Author Topic: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps  (Read 1877 times)

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Offline Chronos

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More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« on: February 05, 2012, 11:09:23 AM »
Contraception Provision Sets Off Firestorm

Quote
... you might have heard a number of Republican presidential contenders talk about what they call the Obama administration's war on religion.

Part of this criticism stems from a provision in the new health care law that requires employer-sponsored health care plans to offer contraceptives free of charge and sterilization services, with a few exceptions.

The administration recently reaffirmed a position that means that, for the most part, religious universities, hospitals and charities that serve the general public would be expected to comply. The rule has sparked outrage among a number of conservative religious groups, with several Catholic bishops calling on their parishioners to refuse to comply with the law.

There really isn't a matter of conscience here, at least not on the part of the church (particularly the Roman Catholic church) and it's money. It's really about their members. If the church has a health plan and it is required to offer free or discounted contraceptives as part of that plan, the members under the plan do not have to partake of such benefits if the members believe it to be against their religious beliefs. Just because the plan has a benefit doesn't meant that members must make use of the benefit. I am sure that a "therapeutic abortion", formally called "dilatation and curettage" has been paid under church plans because they can be, indeed, therapeutic and not elective ... and the church has no right to intervene to find out which is which.

Perhaps the church is worried that more of its membership doesn't have the same crisis of conscience about contraceptives that the archbishops do.
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Offline Nick

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 04:11:34 PM »
Yes, I heard the main topic today in Catholic Churches was this.  Most Catholics use some kind of birth control now.  I would think they would like some help paying for it.  But on the other hand you can see it from the Bishops point of view also.  Abortion has taken thousands of future little boys who will never be molested by them.  This has got to be stopped.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 04:46:07 PM »
Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. I am sure it is not due to abstinence. If the Pope can't keep Italians from practicing birth control, he has no hope anywhere else. I wonder if the insurance plans in Italy pay for birth control. I will find out. 8)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline One Above All

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 04:48:43 PM »
Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. I am sure it is not due to abstinence. If the Pope can't keep Italians from practicing birth control, he has no hope anywhere else. I wonder if the insurance plans in Italy pay for birth control. I will find out. 8)

Don't priests molest spend time alone with little boys exclusively? That would certainly account for the low birth rate. After all, the priests are the representatives of god's will on Earth.
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Online screwtape

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 08:37:16 AM »
^ Screwtape's First Law of the Internet: any internet discussion of religion or especially Catholicism will eventually elicit references to pedophiles.

Do I need to have another rant about how that is a pointless cheap shot that has fuck all to do with the topic?




When I was catholic I looked upon the contraceptive prohibition as a hold over from the middle ages.  There was no way I was going to take that papal directive seriously for even a second.  I did not know anyone who did.   If catholics are cafeteria xians[1], I cannot blame them.  catholicism demands too many weird/ ridiculous things of catholics.

 1. I sure was
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Offline One Above All

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 08:46:45 AM »
^ Screwtape's First Law of the Internet: any internet discussion of religion or especially Catholicism will eventually elicit references to pedophiles.

Do I need to have another rant about how that is a pointless cheap shot that has fuck all to do with the topic?

My comment was in jest. If it were an actual argument, it would be utterly retarded.
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Online screwtape

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 09:40:21 AM »
My comment was in jest.

Of course it was.  Only, it there is nothing funny about it.  That punchline has been used constantly for what, 10 years now?  20?  It is like it is an obligatory reaction.  "Catholics"..."Pedophiles!" Cue the laugh track.  It's easy, cheap and Leno-esque[1].  It's like "Mormon"..."Polygamy!" BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!  eh.  Not actually funny, was it?  What other tired trope can we trot out.  Oh, I know! 
"Jews"..."Cheap!"  BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!  eh. 
"Muslims"..."Terrorists!"  BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!  eh.
"Indians"..."Red dots on their heads!" BAAAAAAHAHAHAHA!  eh.

And I'm not aiming this at you alone.  Nick is the one who (predictably) brought it up in the very first reply.   

I would find it refreshing to see a thread where "catholic" was mentioned and "pedophile" did not appear within 3 posts.  A man grows weary.   

Sorry, Chronos, to derail your thread with my peeves.  I'll stop now.
 1. who hasn't made anyone laugh in 30 years
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Offline One Above All

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 09:47:17 AM »
Of course it was.  Only, it there is nothing funny about it.

If it made me smile, it will make at least one other smile as well.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 11:53:16 AM »
I agree with screwtape.  Most of the time I just roll my eyes at the supposedly "humorous" comments about Catholic pedophilia.  For one thing, it really isn't funny once it's been used too often; I realize it's intended to poke fun at the ones engaging in the behavior, but it tends to backfire after a while.  "Ho-hum, another boring Catholic pedophile joke."  People tend to stop thinking about the actual behavior once they've heard the jokes too often, and they certainly tend to discount the people who make the jokes.

Also, the fact that the person telling a joke thinks that it's funny is usually not a good indication of how humorous it actually is.

Offline One Above All

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 11:59:14 AM »
Also, the fact that the person telling a joke thinks that it's funny is usually not a good indication of how humorous it actually is.

A joke is only funny or unfunny to the people hearing it. Humor is not absolute. However, if one person laughs at a joke, you can be certain that at least one other will as well.
Also, just because we make a joke about a certain type of behaviour doesn't mean we can't have a serious discussion about it and judge the morality of the behaviour, even if the joke is repeated a thousand times. If that were true, we would either stop telling jokes or stop taking things seriously.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Online jaimehlers

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 12:02:51 PM »
That doesn't mean that the jokes don't get awfully tiresome to listen to sometimes.  And that's largely what I was agreeing with screwtape about.  When a joke's gotten to the point where most people don't even pay attention to it, it's jumped the shark, so to speak.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 04:11:09 PM »
Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. I am sure it is not due to abstinence. If the Pope can't keep Italians from practicing birth control, he has no hope anywhere else. I wonder if the insurance plans in Italy pay for birth control. I will find out. 8)

As it turn out, publically-funded  hospitals in Italy do abortions for free and medications including contraceptives are free or low copays. Most women are obviously taking advantage of these services, with an average 1-2 kids per couple.

There is a problem because some regions are like some US states-- they are conservative and try to restrict women's access to abortion and certain contraceptives like the morning after pill. And there are doctors there who refuse to do some reproductive health stuff due to "conscience reasons".  &)

A woman in a small town in a conservative region of Italy could find herself in a bind. Some of the same problems we face here in the land of the not so free.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Nick

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 04:47:07 PM »
If the church is so powerful why can't it just tell its members not to use that option.  I'm sure that will work.  Then they don't have to try to influence the rest of us with their nonsense.
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Offline Frank

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 02:44:01 PM »
Italy has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. I am sure it is not due to abstinence. If the Pope can't keep Italians from practicing birth control, he has no hope anywhere else. I wonder if the insurance plans in Italy pay for birth control. I will find out. 8)

Italy, like every other european country, has universal healthcare, so presumably birth control costs are covered by that.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 07:43:58 PM »
This case is the perfect example of why a universal healthcare plan is the the only constitutional way to deal with the subject. Our health care should not be dependent on our employment or associations.
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Offline Backspace

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 02:01:35 PM »
It amazes me how single, celibate men feel qualified to provide family planning advice based on a line of text written thousands of years ago by bronze-age, sheep hearding Bedouins. 
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 02:47:43 PM »
Yes, I heard the main topic today in Catholic Churches was this.  Most Catholics use some kind of birth control now.  I would think they would like some help paying for it.  But on the other hand you can see it from the Bishops point of view also.  Abortion has taken thousands of future little boys who will never be molested by them.  This has got to be stopped.

I really don't think that's the reason at all. Remember that since the whole way religion works is to indoctrinate people before they can determine that it is a bunch of BS, that mean that many less Catholics growing up and voting for the Candidates they support and putting money into the contribution basket.

Remeber the Catholic Church has been around for around 1600 or so years....they know long term planning...and having fewer Catholics is bad for business.
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Online screwtape

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 09:53:37 AM »
Remeber the Catholic Church has been around for around 1600 or so years....they know long term planning...and having fewer Catholics is bad for business.

They don't know long term planning.  They are a bunch of reactionary old farts who don't know what century it is.  The clergy has reacted against more liberal policies of the church from the 60s and 70s.  The hierarchy has become much more conservative over the last 30 years.  As a result, they are running themselves out of business. 

Many, if not most, catholics support priests marrying.  The clergy does not. As a result, many people who considered becoming priests do not.  While I was catholic, I actually considered priesthood.  I disregarded it quickly because of the requirement to be celibate. 

The church has a shortage of priests.  In my former diocese we used to have 2 priests.  Now there is one priest for three local churches.  I have seen other diocese where the priest had to be "imported" from Central America or Africa because those are the only areas poor/ desperate enough that a life of celibacy is an acceptable tradeoff to escape them.

The problem could be helped if they allowed women to be priests. Many, if not most, catholics support female priests.  The clergy does not.  So, their policies, while true to some kind of tradition and orthodoxy, are ultimately making the church nonviable. No priests, no church.

To get back to the  point on birth control, NPR cited a poll that said 58% of catholics are okay with birth control.  I think it is probably more, if my old friends are any indication.  The clergy does not agree.  So they are alienating most of their congregants in a way that only leaves the fringe lunatics.  It is as if there are two distinct catholicisms - one practiced by the clergy and a minority of hardline congregants (see Agent40 or Bill Donahue) and one practiced by the majority of catholics.  I do not think the church can last very long with such a disconnect. 

Moderate catholics will end up as episcopalians, unitarians, or whatever is handy/ appealing.
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Offline jedweber

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 10:58:45 AM »
^ I think that moderate Catholics are just gradually drifting away, by the millions. (I've seen articles claiming that without the influx provided by Hispanic immigrants, the US Catholic church would have shrunk about as fast as the Episcopalians in the last few decades.) In my own extended family, NO ONE in the middle-aged or younger generations attends mass regularly. Even though most would still identify as Catholic, they only drop in for big holidays or special events like baptisms. (My brother and his wife had their kids baptized purely to placate the grandparents, none of them have been back inside a church since.)

I think this is leaving the church with a rump of mostly older and more conservative Catholics who are more likely to support the bishops on these kinds of social issues. And the bishops themselves are becoming more conservative, as the liberal clergy who came of age in the 1960s and 70s are retiring and dying off...

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 03:43:58 PM »
It is amusing to see how Protestants will include Catholics when they say, "There are more Christians in the world than any other religion. Two billion people can't be wrong, so that proves that we are right." Then when they want to show how Christians are persecuted and marginalized, they will only refer to their own tiny denomination.

Without counting the pro-natalist Catholics  (mainly in third world countries colonized by Spain, Portugal or France) there would be fewer Christians than Muslims. Do evangelicals in the US really think that they have much in common with Catholics in the Philippines, Haiti and Brazil?

The LDS church is doing outreach in Asia, Latin America and Africa and having some success, because they have money to help people out--if they become Mormons. There may come a time in the near future when "religious" will mean poor brown or black people (Christian and Muslim) with a few white evangelicals in the US. Holed up in a compound in rural Idaho. :o
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2012, 11:03:15 AM »
I'd like to see the different denominations' missionaries get into turf wars.  I can see a shaky alliance between the protestants and the catholics to wipe out the mormons.  Then, once that is done, they would turn on each other, but the RCC would have the upper hand, playing the different denominations off against each other.  Their mutual hatred of catholics wouldn't be enough to hold their coalition together.

that should be a movie or a video game or something. Holy Wars 2: Blood Sport
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2012, 11:46:18 AM »
I'd like to see the different denominations' missionaries get into turf wars.  I can see a shaky alliance between the protestants and the catholics to wipe out the mormons.  Then, once that is done, they would turn on each other, but the RCC would have the upper hand, playing the different denominations off against each other.  Their mutual hatred of catholics wouldn't be enough to hold their coalition together.

that should be a movie or a video game or something. Holy Wars 2: Blood Sport

Or European History 101.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2012, 12:09:21 PM »
There were no mormons.  Maybe they could be an expansion pack?  Add scientologists too?
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Offline Brad the Bold

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2012, 12:38:02 PM »
Contraception Provision Sets Off Firestorm

Quote
... you might have heard a number of Republican presidential contenders talk about what they call the Obama administration's war on religion.

Part of this criticism stems from a provision in the new health care law that requires employer-sponsored health care plans to offer contraceptives free of charge and sterilization services, with a few exceptions.

The administration recently reaffirmed a position that means that, for the most part, religious universities, hospitals and charities that serve the general public would be expected to comply. The rule has sparked outrage among a number of conservative religious groups, with several Catholic bishops calling on their parishioners to refuse to comply with the law.

There really isn't a matter of conscience here, at least not on the part of the church (particularly the Roman Catholic church) and it's money. It's really about their members. If the church has a health plan and it is required to offer free or discounted contraceptives as part of that plan, the members under the plan do not have to partake of such benefits if the members believe it to be against their religious beliefs. Just because the plan has a benefit doesn't meant that members must make use of the benefit. I am sure that a "therapeutic abortion", formally called "dilatation and curettage" has been paid under church plans because they can be, indeed, therapeutic and not elective ... and the church has no right to intervene to find out which is which.

Perhaps the church is worried that more of its membership doesn't have the same crisis of conscience about contraceptives that the archbishops do.

There are so many stupid aspects about this "firestorm" over Obama's supposedly "unconscionable" and "unconstitutional" "war against religion".

It doesn't apply to the churches themselves, just church run businesses like "St. Elsewhere's Hospital for the Tragically Afflicted". These entities are already not allowed to hire of fire employees based on religious "conscience". Why? Because religious beliefs do not grant exemption from the law, per SCOTUS - Employment Division v. Smith. So much for "unconstitutional".

Oh, and 28 states have similar laws regarding insurance coverage of contraception on the books. So chances are good most people outraged by this live where it is law, with or without Obama.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2012, 02:01:12 PM »

There are so many stupid aspects about this "firestorm" over Obama's supposedly "unconscionable" and "unconstitutional" "war against religion".

It doesn't apply to the churches themselves, just church run businesses like "St. Elsewhere's Hospital for the Tragically Afflicted". These entities are already not allowed to hire of fire employees based on religious "conscience". Why? Because religious beliefs do not grant exemption from the law, per SCOTUS - Employment Division v. Smith. So much for "unconstitutional".

Oh, and 28 states have similar laws regarding insurance coverage of contraception on the books. So chances are good most people outraged by this live where it is law, with or without Obama.

But actually presenting that truth undermines the Republican strategy and the prime directive of Fox News.
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Offline jetson

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2012, 10:37:47 AM »
Every time that Catholic church leadership speaks, it probably alienates a few more of it's flock.  To me, that is good.  Even though the Catholic church has been a dominant force in the world, and still is, it has enough closeted problems, and stupid leaders to actually crumble, if it were not for the indoctrination from birth of most of its current followers.  It's a traditional church, with traditional rituals, and they are basically unquestionable. 

The compromise story from the Obama administration in the New York Times this morning points out that we have a long way to go.

Offline Chronos

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2012, 09:45:45 PM »
Religious liberty at stake in battle over contraception rule
By Mary Matalin

Quote
... In recent months, a far-reaching regulation emanating from "Obamacare" and imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services requires church-affiliated hospitals, agencies and universities to pay for services that violate their faith (such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs) in the health insurance they provide employees ...

For the first time in our nation's history, the government has launched a full-fledged assault on our religious institutions to force them to pay for services that go against their religious convictions. The compromise offered by the administration allowing religious institutions a year to transition to the new system is no compromise. They are still forced to pay for services in direct conflict with their faith or incur severe penalties that could effectively drive them out of business ...

A Republican operative thinks that she needs to help shore up the Republican base for Romney by raising this issue again? Yes, she does.  I love how intelligent people value more the success of their team than success for everyone, and go ahead and use the polarizing topic of religion to keep half of Americans from getting access to some basic health care. She knows no shame.

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Offline Chronos

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Re: More religious exemptions ... or fewer, perhaps
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2014, 11:18:22 AM »
I should have named it The Little Sisters and Big Daddy just to attract some gamers, but they would likely be pissed.

http://www.reddit.com/r/WWGHA/comments/1v1adn/the_little_sisters/

http://15till3.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/the-little-sisters/


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