Obamacare's Threats to Religious Freedom

If the government can tax you for fidelity to long held religious beliefs, then the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is meaningless.

Statue of LibertyPascual De RuvoWhen the Framers were putting together the Constitution in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, they knew the states would not adopt it without written guarantees that the new central government would respect natural rights. The supporters of the Constitution promised political leaders in the states that the written guarantees would soon be added as amendments, and they were. By late 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified and added to the new Constitution.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to assure all in America that their natural rights—areas of human choices for which a permission slip from the government cannot be required and in which the government cannot coerce compliance with its wishes —would not be impaired by the federal government. Since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the natural rights protected in the Bill of Rights generally have been insulated from interference by the states, as well.

All natural rights are of paramount importance to all persons. They are individualized personal gifts from the Creator and have been recognized as such in American law since Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed with them by Him.

One of those rights guarantees the free exercise of religion. Indeed, the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment was written to ensure that the new government could not coerce persons to behave differently than their religious views informed their consciences or punish them for not conforming to a government-mandated religious orthodoxy. Generally, for almost 230 years, the federal government left us alone to choose freely our religious practices and to worship as we believe. Until now.

Today, the free exercise of religion is under attack by the government. When Congress enacted the Affordable Health Care Act—I prefer to call it Obamacare because it is President Obama's brainchild, his signature legislation, and because there is nothing affordable about it—members of Congress must have known that the law would impose obligations upon persons that would force them to engage in behavior in violation of their religious beliefs. Obamacare, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court under a superficial and novel theory that permits the feds to regulate natural rights by taxing us when we do not do as they have commanded, requires all employers of 50 or more persons to obtain health insurance coverage for all of their employees that pays for birth control via contraception, sterilization and abortion.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are an order of Roman Catholic nuns who have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. They operate nursing homes for those who cannot afford them and employ more than 50 persons. The sisters have objected to the requirement that they must pay for health insurance coverage that provides for birth control, as those payments directly violate Catholic teachings and beliefs.

In a pluralistic society, one would expect that the government would accommodate the sisters. In a free society in which everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, the feds have a legal obligation to accommodate them. In a political society in which many Catholics are Democrats who elected the Congress that gave us Obamacare, one would expect an accommodation. But we expect in vain, as the federal government has resisted the sisters mightily and asked the courts to turn down their pleas.

What is wrong with Obama that he would employ lawyers to do this? For starters, he does not believe in natural rights. He accepts the perverse view—known as positivism—that our rights come not from God, but from the government. This is not an academic argument, as, in the president's world, if the government is the source of freedom, then the government can restrict it. This is, of course, the opposite view from that of Judeo-Christian values, the Framers, the Constitution and American law; thus it violates the oath of office the president took.

But just as troubling as his attitude about the origin of personal freedoms is the president's attitude about the exercise of personal freedoms. Throughout his presidency, he has taken the position that he, and he alone, possesses the power to dispense with the obligations of federal laws when they are too burdensome and even to ignore them. He has bombed other countries without congressional approval, spied on all Americans without lawful warrants specifying any of them, enforced environmental regulations that Congress declined to enact, and declined to enforce or delayed the onset of sections of Obamacare that offend his friends. He has done this for political reasons when his colleagues and supporters have asked it of him.

So, what about the nuns? Nuns who own no personal property, nuns who spend their lives ministering to the poor, nuns who will never have the need for contraceptive or sterilization or abortion services, nuns not involved in politics but deeply committed to well-formed consciences? Can he give them a break, too? In a word: No. His Department of (political) Justice has vigorously resisted the nuns and even mocked them. It has demanded that they assert in writing what their religious beliefs are and that they permit others to pay for the contraceptive, sterilization and abortion services they do not want, cannot use and profoundly condemn.

Our post-Obamacare world is dangerous for people informed by conscience and presupposing respect for natural rights. Where are the Catholic Democrats in Congress who voted for this monstrosity? Why are they silent or tacitly with the president? Where are all good people of conscience in this great clash between the nuns faithful to God and the president to politics?

If the government can tax you and me and selfless nuns for fidelity to long held religious beliefs while exempting others because of their fleeting political beliefs, then the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is meaningless. And our rights are in the hands of a congressionally enabled tyrant.

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  • Snark Plissken||

    It has demanded that they assert in writing what their religious beliefs are and that they permit others to pay for the contraceptive, sterilization and abortion services they do not want, cannot use and profoundly condemn.

    Jake: [to Sister Mary Stigmata] Five grand? No problem, we'll have it for you in the morning. Let's go, Elwood.

  • RishJoMo||

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    www.AnonGlobal.tk

  • RishJoMo||

    LOL, us POLITICS. bEST POLITICS MONEY CAN BUY!

    www.AnonGlobal.tk

  • ||

    The squirrels got to Anonbot!?

  • JWatts||

    That's just what he wants you to think.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Religious Freedom is the most obvious way that Obamacare goes off the rails on civil rights. The central conceit is that the government and the executive branch in particular has competence in determining what adequate health insurance coverage is for each individual and ignoring how many people would choose differently for moral, practical or economic reasons.

  • Drake||

    I don't believe it is an anti-religious thing. The Democrats simply want a government so big that there just isn't room for things like religious beliefs or any other kind of freedom.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Far from an anti-religious thing, it is the religion of these people, they just don't call it religion. And they want to impose it on everybody else whenever they are in power.

  • Snark Plissken||

    I think it is a religious thing in the manner that Catholics are on the wrong side of the Kulture War because they hate the gays, War on Women, abortion, etc and they aren't a protected victim class.

  • trshmnstr||

    Yeah, it's the same reason that the religious right had a hard-on for bombing brown people. The same reason that the 1st and 2nd generation progressives were so interested in compulsive education.

    When you are sharing the limelight with a competing religion, many folks believe that it's your job to shut them up.

    Obama seems to be of the progressive religion, and the progressive god (government) is the most jealous of them all. YHWH at least showed mercy. government just drops a hellfire missile on you from 30,000 feet or shoots your dog and tazes your kids.

  • SugarFree||

    YHWH at least showed mercy.

    Everyone killed in the flood would like to have some words with you, but their tongues were eaten by fish.

  • trshmnstr||

    I guess i'd rather be droned than drowned.

  • waffles||

    No way. Is that a bible verse or an astute observation on the dietary habits of aquatic life?

  • SugarFree||

    They go for the soft parts first: eyes, tongues and genitals.

  • fish||

    So just the eyes and tongue for Warty then?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I am the state your god, you shall have no other gods before me.

  • David Wall||

    Fist--Pointing out where the current intellectual trend is taking us, as this wonderfully cryptic comment does, is good and necessary. Libertarians are really excellent in using edgy, gallows humor in identifying the negatives of the freedom-threatening morality being foisted upon us. But the next step is to offer a positive life-enhancing morality in its stead. A positive, moral vision is sorely needed: rational egoism.

  • ||

    "Master Rahl Government guide us. Master Rahl Government teach us. Master Rahl Government protect us. In your light we thrive. In your mercy we are sheltered. In your wisdom we are humbled. We live only to serve. Our lives are yours."

  • wareagle||

    why does anyone think this administration gives a shit about someone's religious freedom or any other sort of freedom? This bunch is positively Orwellian in using whatever means it can to enforce its version of thought on anyone it can. By the way, Catholics have a history of voting Dem so there is a part of me that is finding it difficult to muster much sympathy.

  • Doctor Whom||

    People assume that the juggernaut that they help to erect will only ever run down someone else.

  • Rich||

    government could not coerce persons to behave differently than their religious views informed their consciences

    Given, of course, that the "religious views" are approved by the government.

    This stuff seems to be essentially unresolvable.

  • ||

    The old testament has many references to polygamy. Why is that illegal?

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressivism is a religion, and government is their god.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm just glad that the courts are so focused on the only bad part of this law. It's good that the courts are so quick to address the fact that some small fraction of the enormous cost might have to be paid by people who object to how a small subset of their employees might spend said money for a product that an even smaller subset might be using for contraceptive purposes.

    I mean, the whole thing is a giant clusterfuck, but that's OK because Catholics will have their religious hackles smoothed down.

  • Marshall Gill||

    the whole thing is a giant clusterfuck, but that's OK because Catholics will have their religious hackles smoothed down.

    As wareagle points out above, Catholics by and large voted for this turd. In typical fashion they simply expected someone else's ox to be Gored.

    And yes, religious beliefs are basically personal. Why are personal beliefs in a Sky Father more important or deserving of protection than our belief that government is evil?

  • SugarFree||

    Minarchy needs to reinvent itself as a religion. It will be a nice demonstration that the government recognizing a religion is not all that different from the government establishing one.

  • ||

    Minarchy is a religion. It's Occam's Razor applied to government rather than applied to (Christian) theology. This is why the 1st is the 1st. Start with notion that you can fundamentally blieve and do whatever you want (peacably) and add ammendments from there....

    This is along the lines of what Scalia was saying in Lawrence v. Texas. If gay oral sex were part of a religious rite the government would be compelled to sit out. The Catholic Church could no more stop gay 'rituals' in private homes any more than they could prevent protestant ones or the atheistic could prevent Catholic ones. Instead, SCOTUS (!!!!) invented a 'right to gay sex' on amoral and popular grounds. Not surprising to any minarchist that Obama is far from the only one to invent or unduly void Natural Rights.

  • VicRattlehead||

    "congressionally Enabled Tyrant"

    My thoughts exactly, the fact that no one has impeached this POS and held trial for conspiracy to usurp constitutional rights under title 18 sec 241 of the us code and let him rot in gitmo for the rest of his life with his terror pawns means that they are just enabling him to destroy our country at every turn, if you want to kill a snake cut off his head

  • Floridian||

    You made the classic blunder. Government isn't a snake, it is a hydra. Strike down a corrupt branch of the government and two more replace it.

  • Floridian||

    I don't see why having a religion puts you in a protected class, but having your own guiding set of morals does not. Example: I am morally opposed to theft, but I have to pay my taxes anyways.

  • Rich||

    I don't see why having a religion puts you in a protected class

    "Oh, Blinding Light!
    Oh, Light That Blinds!
    Look out for me!
    I cannot see!"

  • db||

    Never forget that you mainly have to pay taxes because you are opposed to kidnapping and/or murder, namely your own by duly deputized agents of the state.

  • Floridian||

    Maybe we should start a church and get some of that sweet tax exemption.

  • db||

    I wish I was creative and dishonest enough to come up with the next Scientology.

  • ||

    By creative and dishonest you mean bat shit crazy?

  • SugarFree||

    The leaders of Scientogloy aren't "crazy," they qualify as "eccentric" based on their wealth.

  • Floridian||

    What are you talking about? The first liberty church writes itself. We already believe in peace and charity, the rest is coming up with costumes and rituals. I propose top hats and bathing in orphan blood(don't worry it's really wine).

  • Rich||

    How about this approach:

    Choose any, um, state-approved religion.
    Determine the essential tenets.
    Establish as the essential tenets of your religion the opposite (or a trivial modification) of these.
    Voilà!

    Islam and Christianity would appear to be good candidates.

  • Raven Nation||

    "Can he give them a break, too? In a word: No."

    Actually, it would be just as scary if the administration said Yes. Because then we would be back to the pre-Enlightenment idea that the state/monarch dispenses rights.

  • db||

    Sadly, we are already there.

  • WTF||

    the state/monarch dispenses rights

    This is what 'Tony' actually believes.

  • Tony||

    Not exactly. What do you believe? That rights come from imaginary sky grandpa?

  • JWatts||

    "Not exactly."

    But pretty close, huh?

  • kbolino||

    Their provenance is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't explain the origin of life, but that doesn't make it wrong.

    If your "rights" come from the government, then you are a slave, not a citizen.

  • Tony||

    It's not irrelevant to me, and evolution most certainly does explain the origin of life (in theory). Where do they come from? You need to answer me that before you expect me to agree with you about what they are.

  • ||

    and evolution most certainly does explain the origin of life (in theory)

    No, it doesn't. That would be abiogenesis, which is a distinct study, and far less well understood.

  • OneOut||

    "Not exactly. What do you believe? That rights come from imaginary sky grandpa?"

    Sexist pig.

  • sarcasmic||

    The Enlightenment is growing dim.

  • ||

    At every turn, on every single occasion where it's will has been challenged, in every situation where this administration has found its power limited, it has gone balls-to-the-wall to seize unlimited power. The arguments they put forth are breathtakingly absurd and over the top and yet the tolerant, liberal, compassionate crowd keep cheering them on.

    I blame Bush. Really, I do.

  • David Wall||

    You are right to blame Bush. Conservatives like him were suppose to champion freedom, but instead went for what he thought would be a winner with the voters--compassionate conservatism. It was plan old me-tooism, an abject surrender to what he thought were the morally superior premises of the statists-altruism. He passed more altruist legislation by expanding welfare state and he started yet another altruist, self sacrificing war. He sacrificed American lives not to defend their and our individual rights but so a bunch of backward people could vote for their next dictator. Deadly, horrific altruism in action.

    It turned out to be a political disaster and we got what we got. Even more altruism and the sacrificing of individual values and rights.

  • ||

    Bush was a progressive by another stripe.

  • JWatts||

    "You are right to blame Bush. Conservatives like him were suppose to champion freedom, but instead went for what he thought would be a winner with the voters--compassionate conservatism."

    That's pretty much a canard. The "compassionate conservatism" items of Bush's agenda were so minimal as to be negligible.

  • David Wall||

    Bush's expansion of drug prescription benefits for Medicare was not minimal. In my opinion, his underlying toadyism toward altruist morality motivated his vast expansion of Medicare benefits, how he ineptly administered the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, and his feckless reaction to the financial crisis.

    All of these together destroyed any positive momentum toward freedom that the conservatives might have had. It sit the plate for the full-blown statism Obama has wrought.

  • Jackand Ace||

    The daily Obamacare article. Brother.

    There is an issue playing out in Congress right now that impacts something most true Libertarians are concerned about, bloated military spending. And outside of one article in December by Richman, not much here.

    That bloated military spending arises from things like the sanctions and poor relations we have with Iran. And the bipartisan Menendez bill does not simply want to maintain the sanctions, it intends to increase them. Sanctions are an act of war, but you didn't need me to tell you that...Ron Paul tried to explain it numerous times during the last primary. And a coalition of Democrats and Republicans intend to ratchet up those war drums.

    So how much would such a thing cripple our economy? $4T? $8T? Or will it be quick and easy again, like Iraq.

    Obamacare is passed and will stay passed for at least the near future. And until the next 6 months pass, Obama does not know if it will be successful, and the Judge does not know if it will be a failure. Young people entering the marketplace will determine that. And in the meantime, its here to stay, regardless of the daily articles. Here is a suggestion...save just one day of the week for an article on trying to avoid the next overseas intervention, and use the other 4 days for Obamacare.

  • ||

    save just one day of the week for an article on trying to avoid the next overseas intervention, and use the other 4 days for Obamacare.

    Save just 5 seconds a day to actually read the headlines here, you hopelessly stupid twat:

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/01.....nomination

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/01.....red-of-war

  • ||

  • ||

    Unlike you, some folks can think about more than 1 issue in a 24 hour period.

  • Jackand Ace||

    You made my day again, PM, by once again displaying your lack of reading comprehension skills. If you are going to read my comment, try to understand it.

    Other than the Richman article, nothing about the SINGULAR issue of the harm which will be done by the Menendez bill. Has nothing to do with Reason reviewing war movies...I stopped after that hilarious attempt by you.

    Try again.

  • David Wall||

    I have great respect for the Judge. He forthrightly defends individual rights with vigor and regularity.

    But philosophically, the basis of individual rights is neither an ambiguous reference to natural rights nor "God given rights". These two arguments are an inadequate answer to the onslaught being waged against them--by positivist, pragmatists, utilitarianist, religionist, i.e,. just about every type and form of philosophy out there. The only moral basis that will do is reality and reason.

    Human beings survive, live and flourish by the use of their minds and making decisions about their lives based upon their minds. To be able to make decisions based upon his mind, though, men must have freedom; we must have individual rights. Defending individual rights is defending the right to life, literally. It is my life, I have the right to live it and make decisions about what is best for my life. That is moral basis of individual rights in a quick nutshell. The Judge needs to understand this as do many libertarians it seems.

  • ||

    The only moral basis that will do is reality and reason.

    That's an appeal to nature and falls under "natural rights" theory. If you think you have rights by virtue of being alive then you believe in natural rights of some variety - rights that are inherent to your nature.

    You also won't win many friends by telling them that even though they agree with you about the nature of rights, they are wrong for believing they come from a different part of nature than you think they come from. Rand's insights aren't without merit, but there's a reason why her personality cult fell apart after she died. If your worldview is such that you can only find agreement with folks who have exactly the same beliefs in every conceivable fact of life, you're religious.

  • David Wall||

    Most people who use the "man's nature" argument for supporting individual rights rarely define the reality and reason arguments clearly. Many including Locke who first presented it, essentially reverted to religious arguments. My post is legitimate in asking individual rights supporters to be specific about the reality and reason base arguments.

    As for Rand, I will not deny her influence. But it is a smear to suggest that I am a cult follower of some kind. I attempt to present my own independent ideas thoughtfully. You may disagree. That is fine, in fact, thinking about and considering disagreements is my motivation for posting and engaging.

    PM, I think we probably agree on most issues, but I think many of your posts are overly negative, disrespectful and knee-jerky. Cynicism is not thoughtfulness.

  • ||

    I'm waiting for some progressive troll to show up and assert that not paying for employees birth control impinges the employees religious freedom.

    So that I can ask them why not covering birth control is a violation of someone's liberty, but mandatory coverage of maternity care isn't.

    There might be some post-menopausal women out there who DON'T want to spend their "compensation" on maternity care and birth control.

    Fucking lying self-righteous hypocritical facist assholes.
    Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

  • Tony||

    Calm down and go learn about how the concept of insurance works.

    Nobody's forcing the nuns or the people they employ to take birth control. If someone wants to purchase birth control, presumably she doesn't object to it.

  • R C Dean||

    If someone wants to purchase birth control, presumably she doesn't object to it.

    Even so, she might object to having to pay for it directly or indirectly.

    And, under the web of mandates, she will be paying for it indirectly. That's the bit the proggies don't understand. Which is weird, because they seem totally on board with the redistributionist approach to health insurance otherwise.

    But, when birth control is the topic, all of a sudden the redistribution that otherwise drives their thinking suddenly evaporates.

  • Tony||

    If you weren't primarily focused on your blind hatred of Obama, you would see that this is all a bunch of nonsense. The nuns in this case are perfectly able to exempt themselves from providing contraceptive coverage. The law actually bends over backwards to accommodate religious objections. It does so despite the uncontroversial health benefits of access to contraception and the fact that almost all Catholic women use it. Nobody who works for the Little Sisters can get birth control under their plan.

    More interesting is the Hobby Lobby case. I suppose it's the libertarian pro-freedom position that employers of a secular business get to force their stupid beliefs on their employees?

  • ||

    Actually, yes. Because you (employee) don't own the business, they do.

  • Tony||

    And what does owning a business have to do with the government-recognized rights of your employees? We can go more elemental: employers don't have the right to horsewhip employees, despite the fact that they own the business, right?

  • ||

    That's a good one Tony, comparing not wanting to pay for birth control coverage to physically assaulting your employees. You really got me there.

    YOU DON'T HAVE A FUCKING RIGHT TO BIRTH CONTROL!

  • Tony||

    You're begging the question as you always do, Nate.

  • JWatts||

    There's a fundamental difference between being forced to give something to someone else and physical assaulting them. Do you not see the difference?

  • Tony||

    Not when it comes to the specious libertarian claim that business owners have absolute sovereignty over their employees.

  • JWatts||

    "Not when it comes to the specious libertarian claim that business owners have absolute sovereignty over their employees."

    Libertarians make no such claim. That's a ridiculous strawman argument.

    If your posts are a continuous stream of strawman arguments, gratuitous assertions, moving the goal posts, ad hominem attacks and other fallacies, maybe you should admit you're not good at whatever your trying to attempt.

  • Tony||

    So employers don't have dictatorial rights over employees? So where do you get off saying they have a right to deny government guarantees to healthcare coverage? Just a policy preference? Fine, I disagree. No need to talk about employer rights. Like everyone else they have such rights as the law gives them.

  • ||

    So where do you get off saying they have a right to deny government guarantees to healthcare coverage?

    Jesus fuck...

    Try to wrap your heads around the fact that there are literally millions of people who can actually contort logic to make this make sense to them.

    Protip: Not paying for something is not the same as denying access to it. Try operating from a logical position that doesn't begin with businesses being wards of the state and you might just get this.

  • kbolino||

    employers governments don't have the right to horsewhip employees set pay and benefits, despite the fact that they own the business can levy taxes, right?

    Really, your arguments are quite shallow.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Really, your arguments are quite shallow.

    Tony is the King of the strawman. We joke about having orphans working in mines or polishing monocles but Tony actually believes it.

    He is the poster child for why Democracy sucks. Find enough morons and you are well and truly fucked.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It is the libertarian case that if their employees don't like it, they can work somewhere else. Thus, no one is forcing anything on anyone.

  • JWatts||

    Or just pay for it themselves.

  • kbolino||

    I suppose it's the libertarian pro-freedom position that employers of a secular business get to force their stupid beliefs on their employees determine how to run their businesses?

    Why yes, yes it is.

  • Tony||

    That's not an absolute.

  • ||

    An assertion is almost like an argument, except it leaves out the part where the conclusion follows from the premise.

  • OneOut||

    Tony can you explain why progs ( yourself included) continue to try and use *access to contraception* as synonymous with *free birth control*.

    Birth control can be purchased for $9 a month. Having to pay for it out of your own pocket is not, not having access to it. You know this, yet you also use the term *access*.

    If you weren't so blinded by your love of Obama you would see this.

  • Tony||

    Can you explain why conservatards believe in nothing but lies? It's almost unbelievable.

    The pill can cost $80/month when you include doctors' visits, without insurance covering it.

    But the point is, it's a basic healthcare need like any other treatment, so let's not play stupid and pretend that the controversy would exist if not for the village shaman trying to stick his nose into women's crotches to make sure they're being sexually virtuous.

  • ||

    The pill can cost $80/month when you include doctors' visits, without insurance covering it.

    If it cost $800 a month or $8,000 a month the argument would be the same. You don't have a right to shake down somebody for a 50 cent soda, $8 birth control, a $300 TV, a $15,000 car or a $200,000 house. More to the point, when your employer is buying the insurance, they should get to decide what the policy is. That's why tying your health insurance to your employer (and all of your health care to health insurance) is so motherfucking stupid.

  • Arn0||

    "it's a basic healthcare need like any other treatment"
    No it's not : it's had nothing to do with health. Pregnancy is not a disease.

  • kbolino||

    Calm down and go learn about how the concept of insurance works.

    By diluting costs.

    Nobody's forcing the nuns or the people they employ to take birth control.

    Do you know insurance works? If everyone incurs the same costs, there is no way to dilute them and the insurance offers no benefit. It is precisely through the requirement of all to pay for the choices of some that this entire scheme has any chance of success, and so in fact the abstainers would be subsidizing the users of contraception.

    If someone wants to purchase birth control, presumably she doesn't object to it.

    She also didn't need the ACA to do it, since contraceptives have been on store shelves for decades.

  • Carnival||

    We lost religious freedom as a right the moment it became law that, in order to gain any kind of religious exemption, you had to prove to a federal judge that your self-professed beliefs were "sincere."

  • Tony||

    They are individualized personal gifts from the Creator and have been recognized as such in American law since Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed with them by Him.

    Yahweh certainly took His sweet time getting around to telling us about our rights, and via the "howling atheist" Mr. Jefferson!

  • R C Dean||

    Well, He is known for moving in mysterious ways.

  • JWatts||

    Thomas Jefferson was capable of rational thought versus purely situational ethics.

  • kbolino||

    Yahweh certainly took His sweet time getting around to telling us about our rights gravity, and via the "howling atheist moonbat" Mr. Jefferson Newton!

  • Tony||

    That's not quite in line with what Judge is saying, but I'm quite interested in the idea that there's a scientific theory of human rights. Can you point me to any studies done in this field?

  • David Wall||

    It is philosophy, not science, that must answer these questions. Try reading and understanding rational egoism. It is based upon observations any person can make about their own life and reason than person who engages their mind in rational thought can make.

    It makes the case for the theory of human rights.

  • ||

    Jefferson was a deist, and anyway, if you believe that energy spontaneously appeared without beginning, condensed itself, exploded so violently that it begat matter, cooled for a few billion years into a planet with the unique characteristics that could spontaneously generate cellular life from inorganic matter, which then escalated in its reproduction and adaptation into complex lifeforms before woefully regressing to the point it could produce you, then "nature" itself is your "Creator" - you don't need a god or a religion of any kind to believe that you have rights as a human being.

  • ||

    "then the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is meaningless. And our rights are in the hands of a congressionally enabled tyrant."

    Now you're finally starting to understand.

  • ||

    Religious freedom does not entail the right to shove your religions beliefs onto others, including your employers. They already provide their employees with this thing called "money" which can be used to purchase a variety of goods, including--GASP--contraception! How is this any different, especially if the nuns aren't being forced to pay for it out of their own pocket?

  • kbolino||

    Religious freedom does not entail the right to shove your religions beliefs onto others, including your employers.

    Yes, it does. Just as it entails the right for people to disassociate with you as a consequence.

    They already provide their employees with this thing called "money" which can be used to purchase a variety of goods, including--GASP--contraception!

    So?

    How is this any different, especially if the nuns aren't being forced to pay for it out of their own pocket?

    It is different because it inserts an unnecessary and unwelcome third party, the government, into the relationship between employee and employer.

  • Tony||

    It's not unwelcome for employees who like having rights.

  • JWatts||

    This has nothing to do with employees having rights. It has everything to do with people wanting "free" stuff.

    Don't even pretend this about some high morality, this is all just about income redistribution.

  • ||

    It's not unwelcome for employees who like having rights.

    Making your employer purchase your health insurance is not a right, let alone making your employer purchase health insurance that covers the health care products you would like to have.

  • ||

    They already provide their employees with this thing called "money" which can be used to purchase a variety of goods, including--GASP--contraception! How is this any different...

    My boss already provides me with money that I can use to purchase tube socks, so how is it any different for the government to force my employer to purchase tube socks from a handful of regulated providers?

    Holy fuck...

  • ||

    Should group health insurance cover circumcision of male infants? Is that based on religion or "medical necessity"?

  • thorax232||

    A piece of paper means nothing. What matters is living your own life by not voting and allowing people to believe what they want to believe.

  • daisy269||

    I absolutely love this program, it's actualy the most financially rewarding I've ever had. You can work where ever, when ever, and as much as you want. Make $100 in a day, pretty cool!! I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here www.Buzz95.com

  • Todd Gilbert||

    Sorry I think this is nonsense. Napolitano is off on this one. While I don't care for Obamacare all the nuns have to do is sign a paper to not give birth control if that is too much for their fragile sensibilities, tough, get over it.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Andy N... why don't you take an Occam's Razor approach and just have a few new paragraphs added to the ACA that stipulate that the nuns (and whoever else would NEVER need contraceptives) would have an insurance policy that charges them NOTHING for the right to NOT have that benefit?

    They're pissed about paying for something they don't need or want? Simple... don't charge them for it.

    But lock up anyone who lies about it... :)

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