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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Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

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.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

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.”

salt lake city, utah

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.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

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.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

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

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

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.

American Fork, UT

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

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

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.

Cedar Hills, UT

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

Bountiful, UT

Pleasant Grove, UT

"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.

Pleasant Grove, UT

@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.

Poplar Grove, UT

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.
"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?

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT


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.

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