US judge in Oklahoma grants health care injunction to nearly 200 Catholic employers

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    June 17, 2014 3:29 p.m.


    No need to worry about the polygamists. A recent court ruling already made polygamy legal. they just can't get offical marriage licenses (yet), but a man can live with as many women as he wants...

    This debate over contraceptives is a farce. Everyone has the right to obtain contraceptives - you just don't have the right make your employer pay for it. Our country has gone crazy with these demands for "rights" that have nothing to do with the original intent of the framers of our government.

    We need to eliminate employers from providing health care. We also need to change our system from one that pushes pharmacutical sales to one that actually treats diseases and conditions. Doctors have been relegated to pill pushers and nothing more.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    Everyone needs to remember that the Federal Government does not require people to use birth control, but if a person needs it and Chooses it they should be able to have it (regardless of religion) This is the real freedom (to accept it or not). The Catholic church can preach against birth control all they want (that is freedom of religion) and people can listen or not!

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    June 6, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    @Thid Barker
    "Forcing anyone to abandon the free exercise of their religion is against the law, period!"

    Exactly! If someone's faith includes polygamy, the government can't outlaw it. If a faith allows marrying 5 year olds, the law can't interfere. If your god believes in getting places fast, speed limits can't be enforced. My god says taxes are sinful, so tax law shouldn't apply to me. Human sacrifice is a time honored religious rite, certainly there should be no law against it.

    Absolutes! We need more of them.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 6, 2014 10:43 a.m.


    I agree there should be a single payer. But no one has volunteered to be that single payer. Are you volunteering? I am not volunteering either.

    In any event, I object that some people seem to be volunteering my grandsons' generation, which is effectively what would happen if the government took a big loan to become that single payer.

    Besides, my grandsons' generation is more than a single payer. It is a lot of payers and we should get their approval first rather than us volunteering them. But we'll have to wait until they are old enough to vote which won't happen for about 15-18 years. So we have to figure out what to do in the meantime.

    I would suggest that for the time being everyone be responsible for their own healthcare, unless someone really wants to volunteer to pay someone else's health insurance (you? Karen R.?, Ranch?), or we cut the deficit to nothing and then some and use the excess to pay for medical insurance if we still feel that it is more important than something else.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    June 6, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    It is important to recognize that is not a Liberal/Conservative issue.

    A core tenant of liberal philosophy is human rights, and the right of worship and belief is a part of that.

    A core tenant of conservative thought is the preservation of our long-standing cultural and social heritage. The ability to worship and believe as one sees fit is central to that.

    We need to use different labels to define those fighting this fight. This is about secularism at the extreme on one side, and religious dogmatism at the other extreme. Somewhere in the middle is the 99% of the rest of us who are both believers and non-believers who want to allow others to be guided by their own beliefs (whether we think those beliefs are rational or not) and not truncate their right to do so, as long as they are not causing harm to others.

    When I use the term "harm" I am specifically talking about denial of rights, not denial of benefits.

    As for what those rights might be, we are still in the process of re-defining that here in the U.S.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 6, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    This is why we need to get employers out of the scope of making health care decisions for anyone. Churches, which always seem to seek power over the sex lives of others, have been given undue influence through this little loophole. The sooner we get single payer health care, for so many reasons, the better. This is one of them.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 6, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    @ordinaryfolks: "I don't know why anyone would work for an institution that says to their employee that we have the right to tell you what kind of health care you may have or not."

    You did not read the article. The employer is not telling the employee what health care they can have. The employer is only objecting to have to pay for it.

    I don't believe life begins at conception. I don't object to using contraception. But I recognize that other people's religious beliefs compel them to object to contraceptives. I am open-minded and progressive enough to respect their freedom to believe and to live how they wish.

    @Thid Barker:
    "What part of either of these simple statements don't you liberals understand?"

    Quit deluding yourself. If the 'liberals' you are talking about are trying to limit the basic human right of religious freedom then they are not liberal. Liberal in name only. They aren't conservative because they could be confused with Rush Limbaugh etc. I am not sure what to call them. "Scary right"? "Illiberals"? "PC dogmatists?" I struggle. But liberal does not come to mind.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 6, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    The Establishment Clause is the first of several pronouncements in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . .The Establishment Clause is immediately followed by the Free Exercise Clause, which states, "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". These two clauses make up what are called the "Religion Clauses" of the First Amendment.
    Forcing anyone to abandon the free exercise of their religion is against the law, period!
    What part of either of these simple statements don't you liberals understand?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 6, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    @ Kirk R. Graves

    Personally I welcome religious ideas into the public square. This gives everyone a chance to analyze and debate whether any given belief actually has merit. But I don't think this is what certain believers mean when they say "religious freedom." What I think they are actually calling for is immunity from critical analysis. What I hear is, "It should be honored and respected simply because it is religious in nature."

    This is what the Catholic Church is demanding. They certainly aren't arguing on behalf of a tenet adhered to by their followers. Nor are they providing evidence that this particular belief is good public policy overall. They are saying only, "We believe this, so it must be exempt from the rules." I don't think it's good public policy to allow such special status absent evidence that it is justified.

    I have my own problems with government telling private employers and institutions what kind of insurance coverage they must provide, but this is an entirely different question from religious freedom.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 6, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    I don't know why anyone would work for an institution that says to their employee that we have the right to tell you what kind of health care you may have or not.

    If I am a woman, who wishes to engage in birth control in my private life, and employed by an organization affiliated with a religious organization that opposes birth control, then I am frozen out of insurance paid birth control options. Yet my male superior can probably get all the viagra he wants. And that little blue pills probably costs more in one month than a year's supply of birth control pills.

    This is not about health care decisions. This is about power and control. It is about "big daddy" employer telling his employees to do only what "big daddy" wants them to do.

    Religious freedom. Bah!

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    June 6, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    @Kirk R Graves

    "I applaud this ruling, and personally uphold the ideal that citizens have a right to have their religious beliefs provide direction to their public views"

    I'm going to save a copy of this quote for when polygamists push legislation to legalize their religious views.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 6, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    So these businesses are allowed to take actions that undermine the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life by denying their employees basic preventative health care. In other words, they are seeking the right to force their employees to comply with THEIR religious beliefsf and practices. That is truly sad.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    June 6, 2014 6:11 a.m.

    People who care about this issue need to use their wallets and checkbooks to help get good candidates elected that will provide legislative leadership to this end.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    June 5, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    "Religious freedom entails more than the right to worship".

    This is the most critical idea we are losing in the battle religious freedom battle today. Too many citizens believe that religious freedom should only be a private right, that religious expression and ideals have no place in public discussion.

    I applaud this ruling, and personally uphold the ideal that citizens have a right to have their religious beliefs provide direction to their public views.