Comments about ‘In our opinion: Tinkering with conscience’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 11 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Owen
Heber City, UT

Let me try that last sentence from another perspective to show how illogical it sounds -

"But in a world of religious mandates it appears that you can't opt out of morally objectionable doctrines â unless, of course, missionary work appears to be at risk."

Practical solutions, no matter what source they come from, should not be criticized. What some call compromising your principles ... Others just call compromising -- something we could use a lot more of if we expect government by the people to work for the people.

I hope the D News is not in the business of criticizing the President for doing exactly what the D News has been encouraging more leaders to do.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

The problem with this analysis is that it focuses on the alleged rights of churches and the businesses they operate, and not on the rights of individuals.

If an individual Catholic doesn't happen to work for the Catholic Church, he or she is required to purchase health insurance that provides birth-control benefits. Does this violate the right of the Catholic individual? This is the much bigger issue. The Constitutional right of freedom of religion protects the religious rights of individuals, not the alleged rights of churches.

But how big is this issue, really? Should indvidual Catholics refuse to work for companies that provide health insurance benefits that include birth control? After all, by working for those companies, they are receiving and paying for that benefit. I think most of us would agree that as a matter of practicality in a pluralistic society, individual Catholics can work for a company that offers health insurance benefits that include birth control. If individual Catholics can make that decision without a second thought, is it really that big of a deal for employees of organizations owned by the Catholic church itself to have the same benefits?

Esquire
Springville, UT

Please be honest. Is this about not having the government regulate actions based on religious belief, or is it something else? If you oppose the actions of the Obama Administration, then maybe it's time to re-litigate the bans on polygamy and who knows what other activities that are based on religious beliefs. Is this about banning stuff you don't like and allowing stuff you do like? If so, this crosses the line into state sponsored religion. You really can't have it both ways, though we seen a lot of that lately from churches.

ECR
Burke, VA

"If pork or coffee harm your moral sensibilities, don't buy them. But in a world of government mandates it appears that you can't opt out of morally objectionable transactions â unless, of course, significant swing votes appear to be at risk."

It's been a while since I've read such a cynical and misguided statement on the DN editorial page. Why couldn't you say "if contraception is against your moral principles, don't use it."? At some point in history the DN editors have to realize that we live in a pluralistic society and that not everyone, as much as we would like them to, believes in the same moral code as we do. As far as I understand it, there is nothing illegal about using contraceptives. Some even find that the use of contraceptives is preferable than the use of abortion. The fact is that even if an organization is required to pay for such service, no one in that organization needs to use it. If the use of contraception is objectionable to those employers then why aren't they monitoring the use of such with their employees.

The fact is that we all end up paying for things we don't agree with (think Iraq war) but we do it because we live in a country with diverse views, that otherwise provides a life and a protection that we agree with.

isrred
Logan, UT

"If pork or coffee harm your moral sensibilities, don't buy them. But in a world of government mandates it appears that you can't opt out of morally objectionable transactions"

If marrying someone of your same sex harms your moral sensibilities, don't marry someone of your same sex.

If using birth control harms your moral sensibilities, don't use it.

If drinking alcohol harms your moral sensibilities, don't drink it.

But using government to restrict, eliminate, or otherwise control things that YOU don't like is not religious freedom.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

"If pork or coffee harm your moral sensibilities, don't buy them." How about lottery tickets, or decent beer? The problem with criticising obama for tinkering with conscience is that we're ignoring the fact that it's pretty much par for the course in utah.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Having a President who thinks so little of our Constitution that he would enforce laws pertaining to an establishment of religion in direct violation to the 1st Amendment that prohibits such a law is a thorn in our side. We, the people, prohibited the President from "interpreting" the Constitution when we mandated that he take an "Oath of Office" that specifically required him to speak these words:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Is that the "best" that the President can do? Is that the whole of his "ability". Does he know so little about the Constitution that he needs a 3rd Grader on his staff to read it to him?

The President was not only foolish to try to enforce the unconstitutional HCA, but he was even more foolish to think that we, the people, would let him get away with it.

It seems that WE CARE about the Constitution, whether he does or not.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This issue is just a taste of what's coming with Obamacare. If anyone thinks that the healthcare of a nation of 300 million can be micromanaged from Washington DC and that won't end in disaster you are sadly mistaken.
The Obamacare law contains the phrase "the Secretary 'shall', 'may' or 'determine' one thousand thirty-nine times. How is that ok in an allegedly free country? Did anyone vote for Kathleen Sebelius? I didn't and neither did my elected representative to Congress.
Obamacare was jammed down the throats of the American people by a Democrat controlled House, Senate and Presidency. I'll admit that it's the law of the land but can we strike the phrase "free country" from the national lexicon now?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"One of the great civilizing features of markets is that they allocate goods and services without the need for agreement about moral issues." True, but one of the great injustices of markets is that they price out people who need essential services, like health care.

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

To Mike Richards | 11:46 a.m.

The problem with your comment is that this law does not apply to an "establishment of religion" (which serves a pastoral or ministarial function). The law applies to commercial entities owned by, among other things, a church but whose function is not pastoral or ministerial.

For example: The DesNews is owned by the LDS Church. It is not an "establishment of religion" because its function has nothing to do with spreading the gospel -- its function is to report the news. Primary Children's Hospital is owned by the LDS Church. It is not an "establishment of religion" because its function has nothing to do with spreading the gospel -- its function is to provide health care. There are many more companies that are owned by the LDS Church but whose function has nothing to do with spreading the gospel but instead own commercial real proprty, handle investments, etc. They are not "establishments of religion" because their function has nothing to do with spreading the gospel.

The "establishment of religion" is the entity which maintains and provides the pastoral and/or minsterial functions; not the other areas which handle the other functions.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The group of people who use religious freedom as excuse for oppressing people should not be regarded as good people. And the same applies to the people who support the people who misconstrue the nature of religious freedom.

Religious freedom should only apply to religion and the actions of itâs members in the privacy of their own group, family or self. It should not apply to non religious activities out side the religion. Especially when those outside activities are commercial businesses or involved with the general welfare of the American citizens.

If a priest chooses to drive a car on the public thurofare on his way to a sermon, is he exempt from the speeding other traffic regulations that might impede his âreligious freedomâ.

Is a church bake sale exempt from food handler regulations.?

If a religion operates a commercial hospital, open to the general public, are they to be exempted from the laws and regulations established by the government that pertain to such.

Does a religion have more rights and freedom than the individual American?

Can anyone in America exempt themselves from obeying the law because it is objectionable to their own ideas of morality.

I object to my tax money helping religion, therefore should I not pay income tax.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@furry 1993... your comment shows the sad state of our citizenry and their willingness to cast liberty aside. What is the point of getting in the weeds about what an organization is? The fact is that we have a Federal government dictating what insurance must provide. Whether it is condoms, sex changes or hip replacement is immaterial- the Federal government has no business issuing any kind of mandate regarding health insurance or healthcare. If you're comfortable living in a dictatorship that's your business but don't assume everyone else is quite as malleable.

Christy
Beaverton, OR

I object to my tax money going to the war. It goes against my morals. I should get an exemption.

Remember when the Republicans were worried that if JFK were elected, he would take his orders from the Catholic Church? Now the Republicans are upset Obama won't take his orders from Church.

Funny.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Furry,

Since when is ministering to the sick not a function of "an establishment of religion"? The Catholic Church owns or operates more than 625 hospitals in the United States.

Using your definition of the words, "an establishment" of religion, those hospitals are not owned and operated by the Catholic Church. Who owns them? Who provides humanitarian care in them? Who visits the sick? Not Nuns! Not Priests! That couldn't be because they're not owned by "an establishment" of religion.

The clergy don't give spiritual support, do they? They don't pray with the sick and the afflicted, do they?

Please stop re-defining words to suit your agenda.

The Catholic Church is an establishment of religion. The services provided by the Catholic Church are provided because of the core beliefs of that church. The Catholic Church serves God, not the government. The Government is forbidden, by YOUR Constitution, from interfering with the Catholic Church or ANY of its humanitarian missions.

It is protected by MY Constitution from the heavy hand of government.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Maybe churches should just preach and get out of the Healthcare Industry all together?

Jehovah's Witnesses can't have blood tranfusions, but Healthcare must provide coverage to include it anyway.

BTW - Catholics can't get divorced. I don't see you uber-cons jumping up and down about Government FORCING legal mandates contrary to those religions views about that one?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

This is just the beginning. Religions are discriminitory towards women, medivial in their moral priciples, and more and more these facts will come in conflict with modernity. It will serve to isolate the adherents mostly, but will cause legal and political conflicts as religions continue to participate in secular society with their unsecular priciples.

Modenity will win..it always does.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "LDS Liberal" unfortunately your argument is 100% wrong. According to the Jehova's Witness web site there are other means that are equivalent to transfusions that are medically acceptable. Under the Jehova's Witness web site, under Alternatives to Transfusions you can read "Jehovahâs Witnesses request nonblood alternatives, which are widely used and accepted by the medical community. " Apparently there are non-blood alternatives that are effective.

Tell us, what medical alternative is there to contraceptives?

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

To Mike Richards | 6:18 p.m.

Once again you're twisting things. The issue is not whether a given business entity is or is not owned by a religious organization. The issue is what the business entity does.

Commercial hospitals owned by the Catholic Church, like St. Marks in Salt Lake City, are not establishments of religion. They charge the going rate for their services, receive compensation from government sources through Medicare and Medicaid, hire workers from all faiths (including no faith) and do not, in any, tie any of their their services to membership in the Catholic Church. They are a business which happens to be owned by a religious organization. That is VERY different from the meaning of "establishment of religion" which, as i have sai before, means the organization that provides the pastoral and ministerial functions of the Church.

Clergy (from all faiths), as a general practice, visit members of their faith and especialy their congregation when they are in the hospital. They visit other patients who ask to have clergy visit. The fact that clergy (in-house or not) visit patients is not enough to turn a hospital into a church.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

All this talk of mandatory birth control...

But Romney did the SAME thing in Massachusets.

2002.

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