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Obama shows no desire to balance religious freedom, other rights

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  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:40 p.m.

    "@Noodlekaboodle

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

    Who are you to tell Noodlekaboodle what violates his conscience? Or mine? Quite frankly it does violate my conscience that religions get a free ride when it comes to receiving the services a community provides. I don't believe in your faith, why should I have to help pay for it? I'll tell you why. Because that is what we have decided as a community.

    I'll tell you something else that violates my conscience. Our prison system. There are many aspects of it that offend my spiritual sensibility. Not the least being executions. But I don't get to opt out of paying for them. My spiritual sensibility is also offended by fighting unnecessary wars. But I don't get to opt out of paying for them. And I'm not asking to. I recognize that it is part of being a functioning member if society. I don't always get my way.

    So if I can pay for these things that I vehemently, spiritually disagree with, religiously owned businesses can provide insurance with contraception coverage.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    You don't have a right to force me to buy them for you. - Nate

    My tax dollars pay for another man's Viagra.

    Your claim is proven wrong.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 7:32 p.m.

    The way the republicans are back pedaling on the conservatives makes this mostly hot air. The right wing is back in the small corner for another twenty to thirty years. Blog away.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    @Nate
    I would advise you against claiming you know my concious. Plus there really are churches that have beliefs that are strongly against mine. I'm a very outspoken LGBT advocate. Most churches hold the opposite views. They are within their rights as americans to think whatever they want. But I shouldn't have to pay for it.
    @procuradorfiscal
    "The tacit pact politicians have historically sought is this -- churches will stay out of politicians business, if politicians stay out of churches"
    Ha, you live in Utah right? Or even this country? If this was the intent of making churches non profit it has failed MISERABLY. If that was the point why are churches even getting involved in the debate about the ACA? I thought this was supposed to keep churches out of politics. The ACA is nothing but insurance regulations, so why are churches involved again?

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    @pragmatistferlife "...has been found to be constitutional."

    That challenge was brought on grounds other than religious freedom. There are religious-freedom challenges working their way through the courts right now. The issue has yet to be decided.

    @10CC "Do adherents of Native American church's views' not matter...?"

    Of course they matter. I don't believe they should be forced to participate in anything that desecrates land sacred to them. I'm on their side of this question.

    Noodle's objection was based on fairness, not freedom of conscience. But, as has been pointed out already, individual church-goers already pay taxes for the roads, just like everyone else.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    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."

    Actually, that's not true. Native American religion believes we need to be better stewards of the earth, that paving more roads and pumping more oil and mining more metals diminishes us as a people, spiritually, and is contrary to what the Creator desires.

    Yet they are forced to pay the same taxes we are, against their conscience.

    Where do you draw the line? Do adherents of Native American church's views' not matter, only those of conservatives? They certainly seem to be taking a back seat in your view of religious freedom vs government policy.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    "Obama" and "Balanced" don't mix. Barack is all about extremism which is at the core of his progressive-ism and Communism.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    Affirming a long history of precedents, here is a recent Supreme Court opinion related to this issue:

    The Court held that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to use a religious motivation as a reason not to obey such generally applicable laws. "To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself." Thus, the Court had held that religious beliefs did not excuse people from complying with laws forbidding polygamy, child labor laws…and laws requiring the payment of taxes, among others.

    So according to the SC, the ACA provision on contraception would have been on safe ground even without the recent compromise, but once again in a (failed) attempt to appease the “nutty Right” the Administration seems to have put themselves on even firmer ground (as the ACA is clearly a “generally applicable law”).

    @lost in DC

    That batting average is not getting any better, but please… keep swinging.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    Let people, not employers or churches, make the decision for themselves.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Happy valley,
    You mean NONE of the people attending those churches pay taxes?

    BTW, is 49.2% a majority yet? You have no credibility

    Tyler,
    But BO IS making a law respecting religion – he is saying abortion and contraception “rights” are superior to religious rights. neither of the former is specifically mentioned in the constitution, while the latter is.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    We don’t live in medieval times when the Church was the authority to which science and philosophy deferred on matters pertaining to those disciplines. That’s not how it works in the United States today. Burnings at the stake for heresy or witchcraft are not allowed and religious clerics must now use Constitutional tools to challenge a secularism that is independent of the Church.

    The only reason we’re having this fight is because religion couldn’t keep its paws out of a matter that has nothing to do with religion. I’ve said before on these boards that no one is forcing any religious entity to take on the role of insurance carrier. But since some religious entities are do just that, they have to abide by the same rules of law that every other carrier must adhere to. If they want to take it to the Supreme Court, maybe they should do just that and let the Court sort out the contentious issue and clarify it for us.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    Christian, I absolutely did not infer that Congress and the President can just pass a law that is unconstitutional..quite the opposite. What I said is that the supreme court has many times upheld the principle that religions do not have a right to conscientious practices that violate the law..including when Mormons were told they couldn't practice polygomy..and the ACA has been found to be constitutional so it is not violating the constitution.

    Nate.." Your right to contraceptives ends where my right to free exercise of religion begins."..not true if your exercise of religion breaks the law..and again the ACA is the law and has been found to be constitutional.

    Judge Scalia said.."To permit this (unlawful religious practice) 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". You can change the law but until you do the catholic church as a secular employer must provide access to contraceptives..it's the law.

    Last post on subject so someone else needs to pound this truth home.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Pragmatistferlife said it all better than I hoped…

    I will just add that religions have a very long history (from medieval Europe to the Muslim countries of today) of wanting to not only be “the law unto themselves” but when they get enough power to be the law of the land that everyone must obey… or else.

    Thank God (ironic?) we have our Constitution to protect us from these encroachments, except sadly, one side consistently cherry picks only the parts they like (even within a single sentence of an amendment!).

    In this case their focus is on “the free exercise thereof” (although they even misunderstand that), while completely ignoring the part about “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Religeous freedom is often in the eye of the heholder. But, make no mistake this is not really about religious freedom it is about limiting free agency. In this case the agency of indididuals to use or not use artificial contraceptives. The Catholic Church and others who do not believe in contraception by artifical means, want to find ways to limit free choice. They want to compel behavor that conforms to their unenlighted intolerant views. They have made Obama ACA the focal point of their intolerance in much the same way that they attacked science in the 15th century because acience had the audacity to proclaim that the Stars and Sun did not rotate around the earth.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    @Noodlekaboodle

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

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    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.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    @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.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    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?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    @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.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    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.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    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?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    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.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    @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.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 6, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    @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
    Feb. 6, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    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.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    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.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    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!

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 6:28 a.m.

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

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:44 a.m.

    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.