November 29, 2012

Federal court gives preliminary injunction to company with religious objection to HHS contraception mandate.

CNSnews reports.

98 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Good. I hope it's upheld on appeal.

(To be clear, I think the business owner should prevail).

rcommal said...

This is one to follow closely. I'll be very interested to see how it plays out.

whoresoftheinternet said...

lol. And you losers think this will last?

John "Benedict Arnold" Roberts did backflips and lit the Constitution on fire to find Obamacare constitutional. And ACLU, that noble defender of the 1st amendment, is attacking anyone thinks there's such a thing as religious liberty when it comes to opposing Mein Obama. Hell, they haven't said a GODDAMN WORD about Obama arresting the Benghazi filmmaker, do you really think they'll oppose Obama on this?

Do you really think the Supreme Court won't force religious people to perform abortions? Geez, these are lefties, mofos. It's left-wing dogma, By Any Means Necessary. Hypocrisy, the constitution, and rule-following be damned.

Get a clue.

rcommal said...

& I agree w/MM

Baron Zemo said...

Oh noes!

Where will the empty vaginas get their free condoms?

This must not stand.

BarrySanders20 said...

Don't believe everything you read on the 'tubes.

The actual order, a one-liner, stays the district court's order pending appeal. There was no order granting a preliminary or any other kind of injunction. Courts of Appeal hardly ever do that. It would be more significant had that actually happened, because then the court would have evaluated facts and argument and concluded that the appellant had a "likelihood of success on the merits" pending a full-blown trial. But that is a district court function.

A stay is a minor tactical victory, but this is nothing significant on the merits.

rcommal said...

Thanks for the clatification, Barry, and the ever useful and welcome reminder. : )

mccullough said...

If this guy operated the business as a sole proprietor, his company would have a better argument. But he runs a for profit company, which is a separate legal entity.

I don't see how his view of not having to comply with Obamacare, which is a terrible law, is any different from saying his company shouldn't have to comply with laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring employees of a different religion or no religion. If his company doesn't have to comply with Obamacare it shouldn't have to comply with anti-discrimination laws.

And companies with religious owners should have no more right to be excused from laws that offend their religious beliefs than companies with owners whose non-religious beliefs are offended by certain laws. Religious freedom of conscience deserves no more or less protection than non-religious freedom of conscience.

whoresoftheinternet said...

lol @ mccullough.

Typical, paralyzed, play-by-the-rules righty-weakness that the left loves to exploit.

Keep playing by those rules, boy! Someday, the left will thank you for it...with a boot on your throat!

sparrow said...



"I don't see how his view of not having to comply with Obamacare ..., is any different from saying his company shouldn't have to comply with laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring employees of a different religion or no religion
"

It's a huge difference. The HHS mandate compels someone to pay for an abortion (morning after pill) against their conscience. It's oppression pure and simple. It makes it illegal to run a business as a Christian.

Lyssa said...

I'm really torn on this. I think that the mandate is very bad policy and strongly dislike Obamacare in general, but I sort of agree with McCollough that I do not think that the Constitution requires that businesses get religious exemptions and that that, if applied consistently (if!), would open up an enormous can of worms for other laws.

I'd note that actual religious organizations are exempt from discrimination laws, on the grounds that the gov't shouldn't be interfering with their decisions as to who can be hired, though I don't think that this mandate would be a logical extension of that extemption.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@Lyssa:

Keep rolling over for the left, and playing by rules they don't. That's a winning strategy, footstool!

Larry J said...

If this guy operated the business as a sole proprietor, his company would have a better argument. But he runs a for profit company, which is a separate legal entity.

I think you're confusing business ownership type (such as sole proprietor, corporation) with profit/non-profit status. A huge number of businesses in the US are sole proprietorships and profit-making (or trying to be).

sparrow said...

Businesses don't need full exemptions just exemptions from contraception and abortion. Those things that are part of religious belief, without those exceptions the government is deciding what is religious practice and that alone undermines religious freedom.

Lyssa said...

sparrow said: It's a huge difference. The HHS mandate compels someone to pay for an abortion (morning after pill) against their conscience. It's oppression pure and simple. It makes it illegal to run a business as a Christian.

But don't many laws require one to pay for something that some religious persuasion could object to? For example, laws require job protection and non-discrimination for soliders, which certainly comes at a cost, when some religions object to military engagement. Does the constitution require an opt-out of military non-discrimination for a religiously pacifistic business-owner?

sparrow said...

Lyssa,
You can consistently apply a law that outlaws only one religion, no one else will care. That's what the contraception requirement does for faithful Catholics. You could imagine a law that compels all restaurants to sell pork, only Muslims and Jews will be harmed but you could readily apply it to everyone.

sparrow said...

Paying for an abortion incurs an automatic excommunication in Catholicism. Job protection and nondiscrimination policies don't require me to actively defy my religion. Conscientious objector laws let pacifists opt out of war. I honestly don't see your argument at all.

Lyssa said...

Sparrow, I'm not sure that I understand your argument, specifically the "no one else will care" part.

The military discrimination laws I referenced would only be objectionable for religious reasons to an employer that belonged to a pacifist religion, such as Quakers. By requiring military non-discrimination, are you outlawing Quaker-owned businesses, or is that different? And if it is, why?

sparrow said...

Lyssa,
Even if there are a thousand laws that force someone to pay for something they object to on religious grounds how is that justified? Aren't they just more examples of religious persecution. Numbers mean nothing, this is a principle. I can't think of any law/policy as blatantly anti religious as the HHS mandate to pay for contraception and abortion.

Lyssa said...

Sparrow said: Job protection and nondiscrimination policies don't require me to actively defy my religion.

Not your religion, perhaps. But if you are a business owner, tose laws would require you to pay for soliders, including requiring you to hire soliders and pay for their benefits and for keeping their job open while they were off fighting.

If your religion forbids participating in war, including paying for war by providing benefits to soliders, should you have a Constitutional exemption?

sparrow said...

"No one else will care" is just my cynicism that no unaffected person will rise to the defense of the harmed party. It's not argument but just part of my bleak outlook.

sparrow said...


"If your religion forbids participating in war, including paying for war by providing benefits to soliders, should you have a Constitutional exemption? "

Nice point this gets to the principle of remote versus direct participation in evil. You can't live in the world and not be indirectly involved in evil. So if I own a deli I still have to serve a planned parenthood supporter a sandwich if asked. However don't ask me to directly pay for an abortion or contraceptive.

bpm4532 said...

It doesn't matter. Obama will not recognize the courts authority in this matter and the full weight of the justice department, HHS, and IRS will be brought to bear on this guy.

Lyssa said...

sparrow, my interest (and the court's, I hope) is in what is and should be required under the Constitution. Nothing that you've said is answering that. I give up.

mccullough said...

Sparrow,

The law was not passed to target Catholic beliefs or any other religious or moral beliefs. No matter how misguided it is, the requirement that insurance policies cover sterilizations and contaceptions, including abortifacients, or even to pay for abortions, was passed for secular reasons. An individual required to buy a policy has a much better legal argument that they shouldn't be required to buy an insurance policy that offends their religious belief.

If the government had a legitimate, non-discriminatory motive for passing a law requiring all restaurants to serve pork, then it could.

Also, there is no reason religious beliefs should get any priority over non-religious beliefs. They both should be equally respected.

sparrow said...

The SCOTUS will hear this eventually no doubt, way too many cases in too many districts with divergent rulings. They will rule the HHS mandate out of bounds and uphold the rest of the law, in my opinion, 5-4 or 6-3 (Sotomayor joining the majority), but that's just a guess.

sparrow said...

"The law was not passed to target Catholic beliefs" I doubt that too. I'm not talking about Obamacare here, but the HHS mandate from K.Sebelius one of the the most vocal and aggressive abortion supporters out there who has been publicly excommunicated for it twice. However intent doesn't matter really

sparrow said...

"there is no reason religious beliefs should get any priority over non-religious beliefs."

This I can't agree with. Religion is fundamental and constitutionally protected, other views are not of the same order. It's comments like that that make me certain Christians have no defenders among the secular. Can you say that religious views don't matter and still agree with the philosophy of rights?

edutcher said...

If I were a Conservative Federal appellate judge, I'd start watching my back.

sparrow said...

"sparrow, my interest (and the court's, I hope) is in what is and should be required under the Constitution. Nothing that you've said is answering that. I give up. "

Lyssa,

I'm no lawyer, so maybe I can't can't make this argument well enough, but how do you not see the state imposing it's will on the people here? Where is the compelling interest of the state that overrides my ability to make a living? I'm not going to pretend to be open minded (I can't be swayed here). However I would sincerely like to understand why something that matters a great deal to me is so utterly unimportant to you. Religion is not just a Sunday morning thing, if it's real it alters your entire life and all else is subordinated to it. The Founders understood and respected it, but that attitude is rare today.

sparrow said...

How about this argument : the HHS is no small scale sector specific rule. It effectively outlaws Catholic Hospitals, schools and all lay owned businesses.

sparrow said...

Ugh I' guess I'm talking to myself here.

Unknown said...

The law was not passed to target Catholic beliefs or any other religious or moral beliefs

It might have just been a cheap political ploy that was part of the Obama "war on women" reelection strategy. Remember the baffled look on Rick Santorum's face when George Stephanopolous asked him about making contraceptives illegal during the primaries?

Or it could be a deliberate action taken against Catholics and the Catholic Church. The least likely explanation is that Katherine Sebelius did this out of a genuine concern for women's health and welfare.

Freder Frederson said...

It makes it illegal to run a business as a Christian.

Don't you mean as a Catholic? There are very few other Christian denominations that have a moral objection to contraceptives.

sparrow said...


"Don't you mean as a Catholic? There are very few other Christian denominations that have a moral objection to contraceptives."

Actually I mean Christian because the morning after pill is an abortion pill. In my view you can not be Christian and support abortion at the same time. I know many claim it's possible, but I just don't find that arguemnt plausible. That's why Chik-fil-a opposes it BTW

mccullough said...

Sparrow,

Where do I say religious views don't matter. I just said freedom of conscience shouldn't apply to religious and non-religious beliefs. I'm pro-freedom.

The Catholic Church was and is pro Obamacare, they just want an exemption from one part of it for themselves. I agree that the universities and hospitals they run shouldn't be required to buy any kind of health insurance policy for their employees because I don't think anyone should have to buy this.

But the Catholic Church has no problem lobbying the government to require businesses and individuals to buy health insurance policies, as long as those policies don't have to provide bithr control and sterilizations. I don't think their deeply held beliefs should have any more priority than mine. If I have to comply with generally applicable laws, then so should they.



Renee said...

If the government really cared about women's health they would make medicine for heart disease and diabetes at low/no cost.

Also the mandate would enforce the natural family planning education to be covered as well. Several forms of Natural Family Planning is accepted within the medical establishment and it even has its own medical codes for insurance billing. The Mandate does not cover this.

There are many non-religious women for whatever reason medically or personal who do not want to use contraception, what about them/us?

mccullough said...

That should be " should apply to religious and non-religious beliefs"

Freder Frederson said...

contaceptions, including abortifacients,

There is a genuine debate whether products like Plan B are in fact, abortifacient. Now, Plan B may (and this is no means certain) prevent the implantation of a embryo. But if you insist on calling that an abortion, then logically you must object to most fertility (especially IVF) treatments.

sparrow said...

"The Catholic Church was and is pro Obamacare"


With all due respect this statement is manifestly false. Obamacare and HHS mandate generated the first unanimous statement in position from the US Bishops ever.

Also I was responding to Lyssa actually

sparrow said...

"There is a genuine debate whether products like Plan B are in fact, abortifacient."

Only among pro-choice people

Freder Frederson said...

Actually I mean Christian because the morning after pill is an abortion pill. In my view you can not be Christian and support abortion at the same time.

Oh my God! Sparrow is actually Christ since he apparently knows the mind of God and who is or is not a Christian based on one belief.

sparrow said...

"I don't think their deeply held beliefs should have any more priority than mine."

Like I said, there are no defenders among the secular of Christians.

Freder Frederson said...

Only among pro-choice people.

So I assume you find IVF morally objectionable and that it should be banned as it inevitably involves the destruction (murder?) of embryos

sparrow said...

Oh my God! Sparrow is actually Christ since he apparently knows the mind of God and who is or is not a Christian based on one belief. "

Please - Christianity isn't complicated it has certain rules like "thou shalt not kill". You might have heard of it.

sparrow said...

"So I assume you find IVF morally objectionable and that it should be banned as it inevitably involves the destruction (murder?) of embryos"

Of course

Renee said...

sparrow, yes it may be used as 'an abortificant', but since many women do not know when they ovulate, there is no way of knowing even if the possibility of conception could of occurred.

A lot of women use Plan B, when they may not even be in their fertile phase of their cycle. Plan B has no needed affect if she is post-ovulation by a couple of days or several days pre-ovulation.


I need to read to 'fine print', but if you take Plan B pre-ovulation does it delay it. and if you take Plan B post-ovulation does it affect your lutreal phase (the time between ovulation and menstruation).

sparrow said...

About IVF,

Before I converted my wife and considered it , but it was exactly this point that prevented us for pursuing it. I'm empathetic to those wanting to have children but concluded that wanted your children to have your genes was vanity. We started the adoption process instead, and while waiting had a child of our own.

mccullough said...

Sparrow,

It's a strange definition of "defender" to say they should get more protections than non religious moral beliefs. Freedom of conscience for everyone should be respected. Many "secularists" don't respect anyone's freedom. Many religions don't respect other people's freedoms either. Saying we should protect everyone's freedom of conscience is pro freedom. The Catholic Church is not pro freedom any more than the Obama administration. I stand up for their beliefs and my beliefs. They stand up only for their beliefs, just like Obama.

Freedom means freedom for everyone.

sparrow said...

That is conceived naturally

sparrow said...

"Freedom of conscience for everyone should be respected"

I agree with this but not all "beliefs" rise to the level of religious beliefs. Don't you agree where would you draw the line?

sparrow said...

"The Catholic Church is not pro freedom any more than the Obama administration."

In what way specifically does the Church oppose freedom? I recall JP II standing in front of thousands of Poles telling them "to be not afraid". Yet Obama gets a Nobel Peace Prize and the Pope was over looked , funny world

mccullough said...

Sparrow,

I don't draw the line between religious and non religious deeply held beliefs that are sincerely believed. I don't think the law should either.

The Catholic Church, like many religious and non-religious institutions, lobbies in favor many proposed laws and against many other proposed laws. I respect their beliefs, but they lobby for gun control and gun ban laws. That's not pro freedom to me. They lobby against laws that allow same sex marriage. That's not pro freedom to me. I could go on. I don't mean to single them out, it's just that you brought them up. I respect their beliefs here but I wouldn't call them pro freedom.

. And I firmly believe they should be subject to the same generally applicable laws as I am.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The issue involved with this concrete encroachment on conscience and religious liberty is too often balled up with endless hypotheticals--most of which have little or no connection to reality.

Is there an actual example of any religion of pacifists who object to laws calling for employment help for veterans?

Is there an actual example of religious objections to blood transfusions becoming a problem for anyone getting health care through their employer's plan?

Also, remember that at issue is not the use of tax money for contraception. As much as I object to my tax dollars going for it, that's not the case here. Here, we're talking about compelling private action: specifically, compelling private insurance plans to provide a specific service, even to customers who don't want the service.

You do understand that? People who object to contraception and abortion will have it included in their health policies. It's something like being required to accept sleazy channels on your cable box, and being told--not by the cable company (which would, on sound capitalist principles, be sympathetic to giving you what you want), but the government, that you must accept this "service" no matter how offensive it is.

No, of course it's not exactly the same, insofar as no one is delivering condoms to people unasked. But insofar as someone is being asked to cooperate morally with something objectionable, the comparison is quite apt.

You do realize that the so-called "religious exemption" doesn't apply to a lot of religious brothers and sisters--who take vows of celibacy? They will be compelled to take part in insurance that provides for contraception and abortion-causing drugs.

Someone compared this, on one of these threads, to shopping in a store where contraceptives are sold.

The difference is this: even if I don't avoid shopping in such places, I can. The government has yet to say I must do business with such stores.

(And I wasn't aware that stores were required to sell contraceptives. Is this now policy? That's a problem.)

Fr Martin Fox said...

Mcculloch:

As a general principle, I agree with you that Catholics or Baptists or Jews or Hindus, etc., should not get special treatment under laws with general application.

But, I would say, as a general principle, the comity of society is advanced if laws with general application infringe on religious or individual beliefs as little as possible.

And, I would point out, that when it comes to conscription, we've generally made provision for conscientious objectors. We did, in fact, make an exception, at least to some degree. And the Republic didn't totter, did it?

But the issue that seems to me to be unaddressed is the wisdom of multiplying these affronts to the religious beliefs of sizeable number of citizens.

Consider, for example:

> What happens if the Catholic Church does, as she might, and divest herself of hospitals, charities and universities? Will society be better off if these institutions become more secular, and in some cases, are replaced by new government programs?

> Is it really good for our country if people shut down businesses rather than violate their consciences? Even if it doesn't happen often, why isn't this a matter of more general concern?

> More broadly: is it really a good thing to tell businesspeople (or anyone): we don't want you to bring your conscience to work? Is it really progress if business owners shift from doing what conscience demands, to merely what the law demands?

> Do we really want to be a country where someone can't run his or her business according to his or her religious beliefs? After all, the power of the marketplace remains.

You get the idea.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Sparrow:

The truth about the bishops and Obamacare is a little more subtle.

The bishops have been advocating health care reform and expansion for almost a century. So when the Obama White House said the bishops were always against health care reform, that was a vicious lie.

When the bill was finding its way through Congress, the bishops' response was two-fold; generally favorable to the broad strokes, but they pressed for two things in particular: conscience protection and staying clear of abortion.

At one point, favorable language was added in the House, and they shifted to neutral. When that language was dropped in the Senate, the bishops said they couldn't support the law.

Basically, the bishops wanted to be for this. Maybe they shouldn't have, but they wanted reform. They didn't raise all the objections that many others did on economic reasons.

And, when on final passage, they did oppose it--it was for fairly narrow reasons that, if the White House cared, it could have addressed. Now we see why the President chose not to.

gutless said...

Who would you rather have determine your religious beliefs, your church or the Federal government?

Baron Zemo said...

sparrow said...
"Freedom of conscience for everyone should be respected"

I agree with this but not all "beliefs" rise to the level of religious beliefs. Don't you agree where would you draw the line?


Global warming.

Dante said...

sparrow, my interest (and the court's, I hope) is in what is and should be required under the Constitution.

Just curious about this, Lyssa. What happens if the court is more interested in an outcome than what's actually written in the constitution? In my view, Roe v. Wade is such an instance. As is upholding Affirmative Action.

The question to you is, how do you mentally deal with that? If the constitution is as bendable as a al dente spaghetti, constitutional arguments don't matter much.

mccullough said...

Fr. Fox,

I agree with you that the Obama administration position of requiring Cathoic run hospitals and universities to comply is not only wrong on principle but is wrong for the consequences you mention.

Those institutions do very good work and it is hurtful to society if they give up their mission to avoid having to violate their religious beliefs. In Illinois, Catholic Charities gave up its role in foster care and adoption placement services because the state said it go longer discriminate against same sex couples in placing children for adoption.

This administration does not understand business or faith-based institutions. In their ideological zest, they continue to make things worse. They are regressives, not progressives. They do not want progress. They want ideological conformity above all.

Sofa King said...

McCullough -

The problem with your point of view is that, at bottom, all of our value judgments are based on quasi-religious axioms. To demand that no such axioms be legally privileged is to demand that law be free of all value.

jr565 said...

FR Martin Fox wrote:
Basically, the bishops wanted to be for this. Maybe they shouldn't have, but they wanted reform. They didn't raise all the objections that many others did on economic reasons.

And, when on final passage, they did oppose it--it was for fairly narrow reasons that, if the White House cared, it could have addressed. Now we see why the President chose not to.

do you think Mitt Romney would have made the same choice that Obama did? (Sorry to repick this fight... I'm just asking)

mccullough said...

Sofa King,

Just the opposite. It means the law should respect freedom of conscience for all. Exemptions shouldn't just be given for religious beliefs. It should be given for all of our sincere moral beliefs, whether or not religiously based.

Barack Obama has a deeply held moral belief that contraception should be paid for by insurance or taxpayers.

I deeply believe the opposite because I believe individuals should take care of their contraception themselves or rely on private charities like Planned Parenthood to give it to them.

The Catholic Church believes they should not subsidize contraception because it goes against Catholic religious belief.

Both the Catholic Church and I should be exempt and Obama should donate his own money to buy contraception for women.

Jake Diamond said...

The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is nothing new. I'm a little surprised that the Church is so anxious to draw attention to its hypocrisy, but I suppose the Church generally considers itself beyond public judgment. That would explain the poor response of the Church in the Catholic sex abuse cases as well.

sparrow said...

"The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is nothing new."

You're exactly right. The need for reform/renewal is perennial and ancient. It defined the lives of Saints like St Francis, Benedict, Teresa of Avila etc. The Church has a long all too necessary history of self criticism. It's easier to talk about the Christian life than to live it. One of my favorite priest says the Church is a hospital for sinners not a museum of saints.

Fr Martin Fox said...

JR:

I have said I don't know how many times why I think Mr. Romney was, and would be, a profound disappointment.

Also, how would Mr. Romney's inauguration in 2013 make a difference in legislation passed in 2010? But if you want to entertain the conjecture, you might take a look at what Mr. Romney actually did on health care in Massachusetts. It had some pretty problematic things, including on contraception.

The larger question about Mr. Romney is whether he's really some sort of rock pillar of principle standing against the relentless waves of the opposition. Well, is he? What's his record? He's been on every side of almost every controversial issue of the last 20 years. He is, by his own folks' admission, an etch-a-sketch.

So please don't sell me and others on how we could count on him to do the "right thing"--because what he thinks that is will depend on who's pressuring him.

Finally, politics has its own sort of "physics": you can't just change one element and assume everything else stays the same. You can't just take out Obama and insert either McCain, or Romney, or anyone else, and assume all the interactions and outcomes work more or less the same.

I think had McCain won in 2008, a boatload of bad policy would have been passed, but perhaps not exactly the same bad policy. The election results in 2010 would have been very different, because the Republicans would have been held responsible for the bad policy of the first two years. Meaning the Democrats would have been even stronger after 2010.

Then I think you'd be looking at a truly depressing election result this month: McCain loses re-election, the Democrats have massive majorities in both houses. Any bad policy they didn't get during McCain's presidency would be on tap next.

So I'm really unimpressed with the argument that that trajectory was so much better. The problem conservatives face isn't simply the presidential election, it's who controls Congress, and whether there's an opposition with any spine. Everyone is seeing, right now, that the GOP has a little spine, not much. It was worse four years ago. It needs to improve. Electing squishy Republican president's doesn't improve the spines of the GOP in Congress, as the two Bush terms demonstrate--it makes them worse, as they go along with bad policy and their ability to tell bad policy from good policy is dulled.

But you go ahead and keep cheering for Robomney and how he would have made it all better. I've heard it before from GOP cheerleaders for a lot of years. "We'll drive you to Serfdom a little slower!" is not an inspiring slogan.

sparrow said...

Wow Father and I thought I was too pessimistic. Of course you're right, it's the long defeat either way. There is no worldly political saviour. All this is passing away. I only fret because I'm still too attached to the world.

Lyssa said...

Dante said: Just curious about this, Lyssa. What happens if the court is more interested in an outcome than what's actually written in the constitution? In my view, Roe v. Wade is such an instance. As is upholding Affirmative Action.

The question to you is, how do you mentally deal with that?


Well, the same way that I deal with those other things - I'm sad, I complain about it on Althouse, I hope to convince others to put better people in office. I wish that I had a better solution about what to do when the gov't makes decisions that I think are wrong, but clearly I don't.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Sparrow:

Well, I'm not saying we can't win; I'm saying, when your choice is a crowd driving 100 MPH to Serfdom, versus a crowd crowing they'll drive only at 50 MPH, then--given that choice, there's no hope.

But how about politicians who really will put on the brakes and turn us around?

We have some; we need more. That's what Congress can do: put on the brakes. All they need is the backbone to do it. They haven't quite grown one, yet, but I see signs of hope.

sparrow said...

Well Father,

There are a few bright spots but frankly, given the leftward weight of the culture I expect the worst. On the positive side I find the faith is extremely helpful in bad situations. We aren't promised an earthly/temporal victory, but we are well equipped to fight.

Sofa King said...

Just the opposite. It means the law should respect freedom of conscience for all. Exemptions shouldn't just be given for religious beliefs. It should be given for all of our sincere moral beliefs, whether or not religiously based.


But again, that's effectively the same as saying there should be no law. I'm sure a sociopath could have a sincere moral belief that raping other women is fully justified by his sexual appetite.

Jake Diamond said...

What we are seeing here is grandstanding by the Catholic Church. They are deliberately misconstruing the nature of the "contraception mandate." It's a shame but entirely consistent with the Church's history that it is engaging in intellectual dishonesty.

Jake Diamond said...

By the way, anyone who regularly reads CNSNews is a dumbshit.

Renee said...

Jake where is the 'misconstruing'?

How do think employer sponsored/supplemented insurance works?

If you mean defending our religious liberties to teach and practice in accordance to our beliefs, as 'grandstanding'.

What is intellectually dishonest, about understanding fertility?

Jake Diamond said...

Renee - Contrary to what the Catholic Church squawks about, employers are not required to provide or fund contraception. Like other employers, they are required to pay for health insurance. It is not the proper role for the Church to dictate to employees which health care benefits they may or may not use.

The Church's position is similar to claiming that they shouldn't have to pay employees because those employees might use some of their salary in ways that the Church doesn't approve. It's a shallow, dishonest argument that the Church is trying to make, and it depends on misleading the public. But as we both know, the Church has a history of dishonesty about contraception, so the cynical strategy is complete consistent with the Church's track record of deceit.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Jake:

The Church is being forced to cooperate in providing something she deems morally wrong--the same for lots of secular employers, both Catholic and otherwise.

Your claim that it's like dictating what someone does with one's salary is wrong. There is a big difference between what an employee does, once s/he gets his or her check, versus what the employer is asked to facilitate directly.

Let's put it this way: if the gov't said, instead, that all employers had to ensure their employees had enough pay to enable them to go buy contraceptives, we wouldn't have this battle. It's because the abortifacient drugs, contraceptives and sterilization are being shoe-horned into the health care plan which the employer provides and thus cooperates with.

For that matter, the other employees, insofar as they are part of the insurance pool, are also coerced cooperators with what is sinful and offensive to them.

Consider the dilemma of the Sisters of Life--a religious order dedicated to opposing abortion. Yet under this mandate, the health insurance they must provide for themselves, must include contracpetion, sterilization and abortion. They can't opt out.

And, no, they aren't exempted currently, unless they are employed only by certain institutions. If they are employed, say, by a Catholic hospital, too bad.

Let's say they aren't employed at all. If they are contemplatives, they have no "job," but they are required to have health insurance--everyone is, remember?

So why can't Catholics have a health insurance option that respects their values? HHS and Obama says they can't. ("If you like your health insurance, you'll get to keep it." Oops!)

Hard to see what public policy good requires this sort of coercion.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Let's explore this claim that it's no different from how someone spends his/her own money, so why should the employer object to facilitating the purchase via non-cash compensation?

Here's a scenario.

Suppose you have a buddy who drinks. Too much. As a result, you wish he'd quit; and you don't want to help him do it.

You mention you're going to the store. He hands you $30 and says, "pick up as much beer as that'll buy."

His money, right? So are you claiming you have zero moral culpability if you go ahead? No dilemma?

Most people, I think, if they felt that dilemma, might well respond: "I'd rather not buy that for you." And then they might take one of two options:

"...but if you want, you can come with me to the store. If you buy it yourself, that's your lookout."

Or, if they might just say...

"No, I just don't want to be any part of you getting drunk tonight. If you do, that's your business, but don't ask me to help you do it..

And that's what people are saying about the HHS forced-participation-in-contraception mandate: "but don't ask me to help you do it."

Renee said...




My husband's employer (secular/for profit) tells us what our benefits are and aren't. They tell us what our co-pays are, what our deductibles are, and what is covered. The employer, not us negotiates what is covered and what isn't.

The only negotiation we have is to find new employment if we do not like the plan. We are stuck due to the economy and limited employment options, but no one is forcing him be employed there, he can quit 'at-will'.

If contraception is at no cost, then who is paying for it? Do you really think the insurance companies or the pharmaceutical companies are going to take the lost? Nothing is free, someone is paying for it through our premiums and employer contributions.


Again where is the Catholic Church being intellectually dishonest? Our bodies are suppose to ovulate/menstruate. That's a sign of actual health.


Birth rates are below replacement level in the U.S., even worldwide they are at 2.5 for the entire human population of the Earth calculating countries with higher birth rates. We have a reverse demography problem, shouldn't we be encouraging women and men to have children? Especially at younger ages, before our fertility declines. Infertility is costly to treat, so shouldn't health care providers encourage women to have children in their 20s. Babies are generally healthier as well.

Jake Diamond said...

There is a big difference between what an employee does, once s/he gets his or her check, versus what the employer is asked to facilitate directly.

Directly? See, this is what I mean when I refer to the Catholic Church's dishonesty. The so-called "contraception mandate" does not require employers to provide contraception directly. These employers are only required to pay for health care benefits. The nature of those health care benefits is not under the control of the employer nor should it be.

If the Catholic Church intends to continue its utterly foolish opposition to contraception, it should choose the honorable path of persuading people with honest arguments. When the Catholic Church and its representatives use deceit, they concede the weakness of their position.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Renee:

We have a contraceptive-caused demographic catastrophe of epic proportions unfolding worldwide.

A large swathe of nations are in the process of a population implosion. The consequences will be far-reaching and in many cases, nightmarish.

The remarkable thing is, this is showing up in the secular media, on the financial pages and in articles about geo-politics.

Nation after nation has piled up massive debt and financial commitments that could only have been feasible with a growing population; instead, a shrinking population will face progressively worse burdens to bear.

Meanwhile, older citizens--whose health and retirement costs will become more burdensome to this shrinking tax base--will grow in political power, meaning every year they will have greater leverage to block reform. The shrinking pool of younger citizens is out of luck.

That, by the way, will only make having families even harder--worsening the long-term problem. Financial or tax incentives to reverse the birth dearth will shrivel for lack of funding. Downward spiral.

Meanwhile, what happens to a society as this unfolds?

Consider this. In Italy, the government is already running short of money to repair and maintain much of the architectural heritage. The Trevi Fountain, only about 500 years old (if memory serves), needed repairs. They were delayed and may not have happened yet.

Now, stop and think: Italy is full of buildings and monuments worth preserving. Greece the same way. Europe the same way.

What happens if they can't?

Now consider something else.

Russia's population--last time I looked this up--is declining 700-800,000 a year. Project that forward 30 years: what happens in the vast interior of Russia? It's depopulated.

Russia has a long border to defend with both China--which faces its own depopulation trend further out--and many other nations who are still growing.

It's not hard to see--if not in Russia, then elsewhere, a contest for territory. If you can't defend it, if you can't even populate it, how long can it stay "yours"?

If this were only localized to certain areas, that would mean a gradual demographic shift. And that would be disruptive enough: such as Europe going from quasi-Christian to dominant Muslim.

However, so successful have the advocates of contraception--with our tax money--over the decades, that the list of countries where they are replacing themselves is getting short. If I recall correctly, it's most of Latin America, most of Asia, including a lot of Muslim countries, and a significant portion of Africa.

So the effects won't just be localized but global. Global economic contraction. Not for a year, but for a long time.

If you can't fund the structures of civilization as we know it, what happens to them?

What do you think happens to them?

Jake Diamond said...

Our bodies are suppose to ovulate/menstruate.

Mine isn't. You need to take a sex education course.

That's a sign of actual health.

Excuse my bluntness, but your argument is dumb. Women can be perfectly healthy without ovulation and menstruation. Furthermore, the Catholic Church doesn't oppose contraception for "health" reasons. Please remember that the Catholic Church condemns the use of condoms, so your argument here is a complete red herring in addition to being based on a false premise.

Jake Diamond said...

We have a contraceptive-caused demographic catastrophe of epic proportions unfolding worldwide.

More ignorant bullshit from a representative of the Catholic Church.

Thanks for sharing that bit of disinformation, Padre.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Renee:

We have a contraceptive-caused demographic catastrophe of epic proportions unfolding worldwide.

A large swathe of nations are in the process of a population implosion. The consequences will be far-reaching and in many cases, nightmarish.

The remarkable thing is, this is showing up in the secular media, on the financial pages and in articles about geo-politics.

Nation after nation has piled up massive debt and financial commitments that could only have been feasible with a growing population; instead, a shrinking population will face progressively worse burdens to bear.

Meanwhile, older citizens--whose health and retirement costs will become more burdensome to this shrinking tax base--will grow in political power, meaning every year they will have greater leverage to block reform. The shrinking pool of younger citizens is out of luck.

That, by the way, will only make having families even harder--worsening the long-term problem. Financial or tax incentives to reverse the birth dearth will shrivel for lack of funding. Downward spiral.

Meanwhile, what happens to a society as this unfolds?

Consider this. In Italy, the government is already running short of money to repair and maintain much of the architectural heritage. The Trevi Fountain, only about 500 years old (if memory serves), needed repairs. They were delayed and may not have happened yet.

Now, stop and think: Italy is full of buildings and monuments worth preserving. Greece the same way. Europe the same way.

What happens if they can't?

Now consider something else.

Russia's population--last time I looked this up--is declining 700-800,000 a year. Project that forward 30 years: what happens in the vast interior of Russia? It's depopulated.

Russia has a long border to defend with both China--which faces its own depopulation trend further out--and many other nations who are still growing.

It's not hard to see--if not in Russia, then elsewhere, a contest for territory. If you can't defend it, if you can't even populate it, how long can it stay "yours"?

If this were only localized to certain areas, that would mean a gradual demographic shift. And that would be disruptive enough: such as Europe going from quasi-Christian to dominant Muslim.

However, so successful have the advocates of contraception--with our tax money--over the decades, that the list of countries where they are replacing themselves is getting short. If I recall correctly, it's most of Latin America, most of Asia, including a lot of Muslim countries, and a significant portion of Africa.

So the effects won't just be localized but global. Global economic contraction. Not for a year, but for a long time.

If you can't fund the structures of civilization as we know it, what happens to them?

What do you think happens to them?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Sorry for the double-post.

Fr Martin Fox said...

BBC: Japan eyes demographic time bomb

The Atlantic: In Russia, a Demographic Crisis and Worries for Nation's Future

Reuters: China risks getting old before it gets rich

CIA: "Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years."

Of course, the BBC, Reuters and the CIA are all operations of the Catholic Church, so it's all "ignorant bullshit" you can safely ignore, because Jake says so.

Jake Diamond said...

We have a contraceptive-caused demographic catastrophe of epic proportions unfolding worldwide.

Not a single one of the articles you link support your statement.

You have very little credibility, Padre.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Jake:

OK, I'll help you since you can't connect the dots.

They all describe dropping fertility rates, and several describe the problem in terms of specific countries. And they all talk about the "crisis" these drops in fertility are causing.

So what's your point? You contest my claim that the promotion of contraception worldwide?

You don't believe it's true that contraception has been promoted worldwide?

And that it's...working?

Which links in the chain of this argument are you contesting?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Google "Demographic Winter" and see what comes up.

I'm sure some of the folks involved are Catholic, but I think it's pretty unlikely they're all Catholic, so maybe Jake will let you consider it. Especially the data from economists, demographers and the UN.

Unless they're Catholic, of course, you know what liars they are.

mccullough said...

Sofa King,

I now see what you're saying, and believe I wasn't clear before.

My point is that if the law is going to allow for exemptions from generally applicable laws based on freedom of conscience then it should do so for religiously-based and non-religiously based sincerely held beliefs.

For example, during WWII, the U.S. government allowed for religious conscientious objectors but imprisoned those non religious conscientious objectors. I think that's wrong.

Also, Obamacare allows certain religious sects to be exempt from the individual mandate (the same sects that also are exempt from Social Security and Medicare).

I think it's wrong (though not unconstitutional as of yet) to not also exempt other individuals who have a sincere belief that they don't want to have to buy health insurance. The U.S. government is favoring religious based beliefs over non-religious based beliefs. Freedom of conscience should protect both. That's all I was saying.

Jake Diamond said...

OK, I'll help you since you can't connect the dots.

Oh Padre, trying to insult me gains you nothing, especially considering the fact that (a) you're wrong, and (b) it's not behavior that is consistent with your job description.

But as long as you're pretending to be interested in learning something, you've yet to establish certain aspects of your claim. The first is that lower fertility rates correspond to a "catastrophe." The second is that the lower rates are "contraceptive-caused."

Since neither is true, your argument falls apart.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Jake:

The articles linked do indeed show the catastrophic effects of lower population. But since you ignore the data, and pretend it doesn't exist, let's move on to your even more risible claim: you question whether lower fertility worldwide can really be blamed on the widespread promotion and use of contraceptives.

Really? You dispute that?

You aren't aware that any number of large organizations, including the UN, the U.S. government, and many private organizations, have been working assiduously to promote contraception and sterilization worldwide? None of this has happened the last 40 years?

Or, you're going to question whether it has worked?

That's your argument?

rcommal said...

Perhaps one of the keywords missing is "mismatch," in this conversation.

For example, it's a mismatch if within a country, the population reaches a critical mass of aging people without, at last, managing to produce anywhere near close enough of younger'uns to support the aged and--given how the life-cycle inevitably goes--aging.

It's not stupid to be able to mention a couple-so nations that fit that definition. It's even smarter to acknowledge that this has been a concern for many years in particular ones--which means, this is not "new 'news'."

I'm not referring to the U.S., by the way. So far, we're not there, yet.

Jake Diamond said...

Padre-

I'm never convinced by arguments based on absence of evidence. That may be a great technique in the religion game where you have an audience accustomed to suspending rational thought processes, but in a debate it doesn't fly.

The fact is that we KNOW, based on scientific study, that sperm counts have dropped sigificantly in the last 50 years and that this factor (as well as others) has contributed to lower fertility rates.

We also KNOW, based on research, that couples are choosing to delay procreation until later in life, and that fertility rates decrease as women and men age. This is also not a "contraceptive-caused" factor.

So once again Catholic hysteria about cotraception leads the Church and its representatives to make ignorant claims. For example, remember when the Church tried to claim that condoms are permeable to the aids virus? It's that kind of irresponsible and scientifically ignorant statement that typifies the Church's hysterical irrationality on the subject of condom use.

I know the Catholic Church has no problem denying science and facts, but we KNOW that use of contraception leads to lower abortion rates. Yet despite the Church's claim to abhor abortion, it quite happily discourages condom use because, apparently, the Church loves sperm more than it despises abortion.

Save your hollow, irrational arguments for a sermon, Padre. In a debate where facts matter, you lose.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Jake:

It's hilarious to see you pile on insults and anti-Catholic bigotry, and then when I talk about how you cannot connect the dots that are pretty obvious, you whine about how I hurt your feelings with an insult.

Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

Now, as to the facts you cite. It's not that complicated. Pointing to the widespread practice of contraception (which you ridiculously deny has been spread and promoted over the past 40 years, but I think most intelligent people are well aware of it) as a powerful cause of a great shift in population trends does not preclude other factors. So, pointing to other factors that are observable, as you mention, does not invalidate my argument at all--unless you assume that a phenomenon must have one, and only one, cause. Why assume that?

Oh, but you can always rely on insults and anti-Catholic bigotry. I expect that tactic will return.

Consider this my last comment to you. I don't usually waste time with bigots.

Jake Diamond said...

It's hilarious to see you pile on insults and anti-Catholic bigotry

You're wrong as usual. There's not a bit of bigotry involved, just a set of facts that make you uncomfortable. Catholic sex abuse cases? Fact. Catholic Church cover up? Fact. Catholic Church making untrue statements about condoms and disease prevention? Fact.

You can cry "bigot" as much as you like, Padre, but it doesn't change the facts. Pointing out the failings and the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church doesn't make me a bigot. On the other hand, your attempts to defend wrongdoing by the Catholic Church defines you as dishonorable and deceitful.

...and then when I talk about how you cannot connect the dots that are pretty obvious, you whine about how I hurt your feelings with an insult.

You didn't hurt my feelings. You were trying, but the problem you have in trying to insult is that your wit is too dull to cut. It's good to see you defending the Christian principle of "don't dish it out if you can't take it," though.

Now, as to the facts you cite. It's not that complicated. Pointing to the widespread practice of contraception (which you ridiculously deny has been spread and promoted over the past 40 years, but I think most intelligent people are well aware of it) as a powerful cause of a great shift in population trends does not preclude other factors.

Actually it is complicated. Biological processes are complicated, and population dynamics are not guided or understood by reference to scripture. Now, to be accurate, which is a foreign concept to you apparently, I didn't deny that contraception has been promoted. (Nice attempt at a deceitful straw man argument, Padre.) Contraception has been promoted for some very good reasons, including reducing unwanted pregnancies, reducing sexually transmitted disease, reducing the frequency of abortion, etc... It's a sad statement about Catholic Church priorities that the Church cares more about protecting sperm than protecting life.

Reread what I wrote, Padre, and stop distorting the facts to promote the Catholic Church's agenda.

So, pointing to other factors that are observable, as you mention, does not invalidate my argument at all--unless you assume that a phenomenon must have one, and only one, cause. Why assume that?

Gee, Padre, it's almost as if you forgot what you wrote. But I suspect you haven't, you're just trying to wriggle away from your original claim that "[w]e have a contraceptive-caused demographic catastrophe." So originally you say the "catastrophe" is "contraceptive-caused" and now you say that it has multiple causes. That's an etch-a-sketch moment worthy of Mittens. Why don't you just admit you were wrong instead of dishonestly trying to shift your position?

Consider this my last comment to you. I don't usually waste time with bigots.

That's fine, Padre. I don't encourage dumbshits and liars to continue posting gibberish. You've unsuccessfully tried to spread Catholic Church misinformation and I've called you on it. I agree that your best strategy at this point is to cry "bigot" and run away. But please remember that every time you and the Catholic Church lie about contraception, you diminish whatever remaining credibility and moral standing you have.

Jake Diamond said...

Hey Padre,

I've reflected on your accusation and I have to admit that I am guilty of bigotry against the following:

- organizations that harbor pedophiles

- organizations that cover up sexual abuse by their staff

- organizations that lie to their members about health issues

- organizations that risk the health and well-being of members in order to promote doctrine

- organizations that are anti-science

I appreciate that you and many others might have great difficulty distinguishing this bigotry from anti-Catholic bigotry. On the other hand, if the shoe fits...

Melody Dunn said...

The global population is more than 7 billion now and headed to 9 billion by 2050. If world population continues its exponential growth, when we will hit planetary carrying capacity limits with our key resources (or are we already exceeding them?) What are the just, humane, and rights-respecting options that are on the table for balancing the world’s population with the ability of the earth to sustain it? You can not keep going on believing everyone should reproduce as much as possible. It will doom us all.

Melody Dunn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.