Hannah C. Smith: Beyond Hobby Lobby, the government's war on nuns rages

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  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    July 8, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    It is fascinating how the "progressives" on these boards who love to talk of tolerance and choice - are so intolerant of anyone else's choice.

    Forcing nuns (or anyone else against their faith) to pay for your free stuff makes you the perpetrator - not the victim.

    If you don't want a third party in charge of your contraceptive choices - don't force a third party to provide your contraceptive choices.

    Apparently there a left wing war on rational thought.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 4, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    "Let the government pay for its own mandate."

    But who finances this government? Whose money is being used to finance Obamacare? Not religious institutions. They inexplicably get to feed from the trough without helping to pay for it. But their individual parishioners have to pay taxes.

    So aren't these religious institutions basically saying, "Let our people bear the sin and the burden of paying for it."

    Believers are being told that their principles are being fought for, but it doesn't look this way to me. Individual church members are not accruing the benefits of these exemptions. Their religious institutions are not fighting to exempt them from paying for what they see also see as sinful. No, these institutions are fighting to push the burden of the sin onto them and to pay a little more to do so.

    And don't forget to tithe.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    July 3, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    How dare these religious people actually expect to follow their beliefs! Where do they get the idea that freedom of religion actually means they can have the freedom to worship God in all aspects of their lives? Don't they know that only the government, run by progressives, of course, is the final arbiter of what is religious belief and what is not? They only have the right to speak inside their chapel (not on gay marriage, of course--that's homophobic hate speech! )--but the rest of their lives, as long as they talk to or associate with anyone else, is meant to be under governmental diktat.

    Any form of economic activity is run by the government! And, as we all know, once you do anything in business, you give up your rights to speech, religion, search, seizure, assembly, and everything else. After all, corporations are evil, and should be crushed and their property seized, like Marx wanted. And if you disagree, you disagree with Obama and are therefore a racist and probably a homophobic sexist monster who, if the world were just, would be put down without trial. Right, Progressives?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 3, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    The nuns are being silly. All they have to do is sign a waiver. Case closed.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    July 3, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    There is no war. What there is are religious institutions that want to operate under their own set of rules regardless of the interests of others, including the individual interests of their members. The writer of this piece is a paid partisan. No doubt she is sincere. But as a protege of Justice Alito, who has recently been identified as the most partisan justice on the Court, I would expect nothing different from Smith. This is advocacy, just as Alito's decisions are advocacy pieces. In my decades in the law, and as a student of legal history, I have never seen such an overtly political court as this one. We are not well served by this court.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 3, 2014 6:46 a.m.

    The words "war on religion" started with the attempt to become victims by the religiously fundamental.

    There is no war on religion here. There is a substantive debate over the scope of religion. Does ones' religious beliefs allow that person to discriminate, or limit another's life and practices? It goes to the heart of the debate, and the religiously fundamental can not honestly answer that question as they should.

    The religiously fundamental do not want to countenance in the country in any form any law, practice or belief that does not conform with theirs. No one ever has said you must have an abortion. No one has ever said you must get "gay married". And so on. Rather, by law we allow those who do wish to terminate a pregnancy or enter into a same sex marriage if their conscience and their faith so permit. In my opinion, it is their right to do so, and your religious sensibilities do not trump that right.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    The drugs in question do not cause abortion. They merely keep pregnancy from starting, thereby avoiding the need to terminate a pregnancy once it has starte. The only abortion-producing drug is RU-486, which requires a doctor's prescription and is not included in the requirement to provide insurance covering contraceptives.

    This is not a "war on nuns." In fact, the nuns (and other religious orgnizations) can easily avoid the requirement to provide contraception for their employees -- all they have to do is sign a statement saying that contraceptions are against their religion, and they escape the requirement to provide them.

    And, in case anyone thinks the Little Sisters of the Poor is a little group of nuns being preyed on the the government -- they're not. This is a multi-state and international business operation employing both are Catholics and non-Catholics. A Google search discloses that just one of their establishments netted over $2 million profit in 2013 alone. They're mis-representing themselves to try to get public sympathy.

    This is a case of religious tyranny, with an organization trying to impose its religious practices on its workers. That should not be allowed.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 2, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    "Religious freedom" seems to demand the superiority of religious law over civil law at least some of the time. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. What are we (or Canada for example) going to do when Muslims demand some degree of Sharia law?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    Hey JazzSmack -

    "Funny how the left thinks if they bury their collective head in sand or just live in denial, that the war on religion does not exist."

    Apparently this horrible "war on religion" has existed ever since Thomas Jefferson declared a "wall of separation" between government and religion (A wall that our silly and injudicious Supreme Court just dismantled).

    In fact, the government's "war on religion" started even before that when this nation's founders signed the Constitution in acknowledgement that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . . ." (powerful words of wisdom neutered just yesterday by our inept "Conservative" Supreme Court).

    Actually, the government's horrible "war on religion" has its basis even further back than that when the Puritans came to this continent and thereby evaded the forces of the Church of England, the preeminent religion and law of the land back then.

    Of course, this government's "war on religion" hasn't always been called that.

    In the old days before the wise Rush Limbaugh and the advent of true "Conservative" revisionist history, " the government's war on religion" was called "The Separation of Church and State."

  • Jazzsmack Holladay, UT
    July 2, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    Funny how the left thinks if they bury their collective head in sand or just live in denial, that the war on religion does not exist.

    But everyday this comment board is filled with their comments hating on religion the religions and advocating for deprivation the freedom and liberties of the religions and religions, for the their exclusion from the public square.

    So which is the truth?

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 2, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    The Supreme Court offered Hobby Lobby the same accommodation these non-profits are getting and which they are complaining about - if you don't want to provided the coverage, have the government provide it.

    The non-profits in question don't like that answer because they feel that no matter who provides it, or how it is obtained, it is still something they don't think should be in use. (And, unlike Hobby Lobby, they don't just object to some forms of birth control, but all forms of birth control.)

    What is really interesting is that, just like Hobby Lobby, most of these places had no problem having the products they currently object to covered initially, but once they were told the Affordable Care Act required it, they decided they didn't want to provide it anymore. (This is known as oppositional defiance.)

    It seems like more and more often religious (particularly Christian) individuals and institutions think they deserve special rights and shouldn't have to follow the same laws everyone else does. And then they wonder why people have such a negative view of them.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 2, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    Religion in the United States is so accustomed to the high degree of freedom it enjoys here that it has too little appreciation for its scope. Immigrants from certain other countries know that all too well but too many native born citizens do not. The more religion is pampered and coddled, the more it can behave like a petulant child that throws tantrums when it doesn’t get its way, even at the expense of the larger society.

    Sometimes we need to be firm but fair with religion. Be harsh and severe when need be and don’t give in to its every demand. Religious people have the same rights as non-religious but are not entitled to special or privileged status. Religious liberty implies no right for religion to be a public nuisance.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 2, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    The media and politicans love these wars. The war on religon, the war on women, etc., etc. Just another chance to fire up and solicit an uninformed base.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 2, 2014 2:34 p.m.

    Patriot -

    "Any victory over the enemy is noteworthy!!"

    Who is the enemy "Patriot?"

    People associated with Government?

    Cops in Las Vegas?

    Children at a public school?

    Please be more specific.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 2, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    Any victory over the enemy is noteworthy!!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 2, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    Don't let success stand in the way of continuing to claim religious persecution.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 2, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    Another war huh?