m using Scalia to support my argument, but he did say that to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land would have the anarchic effect of permitting every citizen to become a law unto himself.

  18. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    Thanks for the reminder of why I held my nose and voted for Quinn.

    I am amused by the outrage argument though. If moral outrage was really the issue, you would think religious groups would start demanding that their insurers not cover pregnancies for single mothers. After all, they tell us that is a sin.

    Instead, they wait for a President that they generally dislike (over abortion and other matters) to take some minor action and then treat it like the world is coming down. It is pure politics by the church and nothing else. It has nothing to do with morality at all. If this was about morality, the list of items excluded from coverage would endless. The claim morality, but it is simply about politics. Which, when you think about it, is pretty immoral.

  19. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:07 pm:

    ==Everyone including religious groups will have to pay for the coverage through higher premiums.==

    Actually, overall cost of women’s healthcare is the same or lower when contraception is included. This is because the costs of pregnancy and childbirth are much higher than contraception.

  20. - southwest - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:11 pm:

    Just think of the fun we will have when Sanctimonious Santorem is elected president and, with the help of a Republican senate and house, starts implementing a few of his own mandates!!

  21. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    If you are not willing to read through the above here are the key points:

    1)For providing contraceptives, the direct cost is about $26 per year per enrolled female.
    2)When medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies are taken into account, the net effect on premiums is close to zero.
    3)When indirect costs such as time away from work and productivity loss are considered, providing contraceptive services is “cost-saving.”

  22. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:18 pm:

    It is sort of interesting that the same people who don’t want government telling religions what sort of medical procedures must be covered by insurance also insist on telling all women (regardless of religion) what medical hoops they must jump through in order to have an abortion.

    Apparently, government can’t tell insurers what to do, but religions can tell all women what the must do.

    Basically Cardinal George says “You can’t tell us what to do, but we can tell you what to do.”

    Somehow I doubt he sees the irony.

  23. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    Let me guess. Bill Brady wants employers to be able to have their employees’ pets gassed if the employees take time off work to go to the vet.

    And of course, Brady wants to have employers refuse to pay for any medical procedures, for example health insurance, based on the moral objections of the employers.

  24. - JustaJoe - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    “Religious institutions wouldn’t have to pay for the extra coverage.”
    Agree with fed-up. The religious institutions would still be required to pay, through premiums. The arguments that contraception creates a “saving” is foolish…if it were, insurance companies would provide it for free on all policies. And if it is a savings, does the mandate logic extend to then REQUIRING contraception to be afforded coverage? Also, there are probably many who have no problem with contraceptive PREVENTION, but do have a problem with things such as the “morning after” pill. I don’t think the government should be involved in what should be an employer=employee free market issue.

  25. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    JJ, they did agree to provide it for free.

    The religious institutions simply refused to include it.

  26. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 3:21 pm:

    I thought this issue regarding birth control was
    just about settled in the 70’s.We have 10% unemployment and now the issue is contraception.Lets move on it’s 2012.Brady and the
    Republicans keep moving back it time.

  27. - amalia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 3:58 pm:

    I’m morally opposed to the oppressive teachings of the Roman Catholic church. my taxes have to subsidize that institution in many ways because they are a “non profit.” tired of subsidizing an institution that discriminates against women.

  28. - anonymice - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 4:09 pm:

    ==Hes’ just trading employers for the government in this situation; he’s not really supporting an individual’s right to self-determination. But maybe he also thinks that corporations are people, too…==

    Maybe he thinks they’re people, maybe he doesn’t, but he appears to know the difference between corporations or employers on the one hand and government on the other. The 1st amendment applies to governments, not corporations or employers.

  29. - East Sider - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 4:14 pm:

    Nice to see an unbiased poll from the ACLU (insert eye roll), especially with a misleading headline.

    I’m tired of liberals pretending that conservatives want to “take away a woman’s access to contraception”. That’s complete BS. Not requiring church’s to cover it in their health insurance plans does not = denying anyone access.

  30. - D.P. Gumby - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 4:41 pm:

    Frankly, I’m tired of the Catholic Church, Ayatollah Santorum and others trying to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us under the phony banner of “religious freedom”. Nothing in the general mandate to provide health care equally to all women impinges religious freedom any more than any other aspect existing in society does. They demean religious freedom by crying wolf over an issue like this when people of all faiths are being maimed and killed in China, India, Africa and the Middle-East in the name of religion.

  31. - mark walker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    Francis Cardinal George,(or whoever actually wrote this), just lied to his parishoners, once again.

    It is only his political positions that put these institutions at risk. If they close, which they have neither the intention nor moral need to do, it will be only due to his personal decisions. He is greatly exxagerating the import of the regulations, and there is no extra cost.

    This is not about members of his church or faith, but rather the civil standards for healthcare choices available to our citizens, including those of any faith, who happen to work at church-affiliated institutions. The moral choices are theirs, not his or the Church’s. He certainly has the right and obligation to preach, but not to actually restrict the choices of those not of his faith. He has made similar false threats to close institutions to frighten the public before.

    The Cardinal is simply acting as a dishonest lobbyist in this case. As one who grew up to study, admire, and defend this Church, I have been greatly disappointed with his political activities.

  32. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 5:04 pm:

    East Sider,

    In case you haven’t noticed, the GOP has gone further than just arguing that church-affiliated institutions should not have to pay for birth control as part of health insurance. The GOP Senate Minority Leader and GOP House Speaker have
    proposed a bill to let ANY employer refuse to provide birth control under health insurance plans whether they have a religious OR MORAL objective to contraception.

    So under this law basically every business in America can take away their female employees birth control coverage if they feel like it.

  33. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 5:23 pm:

    ==I’m tired of liberals pretending that conservatives want to “take away a woman’s access to contraception”==

    I’m tired of your side pretending that’s not what’s going on.

    And Cardinal George can…okay, never mind. Let’s just say I have no respect for the people who run that religion. Not lay Catholics, not the beliefs of lay Catholics. Just the admin.

  34. - JustaJoe - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 5:26 pm:

    “JJ, they did agree to provide it for free.
    The religious institutions simply refused to include it. ”
    Skeeter - It may be “called” free, but the cost will simply be transferred to the premiums for the other coverage. On the main posting however, we don’t need a meaningless resolution - don’t these guys have better things to do?

  35. - to twofeetthick - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 6:15 pm:

    “47th Ward” does not sum it up perfectly, in fact, he gets it entirely wrong. This is not a tax issue. What is happening here is the government is forcing a religion to take an action against their beliefs. No religion that opposes war or the death penalty has to pay taxes for it because religions are tax exempt.

  36. - wishbone - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 7:45 pm:

    “Thanks for the reminder of why I held my nose and voted for Quinn.”


  37. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 7:46 pm:

    To to twofeetthick,

    I was responding to the Cardinal’s statement that included this line:

    “The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral.”

    It’s the Cardinal that has this entirely wrong. Pre-emptive war and the death penalty are two obvious examples where the government compels Catholics to pay for things that our faith tells us is immoral.

    Our Constitution protects our right to sin in many instances. Abortion and birth control are legal health care. If the Cardinal doesn’t like it, he is free to try to change the law. Until then, as a citizen, he is obligated to follow the law.

    Render under Caesar and whatnot.

  38. - jake - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 8:05 pm:

    The fact is that everybody’s premiums will go UP if pregnancy is covered but contraception is made less available, because pregnancy is way more expensive than contraception. In fact, it is couples who do NOT use contraception who are driving premiums up. But let’s put the arguments of who pays how much to rest. The whole point of insurance is to pool costs and risks, so that people pay the same, and get what they need. Some folks pay for more than they use, some pay for less than they use, but the principle is that nobody should be catastrophically impacted by illness.

  39. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 8:06 pm:

    Speaking of immoral things that are perfectly legal, what about divorce? Should divorce be outlawed? What about gluttony? Pride? Worshipping “false” gods? Working on the Sabbath? Heresy? Apostasy? Sex before or outside of marriage? Same sex relationships? Sodomy? Lying?

    No, all of these things are legal under the Constitution, as they should be. The Constitution is our civil, legal dogma, not a religious text nor a religious test, precisely as the Founders intended.

    We have the legally protected right to sin in many cases. The role of the Catholic Church (and other churches) is to preach, convert, console and offer sacraments and other rituals that reinforce faith and guide us in our personal lives to help us make better decisions in accordance with our faith. It is not the role of the Church to enforce civil law.

    It is the role of government to ensure we follow the Constitution and ensure equal treatment under the law. Birth control, contraceptives and abortion are legal. The Catholic Church would be better served if it worked to persuade Catholics to avoid these sins as well as all of the other perfectly legal sins I listed above.

    But it seems like the Catholics only target birth control and abortion, which primarily impact women. Why is that?

  40. - Peter Snarker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 9:18 pm:

    Is private health insurance a social welfare program program combined with a public policy tool and public health tool, or is it simply a business? The public cannot seem to make up its collective mind on that one so we have a bizarre hybrid that some people expect to act progressively and others expect to act like a business.

  41. - Peggy R/Southern - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:40 pm:

    The HHS rules were published as adopted on Aug 2011 the same afternoon that O offered his so-called compromise. O only made a promise to change it some day. No NPRM opened up to do that yet.

    The Church does not care about the cost-benefit of contraception or abortion vs the child being born. It’s not about money. It’s about conscience and freedom and the right to life. The dissenting Catholic women are determined to tell bishops to go to hell. O has no disagreement with these women. His own record is radically pro-abortion. The Hosanna-Tabor case indicates he has little regard for religious freedom as well.
    That so many women use contraception is an indication that there’s no market failure for the govt to remedy. This is to stamp out competition to govt’t especially from religious bodies. If you don’ agree with Catholic morals, don’t work for a Catholic institution.

    Brady’s resolution is merely symbolic, but there’s no reason that a state legislature could not pass a law over-riding the HHS mandate protecting religious freedom. MO is doing that. Insurance regulation has been the purview of states (who’ve failed miserably of course) until O-care. They don’t need to cede such a degree of power to the feds.

  42. - amalia - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:33 pm:

    @Peggy R….That so many women use contraception is an indication that WOMEN WANT TO PREVENT PREGNANCY, so, you know, they can plan when to have a child. and, given how many Roman Catholic women are on the pill, an indication that the men in dresses have not a clue over what they are presiding.

  43. - Peggy R/Southern - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:38 pm:

    47th Ward, FYI

    *Whether a war is just is a matter of prudential judgment. The Church can’t control the govts decision whether to engage in war, though it may express a viewpoint. Catholics are not barred from serving in such a war.
    *While JP2 has spoken strongly against the death penalty, the DP is not objectively sinful as is the deliberate murder of an innocent, be it a baby in a womb or a clerk at a 7-11 that is being robbed.
    *The HHS mandate requires the Church institutions to participate in what they consider evil. An unjust war and the death penalty do not require the Church to act against its doctrine, though Catholic citizens should be free to not participate in such activities (as well as abortion, etc) as a matter of conscience.

  44. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 12:16 am:

    ===The HHS mandate requires the Church institutions to participate in what they consider evil.===

    No, the HHS mandate asks that the Church (as an employer) obey the law. Can you imagine the outrage if Catholic hospitals refused to treat non-Catholics, or refused to hire non-Catholics for jobs like physician or professor? How is this different?

    Like it or not, Obamacare is the law of the land and it requires employers to provide a minimum level of health insurance coverage if it provides any health insurance at all. We don’t get to choose which laws we obey and which ones our conscience tell us to violate.

    You have this backward. Religious freedom is about preventing a national religion, not about granting Catholics (or Catholic-affiliated organizations or any other denomination) from deciding which laws they want to obey.

    It is government of, by and for the people, not the churches. We don’t have a national religion. We’re governed under civil law, and that applies to all religions and all citizens. This is the freaking civil union/adoption debate all over again. Nobody is forcing Catholic-affiliated organizations to do anything, but if they don’t want to follow the law, they shouldn’t be engaged in publicly governed activities, nor should they enjoy the benefits of public sanctions, like tax exemption or subsidy (see Bob Jones University).

    This really isn’t complicated or controversial. It’s a very American concept and it’s why we’re the envy of the world. We’re free to worship (or not) as we please. There is no government sanction for religious sectarianism here like there is in much of the rest of the world.

    Again, that’s a good thing.

  45. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 7:30 am:

    It’s hard to believe that in 2012 contraception is an issue for anyone.

  46. - Peggy R/Southern - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 8:32 am:

    47th ward–
    I don’t know whether Mr. Miller wants this debate here, but I’ll briefly remind that the first amendment is about freedom of speech, of association (religious or other activities), and of religious practice. Fundamental constitutional rights trump laws to force people to act against their conscience. The govt is to stay out of religious matters. Even Kagan and Sotomeyer recognized that in Hosannah-Tabor. The govt can’t say what is ministerial for a faith. The Catholics have been caring for the poor, orphaned, and sick long before govts stepped in.

    Santorum does take the issue too far, I agree. But O started the battle and refused to respect the bishops on this. Women contracept and obviously don’t lack access to it. There’s no economic basis for govt intervention. Contraception is not basic healthcare and is not preventative. Pregnancy is not a disease. Contraceptives may or may not help some female problems, but they are also possibly linked to cancer as is abortion. Americans should have the liberty to choose medical providers whose morals they trust, and medical providers should be free to operate on their morals. Those who think alike will find each other. It’s called freedom. The govt should not be the arbiter of what is moral for us; our religious faiths hold that role as do our own consciences.

  47. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 9:17 am:

    Great. I assume you support a women’s right to choose? After all, it is about freedom. Right? We don’t want government and religion telling each other what to do?
    Somehow, I doubt it. It is far more likely that you believe religion should be able to tell the rest of us what we should do, but we can’t tell religion how to treat employees.
    You believe in “freedom for stuff you like” and not real freedom.

  48. - Peggy R/Southern - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 9:21 am:

    Skeeter, Right to life is in our Declaration and a God-given right our founders propounded. “Right to choose” to kill another human being is not a right in the constitution. I am pretty sure most Americans oppose the murder of innocent people. There are other ways not to have babies besides abortion.

  49. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 9:26 am:

    Your religion calls it killing a person.
    The rest of us call it a bundle of cells.
    You want to impose your religious views on us, but you get upset when we want to impose anything on you. Is honesty important to your religion? If so, you should be honest about your goal of imposing your religion on the rest of us.

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