So... may I, out of deeply held personal conviction, now refuse to deal with
Mormons who come to me seeking my services?May I similarly refuse to
pay the portion of my taxes that fund government activities I find morally
repugnant?May I now exercise my personal bigotries against my
neighbors by asserting personal conscience?Do we all now just
abandon the notion of the social contract that holds a functioning and fair
society together?Increasingly, wrongly, and tragically, today's crop
of religious conservatives regard the narrowing of the mind and inward-turning
of the soul as a virtue. We become a _less_ moral society through
RE: BlueYou should be free to follow to follow your conscience, and enjoy it's rewards, and reponsible to accept it's
consequences, and yet the far left who talks of tolerance and
compassion, would strip the very essence of freedom and agency away,
and force all to live in their version of utopian sameness and faux social
morality. there is no social contract without totalitarian
control, it implies you must force others to live, talk, think, behave, a
certain way.True freedom is individual reponsibility, individual
morality, individual charity, individual love, and so on,being
taught the correct path by love, patience, and long suffering, and
true great society is created, by a person coming by their own agency to
understand, through love and service to others and honesty and morality and
work, makes a people of one heart and one mind, this creates
that true utopia the left desires.And if you find that the
government funding certain activities repugnent,shouldn't the government
be funding less activites and not more, and not be our task master(a government
that is supposed to be the people and not a distant body)?
Thank you for this excellent editorial and also the accompanying article about
religious objectors. I also appreciate the thoughts of "the truth"
Blue,I can answer those questions in order.No, you can't
turn away someone because of their beliefs. But if you run a bookstore you
aren't required to sell copies of the Book of Mormon.No, you can't
choose which taxes you pay because we all share the rewards and consequences of
our country. But you can speak out against the things you don't agree with and
elect representatives to change laws that are against your beliefs.No, you can't use personal beliefs to defend your bigotry. But you can use
your voice to speak out against choices (not people) which you are against.No, we don't abandon our social contracts or let society lose morals. We
respect that others believe differently than us and work together to have each
of our needs met. We respect a pharmacies decision to not sell a drug with which
they disagree as long as they respect us in helping us find a nearby pharmacy to
fill our prescriptions.Hope this helped.
Denial of service in a public place the essence of bigotry. D Rhonda Mesler and
her co-litigants refuse to sell fertility enhancing drugs as well? I suspect
they have such moral objection in that kind of interference with human
conception. They have cherry=picked their moral positions based on their biases,
as has DN.Is Rhonda Mesler prepared to assume the responsibilities
of an unplanned child and its overwhelmed single mother? Do she make exceptions
for rape or incest? Does she judge whether these have really occurred as
described to her? Does make efforts to prevent a suicidal teenager from ending
both lives? I think not. She just feels smug in her denial without taking any
social or moral responsibility. You know, the kind of responsibility that Jesus
preached when he said "love your neighbor as yourself".What
Rhonda Mesler shows is a focused love of self without the extension of that love
to a neighbor in a moment of crisis.
Next time some fool wants to invade Iraq, i conscientiously object.
The article cited in this editorial doesn't describe the circumstances leading
to the second trimester abortion.Eclampsia requires bed rest. But
what if you are a poor mother with mouths to feed? Armchair ethicists vote to
support the right of a pharmacist, but refuse to support taxes that would help a
woman forced into a traumatic dilemma. If you care so much about
babies, compensate that woman's lost wages so she can afford to be bedridden.
Pay for child care and pre-natal care do she can continue to feed and clothe her
other children. Pay parents and employers for sick child leave. Ensure that
children have access to medical and dental care. If you want to stop abortion,
don't just try to pass laws so you can feel smugly self-righteous. Pass laws
that eliminate the financial burdens that drive the majority of abortion
decisions. Studies indicate that such a move could reduce abortion by up to 80%.
You cannot put your wallet ahead of your ethics without the risk of hypocrisy.
Blue,Actually, you can refuse to provide services to anyone you
wish. If you are a photographer, you are not forced to take pictures of Mormon
weddings. If you serve food, you don't have to provide green jello with
carrots.It is usually the left that wants to enact laws that will
force people to use certain light bulbs, drive certain cars, embrace certain
sexual preferences, and give free stuff to other people.
I see a of people who pride themselves in being liberal and compassionate taking
the same tough law and order stand that I might expect to see in an Arizona
tea-parties talking about illegal immigration.Some supposedly
conservative people have suddenly realized that government too set on justice,
law and the common good can metamorphose into something that looks a little like
1930's fascism.I enjoy these discussions.
@Hutterite: "Next time some fool wants to invade Iraq, i conscientiously
object." You mean Iran? Good for you. But you can only conscientously
object if they draft you. Then you have to show that this is a sincere belief.
You cannot for example argue that you think that the current war is immoral, or
that you disagree with the wars because there are better alternatives. You have
to disagree with war, period.There are legal precedents about this
and even with the questions that a draft board can ask as they determine if you
are a conscientous objector.It is good that the discussion has
evolved to the point where we are discussing conscientous objectors. I think
that a society should allow conscientous objectors. I am not going to force a
Quaker into the army because of some tea-party ethic about law and order and the
government always knows best.
I have missed some of the articles that apparently have led up to this one.
However, I am extremely grateful that my mother, who nearly died at my birth
because of pre-eclampsia had not been encouraged by her doctor to end the
pregnancy to avoid that peril. I am also grateful that I did NOT end the
pregnancy I definitely did not plan. I am so glad that someone else benfitted by
my impulsive behavior and that I don't have an abortion to remember. That would
be hard on my conscience, which has enough other memories to address! Sadly,
much of this boils down to placing convenience ahead of conscience.
Well written article, I couldn't agree with it more!
I always chuckle when groups of people claim protection and rights under the
name of a Nation they don't serve or pledge allegiance to.Muslims
who seek our religious freedoms and civil rights but won't salute our flag.Immigrants who cry out for "rights" protected by laws they chose
to break and demand public services they do not pay taxes to.Draft
dodgers who claim umbrage under liberties they choose not to defend
themselves.In a way, we've all become kindergardeners who want toys
and ice cream from stores we fight against and that we didn't pay for. Maybe it
doesn't matter who our President is when the people are so far from deserving
Thanks for the very well written editorial. But, it missed the primary point
that underlies the problem. When did we, the American People, give
government the authority to tell us what we MUST do in our private occupation?
We do not work for the government, yet they want to tell us what products we
must sell and what procedures we must perform. Where is that
authority enumerated in the Constitution?Government has greatly
exceeded its authority. Now it demands that we kill unborn babies and that we
prevent babies from being conceived. How does that "secure the Blessings of
Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"?
We have rights and freedom because we came together and agreed to limit some of
our own rights and freedoms in exchange for the rights and freedoms we wanted
most. Every right, every freedom that we have came about because
our government, the American people, has the ability to limit and control the
freedom of others to harm us. Business exists at the will of the
society government. A government may not force a business to operate in a
certain way or sell a certain product, but a government can deny the business a
license to operate within itÂs authority. There are no
Constitutional rights for a business operation.Freedom of religion
is about the individualÂs freedom to believe as that individual wants. It
does not give freedom of religion to churches or a religion itself. And while
the individual has the right and ability to believe any thing he chooses, he may
not have the right to act on his belief. We do not allow human
sacrifice not how intensely a person may believe.
Did Hutterite forget Obama's war in Afghanistan and only remember Bush's war in
Iraq? Such selective indignation belongs on the comics page of the DN. Both wars
reflect the thoughts often expressed in the military - war is old men sending
young men to die.
@the truth"yet the far left who talks of tolerance and compassion,would strip the very essence of freedom and agency away, and force all
to live in their version of utopian sameness and faux social morality."The far left isn't the one forcing women to be probed just to
try to make them feel guilty. Utopian sameness and faux social morality... I'm
pretty sure you just described social conservatives whether you intended to or
not.@USAloverYou forgot about southernors who fly the
rebel flag while questioning the patriotism of liberals.@4601Could've sworn that Afghanistan was started 7 years before Obama got into
office... so it's hardly "Obama's war". You could say it's bush and
obama's war though.
"A government may not force a business to operate in a certain way or sell a
certain product, but a government can deny the business a license to operate
within its authority. " - Ultra BobIf a government can deny a
license to a business that refuses to supply a certain product, or to a doctor
who refuses to provide a certain type of service, then YES, it is forcing them
to carry that product and provide that service.Leftists evoke the
language of freedom and choice only when it furthers their narrrow-minded
ideological agenda. They do not believe in choice vis-a-vis abortion for
doctors, nurses and pharrmacists. They do not believe in choice with regards to
parents who want to send their child to a private school and not have to pay for
that education twice.People, businesses, and institutions are not
extensions of the government. They don't have to do something because a
bureacrat or legislature wants them to if it violates their individual rights.
Restrictions on freedom must be compelling and necessary, whether its the
restriction on the right to have an abortion, or compelling someone to perform
There are communities who would love to restrict or prohibit Mormon Missionaries
from proselyting in their neighborhoods because it offends their deeply held
religious beliefs. Nondiscrimination laws get in the way, however. I believe if
the Deseret News gets its way, you could easily see a local prosecutor refuse to
enforce such laws because his religious convictions tell him that Mormons do not
deserve such protections. You can't have it both ways. Either we are a nation of
laws or we are not.
Henry,Read the Constitution. The 1st Amendment keeps
anti-Mormon laws from being passed. Article IV, Clause 2 states:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in
pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the
authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the
judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or
laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." If a State
of a community wrote anti-Mormon laws, the Federal Government would pursue that
State or that Community (SHALL, PURSUANCE require action by the Federal
Government).A local prosecutor WOULD obey the Constitution or he
would find himself being prosecuted.Religion is protected. Selling
contraceptives or preforming abortions is not.Read the Constitution.
It is all there.
I agree with Mike Richards. Henry, you're examples are not even
close to the same issue. First, prohibiting mormon missionaries is
discrimination according to religious beliefs. Doctors aren't just denying one
group of people, they are choosing not to perform abortions. It's more similar
to a dentist not offering root canals than your example. Discriminating
procedures or products is allowed. Discriminating people is not.Second, a local prosecutor swore an oath to uphold the law and his employer
also had him agree to uphold the law when he/she was hired. So, since he/she
broke both agreements, he/she would be fired. A doctor does not swear an oath to
perform abortions and if he/she is self employed or has an employer that does
not require them to perform abortions during hiring, they can choose not to
offer abortions without being fired.As long as a doctor goes out of
his way to help a woman find a competent doctor nearby to do the procedure,
what's the problem?Bookstores don't have to sell the Book of
MormonDoctors don't have to perform abortions.Doctors are only
required to give procedure when the situation is life threatening.
In principle, you make some good points. There are at least two problems.
First, some activities fall outside purely personal activities. Some activities
are expressly public service and the provider is carrying out the instructions
of a health care professional (doctor) and the provider has not right to
substitute their judgement for that of the doctor. If a pharmacist cannot abide
by this, they should seek another profession. The second issue is that I don't
think you fully believe in what you are saying, that it really depends on the
issue and whether you agree with it. If you are consistent, you will condone
polygamy and other activities. I do not see a compelling public interest as
long as there is not compulsion. Will you go for it?
Not every store sells all possible products. Should the store manager fire
employees who tell customers that the store does not carry all products? When a
product causes death, should that employee be fired for selling something that
was designed to kill? Every doctor swears an oath to "do no
harm". Does abortion harm anyone? How about the unborn baby?There is room for conscientious objection. There is room in this world for
tolerance for those who have a conscientious objection to depriving someone of
the chance to be conceived and of the chance to be born. Many in
this community know that our life did not start at birth and that it does not
end at death. Many of us have a conscientious objection to preventing mortal
life from starting. Most of us have a conscientious objection to taking the
life of the unborn.What kind of people would demand to have us
destroy life because they believe that destroying life is acceptable? When did
it become acceptable? When did our society lose respect for life?
Loss of respect for life was lost hen we decided to let children starve, suffer
illness without care and die because their parents don't have jobs which allow
them to purchase required medicine or treatments. Since it largely those same
people which advocate this neglect of living children who also advocate
legislative interference with women's reproduction, they have no moral
credibility. When they begin lobbing for free access to health care, living
wages for families and dignified access to food, then I'll begin to listen.
Until then they are plainly what we all those who preach one thing for others
but don't live it themselves.The Hippocratic Oath argument is a
non-starter, ask a doctor. We are not talking about unethical practice. Try
justifying an amputation as "doing no harm".
That's the whole point Mike. If we decide "conscience" comes before law
then what good is it?
We granted the right to control a business when we decided it was a good idea to
license pharmacies and pharmacists. Licensing is controlled by the states, as it
always has been. As such, you won't find it in the US Constitution other than a
general agreement with that arrangement in the Tenth Amendment.Pharmacists are not in private business, they are a state regulated profession
and have to obey state regulations on dispensing drugs, one of which is they
don't diagnose a patient's condition as a physician can. Anyone deciding that a
given woman requesting Plan B should not receive it is diagnosing her condition
and deciding appropriate disposition rather than letting it be properly
diagnosed by a physician. That is exactly what is happening in this case. The
only people with standing in this situation is the pregnant woman and a
competent gynecologist. If someone doesn't like it, they may move elsewhere;
this is what liberty looks like.Would you like your pharmacist
deciding whether you should be able to buy medicines you choose? Lets allow
women to make their own responsible, adult choices. I think they'll get it right
more often than our politicians will.
I had a severe dislike for the far right propaganda that Amway distributor
groups subscribe to. So, knowing that simply objecting and complaining about it
wasn't the answer, I left it all behnind, gladly. There's a message in there
When the LDS Church divested its Hospitals and Health services many people
wondered why they would even consider something like that. Seems mightly like
prophetic wisdom in hindsight.
Despite the protestations of the left,People jave right to ther
bigotry, they right to their hate,as well as right to thier
love, and a right to thier tolerance and accetance. and we all
have a right to proclaim it in the public square,and it is none of
the federal governments business,what you do nou have a right to is
someone else services,or productsor labors,or skills or time
or talents,to claim such you would have to trample over some else's
rights, your rights do not take precedence over anothers.if you do not like or agree with them then do not do business with them.nowdays the few that may exhibit extreme exercises in conscience would
not stay in business long.Let the system work.education
is the answer not force.
The right to obtain a good or service does not imply the right to obtain it from
a specific individual. As a matter of illustration, allow me to compare the
situation to another publicly-provided professional service that we, as
Americans, have a right to receive:We all enjoy the right to have an
attorney represent us in legal matters. However, approaching an attorney about
representing you does not obligate them to take your case. They would not be
denying you your right simply because they do not personally represent you. You
have the right to AN attorney, but you do not have the right to any specific
attorney's services. Ideally, the attorney would then direct you to another
attorney who is known to take cases similar to yours.Likewise, we
all have the right to seek an abortion if we so choose. As with the example of
legal representation, the existence of that right does not hinge upon whether it
is received from a specific individual. Ideally, the medical professional would
then direct you to another medical professional who is known to perform the
procedure you seek.
A Georgia lawmaker thinks that, because he lived on a farm and delivered
stillborn cows and pigs, a woman should have to carry a dead fetus until she
goes into natural childbirth - regardless of any risk to her health. No fetus ever has or ever could survive a tubal pregnancy and if the pregnancy
is not terminated, chances are that the woman will not survive either. Catholic
hospitals will not do a chemical flush of a tubal pregnancy, because that would
be an abortion - but they can and will maim the woman by removing the entire
fallopian tube with the fetus inside it. The result to the fetus is the same,
but the outcome for the woman is vastly different.Santorum thinks
that rape victims should "accept this horribly created Â in the sense
of rape Â but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human
life..." if they get pregnant and not have a choice.If women
want birth control they should not be able to count on their insurance to cover
the cost, in spite of all other prescription medication being covered.And now, pharmacists also get to override a woman's choices.
Does a State issued license to sell pharmaceuticals require the pharmacist to
sell those pharmaceuticals or does it permit him to sell those pharmaceuticals?
There is a world of difference between permitting and requiring.
When we receive a license from the State to drive a car, are we
required to drive a car, or are we allowed to drive a car? A
pharmacist is required to be certified and licensed to protect the public.
After receiving a license, the pharmacist is allowed to dispense medications.Does a patient have the authority to tell a doctor which procedure to
perform or how to perform that procedure? If the patient does not like the
doctor, or his recommended procedure, or the method the doctor chooses to
perform that procedure, is the patient required to use that doctor, or can the
patient choose another doctor. Does an insurance company provide a
list of "approved" doctors before issuing a policy or does the insurance
company hide that information from the public?There is no legal or
ethical reason to force anyone to set aside conscientious objection, but many
people use force when logic fails.
Pharmacists and doctors should have to display signs saying which services they
do not or will not offer so that people can make an informed decision about
which doctors and pharmacists they want to visit.
If churches would not cry wolf saying something as benign as contraceptives is
so wrong they can't follow a health care law everyone else is required to
follow, they would have more political capital when it comes to objecting to
forced particapation when it comes to abortion and plan B contraceptives which
are similar.Just because you have a moral objection to something
isn't an automatic pass not to obey the law. We all pay taxes for wars
regardless if we agree with them or not. But moral objections are enough to ask
society for a pass.
wjaldenCottonwood Heights, UT"A government may not force a
business to operate in a certain way or sell a certain product, but a government
can deny the business a license to operate within its authority. " - Ultra
BobIf a government can deny a license to a business that refuses to
supply a certain product, or to a doctor who refuses to provide a certain type
of service, then YES, it is forcing them to carry that product and provide that
service.Leftists evoke the language of freedom and choice only when
it furthers their narrrow-minded ideological agenda. They do not believe in
choice vis-a-vis abortion for doctors, nurses and pharrmacists. They do not
believe in choice with regards to parents who want to send their child to a
private school and not have to pay for that education twice.People,
businesses, and institutions are not extensions of the government. They don't
have to do something because a bureacrat or legislature wants them to if it
violates their individual rights. Restrictions on freedom must be compelling and
necessary, whether its the restriction on the right to have an abortion, or
compelling someone to perform one.
wjalden.Rather than throw insults at others, you should deal with
the truth or untruth of the argument. The right and authority to
regulate business operations in a given local is inherent in the government of
that local. The people who issue the business licenses are usually
the businessmen and civic leaders of the local. Regulations such as
close on Sunday, no pornography, age to buy cigarettes or beer, and even what
products are legal and which are illegal along with many others are the
prerogatives of the local government. Business operations are not
people and do not Constitutional rights.
Just get out of business. As lawyer I cannot refuse service to someone whom I
think is guilty.
Peabody,I'm surprised that a lawyer wouldn't see the
difference between the case at hand. Pharmacies aren't discriminating
against people (as your example implies). They would be choosing not to supply a
drug and are only discriminating against a product. A better example would be
someone approaching you to represent them in a small claims case if you were a
criminal defense attorney. Referring them to another lawyer who works with small
claims wouldn't be discriminatory. Some pharmacies choose not
to carry expensive heart medication and only carry a similar drug that is less
expensive. Should we overturn that right? Should we make them sell nebulizers
and oxygen machines? Those items are prescribed by a doctor but we don't
demand pharmacies to carry those. Maybe I should challenge
restaurants that only carry Pepsi products. After all, it's my choice what
Blue,You should feel free to not deal Mormons seeking your services. You
totally have that right. You have the right to turn down Mormon's money
for any reason you want. But fact is... businesses in America turn out to be
less bigoted than people like you. They see one person's money is as good
as another. I've yet to see a business that will refuse to take
people's money because they are Black, Mormon, etc. It's PEOPLE who
get caught up in that type of bigotry, not businesses.This is a
different issue than people refusing to pay their taxes for stuff they find
morally repugnant. That is a good debate to have, but that isn't what
this article is about. This article is about people being forced individually
to DO something that is against their religion. We already have established
precident on THIS issue (can't force people to serve in the military if it
is against their religious beliefs, etc).The Government forcing you
to pay taxes for THEM to go do something you find immoral is different than the
Government forcing YOUR to go do something you find immoral.
Henry DrummondYou have twisted the topic and missed the point.The conscientious_objectors want to be able to control what THEY do (not what
OTHERS do). You twisted it 180_degrees into YOU want to control what OTHERS
(Mormon missionaries) can do. Do you see the difference?The person
who doesn't want to provide birth_control themself (due to religious
beliefs) is not trying to control what OTHERS can/can't do. They are
trying to regain control of their OWN actions. People who want birth_control
can get it from any of a thousand other people without moral issues... but
don't force this person to do what YOU want... even if what you want them
to do is against their religious beliefs! That would be like the Government
FORCING all Muslims to eat pork weekly or something... a government policy like
that wouldn't fly in America... would it???Stop trying to
control what OTHERS are allowed to do (mormon_missionaries, etc). We
should all focus on what WE do (not what we will allow OTHERS to do).
I hold a deep moral opposition to war. War leads to thousands of murders. Can I
refuse to allow any of my tax dollars to be used for war?
So.....if my religion states that there should be no mixing of the races, is it
OK for me to refuse service to interracial couples? If I believe that marriage
is between a man and women, can I refuse to sell a wedding gift for a gay
marriage? If you agree to operate in the public domain, you need to
operate at the lowest common denominator for what is legal. No exceptions. You
can do whatever you want in church, but business is not church. Religious zealots are ruining this country. It is only a matter of time
before we have car-bombs and IEDs on our streets as these people "protect
their rights" in some ill conceived attempt to save us all from their belief
of what is right and wrong.
Schwa,Your question has already been discussed and answered by the
Supreme Court. You can't control what the Government does just because you
pay taxes, or refuse to pay taxes because the Government does something you
don't like (like war). But YOU YOURSELF CAN refuse to participate in war.
Hint... that's what the lady in the article is doing (objecting to being
forced to do it herself, not control what others do, or get out of paying taxes
because of something the Government MAY do).What we are discussing
is the concept of "Conscientious Objection". That's when you
individually don't want to be forced to do something that is against your
moral beliefs like fight in a war provide abortions, provide abortion pills,
etc). NOT your example. They are two totally different things.Refusing to pay taxes because the GOVERNMENT may do something against your
religious beliefs is a whole different thing, not protected as part of the
concept of conscientious objector.