Published: Saturday, Sept. 22 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT
Government crossed the line with the contraception issue for Catholics. Many
more lines of liberty will be crossed if obamacare isn't altered.
From the article-"counter-intuitive to make campus organizations
open their membership and leadership positions to anyone and everyone, even when
potential members philosophically disagree with the core values and beliefs of
the organization." Still, he said, "as someone who strongly believes in
limited government, I think it is inappropriate for government to mandate the
policies of a private institution."-------This is an
admirable statement.Obama argued that 'religious opinions
don't count if they aren't objective'. The logic is dangerous.
He's really arguing that "unless religions agree with me their opinions
don't count". Consider an atheist saying "Joseph Smith didn't
see God cause he can't recreate the event now". This is as logically
sound as saying that my dreams didn't exist last night because I can't
provide them to you now. The danger is when anti-religious leap from a simple
disagreement to 'your opinion shouldn't be because I don't
believe you'.That may seem irrelevant but consider this- some
would place conditions on the vote. Prop 8 is the perfect example of that.
Creating voting conditions really mean "you must agree with me", then
freedom is destroyed.
Church and State issues have always been difficult to balance. If a religious
institution takes tax dollars to provide public services can they still apply
religious standards in how they spend the money? When religious institutions are
told they must follow the same laws as everyone else taking public money they
complain that this is a "war on religion." I somehow doubt
this newspaper would consider it an act of religious liberty if someone refused
to provide public services for a Latter-day Saint because they believe Mormons
are not Christians. I suspect one would question how providing housing, food, or
any other public service violated their religious beliefs. But when we put Gays
into the mix, suddenly it becomes a different story. We all live a
world where there is a public sphere and a provide sphere. I think the key to
religious liberty is understanding the difference and respecting it.
Religious freedom for individuals cannot exist if there is unlimited freedom of
religion for churches and their other business organizations. Beyond their
words of freedom for people lies the specter of total enslavement to their
beliefs. Such has been the case for the entire history of the human world. Religious freedom, for the individual, is the ability of that individual
to believe what his own senses tell him about the world and not necessarily what
others may tell him. If he would give his mind over to others he looses his
religious freedom. Whatever the individual believes, whether his own
or that which is imposed upon him, it is his personal right to act in the manner
he wishes. If however, he should choose to join with others in
close association, like being an American citizen, he may be forced to limit his
freedom of religion to be acceptable to the group. His ability to make that
choice is the freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution. No one is
forced to be an American.
Glad to see it is considered "reason" to place religious belief on par
with dreams (nightmares?) and similar random cerebral activity.
This is a perfect example of why we need a one-payer system. What a one-payer
system in place, people wouldn't be able to (erroneously) claim that their
"rights" and "religious liberty" were being imposed on when
elements of valid preventative medicine with which they disagreed were covered
by insurance for which they pay premiums (which are paid into an insurance pool
and cover a wide variety of matters). Also, a Church and any businesses it owns
(which are NOT religious establishments) would not be ble to impose its theology
and dogma on the country by denying their employees insurance for elements of
valid preventative care. That would be a win-win system.
Churches and organized religions, beyond their unproven dogma, are simply
business organizations. They have a product to sell and will use every trick in
the book, every fear of people, every strategy and every opportunity to
advertise and promote their product. They can’t even
guarantee or prove any of their claims but the need for their product is so
strong that their customers cannot refrain from buying. Having this power over
people gives the churches unlimited power which in most cases becomes greed.
Greed turns to war, and so the religions are at way with each other and every
other commercial entity. In America a truce of sorts is in place
enforced by our government and the Constitution. However, the chains that bind
the religions, are weakening while the power and greed of churches grows ever
larger. Individuals can only exempt themselves from civil law by
choosing to be American or not. Churches are claiming the right to be exempt
from civil law by their own beliefs. If we allow Churches to have greater power
than our federal government, individual freedom of religion will cease to exist.
We'll never get single payer because people scream about it being socialism
(and somehow socialsm is supposed to be the ultimate evil). As for the
contraceptives, the problem is much more complex than mere religious liberty.
Contraceptives are prescribed for a lot of medical issues that have nothing to
do with innappropriate behavior. Besides, there's a provision (annoucned by
Obama, I listened to it myself a couple months ago) that allows employers to opt
out of such coverage if all their employees share their beliefs. It's not
right to force your beliefs on your employees if they don't share them,
after all. Even some Catholics dissagree about contraceptives (from what
I've heard). It would be like Mormons boycotting taxes because we
don't want tax money to be used to buy coffee (such as in government
buildings, schools, or through food stamps). We have no right to do that, and
freedom of religion doesn't give us that right. We do, however, have the
right not to buy coffee ourselves, just as Catholics can still refuse to use
contraceptives if they feel their religion warrants such. They just can't
deny them to others.
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