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December 27th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.

The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

After failing to receive temporary relief from the fines from the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby announced late Thursday through its attorneys that it "will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs."

In September, Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.

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"All they're asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don't have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions," Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

The lawsuit says the companies' religious beliefs prohibit them from providing insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. As of August 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer-provided health care plans to provide "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the regulation and a narrow exemption was added for nonprofit religious employers whose employees "primarily share its religious tenets" and who "primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets."

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent religious groups from having to finance such coverage. Critics have argued that exemption for nonprofits is far too narrow and a host of nonprofit religious groups have sued the administration over the regulations.

The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that "fails to comply" with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an "excise tax" of "$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement." It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales. The company's attorneys say January begins a new health care plan year for Hobby Lobby and that excise tax from the IRS would amount to $1.3 million a day.

Hobby Lobby is owned by CEO and founder David Green and members of his family. "The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles," a statement on the Hobby Lobby website reads, adding that one outgrowth of that is the store is closed on Sundays to give its employees a day of rest. Each year the company also takes out full-page ads in numerous newspapers proclaiming its faith at Christmastime and on Independence Day.

The store is not formally connected to any denomination, but the Green family supports numerous Christian ministries and is behind the Green Collection, one of the largest private collections of biblical antiquities in the world. The family plans to permanently house the collection in Washington at a museum set to open in 2016.

On Friday, attorneys for Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and provide temporary relief from the the fines until the case was decided by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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Wednesday evening, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit Court, said the company failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that it could continue to pursue its challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, after a final judgment.

"Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the 10th Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time," Duncan said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move.

White House officials have long said they believe they have struck an appropriate compromise between religious exemptions and women's health. The White House has not commented specifically on the Hobby Lobby case.

"It's just so sad that Hobby Lobby is facing this choice. What company, even a successful family owned business like Hobby Lobby, how can they afford the government $1.3 million in fines every day? It's just really absurd that government is not giving on this," said Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser for the Catholic Association. Religious liberty groups like hers are watching the Hobby Lobby case closely.

"I am optimistic that these cases will eventually snake their way back up to the Supreme Court and given a full hearing on the merits of the case, I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty," Ferguson said. "But in the meantime there is serious damage being done to businesses like Hobby Lobby and nonprofit charitable organizations."

The Hobby Lobby case is just one of many before the courts over the religious exemption aspects of the law. The case represents by far the biggest for-profit group challenging the health care mandate.

After this piece of the law went into effect in August, religious nonprofits were given "safe harbor" of one year from implementing the law. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said in January when the administration announced the move.

Dolan's New York Archdiocese won a victory this month in its legal battle against the administration and the mandate. In May it sued the government in federal court in Brooklyn over the mandate, saying it "unconstitutionally attempts to define the nature of the church's religious ministry and would force religious employers to violate their consciences."

The government moved to have the case dismissed. On December 4, Judge Brian M. Cogan denied the government's motion to dismiss the case, saying the government's promise of changes to how it will implement the law were not enough to merit dismissal. "There is no, 'Trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution," Cogan wrote in in his decision to let the case proceed.

UPDATE: Hobby Lobby's $1.3 million Obamacare loophole

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state • Faith Now

soundoff (5,627 Responses)
  1. OhioPatti

    Once again, the issue of separation of church and state rears it's head. So tired of it. If you keep them separate, this doesn't happen.

    January 28, 2013 at 4:31 am |
  2. Julian

    What is right and what is wrong in this country is up to the people of the United States. If you don't like something you can't do anything about it. If you like something and want it to become law you cant do anything about it. We have left our lives up to the government because we are to busy watching T.V. and trying to make a living. Typing words only a few will see. Technology has greatly improved our lives and at the same time made us lazy. Each and everyone one of us has problems that we do not fix and this is the underlying problem. We fix our problems by talking to each other not typing.

    January 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  3. Chandra

    "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

    So muslims in America should be able to have multiple wives?

    January 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Tracy

      Only if he can cover their healthcare...

      January 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  4. skytag

    Why should your boss be able to keep your health insurance company from offering birth control as a covered benefit in your health insurance plan?

    Kind of amazing the amount of time and energy people waste fighting over the wrong issue here. The issue is employers providing health insurance. Your health insurance, what it covers and from whom you buy it, is a personal issue and none of your bosses business. If people owned their health insurance plans and employers didn't control them — which makes a lot more sense — these cases would never come up.

    January 27, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Are you for single payer? I could live with single payer. The problem is, if private health insurance no longer exists. There's no longer any compet1tion to help keep prices low. Those private health insurance jobs will no longer exist.

      January 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      "No longer exists if single payer existed."

      January 28, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  5. skytag

    When are Americans going to figure out that the real problem here is that employers shouldn't be providing health insurance? What your health insurance plan covers and from whom you buy it are personal matters you could control and none of your boss' business. If organizations such as businesses, schools and unions did not provide health insurance and each of us own his policy these kinds of issues would not be issues at all. Thus instead of addressing the real issue, which is employer-provided health insurance, we get all wrapped up in arguments about a consequence of the issue we should be discussing.

    No other country in the world relies on businesses to provide its citizens with health insurance. We are the only one dumb enough to do it, and we only do it because businesses started offering health care benefits during WWII to get around wartime wage controls.

    The ironic thing about it is that the same people who value individual liberty are the same people who defend a health care system that denies the majority of Americans control over something so clearly personal.

    January 27, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Saraswati

      In fairly short time they won't be. We'll end up with the same system they have in Switzerland, which while very expensive, will achieve the minimum of whining all around. What we're arguing over here is short term stop-gap measures.

      January 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  6. Crispy

    The company should have “rolling” layoffs. After they recover the fines in unpaid wages (employees get unemployment). After thee unemployment runs out, select another group.

    January 27, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  7. Pagan Realist

    Its all going to end folks. All of it. Government adding in religion, schools adding in religion and everyone else adding in and FORCING religion on everyone else. It will not go too far, trust me. There are too many people out there who are NOT religious or DO NOT agree with conservativeness that it can't possible end up surviving. This is a new day in age. We don't need to follow in packs like sheep and be lead by the WORD of someone else. If people tell me that I'm sinning or am going to hell for this thing or the next, I simply smile and tell them I can't go somewhere that doesn't exist. i don't give them the time of day nor argue with them because that is their single purpose in life....to TRY and have power through manipulation and propaganda. I have three children and I am raising them to know who blows smoke and who doesn't and exactly how to deal with them. Its quite alright to have s#x with someone simply for passion or lust reasons. We don't need to breed constantly. Not everyone should be having kids...lol. Its fear, drama, greed, a power struggle and propaganda. I have Lutheran neighbors who have 5 children, home school them to keep them out of the world, won't let them have minds of thier own and won't let them interact with other public school kids. BUT because they CLAIM that each one of thier kids was planned (right) they have the right to say birth control and abortion are wrong. I simply looked at them and said they were f$%#@! like jack rabbits and want to make themselves feel better by bringing a false God into it. People...just ignore it all. Its all crap and Hobby Lobby just lost a customer who was paying over $400/month on supplies. I have a craft business and now I will be buying everything I need elsewhere. I don't need Hobby Lobby and neither does the rest of the world. We'll be fine guys, really.

    January 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      CAN I GET A AMEN TO THAT! :)

      January 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  8. John

    how does a company become Christian? does it ask Jesus into its heart?

    January 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  9. John not the Baptist

    Bill Deacon and the Hypocrites...including Chad
    It is all about the money and power. Check out the story of the RCC hospital in Colorada. Woman dies along with her two unbon 28 week fetus', husband sues for wrongful death of all three. RCC teaching, defended by both Bill and Chad, that life begins at conception, the fetus is a child. The RCC lawyers however get the case dismissed stating the opposite that the fetus is not a child untill born. Just another example of the money grubbing reigions, disgusting to say the least. Bill has managed to defend or ignore the evils of the RCC, it will be intresting to see how Bill will square this circle or go run and hide.

    January 26, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I suppose the plaintiff would have had a case if U.S. law matched the belief of the Church. In that event, the fetus would have had legal standing of person hood and the case could have proceeded. Of course then, abortionist would have to be charged as murderers and liberals would be screaming about our "theocracy". You don't really think they case should have proceeded under canon law do you?

      January 28, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Bill Deacon.
      You use the laws as what exactly? A pedophile priest that has been shielded from civil law, a law regarding contraception coverage by insurance companies you will fight, yet you will use a state law to protect against a law suit against your beliefs. Canon law is not valid in this country, it has zero signifigance. Your RCC just does not want to butt out of other peoples lives that DO NOT belive as you do, disgusting.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      PS: Thank you for finally admitting that a fetus does not have legal standing whether in a womans body or in an in vitro petri dish, it is a start for logical and reasonable thinking. How long will it take you to fall back on your RCC thinking/dogma? You are a hypocrite and the sad part is your religion does not allow you to see that FACT. A fetus is not a baby.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Bill Deacon
      The reason why the founding fathers wanted seperation of church and state was they did not want papal influence to screw up this republic as compared to what happened in Europe. The northern states were actually prejudiced against the RCC at the time and yet we have the ugly dogma of the RCC now trying to influence the laws of the land. You have the freedom to believe what ever nonsense that you like; you do not have the right to force your BS on others.

      January 28, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think you've misunderstood my opinions John. I've never stated that a fetus has the rights of person hood in this country. That is precisely the point. They do not and thus the plaintiff has no case. While it is certainly the teaching of the church that life begins at conception and that a fetus has a soul, that is not the law under which the wrongful death case was judged. Are you making a case for the rights of person hood to be granted to the unborn? Because I could personally get behind that, as it is consistent with what so many people feel. Then you would have a law you could use against doctors and hospitals when unborns die in their care

      January 28, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • John not the Baptist

      Both you and Chad have stated that the killing of a fetus is murder, the killing of a baby, that becomes a person at the moment of cnoception, in a womans body or in a petri dish. If I am wrong in your religious beliefs, please correct me. The law of the land does not agree with you, why do you not agree with the law of the land you live in? What other laws do you cover up because of your religion, child abuse?

      January 28, 2013 at 11:45 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      OK, I'm trying to have a rational conversation with you but it is proving difficult. Let's try this; The Church teaches and I agree that life begins at conception. U.S. law says that rights of person hood begin at birth. The lawsuit was tried under U.S. law. Therefore, the fetus did not have rights of person hood and the case was dismissed. Whether you or I or anyone believes the fetus was a life or whether we wish the law was different doesn't matter at this point. What I and other pro-life advocates argue for is a change in people's sensibilities whereby society would recognize the intrinsic value of the unborn, thereby creating a climate in which abortion rights would be subordinate to the right to life and the law subsequently changed accordingly. You seem to want the same thing, in this instance, possibly so your plaintiff would have a viable case. I'm having trouble understanding your frustration at the case being tried under the laws which, as a pro-choice advocate you support.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • gary

      Bill: "OK, I'm trying to have a rational conversation with you but it is proving difficult. Let's try this; The Church teaches and I agree that life begins at conception."

      Well there's your problem right there, Bill. What your church defines as life at conception (especially in regard to the morning after pill) is nowhere near rational.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      Bill Deacon
      Why would the RCC not go with what they believe, the two fetuses were actually persons and pay the plaintiff for the loss of his two children? Please explain why you can have it both ways? It is exactly the same with the contraceptive insurance arguement you do not agree with. If the power shuts down and my in vitro fertilised embryos die does the RCC consider that the death of persons, the state does not, do you? Obeying the laws of the land seems to be fairly flexible when it comes to your lot.

      January 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      Bill, you are not trying to have a rational discussion with anybody that posts. You retreat into the dogma of the RCC. civilization has passed you by long ago, that is why you and your church have to change the BS you preach over and over again, catch up for chrits sake. You avoid the reality of in vitro fertilisation are these embryos humans looking for a uterus?

      January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • kirk1

      its all garbagggggggg, wait til everting hits the fan. what will they do then?

      January 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • John not the Baptist

      Really, Bill, an intrinsict right to life of every egg and sperm cell that get together of course, location counts I guess. Do you really deep down in whatever heart you have to tell a woman what she can do with her own body? You would make a good pope, "Listen up guys, I know you are going to produce billions of sperm over your lives but it is essential for the wealth of the church that you do not deposit that sperm into a female, boys are fine."

      January 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      If your issues with the Church genuinely run as deep as what you are posting, I hope you get some counseling for them. Otherwise I'm forced to call poe here, or ignoramus. No one can realistically think you are making any kind of valid argument with your dart throwing.

      January 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Ken Margo

    How about this folks. Despite solid facts from people like Jen, Tom Tom, Sara, Saraswati and cherries to name a few. The christian conservatives ignore the facts just to get the last word. So how about this christian conservatives: lets say the govt. BANS birth control and abortion. What is YOUR plan for the extra 2 million plus children being born. We have children (and Adults) that are homeless, hungry, without healthcare etc. Tell us how YOU would help these children. Please provide SPECIFICS. We all want a good life for children. So PLEASE tell us YOUR plans to ensure these children have a decent life. Also should the govt. help? So lets hear YOUR plan.

    January 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Jen

      You are wasting your time Ken. Their 'solution' is to only have s-x when you want to have children, even though that is a completely unrealistic argument.

      There's no point arguing with people that think a mother should be forced to carry, give birth and care for her r-pist's child. People who actually agree with that crazy right wing freak Richard Mourdoch that a child conceived through r-pe is a gift from god. I am with Stephen Colbert on this one. If it is a gift then god is a terrible gift giver. Next time god should go with an edible arrangement if he feels like giving gifts.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen.............First of all how are you today? So basically they have reduced us to farm animals. Only have s3x to breed. I thought I was so much more than that.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Logic

      How about this, Ken.

      Maybe, just maybe, the potential parents of these children should be RESPONSIBLE ADULTS. If they can't afford to "ensure these children have a decent life", then what business do they have performing the act that creates these children? What you're saying quite clearly is that they should be allowed to do whatever they want with no consequences for their actions. I'm not the one that's causing the children of your hypothetical situation to exist. I'm here, with my wife, taking care of the children we have... because they are our responsibility! I'm also giving my time and money to help these children you talk about right now. SPECIFICS: donating money to homes for homeless pregnant mothers, donating money to charities that provide baby supplies to mothers that can't otherwise afford it, donating my time to promoting these services so that A) people in need can find them, and B) people can donate more to help. And I am not against government as.sistance programs, either. What are _YOU_ doing, Ken? If _YOU_ want a good life for children, why do you support irresponsibility? That's a recipe for the opposite.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • Logic

      Jen, why is se.x the completely non-negotiable element? If you can't afford to care for a baby, you are IRRESPONSIBLE to be doing what causes it. If you don't want lung cancer, don't smoke. If you don't want someone to steal your car, lock the door and take out the keys. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. As for the "ra.pi.st's child", explain to me why KILLING the COMPLETELY INNOCENT baby caused by this horrible act is a good thing? The woman has already had an act of violence committed against her. Another act of violence is going to make that better? ALL life has an inherent value.

      Responsibility according to you is a "completely unrealistic argument". Does this kind of thinking come from whatever led to giving trophies to kids even when their team loses?

      January 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @"Logic"

      Whoo more of the same. Keep repeating yourself, I'm sure it'll work to convince people this time.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Look folks, I'm imitating Logic........123 repeat, 123 repeat, 123 repeat Are you still ignoring me? 123 repeat 123, repeat, 123 repeat. I refuse to answer your questions because it will prove I have no clue what to do. I really DO NOT care about the babies and the catholic church has my brains totally fried. 123 repeat, 123 repeat etc.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Logic.................What ever you do, IT STILL ISN'T ENOUGH. Millions of kids are still hungry and homeless. So you are a failure. Know what? praying ain't workin' either. So God has mailed it in also. So your self serving BS means nothing. I've said it before When you're pro life ALL the children belong to you. YOU have to help them all.
      As far as what I'm doing. I'm taking care of mine! I'm pro choice, so I don't have the "moral" responsibility you have to help ALL the kids. I just take care of my own!

      January 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Logic

      I guess you can't argue with _logic_ so instead of giving any thought to responding to my suggestion, you go back to middle school. Tell me, what is your reasoning for se.x to be the non-negotiable? Why does access to it trump everything? If you went out and played a game of catch with a baseball in front of your house and the ball went through the window, is the damage someone else's responsibility? In this hypothetical situation, you knew the risk of playing with a baseball where it could hit a window (let's just say there was only a 1% break-window rate), but you decided to take that chance anyway. Is it unfair that the window broke? Maybe you should sue the window manufacturer. They should have known better to sell a window that could break. Or maybe your neighbor, who really believes that all people should have access to good windows should do something to support that happening, since free, government-supplied window protection has been banned and all...

      January 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Logic

      @Ken
      Millions of kids are still hungry and homeless because their PARENTS are STILL BEING IRRESPONSIBLE. If the majority of them stopped that, the problem would be MUCH easier to manage, if not practically eradicate. And your selfish response is exactly the point that I was making. If I didn't cause the babies to come into existence, I have to pay, but since you support just killing the babies, you don't have to lift a finger. Greedy, selfish, irresponsibilty.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • Logic

      To underscore what I said, I'll quote you:

      "We all want a good life for children."

      Yeah, but not if YOU have to do anything to make that happen. You want to KILL the children that can't have a good life supported by SOMEONE ELSE. So that WE doesn't include YOU.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm |
    • Jen

      Unbe

      January 25, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen............You were so shocked by what you read, you couldn't finish the word. I don't understand " non-negotiable " when it comes to s3x. Sounds like buying a house or a baseball free agent. I wonder if his wife blogs? I wonder if he allows her to?

      January 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Jen

      Whoops on my last post.

      Unbelievable. In one sentence arguing people need to take responsibility for their decisions and then in the next saying that you have to take responsibility for a decision you definitely didn't make ( getting r/ped). Unbelievable. You can't argue over and over AND OVER again that you shouldn't be allowed to have an abortion if you chose to have s-x and then in the same breath argue that you shouldn't be allowed to have an abortion if you did NOT choose to have s-x.

      I don't understand what you want to happen Logic. Do you want to make abortion illegal? What will that do? Women will still pursue abortions (just like they did when it was illegal). All that will happen is a lot more women will start dying again as they did before. Being illegal is not going to stop anyone. Shall we imprison the mothers that survive the procedures? We are going to have a lot of full prisons.

      Good luck with trying to get people to stop having s-x. That's quite a big task. Not sure how you are going to accomplish it. I love s-x. I had lots of premarital s-x (and oh my goodness gracious – not just with my husband – shocking I know). I have no regrets about it. None. I plan to teach my children all about birth control and abstinence. I have no issues with them having premarital s-x – but it's important that they are educated and protecting themselves. I did not get married until my thirties and I certainly don't expect them to wait until then to have s-x (and I really really hope they wait until their thirties to get married too). I DON'T CARE IF YOU THINK THIS IS WRONG. You can repeat yourself over and over like a broken record. let me repeat – I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • Cherries

      Look, expecting people to be celibate is an unrealistic proposition. It is not going to happen. Witness the clergy of the RCC! Education and birth control is key; that is part of personal responsibility. As for abortion: it is a very personal decision, and no amoount of wailing and gnashing of teeth is going to change the fact that it is NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS. Moreover, it is a legal procedure, and abolishing it is not going to happen.
      Listen, all of the religious people in the United States banded together is not going to change that, especially when fully 83% having an abortion are religious themselves.
      I wish there were no need for abortion. There is. That's not going to change. Neither, most likely, are the minds of people who are either pro-choice or anti-choice. Stalemate.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Jen

      Ha ha Ken. Poor Logic thinks that once he's finished blogging on this thread that we will all promise to remain abstinent. Hilarious.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I waited until I was 36 before I got married. I didn't have as much s3x as I wanted. (Lord knows I tried) I've told my daughter to wait until she is at least 25 before having children. (time to mature, finish school etc) I'm not worried about the premarital s3x part. She's away at school, I'm 50. The three things I'm worried about are my hair, my teeth and my prostate. I've been honest with her, educated her about s3x. Combine that with what her mother has told her. She should be good to go.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Seraphim

      Basically,Logic is one of those who wants to be the vagina police. Too fucking bad.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      How did you get fvcking through to post. I couldn't get r@pist through.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • mama k

      how many of these fundies arguing against abortion are men? just curious.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • mama k

      (or I should say do you suspect to be men – and don't count Douglas)

      January 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You'd be surprised there are WOMEN against it also.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • mama k

      ( :) and hopefully Douglas is not Logic or I swear I'll tear him a new a**hole )
      well I know some women are against, but from the arguments here , I'm wondering if you suspect any are not men, Ken

      January 25, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @mama...................there's another thread (hobby lobby also) that has "Mother of 3" against it. She thinks because you use birth control you must be irresponsible. On this thread it's 2 guys Bill and Logic. Both are way over the top.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • mama k

      ken you need to use a little html to trick the word filter. so for r a p i s t, you would type this:
      r<b></b>apist

      what's happening is your just inserting a begin bold and end bold html codes in the middle of the dirty word

      January 25, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, thanks, Ken. Yes I understand, I've seen arguments from Bill before on this.

      So when you type it as I showed it comes out like this: rapist. Those codes squish away, but it passes the word filter.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • mama k

      So in places where you want nice presentation, then you can use that – and maybe keep a copy of those codes together on a note or something so that you can easily copy and paste from it.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @mama..........Thanks. I'm a computer guy! I didn't know that. Learn something every day.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Ken Margo

      Have a good weekend everyone. Time to go home.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • mama k

      I frequently typing constitution so to get that I have to, on a separate note, search for occurrences of t i t and then paste the <b></b> after the first t. Now to show you these codes as I did here is another matter because i had to use a different set of codes so that they wouldn't be interpreted.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • mama k

      You have a good one too, Ken.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Max

      Nah, Logic isn't Douglas. He would have said heterosexual coitus, LOL. Although both are WAY too interested in the sex lives of people they will never know!

      January 26, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • Logic

      Ken Margo
      "I don't understand "non-negotiable" when it comes to s3x. Sounds like buying a house or a baseball free agent."
      Non-negotiable, as in "Whatever you say, don't ask us not to have se.x, because there's no way we'll consider not bangin' whoever we want, whenever we feel like it".

      "I wonder if his wife blogs? I wonder if he allows her to?"
      Seriously Ken, grow up. I don't need to "allow" her to blog, she can do what she wants. I _fully_ trust her.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:05 am |
    • Logic

      So Ken, basically you believe that I should be forced to pay for contraception and abortions, even though they are against my religion and a violation of my conscience, because that's "the law". Yet if the government banned contraceptives (not like anyone has even asked for this) and abortion, you don't think you should have to pay for the support the children born because you are pro-choice, even though you say that "We ALL want a good life for children". In other words, you are a hypocrite, you don't really care about children, you're just covering your own backside, and you have no morals. You believe in responsibility, as long as it's someone else's and doesn't interfere with life the way you want it. Those hypothetical children aren't guilty of any wrongdoing, and by your accounts, the government (and people like me that want to abolish abortion) has wronged them. But you would keep your money and let them suffer because you would have had them prevented or aborted so it's not your problem.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • Logic

      @Cherries
      "Look, expecting people to be celibate is an unrealistic proposition. It is not going to happen. Witness the clergy of the RCC! Education and birth control is key; that is part of personal responsibility."
      Personal responsibility that includes taking a risk (no means of artificial contraception is 100% effective), and yet not being responsible for the outcome when and if it fails equals... personal irresponsibility! "I take responsibility for the choice I'm making, except if it doesn't work, then I'm like outta here, dude!"

      "As for abortion: it is a very personal decision, and no amoount of wailing and gnashing of teeth is going to change the fact that it is NONE OF ANYONE'S BUSINESS."
      So if you see someone being mugged, do you just say it's a very personal decision the mugger is making and it's none of your business? Babies, the most innocent and vulnerable members of humanity, completely incapable of defending themselves, need someone else to stand up for their rights.

      "Moreover, it is a legal procedure, and abolishing it is not going to happen."
      Slavery was legal once. And people said the same thing about it that you're saying about abortion.

      "Listen, all of the religious people in the United States banded together is not going to change that, especially when fully 83% having an abortion are religious themselves."
      Not all Christians (or people of other religious faiths) either believe it's wrong or even know what their church teaches. Truth is not a democracy. Numbers don't change whether the truth is true.

      "I wish there were no need for abortion. There is. That's not going to change. Neither, most likely, are the minds of people who are either pro-choice or anti-choice. Stalemate."
      I've seen LOTS of people change their minds about abortion, including ME. There is no need for slavery. There is no need for abortion.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Logic

      @Jen
      "Unbelievable. In one sentence arguing people need to take responsibility for their decisions and then in the next saying that you have to take responsibility for a decision you definitely didn't make (getting rap.ed). Unbelievable. You can't argue over and over AND OVER again that you shouldn't be allowed to have an abortion if you chose to have s-x and then in the same breath argue that you shouldn't be allowed to have an abortion if you did NOT choose to have s-x."
      I am arguing that a HUMAN PERSON has an INALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCU.MSTANCES OF THEIR CONCEPTION. There is no double-standard here at all. Rap.e is horrible, but that does not mean that the COMPLETELY INNOCENT LIFE that comes as a consequence of that act is guilty of doing anything. That baby did not ask to be born, and now your solution is to add another act of violence by having the mother just kill it. And like _you_ said before, life isn't always fair. Just because someone else broke the law and violated your rights does NOT give you the right to do the same.

      "I don't understand what you want to happen Logic. Do you want to make abortion illegal?"
      Yes, I want to make abortion illegal, specifically because it is the ending of a human life, one that has the same rights as you and me. They are completely unable to defend themselves, so someone has to stand up for them.

      "What will that do? Women will still pursue abortions (just like they did when it was illegal). All that will happen is a lot more women will start dying again as they did before. Being illegal is not going to stop anyone. Shall we imprison the mothers that survive the procedures? We are going to have a lot of full prisons."
      This argument is just plain stupid. So, should we just set up special clean and safe rap.e enviroments? Because rap.ists are just going to keep rap.ing people you know, so better to at least have it safe and rare... Did you keep the receipt for that MBA? One of the purposes of laws is prevention. People are less likely to do something that is illegal and carries consequences suited to the crime.

      "Good luck with trying to get people to stop having s-x. That's quite a big task. Not sure how you are going to accomplish it. I love s-x. I had lots of premarital s-x (and oh my goodness gracious – not just with my husband – shocking I know). I have no regrets about it. None."
      You don't seem to be able to follow people very well, do you? I came from your side of this argument. I had lots of premarital se.x (used to be a touring musician) with *GASP FAINT!* people that I didn't end up marrying. Do I regret it? HELL YES. It's something that is in between me and my wife to this very day. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would wait.

      "I plan to teach my children all about birth control and abstinence. I have no issues with them having premarital s-x – but it's important that they are educated and protecting themselves."
      Then why bother with the abstinence education? So they can know what they're not going to do? ("Good luck with...")

      "I did not get married until my thirties and I certainly don't expect them to wait until then to have s-x (and I really really hope they wait until their thirties to get married too). I DON'T CARE IF YOU THINK THIS IS WRONG. You can repeat yourself over and over like a broken record. let me repeat – I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK."
      I too didn't get married until my thirties. And yes, it is quite clear to me that you don't care what I think (though you do spend a lot of time typing stuff to someone you don't care about...).

      January 26, 2013 at 3:10 am |
    • Jen

      Actually it takes me about two minutes to respond to your posts (sorry if it takes you non-MBAs a lot longer). And you're the one stalking me on these threads. I stopped responding to your other comments on the other thread and so you started stalking me over here. I even ignored your posts on here but you relentlessly respond to me. Let's see if you can keep from having the last word here. Lets see if you can control yourself.

      I love how you selectively respond to questions or respond with an answer that has nothing to do with the question. Like you didn't respond as to what the punishment for mothers that have abortions should be. If abortion is illegal and is murder, they obviously need to go to prison with the other murderers. Adding about one million people to the prison populace per year sounds like a great idea. I also loved how you ignored Hawaii guests post awhile back when you argued that people need to do the natural thing that comes with having s-x and carry the fetus. When Hawaii guest countered that the natural thing to having a baby is raising it and not giving it away to strangers...your reply...ignored it.

      And again you never actually responded to my post about how you are going to stop people from having s-x. Your response was about your personal feelings. Doesn't apply to anyone else. You regret it. Great. I don't. My husband had tons of
      premarital s-x too. Hasn't affected our marriage in the slightest way. And I already mentioned that I don't have a problem if my kids have premarital s-x once they are adults. Most people in this country align with me (even if they don't admit it their actions speak differently – most people have premarital s-x). You haven't said anything to convince me so good luck with the other millions and millions of people.

      And you say that a woman that has been r-ped should not be allowed to also break the law and violate rights. She doesn't. It is perfectly legal and the zygote has no rights (the NM law proposed has no chance of being passed). Too bad, so sad.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good morning, Jen! Thanks for your compliment earlier in the thread.

      Excellent response to Logic. That simpleton believes one size MUST fit all and that there is only one correct way to live. My husband and I lived together for some time before we married and never regretted a moment of it. We've been happily married for over 30 years. Logic is clueless.

      Good thing everyone is free to ignore his opinions and live the life he/she wants.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Yes, I want to make abortion illegal, specifically because it is the ending of a human life, one that has the same rights as you and me. They are completely unable to defend themselves, so someone has to stand up for them."

      They don't have rights and you have no say about what a woman does with her body or its contents. In 40 years, you and your nutter pals have not been able to overturn R v W. Not going to happen, especially since your side lost the most recent election and two bozos just like you were defeated for their idiotic and misogynistic statements.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Jen

      Tom Tom, how's it going? Do you mean to say you lived in sin before??? Omg, that is unreal. Don't you know that you must live by the religious beliefs of others? They are working so hard to convince us of the truth you know.

      Do you want to bet me that logic can't help himself and responds to my post?

      January 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey Jen, yes, I was living in sin. Shocking, isn't it? Logic is just bizarre. He can't seem to figure out that married couples who have s3x don't want to conceive every time and have perfectly valid reasons not to have surgery to prevent such an occurrence, not the least of which might be that they can't afford it or aren't good candidates for surgery. Logic, like Chard, has a very limited imagination and a very limited view of people and the variety of lives they lead. He can't envision the kinds of circvmstances some people endure. His ignorance of the human condition helps him pontificate more pompously.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Jen

      I know. It's the old 'I used to think like you and now I've seen the light and I am going to do everything possible to make you see the light'. Except for he is mistaken that he and I ever thought the same way. Just because we both had premarital s-x does not mean that we were thinking the same way. Its a ridiculous as.sumption yet so many religious people think that way (notice how I don't say all because I don't blanket every member of the group as having the same thoughts).

      January 26, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  11. Ken Margo

    Why do those that are against abortion, ONLY focus on abortion.

    Guns – nothing
    Wars – nothing

    Doesn't god have an problem on those issues? or any of the other billion problems we have in the world? Why is abortion god's number one issue? Since so may speak for god, What is god's top ten?

    January 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      So "many" speak for god.

      January 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Logic

      We don't "ONLY focus on abortion", Ken. Some issues are more important, hierarchically, than others, and therefore deserve more attention first (especially one where the victim is completely unable to defend himself or herself). I am against war, against poverty, against se.x-trafficing, etc., etc. As for guns, the Catholic Church considers them instruments for legitimate defense, but that doesn't mean the Church (or its _faithful_ followers) supports completely unregulated access. I, for one, don't think that any tool with such power and potential danger should be in the hands of someone without proof of proper successful training, just like driving a car ought to require a license and training.

      Are you saying that if you happen to spend more time working on one important issue, that you "ONLY" care about that issue?

      January 25, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @logic....We went through this on the other thread. You are not going to change my my mind and I'm not going to change yours. Facts are facts. Christian conservatives have focused on the abortion issue. Killings during wars is an "abortion" of life. Guns killing people is an "abortion" of life. Those things should more important because those individuals killed were living members of society.

      January 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Logic

      No, "abortion" is the killing of an unborn baby (something that may also happen during war). As for "living members of society", exactly when does a baby become one of these? That's clearly an attempt to redefine a person (person – Noun – "A human being"). The zygote exhibits all 5 characteristics of life, and the presence of unique DNA and chromosomes further identifies it as a HUMAN life. PERSON. Slaves were redefined as less-than-humans for quite some time. The Jews in Germany were, too. Neither of those cases worked out well.

      I am PRO-LIFE, from CONCEPTION to NATURAL DEATH. I live my life by this. And I am not even remotely alone. Your version of that "fact" is inaccurate and I am proof of it.

      If I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine, why do you even hang out here? This is, after all, the "belief" blog, not the "disbelief" blog. I'm not sure if it's some sort of tactic to get me to shut up or something, but if you're going to keep posting erroneous information, I'm going to keep correcting it. I'm sincerely interested in the _truth_. I've been quite candid here and am really trying to understand your positions (you and the others here, even including Tom) because you're people, just like me, and I hope you care about _truth_ as much as I do. Is that the case? If you think I'm so wrong, they why do you (and some others) engage in such obnoxious banter, namecalling, etc.? It seems that liberals like to pick bits and pieces of what Jesus said to bolster their arguments, why not "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? Have a respectable debate, present the facts and theories, and back it up with sources and evidence. I've seen you display signs that you are capable of this. No reason at all to let it devolve and get ugly.

      January 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Logic..............My goal isn't to change your mind. I try to put factual info. out there because I know their are a lot of people that don't know what to think. I hope by reading my info they will come to the correct decision THEMSELVES. Extremists like your self I'd never try to convert because I know I cant. Fortunately based on the posts I've read. More people see things my way than your way.

      You never offer a plan for the children you want born.
      You push "Natural" birth control and some half baked statistics. Bottom line over 95% of CATHOLIC women use birth control
      Women use birth control because "natural" DIDN'T work for them.
      Men have vasectomies because "natural" DIDN'T work for them.
      Polls show 70% DON'T want Roe Vs. Wade overturned.
      Logic you are a slow dying dinosaur. I know you'll come back with BLAH BLAH BLAH. That's OK because you are being marginalized in society.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
  12. Chadwatch

    Chad has admitted that when he saw the light and began to believe beyond any doubt that the bible babble BS was true that his family ridiculed him for his epiphany. Since then he comes on this blog daily to get even more ridicule for his christian apologetics reasoning. It is a game, play with him if you will but it is all in vain. He is a lying troll.

    January 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      So Chad's "religion" is actually just rebellion. It sure seems to fit with the way he argues. His point is not to honor his faith, it is simply to rebel, whether that means full on lying or simply shading the truth.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Interesting paradox

      Interesting. That means by rebelling against his parents, Chad became a Christian, and now he has to be put to death for rebelling against his parents. Love that Bible!

      January 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      Was there any doubt from the beginning that Chad was a troll?

      January 26, 2013 at 7:28 am |
  13. midwest rail

    An interesting turn of events in Colorado....
    http://coloradoindependent.com/126808/in-malpractice-case-catholic-hospital-argues-fetuses-arent-people

    January 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Cherries

      From the article, in which a pregant mother carrying twins, all of who died:

      "But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

      As Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

      Freaking nasty hypocrits.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      To all Christian Conservatives. Your reply please to the above post.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jen

      Catholics? Hypocrites? No...it can't be...

      You won't get a response Ken. Just like I never got a response as to why they think it is okay that HL refuses coverage for contraception, even though they invest in the pharmaceutical companies that make them.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen.......Also no one replied to the point that money HL pays it's employees to buy birth control out of their pocket is no different from insurance companies providing free birth control since BOTH employee and employer (HL) contribute to the health insurance...........The silence is deafening.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen.........By the way. Thank you for the compliment. I read the postings, You guys went at it pretty good. I didn't know Bill's wife had passed. I don't recall reading that. My condolences to him. I don't know who has a sharper scalpel, you or Tom Tom. She is an equal opportunity ripper. She has NO favorites. I speak from experience.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • midwest rail

      8 hours later and not a single comment from a Christian/Catholic/believer ? Where is Captain Renault when you need him ?

      January 24, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      He researching for a reason to Bu ll Sh it you.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:09 pm |
    • Logic

      Just because a person or insti.tution identifies as Catholic does not mean that they follow Church teaching. These are human beings (or organizations being operated by human beings), all of which are capable of error and temptation to sin. So you're telling me that every elected official that has ever identified as a Democrat has faithfully worked to carry out the mission of the Democratic party? Neither example equates to hypocrisy for the organization and its membership as a whole.

      January 25, 2013 at 6:37 am |
    • midwest rail

      Logic – this is not a case of one or two rogue individuals acting on their own. Your analogy fails.

      January 25, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Logic

      @midwest rail
      This by NO means qualifies as a blanket statement for the entirety of the Catholic Church and its _faithful_ followers. And I made clear in my post that I was referring not only individuals, but "insti.tutions".

      Example one: Georgetown University. A "Catholic" insti.tution by label, but by no means an insti.tution that faithfully supports official and binding Catholic doctrine across the board.

      Example two: Catholics for Choice, an organization that supports abortion and is completely full of Catholics, despite the _fact_ that they are formally at odds with Catholic doctrine.

      Neither of these organizations is just a case of "one or two rogue individuals acting on their own". The analogy fits just fine.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • midwest rail

      No, it does not. The Vatican wasted no time slapping down the nuns on the bus. This defense strategy far outweighs any action by said nuns. Where is the Vatican condemnation ? You won't see any. This is about money, nothing else. Your analogy will continue to be false until we see the Vatican weigh in.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • Logic

      The reason for "slapping down" the nuns on the bus so quickly was because of a looming deadline (election day) and the effect that their misinformation would cause, as well as the number of people that would be directly affected. As for the court case in Colorado, it's still going through the court process, and it is entirely possible that the Vatican (and Pope) may not even know about it yet (do you think they have some ability to know everything that's going on everywhere at all times?). Does that amount to the Vatican supporting the action, not in the slightest.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:50 am |
    • midwest rail

      Do you genuinely believe this hasn't been brought to their attention ? There is NO way this defense strategy wasn't vetted beforehand with higher-ups. You can minimize this all you wish, it won't change the fact that not only have we not heard from the Vatican, we won't hear from them at all.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:10 am |
    • Logic

      Can you prove whether they were or were not? Regardless, it does not mean that this is the highest priority for the Vatican right now. Furthermore, Colorado's three Catholic Bishops said _just yesterday_ that they are now reviewing the case and the practices of that hospital. How do you know that that action was not requested by the Vatican (not that the Bishops of a Diocese need to wait for the Vatican to act)? Here's the quote:

      "The Catholic bishops of Colorado learned recently of the deaths of Lori Stodghill and her two unborn children, which took place at St. Thomas More Hospital in Cañon City, Colo. in 2006. We wish to extend our solidarity and sympathy to Lori's husband Jeremy, and her daughter, Elizabeth. Please be as.sured of our ongoing prayers.

      From the moment of conception, human beings are endowed with dignity and with fundamental rights, the most foundational of which is life.

      Catholics and Catholic insti.tutions have the duty to protect and foster human life, and to witness to the dignity of the human person - particularly to the dignity of the unborn. No Catholic insti.tution may legitimately work to undermine fundamental human dignity.

      Catholic Health Initiatives is a Catholic insti.tution which provides health care services in 14 states, providing care to thousands of people annually. Catholic Health Initiatives has been accused by some of undermining the Catholic position on human life in the course of litigation. Today, representatives of Catholic Health Initiatives as.sured us of their intention to observe the moral and ethical obligations of the Catholic Church.

      The Catholic bishops of Colorado are not able to comment on ongoing legal disputes. However, we will undertake a full review of this litigation, and of the policies and practices of Catholic Health Initiatives to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

      Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L., Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver
      Most Rev. Michael Sheridan, S.Th.D, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs
      Most Rev. Fernando Isern, Bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo"

      Doesn't sound like the Church supports their action.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Logic

      ("their" meaning the action of the hospital and its lawyers, to clarify my point)

      January 25, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      Talk is cheap. Unless they direct them to change their legal strategy, then all the clucking amounts to nothing, and the issue remains about money.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • midwest rail

      An aside – if it turns out that I have judged too quickly, which I doubt, I will gladly return to this thread and say so. I'm not holding my breath tho.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Logic

      Talk is indeed cheap, and I too am awaiting an official statement from the Bishops on what action they will take to ensure that the lawyers and hospital don't continue trying to fight this case using this defense. But, remember also that they only released this statement YESTERDAY. Sometimes smackdowns take a little bit, especially when you need to investigate who decided to try to do the wrong thing and why. How else will they properly ensure that this kind of thing won't happen again?

      Nevertheless, I'm glad you're at least willing to concede that you were wrong if you are proven to be so, but don't you think people (and by extension, organizations) deserve to be innocent until proven guilty? Or is the benefit of the doubt only valid when they agree with you? And by this, I'm not referring to blowing the whistle on the lawyers and hospital for their obvious failure to conform to official Church doctrine, I'm talking about your as.sumption that the Vatican (and faithful followers) support such actions.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • midwest rail

      They ( the Vatican ) would deserve the benefit of the doubt if recent history wasn't so glaringly unkind to them. This seems to merely be an extension of their hypocrisy, but again, if I am wrong, I will say so, and take my beating.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Cherries

      "Just because a person or insti.tution identifies as Catholic does not mean that they follow Church teaching. These are human beings (or organizations being operated by human beings), all of which are capable of error and temptation to sin."

      Yes. This means that this organization, who are SUPPOSED to follow church teaching, isn't-thus they are FREAKING HYPOCRITES. They are going against their own teachings to defend a lawsuit in which 3 people-two of them fetuses that they are ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT PROTECTING, died. And they are doing it by claiming that THERY WERE NOT BABIES BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT BORN YET.
      What part of freaking hypocrites doesn't apply??

      January 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Logic

      I'm not sure who you think you're arguing with, Cherries. I completely agree that if the hospital and/or the lawyers stand by this defense during the appeal, then you are absolutely right, they are being hypocritical and are failing their duty to observe the moral and ethical obligations of the Catholic Church. BUT, and this is an important but, this Catholic hospital _IS NOT_ the Catholic Church, and neither are the lawyers. Failure of the members of an organization does not equate to failure of the organization as a whole. Nevertheless, the organization as a whole _DOES_ have the responsibility to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen, or at least doesn't continue to happen, and that's what it has started to do. On Thursday night, the three Bishops of Colorado released a joint statement regarding this issue and announced that they are investigating it to make sure that Church rules are followed (quoted above). Investigations take time, though, since they need to find out who did what, when, where and why and who else was involved. Everyone has a right to the due process of the law, you know.

      What baffles me is why these lawyers didn't just base their defense on whether or not being able to contact the on-call OB is something guaranteed. It's not like they can control the cellphone companies and their cell towers. I guess we'll see what happens.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Bill Deacon-God bless you and your family!


    From the believers of this blog

    January 24, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      How touching. Thank you

      January 24, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Sue

      And may you all get over your god delusions.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  15. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Dill? You there? Did you read Susan's post?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    If ever there were an example of an egotist, it would have to Dill Beacon. He seriously believes he knows more about law and the Const itution than a Supreme Court Justice, namely Sotomayor.

    One has to laugh. Some anonymous dweeb behind a computer thinks he knows more than a Justice. Ya gotta wonder what Dilly's qualifications as a Const itutional scholar might be. I'm sure if he HAD any, he'd have bragged about them heretofore. After all, he's far from modest. If he had any chops, he'd post them.

    Come one, Dill Beacon. Tell us all about your educational background in law.

    Should be quite a read.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'd like to know why (some) men feel they should be the ultimate authority concerning birth control or abortion? There isn't a man I know that would be willing to switch places with a pregnant woman under ANY circu'mstances. Women through out history have been dubbed the "weaker s3x". Anyone that carry another person is a lot stronger than me. I was their when my wife gave birth after 52 HOURS of labor. I cried so much out of pity for her pain, that she actually had to calm me down. If men knew what women go through to have kids, A man would never put his hands on a woman.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      ken: it is because they have god complexes

      January 24, 2013 at 4:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, I can just read. Justice Sotomayor didn't rule on the petiition by the plaintiffs and no single Justice will. What she ruled on, appropriately in my view, is that HL was not entiitled to an injunction against the fines being levied while their case advances through the District court level. Tom seems to feel that Sotomayor has the sole jurisdaction to make the final ruling on the case which is why she has jumped to the conclusion that it is over when it is not. Currently both the government and HL's lawyers have petiitioned for a delay so that other cases can be co-joined since a victory for any one of the more than 40 plaintiffs will set precedent for the rest of the group.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Jen

      Ken you sound like such a great husband, just like mine.

      I suspect that Bill thinks he knows more than Sotomayer because she is a woman. Same reason he is so against abortion. He spends his life immersed in a religion that teaches that women aren't intelligent enough to take leadership positions, that womens roles are to serve our husbands, submit to our husbands, leave decisions in the hands of our husbands, and be silent. So when his wife had an abortion and made that decision without him, he was irate. He can't stand the fact that women can choose abortion and that men can't control the decision, as he believes it should be. Same reason he likes to call me a feminist. He likes to tell me I've been brainwashed into feminist thinking, in other words, that I've been brainwashed into thinking women are intelligent enough to think for ourselves. He wants me to go back to the era when men controlled women, and is trying to convince me that's a good thing. he doesn't realize that I take being called a feminist as a compliment.

      'all I know is that whenever I say something that distinguishes me from a Prost-itute or a doormat, I get called a feminist'

      January 24, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jen, while I've never called you a feminist, I do think you have a sever addiction to straw.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ken, I think that's funny, Your wife went through 52 hours of labor and YOU cried so much she had to calm you down? Way to man up there honcho.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Jen

      Actually Bill, you refuse to answer any of my questions because you are a terrible debater (evidenced again by you forgetting that you have called me a feminist – both talllulah and I just a couple of days ago). You know that I cornered you on some points, so you just say I have straw man arguments. I just take that as a concession.

      You think Ken having sympathy for his wife makes him unmasculine? Seriously? My husband is over 6 feet, beer drinking, sports playing ultimate man's man, and he totally admits how helpless he felt when I bled out in labour. It's called having empathy and sympathy for your wife. And you wonder why your wife is a total nutcase.....hmmm....

      January 24, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're a real hero, Dill.

      What a fvcking jackazz.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dill, you are a moron. I "assumed" no such thing, dink. Of course she hasn't ruled on the case. She DID, however, make a ruling that indicates her thinking on the matter. You seem to believe that the Justices are incompetent to interpret the law. Not surprising, considering what an arrogant jerk-off you are proving to be.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • End Religion

      Lavender blue, dilly, dilly...

      January 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wasn't Bill using the phrase "All Juden must board the train" when it was pointed out to him that HL is breaking the law?

      January 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  17. Skeptical watcher

    What an interesting read.

    Bill presents the opinion of a religious troll. His arguments, for or against, are present in multiple forums where religious views are being questioned. Nothing he is saying is new fodder for thought. The topic could be new but the arguments are old and redefined for the conversation. If this was a true attempt tondiscuss the topic there needs to be some degree of critical thinking, unfortunately religion is involved in the discussion. Critical thinking is a lost concept to individuals such as Bill.

    Continue please, I feel that the drama that is this topic is very interesting to say the least.

    January 23, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'm glad you're enjoying the show. Please, don't be an outsider. When Bill replies (or others like him). Engage him. Hopefully you wont rip your hair out.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I agree, though the topic changes from forum to forum, the issues seldom does. At issue is whether the rights of individual people to live their life and express their religious freedoms can be infringed by the government or any majority who disdains that religion. The corollary to that issue is whether the particular religious teaching has anything to say about the topic in question. The answer to the first, according to the Constiitution is no. The answer to the second is often yes, which you are free to accept or not.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Susan

      " At issue is whether the rights of individual people to live their life and express their religious freedoms can be infringed by the government or any majority who disdains that religion."

      Freedom of religion and belief has long been a treasured American value and a centerpiece of our constitutional system. As a result, religion has flourished and we are one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. Religious freedom, however, has never meant the absolute right to conform institutions in the public sphere to religious doctrine. Other values – such as fairness, equality, health and safety, and the government’s ability to administer laws and programs – also affect the way we order society. Our religious freedom protections safeguard the right to both believe and act on our beliefs; but they are not a license to take actions that discriminate against or harm others.

      Two principal safeguards of religious liberty are the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

      As interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court for the past two decades, the First Amendment is not offended where a neutral law of general applicability has an incidental impact on religious exercise. The Free Exercise Clause is triggered only when a law intentionally targets religion. In the 1990 opinion establishing this framework, Justice Antonin Scalia explained that society cannot function where “each conscience is a law unto itself.” In other words, the Supreme Court concluded that the Free Exercise Clause does not create a blanket right to exemptions from every law or regulation that conflicts with someone’s religious teachings or convictions.

      In 1993, Congress responded to this interpretation by passing RFRA to give greater – although not unlimited – protection to claims of infringement on religious exercise. The statute is intended to restore the test that courts previously used when evaluating such assertions. Instead of asking whether a regulation intentionally targets religion, RFRA asks whether the law places a “substantial burden” on religious exercise, regardless of intent. If yes, the government regulation needs to be important, or in the words of the statute “further a compelling government interest” using the “least restrictive means.” Those interests found to be compelling have included, among others, combating discrimination, and ensuring the comprehensiveness or administrability of a government program

      RFRA asks courts to be highly protective of religion, but Justice Scalia’s words ring true here as well – each conscience cannot be its own law. In a “cosmopolitan nation made up of people of almost every conceivable religious preference,” the right to act on our beliefs has never been and cannot be without limit. That is borne out by the fact that minimal burdens do not trigger RFRA protection, and that even substantial burdens on religious exercise must be tolerated where the countervailing interest is important. Courts have been careful not to exempt an objector where “the requested exemption would detrimentally affect the rights of third parties.” Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has explained that allowing an employer to opt out of a benefits law would “operate to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.”

      January 24, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      EXCELLENT POST, Susan!

      January 24, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • mama k

      Great post, Susan!

      January 24, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Saraswati

      I originally gave Bill the benefit of the doubt. I actually start with the assumption that the person I' debating with is a) not at idiot and b) mAkes sense in their own mind. I don't start with the assumption that they can critically assess all their own premises, because I've only seen that in a minute number of people in my life.

      So I really stretched for this guy, but it turns out he has absolutely no shame in his attempts to dodge questions and manipulate. This means he's either fantastically self-deluded or so deluded about others that he thinks they are too stupid to see what he's doing. I'm not yet decided whether on or both of these cases is true.

      I'm leaning towards self-delusion as the most likely since it would explain the fact he doesn't feel the need to self analyze and adapt between postings. I don't expect people in an online forum to come out and say "oh yeah, I was wrong" very often...it just doesn't work that way. But normally you see slight improvements and tweaking of an argument, and there's nothing here. It's not just show...he genuinely doesn't seem to understand that he has made any errors.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I agree Susan, very good and quite accurate. This should explain to all those who post "why do I have to pay for war". In the case of Hobby Lobby, the lawyers are arguing five points I think that address what you describe. The first is general applicability. Since the administration has granted numerous exemptions to various provisions of the ACA to a variety of bodies, the plaintiffs argue that the law is not generally applicable. That is that since, by the administration's own actions, they have demonstrated that exemption may occur they have created a situation in which the law is not generally applicable. In other words they are practicing selective enforcement. The second point is the substantial burden on religious expression. The plaintiff's argument here seems to hinge on the fact that the portion of the ACA to which they object compels them into a violation of their religious beliefs and that releasing them from this compulsion does not infringe on the ability of their employees to obtain the products or services elsewhere. In other words, HL is not the sole or even primary source of the benefits the government is mandating. This should answer the question of "Can employers ignore safety regulations". They cannot because safety regulations are incuumbent on the employer at the work place. The third point the plaintiff allege is the discriminatory method by which the administration has awarded exemptions to other bodies, including corporations.While a pattern of discrimination has not been alleged, the process of awarding exemptions is arbitrary and subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. This means that if she likes you you get one, if she doesn't you don't. A fourth point the suit makes is that the ACA was codified into law without the required period of public comment which obviated the opportunity for religious groups to address these issues prior to the law being passed. In other words, they got the bum's rush. The fifth point is that there is no compelling government interest in requiring HL to provide the coverage mandated, therefore a religious exemption is not excluded based on any need that the government has for HL employees have this coverage.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I can hardly wait to see Dill argue his "points" in front of the SCOTUS.

      I love the bit about the "bum's rush." What malarkey. We've been waiting for an overhaul of the health care system for decades. It should not be held hostage by delusional dopes who can't figure out what a contraceptive does and are using their ignorance as a reason to be given an exemption.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sara, attacking the intelligence and motive of your opponent is probably a debate tactic I would recommend you dispose of. You may not agree with my motives, that is why we are adversaries and even if you are more intelligent than I, which is subjective at best, that does not invalidate my points.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And THIS bit is priceless: "While a pattern of discrimination has not been alleged, the process of awarding exemptions is arbitrary and subject to the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. This means that if she likes you you get one, if she doesn't you don't. "

      You have to laugh.

      Dill must still be smarting from being 'uninvited' to a lot of birthday parties.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • David

      "The fifth point is that there is no compelling government interest in requiring HL to provide the coverage mandated, therefore a religious exemption is not excluded based on any need that the government has for HL employees have this coverage."

      In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby. In his ruling denying Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction, Heaton said that while churches and other religious organizations have been granted constitutional protection from the birth-control provisions, "Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations."
      "Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion," the ruling said.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, I agree my IQ has no bearing on the validity of my points, but I have, in fact, never raised that issue nor mentioned my intelligence as measure in any way.

      I was not debating you, but discussing you as a subject of interest. If you have something to contribute on that topic go ahead, but your participation is not necessary to that conversation.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "HL is not the primary source and employees can obtain...elsewhere." And an employer who doesn't believe in blood transfusions can then simply refuse to offer coverage that includes them as well. Employees can get a transfusion for themselves. Why should the employer be required to violate its religious belief that blood transfusion is morally wrong?

      HL doesn't get to hide behind a lie. Plan B is not an abortion pill. Pretending it is shouldn't get HL off the hook.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sara, I agree with you. I started thinking Bill was nothing but a nut when he posted that his wife had "died."

      January 24, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, you may not realize this and I'm sure it's uncomfortable but Federal law requires a period of public comment on pending legislation which was not observed on the ACA. The government violated it's own procedural process by ignoring Administrative Procedures Act 5 USC553. Yeah I'd call it a bum's rush. You only think it's funny because your hated Christian's are being forced to provide contraceptives and abortifacients which are so dear to you. But I'm telling you the tide can turn and when it becomes a matter of the Government violating your freedoms you're going to wish you could hold them to the same standard Hobby Lobby is trying to today.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom are you unaware that the FDA says that drugs which prevent implantation of embryos into the uterine wall are, in fact abortion inducing?

      David, I read that judgement and I find it interesting. I think a higher court will ultimately weigh in on this point. My personal belief is that there is precedent that will strengthen the claim of for profits ( I'm thinking recently of the Dominos case). I just think that HL's lawyers have yet to address that weakness in their case.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, yeah, Dill. And if the government is permitted to control women's bodies it can just as easily mandate abortions. If "ifs and buts" were candy and nuts, oh, what a party we'd have.

      There was no "bum's rush," and the only reason you are claiming there was is because things didn't go your way. Sour gr apes.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, Sara, what you are practicing is called character assassination. It'[s all the rage.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Dill, it doesn't. You simply believe something that isn't true: that pregnancy begins before implantation. It doesn't. And Plan B does not cause abortions.

      If you have to make a point with lies, you have no point.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Tom, he said his wife died? Did he mean that metaphorically?

      January 24, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Tom, you think someone is a nut because their wife died and that then that is something to use as fodder in your derision of them?

      Yeah, sorry I missed your birthday.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who knows? Didn't seem metaphorical at the time. I think he's delusional.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So your wife is dead, Dill?

      January 24, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sara, my wife slipped into a coma on Thanksgiving day and was removed from life support four days later. We have a 21 year old daughter.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If so, when? Because quite recently, you described her in the present tense as having mental health issues with which she was still dealing.

      January 24, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So it's okay for you to remove life support but not okay for a woman to prevent pregnancy?

      You surely see the disconnect, don't you?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Saraswati

      I'm sorry to hear about your wife, bill, I thought she was still alive and didn't think from Tom's post she was refering to an actual death. very sorry for you loss.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Unbelievably ignorant, even for you tom. I've often been offended by your demeanor and never agreed with your politics but at least you have shown some measure of wit in the past, ill willed as it is. But your conflation of my personal and specific situation with the general debate on right to life while at the same time misrepresenting my stance is utterly despiicable and reprehensible. Why am I not surprised

      January 24, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thank you Sara. I should have known better than to post personal information on a board like this for the consumption of vampires like tom.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't even bother with your little huff, Dill. You've been completely ill-mannered, arrogant, insulting, and sh!tty since you started posting, and have never pulled punches out of concern for anybody else. You can yap all you want about me, I won't give a crap, because I have absolutely no respect for you at all. You were posting here non-stop at the time, so it certainly didn't seem to be terribly important to you and if you didn't want anyone to know about it, you had only to avoid typing the info. The fact that you did, in a very offhand, casual fashion, indicates that you wanted to use the fact for your own benefit on here.

      Now flounce your kerchief and toddle off.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and what you said to Ken? "Man up, honcho"? Right back at ya.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Tom, When someone is dying or has died people will often look for a distraction to keep their sanity, and the internet fits well in many cases. I don't know Bill's case in any detail but if someone is brain damaged or sleeping all the time or in a coma or any similar state, you can't be with them all the time and you can't, at least for most people, even be there emotionally all the time. I don't agree with Bill's debating style and have other issues as outlined above, but that doesn't make him evil or inhuman or undeserving of sympathy for this very hard experience. We don't know what he went through, but standing with someone under those circu'mstances for days, weeks, months and sometimes years is the hardest thing most people will ever do.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sara, do you think I haven't been through a similar experience? Bill is an obnoxious sh!t and there's no excuse for him.

      January 24, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think I manned up ok. I married her in the Church of my own free will. I opened myself to the conception of our child within the marriage according to my faith. I was faithful to her even as her disease took her away from me and I raised my daughter as best I could with a deficient other parent. Many nights I cried, helpless with no wife or anyone else to calm me down only to get up the next day and press onward. I prayed and stayed awake and talked to her and dealt with family and a grieving child from Thanksgiving through Christmas, even keeping my volunteer work at the hospital going (she was a nurse) and when the doctors said it was time to stop, I prayed some more thanking God Almighty for her life and asking for mercy on her soul. I don't think I owe tom or anyone else any explanation for anything. My choice to life as a practicing Catholic is informed by the real life events of marriage, birth, death, sin, forgiveness, acceptance and reconciliation. I promote my beliefs here on the belief blog as best I am able with the information I have and can find. Some, very few have legitimate stances against my views but most are simply ugly, like tom continues to be this morning, without advancing any valid reasons for their thoughts, only deriding those they disagree with. It has caused me to re-investigate and re-validate my opinions many times and to be grateful that I can do so with as much decorum as possible.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Tom, if you have had such an experience your lack of sympathy is even more staggering. Of course there's no "excuse" for Bill's manipulative techniques and willful ignorance, and I certainly wasn't giving him one. What I was doing was defending his behavior of being on line and not talking about his wife while and after she died. That was very understandable. But to tell you the truth, while I respect you intellectually I put discussing civil behavior with you in the same category as discussing logic with Bill...a well evidenced lost cause. I suspect you aren't as horrid a person in the real world; i certainly hope not.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm not a "horrid person" at all. I would have plenty of sympathy for Bill if he ever once had any for others, but he doesn't. Sorry if you don't like my behavior. As I said to Bill, if you don't like my posts, don't read them.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jen

      Well I of course didn't know that Bill's wife died before I made my comment so I'm sorry to hear that Bill.

      However, it does bother me that you have told me in the past that her mental issues stemmed from an abortion. Based on your post above, that obviously is not the case. So I'm not sure why you lied before. I also don't know why you told Ken that you had an amazing weekend. Clearly, no one that truely loves their spouse would have a great weekend just 7 weeks after his or her loss (no matter how differently you grieve). So I just don't get why you are so dishonest in your posts (whichever post that may be). But regardless, if your wife did pass away, I'm sorry. I don't wish bad things to happen to anybody.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jen, It's hard to say but I suspect her mental issues where congenital, mental health issues get wrapped up into other things sometimes. Often they present as simply eccentricities, sometimes as addiction. Life situations complicate the diagnosis as well. When a person is bouncing from drama to drama and crisis to crisis and the family is reeling with the fallout, it's hard to get a handle on what's happening.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Susan

      “The second point is the substantial burden on religious expression. The plaintiff's argument here seems to hinge on the fact that the portion of the ACA to which they object compels them into a violation of their religious beliefs and that releasing them from this compulsion does not infringe on the ability of their employees to obtain the products or services elsewhere.”

      The 23 lawsuits attacking the contraceptive coverage rule as infringing on the religious liberty rights of employers that want to withhold coverage of birth control from their employees have always been all bark, no bite. Our courts have long held that institutions that operate in the public sphere are not above the law; the Supreme Court has recognized that allowing employers to get around laws like these can “operate[] to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.” Both the California Supreme Court and New York’s equivalent have dismissed claims that requiring coverage of contraception runs afoul of religious liberty. After last week’s decision, the plaintiffs’ claims should quiet to a whimper.

      Insurance covers a broad range of benefits, some of which any given individual will never use. The rule simply requires that employers and insurers not deny individuals coverage for contraception. It’s up to the employee – as it should be – to decide whether to access that coverage in her private life. That connection is far too tenuous to impose a substantial burden on the employer. As New York’s highest court explained, there is no “absolute right for a religiously-affiliated employer to structure all aspects of its relationship with its employees in conformity with church teachings.” It would be akin to allowing a company to dictate how its workers spent their paychecks.

      None of this, of course, is stopping groups like the Becket Fund from promising to press forward with the lawsuits with full force, or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops from continuing to condemn the coverage requirement. But with both law and public health policy on the rule’s side, it’s only a matter of time before we celebrate another court victory for the Affordable Care Act, women, and families.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sara, find you comment on my level of sympathy interesting. I am, of course sympathetic to a great number of things. I am sympathetic to the victims of abortion, not only the unborn but the women and families as well, I am sympathetic to the poor and uneducated, I am sympathetic to those who suffer from any number of diseases and conditions over which they have no power. I am also empathetic. Which means I have concern for the plight of say, a young woman faced with an unexpected pregnancy. But sympathy and empathy are only feelings. They are not a well reasoned basis for public policy. This is often where the divide comes between conservative and liberal. Conservative espouse self responsibility, accountability and restraint as a means to stem human suffering. Liberals espouse largesse and emotionally appealing responses to that suffering. Conservatives then accuse liberals of coddling irresponsible people and liberal retort with cries of cold heartedness. I think you are mistaken to assume I have no compassion simply because I stand for Christian beliefs and Constiitutional law.

      January 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Susan, It's shaping up to be an interesting case. As I am sure you are aware the court can sometimes surprise with it's judgements. I maintain that the case has merit and anticipate a good argument.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Todd

      " I think you are mistaken to assume I have no compassion simply because I stand for Christian beliefs and Constiitutional law."

      Actually from your posts you don't seem to get constitutional law because you're trying to impose your religious beliefs on others. When dealing with the law those beliefs do not apply. The other thing you're not considering is when abortion was illegal, it still went on in unsafe environments and a great danger to women. When abortion was illegal the crime and murder rate when up because there were so many unwanted, neglected children in our society. A society that was most Christians who did not step up and be responsible for those unwanted children they forced mothers to have by that law. So, I don't buy the responsibility argument of conservative Christians because history has shown you're not.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • ¿¿lol

      Bill – "Liberals espouse largesse and emotionally appealing responses to that suffering."

      Hard-core Catholics seem to espouse similarly. Those that adhere firmly the stance on contraception ignore the reality and literal sickness that such a stance promotes in the world. They will argue the root ultimate goal of abstinence, but because of their silly, unfounded beliefs, they remain unwilling to contribute to what would obviously diminish disease and abortions alike.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jen

      I think Sara was addressing Tom on sympathy, not you Bill.

      I agree lol (you must not be the regular annoying lol). Bill, you got offended when Tom compared your 'personal' situation to the debate on abortion. Don't you understand that abortion is a personal issue for many people? You always accuse Tom tom of having had one, but if you believe that (I don't), then you are attacking her personally. What's the difference?

      I'm sure that there are many people that think taking your wife off life support was murder. I think it is reprehensible for someone to accuse you of this, though they have a right to think it. I think the same thing about abortion. Stop trying to judge people when you are not in their shoes.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Susan

      Since 1965, when the U.S. Supreme Court first protected a woman’s access to contraception in Griswold v. Connecticut, both maternal and infant mortality rates have declined. Pregnancy spacing reduces harmful birth outcomes such as low birth-weight and premature birth, and pregnancy planning can help women control a number of conditions that negatively impact their own health, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hailed family planning as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the last century.

      But that’s only where the impact of contraception begins. Access to affordable and effective contraception plays an important role in facilitating women’s participation in all parts of society. When asked how birth control impacts their lives, women report that it has allowed them “to support [themselves] financially,” “to stay in school,” and “to get or keep [a] job or have a career.” Researchers have found that the availability of oral contraception has played a significant role in allowing women to attend college and choose post-graduate paths, including law, medicine, dentistry, and business administration. Indeed, the ability to advance in the workplace through education or on-the-job training, because of the ability to control whether and when to have children, has narrowed the wage gap between men and women. One study shows that the birth control pill led to “roughly one-third of the total wage gains for women in their forties born in the mid-1940s to early 1950s.” In short, contraception helps women take control over their lives; inconsistent access undermines that.

      The ACA was designed to redress gender discrimination in health benefits. As Senator Barbara Mikulski, author of the provision on women’s preventive services, noted: “Often those things unique to women have not been included in health care reform. Today we guarantee it and we assure it and we make it affordable by dealing with copayments and deductibles.

      Prescription contraceptives are a form of health care particular to women. Omitting contraception from an insurance package – as so many plans have done in the past – discriminates against women; it means men receive comprehensive health care coverage while women do not. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pointed this out over a decade ago. It explained that prohibitions on sex discrimination require employers to include contraceptive coverage when they offer coverage for comparable drugs and devices. As one court explained, “carv[ing] out benefits uniquely designed for women” discriminates against them.

      Without comprehensive coverage, women of childbearing age routinely pay more than men in health care costs. These costs are not insignificant, are a true barrier to women’s access to effective birth control, and the financial barriers are aggravated by the fact that women typically earn less than men. The cost of contraceptive methods can cause women to have gaps in their use, or to use less effective methods with lower upfront costs like condoms, as opposed to more effective long-acting reversible methods like the IUD. The contraceptive coverage rule helps to eliminate those disparities and their negative consequences. Indeed, a recent study shows that no-cost contraception is likely to significantly decrease unintended pregnancy rates by making long-acting methods more accessible.

      The U.S. Supreme Court said it well: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Ensuring insurance coverage for contraception promotes equality on multiple, intersecting fronts. These are exactly the kinds of interests that are considered “compelling” by legal and lay audiences alike.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, I was talking about Tom Tom's level of sympathy, not yours.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Saraswati

      And I agree with everything else Jen said regarding abortion, accusing people of abortion, abortion being a real personal issue and abortion/life support. Very well put Jen.

      January 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I also agree that abortion is a personal matter. You'll search long and hard before you find a post where I advocate the repeal of R v W. What you will find is my appeal to women to exercise better judgement before they engage in behavior that endangers them and appeals to men to treat women as more than just object of seexual gratification. In this regard, I find common ground with my buddy Ken, you dirt bag. I also reject the implication than people are not capable of controlling their seexual urges and in this regard, I am consistent with Margret Sangar. So, I agree with the pro-choice crowd, "Don't want an abortion, don't get one." Don't want to have to choose, don't put yourself in that position.

      January 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I also agree that abortion is a personal matter. You'll search long and hard before you find a post where I advocate the repeal of R v W. What you will find is my appeal to women to exercise better judgement before they engage in behavior that endangers them and appeals to men to treat women as more than just object of seexual gratification. In this regard, I find common ground with my buddy Ken, you dirt bag. I also reject the implication than people are not capable of controlling their seexual urges and in this regard, I am consistent with Margret Sangar. So, I agree with the pro-choice crowd, "Don't want an abortion, don't get one." Don't want to have to choose, don't put yourself in that position

      January 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Bill: " What you will find is my appeal to women to exercise better judgement before they engage in behavior that endangers them and appeals to men to treat women as more than just object of seexual gratification."

      Bill – I think some would take exception with that line of yours. Just say better judgment on the part of both genders. It seems like you're saying that men would never use bad judgment, but have choices in how they treat women. I have to agree with lol – sadly, your position, and the position of the Catholic church has not helped curb death and disease in the world under its current policy on contraception.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • End Religion

      lol@granny sara wagging her finger at kids playing on her plastic covered furniture again... Sara, how's that knitting coming along?
      Bill, sorry for your loss. You're still a bastard.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Archie.................I agree with your point. Sometimes the c0nd0m breaks, What about cases of r@pe or inc3st, What about the women's health? Or the health of the f3tus? ALL logical reasons for an abortion, not because someone put themselves in a "position". I've said it before, crooked christian conservatives think people should only have s3x to have children. They think we're farm animals.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:30 pm |
    • Jen

      Bill,

      You state that you have never said abortion should be illegal. True enough. However, you help raise money for pro life groups. You and those groups would probably have us believe you are providing funds for shelter and medical care for those that chose to not abort. I know better. Helping individual people does not the main cause of trying to overturn r v. W.

      So where does the money go? Sponsoring bills of course. Like the lovely bill just introduced by the Republicans in NM that would make it a crime for a woman to abort if she was r-ped. Yes that's right. The r-pe victim would go to prison for obstruction of justice. They are trying to argue that she is destroying evidence (of course all of the evidence could be obtained during the abortion), and therefore should be imprisoned. If you don't think there is something sickly wrong with this, then there is something very VERY wrong with you.

      January 25, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • Logic

      @Ken Margo
      "Sometimes the c0nd0m breaks, What about cases of r@pe or inc3st, What about the women's health? Or the health of the f3tus? ALL logical reasons for an abortion, not because someone put themselves in a "position"."

      1) Birth control (other than abstinence, of course) is not 100% effective, studies prove it. If a person decides that a 99% or less effective rate is good enough for them, they are still putting themselves in a "position" if it fails.
      2) In the cases or rap.e or incest, the baby is certainly an innocent victim. (Note: before anyone decides to pounce on my statement, I do NOT believe that means that the person committing this crime is not responsible, nor do I believe that the female victim isn't innocent.) The point is that all human life has inherent value. Rap.e and incest are terrible, but why does that equate to the right kill the innocent result of such an act?
      3) Far less than 1% of all abortions in the US are for the sake of a woman's health. Regardless of that number, nobody is saying that a woman's health is not important. There is a significant difference between performing a life-saving surgery on someone that happens to have the effect of the loss of a baby's life, and simply ending that baby's life through a specifically intentional abortive procedure.
      4) So, killing the baby is improving its health? My guess is that you are referring to the "quality of life", but if you deny the baby life, there is guaranteed to be _no_ quality.

      "I've said it before, crooked christian conservatives think people should only have s3x to have children. They think we're farm animals."

      The Catholic Church teaches (and _faithful_ Catholics believe) that marriage has a purpose (have you ever pondered why it's called "holy _matrimony_"?), and part of that purpose is procreation. Does the Church say that I can only have se.x when my wife is certainly fertile? Absolutely not. And doing so is in _no way_ tricking God (as if that is possible) to get what should not be had. My wife and I are always open to life (since, like Jen mentioned elsewhere, a woman's cycles don't always run like clockwork, and therefore you might be surprised), regardless of when we do that. And we are always respectful of each other, which fulfills the unitive element of the conjugal act (the Church teaches that the act must be both unitive _and_ procreative, or at the very least, open to the potential of procreation by not using artificial means to stop it). This promotes mutual love (selfless giving) rather than mutual use (selfish taking) of the couple. Doesn't sound like any farm animal I've ever seen.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  18. Chris

    I don't believe in war. Can I be exempt from paying taxes?

    January 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      According to some, if it's your religion, sure.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Certain religious groups are exempt from serving in the military. If you belong to one of them you can get an exemption from conscription. Since wars are funded through the general taxation though, no you cannot avoid paying your taxes. Do you understand the difference between that concept and the mandate coded into the ACA?

      January 24, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dill, do you understand Susan's post above? Read it.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  19. Ken Margo

    (CNN) – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday turned down a request that she block part of Obamacare that would require companies' health plans to provide for coverage of certain contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill.
    Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations had protested the requirement, which is to kick in January 1.

    They said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs, Sotomayor wrote in her opinion.

    The applicants said they would face irreparable harm if forced to choose between paying fines and complying with the requirement.

    But Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit, said the applicants failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that they could continue to pursue their challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, following a final judgment.

    Hobby Lobby is a chain of arts and crafts stores with more than 13,000 employees; Mardel is a chain of Christian-themed bookstores with 372 full-time employees. Both are based in Oklahoma City. Neither company responded to e-mails.

    If this ends up before the Supremes, I have an idea where it's going to end up.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      This was the status just before the end of the year. Presently the case has returned to District court where both the government and the plaintiffs have petiitioned for a delay so that the HL case can be co-joined with another similar case. IN the mean time, HL has reset their benefits calendar to avoid the commencement of the penalty.

      Ken you dirt bag

      January 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • Cherries

      Ken said: "If this ends up before the Supremes, I have an idea where it's going to end up." How does that make him a dirtbag for stating an opinion, Bill?? It was sent back down to the lower courts, but he SAID "If this ends up before the Supremes, I have an idea where it's going to end up." Gratuitous slur for no reason.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @cherries.................Bill and I have gone at it for a while. I'll admit I've called him a Scuumbag because I think the reason he's against the affordable care act is because a black president created the law.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's our way of sharing endearments

      January 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  20. damo12345

    Let us assume the company was run by Jehovah's Witnesses.

    Would the company be exempt from paying taxes? After all, tax money goes toward providing medical services for soldiers and veterans. And those medical services include blood transfusions, which are against the faith of Jehovah's Witnesses.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Damo..................You are trying to inject logic into this argument. You will be met with scorn from the crooked christian conservatives.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, it's not logic. It's a false comparison. The truth is that there have been over a thousand exemptions already granted to the ACA by the administration. Part of the Green's case is that the ACA is not generally applicable since the administration has created a preferential exemption standard which discriminates against them. In other words the law is a piece of crap.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @demo.......................See.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's not scorn Ken. Scorn is when I call you a dirt bag. I honestly think there is a difference in the way liberals process information. What I am telling Damo is that the conditions he speculates on already exist. There are literally thousands of exemptions to the ACA already in place. The HL case is, in part based on the discriminatory nature of those exemptions and the methods by which they are conferred. Sorry for the big words.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @damo..........................Excuses, excuses.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Incomprehensibly stupid even for you Tom

      January 24, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You want sympathy and empathy from people on here? When you have none at all for them? You have absolutely no understanding of ANYONE else's life, yet you demand that others live as you see fit. That women do nothing to avoid pregnancy if they wish to, that they continue pregnancies even if they can't afford or don't wish to have a baby, that they give up their autonomy regardless of any life circu stance? Why should anyone give you a pass when you don't do so for anyone else?

      January 24, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm not looking for a pass tom. And I'm not insisting anybody live the way I do. Usually I am only correcting bad information that people post about the Catholic faith and trying to explain why the teaching might be useful or why it deserves space in the public sphere. I acknowledge that there are those who would legislate from the Bible if they could but I have repeatedly and consistently defended the Constiitution. You even, this very day made fun of me for citing several laws in support of my arguments. I think you are infected with a liberals paranoia and I strongly suspect you have a substance abuse problem. I exposed my personal information because I believe vulnerability improves communication. I've invited you to share something of yourself which you have declined. You prefer to stay on the offensive and you're good at it. It just doesn't really make you a very appealing person to me, which creates a built in bias towards your views.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't care whether you find me appealing or not. Your suppositions regarding my "paranoia" and "substance abuse problem" are typical for you. Accusations will get you nowhere. I think you're a hypocrite. I have no desire to persuade you or debate with you. You are basing your arguments on religious belief, no matter how you try to deny it. No, your faith does NOT have a place in the public sphere when it interferes with my rights under law. Your beliefs and those of HL have no relevance to those who do not share them and no one should be subject to the denial of services including health care based on such beliefs. That is what you are advocating. If you don't like the way I say so, then don't read my posts.

      You aren't the only one who's lost a loved one.

      January 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do tell tom, do tell

      January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, I won't "tell," because I know better than to blurt details of my personal life here. That you don't is not my problem.

      January 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • Jen

      You think that tom Tom has a substance abuse problem??? I would never as sume that. The woman can rapid fire post witty responses like no one I have ever seen. You have to be pretty 'with it' to do that.

      I don't blame Tom Tom for not sharing her personal life. That's what she chooses to do. I have shared details of my personal life but I realize you take the chance of being burned by doing so. Like when the loving Heavensent told me my three and one year old were going to burn in h-ll. I wonder what happened to that old cat hoarding bag?

      January 24, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Sue

      Bill and HeavenSent would make a fine, handsome pair. Of nuts.

      January 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ha. A "pair of nuts." I'd make a joke about that, but I'm too tired.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.