Comments about ‘Court gives nuns a compromise on health care issue’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Karen R.
Houston, TX

When LGBT's fight for the legally recognized right to marry, opponents charge they are asking for "special rights." When some religious sects ask to be exempted from public laws that everyone else in the same marketplace must abide by, they assert "religious liberty."

So who is asking to be treated special?

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Karen -
Articles of Faith 11: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own cconscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

Both groups (LGBT and the nuns) have an equally valid right to assert religious liberty.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

With all due respect to the Little Sisters of the Poor, what if a physician prescribes birth control as a means to resolve a medical issue?

Also, what will be the decision if/when a religiously-minded employer decides that premature births are a sign that the Almighty does not wish the offspring to survive, and declines coverage to employees for that circumstance?

Perhaps an employer with eastern religious leanings is of the opinion that treating cancer is an action defying some kind of universal karma. Is this also applicable as a religious liberty exception to coverage standards?

As it stands now, parents can - and have been, in a case in Wisconsin - prosecuted for homicide as they attempted to use prayer as their preferred means to treat their diabetic child. Why is there not an exemption from the homicide laws for them? Why are they being treated unfairly and having their religious liberty crushed by government?

Resolving the limits of religious freedom is definitely an interesting issue.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@gmlewis

LGBTs are being prevented from exercising a right that all other consenting adults can exercise. The nuns are asking to be EXEMPT from a law that everyone else in the marketplace is compelled to follow. LGBTs are asking to be treated equal. The nuns are asking to be treated special. I would think allowing this would be problematic in terms of the "establishment of religion" clause because doing so would favor one set of religious beliefs over another.

ute alumni
SLC, UT

this ruling must have barry ready to use his phone and pen.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

An atheist exercises religious liberty to choose not to believe in a God. In the beginning, marrying was instituted as a religious act. Two people choosing to marry (either traditiionally or as a SSM) are exercising a religious choice, while a couple who choose to not be married are also employing their religious liberties.

That is why I said that religious liberties apply to SSM as well as the Sisters. My own religious choices don't match either one of them, but I feel they have a right to worship whoever or however they desire.

There are many reasons for saying that the nuns are wrong, and one of the best is that contraceptive medicine is used to treat many other health conditions besides pregnancy. However, just because I disagree with them doesn't mean that I should not defend their right to worship how they see fit. Nobody is forced to work for them.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

LGBTs are seeking equal rights with respect to civil marriage laws. Whether or not religions choose to honor the marriages thereafter is their business. Your argument seems to willfully ignore the relevant part of the debate.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

gmlewis:

About your last statement, which is that nobody is forced to work for the Little Sisters of the Poor: Technically, this is true, and whatever employment opportunities the Little Sisters offer are probably not significant in number.

But for many people, the free market admonition that "you can always work somewhere else" is not as easily accomplished. If we were all day laborers, or worked on 1 month or 1 year contracts, then switching employers to better suit your own beliefs would be more doable, but in reality human beings rely on employment stability to live their lives - otherwise the birth rate would plummet further, perhaps fewer marriages would form.

A good, faithful religious person can't refuse to work on Sundays and then claim freedom of religion as the basis for defying their employer, forcing the business to close on Sundays. If this person chose their employers based only on obeying the Sabbath, they may not make enough money to raise a family.

An employer can't refuse to hire someone based on their race, based on religious doctrine. (This sounds silly today, but was prevalent not long ago).

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