Comments about ‘In our opinion: Why would government make Little Sisters of the Poor an enemy?’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 31 2014 4:00 a.m. MST

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The editorial said: "The First Amendment grants clear protections for the free exercise of religion, as well as against government attempts to establish a religion."

The 1st Amendment says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,"

There is no "to establish a religion" in the 1st Amendment. Why does that make a difference? It makes a difference because the Catholic Church is "an establishment of religion". It already exists. It is fully protected from government meddling with its doctrine by the fact that it is an established religion. Contraception is part of the Catholic Church's doctrine. If contraception is part of the Catholic Church's doctrine, Congress can make no law respecting contraception vis-a-vis the Catholic Church.

Some would call that nit-picking, but words matter. People get riled when they think that the Constitution says something that it clearly does not say. Too many people think that we can't have prayer in schools because there is a separation of Church and State. Those words are not in the Constitution. Prayer is allowed. Prayer is free speech.

Tooele, UT

Re: "Why would government make Little Sisters of the Poor an enemy?"

Why? Because they're in the way of Obama's attempts to "fundamentally transform" America into his brave-new-world vision of a radical, autocratic, secularist, socialist, nanny state.

There's no personal animus. They just got in the way. So, now they're enemies of the state.

It'll be interesting to see what liberal character assassination technique is applied to them as the statist propaganda juggernaut rolls on. That's the standard liberal technique.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Why should the government bully these Sisters? Because it can!

Salt Lake City, UT

@ Mike Richards and procuradorfiscal:

Well said, both of you. Thanks for taking a stand for common sense and for exposing some of the techniques deployed by the liberal extremists.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

This editorial is highly misleading, either you don't know what the case is about, or you are simply obfuscating. The Sisters are already exempt from the contraceptive mandate. All they have to do is fill out a form to claim the exemption. Their suit claims that making them fill out a form violates their religious freedom. The Supreme Court ruled that while the case was pending, they did not have to fill out the form, but they still had to convey all the information to the government that the form asked for.

In other words, the Supreme Court punted until the district court issues a decision.

American Fork, UT

When you live in a society you get the whole enchilada. And that enchilada includes some sides not everyone likes. I didn't want to pay for a war in afghanistan, or Iraq. I think churches getting tax breaks is a scam. It goes against my conscience. But, I like a lot of things I get from government, too, and some compromise is always necessary to get by in this world. So, rather than paint these outfits as victims, maybe back the idea of single payer health care, so employers and nuns aren't even part of the health care delivery process, and health care choices are made by people and physicians.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Sorry, Roland, but you and I disagree on this point.

"All they have to do is fill out a form to claim the exemption." Why? The Government has no authority to change the doctrine of an establishment of religion. It has no right to require an establishment of religion to "sign a form" to opt out of an illegal mandate.

That is the point that I was trying to make earlier today. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," How can anyone, including the President, require an establishment of religion of sign a form to exempt itself from a law made by Congress that infringes the rights of a Church?

When we, the citizens, sit back and allow any President to tell us what the Constitution says, as he tries to enforce a law that violates the Constitution, then shame on us for not protecting OUR RIGHTS. Government does not give us rights. We were endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights, including freedom from government interference in matters of religion.

We need to support the Little Sisters.

Saint George, UT

Hutterite: The reason there should be no single payer system is simple. The Constitution doesn't allow it. It is a simple document for those who believe in simplicity. Judges, however, that want to be rulers instead of servants, and worse yet, citizens who want to be ruled, rather than to rule, are an existential threat to its simplicity and the liberty of those of us who believe in liberty. The United States can reclaim its position as the leader of the free world in how wealth is created, as well as how rights are protected, including the rights of the sisters of the poor, or it will find itself just another third world country! I doubt very much whether our president even considers America as such and his polices have done nothing but destroy capitalism, divide our nation, and pit the unalienable rights of man as given by God against the corrupt power brokers in Washington! In either case, it isn't going to end well for one or the other. I doubt it will be the former.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Mike Richards
Churches have to sign forms to get tax exempt status. It's not a new concept.

clearfield, UT


I curious about something you said. You said you did not want to pay for a war in Afghanistan. Was that always the case? Or just now after 10 years? Few people in the world, much less here in the U.S. did not want the United States to mount some kind of attack against the perpetrators of 911. Are you one of them? I only ask because I frequently read your posts, and do wonder how far to the political left you lean.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Liberals have no problem with the free exercise of religion as long as it is confined to Sunday and is within the four walls of a church. Other than that, they think thy have a right to dictate what the free exercise of religion will be. These sweet women are NOT going to sign a form that consents to something they find abhorrent and against their conscience.

I hope this attempt by the Obama Administration to oppress people of conscience is stopped cold by the Supremes and that it is the final straw that breaks the back of this total disaster known as Obamacare.

You never know. We may be able to save our country yet.

Ogden, UT

According to the dictionarty, "an establishment" does not only mean an edifice or an organizaiton. It also means "an act of establishing." Therefore, when the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . ." its meaning includes "Congress shall make no law respecting an act establishing a religion." This restriction was extended to actions by state and local governments by the 14th Amendment. Prayer in school, etc., are acts by government respecting an act establishing one religion as being the "official" religion of the government and are, therefore, unconstitutional according to the First Amendment. yes words are important -- that's why it is important not to try to construe them to only support one position/action when the words actually mean more.

Tooele, UT

Re: "The Sisters are already exempt from the contraceptive mandate. All they have to do is fill out a form to claim the exemption."

Disingenuous liberal sophistry.

The "exemption" requires the nuns, under penalty of prosecution, to fork over association funds to an insurance company, so it will provide contraception benefits. As if that somehow means the nuns are not being forced, by the heavy boot of government on their necks, to violate their conscience.

The regime offers this up as its disingenuous fig leaf, suggesting it can somehow justify its illegal and immoral shredding of the Constitution. It's telling that liberal regime supporters won't admit this autocratic decree is only a tiny baby step away from Marxist-Leninist re-education camps.

And, it's clear the regime has come to expect dissenting Americans, not only to abandon and violate their religious beliefs, but to embrace the transparent dishonesty that characterizes liberals, in general, and this regime, in particular, as well.

Columbus, OH

First of all, contraception is used for a bevy of reasons beyond merely preventing pregnancy. Secondly, no one in the government is making any Catholic person take contraception, thereby violating their fundamental religious rights. The Government is not intervening in their actual practice. Also, there is no protection that the government will not intervene in religious practice if it goes against other laws. That is why you can't merely become a Rastafarian and legally smoke pot.

Another overlooked aspect is that many of the employees of these "poor old ladies" are not Catholic. They are portrayed as a humble little group, but in fact, they run nursing homes with many female employees whose doctors may prescribe birth control for ovarian cysts or other health issues. What they are doing is not only trying to not provide the contraception, but by challenging the exemption created for them, they are actively trying to obstruct their employees from accessing medical care and force their own religion on them. If Hobby Lobby wins, the implications are huge. Can a Christian Scientist declare they won't pay for any medical expenses, since they don't believe in medicine?

Provo, UT

It's just part and parcel of the left and their full scale assault on Christianity. Muslims don't have to comply with Obamacare, but Obama is forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to.
That's just one front. Another is gay rights, where the doctrine being pushed is that if you are Christian, you have to leave your religion inside the church and cannot use it in business. The same concept--Christianity is being relegated to the old status of pornography--you can only do it in the privacy of your own home or in that seedy place down the road, but it can't be brought out otherwise.

Remember, the Democratic convention, 2012. They booed the mere mention of God; booed lustily. Leftists, judging by their supporters and actions, have fully bought into Joseph Stalin's views on Christianity.

No, they say, you can practice your religion. Just as long as its hidden and of no consequence, and you do what we tell you when we tell you, we don't care what you believe--for the moment.

Saint George, UT

How one could construe prayer as an act to establish a religion is not only ridiculous, but shows how far some are willing to go to remove God from any forum except in a cloistered outhouse atop mount olympus. If this isn't a Karl Marx dream argument, I don't know what is! How any American could diverge so far from Constitutional understanding while spitting in God's face at the same time is beyond me.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The "exemption" requires the nuns, under penalty of prosecution, to fork over association funds to an insurance company, so it will provide contraception benefits"

Contraception coverage would not come from the funding paid for by the nuns.

"only a tiny baby step away from Marxist-Leninist re-education camps."

Someone woke up on the overdramtic side of the bed this morning...

Provo, UT

"Can a Christian Scientist declare they won't pay for any medical expenses, since they don't believe in medicine?" The answer is simple: Yes.

Since when do we force employers to provide health care on penalty of governmental punishment? Plenty of jobs I've had don't offer any health care at all. And Obamacare is going to vastly increase those numbers. Why should Little Sisters of the Poor be forced to subsidize someone else's health care? Why can't those poor, poor women buy their own contraceptives? Is there some rule saying that your employer buys your condoms or you don't get any? The "Pill" is only available to people with a health care plan?
I find it more offensive and "war on women" to believe as the liberals do: that women are incapable of finding birth control themselves and their employer must be forced to provide it, because their female employees are incapable of doing otherwise.
Why should anyone be forced to pay for someone else's birth control?

St. George, UT

"Requiring religious people to associate themselves, even from a distance, with something that violates their conscience inhibits their right to freely exercise religion."

Is this really an argument Mormons want to follow to it's logical conclusion?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Perhaps if we were given a bit more information about the financials of the Little Sisters of the Poor, we could understand why they have become an enemy of the American people. Charity in America has devolved into a business operation. And business operations should not have religious freedom in their service to the public.

The business operations of the largest financial organization in the world, as with other religious organizations, should not be allowed to use economic force to impose their beliefs on others.

Traditionally America has regarded business as being a public service to all Americans. And over time we have use the power of our government to enforce that policy. We have given religious organizations great leeway in the advertising of their beliefs. The clothes they wear, the external nature of their buildings, and in some cases even allowing religious practices done in the public square.

If religious forces are able to gain control over our government, America will devolve into that same world that the first Americans were fleeing. Giving religion the ability to flout American civil law is a giant step in that direction.

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