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Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:55 PM

A tentative win for religious liberty in Obamacare lawsuit

11:17 am December 19, 2012
by Kyle Wingfield

A federal appeals court said Tuesday it will hold the Obama administration to its promises to change Obamacare’s controversial contraceptives mandate for certain religiously affiliated employers such as colleges. I guess the judges are now part of the “war on women.”

If so, they are joined by the Obama administration itself — which, as the court noted in its Tuesday order:

represented to the court that it would never enforce in its current form against the appellants or those similarly situated as regards contraceptive services. … There will, the government said, be a different rule for entities like the appellants …


But promises aren’t enough. The court said it took the administration’s pledge during oral arguments to create a different rule for the colleges and similar organizations to be “a binding commitment,” and it ordered the administration to provides updates about progress made toward the creation of the new rule every 60 days.

This ruling does not necessarily mean the administration will rewrite the rule completely to the liking of the colleges or other entities that view the mandate to subsidize contraceptives for their employees, in violation of their consciences, as an infringement on their religious liberty. Nor does it mean the colleges would necessarily prevail in the courts if they were to continue their lawsuits after the new rule is introduced.

http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2012/12/19/a-tentative-win-for-religious-liberty-in-obamacare-lawsuit/?cxntfid=blogs_kyle_wingfield

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Reply A tentative win for religious liberty in Obamacare lawsuit (Original post)
rug Dec 2012 OP
Laelth Dec 2012 #1
Laelth Dec 2012 #2
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #3
2ndAmForComputers Dec 2012 #4
rug Dec 2012 #5
2ndAmForComputers Dec 2012 #6
rug Dec 2012 #7
2ndAmForComputers Dec 2012 #11
rug Dec 2012 #13
eomer Dec 2012 #14
rug Dec 2012 #15
eomer Dec 2012 #16
rug Dec 2012 #17
eomer Dec 2012 #18
rug Dec 2012 #20
eomer Dec 2012 #22
rug Dec 2012 #24
eomer Dec 2012 #31
rug Dec 2012 #36
eomer Dec 2012 #39
rug Dec 2012 #40
eomer Dec 2012 #45
rug Dec 2012 #52
eomer Dec 2012 #56
rug Dec 2012 #57
eomer Dec 2012 #58
rug Dec 2012 #59
eomer Dec 2012 #64
rug Dec 2012 #65
eomer Dec 2012 #76
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #23
rug Dec 2012 #25
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #29
rug Dec 2012 #37
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #38
rug Dec 2012 #41
eomer Dec 2012 #46
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #42
rug Dec 2012 #43
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #49
2ndAmForComputers Dec 2012 #8
rug Dec 2012 #9
2ndAmForComputers Dec 2012 #10
rug Dec 2012 #12
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #26
rug Dec 2012 #44
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #48
rug Dec 2012 #50
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #55
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #19
rug Dec 2012 #21
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #27
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #28
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #30
rug Dec 2012 #34
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #63
rug Dec 2012 #66
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #67
rug Dec 2012 #69
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #71
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #72
rug Dec 2012 #73
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #75
eomer Dec 2012 #32
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #78
edhopper Dec 2012 #33
rug Dec 2012 #35
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #47
rug Dec 2012 #51
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #61
rug Dec 2012 #68
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #62
underthematrix Dec 2012 #53
rug Dec 2012 #54
Humanist_Activist Dec 2012 #60
rug Dec 2012 #70
Humanist_Activist Dec 2012 #74
eomer Dec 2012 #79
rug Dec 2012 #80
eomer Dec 2012 #82
enki23 Dec 2012 #77
Brettongarcia Dec 2012 #81

Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:58 PM

1. Yuck. I don't like this one bit.

No entity ought to be given a free pass on this legislation.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:00 PM

2. btw, I am morally opposed to war.

As such, I guess I should refuse to pay that portion of my tax bill that is dedicated to the defense department.

Would that be OK? No? If not, then various churches need to just suck up their moral objections to the ACA.

-Laelth

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:48 PM

3. Sorry, colleges and institutions do not HAVE consciences, PEOPLE HAVE THEM!

This is just more of the same; patriarchal institutions refusing to give women control of themselves.

And shame on the administration for enabling it.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:47 PM

4. Tell us, in which way was religious liberty in risk of being infringed?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:52 PM

5. You'll find it in the Ccourt's order.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:11 PM

6. I'm more interested in your opinion.

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:20 PM

7. I'm sure you are.

However, unlike the DC Circuit my opinion is not law.

You did ask a factual question though. Did you find it?

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:25 PM

11. The answer to that question is, of course, "none." Do you disagree with that?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:28 PM

13. That you canot find a fact where the Court of Appeals has does not surprise me in the least.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:00 AM

14. No, the court did not answer that question in the order.

What they said in the order is that they will not decide the merits of the case because the commitment by the government (HHS) to change the rule makes it a moot question. HHS has given in to the demands so the court doesn't need to decide whether they are required to.

Edit to correct: that it was HHS rather than the White House that conceded, although I would think the concession was as directed by the White House.

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Response to eomer (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:25 AM

15. That's not correct.

In the Federal Register notice announcing their February 2012 Final Rule, the
appellees left the religious employer exemption unchanged but created a safe harbor
from enforcement of the contraceptive coverage requirement for entities like the
appellants, which remains in effect until the first plan year that begins on or after August
1, 2013. 77 Fed. Reg. at 8728.


The fact at issue is that there is an exemption "for entities like the appellants" on religious grounds. That is significant.

That fact is not moot. Based on the Government's representation, it is , if anything, premature. And that representation is one which the Court astates" "We take the government at its word and will hold it to it." That too is significant.

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Response to rug (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:08 AM

16. None of those are a finding by the court that a protected liberty was infringed.

The court did not reach the question of whether a law requiring contraceptive services would infringe a constitutional right held by religious organizations. It did not decide that question because the administration argued that it was moot because they were in the process of eliminating the requirement from the law.

Agreed that the exemption is being created but it is not because the court ruled that there was a constitutional liberty that required it but rather because the administration decided to create it and thereby take the constitutional question off the table.

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Response to eomer (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:42 AM

17. Actually it does.

Unlike simlar suits brought by private employers, the ultimate issue here is not whether the contraceptive requirement violates a constitutional right of these appellants. The statute itself created the religious exemption. It's the precise opposite. The problem is HHS never implemented it. Without the implementing regulation, that statutory right would be violated.

Since the statutory framework does not take effect for another year, the issue is premature not moot.

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Response to rug (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:19 AM

18. There is a distinction you're missing between different types of religious organizations.

There is an exemption in the statute but it applies only to a narrow category of religious organizations. These appellants don't fall into that definition so the ACA statute would subject them to the contraception requirement, without exemption. The issues you're citing apply to the other religious organizations - the ones who are covered by the exemption in the ACA statute.

The reason these appellants originally sued, then, is because of the contraception requirement in the ACA statute (from which they have no exemption), based on the claim that it infringes a religious liberty that is protected under the First Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Their suit does not claim that the ACA statute granted them an exemption but rather the opposite - that it subjects them to the requirement, without exemption, and that such requirement violates certain religious liberties that they say come from the Constitution and the two other statutes I listed.

The question they put before the court - whether they do in fact have a protected liberty under the Constitution and those two other statutes - was not reached because HHS offered to make it a moot point by granting additional exemption that was never in the statute and never in the previous HHS regulations. This additional exemption is a widening of the definition so that religious colleges will now be, for the first time, exempted from the contraception requirement and therefore, due to this new exemption, the question is moot.

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Response to eomer (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:23 PM

20. Yes a religious college is different from a religion.

But these entities do have the exemptiuon.

"the appellees left the religious employer exemption unchanged but created a safe harbor from enforcement of the contraceptive coverage requirement for entities like the appellants"

The legislation itself recognized the constitutional right. An agency cannot write a regulation that creates what the statute does not. This decision is about agency's failure failure to write the regualtion that implemented the legislation.

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Response to rug (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:08 PM

22. That safe harbor was granted by HHS (not by the legislation) and was temporary.

The legislation doesn't provide the safe harbor or the exemption - it just adds a general requirement that plans must provide coverage for preventive care and screenings for women and leaves the details up to HHS.

‘‘SEC. 2713 {42 U.S.C. 300gg–13}. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH
SERVICES.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance
issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall,
at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost
sharing requirements for—
--snip--
‘‘(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive
care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided
for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources
and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.


So the safe harbor (that applies to the appellants, temporarily) and the exemption (that doesn't apply to the appellants) are coming from HHS under the authority granted to it by Sec. 2713. The legislation doesn't recognize any constitutional right and it doesn't grant any exemptions. Please cite a provision in the legislation if you disagree because I've searched through the legislation and cannot find any such thing.

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Response to eomer (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:41 PM

24. The Affordable Care Act amends literally dozens of other statutes.

Regarding religious exemptions, the Internal Revenue Code and the Public Health Service Act, among others are invoked.

Start reading on page 46,662.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-03/pdf/2011-19684.pdf

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Response to rug (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 07:42 AM

31. That link is to the regulation I was already referring you to.

The legislation says this about women's preventive services:
‘‘SEC. 2713 {42 U.S.C. 300gg–13}. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH
SERVICES.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance
issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall,
at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost
sharing requirements for—
--snip--
‘‘(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive
care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided
for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources
and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.


So as I've said, the legislation doesn't provide an exemption; rather it authorizes HHS to issue regulations on the general subject of women's preventive care and does so in such a way that gives HHS enough wiggle room (apparently) to include exemptions in such regulations.

Your link is to this same regulation that I referred you to previously, which is the regulation authorized by the above Sec. 2713 in the legislation. The regulation provides (among other things) an exemption for religious organizations like churches but does not provide an exemption for other religious organizations like Wheaton College (that filed the lawsuit and that we were discussing).

Here is the section in the regulation that explains the exemption for churches and the reasoning for granting it:

In the Departments’ view, it is
appropriate that HRSA, in issuing these
Guidelines, takes into account the effect
on the religious beliefs of certain
religious employers if coverage of
contraceptive services were required in
the group health plans in which
employees in certain religious positions
participate. Specifically, the
Departments seek to provide for a
religious accommodation that respects
the unique relationship between a house
of worship and its employees in
ministerial positions. Such an
accommodation would be consistent
with the policies of States that require
contraceptive services coverage, the
majority of which simultaneously
provide for a religious accommodation.

In light of the above, the Departments
are amending the interim final rules to
provide HRSA additional discretion to
exempt certain religious employers from
the Guidelines where contraceptive
services are concerned. The amendment
to the interim final rules provides HRSA
with the discretion to establish this
exemption. Consistent with most States
that have such exemptions, as described
below, the amended regulations specify
that, for purposes of this policy, a
religious employer is one that: (1) Has
the inculcation of religious values as its
purpose; (2) primarily employs persons
who share its religious tenets; (3)
primarily serves persons who share its
religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit
organization under section 6033(a)(1)
and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the
Code. Section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) and (iii)
refer to churches, their integrated
auxiliaries, and conventions or
associations of churches, as well as to
the exclusively religious activities of
any religious order. The definition of
religious employer, as set forth in the
amended regulations, is based on
existing definitions used by most States
that exempt certain religious employers
from having to comply with State law
requirements to cover contraceptive
services. We will be accepting
comments on this definition as well as
alternative definitions, such as those
that have been developed under Title 26
of the United States Code. The
definition set forth here is intended to
reasonably balance the extension of any
coverage of contraceptive services under
the HRSA Guidelines to as many
women as possible, while respecting the
unique relationship between certain
religious employers and their employees
in certain religious positions. The
change in policy effected by this
amendment to these interim final rules
is intended solely for purposes of PHS
Act section 2713 and the companion
provisions of ERISA and the Internal
Revenue Code.


This justification in the regulation for granting the exemption says that HHS recognizes some facts about religious organizations that HHS chooses to take into account. It does not say that HHS felt it had to grant the exemption due to a constitutional right. Such a recognition just isn't here.

And, to be clear, the regulation and justification above do not apply to Wheaton College because it doesn't meet that definition of "religious employer". Wheaton College sued because the contraception requirement would apply to them after a temporary safe harbor granted by HHS. HHS then offered in oral argument of the lawsuit to extend a permanent exemption to them similar to the one (above) already granted to churches. The court said that they now won't have to review the questions in the lawsuit (including whether there is a constitutionally-protected liberty) because the appellant will no longer be subject to the requirement due to the new exemption that HHS will issue in the future.

The bottom line is that nowhere in any of this - the legislation, regulation, or court ruling - is there a statement that a constitutionally-protected right exists other than the claim by the plaintiff, Wheaton College. The closest to it would be the justification in the regulation for the exemption (above), but you can see that the justification says nothing about the Constitution or a right, it merely recognizes "a unique relationship" between certain employers and their employees and chooses to grant an exemption as an accommodation. The HHS chose to make this accommodation but nowhere admits that they had to.

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Response to eomer (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:54 AM

36. The ACA imports the trem "religious employer" as defined in ERISA and the Internl Revenue Code,

among other statutes.

Those statutes in turn recognized conscience and religious rights as mandated by the First Amendment.

HHS agrees which is why it acknowledges this exemption. One of its duties is to craft regulations that are prima facie constitutional. It clearly believes these appellants meet the defintion.

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Response to rug (Reply #36)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 12:20 PM

39. Not true, the ACA does not import the term "religious employer" or use it in any way.

Here's a link to the text of ACA:

http://housedocs.house.gov/energycommerce/ppacacon.pdf

Do a search in the text of ACA and you will find "religious employer" appears 0 times.

The regulations that supplement ACA use the term "religious employer" but they don't import it from anywhere - rather they define it right in the same regulation. And we've already looked at those regulations. There is nothing in them that says that they (HHS) believe there is a constitutional right; rather they just describe some facts and then they choose to make an accommodation.

And just because they grant an exemption (and apparently think it is constitutional to do so) doesn't imply that they think they were required to by the Constitution.

You make all these claims but haven't provided anything to support them. I'd ask you to provide the support but the fact is that you won't be able to because there is no such support for them.



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Response to eomer (Reply #39)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:07 PM

40. The definition is in 26 USC § 414.

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Response to rug (Reply #40)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:59 PM

45. No it's not.

Here is the text of 26 USC 414:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title26/html/USCODE-2011-title26-subtitleA-chap1-subchapD-partI-subpartB-sec414.htm

Do a ctrl-f search in that text and you will see that "religious employer" does not appear there.

The term "religious employer" is both used and defined in the regulation that we've talked about.

Not that it really matters - a mere definition of the term "religious employer" does not constitute recognition of the specific liberty being claimed by Wheaton College and the OP article.



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Response to eomer (Reply #45)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:57 PM

52. 26 USC § 414(e)(3)(D), specifically.

(D) Association with church
An organization, whether a civil law corporation or otherwise, is associated with a church or a convention or association of churches if it shares common religious bonds and convictions with that church or convention or association of churches.


That is the category under which which these appellants, church sponsored colleges, claim the religious exemption. Both HHS and the DC Circuit agree.

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Response to rug (Reply #52)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:56 PM

56. That's not a definition of the term "religious employer", which you said would be found there.

Rather it is a definition of "Association with church"; it spells out what it means to say that an organization is associated with a church for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code.

And the religious college does not claim that this definition in the IRC or anything else in the IRC confers the right that they claim, so this is completely irrelevant to our conversation. Rather, they claim that the First Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act confer the right. The court ruled that they will not decide the merits of that claim because HHS has promised to grant an exemption.

So, again, the court has not decided that the appellants have the right that they claim to have. Rather, the court has said that the case will be dropped if and when HHS puts a permanent exemption into regulations. At that point the government will have voluntarily granted them what they seek, obviating the need to decide whether they have a constitutional right to it.

Why don't we cut to the chase, I'm getting tired of debunking your claims because besides being consistently mistaken they are also irrelevant. What is obvious and no one, as far as I know, disagrees with is that an exemption for these religious organizations by HHS regulation is in the works. The exemption will keep the organizations from having to directly provide contraception coverage. But the employees will still get contraception coverage, just in a way that technically splits off such coverage into a separate policy that the insurance company is required by the regulations to provide at no cost to the employee.

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Response to eomer (Reply #56)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:18 PM

57. It immediately follows 26 USC § 414(e)(3)(C), "Church treated as employer".

They have to be read together.

But yes, let's cut to the chase because you really haven't debunked anything.

Let me understand your argument:

The Court of Appeals is awaiting the HHS writing of a regulation to implement a religious exemption that is based neither on the ACA nor on the First Amendment. Is that it?

"We take the government at its word and will hold it to it." is based on . . . nothing.

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Response to rug (Reply #57)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:16 PM

58. If you read them together they still have nothing to say about the right claimed by Wheaton College.

And the court says in the ruling what it is based on:

Based expressly upon the understanding that the government will not
deviate from its considered representations to this court, we conclude that the cases
are not fit for review at this time because “if we do not decide {the merits of
appellants’ challenge to the current rule} now, we may never need to.”


So the court has not and will not decide the merits of the claim.

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Response to eomer (Reply #58)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:21 PM

59. And that representation was that HHS will write the regulation implementing the exemption.

Do you think the Court of Appeals and the Executive Branch created this out of thin air?

BTW, that last sentence is the classic definition of a legal issue being premature, not moot.

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Response to rug (Reply #59)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:07 AM

64. The court clearly did not decide whether the college *had* to be exempt.

It is right there in the excerpt from the ruling I provided (edited to provide again just below). So, no, you can't infer that the court was motivated by something that they explicitly stated they have not decided.

Based expressly upon the understanding that the government will not
deviate from its considered representations to this court, we conclude that the cases
are not fit for review at this time because “if we do not decide {the merits of
appellants’ challenge to the current rule} now, we may never need to.”


Obviously what motivates this court to press the administration to follow through on granting the exemption is that it is a representation made to the court that will make the case moot. The court is willing to dismiss the case as moot, as requested by the administration, but only if and when the administration does what they told the court they would do.

Edit: to agree that the court concludes not that the case will be made moot but rather that it will be made not ripe if and when the administration grants the exemption. So the court doesn't decide whether the case is ripe now because it will be made clearly not ripe (according to them) when HHS grants the exemption. And for that reason they do not reach the claim of the case - they need no other motivation because their stated reason is already sufficient.

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Response to eomer (Reply #64)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:03 AM

65. Therefore, the logical conclusion of your argument is that the HHS, without statutory authority,

made up this exemption, an exemption that has a direct adverse impact on thousands of workers, and the Circuit Court not only endorsed this administrative action but directed HHS to do it quickly.

Sorry, I disagree.

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Response to rug (Reply #65)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:28 PM

76. No, the statutory authority is listed right in the regulation and it is the same as I said in #31.

The statutory authority for the regulation is in Sec. 2713 of ACA:

‘‘SEC. 2713 {42 U.S.C. 300gg–13}. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH
SERVICES.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance
issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall,
at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost
sharing requirements for—
--snip--
‘‘(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive
care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided
for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources
and Services Administration
for purposes of this paragraph.


And, as I've also said already, the exemption does not have an adverse effect on employees, as I understand it. The employees must still be provided contraception coverage, the exemption just shifts that requirement off of the religious employer and onto the insurance company. Contraception coverage will still be provided at no cost to the employee, by the insurance company from whom the employer is purchasing the health coverage.

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Response to rug (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 03:50 PM

23. Can we now take it you accept eomer has showed you the court did not rule about religious liberty?

They've taken you through it, step by step. So, since the court didn't tell us whether the rules infringed a religious liberty, will you give us your opinion?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:48 PM

25. Not if you've been following closely because he hasn't.

BTW, who is "they"? Are you referring to anyone else?

This particular decision is beyond "religious liberty". It is about implementing an already established right.

Now, about your question. Assuming you're not simply engaging in baiting (give my regards to whomever you consider "us"), give you my opinion on what? Your answer will be as precise and good as your question is.

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Response to rug (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:20 AM

29. The title if the piece you chose was "a tentative win for religious liberty in Obamacare lawsuit"

You chose to give us the right wing version of reporting this, which claims a 'win for religious liberty'. There's no mention of religious liberties in the court decision; so you were asked "in which way was religious liberty in risk of being infringed?" This is the opinion that you had already been asked for, and for which you claimed "you'll find it in the court order". But, as eomer (for whom I used 'they', rather than looking up their profile to see if they give their gender) has shown, in detail, you're wrong about that; the court decision is about the administration saying they'll revise the rules before Wheaton etc. will have to implement them anyway. So, we go back to the question you dodged, and for which 2ndAM has already asked "I'm more interested in your opinion" - "in which way was religious liberty in risk of being infringed?"

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 12:01 PM

37. I don't alter headlines. If you have a better article, post it.

Claiming this decision has nothing to do with a religious right is being deliberately obtuse. Why do you think there is an exemption in the first place?

And neither eomer's valiant attempt nor 2ndAm's disingenuous baiting has demonstrated otherwise.

I neither dodge questions nor entertain fools for long.

Now, for the second time, assuming you read the article, the thread, and the links posted, do you have a remaining question?

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 12:13 PM

38. You've refused to answer the question, again, so there's no point in continuing

If someone asks you "in which way was religious liberty in risk of being infringed?", saying "Claiming this decision has nothing to do with a religious right is being deliberately obtuse" is not an answer. You are saying it's too obvious to bother explaining. Which is wrong, because it is not a self-evident 'religious right' or 'liberty' to micromanage the healthcare of employees. It's not self-evident that organisations, as opposed to individuals, have any religious 'rights' or 'liberties'.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:12 PM

41. The answer is throughout this thread.

Obtuse defines anyone who refuses to see what's in front of his face.

The liberty involved is the exemption from participating in a plan which requires a qualified entity to perform a function against its acknowledged principles. Churches as entities have long had that right. The question here is applying that right to institutions closely associated with those churches.

HHS failed to write the regulation implementing that.

That's what this case is about.

Assuming an open mind, it is self-evident.

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Response to rug (Reply #41)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 02:17 PM

46. Mostly correct but the administration has granted an accommodation, not recognized a right.

The administration has nowhere stated that it recognizes that these entities have the constitutional right being claimed. Rather, the administration has agreed, for political considerations, to make an accommodation.

And under the accommodation the employees must still be provided contraception, just indirectly through the insurance company.

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:12 PM

42. I *have* posted a better article - see post 26.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:20 PM

43. And is *this* aritcile substantially different?

It too reprints the trumpeting.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the two schools, called the order a victory for the more than 100 plaintiffs that have filed suit against the mandate.

"The D.C. Circuit has now made it clear that government promises and press conferences are not enough to protect religious freedom," said Kyle Duncan, general counsel to the group.

"The court is not going to let the government slide by on non-binding promises to fix the problem down the road," Duncan said.

Wheaton and Belmont Abbey — evangelical Christian and Catholic colleges, respectively — argue that complying with the birth control mandate violates their religious freedom.

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Response to rug (Reply #43)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:19 PM

49. It repeats it, but does not endorse it. There's a difference.

The problem for me in the article itself is the sarcastic comment by the author: 'I suppose the judges are part of the 'war on women'.'

Can't you see the difference between an article that says e.g.

'Bush said 'The war in Iraq is essential if we are to win the war on terror'.'

vs

''Bush said 'The war in Iraq is essential if we are to win the war on terror'.' I suppose our elected president is just another dictator!'

or
'The Supreme Court decided that corporations should be regarded as persons with a First Amendment right to donate unlimited amounts to election campaigns'


vs

'The Supreme Court decided that corporations should be regarded as persons with a First Amendment right to donate unlimited amounts to election campaigns. But I suppose the Supreme Court judges are ignoramuses who know nothing about the law!'

Actually what got me the most, was his putting 'war on women' in quotation marks as though the religious right are NOT pursuing a war on women, and it's just people's imagination!



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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:21 PM

8. Why don't we all take a look at all OTHER things Mr. Wingfield has written on that publcation?

http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/

Total right-winger. Why am I not surprised?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:22 PM

9. Why don't you take a look at the Court Order?

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Response to rug (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:24 PM

10. Why do you approvingly relay the words of a Rush wannabe?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:25 PM

12. Find your own link to this important decision.

OTOH, if you're here to create bullshit, I'm all ears.

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Response to rug (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:02 AM

26. Here is a link to a report from 'The Hill'..

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/273697-appeals-court-holds-challenges-to-obama-birth-control-mandate

Though it should really be the OP's job to find appropriate sources for news that they post. If something is an important decision, one should not need to go to a right-wing opinion piece to find it.

Although we may differ in religious beliefs or lack of them, I had always thought that we were on the same side in fiercely opposing the Christian Right, and indeed the Right in any form. I am disappointed that you seem to think that a MONSTER OF PURE EVIL like Kyle Wingfield is an acceptable person to quote on DU.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:23 PM

44. I don't believe in monsters. The article is from a mainstream newspaper.

Now, would you like to discuss political opinions with me directly or do you prefer to chew on your surmises?

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Response to rug (Reply #44)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:12 PM

48. I do not prefer to 'chew on surmises' so I will ask you questions directly.

(1) Do you agree with me that politicians and journalists and other pundits who are morally opposed to social safety nets, or at least consider them to be a moral danger and regard poverty as mainly a problem of 'dependency', are DISGUSTING, INHUMAN individuals, who cannot be regarded as part of decent society? I call them 'monsters' or 'poisonous snakes' (I use the same terms for Thatcher, Reagan, Cheney, Ann Coulter, Melanie Phillips, and many more); you may prefer a different term.

(2) I realize it is from a mainstream newspaper; however, many mainstream newspapers allow right-wing individuals to write commentaries. Do you agree with me that this person is a right-wing individual? And note that I DID look for and find an article on the topic by a seemingly neutral source.

(3) Do you agree with me that it is morally wrong (even if possibly legally OK in some cases) to seek to deny people the right to contraception? I am not referring to abortion, but to contraception.

(4) Do you agree that a good solution to any legal dilemmas would be to have a public option, if not complete 'single-payer', so that healthcare is not entirely in the hands of institutions? I realize this may not be practically possible.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:50 PM

50. "DISGUSTING, INHUMAN individuals, who cannot be regarded as part of decent society"?

1) No, they are polititical and social fascists but I would not call them disgusting inhuman individuals. Their ideas are dangerous enough without personifying them.

2) The Hill posted later than the Atlanta Journal Consitution. When I looked to confirm this story it did not appear on page 1 or 2 of the search. That said, the substance of this story, which is actually quite important, is the same. More important, frankly, than the source.

3) Contraception is not at all a matter of morality. It is entirely a matter of law, specifically the right to privacy. It is unlawful, from a wide variety of legal positions to deny it to women. (The term is women, not people, because men have no problem getting condoms.)
Related to that, do you believe there should be conscience exemptions built into laws?

4) There should be single-payer, period. Access to contraception is far from the strongest argument for it.

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Response to rug (Reply #50)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:31 PM

55. Thanks

(1) No, they are polititical and social fascists but I would not call them disgusting inhuman individuals. Their ideas are dangerous enough without personifying them.

OK. I disagree there about those who make a living spreading such ideas; though I agree about private individuals who are often simply ill-informed.



2) The Hill posted later than the Atlanta Journal Consitution. When I looked to confirm this story it did not appear on page 1 or 2 of the search. That said, the substance of this story, which is actually quite important, is the same. More important, frankly, than the source.

It wasn't so much the source as such, as the source's gratuitous comment, that revolted me.

3) Contraception is not at all a matter of morality. It is entirely a matter of law, specifically the right to privacy. It is unlawful, from a wide variety of legal positions to deny it to women. (The term is women, not people, because men have no problem getting condoms.)

Agree.

Related to that, do you believe there should be conscience exemptions built into laws?

In general, yes, but not when it violates other people's human rights.

4) There should be single-payer, period. Access to contraception is far from the strongest argument for it.

I agree, speaking as someone whose own country has a single-payer system threatened with dilution and partial privatization by our own right-wingers! One of numerous reasons why I hate the Right!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:00 PM

19. Do you have any idea who Kyle Wingfield is, or what his general views are?

Look at these articles, from 2010 about Europe, and from 2012 about America:

http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2010/05/07/the-social-rot-of-greece-and-the-politics-of-dependence/

http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2012/12/11/yes-anti-poverty-programs-do-keep-some-people-poorer-than-they-should-be/


As far as I am concerned, anyone who - especially at a time of recession and mass unemployment - treats the problem of poverty as mainly one of 'dependency'; anyone who treats most anti-poverty programmes and most social welfare as morally corrupting; anyone who endorses the likes of Charles 'Bell Curve' Murray; anyone like that is NOT A HUMAN BEING; it is a POISONOUS SNAKE.

I know that I am probably regarded both on this forum and the I/P forum as fairly tolerant, or wishy-washy according to point of view, but on issues relating to the social safety net, and the need for public services, and opposition to harshness toward poor or vulnerable people and especially treating their problems as moral failings - I am not tolerant at all! I have ZERO TOLERANCE for the hardline economic right, and it goes down to negative numbers when they try to justify their vile views on moral grounds!

Should this horrible individual really get space on DU?


As regards this particular article: as far as I am concerned, anyone who actively opposes contraception IS part of the war on women, whether they do so on religious grounds, or on nationalistic grounds e.g. Ceaucescu of Romania. I can understand people who genuinely think that abortion is murder; but opposing contraception seems to be generally seeking to control women, either in the name of 'traditional values or of increasing the population of a particular country or demographic. And most Catholics nowadays do accept contraception in practice- it is a particularly hardline group of Catholics, and some hardliners of other faiths, that strictly oppose it.

I suppose if you choose to go to a college which opposes contraception, you know what you're getting into; but still, argh!

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:26 PM

21. Not really. The piece is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

This is really about the court's decision not Wingfield's predilictions.

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Response to rug (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:12 AM

27. Wingfield manages to include his predilections in the article...

with his sarcastic remark at the beginning, 'I guess the judges are now part of the “war on women.”

I'm not saying that I think you share Wingfield's vile predilections; I assume that you just looked up the decision and posted the first article that you found. Nonetheless, I think we need to be careful about posting opinion pieces by monsters. Usually their evil creeps in somewhere.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:17 AM

28. There is of course one solution to the problem of institutions paying for aspects of healthcare that

Last edited Sat Dec 22, 2012, 01:13 PM - Edit history (1)

they don't want to.

That would be to remove the responsibility of healthcare provision from the institutions, and have single-payer healthcare, or at least a public option.

That way, the institutions could avoid paying for healthcare aspects of which they disapprove, without denying anyone their basic human right to healthcare in all its forms.

But I somehow don't think that the likes of Wingnut Wingfield would support that!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 06:59 AM

30. WHOSE religious liberty? What about a Protestant student, whose religion allows abortion?

Some of the main complaintants here are conservative Catholic institutions, like EWTN/RN, and Priests for Life; on behalf allegedly of say Catholic, anti-abortionist hospitals and so forth. These institutions allege they shouldn't have to furnish abortions, against their own (alleged) beliefs.

But? Note here that most Protestant churches - my religion, my church - allow abortion. And so what happens next, when I go to the only hospital in the region - a Catholic one - and need an immediate abortion to save my life from a dangerous pregnancy? Can the Catholic hospital refuse my need - and my religious beliefs - and leave me to die?

This isn't hypothetical; the NY Times reported just a month ago or so, that there is a case under review in Ireland, right now, where this seems to have happened.

Honoring religious freedom is complicated. The fact is that religious beliefs often conflict. So the question is more complicated than Rug implies here.

(Another complication: some religious beliefs are in conflict with the law. So in one famous 19th cent. case, the Supreme Court samply told Mormons that their religious allowance of polygamy for example, was simply illegal.)

Freedom of religion is a far more complicated and nuanced thing, than the announcement of a simple victory here, would imply. And that nuance is reflected in the ambiguity and tentativeness of the legal proceedings to date.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #30)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:46 AM

34. Wheaton College was founded by a Methodist abolitionist.

Its motto is "Christo et Regno Eijus".

The history behind these lawsuits is important.

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Response to rug (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:57 AM

63. Good choice of cases; the gov is not up against the giant Church. In THIS case.

Cf. conservative Catholic organs, EWTN, and Frank Pavone's "Priests for Life." And their suits.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #63)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:11 AM

66. The other appellant, Belmont Abbey College, is a Cathoic college and the Becket Fund is behind this.

This and a half dozen other cases are clearly being coordinated. That's one reason why this case is worth watching.

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Response to rug (Reply #34)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:37 AM

67. The most important idea: ENFORCING AN ANTI-ABORTION RELIGION, DENIES OTHER RELIGIONS

Most - not all - Protestant churches allow contraception, and even abortion. If they go to a conservative Catholic hospital, and it denies them contraception and abortion, then Protestant religious beliefs are being denied. In the name of "freedom of religion."

Looks like they're trying to imply it's both Catholic AND Protestant, to deny contraception? Tough to make that case theologically; though the courts have not been too theologically sophisticated in the past.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #67)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:50 AM

69. Protestants almost uniformly disapproved contraception until the 1930 Lambeth Conference.

This case in particular does not concern people being denied medical care on religious grounds. There are a few others circulating through the pipeline now that concern that issue.

This one is confined to labor law and exemtions from complying with that law.

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Response to rug (Reply #69)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:00 PM

71. Most Protestant churches allow contraception today: another important case here; not just labor

The labor case looks like the harder one.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #71)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 01:44 PM

72. I argued with Archbishop Chaput that bishops are employees of the Vatican, in effect?

The issue was whether victims suing the church for pederastical abuse, could carry their lawsuit beyond individual priests and bishops; to sue the Vatican itself. Archbishop Chaput or his representative apparently, argued that bishops don't follow the Vatican; I argued that they do.

The Supreme Court recently rejected my argument.

Don't know if this is directly relevant entirely to "employee" status. But it might be adopted to that:

www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/05/suing-the-church

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #72)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:35 PM

73. Thanks for the link.

Chaput's book, Render Unto Caesar is deply flawed.

What do you mean, the Supreme Court denied you cert or is your argument in Colorado?

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Response to rug (Reply #73)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:26 PM

75. My argument was never presented; feel free to bring it up with whoever is working on these cases

Last edited Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:06 AM - Edit history (2)

To protect the Vatican itself, from having to pay for child-abusing priests, lawyers for the Vatican have been arguing that priest, bishops, d are not following the orders of the Vatican; or more specifically, that biships are not "employees" of the Vatican. The idea is to present victims of child-abusing priests, from getting money from the Vatican itself. The case before the US Supreme Court, since 2010, is John V. Doe vs. Vatican: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_V._Doe_v._Holy_See

Arch-conservative biship/Archbishop Charles Chaput, from Denver and now Philadelphia, has argued that biships don't really follow the Vatican; in an article in First Things, "Suing the Church."

I argued extensively with Chaput or his representative, in the reader's comments section of his article. My central argument was essentially simple: of course, the Church has always insisted for centuries, that the core of Catholicism, is following the Pope, the Vatican. To say that Bishops are not following - or are "employees of" - the Pope, goes against one of the core teachings of 2,000 years of Catholicism, and one of its most frequent pronoucements.

Just wrote this response to Chaput; didn't try to circulate it, beyond Internet publication on First Things' com box.

I should have phrased this better: this specific matter was argued and rejected in a US District Court decision, just a few months ago. Ominously, the court seems to be agreeing with Chaput. I don't know what arguments they used; possibly they never heard of mine: http://jurist.org/paperchase/2012/08/federal-judge-rules-priests-not-vatican-employees-in-sex-abuse-case.php

I don't know what arguments were used; beyond the assertion that since the time of Reagan and Bush, the Vatican has been made a sovereign state; and therefore lawsuits against it are limited.

Don't know if my arguments were used; my arguments might still be good legally therefore! Might be useful to similar cases. Spring some new arguments on them. In any case, my argument frame a simple moral argument with the Church in simple canonical terms.

My brief readings of the decision, leads me to believe that the justices were very, very badly and partially briefed. Likely similar cases could be won, with better arguments. In any case, Catholics need to be informed about this morally questionable act.

My arguments might work in court though. The core is basically just an argument based on what the Church had mostly told us, for millennia. My argument is pretty simple in essence: bishops follow the Pope. With some but not much, individual discretion.

By the way? Right after Chaput, in defense of a Vatican that allowed child abuse, made the argument in First Things that our bishops don't follow the Pope (as employees, etc.)? He went to Rome, to confer with the Pope. And to be confirmed as Archbishop.

Charles Chaput is now Archbishop of the Diocese of Philadelophia; the epicenter of conservative Catholic activism.

Feel free to refer lawyers to my arguments.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:36 AM

32. There is a win for religious liberty here, just not the one that the article claims.

The win for religious liberty is that individuals who work for religious colleges and hospitals will still have the freedom to practice their faith as they choose, without their employer being able to impose its religious views on them. Each employee will be able to choose whether they want contraception coverage or not, based on their own beliefs and how they choose to practice them.

The reason the employees will have the choice of contraception coverage is that the Obama administration has crafted a solution where the coverage provided by the religious employer isn't required to include contraception but the insurance company is required to offer separate contraception coverage to the employee at no cost. The insurance companies do not object to being required to provide this coverage separately at no cost because there is no net cost of contraception coverage - it saves the insurance company more in maternity and related claims than it costs them to provide contraception.

Those (like rug, apparently) who see this as a win for religious liberty of the organizations may not realize that the only change in the end is merely a technicality. The employees will still get contraception coverage if they so choose. The employers won't be required to "pay for it" (the cost actually being zero anyway) but the contraception coverage will still be provided as part of the overall employment and insurance relationship of the employee and employer. If anyone believes that God is parsing these technicalities and cares about the difference, well... I just don't know what to say.

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Response to eomer (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:30 AM

78. My religion allows abortion; what happens when my Catholic employer denies my religion?

Hope you are right, and the administration sees this argument. And allows for the religious freedom, the different religious beliefs, of employees of anti-contraception, anti-abortion employers.

By the way? I don't think that the new religion of "Catholic" anti-abortionism, the Church of the Holy Fetus, really represents the roots of the Catholic church.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 09:48 AM

33. When you post uses a bullshit title

like this one about 'religious liberty', you should put it in quotes so we know it's from the article and you're not making such a silly statement.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 11:48 AM

35. I posted the headline, verbatim.

I trust in the reading ability of DUers to know who is saying what.

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Response to rug (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 03:58 PM

47. Rug? My PhD is in post-poststructuralist semantics; it's clear to me you are equivocating

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #47)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:51 PM

51. An appeal to authority is, as you should know, a fallacy.

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Response to rug (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:49 AM

61. Unless it is supported by corroborating arguments

You're been accused before of trying to staddle specifically the line between conservative Catholicism - and its anti-abortion stance - and liberalism. Here, you seem torn between 1) declaring anti-conception arguments a victory for religious freedom; vs. 2) simply presenting their "victory" as hollow. As others are manifestly reading you, above.

You look suspiciously, exactly like a practicing Catholic who does not want to openly cross the Church. And so you are using ambiguous language when you speak of views that might advocate abortion and so forth.

Which is OK, I guess; equivocation, the simultaneous entertaining of two or more possible messages, has traditionally been considered the high style in theology.

Though in our own time, after 2,000 years of this, many of us are impatient with the "double" "tongue".

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #61)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:45 AM

68. I've been accused of what?



Well, please do post that link unless you'd rather not share pms.

"You look suspiciously, exactly like a practicing Catholic" OMG! Not a practicing Catholic!

Listen, Bretton, I as a rule disregard the anti-Catholic statements and bigots who routinely peddle this unsavory form of bullshit in this Group. Note, I said disregard, not ignore.

Now, to avoid confusion under a poststructuralist semantics analysis, there is a stark difference between doctrine and politics. One might say there is a - gasp - separation between the two.

The RCC has a whole range of doctrines, some appalling, some admirable, that have developed over centuries. Those religious doctrines are per se neither conservative nor liberal. Those adjectives have meaning only when a contemporay political issue arises.

When that happens it really doesn't matter if a religious doctrine is cast as politically conservative or politically liberal. The concern is that public policy is not made based on that religious doctrine. And that concern is true whether the doctrine is cast as conservative or liberal.

As to this case, many religions disapprove of contraception and many do not. Those numbers change when the prescription is an abortifacient as well as a contraceptive. The answer? So what. That is not a legitimate basis for public policy.

The only issue is that these matters are decided according to law, not extraneous religious doctrine.

That is my concern.

Now, Bretton, if you and those "us" for whom you choose to speak wish to engage in this fight ignorant of the law and the facts, wish to proceed based on a mindset of bigotry, and wish paramountly to bait and score personal coups rather than to actually understand the dynamics of the political fight, then you and your "us" remain at the end of the day no more than disruptors, disruptors who disrupt poorly.

When I get a chance I'll say a rosary for you.

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Response to rug (Reply #51)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 03:51 AM

62. Thanks in any case, for your close consideration of the current legal argument

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:59 PM

53. All religous groups need to get out of the social welfare

including health and education business. I see nothing wrong with religious organizaions determining what their members do and do not do but I have trouble with religious organizations who serve the general public and want to impose their relgious principles on nonmembers and nonreligious folks.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #53)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 05:15 PM

54. That is essentially correct.

I think the only logical, honest and consistent position is that organizations that cannot on conscience grounds abide by civil law regarding employment, among other things, cannot at the same time become employers subject to those laws.

When this fracas first began early this year I thought the Catholic Hospital Systems would have to close for these exact reasons. The reality is that if that happened, there would be a huge hole in the national hospital system which could not be readily filled.

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Response to rug (Reply #54)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:20 AM

60. Honestly, unless they are dickheads, I would imagine, they would accept buyouts...

and acquisitions of their health systems by secular and non-sectarian organizations. Frankly this would change the compositions of the boards that run these organizations, and probably lead to the loss of pastoral management positions, but other than that, not much would change, outside of expanded health care services for the communities.

There is absolutely no reason for one hospital to close over the mandate to cover contraceptives. Not one, if the Church wants to play hardball, all it would prove is that they are an ethically corrupt, selfish, and greedy organization.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:57 AM

70. That might be a solution but it is not an easy one.

That hospital system occupies I think about 25% of the national hospital system. That solution involves a huge transfer of capital along with a myriad of logistical problems. It's a headache I'm not sure anybody on either side wants to tackle.

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Response to rug (Reply #70)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:48 PM

74. I imagine it would be piecemeal...

besides, its not like the Church is monolithic in its ownership of hospitals, its a bunch of different shell companies that are managed by either lay people or some clergy. Hell we have two separate ones in my area, Mercy Health, and SSM, both Catholic, but different owners/assets and management styles, not to mention independent Catholic hospitals, the two I just described are networks of hospitals.

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Response to rug (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:18 AM

79. Would have to close? Wouldn't there be more dimensions to the question of conscience?

Do you see no other dimensions of conscience in Catholic organizations providing care to people who are sick that might be more compelling than this one? In the end the employees are going to have the option of using contraception anyway and the Catholic hospitals were never actually paying for it because its cost is zero (when offered in the context of overall health coverage). Is a hollow pretense of not providing contraception coverage (which is all the exemption does) more important than caring for sick, indigent children, for example?

Or, putting it another way, WWJD?

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Response to eomer (Reply #79)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:02 AM

80. They would continue their charity work, including medical care, as they have for centuries.

But not in a way that subjects themselves to laws they cannot follow in conscience.

Do you understand what the conscience issue is?

The issue is not simply contraception but abortifacients. Until you understand the basis on which it opposes abortion you will not grasp the problem.

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Response to rug (Reply #80)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:39 PM

82. Catholic doctrine says all artificial methods are evil and will result in eternal damnation. no?

Even if there were no such thing as abortifacients, Catholic doctrine would even so still condemn all the other methods, right? And so their position on contraception coverage for employees of religious colleges would still be the same, as far as I can see.

Lay it our for me, if you'd like, but I can't see how abortion could be the basis for condemning all other forms of contraception.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 07:06 PM

77. The religious "liberty" to deny liberty.

In one of a million equivalent ways, I daily infringe upon the religious liberty of millions.

My heart fucking weeps for them, each and every one.

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Response to enki23 (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:15 PM

81. What happens when religions conflict? Whose religion gets freedom, over others?

In fact, the law limits some freedom of religion.

It happens. When Mormons' religion said multiple wives was OK, the Government, SCOTUS, other religions, said no.

Or suppose your religion demands human sacrifice? The gov sez no.

As it turns out, "freedom of religion" is great - but not quite absolute. Nor should it be.

Hello, USCCB, et alia.

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