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Supreme Court delays contraception mandate for two Catholic nonprofits
December 31st, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Supreme Court delays contraception mandate for two Catholic nonprofits

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN)–
The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily exempted two Catholic Church-affiliated nonprofits from requirements to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees under the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a brief order late Tuesday, hours before the controversial Obama administration mandates were set to go into effect.

The Little Sisters of the Poor – a charity congregation of Roman Catholic women in Denver – and the Illinois-based Christian Brothers Services had filed a lawsuit objecting to the contraception mandate, saying it violated their religious and moral beliefs. Some religious-affiliated groups were required to comply with contraception coverage or face hefty fines.

Sotomayor said the two groups were exempted from the mandates until at least Friday, when the federal government faces a deadline to file a legal response in the case.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bishops • Catholic Church • Christianity • Courts • Pope Francis

soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Yes, all catholics should be FORCED to use contraception at all times. What a stupid debate.

    90% of all catholics in the US use some form of birth control, this is a non-issue.

    January 2, 2014 at 8:13 am |
    • r u wesleyan snake handlers?

      i support athies who make violent threats against elected officials

      January 2, 2014 at 8:34 am |
      • harrison of queens

        i'll believe in your gods when i win the lottery

        January 2, 2014 at 8:45 am |
      • harrison of queens

        i'll believe in your gods when i win the lottery.

        when your gods deal with snake, i'll gladly believe in morris the cat

        January 2, 2014 at 8:49 am |
      • harrison of queens denmark

        i'll believe in your gods when i win the lottery.

        when your gods deal with snake, i'll gladly believe in morris the cat

        my beliefs r true

        January 2, 2014 at 8:50 am |
      • harrison of queens denmark

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

        January 2, 2014 at 8:51 am |
      • harrison of queens denmark

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

        cause they r dogmatic

        January 2, 2014 at 9:07 am |
      • harrison of queens denmark

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

        cause they r dogmatic

        i am not a crook

        January 2, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • hharri faith

          I believe you're clinically insane.

          January 2, 2014 at 10:39 am |
  2. Lawrence of Arabia

    The reason that Christian organizations, say, a church who hires only Christians to fill positions like pastors, secretaries, and janitorial services, do not agree with hormonal-type contraceptives is because every type of hormonal contraceptive has an abortive agent in them. And the government cannot force someone to commit murder or facilitate murder, and forcing those types of Christian organizations to pay for hormonal contraceptives is tantamount to facilitating murder.

    January 2, 2014 at 7:31 am |
    • truthprevails1

      How does it become the churches business what one does with their body??? Are they going to raise and support said child until the age of majority?
      The pill doesn't cause miscarriage nor does the morning after pill, both are meant to prevent fertilization from happening and in regards to the pill there are numerous other issues it deals with out of the fertilization issue.
      What a woman does with her body is between her and her Doctor...it is not the business of the church or your imaginary friend.
      There is one further point...most of the abortions had in the USA are had by christian women.

      January 2, 2014 at 7:43 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        "How does it become the churches business what one does with their body???"
        ----------–
        The whole point of a church is to preach against sin, whether in the body or without, so yes, if one chooses to associate themselves with a church, then sin must, and will be delt with.

        "The pill doesn't cause miscarriage nor does the morning after pill, both are meant to prevent fertilization from happening and in regards to the pill there are numerous other issues it deals with out of the fertilization issue."
        -----------–
        The information that I have about hormonal contraceptives comes from some pharmacists I know who fill presciptions for them. These medications can cause abortions. Period. And I understand that there are other uses for these medications, but there are other medications that perform just as admirably in those capacities that do not pose a threat to an unborn child.

        "What a woman does with her body is between her and her Doctor..."
        -------–
        True, but it is not legal in this country for someone to use their body to murder another human being.

        "it is not the business of the church"
        --------
        Actually, if a person associates themselves with a church, then yes, it is the business of the church.

        "There is one further point...most of the abortions had in the USA are had by christian women."
        ---------–
        That may be what they claim, but I can sit in a garage and blow smoke, but that doesn't make me a car.

        January 2, 2014 at 7:52 am |
        • Charm Quark

          LofA
          Lets try this question again, I would appreciate an answer, try.
          You are in a burning building at one end is a three year old girl, at the other a freezer that contains dozens of viable (in vitro) embryos waiting to be transplanted, you can only save one, which do you choose to save, and why?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:02 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Good thing that sin only pertains to believers and not in the real world. It is not a sin to prevent pregnancy; nor is it a sin to use the morning after pill and no it is not the churches business what their congregants do in their personal lives.
          You should read Gregory Paul's Holocaust of The Children and open your eyes to the hypocrisy of your imaginary friend.
          And you should mind your own business in regards to what people do with their bodies-you wouldn't like someone telling you how to manage your body, so try to give that same respect to others.
          You live in a Secular country, therefore your beliefs mean nothing outside of your personal life.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          truthprevails1,
          I was speaking of CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS where ONLY Christians are being hired. Ergo, all of your points are moot.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:12 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Charm,
          I don't like to answer hypotheticals, because no one can tell what they would actually do in a situation until they are in it.

          Having said that, all that you have described are humans, and no one would be faulted for not saving everyone in the building, they would only be faulted for not trying to save anyone. Therefore I think I would save whomever I could get to the easiest to ensure survival. Beyond that I couldn't say.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:16 am |
        • Charm Quark

          LofA
          Thank you for the honest answer. Just one more thing, do you believe contraceptives that are designed to prevent the sperm from coming in contact with the egg as evil, thus avoiding fertilization, after all the RCC have often preached the withdrawal method to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "do you believe contraceptives that are designed to prevent the sperm from coming in contact with the egg as evil, thus avoiding fertilization"
          --------
          Of course not. Although they tend to encourage pre-marital s.ex because of it's "consequence free" results, and that is sinful. However, if a married couple wishes to use some "barrier method" I can't find any Biblical passage to call that sinful.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:27 am |
        • truthprevails1

          LOA: So??? Are you saying those hired christians don't use birth control or have the right to that benefit? What if said christian is taking the pill to help with some other health issue...should they be denied that right?
          Once again, it is well noted that christians have the most abortions...so your point is moot. It is time for all churches to be taxed, given that they think they have the right to impose their beliefs on others, christian or not.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:37 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "LOA: So??? Are you saying those hired christians don't use birth control or have the right to that benefit?"
          --------
          I don't know if they are or aren't, but no, I don't think that they have "the right" to use them...

          "What if said christian is taking the pill to help with some other health issue...should they be denied that right?"
          ---------
          There are other medications that perform those tasks just as admirably.

          "Once again, it is well noted that christians have the most abortions..."
          ---------
          I've already said to you that not everyone who claims to be a Christian actually is one. And one who is willing to knowingly take a medication that can murder their own child most likely isn't a Christian, no matter what they claim.

          "It is time for all churches to be taxed, given that they think they have the right to impose their beliefs on others, christian or not."
          ---------
          Actually, Churches aren't trying to impose their beliefs on others. They voice their position in the public forum just like everyone else. ALL of my comments today have been directed towards the actions of those WITHIN the church, and their employees.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:44 am |
        • Charm Quark

          LofA
          However many of the pills taken for contraceptives are just that they are designed to destroy the sperm or egg to prevent fertilization, what distinquishes between the two methods?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:48 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "what distinquishes between the two methods?"
          -------
          The problem is when there is a chance, no matter how remote, that any medication could cause the death of a child in the womb. I'm sure there are medications that do not have that chance, but why do we all of a sudden "have a right to contraception?" When did this become a "right?" It's not as though someone needed it to survive, liike air... And if someone claims that they have a "right" to it because it falls under the category of things that permit them the "persuit of happiness" well then that just opens pandora's box then doesn't it?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:52 am |
        • truthprevails1

          "I don't think that they have "the right" to use them... "

          That's nice but you have no right to an opinion on what another person does with their body, just as they have no right to an opinion on what you do with your body.

          The rest of your reply is garbage. You act like your belief should be taken as rule when you reside in a Secular country and the only laws that truly matter are the ones set forth within, not those from a 2000 year old outdated book, that was written by primitive men who obviously had little understanding of the world.

          In the grand scheme of it, it doesn't matter...abortion is legal and will remain that way; using the pill is legal and will remain that way; using the morning after pill is legal and will remain that way...no matter what idiocy and control the church tries to put out there these previously mentioned things are things that they will never have a say in (at least not in a secular country).

          January 2, 2014 at 8:59 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          truthprevails1,
          The question is over whether or not Churches actually have the freedom to practice their religion.
          If they do, then no court can force them to do something that they claim is immoral. If they don't have the freedom of religion, then let's not pretend that they do, but cherry pick what they can and cannot believe in.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:05 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        1 Corinthians 5:12 – For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (Deuteronomy 13:5, 17:7, 12, 21:21, 22:21, 1 Corinthians 5:2)

        January 2, 2014 at 7:58 am |
        • Science Works

          L of A

          And is Colorado the devils den now you can buy pot for recreational use ?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:05 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Devil's Den? No, that's in Gettysburg, PA. ;)
          Although the Bible has plenty to say about the sinfulness of intoxication, there's no direct statement on "pot." Having said that, if one looks to the effects of both alcohol and pot, both can be argued to be sinful, if the purpose for using it is for intoxication.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:09 am |
        • igaftr

          LoA

          If you are going to quote from the OT... I should a$$ume you live by ALL of the OT? Since NO human on the planet could possibly live by those rules, you should not EVER quote the OT as justification for any point you are going to make....or should we stone unruly children at the city gates?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:14 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "you live by ALL of the OT?"
          -------–
          There are 3 ways to determine if an OT law is applicable to the NT church:

          a)Divide the Mosaic law into 3 components: Moral, Civil, and Ceremonial
          oThe Civil Laws are gone because we are not Israel living in that time period
          oThe Ceremonial Laws are gone because we have the Lamb slain once for all time (Jesus)
          > As a part of this, the dietary laws are gone – see Acts 11
          oThe Moral Law (10 Commandments) ARE STILL applicable to the New Testament church today, except the Sabbath Law, the 4th Commandment. This is gone because under the New Covenant, we have a rest in Christ.

          b)The OT law is not enforceable unless the NT says it is

          c)The OT law is still enforceable unless the NT says it is not

          January 2, 2014 at 8:19 am |
        • Science Works

          Chronicles 4: 20 something about pure gold for the insides ?

          the bible funny BS !

          January 2, 2014 at 8:21 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Science,
          that passage is describing the construction of lamps for the temple... What's funny about that? It's actually rather matter-of-fact.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:24 am |
        • igaftr

          "The OT law is not enforceable unless the NT says it is"

          Since Jesus himself said several times the OT is still valid, every word, ALL of it is still valid. Do you live by every letter of every word, like Jesus told you to? NO you don't.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • Science Works

          Cheech & Chong Read the Bible

          It is funny or die stuff !

          funnyordie.com

          January 2, 2014 at 8:28 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          igaftr
          I assume that you are referring to:
          Matthew 5:18 – For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
          He's talking about the law...
          Besides, just study covenant theology and you'll see how the Levitical laws are not and can not be enforcable under the New Covenant.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:32 am |
        • igaftr

          Ahhh so what you are saying is you don't have to follow the rules, even though Jesus told you they are still in effect, because you decide to misinterpret the bible to your end. I see....that is the reason there are 40, 000 denominations and climbing. You all like to "interpret" the rules so that they macth what YOU think they should say....that is why people like you continue to use books like Leviticus to condemn people that are BORN gay, but don't stone your children when they are unlruly. Christianity sickens me.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:58 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          igaftr,
          1 Corinthians 2:14 – the natural man does not understand the things of God for they are spiritually discerned

          John 8:43 – Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:10 am |
        • igaftr

          YES, yes....part of the indioctrination technique...If you don't understand the words in the bible, there is something wrong with you....Bull crap. I have a much greater understanding oof the bible than you think...I just have not been blinded by it like you have.

          It is part of the self affirming nature of that rag....standard brainweashing 101...believe what I say, don't believe what others say, people will scoff at you, they are ignorant and cannot see....blah blah blah

          I see far more than you since I don't think a book helps me to see. You believe the words written by superst!tious, ignorant men...which is not knowledge at all....

          January 2, 2014 at 9:32 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Every type of hormonal contraceptive has an abortive agent in them."
      "Contraception," by definition prevents conception, not implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine wall.
      "Conception" refers to the joining of the sperm and ovum – not implantation.
      American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists published a paper in 1999 written by four self described "Christian ProLife Obstetrician-Gynecologists" that came to the conclusion that there is not "substantive evidence that hormone contraceptives include an abortifacient mechanism of action."

      70% of the women receiving abortions in the United States report a religious affiliation.
      37% are Protestant, 28% Catholic and 7% other which around 1/4 of them attending religious services at least once a month.
      (Guttmacher Inti/tute)

      January 2, 2014 at 8:30 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        And have you personally interviewed pharmacists on the matter? I have.

        January 2, 2014 at 8:46 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          My father was Commandant of the Canadian Forces Medical Services School and a seminary student prior to joining the military. My mother was a nurse. My aunt is a pharmaceutical biochemist who runs her own lab.
          The three things I study the most are technical manuals and white papers (for my job), ancient mythology and medical papers.
          I grew up in a house where the Merck Manual was recreational reading.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:08 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          And I grew up in a poor neighborhood on the outer banks of NC where the biggest industry was clam digging and menhadden fishing. The topics of conversation around out dinner table usually centered on what bait was working best on the spot and croaker that season and new techniques on throwing cast nets for jumping mullet... So?

          January 2, 2014 at 9:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          The point is that I have discussed these things long ago with medically qualified people I trust implicitly.

          In order to avoid the appearance of any kind of "anti-religious bias" (of which I have been accused in the past), I cited a study done by an avowedly Christian, Pro-Life group. Even they say that contraceptives are NOT abortifacients, contrary to your initial assertion.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:54 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Doc,
          I'm no expert in phamaseuticals... In fact, I'm not even sure that I spelled the word correctly. That's why I consulted with pharmacists on the matter. If you can't trust the word of professionals with no skin in the game, who can you trust?

          The original argument boils down to this though... Do Christian organizations (churches) have the freedom of religion or do they not?

          And, what gives an individual a "right" to contraception in the first place? We have the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. But contraceptives can't fit into the category of things that facilitate their "persuit of happiness" or you open Pandora's box for anything then... And those rights are given by their Creator, not law... So says our founding doc.uments.

          January 2, 2014 at 10:58 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Does freedom of religion entail the right of an organization to ignore laws that are contrary to their faith?
          Back to the point I made on the other page – there are quite a number of Christian sects who reject medical care altogether. Should they be allowed to deny their employees medical coverage altogether?

          Is the right to self-determination not inalienable and the very essence of free will?

          January 2, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Does freedom of religion entail the right of an organization to ignore laws that are contrary to their faith?
          Back to the point I made on the other page – there are quite a number of Christian sects who reject medical care altogether. Should they be allowed to deny their employees medical coverage altogether?"
          ----------–
          The sects who deny basic healthcare do not have a leg to stand on for Biblical backing since Luke himself was a physician. And yes, laws that permit the murder of the unborn are worthy of being ignored – whether in or out of a Christian organization.

          "Is the right to self-determination not inalienable and the very essence of free will?"
          --------–
          Self-determination should be allowed... To a point. For instance, I am not allowed to use my body to murder another human being. And as to free will – we are free agents operating under a will that is not free. I have discussed this at length elsewhere that the Bible does not claim that we have a "free will." However I cannot see how that discussion (however interesting) is pertinent to this particular topic.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:19 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          Your opinion of the validity of other religion's beliefs is irrelevant. Freedom of religion means that all beliefs are equal.
          Using your body to harm another extends beyond self-determination becuase you are harming another.
          Preventing the process of creating another inside of one's body IS self-determination.
          Would you make Onanism illegal since that also prevents the creation of life?
          Leviticus says that tattoos are evil. Can a fundamentalist Christian or Jewish employer bar their employees from getting inked?

          January 2, 2014 at 11:37 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Your opinion of the validity of other religion's beliefs is irrelevant. Freedom of religion means that all beliefs are equal."
          ---------
          And if that were really true, we wouldn't be having this discussion over whether or not a church organization is allowed to not provide contraception coverage.

          "Using your body to harm another extends beyond self-determination becuase you are harming another."
          -------–
          Unless that self determination dictates that you wish to commit suicide while wearing a bomb vest in a crowded room.

          "Preventing the process of creating another inside of one's body IS self-determination."
          ---------
          True, and there's no Biblical passage calling that sin, unless in doing so there is even the slightest chance that those methods could kill an existing life in the womb.

          "Would you make Onanism illegal since that also prevents the creation of life?"
          ---------
          Onan's sin was in using her for s.ex rather than fulfilling his familial duties to his dead brother. Although the familial duties were cultural, using her for s.ex was and is sinful.

          "Leviticus says that tattoos are evil. Can a fundamentalist Christian or Jewish employer bar their employees from getting inked?"
          -------–
          Leviticus says that tattoos FOR THE DEAD are evil. It was a part of a forbidden religious practice. I actually plan on getting tattoos on one arm of the 5 Solas of the Reformation, and on the other arm, I want to get a tattoo of the 5 Points of Calvinism.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          "Unless that self determination dictates that you wish to commit suicide while wearing a bomb vest in a crowded room."
          Again – blowing up a room full of people causes harm to others.
          Blowing yourself up in an anechoic bomb shelter would be the apropos metaphor here.
          And again – it is an inalienable right. If someone wants to die, there is no way of stopping them from suiciding.

          Yes, Onan's sin was s/ex for pleasure. Catholics and other Christian groups commonly use the story as an argument against mast'urbation and/or intercourse for any reason save procreation.
          Should s.ex for pleasure be illegal?

          January 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Yes, Onan's sin was s/ex for pleasure. Catholics and other Christian groups commonly use the story as an argument against mast'urbation and/or intercourse for any reason save procreation.
          Should s.ex for pleasure be illegal?"
          -----
          Onan's sin was not s.ex for pleasure – it was in using her just for that reason, and for failure to fulfill his familial duties. God gifted us with s.ex and he called it "good" after he finished with creation. It cannot be shown in scripture that it is purely for procreation. But any kind of s.ex outside of that between a husband and wife is sinful.

          Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
          1 Corinthians 7:4-5 – The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

          January 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        LofA
        I think if you just did a very little bit of research, not on an apologist site, you would find that the Doc is giving you the facts but that probably does not matter to you.

        January 2, 2014 at 9:24 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Actually, that wasn't from an apologist.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • G to the T

      Oftentimes, disagreements like this can be caused by differences in definition. I'm sure our definitions on many things are different but I'm (honestly) curious about what your definition of "abortion" actual entails.

      It seems the crux of this debate and I do not wish to respond in ignorance.

      January 2, 2014 at 10:57 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        In light of what the Bible says about children...

        Psalm 127:3 – Children are a gift from God
        Psalm 22:9 – Birth is an act of God
        Psalm 100:3 – Conception is an act of God
        Psalm 104:30 – creation is through the Spirit
        Job 10:8-12 – God makes us and grants us life
        Job 12:9-10 – life is in God’s hands
        Job 31:15 – God makes us in the womb
        Job 33:4 – the Spirit of God makes us, and God gives us life
        Jeremiah 1:5 – Personhood of the pre-born
        Exodus 4:11 – even the deformed are made by God
        John 9:1-3 – God works even deformity to the glory of God
        Genesis 1:26 – we are made in the image of God

        The Bible says that the pre-born child is alive – human life... and anything that ends the existence of a fertilized egg is abortion. And abortion is the killing of the innocent – murder.

        Furthermore, condemnation of murderers is the will of God – and those who commit abortion are murderers.

        Genesis 9:6 – “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.”
        Exodus 21:22-25 – the law applies the death penalty for the killing of a baby in the womb
        Romans 13:4 – the government has a right to inflict death penalty for evil

        January 2, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Exodus 21:23 says that under Mosaic law, one owes "a life for a life".
          Exodus 21:22 says that if a woman miscarries due to being struck by men fighting and she herself is not seriously injured, the offender is to pay her husband a fine.
          In Hebrews 12:9, God makes is clear the distinction between fleshly and spiritual fathers. indicating that the origin of each (flesh and spirit) are distinct and therefore not necessarily on an identical timeline.
          Genesis 2:7says that “God formed the man from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”, implying that life begins with the first breath. This was the common belief of Jewish theologans.
          So when does a zygote get a soul?

          January 2, 2014 at 11:28 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "Exodus 21:23 says that under Mosaic law, one owes "a life for a life".
          ------–
          Yep – in agreement with the blood for blood passage in Genesis 9:6

          "Exodus 21:22 says that if a woman miscarries due to being struck by men fighting and she herself is not seriously injured, the offender is to pay her husband a fine."
          --------–
          Yes, because in this instance, they are describing an unintentional death – manslaughter if you will, but not intentional murder.

          In Hebrews 12:9, God makes is clear the distinction between fleshly and spiritual fathers. indicating that the origin of each (flesh and spirit) are distinct and therefore not necessarily on an identical timeline.
          -----
          Timeline? He's making a comparison between the discipline of an earthly father and our Spiritual Father. If the one is repsected for doing so, then so should the other.

          "Genesis 2:7says that “God formed the man from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”, implying that life begins with the first breath."
          ------–
          For Adam, yes. Adam was a special creation in the sense that his life was different from all others. All other human life after Eve came from the normal means of reproduction.

          "This was the common belief of Jewish theologans."
          ------–
          Most of Jesus' ministry was in correcting Jewish errors...

          "So when does a zygote get a soul?"
          -------
          A human life begins at fertilization. His soul? I don't know, but look to passages like this to get an idea...
          "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you..." Jeremiah 1:5 and cross reference that with Psalm 139:15-16, Isaiah 49:1-5

          January 2, 2014 at 11:41 am |
        • G to the T

          That's a pretty verbose answer there LoA. Would a valid summary be – once an egg and sperm are joined, anything that would cause the stopping of that process of growth would be abortion? Is that about right?

          January 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          G to the T,
          "anything that would cause the stopping of that process of growth would be abortion? Is that about right?"
          ---------
          Anything that intentionally causes the death of the unborn child is abortion... Abortion is murder, but not all causes of the death of the child is abortion... In the same sense that all murder is killing, but not all killing is murder.

          January 2, 2014 at 12:43 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          God is talking to someone specific and special in Jeremiah – He "put words in his mouth" to make him a prophet.
          God sanctified him and made him a prophet in utero. The passage implies that prophets are endowed with their magic before birth, not that every blastocyst is a fully formed, ensouled human being.

          There is no distinction in the Bible between manslaughter and murder.
          "Whoever takes a human life shall surely be put to death. Whoever takes an animal's life shall make it good, life for life. If anyone injures his neighbor, as he has done it shall be done to him, fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; whatever injury he has given a person shall be given to him. Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, and whoever kills a person shall be put to death.
          KILLS – not murders. Whether intentional or accidental, the penalty is the same.

          IAnd yet in Exodus, the miscarried foetus is assigned a monetary value – causing a woman to lose her unborn child is the equivalent of a parking ticket.

          January 2, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "God is talking to someone specific and special in Jeremiah – He "put words in his mouth" to make him a prophet.
          God sanctified him and made him a prophet in utero. The passage implies that prophets are endowed with their magic before birth, not that every blastocyst is a fully formed, ensouled human being.
          ---------
          So, you're saying that Jeremiah's case was specific, but when you quoted from Genesis 2:7, you applied it to all? Make up your mind... And I never said that a child in the womb is physically fully formed. Besides, being fully formed or not, be it inside the womb or outside the womb has no bearing on whether or not they are human. A 6 month old child isn't s.exually mature, therefore, not fully formed, but is she not human because of that? Nope. What about a child with a disability? Does that make them less human? Nope.

          "There is no distinction in the Bible between manslaughter and murder."
          -------–
          I won't go into a tremendous amount of detail here, but suffice it to say, yes there is a distinction. Why else would God command there to have been cities of refuge? And besides, the original Hebrew in the 6th commandment says "murder" not "kill."

          "And yet in Exodus, the miscarried foetus is assigned a monetary value – causing a woman to lose her unborn child is the equivalent of a parking ticket."
          ---------
          The unborn child was assigned a monetary value in THAT instance because they weren't talking about murder.

          January 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Lawrence
          Make up my mind? I was pointing out that you should make up YOUR mind.
          You say that the passage about Adam is only for Adam, but you also say that the proclamation to Jeremiah is for everybody.
          You are setting the bounds if the debate – I'm just following along with logic as you're presenting it.

          God might've made people with disabilities, but that doesn't mean He likes them.
          "For no one who has a defect shall approach (God's tabernacle): a blind man, or a lame man, or he who has a disfigured face, or any deformed limb, or a man who has a broken foot or broken hand,…"
          Leviticus 21:17

          January 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Leviticus 21:17
          Just as the sacrifice had to be without blemish, so did the one offering the sacrifice. As visible things exert strong impressions on the minds of people, any physical impurity or malformation tended to distract from the weight and authority of the sacred office, failed to externally exemplify the inward wholeness God sought, and most importantly, failed to be a picture of Jesus Christ, the Perfect High-Priest who was to come. (Cross reference Hebrews 7:26)
          - MacArthur Study Bible

          January 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
        • G to the T

          "Anything that intentionally causes the death of the unborn child is abortion... "

          Didn't really answer my question though. At what point, medically speaking, is a zygote to be considered an "unborn child"?

          January 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          "At what point, medically speaking, is a zygote to be considered an "unborn child"?"
          --------–
          A fertilized egg.
          At that point, what exists in the womb is a growing and developing human being; it is no longer two seperate parts of two different humans, but now a seperate ent.ity.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:43 am |
  3. Dandintac

    How did we get to the point in our country where "freedom of religion" is being taken as the freedom to impose your religious beliefs on to your employees, instead of the freedom to follow a religious practice or NOT as you as an individual may choose?

    January 2, 2014 at 2:13 am |
    • theantirepublcrat

      we haven't got to that point. this impacts two groups who asked for an exemption. not the country.

      January 2, 2014 at 3:00 am |
      • Science Works

        theantirepublcrat

        The court system is dealing with a TWO edge sword with the RCC- NEW lawsuit filled against the RCC in pedo – priest list.

        January 2, 2014 at 7:13 am |
    • guest

      At the risk of sounding like ‘doubled talk’ I will say this: these are two powerful forces with the same agenda: to rule the people. I see this as issue to “divide and conquer”. In the end these two forces will join hands to rule the people with one side using the law and the other side using religion in agreement with each other to accomplish the same thing; their motivation is the same—greed! I, and I think others, do not agree with either side.

      January 2, 2014 at 7:48 am |
  4. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The educratists are sssoooooooooo concerned. They like coed dorm rooms. Keeping the divorce rate up guarantees the Xfathers keep on keepin' on payin' the freight for makin' a whole new generation of socies.

    January 2, 2014 at 12:14 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good grief, what a deluded nitwit.

      January 2, 2014 at 2:28 am |
  5. Rodents for Romney

    Love those pink beanies. Where can I get one ?

    January 2, 2014 at 12:01 am |
  6. children of Israel

    When it comes to slavery in the Bible, what nationality of people enslaved the so called white man? Did whites enslaved their own kind, while other caucasians enslaved the people of color, why did they do that.

    January 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Might want to check the history of slavery before getting "all biblical" about it.

      January 1, 2014 at 11:39 pm |
  7. VIE

    Why are atheists bitter against God?

    January 1, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      Why do people who actually know no atheists presume such nonsense ?
      Do you "hate" the teapot orbiting the sun ?

      January 1, 2014 at 10:27 pm |
      • VIE

        I'm not. There is no teapot orbiting the sun.

        January 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm |
        • unvie

          Prove it!

          January 1, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
        • VIE

          It seems pretty unlikely, doesn't it.

          January 1, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
        • unvie

          yep – just like that junk about someone walking on water

          January 1, 2014 at 10:50 pm |
        • Rodents for Romney

          Exactly. You don't hate something that doesn't exist.
          God doesn't exist.
          Therefore one can not hate what doesn't exist.
          I know that's hard for you. Just think real hard.

          January 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm |
  8. children of Israel

    Why did God destroy the earth by the way of a flood? *Genesis 6:5-7 And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

    January 1, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
    • Rodents for Romney

      If he were really omniscient he would have known. Oops.

      January 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      The Flood was myth. As were Noah and Abraham as was Moses.

      January 1, 2014 at 11:41 pm |
  9. Reality # 2

    Providing "free" condoms that cost less than 40 cents each? "Free" Pills that cost less than a dollar each? Give us a break !!

    Vasectomies ? Tubal sterilization ? Depends on the income of said individuals.

    Next topic.

    January 1, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
    • The REAL Reality

      Those who know nothing about the many uses that the pill is used for other than contraception should JUST SHUT THE HELL UP.

      Next topic.

      January 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Tis the cost not the use.

        January 1, 2014 at 11:37 pm |
  10. children of Israel

    Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    January 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      The historic value of said passages are nil. 1) Mark 12:18-27 = Matt 22:23-33 = Luke 20:27-40

      See http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb262.html and Professor Gerd Ludemann's analysis in his book, Jesus after 2000 Years, pp. 83-84.

      January 1, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
  11. Alias

    I've never understood why this is enen a discussion.
    Follow the law. If a religion cannot obey the law, they should not be allowed to operate.

    January 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • Bender Bending Rodriguez

      If that happens, the world would be deprived of two nonprofit organizations.

      January 1, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
      • Alias

        Please enlighten me as to what non-profit groups cannot operate within the law?

        January 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          The two noted in this article.

          January 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm |
        • Alias

          why can't they obey the law???

          January 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          The Catholic church is against contraceptives.

          January 1, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • Observer

          Bender Bending Rodriguez

          "The Catholic church is against contraceptives."

          Catholic church, yes. Catholic women, not nearly so much.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
        • Alias

          So when did they change the law to say charities had to use contraception?

          January 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          I wouldn't think so. I don't have any figures in front of me but I would assume most Catholics would disagree with the church in this regard.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          My last comment was directed to observer.

          Alias-that's a good question. I'm not sure why the little sisters of the poor would have to distribute contraceptives. Anyone know what their beef is?

          January 1, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • Alias

          If the religous don't want to use contraception, fine.
          They have no right to keep others from using it.
          Why is this complicated?

          January 1, 2014 at 8:11 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          I'm guessing that they have to provide them by law. That's why they're objecting to it.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • Alias

          Some baptist churches don't dance.
          Muslims don't drink alcohol.
          Neither group has the right to tell the rest of us not to drink and dance. Isn't this the same thing?

          No wait, this is different. Doctors can prescribe birth control pills for other things.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm |
        • Alias

          We can dance if we want to.
          We can leave your cult behind.
          'Cause your cult don't dance,
          and if they don't dance then they're no cult of mine.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          I might be wrong but I believe I read that the Catholic Church allows the use of birth control pills for controlling a woman's period.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Science Works

          Hey Bender it is not that pill it is the DAY AFTER pill that is the major rub !

          January 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          Oh, that would make sense. But, how does this affect the little sisters of the poor? Why would they have to distribute those pills?

          January 1, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
        • Science Works

          Bender

          They are not distributing them.

          It is part of an earned benefit which usually has a monetary contribution from the employees pay.

          January 1, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
      • JL

        Bull. They aren't non – profit. Those hospitals take in billions. They shouldn't be designated non – profit BECAUSE THEYRE NOT!! How dare they try and force their employees to conform to THEIR religious rules.

        January 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Because it's a lot easier (and more self-serving) to follow god's example than his commandments. God forces people to do what he wants them to do and then he tortures them if they don't do what he wants. Who wouldn't want to behave like that?

          January 1, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          That's what I am confused about. Neither group is a hospital.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • JL

          Beliefs aside, they've been coddled for FAR too long. Tax their asses.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm |
        • JL

          They both run establishments that hire employees. Enough employees to fall under the ACA mandates. Good gravy , they MAKE A PROFIT.

          January 1, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
        • Bender Bending Rodriguez

          That's what I am confused about. Neither group is a hospital. Correct me if I am wrong

          January 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • The REAL Reality

          The groups themselves aren't hospitals any more than nurses are hospitals. GET IT??

          January 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      Our law includes the right to an appeal. The Sisters of the Poor appealed. A SCOTUS judge agreed to a hold. The full SCOTUS will no doubt rule on the appeal but one assumes the economics of contraception will be the deciding factor where "free" condoms and/or Pills will not be covered under the ACA whereas vasectomies and tubular sterilization will.

      January 1, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
      • The REAL Reality

        Non freaking sense. If their employees aren't Catholics, they have no right to deny them full benefits.

        The RCC is against tubal ligation and vasectomies for people of child-bearing age, also.

        And you ignorant git, if it is a part of their compensation packages, ITS NOT FREAKING FREE. Another dolt that doesn't understand how insurance works....

        January 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          Note that "free" is in quotation marks.

          January 1, 2014 at 11:43 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          The most effective forms of co-ntraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

          - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate) zero cost
          - (Ma-sturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate) zero cost

          Followed by: (the two most widely used forms of c-ontraception)

          The Pill, at 0.3 percent) (33,000 unplanned pregnancies)

          Male c-ondom at 2.0 percent (138,000 unplanned pregnancies)

          So where is the problem?

          ACTUAL FIRST-YEAR CONTRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES – Guttmacher Insti-tute

          Percentage of women experiencing an unintended pregnancy

          Method……………..Typical

          Pill……… 8.7 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the Pill was not taken daily was the major reason for the high failure rate)

          Male condom ……….17.4 (resulting in one million unplanned pregnancies- the condom was available but was not used is the major reason for the high failure rate)

          All the numbers are posted on line by Guttmacher if you want to run the calculations.

          So again we see the BRUTAL EFFECTS OF STUPIDITY!!!! And giving out "free" condoms and Pills will not solve the STUPIDITY problems.

          January 1, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
  12. God. Yes, THE God

    I have decided that the whole Jesus/New Testament was a total flop. I have sonny say "Judge not" and my followers all judge. They only obey what is convenient for them and rage at others who do not obey. My followers are a joke. And honestly, it's much more boring for me, having to sit back and watch, and not get royally pissed of and slaughter first-borns and towns and stuff. The fun is gone.

    SO, with that in mind, I am repealing the New Testament and we are back on the Old Testament. No shellfish, stone your mouthy teenager to death, and get ready for a bunch of arbitrary massacre. The good ole days are back!

    January 1, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Awesome. There's some teenagers that need a good beating next door because they make grilled cheese sandwiches on the Sabbath, and I really need a slave I can beat whenever I want. As long as he survives for at least three days, right? Cool.

      January 1, 2014 at 7:20 pm |
    • Woody

      Does this mean we're going back to cutting the throats of cute little lambs for sacrifices to you? PETA will not be amused. You may have to throw a few lightning bolts at them to keep them in line.

      January 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      o The citizens of the USA judge every day as noted by the US Supreme Court, State Supreme courts and analogous judicial/jury venues across this great land.

      And there is some question as to whether Jesus even uttered Matt 7:1. For example, see http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb118.html

      January 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  13. Rodents for Romney

    The majority of American Catholic women of childbearing age use birth control. THEY ARE the church. The church is not the hierarchy. The church, therefore DOES approve of birth control. The Pontifical Commission of Paul VI recommended reversing the church's stand on BC. Read it. There is NO WAY a clump of cells with no neural tube, and no brain is a human person. It's a "potential" person, in the same way an unfertilized egg is a "potential" person.

    January 1, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  14. Reality # 2

    Beyond all the "free" condoms and Pills :

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

    And from:
    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

    - (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    - (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

    Followed by:

    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    January 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
  15. tallulah13

    Should anyone wonder why atheists have become more vocal in their criticism of religion, you need look no further than this article. No religious group should be allowed to put their personal belief above the law of the land. It goes against everything this nation stands for. If a person wishes to operate a for-profit business, then they are subject to the laws that pertain to all businesses. Religion should never be allowed as an excuse to break or ignore the law.

    January 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
    • Topher

      But should the government be able to infringe on a religious belief?

      January 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Should a religion be able to flout the law of the land and overrule the government?

        January 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
      • Saraswati

        If religion declares ritual child molestation part of their creed are you good with that? Human sacriffice?

        No?

        Then you are willing to restrict religion.

        Freedom of religion doesn't mean "anything goes". It never has and never will. It means that adults can believe what they want and disseminate that information and that in religious contexts they can do as they wish. But when driving down the road you stay on the right even if your religion says otherwise.

        January 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
      • Topher

        So what we've got is an infinite regress in a way. So if government would stop infringing on religion, religion wouldn't have to fight the laws made.

        January 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Why won't you answer my question, Topher?

          January 1, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Topher

          Which question, about if a religion should overrule the law of the land? It should if the law infringes on the religion. They aren't supposed to do that in the first place.

          January 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          So where do you draw the line? Murder? Can a religion that believes in human sacrifice be able to carry that out? Slavery?

          Are you really saying that religions should have the power to overrule the government? What if one religion says that all girl fetuses should be aborted and another religion says that all boy fetuses should be aborted? Do we allow them to have that right over everyone in the country?

          You don't seem to be thinking about any consequences, here.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
        • Topher

          Cpt. Obvious

          "So where do you draw the line? Murder? Can a religion that believes in human sacrifice be able to carry that out? Slavery?"

          It comes down to morality. Is murder wrong? Of course. And that's part of the Catholics argument here.

          "Are you really saying that religions should have the power to overrule the government?"

          Depends on what the law is going after.

          "What if one religion says that all girl fetuses should be aborted and another religion says that all boy fetuses should be aborted? Do we allow them to have that right over everyone in the country?"

          Nope. Morality. Murder is wrong.

          "You don't seem to be thinking about any consequences, here."

          You're kinda going to an extreme here. We're talking about the government forcing you to do something you hold to be morally wrong.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Topher, you silly believer, you claim that YOUR religion defines morality. What about believers of other religions who believe the same thing you do: that THEIR religion defines morality?

          How are you so blind to your own hypocrisy? You want your religion to define morality, but you don't want another religion defining morality. You don't want to let other religions follow their morality, but you want them to follow your morality.

          Your reasoning sounds identical to that of the fundamentalist muslims. Did you learn at the feet of bin Laden?

          January 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • Topher

          So now the question comes down to where does morality come from?

          January 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Topher

          I claim God gave it to us, yes. If there isn't a higher moral-law giver, "morality" just becomes my opinion verses yours.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • Topher

          According to you, where does morality come from?

          January 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Different religions have different gods and different "morality." Let me guess, you want the government and religion to follow your religion's opinions on morality? So YOUR religion is the only one that can get away with disobeying the law. Your religion is the law. Your religion is above the government. Your religions is the government–according to EVERY WORD you have written in this thread.

          How sad that you cannot fathom the depth of your own ignorance of your own hypocrisy.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • Topher

          Technically, the government already uses Christian morality as its guide.

          Now, please answer my question.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:37 pm |
        • Robert

          Morality came from people. It always has. It is a social construct created for the purposes of maintaining desired behaviors within a social group.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
        • Topher

          So genocide is morally OK?

          January 1, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Topher, Government is ALWAYS infringing on religion – just not so often your own. Want to be sure your daughters word is worth less than your son's in court per Islamic law? No go. The state is infringing. Want to sell your children to protect them from evil demons? No go. Want to practice FGM on 13 year olds? Damn that government interference.

          Because Christians dominate you have had the privilidge of living in a fantasy that government doesn't interfere with religion. Well it does, always has, and always will. What you want is a government that only interferes in ways appropriate to your Christian view.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:51 pm |
        • Topher

          Sure. I agree ... when it interferes with morality. As those do.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Sure

          @Topher: "So genocide is morally OK?"

          Your god enjoyed doing it repeatedly, and intends to go fro the great genocide at the end. Then run an eternal Auschwitz for billons of people. How can a being who acts like that and created such a wretched morality in the Old Testament be the source of morality.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • Robert

          You are kind of stretching the concept of "morality" but in a word yes. Certain peoples have committed genocide and have never considered it to be wrong. Athens committed it as did the Roman Empire. In fact is you check your Bible in chapter 31 of Numbers the Israelites commit genocide.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Morality is a societal concept defined by the most influential members of a society. In many cases in history, morality has been defined by the ones claiming to be able to interpret the will of the "god" in which they believe. See ancient greece and the like.

          People can claim that morality comes from god, but it's always humans who are defining what they believe that some invisible and undetectable god wants or doesn't want.

          January 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm |
        • Observer

          Topher

          "Technically, the government already uses Christian morality as its guide."

          lol. If it did, we'd still have slavery; discrimination against women; discrimination against the handicapped; selling our daughters into slavery; beating children with rods. etc.

          FORTUNATELY, we don't use the Bible as a guide for our laws.

          January 1, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • wesleyan snake handlers?

          agreed topher the phoney.

          January 2, 2014 at 8:31 am |
        • wesleyan snake handlers?

          what is religion?

          January 2, 2014 at 8:32 am |
        • horace of harrison

          i don't believe in criticizing criminals who r athies

          January 2, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • Topher

        Saraswati

        That's kind of a straw man, don't you think?

        January 1, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Nope. Are you willing or not to restrict religions? Where do you draw the line on what laws a religion should or shouldn't follow?

          January 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • Topher

          It's too broad of a question, dude. Would I restrict them on something like human sacrifice? Of course. Why? Because murder is morally wrong.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Who defines what is moral? Religion or the law? If it's religion, and you say that they don't have to follow the law, then any religion who thinks human sacrifice is moral has the right to kill people and, according to you, they can do that because the law has no jurisd.i.ction over a religion doing something that they define as moral.

          Your position is hypocritical and untenable.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Yeah, Topher, because no religion has ever practiced ritual sacrifice or abuse? Really?

          Even if you imagined universe were true, btw, it would be an academic exercise not a straw man. If you really are unaware of religions that have practiced these things, and in some places (see Kali rites) still do today let me know, but for now I'm going to have faith in your ability to educate yourself.

          January 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Larry

          Considering how astoundingly poorly religious law worked wherever it was tried, for example modern Middle East, Cromwell's England, and Medeival Europe, it is safe to say that letting religion have political power and control of law is a disaster. Which the founding fathers knew.

          We are so lucky for the Enlightenment, the basis of modern society (even though Christians love to claim it was really them. Then ones who aggressively fought against it).

          January 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • Robert

        A company is not a person. People have a freedom of religion.

        January 1, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
      • Petra

        You think that religions should be profitable, Topher? Then they can pay taxes. End of story.

        January 1, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
      • Alias

        YES. If a religion is breaking the law, they should be held accountable.
        Slavery and child abuse are allowed in the bible.

        January 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm |
      • EvolvedDNA

        Topher why is religious "belief" of more importance than any other belief? and why should society cater to it at all? its just a belief that has zero basis in fact anyway..

        January 1, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
  16. guest

    this sounds so silly to me. What I don’t understand is: just because there is a clause saying that the insurance must provide contraceptives, does that mean they have to be used? Or does it raise the cost of insurance?

    January 1, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • Saraswati

      It decreases the cost to insurance companies because a well contraceptivized client is a cheap client. They don't pass on the savings though since it would look bad to say "we charge less to people using contraceptives". So no one is "paying for" anything here. But religious fanatics tend to be idiots anyway so they don't and won't get it.

      January 1, 2014 at 11:56 am |
      • guest

        I don’t think this is a idiotic religious fanatic thing, I think it is a ‘Catholic’ control issue.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Victor Edwards

          Were it really a "group of nuns," I might even go with the ruling. But that "group of nuns" is likely the proverbial nose of the horse in the barn door, and it probably extends to hundreds of so-called "religious-affiliated" out and out profit oriented Catholic businesses, taking advantage of such exemptions to avoid paying taxes on their businesses. Exempt just that small group of nuns and not any businesses that are an extension of that deception and I am in agreement.

          January 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Michael Armstrong

        World Factbook gives the world population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 31.59% (of which Roman Catholic 18.85%, Protestant 8.15%, Orthodox 4.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 23.2%, Hindu 15.0%, Buddhist 7.1%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.2%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01%. (2010 est.).[1]

        90% of the world will never "get it",....In the US we are fortunate to have an opinion and some remaining freedom of speech. In 100 years this may not exist as the world over populates and Muslim faith will quadruple. Enjoy the freedoms protected by our fighting men and woman,......who happen to be part of the 90%,.., and aren't afraid to die so we can all share an opinion or a thought.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Michael, it seems that you would like me to believe a certain way and perform certain actions. Could you please specify? Thanks.

          Also, what is "it" that most people don't get? I would appreciate some clarification.

          January 1, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • guest

          Cpt. Obvious, maybe you need to read a little better; she never said any such thing.

          January 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm |
    • fred

      Agree...heck I'm a guy & my policy contains maternity coverage, nice to know it's there in the event a miracle occurs. It's n ecomonies of scale thing after all.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • fred

        Happy New Year fred !
        Rates once reflected the risk associated with the covered individual. Like getting a speeding ticket you get the traffic fine then your insurance rates go up because of your life style and soon no one would cover you and you can no longer drive. Without these incentives the responsible people always pick up the tab for those who make bad choices.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • Saraswati

          As a lesbian not seeking to have kids my chances of needing maternity coverage are about the same as yours. Different rates for me and straight women? Higher for Catholics unwilling to get an abortion?

          And are you seriously comparing childbearing to speeding and other pointless high risk behaviors? These women bear the children who will pay your social security and keep the country running in our old age. I'm not for people having 15 kids, but as a society we want women to reproduce at moderate rates, not to punish them for it.

          January 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm |
      • MLH

        It always did. That's how freaking insurance works. My insurance covers erectile dysfunction, and I'm female...

        January 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Yeah, I'm pretty sick of listening to whining from people who not only don't know how insurance works but don't understand how a modern society works. I pay a ton for public schools for kids I don't have, No whining. This is how society works. I pay for prisons that men are far more likely to use. Do I complain that based on our odds of criminal behavior we women should pay less? I pay for social welfare benefits I never use, and no people who have paid for social security knowing their odds of living long enough to use it were slim. I pay for roads I've never driven on...the way some people talk you'd think they'd toll every road in their town! We live in a society and a heck of a lot of our costs are communal. That's how the modern world works and it isn't going to change because we really are that interdependent. If a bunch of ignorant fools want to pretend they live on a fro tier someplace they'd better darn well find such a place, because as far as I know it doesn't exist on this planet.

          January 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm |
  17. Just Herb

    As I recall from an early history the early birth control for nuns forced by priests in the middle ages was to throw the infants down wells.

    January 1, 2014 at 11:49 am |
  18. grotethegreat

    There is no issue here, since the Little Sisters can legally opt out of the mandate without penalty. The Christian Science Monitor reported this much better: "The appeals court panel said that Little Sisters of the Poor could opt out of the mandate and that because the group’s health insurance is considered a “church plan,” the Little Sisters would not be subject to fines or penalties for noncompliance.

    “Therefore, there is no enforceable obligation … for any of the Plaintiffs to provide any of the objectionable coverage,” the appeals court said.

    January 1, 2014 at 11:46 am |
  19. sgreco

    I'm fine with religious companies denying healthcare to their employees based on their religion just so long as non-christian or secular companies can do the same thing to christian employees.

    Fair is fair.

    January 1, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Coolsmiles

      guess what, companies can't discriminate based on religion....but you knew that right? Lefty...

      January 1, 2014 at 11:50 am |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Yeah, sgreco just doesn't get it. A religious company doesn't have to follow any laws that they don't want to follow because they can just claim religious exemption/separation of church and state, but a nonreligious company does have to follow the laws and not discriminate.

        sgreco, you have to be a religious company to get away with murder. You can't do it as just a normal business, stupid.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • Notta Catholic

        Oh yeah? Then what is this about? Forcing Non-Catholics working at their vaulted insti.tutions to follow their rules... But you knew that, didn't you, conservitard?

        January 1, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
  20. Topher

    REALLY, CNN?! Duck Dynasty is your lead story on New Year's Day?

    January 1, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Really, Topher, you post that comment on an article about the nation's court and a new law?

      January 1, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • guest

      I see no story about 'Duck Dynasty', are we on the same page?

      January 1, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • Curious

      Topher
      You are not a jailhouse born again convert, correct. Yet you didn't come to jesus until later in life. What was your epiphany? Did it come from some sort of crisis in your life or the influence of another person? You have abandoned a great deal of knowledge that mankind has discovered to believe as you do, it would be of interest to find out how you got to where you are now.

      January 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • Topher

        Curious

        What knowledge have I abandoned? I keep being told this, but when asked, I never receive a response.

        No, I'm not a jailhouse convert. It was nothing that interesting.

        January 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm |
        • sam stone

          you deny logic, gopher.

          you prattle on about how just god is

          then do everything you can to avoid this justice

          you are a coward

          January 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm |
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About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.