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Concern for Religious Freedom or Preaching Political Messages?

 
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 11:00 am
Gallup has a poll which will be released today, that will show Mr. Obama losing no support amongst Catholics - including regular church-going Catholics - over the birth control issue.

Cycloptichorn
Stugotz
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 11:27 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Happy valentines day Mom, I love ya
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 11:46 am
@Stugotz,
How did you sneak in this post, son?

Valentine kisses back to you.

BBB
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 12:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Gallup has a poll which will be released today, that will show Mr. Obama losing no support amongst Catholics - including regular church-going Catholics - over the birth control issue.

Of course not. Pat Buchanan was famous for going on the McLaughlin Group during the Clinton administration and proclaiming that this or that policy would turn Catholics against the Democrats. One time it was some minor imbroglio involving a priest's invocation at the start of a congressional session -- Buchanan acted as if Clinton had taken a dump on the eucharist in the middle of St. Peter's square.

But Pat Buchanan wasn't speaking about normal Catholics, just about Catholics who most nearly resembled Pat Buchanan -- the unhinged fetophiles who weren't going to vote for a Democratic candidate anyway, no matter what Clinton did. And that's the same thing today. The bishops represent the Catholic church but they don't represent the Catholic voters. If they did, then Catholic voters would be insisting on social justice issues along with rejecting abortion and contraception. In that respect, the Republicans are just as lucky as the Democrats that the parishioners don't listen to the bishops when it comes time to leave the confessional booth and enter the polling booth.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 12:31 pm
@joefromchicago,
A week ago, church leaders were vowing to use the power of "70 million votes" to prevent enforcement of the regulation (as if 70 million Catholics all speak with one voice).
Irishk
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 12:57 pm
@wandeljw,
The issue will probably end up being battled in court. Dolan has hinted as much, but says for now he's content to just support those lawsuits already in place (I think there are three). That's if there's no further compromise from the administration, and they've said there won't be.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 01:55 pm
http://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/freedumb.jpg

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 07:34 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
But Pat Buchanan wasn't speaking about normal Catholics, just about Catholics who most nearly resembled Pat Buchanan -- the unhinged fetophiles who weren't going to vote for a Democratic candidate anyway, no matter what Clinton did. And that's the same thing today. The bishops represent the Catholic church but they don't represent the Catholic voters.

Plus, they probably have no money left for contraception and abortions anyway. They need it more urgently for future child-molestation settlements.
wandeljw
 
  2  
Tue 14 Feb, 2012 09:35 pm
Samantha Bee questions a group of nuns and priests who have an activist position. (from The Daily Show)

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-june-17-2010/holier-than-dow
0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Wed 15 Feb, 2012 08:58 am
Now the issue is being framed as "religious or moral" objection. In other words you can deny coverage for basically anything you want as long as you claim it is morally objective to you and it doesn't even have to be a religious institution but any ole taco bell owner or some such. What's up with Reid?

Reid to Allow Vote on Rescinding Contraception Rule

Quote:

Senate Democrats on Tuesday sharply criticized Republicans for trying to attach a contraception measure to a transportation bill.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) and other Democrats blasted the proposal from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which would broaden the exemption to the requirement that employers cover contraception in their healthcare plans.

Boxer said GOP leaders are simply trying to keep the controversy alive following President Obama’s revision of the rule last week.

“We shouldn’t have to consider or debate it,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said at a news conference.

Blumenthal said the Blunt amendment would be unconstitutional if it ever became law.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week blocked the GOP’s attempt to offer the Blunt proposal as an amendment. Boxer said she’s confident the amendment will fail, but added that the debate is a distraction from a highway bill that would create jobs.


Quote:
Blunt says his proposal is about the constitutional right to freedom of religion. President Obama says the White House took care of that with a rule putting the onus on insurers on Friday, although Catholic leaders and Republicans were not mollified.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Blunt's approach would give businesses and corporations veto power over their employee’s health care decisions. “It’s clear that this is not about religious freedom, since the Blunt proposal would allow any business or corporation to deny any essential health care service they object to,” Richards said in a statement.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Blunt’s proposal could lead to effects far beyond contraception. “If I believe that prayer should cure all disease, that’s my belief, and I’m an employer, I can deny coverage for any life-saving intervention,” Boxer said at a news conference on Tuesday.


source

0 Replies
 
revelette
 
  1  
Wed 15 Feb, 2012 09:01 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
Plus, they probably have no money left for contraception and abortions anyway. They need it more urgently for future child-molestation settlements.
Twisted Evil
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Thu 16 Feb, 2012 12:32 pm
Quote:
Freedom of and From Religion
(Bill Moyers, Opinion Essay, HuffingtonPost.com, February 16, 2012)

The president did something agile and wise the other day. And something quite important to the health of our politics. He reached up and snuffed out what some folks wanted to make into a cosmic battle between good and evil. No, said the president, we're not going to turn the argument over contraception into Armageddon, this is an honest difference between Americans, and I'll not see it escalated into a holy war. So instead of the government requiring Catholic hospitals and other faith-based institutions to provide employees with health coverage involving contraceptives, the insurance companies will offer that coverage, and offer it free.

The Catholic bishops had cast the president's intended policy as an infringement on their religious freedom; they hold birth control to be a mortal sin, and were incensed that the government might coerce them to treat it otherwise. The president in effect said: No quarrel there; no one's going to force you to violate your doctrine. But Catholics are also Americans, and if an individual Catholic worker wants coverage, she should have access to it -- just like any other American citizen. Under the new plan, she will. She can go directly to the insurer, and the religious institution is off the hook.

When the president announced his new plan, the bishops were caught flat-footed. It was so ... so reasonable. In fact, leaders of several large, Catholic organizations have now said yes to the idea. But the bishops have since regrouped, and are now opposing any mandate to provide contraceptives even if their institutions are not required to pay for them. And for their own reasons, Republican leaders in Congress have weighed in on the bishops' side. They're demanding, and will get, a vote in the Senate.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, says:
"The fact that the White House thinks this is about contraception is the whole problem. This is about freedom of religion. It's right there in the First Amendment. You can't miss it, right there in the very First Amendment to our Constitution. And the government doesn't get to decide for religious people what their religious beliefs are. They get to decide that."

But here's what Republicans don't get, or won't tell you. And what Obama manifestly does get. First, the war's already lost: 98 percent of Catholic women of child-bearing age have used contraceptives. Second, on many major issues, the bishops are on Obama's side -- not least on extending unemployment benefits, which they call "a moral obligation." Truth to tell, on economic issues, the bishops are often to the left of some leading Democrats, even if both sides are loathe to admit it. Furthermore -- and shhh, don't repeat this, even if the president already has -- the Catholic Church funded Obama's first community organizing, back in Chicago. Ah, politics.

So the battle over contraception no longer seems apocalyptic. No heavenly hosts pitted against the forces of Satan. It's a political brawl, not a crusade of believers or infidels. The president skillfully negotiated the line between respect for the religious sphere and protection of the spiritual dignity and freedom of individuals. If you had listened carefully to the speech Barack Obama made in 2009 at the University of Notre Dame, you could have seen it coming:
"The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem-cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son's or daughter's hardships might be relieved. The question then is, 'How do we work through these conflicts?'"

We Americans have wrestled with that question from the beginning. Some of our forebearers feared the church would corrupt the state. Others feared the state would corrupt the church. It's been a real tug-of-war, sometimes quite ugly. Churches and religious zealots did get punitive laws passed against what they said were moral and religious evils: blasphemy, breaking the Sabbath, alcohol, gambling, books, movies, plays ... and yes, contraception. But churches also fought to end slavery, help workers organize and pass progressive laws. Of course, government had its favorites at times, for much of our history, it privileged the Protestant majority. And in my lifetime alone, it's gone back and forth on how to apply the First Amendment to ever- changing circumstances among people so different from each other. The Supreme Court, for example, first denied, then affirmed, the right of the children of Jehovah's Witnesses to refuse, on religious grounds, to salute the flag.

So here we are once again, arguing over how to honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose on others moral beliefs they don't share. Our practical solution is the one Barack Obama embraced the other day: protect freedom of religion -- and protect freedom from religion. Can't get more American than that.
Ceili
 
  2  
Thu 16 Feb, 2012 12:50 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:

Our practical solution is the one Barack Obama embraced the other day: protect freedom of religion -- and protect freedom from religion.

Smart.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 10:22 am
Quote:
Florida Catholic university sues feds over birth control mandate
(By Ashley Lopez | The Florida Independent | 02.21.12)

Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in a town outside of Naples, is suing the federal government over a recent mandate requiring health insurers to cover contraception as a preventive service.

Since the Obama administration first announced it was considering requiring insurers to provide women contraception without co-pays, Catholic universities had been criticizing the decision. For many women, steep co-pays have deterred them from purchasing family planning services. However, despite an expressed exception for “religious institutions that offer insurance to their employees,” Catholic Bishops, Catholic hospitals, Catholic physicians and other Catholic groups have publicly expressed opposition to the exception because “it is too limited.” Universities, including Ave Maria, have said the exemption does not include Catholic universities.

The university joined 18 other Catholic colleges and various Catholic groups last year in petitioning the Obama administration to repeal its decision to classify birth control as a preventive health care service.

Earlier this month, however, the Obama administration walked back on part of its decision in response to an uproar against the mandate by religious, mostly Catholic groups. Both women’s health advocates and Catholic health groups praised the decision. Even though the administration expanded the exemption to the mandate to Catholic universities, Sunshine State News reports that Ave Maria is suing anyway.

According to the news website: “The lawsuit is the fourth in a series of legal challenges filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. Arguing that the HHS mandate facilitates drugs that are in violation of religious beliefs, the non-profit legal foundation previously sued on behalf of EWTN, the Catholic TV network; Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic liberal arts school; and Colorado Christian University, an evangelical school in Denver.”

Ave Maria was founded in 2003 by Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan. According to The Washington Post, Monaghan used “a large slice of his fortune to build a Catholic university in southwest Florida, exciting conservative Catholics with his dream of an academically first-class institution that is also solidly orthodox.”

The topic of contraception was a controversial topic for the town, because according to the Post, Monaghan also had a “plan for a surrounding town in which contraceptives would not be available.”
revelette
 
  1  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 10:33 am
@wandeljw,
Santorum has spoken in this church way back in 2008 where he excommunicated protestants. Doubtful the leaders of this Church were going to be appeased no matter what Obama does.

Quote:
Back in 2008, Rick Santorum traveled to Ave Maria University in Florida to deliver an address to students attending the Catholic university founded by Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan which he moved from Michigan as part of his effort to build his own personal theocracy in Naples.

Santorum told the students at Ave Maria how lucky they were to be living in a time when God's Army is more needed than ever because all of the major institutions in society were under attack by Satan.

The audio of Santorum's remarks is still posted on the Ave Maria website and the bulk of his speech was dedicated to explaining how God had used him, his political career, and even the death of his son Gabriel in the fight to outlaw abortion in America.

But Santorum began his remarks by explaining to the students in attendance how every institution in America has been destroyed by Satan; from academia to politics with even the church having fallen under His sway - not the Catholic church, of course, but "mainline Protestantism" which is in such "shambles" that it is not even Christian any longer:


links at the source
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:00 am
This thread keeps bugging the hell out of me. Can someone explain to me what combination of the no establishment clause and the free exercise clause prohibits churches from preaching a political message? That Wandel doesn't like the message is not evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Catholic bishops. Separating church and state doesn't mean church-goers or church leaders lose their right to have and to publicly express their political beliefs, whether or not those beliefs are religiously motivated.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:01 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

This thread keeps bugging the hell out of me. Can someone explain to me what combination of the no establishment clause and the free exercise clause prohibits churches from preaching a political message? That Wandel doesn't like the message is not evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Catholic bishops. Separating church and state doesn't mean church-goers or church leaders lose their right to have and to publicly express their political beliefs, whether or not those beliefs are religiously motivated.


Hmm, something about their tax-free and protected status...

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:10 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

This thread keeps bugging the hell out of me. Can someone explain to me what combination of the no establishment clause and the free exercise clause prohibits churches from preaching a political message? That Wandel doesn't like the message is not evidence of wrong-doing on the part of Catholic bishops. Separating church and state doesn't mean church-goers or church leaders lose their right to have and to publicly express their political beliefs, whether or not those beliefs are religiously motivated.


Cyclo is correct. The tax-exempt status of churches makes political talk from the pulpit legally questionable.

I never used the constitutional separation of church and state as part of my argument. I did argue for separation of church and state based on Christ being quoted as saying, "My kingdom is not of this world."

My argument is therefore theological rather than constitutional. I feel entitled to do this because the brother of my mother's grandmother was a Roman Catholic bishop in nineteenth century Germany. Surely, I have inherited his aptitude for religious pronouncement. Smile
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:33 am
The tax free status of churches is mandated by state and federal tax code, not by the constitution. If that's a problem for you, agitate to have it changed. Leaving aside that i know of no one who was standing up in the pulpit shouting "Don't vote for Obama!" (which would also not be illegal), tax exemptions are not evidence that the free speech of church-goers and church leaders can be curtailed.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Tue 21 Feb, 2012 11:40 am
@Setanta,
As I keep saying, my argument is not based on the constitution.
 

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