January 17, 2012

I thought there wasn't supposed to be any current controversy over contraception.

That's the approach Mitt Romney took at the January 7th debate when George Stephanopolulos peppered him with questions about Griswold (the old Supreme Court case).

But in fact there is a live controversy. It's not about whether states can ban contraceptives (the issue in Griswold). It's about the Obama administration's rules implementing health insurance requirements:
Should colleges where religious authorities preach against some methods of contraception be required to offer health insurance that covers those contraceptive methods at no cost?...

The rule, which will take effect Aug. 1, exempts religious employers from the requirement to offer health plans that cover contraceptives only if the employers meet specific guidelines. The organization’s purpose must be to inculcate religious values, it must primarily employ and serve people with the same religious beliefs, and it must be considered a nonprofit organization under provisions of the tax code that cover churches and religious orders.

But many religious colleges say the exemption is too narrow: “even Jesus couldn’t live it,” Galligan-Stierle said, because he ministered to people of other faiths.

54 comments:

Dad29 said...

The Administration will retract the rule. Politics, you know.

It's blatantly un-Constitutional.

MadisonMan said...

You mean a Govt regulation is heavy-handed? Who could have predicted that!

I don't see how this rule passes muster. An excellent quote from the linked-to article:

The mandate forces Colorado Christian to fund government-dictated speech that is directly at odds with its own speech and religious teachings,” that university’s complaint reads. “Having to pay a fine to the taxing authorities for the privilege of practicing one’s religion or controlling one’s own speech is un-American, unprecedented, and flagrantly unconstitutional.

It's almost like the people who wrote the law just threw things in, deciding to sort it all out later.

Rick Caird said...

Interesting set of requirement. It seems to indicate a Catholic university would not qualify unless it refused to admit non Catholics. That would trigger other discrimination issues.

My guess is that is exactly the objective of these rules.

John McCrarey said...

Wouldn't this play out similar to what happened when the EEOC tried to impose on hiring at religious schools?

rhhardin said...

The controversy isn't about contraception but about rules.

Church teachings fall into the nutcase exemption and so aren't covered by the meaning of controversy.

Pogo said...

This is taken from the Soviet playbook, and is designed to destroy religion by removing it entirely from society.

Both Hitchens and Dawkins have said that bringing children up in a religion is "child abuse."

All this lays the groundwork for deleting the presence of religion from life. From schools, politics, law, and all.

It worked great in the USSR, so, no worries.

Pogo said...

England has already gone further down this route, forbidding Christian proselytizing, especially among Muslims. Can't say negative things about gays either.

All this will come to us, too.

X said...

If you want me to share your contraception costs, then I vote for chastity belts. If you want cadillac contraception that lets you still fuck, pay for it yourself.

Jane said...

Besides which, this mandate is about contraception because that's politically popular. But there's nothing about the way they've constructed the exemption that's specific to contraception. It could just as easily comprise abortion coverage if the administration thought they could get away with it. The way they argued the antidiscrimination case against the Lutheran school (and got stomped on) -- a huge power grab by King Barack.

kcom said...

What's more disturbing is that all these "rules" appear to just be made up by the administration. Shouldn't Congress be making decisions like that? Why are we ceding so much power to unelected appointees and bureaucrats? Is government really being reduced to the whim of those who we have no control over? We've come a long way, down a dark road, from the days when it was Congress's role to make law and the President's job to execute them.

MayBee said...

The reasoning behind the rule is just embarrassing:

WASHINGTON |
Mon Aug 1, 2011 5:37pm EDT

(Reuters) - U.S. health insurance companies must fully cover women's
birth control and other preventive health care services under Obama
administration rules released on Monday.


The mandate from the Health and
Human Services Department represents a landmark decision in a
decades-long debate on women's health issues that has pitted family
planning groups against conservative organizations.
"Under
the law, we're making it illegal to charge women more just because of
their gender
," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday.

EDH said...

But many religious colleges say the exemption is too narrow: “even Jesus couldn’t live it,” Galligan-Stierle said, because he ministered to people of other faiths.

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for religious employer to obtain an exemption from the Obama administration requirement to offer health plans that cover contraceptives."

edutcher said...

We had to pass it to find out what was in it.

And, yes, this isn't Joe Stalin taking out the priests and shooting them, but making it impossible to adhere to their principles in the face of government regulation will have the same effect.

Pogo said...

This is taken from the Soviet playbook, and is designed to destroy religion by removing it entirely from society.

Both Hitchens and Dawkins have said that bringing children up in a religion is "child abuse."

All this lays the groundwork for deleting the presence of religion from life. From schools, politics, law, and all.

It worked great in the USSR, so, no worries.


Until Adolf knocked on the door, asking for a cup of Lebensraum, and Uncle Joe felt obliged to open up the churches and the mosques.

Wally Kalbacken said...

The first thing I said when I saw the religious exemption language in the bill was "I guess we're all Amish now." There are so many ways to take that crowning achievement of the Obama Administration apart, it's hard to know where to begin. Which is why it is a mistake to give the nomination to Mitt Romney. He has to engage in rather amazing contortions to excuse Romney-Care, and in the end he mutes any possible criticism he can articulate against Obama-care. And that is a huge motivating factor in this race. You don't want to pass it up. Newt does not have this problem.

craig said...

MadisonMan said...

"It's almost like the people who wrote the law just threw things in, deciding to sort it all out later."

Not at all: this is deliberate. Obama and his supporters on the left are acting with malice aforethought.

It is designed to apply pressure on the Catholic Church in particular, and Christians in general, to accept the principle that Caesar's law is superior to God's. Once that principle is established in one area, it can then be applied universally to attack the cultural influence of Western (Christian) thought over law and morality.

That's why conscience exemptions are being attacked: these are the front line of the battle. If the state can make you directly support activities abhorrent to your doctrine, and host them under your roof, it can then use your acquiescence to prosecute resisters as enemies of the state.

(Henry VIII did the exact same thing with the Act of Supremacy, forcing the bishops of England to choose between death and acquiescence to the King's rule over the doctrines of their faith. All but one of them caved.)

Chuck66 said...

I am not quite clear why the Federal gov't is telling me what kind of insurance contract I have to make. Especially bad since it is not done via legislation.

Why is it illegal for me to purchase insurance that doesn't include birth control?

Scott M said...

Newt does not have this problem.

Correct. Newt has plenty others to worry about.

Chuck66 said...

"Under
the law, we're making it illegal to charge women more just because of
their gender," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday.

Wellll Kathleen, the problem is that pregency isn't a disease.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

@ Maybee

""Under the law, we're making it illegal to charge women more just because of their gender," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday."

I don't know. I wouldn't think contraception would cost much one way or the other (added to insurance if you don't use it). But good doublespeak! That's priceless. George Orwell doesn't come along every day.

MayBee said...

Sorry about that link. Here it is, for anybody interested.

PatCA said...

"Christian and Catholic colleges and universities accept federal money in the form of loans and grants, and should have to play by the government’s rules, Lynn said."

This is exactly the reasoning behind our diversity officer's "request" in 2010 that we fill out a survey on our race for the feds. I refused, as did many others.

Isn't it ironic that two-bit agitator Barry Lynn, this hero of freedom, has thrown in with the worst thugs in our government?

AJ Lynch said...

It is not solely religious colleges. The law applies to all insurance policies. And I continue to wonder why librul pols like Prez Obama love abortion so much?

Rusty said...

"Under
the law, we're making it illegal to charge women more just because of
their gender," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Monday.




It's nice to know that Kathleen is buying the condoms in her relationship. The scary part is somebody is hittin dat ting.

Bender said...

But in fact there is a live controversy. It's not about whether states can ban contraceptives (the issue in Griswold). It's about the Obama administration's rules implementing health insurance requirements

Yes, and it was NEWT who raised those very issues about attempts to coerce and force the Church to pay for contraceptives.

But whether you are speaking of the Church or not, why the hell should I, as a taxpayer, have to subsidize your sex life?

Buy your own damn condoms and pills if you want to go have sex.

sydney said...

Why are we ceding so much power to unelected appointees and bureaucrats? Is government really being reduced to the whim of those who we have no control over?

Yes, and have been since the days of George H.W. Bush. It has accelerated dramatically in the past three years, however. When I look at all of the petty rules and tyrannies that apply to my profession alone, it makes me want to weep. I can only imagine what other fields are experiencing.

crosspatch said...

Whether or not states can ban contraceptives is not an issue for a national office like President. That is a state issue that needs to be decided there with the federal government keeping its nose out of it except maybe in the judicial branch.

Bender said...

Besides, contraception has absolutely NOTHING to do with healthcare.

The fertility of a woman or man, and pregnancy of a woman, are not diseases. A woman with properly functioning ovaries and uterus is not sick.

The Pill, IUDs, etc. do not treat an illness. Rather, they are intended to CAUSE a form of illness, they are intended to make healthy organs into dysfunctional organs.

This is not the province of healthcare.

MayBee said...

It's nice to know that Kathleen is buying the condoms in her relationship.

Yeah, that's the public health problem with this policy. It encourages birth control pills and morning after pills, and discourages HIV and STD- preventing condoms.

David said...

But Obama is going to church more, right? Man of Faith, he is.

MayBee said...

It does point out how absurdly out of touch the moderator was, to ask Romney about states banning contraception. We are 180 degrees from that, but never mind.

I'm sure we can all anticipate any rollback of this rule would be called anti-women and a return to back ally abortions. It would be equated to just such a ban.

n.n said...

This is only incidentally about religion. The power play is about one cooperative's attempt to marginalize and even eviscerate its competing interests as they pursue consolidation of capital and power. Christianity and its practices are targeted because it is a unifying force for the majority of Americans. They hope by sabotaging the practice and legitimacy of these people's faith, that it will divide and diminish the challenge that any group of like-minded individuals poses to an authoritarian minority.

Pogo:

The Soviets promoted atheism for one reason and that was because by its nature the people who claim that label follow a highly inconsistent set of principles and are not united by common faith. The communists desired to construct a society that served their purposes, and the preservation of individual dignity promoted by Christianity was an obstacle for the totalitarian control they needed to exert in order to realize their dreams. Their philosophy required people to cede control and defer judgment to their leaders.

Nothing original or unexpected. Just people exploiting the leverage of authority to realize self-gratification.

Scott M said...

Just people exploiting the leverage of authority to realize self-gratification.

If for no other reason Obamacare should be repealed to save the health of the American people. Too much leveraging of authority can make you go blind.

n.n said...

Bender:

That is an excellent observation. As people pursue self-gratification as a priority, they are attempting to redefine natural and functional to justify their base desires. It is, of course, a choice; but, as it is contrary to the natural order, and the side-effects have been observed in the progress of STDs, reproductive problems, etc., there is no legitimate reason to normalize this behavior. In fact, there is cause to constrain it. The best and most sustainable way to do this is through the promotion of principles and behavior that are compatible with both the natural order and preservation of individual dignity.

n.n said...

Scott M:

That's an old wives' tale told to dissuade wannabe masochists.

Bryan C said...

"What's more disturbing is that all these "rules" appear to just be made up by the administration. Shouldn't Congress be making decisions like that?"

Yes, they should. But actually reading and writing coherent legislation is hard work, and Congress has no interest in that. That's why we have all these ridiculous Executive branch pseudo-legislatures.

Besides, if you get too specific, someone in the government might stumble across an aspect of life they don't have the authority to control, and that would be just terrible.

Brennan said...

"The best and most sustainable way to do this is through the promotion of principles and behavior that are compatible with both the natural order and preservation of individual dignity."

I can't raise any money for public office with that approach.

- The Democratic Party Phone Bank

Rusty said...

Ain't no law says you gotta screw.

Brennan said...

The fertility of a woman or man, and pregnancy of a woman, are not diseases. A woman with properly functioning ovaries and uterus is not sick.

I don't understand why insurance would ever finance the disruption of an otherwise perfectly performing part of the human body.

It works, yet here insurance will cover the costs to make it not work because that is what the patient wants. Well, say I want 20s on my rides? Gieco won't sell me a policy for the preferred stagecoach addons. Progressive won't sell me one either.

However, Peter Lewis, found of Progressive, will send millions to pressure groups to force health insurers to offer a policy he won't sell, ever.

write_effort said...

In any church I've ever attended there is always acknowledgement of the difficulty of acting as a Christian in an often amoral, even evil, society. So, in this case, how hard is it to preach that while government regulations require health insurance plans -- created and provided by a third party -- that include coverage of contraception, to be faithful to one's religious beliefs DON'T USE IT.

MayBee said...

created and provided by a third party

Who is this third party *providing* the insurance policy?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Write Effort:

Is it really necessary to explain that the problem is that the government is mandating the folks in the pews pay for something they, or least their church, deems immoral?

"Don't use it" is your advice? They've already cooperated, against their will, with their own money.

On that principle, the government can mandate you pay for anything that violates your conscience--without having to show any compelling need for the government to do that--because your out is "don't use it."

Let's apply this:

> The government uses tax dollars to distribute pornography. Your remedy: "don't use it."

> The government uses tax dollars to build churches and mosques, and to pay clergy. Your remedy: "don't use it."

> The government uses tax dollars to bribe people to do things the government wants (yes, I know they do this already, but I mean blatantly). Your remedy: "don't use it."

MayBee said...

Fr Martin Fox.

Good examples, but it's even worse than that.

> The government uses tax dollars to distribute pornography. Your remedy: "don't use it."


The government mandates you buy yourself pornography. It is illegal not to buy this pornography. Write Effort's remedy: "don't use it".

craig said...

write_effort said...

"...how hard is it to preach that while government regulations require health insurance plans -- created and provided by a third party -- that include coverage of contraception, to be faithful to one's religious beliefs DON'T USE IT."

By definition, resistance is always harder than non-resistance. History books are not filled with paeans to the courage of those who go along to get along. If the power to tax is the power to destroy, then the power to compel individuals to buy morally objectionable things is the power to lay siege to the conscience.

I wonder how the left would react to a proposal to require all insurance plans to fund reparative therapy to induce homosexuals to go straight. Would 'don't use it' be a sufficient reply against complaints that it was unwanted?

Dad29 said...

@ kcom:

Shouldn't Congress be making decisions like that?

Congress ALWAYS avoids making the 'hard decisions,' and tosses them to agencies.

How d'ya think they get re-elected?

MadisonMan said...

Congress ALWAYS avoids making the 'hard decisions,' and tosses them to agencies.

And guess who works in agencies? Congressional friends, castoffs and political friends.

Scott M said...

And guess who works in agencies? Congressional friends, castoffs and political friends.

You forgot Iluminati and Buildiberger operatives. Although, to be fair, there appear to be plenty of them in actual congressional seats as well.

Revenant said...

Should colleges where religious authorities preach against some methods of contraception be required to offer health insurance that covers those contraceptive methods at no cost?

That's an easy one: no.

There shouldn't be any restrictions on health insurance options at all, in fact.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

He has to engage in rather amazing contortions to excuse Romney-Care, and in the end he mutes any possible criticism he can articulate against Obama-care.

It doesn't mute the federalist objection to ObamaCare.

Class factotum said...

Buy your own damn condoms and pills if you want to go have sex.

That's fine, as long as you have to buy your own viagra, as well. My former employer covered viagra but not BCP. It was clear that a bunch of middle-aged men who couldn't get it up were making the benefits decisions.

Jay said...

Class factotum said...
ve to buy your own viagra, as well. My former employer covered viagra but not BCP. It was clear that a bunch of middle-aged men who couldn't get it up were making the benefits decision


Or, middle aged females who's husbands needed viagara.

Duh.

Bender said...

That's fine, as long as you have to buy your own viagra, as well.
___________________

I don't use viagra.

But anyone who does can buy it themselves.

The left keeps saying they want the government kept out of the bedroom? By all means.

If you can pay for your own dinner and your own movie and your own drinks after, all of which commonly facilitate sex, then you can pay for sex pills and devices and fake boobs and penis pumps yourself.

Quit expecting other people to subsidize your sex life.

George Grady said...

One difference between Viagra and birth control pills:

Viagra is to make something work as intended; BCPs are to make something not work as intended. That is, Viagra actually treats a bona fide medical condition. BCPs create a medical condition.

Bender said...

Viagra is to make something work as intended
__________________

I defy anyone to name ONE case where a guy took Viagra so that he could get a woman pregnant (which is what the biological intended work-purpose for that "something" is).

If all that it is used for is so that some guy can get it up and keep it up so that he can instead have a bit of fun and pleasure, then he can pay for it himself.