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My Take: Huge win for religious liberty at the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court handed down a landmark religious liberty ruling on Wednesday.
January 12th, 2012
09:58 AM ET

My Take: Huge win for religious liberty at the Supreme Court

By Douglas Laycock, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Douglas Laycock, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Virginia, represented Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in the case the Supreme Court decided Wednesday.

(CNN) - Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision holding that ministers cannot sue their churches for employment discrimination was a huge win for religious liberty. It was unanimous, it was sweeping and it was unqualified.

This decision was about separation of church and state in its most fundamental sense. Churches do not run the government, select government leaders, or set criteria for choosing government leaders.

And government does not run the churches, select religious leaders, or set criteria for choosing religious leaders. The Court unanimously reaffirmed that principle on Wednesday.

Cheryl Perich was a commissioned minister at the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Michigan. She taught religion every day; she led prayers and devotional exercises every day; she planned and led chapel services.

She also taught the rest of the fourth-grade curriculum. She was required to complete eight college-level theology courses; she was “called” to her office by a vote of the congregation; and she was commissioned as a “Minister of Religion.”

When she got sick, Hosanna-Tabor carried her at full pay and full benefits for seven months. This was a terrible hardship in a church and school with seven teachers, 84 students and deep financial problems.

In its effort to preserve a job for Perich to return to, the school put three grades in one classroom for a whole semester. It went far beyond the requirements of law in its efforts to accommodate her disability.

Finally, at the semester break, the school reluctantly decided it had to replace her. When she provoked a confrontation at the school and threatened to sue the church, the congregation rescinded her call, for insubordination and for violating one of the church doctrines she was supposed to teach and model.

There was a well developed church grievance process that she could have used, run by the denomination, with hearing officers independent of the local church.

And there was longstanding church teaching that disputes over ministry must be resolved in that process, by Lutherans who understood the church and its faith, and not by the civil courts.

The details of this employment dispute were not the issue in the Supreme Court. Rather, the issue was who decides.

If ministers were allowed to sue for employment discrimination, judges and juries would wind up deciding who is a good minister, worthy of retention, and who is not. These cases end with a jury deciding whether the employer had a good enough reason to justify its decision.

In Perich’s case, a jury would have decided whether she was fit for Lutheran ministry even after she defied Lutheran teaching.

The Supreme Court unanimously said that ministers cannot sue their churches for employment discrimination. It defined “ministers” broadly, to include priests and rabbis and imams and persons with mixed religious and secular duties.

And it said that the church need not explain its decision, because the reasons are none of the court’s business. The selection and retention of ministers is entirely the responsibility of the churches.

Some churches will exercise this authority wisely; some may not. Denominations and associations of churches would do well to establish grievance procedures that really work, like the one that Cheryl Perich failed to use.

But whatever the ratio of wise decisions to bad decisions, it is far better for the American tradition of religious liberty for the selection of ministers to be entrusted to the churches those ministers serve.

Wednesday’s decision also protects the right of churches to define the qualifications of their clergy. Some churches have requirements that are forbidden to secular employers.

Catholics, Orthodox Jews, and some Protestant denominations do not ordain women. Catholics require celibacy, violating laws on marital status discrimination in many states. Some denominations refuse to ordain sexually active gays and lesbians, violating sexual orientation laws in many states.

There are no exceptions written into the discrimination laws to protect these longstanding religious practices. They have been protected only by the constitutional rule that the Court reaffirmed Wednesday – that ministers cannot sue their churches for employment discrimination.

Of course, some members of these faiths would like to change these rules. But who is eligible for ordination is a theological issue to be fought out within each religious tradition, not an issue to be decided by courts or legislatures.

It would be absurd for courts to order an end to Catholic celibacy rules, or to entertain a class action alleging that women are underrepresented in the clergy of some denomination that ordains women but has not ordained as many women as men. The legal rule that prevents such lawsuits is the ministerial exception that the Supreme Court reaffirmed Wednesday.

Both the rules for selecting ministers, and the evaluation of ministers in individual cases, are decisions for the nation’s religious organizations – not the government. That is the welcome meaning of Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Douglas Laycock.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Church and state • Courts • Opinion • Religious liberty

soundoff (541 Responses)
  1. Ed

    I've seen several comments stating the school violated her rights because she was disabled. However the article clearly states she was unable to work for several months. The school made numerious and frankly extreme accomadations to try to save her job. There is no violation of law in her termination. A company is required to hold a job for some one unable to work due to illness for 12 weeks not more than 28 weeks. She was well passed FMLA coverage. Also the Americans with Disablitlty acts requires resonable accomadations. They completely altered their class room for her more than reasonable. They also paid her FMLA does not pay you it mereily protects your job. The leave is unpaid. The church in this case folowed the secular antidiscrimination laws. They were with their legal right to fire her.

    As for the who should pick the clergy of and religion. Common sense states the rules of that religion should make that decision. Our secular laws agree. The Catholic church would not ordain a Wiccan preist nad the wiccan church would not ordain a Catholic priest. They would both ordain a minister that knows, believes and teaches their faith. Frankly thats just common sense. It is legal for companies to discriminate against protected classes for valid reason. For instance you do not hire male models for female under garments or vic versa. The is also common sense and has been up held in court

    January 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Pretty lame there, Buddy!

      I am sure Jesus would fire a disabled person at the first opportunity too. That's what he was all about.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ed

      @Pretty Lame, I doubt Jesus would have hire a blind man to tend sheep or fish. Since their disability would make it so they simply could not do the job. She was out of work for 7 months well past the legal 12 weeks protected by FMLA. The school was still paying her which they were not required to do. The school its self was have economic difficulties. How long should a company have to pay some one who can not work before its ok to replace them. According to the law 12 weeks. how long do you think is fair?

      January 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • TR6

      @ Pretty lame there, Buddy! Yes your entirely right. God hates cripples

      “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles
      - Leviticus 21:17-20

      January 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Ed, the issue was about discrimination, not their shared beliefs.
      The court pretended it was about shared beliefs in order to ignore the issue of discrimination and the violation of law and gave special illegal consideration to the religious employer simply because they were religious.
      A clear violation of the First Amendment there. They "respected" a religion and ignored the violation of law and the unconstltutionality of the "ministerial exemption" in the first place. It was very convenient.

      January 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Ed

      Ironicus,

      They did not violate the law. she was unable to work for over 7 months any company would have legally been allowed to release for this regardless of disability. The church did far more then legally required for her. Your job protection last for 3 months under FMLA coverage. The American with Disabilities act requires reasonable accomadtion to allow a disabled person to work. They did that an more. Neither law requires an employer to retain someone that can not work or pay some one that can not work indefinately. granted the court left this out of the ruling but the fact is they did not violate antidiscrimination laws. So the case really did come down to the court telling the church who could be clergy.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  2. Patrick

    Finally.. I can start my church of the Holy Huddle House. Minorities and cripplesneed not apply.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  3. yneeme

    Of course, atheists can run for office.... but don't be a hater and blame the voters for not electing you – that's called democracy.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  4. Ironicus

    This group of believers wants the primacy of their religious values to trump all the secular laws of the nation within their religious group's "community", yet many of these religious values violate secular law as a matter of course.

    These religious values do not trump our secular laws.
    When you inject a religious legal system into our secular legal system, any differences will likely create conflict that cannot be resolved without giving supremacy to one legal system over the other.

    Our First amendment protects us against religious values/laws that we do not share, and it gives supremacy to secular law over religious law.

    To -paraphrase- the 1st Amend., "No secular law should ever be made that gives an advantage to any religion. That includes all general and particular religious values / laws.
    Nor should any law be made that restricts the "free" expression of any particular religion lest it give preferential treatment to one over the other in the application of those specificly targeted laws at the expense of one or another."

    Notice that the second part does not cancel out the first.
    Expression of a religion is not deemed to be secular in nature nor is it implied that all religious expression be given free rein.

    The Constltution is still Supreme Law here.

    If it wasn't, the Constltution wouldn't mean anything at all in the face of so many opposing religious values / laws.

    It has supremacy at all times, no matter what the religion. There must be equality under the law for everyone. This is a secular and legal point of law that is clearly spelled out in the Equal Protections clause.

    Since secular law (the Constltution over all and all other federal and state laws next under that.) is already given supremacy, laws cannot take any notice of any particular religion that might be put to a disadvantage or advantage by any secular legal means whatsoever.
    (Equally-oriented laws are not discriminatory in that respect as a matter of course. But what religious law has that aspect? Almost none whatsoever, thus the conflicts arise between religious equality and secular equality with ease.)

    To nullify the Equal Protections clause in favor of any religion, as must always be the case when there is more than one interpretation, also nullifies the Constltution as a whole.....because without Equal Rights under the Law, and no "unequal" legal framework at hand under which the country could operate, we would have legal anarchy merely because there was no legal system set up to handle religious claims according to all religious beliefs.

    Thus, religious laws have NO legal significance in secular law when equal rights are supposed to be Supreme and no religion is equal in the eyes of any religious sect.

    Secular laws, when formulated, must be made to be applied equally regardless of the religious consequences...instead of the inevitably unequal and very narrowly drawn legalistic religious viewpoints involved.
    It requires a tiny window of free, non-secular expression of religion in the public square and all the personal freedom equally disbursed amongst all Citizens regardless of religion or opposition to a particular religion.

    Real Equality is very painful for some to embrace, but only because of their religious bigotry and other bigotries.
    Otherwise there should be no problem with following secular law because of every Citizen's mutual respect even if it has to be forced on a religious person to follow the secular law or seek a theocracy elsewhere.

    Secular expression of religion must conform to secular law.
    That is the equal freedom we have under the law to express religion in this country. It is not an anything-goes secular arena of law, it is a legal area open to ALL CITIZENS that merely requires conforming with all secular laws with the Constltution over all religious conflicts.
    To usurp the supremacy of the Constltution by religious values / laws is to violate the very foundations of our country, our laws, and our equal rights.

    For example, having a religious enclave where our nation's secular laws are not given supremacy, like these religious "communities", is a declaration of criminality.

    They say the secular laws don't trump their religious laws inside their religious "boundaries", yet those are not boundaries that are subordinate our national laws. You do not get to form your own little country inside this one where you can violate any federal law and thumb your religious nose at the Constltution!

    There are no boundaries that can keep out the laws of our nation within our borders where our secular, national laws become null or void. That is why American Native Reservations are considered Federal Land and subject to Federal Laws.
    They don't get to violate the Constltution any more than any other group of Citizens even though they were violated by the European invaders who started this country and wrote the Constltution in the first place.
    There needs to be the Rule of Law and Equal Rights under that Rule of Law regardless of history or tradition or any other arbitrary yardstick.

    Equality of the law means it goes everywhere, even inside religious buildings.

    No religious community, place, person, group, area, etc. has the right to violate secular law at any time barring situations in secular "extremis". Religious "extremis" has no legal standing in secular law because religious "extremis" is purely religious in legal terms. Thus, any "blasphemy" laws are inherently unConstltutional.

    Sorry for the wall of text. Consider it the sort of article that never get published the usual way.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Manuel J.

      Your hot air is irrelevent. Very good lawyers for both sides argued the case. Very good jurists (i.e. The Supreme Court members) ruled UNANIMOUSLY on this. In other words, the decision stands and the First Amendment is validated once again (i.e. Freedom of Religion)!!

      January 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Manuel J.
      >Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision holding that ministers cannot sue their churches for employment discrimination.

      What part of firing or refusing to hire someone based on the categories protected by anti-discrimination law prevents you or anyone else from practicing religion? It doesn’t. It has nothing to do with your theology.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Manuel, all I can say is that it is a shame they didn't have me filing amicus briefs. I would have blasted the hell out of them.
      As it is, I think it is high time to seek a redress of grievances from the government concerning the current crop of Justices and their predilection for ignoring the Constltution and their clear bias that violates our Equal Rights at every opportunity.

      The Constltution is about Equality and Equal Representation for Citizens among other things.

      It has been shredded over the years until we are now seeing the last of our rights and protections being stri.pped away in the name of treasonous greed.
      There is almost nothing left.
      At the root of most of these crimes is religious extremism, greed for money and power, and a lack of ethics and honor.

      But who am I? Just another disenfranchised U.S. Citizen without enough money to bribe anyone. Oh, well.

      January 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
  5. Dr B

    I'm no expert on employment law, but how long do you have to keep paying someone who can't come in to work?
    Seven months seems kind of absurd to me...

    January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Ed

      you don't FMLA coverage is 12 weeks but does not give pay just job protection the leave is unpaid.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Holy Cow!!

      No business can hold a position indefinitely. I think they went beyond any reasonable expectations in what they did to hold it as long as they did.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  6. mouse

    "Joxer the Mighty
    Joxer
    So the Church selected Obama for president?"

    No, if the christians are correct their god did.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  7. mouse

    Please remember when it suites some of your christian's you decry seperation of church and state, see Mitt Romney, but when it's for your benefit you demand it. And, I agree, government should stay out of churches as much as I agree churches should stay out of government. So I side with the church on this one even though I am a non-believer.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • George

      The First Amendment exists to protect churches from government. It does not exist to protect government from churches.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Supreme court

      I exist to protect Gov. from churches.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  8. gary

    Try running for office as a nontheist. Seven states require an oath to 'god' to hold office. Try an "outed" atheist teacher. Ateists fear vandalism for putting stickers on their cars. Atheists are the persecuted ones.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Who said anything about persecuting Christians?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      I agree. You can only run for office if either you are Christian or pretending to be one. It would come as no surprise to me if a large portion of the “Christians” in this country are really just Agnostic and don’t want the hassle of being discriminated against. Those of us who are willing to say “I do not believe in your God” know the reactions we get first hand.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • George

      I do not support violence in any form against atheists. However, I do think that atheists should have to fear for their livelihoods. There is after all a right way and a wrong way to think and to believe, and atheists are wrong. We should not tolerate atheism in our society.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      George....oh George. You leave me speechless. Seldom does one encounter your level of utter stupidity. I can't even imagine how you ever learned to use a computer or tie your shoes. Please your heart.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • fred

      Central
      Please refer back to your bible study this morning on 23.1 and ask yourself is it wise for an atheist to come out of the closet? We really are not told what happened or who done it. Hopefully you do not live in the south.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Ironicus

      George, the sheer hypocrisy of your reply is almost as bad as your incredible thick-headedness.
      You would prefer to deny Equal Rights to atheists based on your religious values, yet you will scream bloody murder if you think someone is seeking to curb your abuses in violating those rights.

      You really are a piece of work. You are like a poe. Are you a poe, George? Give us an honest answer if you would be so kind.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Colin in Florida

      George, freedom of religion means freedom to choose whatever religion you want, or lack of religion. I am an atheist, so I assume you would not vote for me for any office, or even employ me? Would you employ me if I was a member of the church of the flying spaghetti monster? It may not be as big as the Catholic or Baptist church, but it's just a valid a church.

      Of course, unless you are a religion, you cannot ask about a person's faith during a job interview-doing so is illegal.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      fred
      Hells no I don't live in that awful place. I live in paradise baby, and yes I am out. I don't put it in people's faces like religions do. But I am honest about it. I sleep well at night.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • George

      @Ironicus

      Of course I would scream bloody murder. There is a right way and there is a wrong way. This is NOT a situation where all opinions are equal and deserve equal respect.

      @Colin

      I live in an at-will state. If it came out that you were an atheist, I would fire you before the sun went down.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • NJBob

      @George– I believe there IS a right way and a wrong way to think. The scientific, enlightened way is right, and the medieval, religious way is wrong. There's nothing I enjoy more than getting together to blaspheme with other atheists.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • TR6

      @George:”I live in an at-will state. If it came out that you were an atheist, I would fire you before the sun went down.”

      Just another fine example of a Christian mirroring gods love

      January 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • TR6

      @George:”I live in an at-will state. If it came out that you were an atheist, I would fire you before the sun went down.”

      Typical two faced, cringing Christian. You wouldn’t have the guts to write on the firing notice that it was because he was an atheist.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  9. Sean Russell

    "This decision was about separation of church and state in its most fundamental sense. Churches do not run the government, select government leaders, or set criteria for choosing government leaders."

    He obviously hasn't been paying attention to politics in this country, if he's still under this delusion.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      So the Church selected Obama for president?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • brett

      I suspect someone could take the states to court over requiring a god pledge before holding office and this would give them grounds.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  10. Doodee Rustler

    Im sitting on the toilet.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Howz the fishing brah?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Roger

    BUT! The initial reason for her termination was her "disability". That has nothing at all to do with her religious activities. That kind of termination should be illegal no matter who you work for. It's only when she subsequently violated some church religious rules (which are not specified in the article) that the church could terminate her "at will". I think the Supreme Court got it, at least partly, wrong.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I think the termination only came after she threatened to sue on discrimination grounds, not when she became disabled.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Roger

      From the article it appears that she was terminated because of the length of her absence from her job due to her disability. It was only after her termination that she pursued a legal response to the termination. That legal response conflicted with the procedures established by the church. The church is now claiming that it had plenty of procedures in place to handle the termination issue and that by not following those procedures she was violating church principles. That is definitely a valid reason to terminate someone. But the INITIAL termination was due to her disability, and that is strictly a legal matter, having nothing to do with the religious nature of the church. She should STILL be allowed to seek redress for THAT termination. The fact that she subsequently violated church rules and such violations are valid reasons for termination has nothing to do with the initial reason for termination.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "Finally, at the semester break, the school reluctantly decided it had to replace her. When she provoked a confrontation at the school and threatened to sue the church, the congregation rescinded her call, for insubordination and for violating one of the church doctrines she was supposed to teach and model."
      The use of "replace" and later "recinded her call" make it unclear what happened when, so perhaps I'm wrong.

      The court opinion doesn't make it that much more clear really,
      "In January 2005, she notified the school principal that she would be able to report to work in February. The principal responded that the school had already contracted with a lay teacher to fill Perich’s position for the remainder of the school year. The principal also expressed concern that Perich was not yet ready to return to the classroom. The congregation subsequently offered to pay a portion of Perich’s health insurance premiums in exchange for her resignation as a called teacher. Perich refused to resign. In February, Perich presented herself at the school and refused to leave until she received written docu.mentation that she had reported to work. The principal later called Perich and told her that she would likely be fired. Perich responded that she had spoken with an attorney and intended to assert her legal rights. In a subsequent letter, the chairman of the school board advised Perich that the congregation would consider whether to rescind her call at its next meeting. As grounds for termination, the letter cited Perich’s 'insubordination and disruptive behavior,' as well as the damage she had done to her 'working relationship' with the school by 'threatening to take legal action.' The congregation voted to rescind Perich’s call, and Hosanna-Tabor sent her a letter of termination."
      (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf, pg 1)

      January 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Ed

      Roger, the Americans with Disabiliys act does not allow for indefinite paid leave. If a person disability prevents them from being able to do the job the can be fired. The FMLA allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave ina rolling calender year. This person was well beyond that. The school is required to make reasonable accomadations for a person with a disability to do ther job. The school did far more than that. They did not have to pay her for her entire absence or hold a job for more than seven months, or alter the class schedules and student assignsments (they did when the put 3 grades in one class). They made more than reasonable accomadations and protected her job for more then twice the legal requirment and paid her as well. They were therefore inline with the secular laws. Her termination was legally justified under American labor laws.

      Also any organization can terminate an employee for not following the organization rules as long as those rules don't violate the antidiscrimination laws. Also the court is saying due to the seperation of churh and state it can not tell a church who to make a minister.

      Finally it is reasonable for a church to require ordained ministers to believe in the faith of that church. It is legal to discriminate against some protect classes when a valid reason can be shown. This is why Victoria's Secrets is not required to higher male modles for the female garments. They can show a valid reason to only higher women even though its illegal to discriminate for gender. It is the same with a church if person does not believe in the faith it is reasonable not to make them a minister.

      January 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  12. peggy

    I agree.

    January 12, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  13. EnjoyingLife

    I agree with the decsion...it just doesnt need to be one-sided. Seperation means we don't need government telling us what to do with our bodies based on religious morality.
    I have respect for people of faith, its most times I feel they have no respect for us agnostic or atheist people. What give gov't right to tell us who we can and cant marry? Again based on a book...hmmm

    January 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • sandy johnson

      The government blessed religious law affects me every Sunday when I have to leave the stores at 6, or they're not even open at all..
      It's about time we get rid of "Sunday" laws. Why is the ACLU not challenging Sunday laws?

      January 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  14. The Central Scrutinizer

    Today's Bible Fun

    Deuteronomy

    If you find a dead body and don't know the cause of death, then get all
    the elders together, cut off the head of a heifer, wash your hands over
    its body, and say our hands have not shed this blood. (That'll do it!)
    21:1-8

    "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together" or wear wool and
    linen together in the same garment. But "thou shalt make thee fringes
    upon the four quarters of thy vesture." 22:10-12

    You can't go to church if your testicles are damaged or your penis has
    been cut off. 23:1

    January 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • jabber

      "You can't go to church if your testicles are damaged or your penis has
      been cut off 23:1"

      I have three testicles, I'll let you have one of mine if you wanna go to church that badly.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • The Central Scrutinizer

      Clearly you see the logic. Thank you my brother.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • jabber

      anything to help a brother get his pipes working again haha

      January 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  15. megan Wilson

    thank goodness the courts actually got something right

    January 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  16. EnjoyingLife

    Then why are there laws that are passed based soley on religious morality?

    January 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Like what?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Kosher Kow

      Uncouth Swain – try DOMA on for size

      January 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • EnjoyingLife

      Uncouth
      I understand your point, but why are they saying two men cant marry?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      And what's your point? The nation decided that a legal marriage is that between a man and a woman. Skimming the text, I do not see that the court leaned on any religious standards.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • EnjoyingLife

      The nation decided based on religous views....you don't have to have that spellled out. Why else would people care what someone else is doing in THEIR life?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Kosher Kow

      Uncouth Swain – No, the nation didn't decide, law makers did. Last i recall, they havent exactly enacted the best policies as of late... this is the same "nation" that wants the Patriot Act, NDAA, SOPA, etc.

      i'm not sure which nation you live in, but if you had a choice, would you want any of these for your fellow man?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @EnjoyingLife "The nation decided based on religous views....you don't have to have that spellled out. Why else would people care what someone else is doing in THEIR life?"

      1) Society tells people what they can do with their own life every day. If you disagree please try driving drunk, speeding, breaking into someones house to get something you want. Society regulates all kind of behavior in order to protect the rights of others whom your actions impact.
      2) Society creates all kinds of laws that reflect a shared view on morality and that impinge upon an individuals rights. Prost1tution, drug use, gambling, having more than one wife, having more than one husband, desecrating dead bodies. All could be argued are so called "victim-less" crimes, but society (rightly) creates legislation to prohibit.
      3) Just because a particular piece of legislation is in line with religious morals, doesnt make it a "religious" one.

      Do you decry anti-theft laws because it's "based on "thou shalt not steal""? Do you decry the existence of homicide laws because of "thou shalt not murder"?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • debbie

      Legal and religous marriage are two completely different articles. There are many churches in California that will marry anyone, but the marriage is not legally recognized and no marriage license is issued by the State of California. It needs to stay that way in my opinion. The government cannot tell the churches what to do. Conversly, in states where gay marriage is legal, no church is required to perform the service. The marriage can be done in court, but it's not mandated that any church must sanction the union. And that's the way we need to leave it.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • smartaz

      Saying this is like saying it is impossible for people to develop morals without religion. Some people's morals are based on religion. Some are based on their own views.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: We'll agree on your 1) and 3) but I have problems with...

      "2) Society creates all kinds of laws that reflect a shared view on morality and that impinge upon an individuals rights. Prost1tution, drug use, gambling, having more than one wife, having more than one husband, desecrating dead bodies. All could be argued are so called "victim-less" crimes, but society (rightly) creates legislation to prohibit."

      Why is society right in legislating morality, especially since if it were truly shared, there would be no argument over it?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • J.W

      I wonder if anyone ever started a peti tion to have the DOMA repealed?

      January 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @EnjoyingLife- "The nation decided based on religous views....you don't have to have that spellled out. Why else would people care what someone else is doing in THEIR life?"

      ~They care because it has to do with such little things like taxes, divorce, widow benefits...etc. Many such things that have nothing to do with a religious perspective. I will admit that perhaps our culture had something to do with their ruling...but not religion.

      @Kosher Kow- No, the nation didn't decide, law makers did. Last i recall, they havent exactly enacted the best policies as of late... this is the same "nation" that wants the Patriot Act, NDAA, SOPA, etc. i'm not sure which nation you live in, but if you had a choice, would you want any of these for your fellow man?"

      ~Considering it was the ppl that elected those that hired the law makers...we had something to do with it. Forgive me but I do not look at avreages when deciding if one law is correct or not. Aspects of the Patriot Act are good...much of it is not. Nothing that wrong with the National Defense Authorization Act . Hasn't been in the 49 years it has been around. Unless I missed it...SOPA isn't passed yet.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Chad

      @SeanNJ "Why is society right in legislating morality, especially since if it were truly shared, there would be no argument over it?

      =>well, "share" wasnt meant to imply that every single solitary person held that belief. If you want to split hairs call it a "majority consensus".
      And society has the right to legislate morality since it grants it to itself.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad:

      "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

      Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions."

      - from Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address

      January 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chad

      Ah, so you believe a society isnt allowed to pass a law unless every citizen agrees with it.

      Interesting concept... you've obviously never worked in a group setting.. 🙂

      January 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: Strawman, and you know it.

      January 13, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Chad

      @SeanNJ "Strawman, and you know it."

      =>well, if you are agreeing that not every citizen has to think every law is a good idea, then you need to define what an "oppressive" law is, and explain how you feel legislating morality is oppressive (w/out merely resorting to "we want to do it and this law wont let us", as you already agreed that not every citizen has to think every law is a good idea).

      Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • J.W

      But I think that as far as the DOMA it was Congress that decided that, not the people. I do not think that most Americans are in favor of it, and it will probably be repealed sometime in the near future.

      January 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: You said, "and explain how you feel legislating morality is oppressive (w/out merely resorting to "we want to do it and this law wont let us", as you already agreed that not every citizen has to think every law is a good idea)."

      Why exactly why can't I resort to "we want to do it and this law won't let us?" when the thing the law prevents harms no one?

      Can you give me a reason why gay people should not be allowed to marry? How does that arrangement impose on you such that it needs to be legislated against? Is it that you want to deny a homosexual couple in a committed relationship the same benefits available to a heterosexual couple?

      If not, and you're willing to grant them the same exact treatment under the law with the same licensing and dissolution requirements, then why would you call it anything else besides marriage?

      We redefine words all the time. It's called evolution of language, but are you against evolution in that context too?

      January 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad: "explain how you feel legislating morality is oppressive (w/out merely resorting to "we want to do it and this law wont let us", as you already agreed that not every citizen has to think every law is a good idea)."

      @SeanNJ "Why exactly why can't I resort to "we want to do it and this law won't let us?" when the thing the law prevents harms no one?"

      @Chad "Because in reality, there is no such thing as a "victim-less" crime. I do not want to live in a society where the state sanctions same-s ex marriage . Your opinions on my view on the matter are completely irrelevant, I consider myself to be harmed by the state sanctioning that behavior, you dont get to define what I believe is harmful, as I dont get to define what you believe is harmful.
      The state has the right to legislate against it since it is the state that officially sanctions marriage. If private companies want to extend benefits to same s ex couples, that is up to them"

      January 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: Ah, so you don't have a reason. Got it. I'll move on.

      January 13, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad: "explain how you feel legislating morality is oppressive (w/out merely resorting to "we want to do it and this law wont let us", as you already agreed that not every citizen has to think every law is a good idea)."

      @SeanNJ "Why exactly why can't I resort to "we want to do it and this law won't let us?" when the thing the law prevents harms no one?"

      @Chad "Because in reality, there is no such thing as a "victim-less" crime. I do not want to live in a society where the state sanctions same-s ex marriage . Your opinions on my view on the matter are completely irrelevant, I consider myself to be harmed by the state sanctioning that behavior, you dont get to define what I believe is harmful, as I dont get to define what you believe is harmful.
      The state has the right to legislate against it since it is the state that officially sanctions marriage. If private companies want to extend benefits to same s ex couples, that is up to them"

      @SeanNJ "But, I want to quibble about your reason"

      @Chad "Ok, so you have a couple fails:
      – You have failed to provide any reason why the state cant legislate morality (which was your original claim).
      – You have failed to demonstrate how legislation against same s ex marriage is oppressive (an assertion you implied)

      you have instead gone the route of "you shouldn't think the way you do"..

      weak...

      January 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: You can think whatever you want. What you don't get to do is impose that thinking on others without supplying a reason.

      You claim the state can legislate morality. It begs the question that how do you know that what's being legislated is moral?

      January 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: And stop "quoting" me when I haven't actually said the things in quotes. I haven't done it to you.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: Sorry, missed the whole "oppression" thing, so I'll give you an example: estate taxes aren't paid by spouses when their partner dies.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Chad

      SeanNJ "And stop "quoting" me when I haven't actually said the things in quotes. I haven't done it to you."

      =>fair enough, I apologize. I use the quotes in most cases to keep a context going, but the "quibble" was out of line.

      January 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @SeanNJ "You can think whatever you want. What you don't get to do is impose that thinking on others without supplying a reason."

      =>er... yes society does..
      Federal/State consti tutions gives their respective legislative bodes the authority to enact laws.
      There are no restrictions on the what actions/behaviors can be legislated against.

      marriage is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman

      so: Society the right to not grant marriage licenses to same s ex couples. If you dont like that, tough, that's the rule of law.

      Not surprisingly, you still have failed to demonstrate how legislation against same s ex marriage is oppressive (an as sertion you implied). It is completely unclear to me how you felt estate taxes in some way did that.

      January 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @SeanNJ –
      In case you don't know what sort of black hole you're being sucked into by engaging in debate with Chad, check out these recent statements Chad posted on this blog:

      -"Every book that purports to accurately record history needs to be examined critically for internal consistency and for its accuracy in detail. The bible succeeds on all accounts."

      -"The Genesis account stands alone amongst all creation stories of the time, a fact universally acknowledged...We are only know [sic] beginning to scientifically discover how accurate it is indeed."

      -"I dismiss all other gods other than the God of Abraham because the God of Abraham has told me that they aren't real."

      He also believes that a valid theory of evolution by natural causes (punctuated equilibria) supports his warped, perverse "intelligent design" based view that life on earth was created by supernatural forces.

      Don't waste your time with him...he's a knucklehead.

      January 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @SeanNJ –
      ...oh, and Chad also recently authored a post indicating that he does not oppose slavery, infanticide, and possibly racism (although, to be fair, his ramble didn't really make his position clear with regard to racism) simply because he was able to cull passages from his bibles that he believes condone these practices.
      Just a heads-up SeanNJ

      January 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Chad: I'll explain the estate tax issue. When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse is exempt from estate taxes. However, a homosexual couple who have made the same lifetime commitment to each other does not receive equal protection under the law. I consider an unequal tax levy for what would otherwise be identical circumstances to be burdensome and unjust.

      You also said, "There are no restrictions on the what actions/behaviors can be legislated against."

      Most of the amendments of the Constitution would say otherwise, but specifically the 9th and the 14th.

      @Really-O?: Yes, I'm aware of all those things. FWIW, I'm just winding down now. I've made my point to my satisfaction, even if Chad won't accept it. I'm pretty confident that any third party reading the exchange would agree.

      January 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @SeanNJ –
      Good enough...just wanted to make sure you weren't ambling into a briar patch unnecessarily.

      January 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –
      – "marriage is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman"
      ...What's the basis for this statement Chad? Is your statement true in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire? No, it's not. You're blowing smoke.

      – "Society [has?] the right to not grant marriage licenses to same s ex couples. If you dont like that, tough, that's the rule of law."
      ...Not exactly. That may be the "rule of law" in countries ruled by dictators, monarchs, etc. However, the government of the United States (I assume, Chad, you're a U.S. citizen) is constrained by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Unites States Const.itution from denying equal protection of the law to any citizen (check out the legal history of California Proposition 8 if you wish to be edified). Where the he.ll do you get this nonsense Chad?

      Now, that said, here's an idea...separate the civil unions granted by the state from the concept of "marriage" – which is a religious concept and, therefore, is under the domain of any given religion/church. Problem solved...any church can decide whom they will marry, and the state agrees to grant the same civil union rights to all, regardless of gender. How could you possibly disagree with that Chad? Unless, of course, you're a bigot who uses millennium old "morality" in defense of your bigotry.

      January 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Chad

      Really-O?

      @SeanNJ – "...oh, and Chad also recently authored a post indicating that he does not oppose slavery, infanticide, and possibly racism (although, to be fair, his ramble didn't really make his position clear with regard to racism) simply because he was able to cull passages from his bibles that he believes condone these practices.
      Just a heads-up SeanNJ"

      =>ya know, that is complete and utter nonsense and you know it.
      You really feel like you have to stoop to completely misrepresenting my statements? Is that it?

      Slavery, and killing of entire populations is in the bible. OBVIOUSLY I approve of neither, but I am not God. If you have a problem, talk to Him.

      Even hinting that I support racism should earn you a trip to the time out corner. Neither myself nor the Bible supports it (as I demonstrated)

      You are a dishonest person.

      January 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @SeanNJ "I consider an unequal tax levy for what would otherwise be identical circu mstances to be burdensome and unjust."
      =>Society gets to determine who it will grant legal marriage status to. End of story.

      @SeanNJ "You also said, "There are no restrictions on the what actions/behaviors can be legislated against. Most of the amendments of the Const itution would say otherwise, but specifically the 9th and the 14th.""
      =>there is of course judiciary review which follows the establishment of legislation. As I stated correctly before, there are no restrictions on what actions/behaviors can be legislated against.

      Look, there is no argument. Society gets to determine who it will grant legal marriage status to. End of story.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      Sorry Chad, but this is just more of your obfuscation – I misrepresented nothing. I'm not going to play your silly game of equivocation, but anyone interested can read your positions on slavery, infanticide, and racism in your debate with Doc Vestibule here –

      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/29/my-take-the-3-biggest-biblical-misconceptions/comment-page-50/#comments.

      It is clear that you defend both slavery and infanticide by appealing to the bible. I'll say it again – these positions are reprehensible and you should be ashamed of yourself Chad.

      To keep things honest – a strength you may want to work on when not in bible study, Chad – these were my exact words from the above post regarding your position on slavery, ‘I'm not sure from his passage-laden post where he resides with regard to racism, but if it's "bible based" it's almost certainly objectionable’...and I stand by them.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad – “Look, there is no argument. Society gets to determine who it will grant legal marriage status to. End of story.”

      Categorically wrong Chad! Refer to Loving v. Virginia (1967) in which the United States Supreme Court unanimously declared the state of Virginia’s prohibition of interracial marriage unconst.itutional, putting an end to all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.

      So Chad, either admit that you are wrong that “society gets to determine who it will grant legal marriage status to” or admit that you are a bigot who defends your bigotry with your barbaric Iron and Bronze Age [im]morality.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Chad –

      I must say, Chad, the more I hear from you the more I'm convinced you are not only ignorant, but vile.

      January 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Erratum –
      -To keep things honest – a strength you may want to work on when not in bible study, Chad – these were my exact words from the above post regarding your position on slavery
      ...should have read...
      -To keep things honest – a strength you may want to work on when not in bible study, Chad – these were my exact words from the above post regarding your position on racism

      January 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  17. jason

    i dont get why discrimination should be legal in any case.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Patrick

      Odd but not surprising the church would support discrimination.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      So..if a person that you do not agree with (religious, social..etc) said, "Can I come into your home for a few hours." You would say, "Sure come on in"? I doubt you would and thus you would be discriminating against them and I am sure the courts would back you up on it.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • jason

      first of all, i have friends of all different social views and backgrounds and do not refuse entry into my home for any such reason. secondly, declining someone a job because of their views is completely unacceptable i don't care if it is for a church or a temple or something. discrimination is discrimination, why should any organization be immune from the moral and legal standards that the rest of us hold ourselves to?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Nonimus

      So a Catholic church shouldn't be allow to discriminate against Satanists when hiring a new Priest?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • jason

      why would a satanist... or for that matter and non christian try to become a preist? that makes no sense.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @jason- "first of all, i have friends of all different social views and backgrounds and do not refuse entry into my home for any such reason."

      ~Ah...you made a choice. One that you had a right to make in our nation. You set a standard for entry into your home and voila..it works within the law.

      "declining someone a job because of their views is completely unacceptable i don't care if it is for a church or a temple or something."

      ~You know....maybe I should agree. Let's look at hospitals. I am all for the doctor that wants to do amputations for everything or give addictive drugs when other types will do. After all....hospitals should be just like the way you want religious places. Forget the standards that insti_tution has set up. After all, we wouldn't want to have them discriminate against anyone.

      "discrimination is discrimination, why should any organization be immune from the moral and legal standards that the rest of us hold ourselves to?"

      ~Because...organizations that have a rules might actually expect you to follow them. Let's go secular. If a young lady goes to a Ho_oters restaurant to get a job and they ask her to actually wear their uniform...should she really be shocked and sue them for discrimination if they let her go for not supporting their standards?

      Alot of this comes down to common sense. If you do not believe the way a certain place of worship believes..don't be offended when they ask you to leave. If you knowingly take a job at a place whose standards you KNOW you are not going to abide by....why are you so shocked they might not want you there?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @jason,
      ... to spread the Truth!

      January 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      The church cannot discriminate against an employee (persons not involved in the ministry\teaching of religious doctrine) but that is not the case here. She was a minister that disagreed with the church the church has a right to fire people that go against the teachings of that church. They do not have the right to fire a "lay" person that goes against the teachings of the church. In this case the were well within their rights, as a minister if she did not agree with the church she should have resigned.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Patrick

      @ Uncouth Swain
      My home is not a business,
      my home does not have a sign that says come all ye faithful,
      my home does not take donations,
      my home does not tell dozens to thousands of sheep who to vote for.

      Thank you for supporting discrimination Uncouth, it really helps to support my view of theists.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Patrick- Patrick
      "My home is not a business,"

      ~Are you sure? Do you not invest in your home? The ppl within? Do you not try to make it more profitable by doing repairs on it?

      "my home does not have a sign that says come all ye faithful,"

      ~No..it has you and your standards by which you rightly run your home by. I am sure you reveal your message about what can or cannot go about in your home. You use words while the theoretical church you made up uses a sign

      "my home does not take donations,"

      ~Then you must not have a spouse that works on anything at the house. Or children that do chores. To make a home work...the members of that home makes donations with their time and resources.
      You do realize that churches do not require donations to attend..right?

      "my home does not tell dozens to thousands of sheep who to vote for."

      ~And the vast majority of churches do not as well. You got a lot in common with those.

      "Thank you for supporting discrimination Uncouth, it really helps to support my view of theists."

      ~Oh..by "support my views" you mean it helps you justify your discrimination against those you think are theists. Gotcha. Sadly, most of what you said was utter garbage.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
    • Patrick

      @Uncouth Swain
      Do you not invest in your home? No I rent.
      The ppl within. You presume much.
      Do you not try to make it more profitable by doing repairs on it? You already asked this.

      I stopped reading after this point. You’re grasping at straws and nothing you’ve said even remotely makes me home similar to a church. Basically your entire point as failed.

      K. O.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Oy great..this is where Patrick has lied about his background and decides to imply victory again. Guess his sweety (that existed a few debates ago but I guess has disappeared) never told him how these things work.

      And of course you quit reading...it was going against your ideas. Of course you can't have that, why argue your point when you can just give up like you have.

      January 12, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  18. vel

    glad to see that religious ignorance is being enshrined. Now anyone can claim that some "tenent" of the religion is being violated to kick someone out. Now that the SCOTUS says this is okay, it's about time that they also say that "faith based" organizations can't have any federal money either. You want to be idiots, be my guest, but not on my dime. Pray for that money you supposedly need; your magic book says that your god will take care of you better the lilies or the birds. You just have to ask and not look for government handouts.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Steve the stud

      Glad to see that religious bigotry and hatred is still alive on this board.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Maybe I missed it....where did any church get some cash from the govt here?

      January 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • tlarose

      Churches get money from the gov't in the form of tax exemptions. If they want to pay their due taxes for their 'for-profit' business...

      January 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      I would not disagree that some churches are for profit, but you are dead wrong if you are making a broad assumption about all churches.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Ironicus

      A tax exemption does constltute a government subsidy whether there is a profit or not, since money can be moved around to show a loss at any time and when the exemption is taken it results in a net financial increase for the organization.

      January 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  19. John

    So, this court decision affirms that the government will stay out of church business. Now if only the churches would stay out of government business. I don't see that happening any time soon with the likes of Santorum running for President.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Yeah..because Santorum will go all willy-nilly and run the nation from a church. Just like Obama took all those guns away from the citizens.
      Oh..wait..that didn't happen and neither will the fear of a religious minded person running the nation from a religious perspective.

      Don't give in to idiotic fear.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      actually that could happen...easily... thats why the created the idea of separation of church and state. Its happened before and still happens today.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • tlarose

      Uncouth, it's not idiotic fear. Santorum himself says this nation needs a "Jesus candidate". Sounds to me like he's decided that Kennedy was wrong to not use the Catholic church and the Vatican to help make decisions on how to run a nation...

      January 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "Santorum himself says this nation needs a "Jesus candidate". Sounds to me like he's decided that Kennedy was wrong to not use the Catholic church and the Vatican to help make decisions on how to run a nation..."

      And what's the problem? Did he say he was going to run the country from a religious perspective? No..he didn't.
      When Obama went to church, did ppl freak out that he might run the nation from a religious persepctive? No...they didn't.

      Lol....kind of stretching it a bit aren't you. I heard nothing about Kennedy or any of that in the two words you cherry picked.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ uncouth
      " Did he say he was going to run the country from a religious perspective?"
      Yes he did, in fact, he says that all the time.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @I'm The Best!- Forgive me if he had said such things. I haven't seen it yet but then again...I haven't paid that much attention to him since he will not be the Republican Nominee

      January 12, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  20. rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

    Only evangelicals and teabaggers would elect a president whose name has become synonymous with @nal foam. A freak who brings a dead baby home to sleep with.

    January 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Entil'za

      Sounds like we have a left wing-nut with us today.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Steve the stud

      This is too stupid to bother with.

      January 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

      Quite the opposite Steve, it's factual. Or maybe you're the only one in the country who hasn't googled 'Santorum'?

      January 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      No, we just will classify you with those that figured a good "gotcha" was to link OBama and Osama.

      Stupid on the left is the same as stupid on the right.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Ad Nominem attack.
      That definition of santorum was made up by some radio personality, it's completely juvenile. In addition, I don't think Santorum brought his dead baby home in order to sleep with it, although he did bring his dead baby home for his other children and then returned it.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Don't get me wrong, I think Rick Santorum is a right-wing nut, but your argument against him is pathetic when there are many legit reasons to not vote for him.

      January 12, 2012 at 2:13 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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.