January 2, 2014

"The government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people... It doesn’t need to force nuns to participate."

"In their Supreme Court brief, the nuns said they faced ruinous fines if they failed to comply. They calculated that they would have to pay 'an annual fine of approximately $2.5 million — for an organization that cares for 69 elderly poor people and operates with an annual budget of approximately $6 million.'"

What they must do to avoid the fine is only to sign a certification allowing insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage, but they are burdened by that intrusion on their religious principles.

102 comments:

RecChief said...

"What they must do to avoid the fine is only to sign a certification allowing insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage,"

They are burdened by a government forcing attempting to coerce them into renouncing their religious beliefs. FIFY

Michael K said...

This is Obama sticking a thumb in the eye of religion; at least of Christianity. Nobody in his crowd mentions Islam. Terrorism pays dividends when dealing with progressives.

MayBee said...

It's a stupid mandate as it is.

Birkel said...

The nuns are likely correct. The government does not "need" to burden the religion of the nuns.

However the government most certainly does "want" to burden the religion of the nuns.

Government wishes to have no false idols before it. Government is a jealous god. The nuns must render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. And Caesar demands complete fealty.

Annie said...

Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?

RecChief said...

"Here, just sign this document renouncing your government, and we will let you rejoin your family"

"Here, just make this videtape enumerating your government's war crimes, and we will let you go,"

"It's just a little bite of the apple"

RecChief said...

Annie said...
Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?


Cause Sandra Fluke said so..

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why Ann, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but to avoid $2.5 million in fines?

Henry said...

From the article:

But in a dissent, Judge David S. Tatel wrote that the certification requirement aided rather than hindered religious liberty.

“Simply put,” he wrote, “far from imposing a ‘substantial burden’ on appellants’ religious freedom, the challenged provision allows appellants to avoid having to do something that would substantially burden their religious freedom.”


In this utilitarian construct, freedom of conscience doesn't involve conscience. Judge Tatel could just have written, "Hey ladies, it's not like we're making you perform the abortions yourselves. Enough with your silly quibbles."

mccullough said...

Obamacare is a dumb law but I don't see how this is a substantial burden on their religious freedom to sign a form certifying the company provides insurance. From an economic standpoint, the overall price of health insurance is obviously affected by these 'free" contraceptive sidekick policies, but it's so attenuated.

The Catholic Church was a big supporter of Obamacare. Now it's time to render unto Caesar.

mccullough said...

Also, Liptak should inform his readers that while Obamacare distinguishes between for profit, not for profit religious, and not for profit religiously affiliated, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act doesn't make any of these distinctions. The DOJ's position is a legal argument with no basis in RFRA.

Brando said...

Not just heavy handed, but pointlessly stupid. Let's suppose you believe that (a) birth control is a good thing, and everyone in America should have access to it; and (b) besides having access to it, everyone should have it subsidized because its expense is one factor keeping many people from getting and using birth control; and (c) government should act to rectify this.

So you can do something simple, like offer a federal subsidy to reimburse people for the cost of their birth control, or offer birth control free through public clinics, or offer a payout to health insurers to defray the cost of offering cheap or free birth control.

Or, you could go ahead and pass a law that requires private companies to provide birth control to their employees, never mind that many companies may have religious objections to doing so, and there's still that pesky First Amendment that should have been written more clearly to allow burning of American flags and occupying Wall Street, not letting certain unreasonable Christians get in the way of the great social project of our time.

I realize we're not going to get a break from the progressivism, but could we at least get a break from the stupidity???

Real American said...

for the left, there's no idea so great that it should not be imposed by force. In other words, if we left to our own devices, we wouldn't do what it their way voluntarily.

Remember, the left likes walls that keep people in, not that keep people out. This mandate is just another wall that keeps people in.

mccullough said...

The interesting legal issue is whether the nuns or the government get to decide if this is a substantial burden on their religion. There's a good argument that the religious objectors should get to decide what is or isn't a substantial burden. Else wise it's the government deciding what your religion requires.

Archie said...

Obama and his demonic horde will not be satisfied until everyone bends the knee.

mccullough said...

Real American, the Right is pretty statist as well. Compassionate Conservativism is coercive.

Foobarista said...

The bureaucracy is not to be questioned, only obeyed.

Foobarista said...

The bureaucracy is not to be questioned, only obeyed.

Alexander said...

As John Lennon is an Althouse Topic today, I for one would like to see a remix:

"Contraceptives to the People!"

TMink said...

It takes $87,000 a year to take care of 69 elderly patients? Figure that out.

Trey

TMink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lgv said...

Ask Bart Stupak if it's OK. He led the Catholic wing of the Democratic party against Obamacare's mandatory coverage provisions. He caved. He's gone now.

Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?

Because they decided it is cheaper than paying for babies.

It all goes back to the government intervention in the healthcare market,mandatory purchace and coverage requirements.

It's like the "death panel" issue. There is always a death panel. The only difference is who is on the panel. If you are paying 100% of your healthcare, then you are the only member of the panel.

MadisonMan said...

It takes $87,000 a year to take care of 69 elderly patients?

How many nurses would you need for that? Then there's meds, heat, food, administrators.

It certainly wouldn't take as much, of course, for Obamacare to "take care" of 69 elderly patients, if you know what I mean.

PB Reader said...

We've got lots of government and law that needs to be eliminated. Let's start by not allowing lawyers to be elected to public office.

Wayworn Wanderer said...

They will cave in if they lose in court.

Michael K said...

"Blogger mccullough said...
Real American, the Right is pretty statist as well. Compassionate Conservativism is coercive."

I don't know about "compassionate" but would you explain why conservatism is coercive ? Try to avoid leftist cliches that aren't true, please.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Congress could have avoided this whole problem by excepting the ACA from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Even if the nuns were required to provide contraceptive coverage directly, they wouldn't have a claim under the Constitution's Free Exercise Clause. And the author of the opinion that says that is Scalia.

Original Mike said...

"What they must do to avoid the fine is only to sign a certification allowing insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage"

You left off "for free" (allowing insurance companies to provide contraceptive coverage "for free").

"but they are burdened by that intrusion on their religious principles"

As well they should be. They consider contraception tantamount to murder.

John Cunningham said...

The essence of Leftism is coercion, forcing people to act against their beliefs. this tends to crush the beliefs and the hearts of the coerced. similarly, the Japanese shoguns in the early 1600s used to require villagers suspected of being Christian converts to step on a brass image of the Virgin Mary. this either showed they were not actually Christian, or it forced them to violate their beliefs. kind of like lining up the UW faculty and forcing them to piss on a statue of ML King.

Gahrie said...

Congress could have avoided this whole problem by not passing the ACA on a straight party-line vote and using legislative trickery

FTFY

mccullough said...

Michael K, if by conservatism you mean Calvin Coolidge, I agree.

By the Right, I mean the GOP in Congress and W. When the GOP for the first time had the Presidency and both houses of Congress, we got NCLB, Medicare Part D, expansion of federal government funding to social welfare groups, etc. We also got the federal government involved in abortion legislation with the partial birth abortion law, passed under the commerce clause.

I'm for limited federal government. The Left and the Right are not. The GOP and W overreach also gave us Obama and the ACA, etc.

n.n said...

Christians celebrate life and temperate behavior. Obamacare's diverse motives are antithetical to their morality.

It's amusing that Fluke could not depend on her "boyfriend" to share the expense of their mutual pleasure. Obamacare recognizes their immaturity and hopes to encourage their life-long juvenile behavior.

Chris Lopes said...

Congress could have avoided a great many problems with this law if they'd actually taken the time to really work it out. Unfortunately, they were in too much of a hurry to produce the big f'n deal, so the bone crushing details got swept aside. Ah well, none of them will get hurt by it, so it really doesn't matter.

BarrySanders20 said...


Have you ever tried to force a nun to do something against her principles?

She'll have nun of that. More stubborn than a law professor, those nuns.

Obama loses this fight. He brought a linsky to a nun fight.

Tank said...

"The Government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people..."

Everything about that sentence is amazing to me.

Not in a good way.

gregq said...

What they must do is give up their beliefs and conform to the beliefs of the religious zealots at the Obama Administration.

FIFY.

gregq said...

lgv said...
Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?

Because they decided it is cheaper than paying for babies.

BS. It's the "gov't's job" because it gives leftists a chance to bully the rest of us, nothing more.

Think differently: show the study the proves that the gov't forcing health insurance to include contraceptive coverage for Plan B and other abortificants cuts the number of unwanted pregnancies. You want to act, the burden of proof is on you.

SeanF said...

Original Mike: "but they are burdened by that intrusion on their religious principles"

As well they should be. They consider contraception tantamount to murder.

No. They consider abortion to be tantamount to murder (actually, they consider abortion to be murder). Contraception violates Church teaching on the matter of sex, not of life.

MayBee said...

Congress didn't exclude it because that would have raised red flags among more conservative Democrats. .
Congress didn't write the birth control mandate though, either. Perhaps they never imagined the administration would be so egregious in their pandering when writing the regulations.

Misinforminimalism said...

Even if the nuns were required to provide contraceptive coverage directly, they wouldn't have a claim under the Constitution's Free Exercise Clause. And the author of the opinion that says that is Scalia.

I presume you're referring to his dissent in City of Boerne. I'd disagree that his discussion in case is apposite. The mandate at issue doesn't have much at all in common with the neutral, generally applicable provisions such as a public safety law or a zoning ordinance that Scalia addressed. I'm not even certain that it's a law of "general application," given that it's only a finite group that is obliged to account for others' contraceptive needs (though I'm sure there's law on that issue about which I'm unaware). By citing to Scalia, you're putting the rabbit in the hat by presupposing that the mandate is neutral. On that, I think there's some explaining that needs doing before your one liner can close the deal.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Sean F-- The Pill can keep an embryo from implanting, so Catholics consider it an abortofacent-- that it, if can cause an abortion.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?

Because they decided it is cheaper than paying for babies."

I've heard this argument many times, but it makes no more sense now than the first time I heard it. Do you believe that people will simply have babies because they don't want to pay for birth control? Did you have children because you didn't want to pay for birth control?

Birth control is widely and cheaply available. Obamacare won't change that. If people are careless or stupid, a new law ain't gonna change that one little bit either.

MayBee said...

The administration decided contraception should be a mandated coverage (for free) because Emily's list and groups like it are big fundraisers for Democrats. Plus it gave Obama something to run for reelection on since he had precious little else.

Renee said...

"Government has lots a ways to deliver contraceptives to the people"

This is really awkward.

Contraception was suppose to empowering as a woman and about her privacy, it was up to the women to protect herself and to utilize contraception for mutual decision making.



Even though I disagree with contraception, contraception had the potential and means to bring discussion and mutual negotiation between a women and sexual partner. Now we have moms make an appointment for their teenager daughter to have an IUD inserted, so mom doesn't have to worry.


Whatever happen to if he doesn't wear a condom, then NO!

Basil said...

Why not just create a Department of Contraceptives to provide free contraceptives and nominate Sandra Fluke to be the Secretary? Could have Amazon deliver via drone if there is a last minute emergency. Problem solved.

Damon said...

Why does it feel so strange when one comes across someone who lives a life based on conviction, and not expedience. Thinking that the norm used to look the opposite not all that long ago.

SeanF said...

Deirdre Mundy: Sean F-- The Pill can keep an embryo from implanting, so Catholics consider it an abortofacent-- that it, if can cause an abortion.

Sin occurs in the mind, the intention. If a woman takes the pill with the intention of preventing implantation of an conceived zygote, then it would be abortion. But no women do that. They take the pill (and use birth control in general) with the intention of preventing conception, and that intention violates Church teaching on sexuality.

That's why the nuns, in this case, object to providing birth control in general and not just those that are potentially abortifacients.

Mary Martha said...

"The Catholic Church was a big supporter of Obamacare."

Parts of the catholic church supported Obamacare.

I think that somebody looked up and realized having a Supreme Court Case called 'Little Sisters of the Poor vs the United States of America' will not make for good PR during an election year.

Birkel said...

SeanF wrote "Sin occurs in the mind..."

This displays a misunderstanding of sin of, ironically, biblical proportions.

cubanbob said...

"The Government has lots of ways to deliver contraceptives to people..."

If this is considered a public good then it ought to be paid by the public as a whole instead of burdening private parties. If this is so important then the Democrats ought to propose and pass an additional excise tax on everything that is already subject to a federal excise tax to give Sandra Fluke the free birth control she needs since the guys that bang her don't think she's worth buying birth control for her.

Bob Ellison said...

"Why is it the government's job to provide/deliver contraceptives?"

Because humans are bad. Conservatives are more likely to have more babies than average, too, and that's bad. Latinos tend to have lots of babies, but that's OK, because we can lock in their votes. Ditto with inner-city folks of all colors. And then we get more power.

Government-provided contraceptives seem at odds with AFDC.

Larry J said...

Of all the medications available in the US, why is it only contraceptives that must be provided without any co-pay, for "free?" The only answer is political pandering to women, especially single women.

Those nuns serving elderly patients would not be using any of the contraceptives but forced to pay for them anyway as part of their premiums. Everyone who pays health insurance premiums is being forced to subsidize contraceptives so women can get them for "free."

Renee said...

Larry J,

And single men. They get it for free as well. No excuse to wear a condom, when the Pill and the IUD are free.

Classes taught by a trained medical professional to learn Natural Family Planning were NOT covered by the ACA though, even though these classes to prevent pregnancy. NFP classes have their own medical code for billing to insurance companies, but insurance companies are not required to cover this option. They are only required to cover artificial means of contraception.

Strelnikov said...

Sure, let's start with that minor inconvenience. I'm sure that neither HHS nor any other agency will never go beyond that and, what the hell, we can address it then.

By the way, first they came for the nuns, etc.

SeanF said...

Birkel: SeanF wrote "Sin occurs in the mind..."

This displays a misunderstanding of sin of, ironically, biblical proportions.


Perhaps my wording was over-simplified. My point was that you cannot sin accidentally (nor can you be forced to sin). An act is only sinful if you you freely choose to act, with understanding that the act is wrong.

And I am, of course, speaking from the perspective of Catholicism, as that is the only perspective relevant to the specific case under discussion.

Strelnikov said...

Stupid comments, with rejoinders:

(1) "Why Ann, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but to avoid $2.5 million in fines?"

Actual verse, "For what profiteth a a man that he gain the world but lose his soul?" Your misquoting makes it sounds like you think the nuns are doing this just to avoid a large fine. Bullshit.

(2) "The Catholic Church was a big supporter of Obamacare." Bullshit. Cite something showing the "Church" was a supporter, not individual members of groups.

(3) "Compassionate Conservativism is coercive." Again with the uncitable bullshit. You're inane opinion doesn't count as fact.

Renee said...

Catholics are not against the concept of affordable healthcare. I can't remember any concerns against Romneycare in Massachusetts by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Birches said...

Classes taught by a trained medical professional to learn Natural Family Planning were NOT covered by the ACA though, even though these classes to prevent pregnancy. NFP classes have their own medical code for billing to insurance companies, but insurance companies are not required to cover this option. They are only required to cover artificial means of contraception.

This is where my mind has a hard time reconciling progressives and birth control. Most of these same people rail against GMOs and antibiotics in chicken, but think the pill is ok? So weird. Most of the women I know tried to get off of hormonal birth control as fast as they could.

Larry J said...

Renee said...
Larry J,

And single men. They get it for free as well. No excuse to wear a condom, when the Pill and the IUD are free.


First, condoms provide some measure of protection against STDs. The pill and IUD doesn't. Second, are single men able to go to any store and get condoms for free or are free contraceptives only for women?

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

@ Larry J

But would he, if he knows she has an IUD or is taking the Pill?

@ Birches

@ Birches

Back in 2000, when I started to get off contraception it was determined that the cost of contraception/sterilization could cost 10 thousand dollars during a woman's lifetime.

Monitoring you cervical mucus (I know TMI) is relatively cheap, after you know how to chart.

Birkel said...

SeanF wrote "An act is only sinful if you you (sic) freely choose to act, with understanding that the act is wrong."

Once again a SeanF statement makes mash of religion and sin.

If SeanF cannot understand how wrong the above statement is all one could do (if religious) is pray for his eternal soul.

Larry J said...

Renee said...
@ Larry J

But would he, if he knows she has an IUD or is taking the Pill?


I'm sure he'd prefer to go bareback unless he has reason to worry about STDs or if he thinks she may be lying about being on birth control. Some women do that, don't you know? Get knocked up and qualify not only for child support for 18+ years but a lot of government benefits worth many thousand dollars every year.

Back in 2000, when I started to get off contraception it was determined that the cost of contraception/sterilization could cost 10 thousand dollars during a woman's lifetime.

Contraceptives vary in cost, of course, but generics are available for a few dollars a month. My wife has co-pays of over $100 a month for medications that help keep her alive. Sorry, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for the idea that birth control pills must be "free."

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

I remember reading somewhere that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

But how about just *taxing* the exercise of one's religion?

TMink said...

But infirm, elderly patients qualify for Medicare, do they not? So again, why $87,000 a patient?

Trey

EMD said...

Ditto with inner-city folks of all colors.

Last I checked, the statistics indicate they are on the leading-edge in aborting theirs.

SeanF said...

Birkel, it would certainly be helpful if you were to actually state what, specifically, you think is the disagreement between Catholic teaching and what I said.

But, I presume, if you could do that, you would have already.

Larry J said...

TMink said...
But infirm, elderly patients qualify for Medicare, do they not? So again, why $87,000 a patient?


I honestly don't know the answer to your question or to these questions. I'm just asking you to consider some things.

1. Does that entire $6 million annual budget go completely for caring for those 87 elderly patients or are other expenses (e.g. fundraising) included?

2. What kind of care do they provide to those elderly people? Housing? Food? Medical care? Transportation? Not everything is covered by Medicare/Medicaid and they don't cover 100% of medical expenses.

Like I said, I don't know the answers to these questions. Without knowing the answers to these basic questions (and probably others), it isn't possible to know if that amount is accurate or reasonable.

mccullough said...

Misinformation,

Scalia wrote the opinion in Smith v. Oregon Department of whatever in 1990.

It says that the free exercise clause does not require any exemptions from generally applicable laws for religiously motivated conduct or religious motivated refusal to engage in conduct. So a law that says that all employers who provide health insurance to employees, which is conduct, must offer birth control does not infringe on any free exercise right of a religious employer who doesn't believe in birth control. Providing insurance is conduct, not a proclamation of faith, and even if there is some expressive component to not providing health insurance with birth control it is still conduct.

Also, Scalia was in the majority in Boerne.

Lydia said...

About that $6 million budget -- here's a description of the Little Sisters home on its website:

"Mullen Home for the Aged sits on ten, beautifully manicured acres in the historic district of the Highlands just north of downtown Denver. For over 90 years, the Little Sisters of the Poor have maintained Mullen Home as a highly regarded and caring full-service facility for Denver’s elderly poor."

"The Little Sisters of the Poor live in the home and are available to the Residents twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. A staff of professional men and women and over 60 volunteers support the Little Sisters’ attentive care and selfless mission."

Here's a description of their services:

Mullen Home provides a continuum of care:
•17 apartments for independent living
•5 assisted living units
•42 intermediate nursing care rooms

Features that make a difference:
•Private rooms for each Resident
•Full-service dining facilities
•Daily activities and pleasure outings
•Indoor and outdoor gardening
•Library
•Gift shop
•Coffee shop
•Chapel for religious services – all religions welcome

Comprehensive and quality care:
•Occupational and physical therapy
•Social services and rehabilitation
•Dietary services and prescribed therapeutic diets
•Medical, dental, and eye care on site
•On-going assessments of Residents’ needs

Lydia said...

Meant to add that that all sounds like first-class care, and that even with a $6 million annual budget, they still need a lot of volunteers to provide it.

Renee said...

I have a relative that is 'private pay', his family pays way more then what medicare pays out.

He lives in a Catholic residential setting, much like the nuns place. The great majority are poor.

My grandmother lives in the independent section of the same place, she is considered poor based on her complete lack of assets.

Lots and lots of fundraising.

Lots!

Renee said...

I hope no one is saying that elderly poor can't have decent landscaping.

Lydia said...

I certainly didn't mean to imply the elderly poor shouldn't get first-class care. I think it's a beautiful thing that the home gives them all it can, and especially that the surroundings are so nice.

alan markus said...

In Wisconsin the average daily cost of nursing care is $238/day, which computes to $86,870 per year. Note that is average cost - some are higher, some are lower.

Wisconsin Nursing Homes

Medicare typically does not pay for nursing home care, except for a limited number of days after a hospitalization and if continued therapy is needed.

alan markus said...

Medicaid is a "means tested" program that does pay for nursing home care. It does not pay the going rate, so medicaid residents have to subsidized by private pay & fund raising.

Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, Inc.

In 2009:

Wisconsin nursing facilities on average lose $37.71* per day for each Medicaid resident they
serve. For the average Wisconsin nursing home, that results in an annual loss of $781,900* to
provide care to its Medicaid residents.

mccullough said...

Medicaid doesn't pay for independent living. This sounds like a nice place. I wonder if the nuns get Medicaid payments for the nursing care part.

Harold said...

"First, condoms provide some measure of protection against STDs. The pill and IUD doesn't. Second, are single men able to go to any store and get condoms for free or are free contraceptives only for women?"

If they're military aboard ship, they can get them from medical. Visiting foreign ports, a container is oftimes very visibly located on the quarterdeck, along with a sign to take one- or more. Use of them is highly encouraged.

Just a quick story to laugh at. Late '70's to mid 80's a San Diego tender made a quick trip to a rarely visited Mexican port, and the crew was warned about the high STD rate among working women there. One married guy didn't take his free condom. After returning to home, andma clap diaganosis, his wife wrote a letter to the editor blaming the NAVY for her husband's STD. A few days later, the San Diego paper printed two pages of letters to the editor with a note something like this: This is a small sampling of the letters we have received that we can actually print in a family newspaper. Not one letter received has supported the navy wife whose letter inspired these responses.

One response was along the lines, no one from the Navy put a gun to his head, marched him to the cathouse, and told him to do it for Ol' Glory.

Crazy Jane said...

This may sound harsh, but I'm not sure religious views should be the point. Would a non-religious employer who thought birth control was wrong (whatever his/her reasoning) get a pass on this requirement?

Contraceptive use is elective, not a medical necessity like cancer treatment or setting a broken bone. Contraceptives are inexpensive and widely available, including over the counter.

The belief that government must guarantee that contraceptives are free seems to me to be based on an assumption that people are too helpless or stupid to act in their own best interests. Infantilizing, when you think about it.

Birches said...

@ Crazy Jane

I think most of us here would probably advocate for a more a la carte insurance policy where employers could pick and choose whatever they wanted for whatever reason they felt like. So many procedures are required now though; it makes it fairly impossible.

Anglelyne said...

Strelnikov: Actual verse, "For what profiteth a a man that he gain the world but lose his soul?" Your misquoting makes it sounds like you think the nuns are doing this just to avoid a large fine. Bullshit.

Select keywords from verse. Add "Wales". Google.

Greg Hlatky said...

Smell the glove, sisters. "We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live."

El Pollo Raylan said...

The belief that government must guarantee that contraceptives are free seems to me to be based on an assumption that people are too helpless or stupid to act in their own best interests. Infantilizing, when you think about it.

"Free" contraceptives appeals to young women and helps enroll half of the young cohort needed to make ACA fly. Too bad the Admin did absolutely nothing to entice young males, but hey, the Administration appears to be run by women so there you go.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Strelnikov said...

Stupid comments, with rejoinders:

Why Ann, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but to avoid $2.5 million in fines?


There are more quotes in heaven and earth, Strelnikov,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

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

Harold said...
Birches said...
@ Crazy Jane

I think most of us here would probably advocate for a more a la carte insurance policy where employers could pick and choose whatever they wanted for whatever reason they felt like. So many procedures are required now though; it makes it fairly impossible. "

Good idea. Better idea:
I think most of us here would probably advocate for a more a la carte insurance policy where PEOPLE could pick and choose whatever they wanted for whatever reason they felt like. And deduct the cost from their income, to put them on a par with employer provided health plans. And would be portable and able to be carried from state to state if one moves.

eric said...

How did we end up shaming the shamers into no longer shaming people?

Suddenly, all the sluts in the world want free contraception.

Oh my.

Phil 3:14 said...

Obviously single-payor is the only solution to these bothersome issues.

We need the customer service of the Post Office combined with the tight fiscal management of CMS to do health care right.

n.n said...

Phil 3:14:

We need unbacked entitlements on the same scale as unbacked credit/debt in order to secure a dysfunctional convergence. Single-payer would have accelerated progressive corruption. Perhaps that's the final stimulus we needed to wake from our comfortable slumber.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

SeanF:

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor."

Notice how there is no conception of knowing the witness was false, only that it was false. The sin is committed upon the bearing of the false witness. Knowledge is not required.

You are welcome.

n.n said...

Crazy Jane:

I would support distribution of condoms, if it meant the end of state-sponsored execution through lethal injection or dismemberment of over one million boys and girls annually. This is a compromise that I could easily live with.

Infantilizing, as well as "diversity", is exactly their goal. It reduces organized and effective resistance to their minority control. That's why the biological family has fallen in disrepute with progressive morality.

That said, mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Pajama Boys and Girls.

SeanF said...

Wow, Birkel. You're serious?

cyrus83 said...

The ancient Romans offered the option of avoiding death for throwing a pinch of incense at a statue, and we all know how that turned out.

I cannot understand why advocates of sexual freedom would support this kind of mandate - after all, this is getting the government back in the bedroom with the government's claim that sexual behavior represents a compelling government interest. Sure, it may be intended as malice against religion right now, but that doesn't mean the precedent can't some day be turned toward other mandates on sex and childbirth that are far less appealing.

On a side note, should the nuns lose, I hope they dare the administration to collect the fines. I can't imagine the scene of administration bullies going after a bunch of nuns serving the elderly is going to go over well with the public at large.

gk1 said...

I don't understand why Obama just doesn't create another carve out or exception for this dogs breakfast of a law. Sure, its fun to poke your thumb into the eye of the devout, but its going to cost the dems the senate.

Birches said...

@ Harold

I agree with your edit. Would have been a lot easier law to write if that had been Obamacare huh?

Birkel said...

Quite serious. The need to ask forgiveness would attach because the sin is the act itself.

"Thou shalt not kill."

The act of killing is the thing.

SeanF said...

Birkel, why would you ask forgiveness if you don't know you've done something wrong? The idea that you have sinned if you state something you believe to be true is simply ludicrous.

Even with killing, which you brought up: The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Three, Section Two, Chapter Two, Article Five, 2264: "Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow." And 2269 says, "Unintentional killing is not morally imputable."

The act of killing is not always a sin. Whether it is sinful or not depends on the intent of the killer.

You are wrong.

Larry J said...

Birkel said...
Quite serious. The need to ask forgiveness would attach because the sin is the act itself.

"Thou shalt not kill."

The act of killing is the thing.


According to several sources, the commandment is "Thou shall not murder." All murders are killings but not all killings are murder, such as self-defense or justifiable homocide (known in Texas as "He deserved killing."

Trashhauler said...

What is most objectionable is the concept that the government gets to decide what part of a religious operation is really part of the religion and what is merely "affiliated with it." The government isn't merely trying to provide contraceptives, they are claiming the right to define what is included in the actual religion itself.

Trashhauler said...

The concept of sin is quite beside the point for this issue.

According to Catholic teaching the three elements of a sin are:

1. The act must be a sin, i.e., an offense against God.

2. The person must know it is a sin.

3. The person must willing commit it.

So, no sin is attached to something which is government coercion. The objection is to the government claiming it can coerce an entity because it has determined that the entity is not a central part of the Church, but is only affiliated with it. This puts the government in the position of deciding what is religion and what isn't.