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Comments about ‘Obama shows no desire to balance religious freedom, other rights’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Obama is President of the United States.

Not a church.

As such, he must adhere to the will of all the people in the country.

No the religious freedom of a few.

Who believe their rights should run roughshod over everyone else's.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Yet another letter bashing Obama. Wow! Hopefully this satisfies those in need of hateful vitriol against our president.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Thats odd, Romney's Massachusetts healthcare plan had the same contraception policy as Obama's healthcare plan, but I don't remember conservatives getting too upset about Mitt's plan!

bandersen
Saint George, UT

How can you bash anyone, Republican or Democrat, that has no convictions? I am not surprised by the politicians, it's the followers that reflect the same that I'm most annoyed. The politicians love money and power, the followers lack conviction and purpose.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Religious freedom since it's modern inception with Martin Luther, and John Locke has always been a freedom on conscious. The right to believe what you choose. It never has included the right to religious practices that are contrary to the laws of the land. The laws of the land change, but religious freedom includes the obligation to obey those laws, thus give unto Cesar what is Cesars. The current problem comes from religious organizations becoming heavily involved in the secular world. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it brings risks.

The Supreme Court has many times said that religions must obey the laws of the land. Mormons were not allowed to practice polygamy. A man in Oregon was not allowed to use peyote. In this case the court said, "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the laws of the land, and in effet to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself". By the way, that part of the decision was written by Antonin Scalia. The catholic church doesn't get to be a law unto itself.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Pagan

You have a right to use contraceptives. You don't have a right to force me to buy them for you.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Nate.."You have a right to use contraceptives. You don't have a right to force me to buy them for you."..yes we do in some circumstances.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

The Carholic Church is simply out of touch and on the wrong side of this issue. Contraceptives save lives. Contraceptives reduce the numbers of abortions. They reduce the incidence of AIDS and other STDs. They reduce the rate of death from childbirth and pregnancy.

The lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 39. Around the world, 800 women die every day from complicatons of childbirth and pregnancy. In the United States, the risk of maternal death is 1 in 2,400. In Sweden, it is 1 in 14,100. For every woman who dies, a further 20 women suffer debilitating childbirth injuries, such as obstetric fistulas.

The Catholic Church can teach its adherents to not purchase or use contraceptives, but they cannot impose those standards on non-adherents.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Nate
You have a right to attend church. Plus you have the right to force me to subsidize the roads, water connections, police, fire and ambulance services and any other service that church uses. So maybe you should just not complain that your medical insurance has coverage for birth control pills.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

There is no such thing as an absolute right. Our right to free speech is curtailed when it comes to safety of others (the classic yelling "fire" in a crowded theater") Our right to assembly is curtailed in that we cannot incite riots.

The Freedom of Religion is absolute in that you are allowed to believe whatever you wish, and worship whomever you wish, but your actions are not absolutely guaranteed. In the 1890's a Mormon could not marry multiple wives, there has been some debate of late whether Muslim kids should be allowed to leave class for a few moments to pray.

We cannot use the shroud of Freedom of Religion to attempt to limit the rights of others. I may firmly believe women do not have the right to property, but that does not give me legal authority to steal vehicles from their women owners. What I can do is preach, and attempt to persuade others to my beliefs and effect change that way.

The question comes down to whether Healthcare is a right. If so, and a very strong argument can be made for such, my religion cannot trump your right to healthcare, in whatever form.

the old switcharoo
mesa, AZ

Right Noodle, we subsidize churches all the time since they are also exempt from paying any taxes yet receive the same benefits of a business.

Why am I FORCED to pay for other people's religions? Especially ones that don't believe in contraceptives?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Pragmatist,
no, you do NOT! Even BO recognizes that with his attempts at compromising away religuos rights.

Noodle,
yep, that's right, those roads your taxes subsidize go to churches only, and NOT to ANY OTHER homes, parks, businesses, etc. Too funny!

switcharoo,
Too funny! you are forced to pay for someone else's religion LOL!!! Ow, my side hurts!

Darrel,
no one is using the "shroud of Freedom of Religion" to infringe on anyone's rights. People can still buy their own contraceptive and use them. By so claiming, you are essentially yelling "fire" in a crowded theater by raising a false alarm.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@pragmatistferlife "yes we do in some circumstances"

Not in these circumstances. Not when it violates my conscience. Our contract says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Your right to contraceptives ends where my right to free exercise of religion begins.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

pragmatistferlife

"Religious freedom since it's modern inception with Martin Luther, and John Locke has always been a freedom on conscious. The right to believe what you choose. It never has included the right to religious practices that are contrary to the laws of the land."

An interesting point of view. However, I remind you that each law enacted by congress is subject to the Constitution, in that, if its constitutionality is questionable, it can be appealed to the Supreme Court, which can overturn the law, or any parts of the law that are unconstitutional.

So your suggestion that congress and the president can just pass a new law that violates constitutional religious freedom, and it is then enforceable, is simply not true. That would require amending the constitution.

I also reject the notion that the first amendment is for freedom of thought only. It says,

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The word "exercise" is more than just a thought. It is an action word. It seems clear enough that actions based on religious beliefs are in fact protected.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

Lost..yes we do, if it's the law of the land that women have the right to contraceptives in their health care plans. All that the President is doing is attempting to find a compromise that makes it easier for relligions to comply. Nothing he is doing negates religions obligation to comply. By the way the next time someone on the right claims in this thread that the President doesn't want to compromise remember this action.

Religions have never had the right to break the law per the SCOTUS and hopefully never will.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

lost in DC said: Noodle,
yep, that's right, those roads your taxes subsidize go to churches only, and NOT to ANY OTHER homes, parks, businesses, etc. Too funny!

His point being That Churches DON"T pay for those items but enjoy the benefits they bring, you should understand that since you rail against the mythical 47% who are leeches on society.

What is "Too funny" is that you believe society should obey what religious leaders dictate, when they can't even agree on interpretations from many of the same books?

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@lost in DC
The difference of course is that Wal Mart, McDonalds, local businesses and home owners pay property tax. Even renters pay property tax indirectly, as the owner of the property pays taxes, which factor into the amount you pay monthly for rent. All of these people pay for the services a church enjoys for free, ie a subsidy. I personally would be more than willing to pay for my wives birth control(because one kid is enough to deal with right now), if you were willing to have all churches pay taxes, I'm sure the drop in my property tax would make up the difference.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Churches, religions, charities and the like are simply a type of business organizations. They have a product to sell and a set of unsubstantiated promises covering it. If they were classified along with other types of business organizations, they would probably be the most powerful, richest, and longest lasting corporations in the world.

For the most part they hide their deliberations, financial activities, power structures. Their organizations are dictatorial, undemocratic and unquestionable. There is no measuring stick to judge their competence, performance or success. Their failure is readily seen in the grandeur, size, opulence and number of churches, Temples, Cathedrals, Mosks, surrounded by poverty, misery and the poor.

They play upon the most primal, basic, unresolved fear that exist in all life, death. Using this fear they are able to set themselves apart from other businesses and demand special favoritism from society and it’s government.

It is very important the we, our government, hold them in check until their true nature is known by all the people.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . church enjoys for free, ie a subsidy."

Liberal sophistry.

Using the same flawed logic, since, over my many, many years, I could have stolen millions from you, and didn't, I've subsidized your lifestyle to the tune of millions of dollars.

So, you owe me. Big time.

In reality, exemption of churches from taxation was done defensively, by politicians who fear the power of churches to influence members, and to take the First Amendment off the table in the "crafting" of tax policy. It prevents a lawsuit each time some politically-motivated, vote-buying tax scam illegally impacts on a church's First Amendment rights.

The tacit pact politicians have historically sought is this -- churches will stay out of politicians' business, if politicians stay out of churches'.

The Obama regime has already fired the first shots, breaking this historical uneasy truce. They probably think they'll get away with it.

We'll see.

Nate
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Noodlekaboodle

It doesn't violate your conscience to pay for my road. It only violates your preference. That's the difference.

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