Author Topic: Religious affiliates and birth control  (Read 457 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Religious affiliates and birth control
« on: February 11, 2012, 07:20:11 AM »
The recent "furor" of various religious groups against Obama's decision to require religiously-affiliated organizations that receive public money to provide birth control in their health care plans made me think of something.

Since when does their right to religious conscience override their responsibility to public health?  The simple answer is that it doesn't.  No organization like this has the intrinsic right to arbitrarily deny public services to their customers and clients, especially when they are receiving federal tax money in order to provide what amount to public services.  What if we had a religiously-affiliated organization (such as a university or hospital) that believed it was sinful to inject substances into the human body, and tried to argue, like the Catholic Church is now arguing, that it's right to practice its religious beliefs meant that it should not be required to pay for immunizations in health care plans, or provide immunizations for clients?  If they do not want to do so (or if the Catholic Church doesn't want to provide birth control), then at the very least the federal funds they receive should be penalized based on this, and they should have to make it very clear that they do not provide these services and why.

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 09:19:46 AM »
I agree, obviously.  And I cannot understand why this issue is not perfectly clear cut to everyone who weighs in.  Federal money means federal money, and the right to discriminate is unavailable at that point.

Same with gay marriage.  No church or religion has ever been forced to do these marriages.  And even though federal funding is not involved, it still amazes me that these bigoted, hateful, and discriminatory organizations (i.e.churches) think they have a right to make it completely illegal.


Offline Death over Life

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 11:29:14 AM »
All it just means is we need to keep the fight from these ignorant theocratic bigots. We are winning the battles as not only are there becoming more places legalizing gay marriage (California for latest example), but you notice America is starting to become more secular as time goes by. Christianity is falling in America.

Offline bosey926

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 12:57:21 PM »
^^^Yeah we are moving forward, but my only problem with Obama "compromising" with the religious right is that is wasn't a compromise in the least.  They said bark: he sat and rolled over too.  If they wanted the religious institutions (churches and colleges) to be exempt from providing free birth control to women employed there, then President Obama should have said, "O.K., well you don't want to obey that part of public funding law, well then, I suppose you won't need public funding at all then.  You can fund yourselves entirely.  Oh yeah, and no 501 (c) (3) exemptions either." 
     I wish he would have taken a hard line to the OP's idea.  Essentially told them to take this cherry picking amongst domestic welfare policies and told them to shove it sideways up their ass!
     What was even more stupid, at the end of this, MSNBC (and the other reliable news sources) all reported that through a poll service; some 97.5% of Roman Catholics have used some form of birth control in their lives.  Another 49% currently do. 

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 12:59:26 PM »
What was even more stupid, at the end of this, MSNBC (and the other reliable news sources) all reported that through a poll service; some 97.5% of Roman Catholics have used some form of birth control in their lives.  Another 49% currently do. 

Religious hypocrisy is not news. Theists have been hypocrites since... well, always.
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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 01:35:30 PM »
All it just means is we need to keep the fight from these ignorant theocratic bigots. We are winning the battles as not only are there becoming more places legalizing gay marriage (California for latest example), but you notice America is starting to become more secular as time goes by. Christianity is falling in America.

Atheism and secularism are gaining ground and religion (finally!) is losing it, agreed. But the process is far from sure. The reactionaries can see this too, and it terrifies them: their god and their authority in society are increasingly irrelevant. And in the US, enough of them vote so that even moderates like Obama feel the need to compromise with them.

Panicked people do desperate and irrational things; when their core beliefs are already irrational... Just sayin' we need to keep pushing and point out the craziness as much as possible.

And yeah, it was a bad idea for Obama to cave as much as he did, on this birth control thing and elsewhere. Because they're losing ground, the religious right are never satisfied with a given compromise. They want it all back.
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Offline Death over Life

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 06:31:03 PM »
Don't forget however, despite Obama recently having many compromises with his' plans, the compromising is trying to show the religious reich they can re-elect him for 4 more years as President. What gets me more is elections are coming close and not that Obama's compromising, but rather, the Republicans are rather trying to show just how out of touch they are with reality. Given that Santorum won the votes in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado, if HP is anything to go by, next to nobody is voting for the GOP nominee, so I guess I could ask why Obama is even bothering with the religious since his re-election is pretty inevitable.

Offline Nick

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 06:43:15 PM »
Don't forget however, despite Obama recently having many compromises with his' plans, the compromising is trying to show the religious reich they can re-elect him for 4 more years as President. What gets me more is elections are coming close and not that Obama's compromising, but rather, the Republicans are rather trying to show just how out of touch they are with reality. Given that Santorum won the votes in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado, if HP is anything to go by, next to nobody is voting for the GOP nominee, so I guess I could ask why Obama is even bothering with the religious since his re-election is pretty inevitable.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 11:52:10 AM »
Since Santorum doesn't like prophylactics, perhaps he favors this more:




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Offline Brad the Bold

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2012, 10:23:38 AM »
The recent "furor" of various religious groups against Obama's decision to require religiously-affiliated organizations that receive public money to provide birth control in their health care plans made me think of something.

Since when does their right to religious conscience override their responsibility to public health?  The simple answer is that it doesn't.  No organization like this has the intrinsic right to arbitrarily deny public services to their customers and clients, especially when they are receiving federal tax money in order to provide what amount to public services.  What if we had a religiously-affiliated organization (such as a university or hospital) that believed it was sinful to inject substances into the human body, and tried to argue, like the Catholic Church is now arguing, that it's right to practice its religious beliefs meant that it should not be required to pay for immunizations in health care plans, or provide immunizations for clients?  If they do not want to do so (or if the Catholic Church doesn't want to provide birth control), then at the very least the federal funds they receive should be penalized based on this, and they should have to make it very clear that they do not provide these services and why.

The real world is already full of examples like your hypothetical anti-immunizers who reject some (or all) of modern medicine.

Jehovah's Witness - Blood transfusion/blood products
Scientology - Psychiatric drugs
Christian Scientist - Medicine in general
I imagine Hindus and Jews have problems with bovine and porcine heart valves.

So if you work for the "Christian Science Monitor" as a copy editor, can they deny you a health plan based on the beliefs of the patron church. That would cut a lot of overhead, right.? But, nope.

So can a Catholic hospital deny coverage for contraception for it's employees, Catholic or not? Nope.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 01:02:41 PM »
So, the compromise solution that Obama tried to set up got rejected by the organization of Catholic bishops, but interestingly, two of the major ones (that actually provide public services) have already accepted it.  I think this is actually a good thing, as the ones that reject his compromise cannot expect him to bend further since some of the less fervent Catholic organizations have already accepted it.  Naturally, the conservamedia are howling in outrage at Obama's "tyranny", which is obviously anything but to people who actually pay attention to what's really going on.

More to the point, by focusing on the rights of Catholic organizations to refuse contraceptive coverage to their employees, these bishops and others are in the process of conceding the mandate for purely secular organizations.  I'm sure they would prefer it differently, but the fact is that they can't argue that a Catholic worker should not even have contraceptive options presented in a health care plan, since nobody is forcing that worker to opt for those options or to pay for them if they don't use them.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: Religious affiliates and birth control
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 01:55:31 PM »
The seemingly simple answer is to say "cut the funding". But unfortunately, things are rarely ever as simple as we wish they were. It would appear that somehow the religious body that objects to the ruling has a foot to stand on. I imagine that foot is not about law or even right and wrong, but rather, leverage. Apparantly the church can raise hell and elect not to comply because they (the higher ups) believe that the government would never cut their funding for whatever reason. If this is indeed the case then what we have is a group taking a stance from a position of power and no matter what people think or say, they will use the leverage they have to get what they want. That means that there may be no immediate solution. So what the opponents of this interest group should be is formulate a way to make what this group provides that gives it leverage replacable and in a sense obsolete.