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Wheaton College sues administration over contraception mandate
July 18th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Wheaton College sues administration over contraception mandate

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN's Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)–Wheaton College, the most prominent evangelical higher education institution in the United States, has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over a mandate to provide contraceptive coverage.

The Illinois school joins Catholic counterparts Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame in filing suits to stop a Health and Human Services mandate to provide birth control coverage to their employees.

The move is significant because the new evangelical opposition to the policy—coming not just from Catholic institutions - could have election-year political fallout.

The HHS mandate requires employers to provide free contraception coverage to their employees. Although the plan exempted churches, other religiously affiliated employers, including colleges and hospitals, were not exempt.

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent religious groups from having to finance such coverage.

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Despite the change in policy many of those groups have said the mandate remains a violation of their beliefs against contraceptives. Catholic teaching forbids the use of any contraceptives. Many evangelicals do not oppose the use of contraceptives, but believe life begins at conception and say some contraceptives, like emergency contraceptives, induce abortions.

The government mandate covers all forms of FDA approved contraceptives and the administration has said time and again they felt the policy and its exceptions "struck the right balance" on religious freedoms and providing health care for people who need it.

The suit was filed Wednesday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for the college by the Becket Fund, the same law firm that is representing multiple lawsuits against the HHS policy.

Key Catholic group drops support for White House contraception plan

In their filing attorney's wrote the mandate, "runs roughshod over Wheaton’s religious beliefs, and the beliefs of millions of other Americans, by forcing it to provide health insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs and related education and counseling."

Should the university not abide by the new mandate they are subject to fines. While many religious groups were provided an extension of one year to adhere to the mandate, Wheaton said because of technical reasons with their insurance provider they were ineligible for that extension.

In a conference call with reporters about the lawsuit, Wheaton College President Philip Graham Ryken, said the the penalties for not following the mandate, “would amount to $1.4 million in fines annually for faculty and staff alone.”

The lawsuit is seeking, "declaratory and injunctive relief to protect against this attack."

Wheaton College is known as the premier evangelical Christian college in the United States. It counts Billy Graham and former speaker of the House Dennis Hastert as alumni. The school has 2,400 undergraduates.

The school said the timing of the lawsuit stemmed from the fall semester rapidly approaching.

"I’ll welcome my first freshman in two weeks,” Ryken said. We're already needing to figure out how we're going to provide insurance coverage this academic year."

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On the call, Ryken, who was joined by his counterpart John Garvey the president of Catholic University, pushed back against assertions the timing of the lawsuit was politically motivated, coming in the midst of a heated presidential campaign.

“The timing of the lawsuit is not something we have chosen," Garvey said. "HHS has chosen to put these rules in effect and we’re crowded up against our own internal deadlines for accepting new students and renegotiating insurance contracts.”

Garvey added he saw this as an issue for both parties. "Religious freedom is something we hope Republicans and Democrats will be attentive to," he said.

“Wheaton College is not a partisan institution,” Ryken added. “The effect of our lawsuit on the political process played no role at all in any our discussions with our board of trustees on the issue."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Catholic Church • Faith & Health • Politics

« Previous entry
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. The Dude

    Insurance companies should have it "built in" to every plan, so that they have 0 choice on how they influence others. You don't like contraception, birth control, abortion, fertility treatment, then don't do any of these things and YOU have nothing to worry about.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      Dude,
      Great post! I have a feeling that for many, it is their inability to generate a need for contraception that drives them to deny it of others.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jan

      Nothing to worry about unless you are an employer. You will be required to provide it and pay for it and it is not something people need (with the obvious exception of certain conditions that respond to the chemicals in birth control pills). Great analogy: what if the govt came in and said that Jewish delis had to offer ham. Ham is against their faith but maybe the neighborhood that they do business in really likes/wants ham and they make a big enough stink that the govt now mandates that delis have to carry it. People don't need ham, they can get it at other delis, but, no the govt is going to overstep their bounds and force ALL delis to carry it. Same thing, people don't need contraceptives, they can get them elsewhere inexpensively but no the govt is going to mandate that businesses carry it.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:51 am |
    • Primewonk

      Jan, your anology is skewed. Instead – Orthodox Jews say eating ham is an abomination, so they want to make it law that no one can eat ham. That is what these fundiots are doing.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • WASP

      @jan: there are females that do require birth control to regulate their ho-romone levels. some females don't produce a correct amount of estrogen and doctors found that if they take "the pill" it brings there estrogen levels up to where they need to be. it's not about babies it's about a health issue not being taken care of due to misunderstandings and ignorance. if insurance companies have to cover males to get "the little blue pill" to help with their ED;which they can live without; then they should cover females that need this medicine.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:25 am |
  2. Maya

    The morning-after pill does NOT induce abortions. It doesn't matter how many times they say it, it is still a load of BS.

    I say that if they want to play by different rules, they should stop taking student financial aid money from the federal government. Otherwise, they are just hypocritical parasites. Until then, they should demanding special privileges.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • The Dude

      Exactly!!! You want to sue us, then drop the aid. UP YOURS!

      July 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Maya, agreed, but they want special not equal. It isa crock that any federal money its allowed to go to theistic schools. We need to enforce the seporation of church and state, federal money should not support religious brainwashing schools.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jan

      You don't make a valid point. Student financial aid benefits kids (and adults) looking for higher education. It allows those without the financial means to have a way to educate themselves. It should not matter who is running the univ. Also, seems odd that there are people who agree with you. Faith-based universities strive to create opportunities for individuals to become community leaders, volunteers – people set to help others. They try to foster social responsibility and outreach. Why knock them down?

      July 19, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  3. Chris

    So the university wants to deny ALL of their employees certain coverage. What about the people working at these universities who are not members of the church the university is affiliated with? I guess the university gets to shove it's belief system down their throats. Seems to me to be a little hypocritical Contraception is a relatively small part of the whole health care pie. If people do not want to use it then they can simply not use it.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Jim

      They can work somewhere else.

      July 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
  4. anagram_kid

    So here is my suggestion for anyone who opposes contraception due to Judeo-Christian beliefs: You need to reject not only contraception, but any advance that has been made in the last 2,000 to 4,000 years. Here is why. In ancient times, a woman needed about 12 pregnancies to replace herself and the man that impregnated her and a leading cause of death for women – pregnancy and child birth. This is why polygamy existed. A man can get a women pregnant every day, but a woman can only get pregnant on certain days and for a select number of years, so birth control is considered wrong. Making other people was not as easy as it is today, but several thousands of years ago the prohibition against contraception made sense. So if you want to live as an ancient, go ahead, but you also need to give up running water, electricity, soap, not dying in childbirth…etc. Otherwise it appears that you picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to follow.

    July 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Like many others you are either deliberately missing the point or you are unable to follow the dialogue. The topic is birth control. The issue is separation of church and state. If the state is allowed to force churches by power of taxation into behavior against their creed, they are essentially commanding the power to eliminate the freedom of religion. You may disagree with someone's religious beliefs but America was founded first and foremost on the principle of freedom from religious persecution. Historically, the Church has been the final bulwark against the state usurping the rights of individuals. So, if the Church goes, freedom goes. This is why communists and other dictators seek the elimination of the Church, not because they don't believe in God but because they understand the source of freedom.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  5. TomNPitt

    This whole healthcare thing is really a lot simpler than what the press keeps making it. If you belong to a group, like the state of Florida or Wheaton College; and your leadership doesn't think you should be eligible for a benefit – then you should be allowed to opt out. That means you opt out of the benefit – not the payments. Then it's up to you and your leadership to work out the issue. If the government wants to give you something and you don't want it, because you want to be a putz to the other party – then you should not get the benefit, but you should still make the payments. If your employees get mad enough, then they'll make the policy – they'll leave!!

    July 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      A very good point. Sometimes I think it would be great if the religious right got their way on a lot more issues as this will lead people to realize that religion is about behavior, not belief and there is a good chance it won’t be their franchise of Christianity that is making the rules. You would think the established history of Christians torturing and killing fellow Christians for not being of the correct variety would be more well known by now.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  6. John in Oakland

    Can they impose 18-hour workdays and claim religious belief as a justification? These are universities run as businesses, not churches. Let them abide by the economic and labor regulations that all businesses must follow.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes they could impose 18 hour work days and anyone who didn't want to contract their labor would be free to seek employment elsewhere.

      July 19, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  7. Cedar rapids

    there is nothing against contraception in the evangelical belief. you let this sort of nonsense start and you open the door for all sorts of other nutty religious moaning..........my bible says its ok to beat my kids so i am going to sue unless i am allowed to beat them. etc.
    you want to be a church then be a church. the instant you enter other arenas then you abide by those laws.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  8. yourlogicisflawed

    A college is not a church.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  9. gee

    Evangelical dictators at work again.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
  10. ABarker

    These are Christian schools. They have every right to refuse to do this. As to not filing suit, it's not like they were left a choice. Obama is attempting to force his opinions off on everyone. Its past time people stood up and told him NO.

    As to the funding. Considering that minorities are the primary recipients of federal funding for school, if the school stopped accepting anyone who couldn't afford to pay for it, the dems would be accusing them of racism and unfair practices. The dems need to back off and stop trying to turn this into socialist country.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      if they want to be a church then be a church, they want to enter the education arena then they abide by the laws.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • JN

      so ita not ok for obama or others to impose their beliefs on christian schools like this but its ok for evangelicals to try and take away abortion from others who believe its ok. it sounds like a serious double standard to me.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  11. Randy Roberts

    not everyone that works at the university believes in an imaginary friend. an employer does not have the right to force their ridiculous religious views on their employees.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • ABarker

      Employers all over the US force their ideas on their employees, many even in their off hours. If you don't like it, you quit. No one is forcing them to stay there.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • dg

      Abarker, some people dont have the choice or opportunity to find employment elsewhere. I am unemployed and have to take any job offered to me. If the inst.itution is not a actual church than they are a business and have to Go by the rules of all other businesses.

      The employee must not be made to live by the employers religion... Freedom for the indivdual first, not for the business so they can not withhold benefits to those that do not believe in fairy tales.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  12. Dave

    What's the problem, doesn't the government always know what's best for us.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  13. anagram_kid

    I think it was in the book of John that Jesus said, “If one cannot force their beliefs on others, let the almighty lawyers bring their wrath and hourly billing upon them. They will be smote with writs and subpoenas and their wallets will wither into dust.”

    July 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  14. mll

    Do Weaton and or its students accept any form of goverment support? If the answer is yes, then they have already relingquished their rights regarding the separation of church and state. Don't want government in your business, then become self sufficient. Otherwise, accept the consequences.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • DJR

      The government doesn't own its citizens. Who do you think "the government" is? Where do you think the government gets its money?

      To follow your logic, a person would have to do anything "the government" says if that person receives even one benefit from "the government." What nonsense.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • mll

      You are right DJR. No one broke their arm to get into bed with the goverement. If I give you money, there will be stipulations. That's the way the game is played. Don't want my money, then borrow it from some religious organization that pays NO taxes. You cannot have it both ways.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Richard Koffarnus

      Not true. The Supreme Court has held for years, and reaffirmed in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2001?), that government Pell grants and subsidized student loans are payments to students who can choose to spend them at the school of their choice, not to the college or university, religious or not. Therefore, they do not violate the First Amendment.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • dg

      Richard K, colleges receive funds directly other than student loans, so your argument falls flat on its face.

      July 19, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  15. anagram_kid

    Yet another reason not to waste tuition and four years of your life being told that a small selection of borrowed and edited fairy tales will somehow magically make you a good person.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Not just a good person, but better than everyone else too!

      July 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • dave rable

      Going to church won't make you a moral person any more than going to college will make you intelligent (it won't). Moral people may choose to adopt a religion or not. Immoral people like you only try to belittle people of faith. I feel sorry for you.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dave,

      how exactly have you concluded that I am immoral?

      Pray, enlighten me, please!

      July 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      To Dave,
      Because telling someone you pity them isn’t belittling in any way shape or form, right?

      July 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Pointing out that someone holds beliefs that have no foundation in fact is not belittling them – it is doing them a kindness and getting them on the road to recovery from their delusions.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- no one loves you..no one has ever loved you or ever will. I am just doing you a kindness and getting you on the road to recovery from your delusions.

      Cruel? Or a justifiable comment?

      July 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Given that I am surrounded by a loving family as I type, you are 100% wrong.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- you are unable to prove that and therefor are wrong

      Also...even if there were such people, their appearance of love is only due to biological instincts or social requirements...and has nothing to do with the concept of love

      July 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Dave R.

      still hoping to hear the wisdom of your judgment.

      Hint, I'll happily cop to sarcastic or maybe even snarky from time to time where it regards pious hypocrites, but I'd still like you to present your thesis.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      Kalessin
      So if I write that you do not wet the bed and I cannot prove that you do not wet the bed, am I wrong and you do wet the bed. If so, I am sure there are pills for that, unless your religion forbid their use.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Your Kreskin act is very very poor. You are making things up without any actual knowledge, much like believers do to sustain their childhood, and childish, beliefs.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @anagram_kid- "So if I write that you do not..."

      If you are foolish enough to try and prove a negative...then who would care what you would say? Obviously you are ignorant.

      Nice try at the insult...an utter fail though on your part.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "You are making things up without any actual knowledge.."

      Incorrect, I see your behavior on here and can make an @ssumption on that.

      Also...Mr. pot calling the kettle black....you are trying to make a statement of fact without evidence. Unless you are too intellectually lazy to prove your thoughts.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @dave r

      Gotta run, so I'll leave you with Luke 6:37
      "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;

      Have a nice evening.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      You are clearly asserting alledged facts about me and my family with zero knowledge.

      My beliefs about gods etc. are in response to claims that gods exist. If you know that you can't prove a negative, you should also know that the burden of proof is on the one making the positive or extraordinary claim, so I have nothing to prove. But similar to what you said above, believers cannot prove their claims so they must be wrong.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      Kalessin
      Your wrote these words to another poster , “no one has ever loved you or ever will” And then complain about others going negative? How very Christian of you....

      July 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Ceri

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls ~ You say you are surrounded by a loving family. Prove it. In fact, prove that love even exists.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Clearly I cannot prove my statements about my loving family, at least not in this forum. But why would you challenge me to prove things when it is obvious that K is making things up? Seems to me you should be challenging "him" to prove his allegations... Re: proving that love exists, I did not raise the subject first and have no interest in such a philosophical discussion but I'm sure you can find many on the web.

      July 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • anagram_kid

      0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls,
      I love you! 🙂

      July 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Prove it! :^)

      July 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- "If you know that you can't prove a negative, you should also know that the burden of proof is on the one making the positive or extraordinary claim, so I have nothing to prove."

      ~Eh..not really...that's a lazy person's answer. You believe that their is no god...therefor logic dicatates that you must feel that someone created that concept. You could very well prove that.

      "But similar to what you said above, believers cannot prove their claims so they must be wrong."

      ~But neither can you.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @anagram_kid- "How very Christian of you...."

      Oddly enough..I've never stated my faith. Are you always guessing instead of knowing what you are talking about?

      You'll forgive me if I also doubt you are much of an authority on what a Christian is or is not.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says the dope too lazy to figure out whether it's "their" or "there".

      Your challenger is correct. Anyone who made it through junior high school knows that one can't prove a negative. That you don't is telling.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- "Clearly I cannot prove my statements about my loving family, at least not in this forum."

      And yet, you expect those of a faith to prove on this forum that their belief is real. Isn't that being hypocritical?

      Lol..I like how you say you are loved and then after you realize you cannot prove it...you want to switch the focus onto me proving love exists. Very funny.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Ah...the stupid little girl is back.

      "whether it's "their" or "there"."

      Thank you...what would we do without the grammar gestapo.

      "Anyone who made it through junior high school knows that one can't prove a negative. That you don't is telling."

      Sadly what is telling is the level of laziness you all have. I have NEVER asked a person to prove a negative on here. I have asked for ppl to prove what they believe. You believe that someone created the concept of god..yes? I have merely asked for that to be proven by others...so far, they have not been able to rise to the challenge.

      July 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It always makes me laugh when people get irritated that I point out their mistakes.

      Dude, I never said a thing about my beliefs. Take a reading comprehension course. I hear Sylvan can help.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son- Lol...CB

      I am not irritated at you for pointing out grammar stuff hun. It's just tragic that you feel it means anything on here. This isn't a college thesis...this is a cnn comment board. Grow up a little bit.

      You have more than once commented on your beliefs on here. You are not recanting those beliefs now are you?

      July 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Now if the most you can offer is grammar tips and petty insults....you might go to another board or play with your dollies. Whatever excites you. 🙂

      July 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have repeatedly stated that I don't believe there is a god. If you can find a "belief" there, go right ahead, dear.

      You appear rather similar to Brony/Clown/Unknown.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OOooh. Must have injured your red candy heart there, Raggedly Andy.

      It's not the most or the best I can do, but the least. I'm happy to help you in any way that appears necessary. Now, Bro, if you're finished with de-ruffling your feathers, you can get on with whatever point you think you have.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son- "I have repeatedly stated that I don't believe there is a god."

      Very good. And.....what? You have no desire or knowledge where the concept of god came from then? I am sorry but that is a very stupid position to take on a belief board.

      Lol...I saw your juvenile attempts of linking user names on the other board. It was amusing to read you "stupid little girl". I have never used any of the usernames you mentioned...I did use CB where I wind you up like a toy quite easily the other day.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Kalessin

      I always find it cute when others who are no doubt upset try to imply that I am. It's ok...you got upset...move on.

      And this line of comments never included you but others. Unless you would want to claim those usernames as your own.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Who invited me?

      Tom...
      OK that last round went to you...keep jabbing , but don't forget to work the body....make sure you keep your feet moving....should be able to go for the knockout in the next round or two but don't rush it....here comes the bell

      DING

      July 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gotcha.

      You're far too easy to spot, sweetie.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Who invited me?- Cut me Mick!

      Hope the reference isn't wasted.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I am sorry but that is a very stupid position to take on a belief board."

      Gee, I must have missed the requirement that I 'take a position' and that it meet anyone else's approval.

      Brony, you're much too obvious.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son- "You're far too easy to spot, sweetie."

      Really? Is that why for two days you kept coming back angry just to be turned away angry?

      I'll be honest, the only reason why I meade the CB username was just to see how easy you were to get fired up. It worked quite well.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "I must have missed the requirement that I 'take a position' and that it meet anyone else's approval."

      Then don't get your p a n t i e s in a bunch when we point out your intellectual laziness on such topics. It's ok, you can deny any and all evidence that ppl provide on these boards without ever offering up a true counter proposal. Just hide behind your "proving the nagative" shield.

      "Brony, you're much too obvious."

      You have no idea how stupid you look right now. Keep it up. I've admitted to every username I've even used sweetness..but that isn't one of them.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Is this just going to be another insult throw fest? We've done it before and nothing gets resolved. Not to mention that the original arguments (way up the list now) get's lost.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Goodness, what a flurry of activity! Why so defensive, Brony?

      Must be a strain to try to disguise yourself when you have such recognizable idiosyncrasies.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, it's "gets", not "get's". And it's "negative".

      You're welcome!

      July 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Kalessin

      "Goodness, what a flurry of activity! Why so defensive, Brony?"

      Lol...that's two looking stupids on your part. Keep them coming dear.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Kalessin

      I guess I got my answer on the whole insult throw fest.

      "such recognizable idiosyncrasies" And what would they be? It is really amusing since I never used that username before.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Get Real

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son,

      Beware of making screen name accusations. It makes you sound like you know who...

      It just does not matter here on these boards.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @Get Real-"It just does not matter here on these boards."

      A lot doesn't matter on these boards that ppl take too seriously. Especially when they have a hard time winning arguments. They tend to focus on things that do not matter at all.

      July 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • Athiests For Freedom Of and From Religion

      K – you are no doubt one of the thickest minds here, only possibly surpassed by HS and Chad...

      Re: proving I am loved – I stated that I could not prove same because it is not physically possible to do so in this forum / format. I will not post personal information here nor provide same to anyone claiming it will be secure.

      Re: proving love is real – I declined to enter into an off-tangent debate that has probably been thrashed out a million+ times in high school classes.

      Re: putting the burden to prove love exists on you – I did no such thing; I merely indicated you should be able to find numerous proofs on the web.

      Re: hypocritically demanding believers prove there is a god – any believer with factual, objective, verifiable and independent evidence should be able to post pointers to same here trivially. Personal testimony, without independent verification, does not constitute evidence.

      If you do not understand the simple concepts of "he who makes the extraordinary claim has the burden of proof" (and the extraordinary clain is that there are any gods) and "you cannot prove a negative," there is no point in further discussion – you are either incredibly stupid (probably while thinking you are incredibly brilliant) or otherwise mentally deficient, and it is not nice to toy with the dumb and the disabled.

      July 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      And yes, I just used another name which I made up specifically for the muslim mosque topic – oh the horror!

      July 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Calm yourself down young man. Why so serious.
      Ok..using another name so you don't feel out of sorts.

      "I stated that I could not prove same because it is not physically possible to do so in this forum / format."

      There are those that would also make that claim on their faith.

      "I will not post personal information here nor provide same to anyone claiming it will be secure."

      I never really expected you to.

      "I declined to enter into an off-tangent debate that has probably been thrashed out a million+ times in high school classes."

      You declined after you realized it was an intellectual trap you couldn't win. High school? Try college and everyday life as well. Oh..that's right, this is your attempt to try and make this argument out to be beneath you. Nice try I suppose.

      "putting the burden to prove love exists on you"

      It does? Highly doubtful since I did not say it does not does not exist. I merely said no one loved you. You filled in the definition of what "love" means subconciously.

      "Personal testimony, without independent verification, does not const itute evidence."

      On this type of forum...you would be incorrect.

      I am sorry that you do not like the topic to be pointed in a direction you are not prepped for. But if you feel there is no god..then you must feel that a person created that god. Correct? I'm just curious if you can scientifically prove such a person to exist. I think that would be very extraordinary don't you?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      You need to re-read this one "Re: putting the burden to prove love exists on you..." as you clearly missed the point.

      Why all the deflection about proving the existence of god? As in, why go off on a tangent about love, why ask about scientifically proving a person created a god? It is clear that someone, or something if want to believe that it was a supernatural being, caused most of mankind to believe that there are gods. It is equally clear that not a shred of evidence for any god has ever been provided. The hypotheses (that there are gods) fails for lack of evidence. In any other domain, especially after 2,000+ years of believers floundering at providing a factual basis for their childhood beliefs, the hypotheses would be discarded.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- "Why all the deflection about proving the existence of god? As in, why go off on a tangent about love,"

      Not a deflection at all but a comparative study. Most would swear that love exists and that they are loved. Most believe that their is some divine being out there. Many, like you, say there is no god because of lack of evidence. Especially here on forums like this one. I am merely pointing out that many things that are considered "real" cannot be proven on here and therefor doesn't make the unability to prove god on here special or unique.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I am not the least bit surprised that you cannot differentiate between an intangible emotion or feeling, and an alledged physical being alledgedly affecting, on a personal level, the lives of billions of followers, none of whom can come up with a shred of independent, verifiable, objective or fact based evidence for the existence of said being.

      July 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Kalessin

      @0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls- "I am not the least bit surprised that you cannot differentiate between an intangible emotion or feeling"

      Oy...believing you are loved it not an emotion. Try to keep up slick.

      I am curious, what evidence would show to you that there is a divine being?

      July 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow. What an overreaction! Do you always get so wound up, Kalessin/Swain/Lycidas etc.?

      July 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What idiosyncrasies? Oh, the "get's" deal is a dead giveaway. You've made that error repeatedly, honey.

      Your outrage is another one. Why so put out? Methinks thou doth protest too much.

      July 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Kalessin

      Outrage? Oh..you mean like when I used the "CB" username and made a fool out of you. Yes...you were quite angry then,

      That's it? I make an error that someone else made and that means I am them? You are an idiot. But please...ignore the good advice you were given earlier and keep trying to link usernames...it's funny 🙂

      Btw, you cited the usernames I have used...very good. Guess what? I've admitted to using those and those are the only ones I have used here. Think about that for a moment.

      July 20, 2012 at 7:40 am |
    • Kalessin

      And "Honey"? Oh you stupid little girl...you can do better than that.

      July 20, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  16. kensolar

    It's a shame that the government is taking away their freedom to take away other peoples freedoms..

    July 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • DNA

      Obviously, you don't need contraception when you are raping a little boy, so I can see why the Catholic Church is against it.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  17. Simple Bob

    I don't think the government should force colleges or universities to cover contraception by their insurance companies when they are so closely tied to a religious organization because it is against their natural beliefs . This seems too close to violating separation of church and state to me. For other colleges and universities I think it's ok to mandate that coverage.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • prof

      i would agree, but these schools, yes religious schools, accept government funding...and need it to survive. Most or all of their students receive gov't loans and grants...they want the money but no rules attached to the money. And that's not right.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Chris

      This is the first step. Next they will use data that show anti-cancer drugs (and many other medications) cause abortions and will refuse to cover those.
      And employees of Jehova witnesses will need to pay blood trasfusons out of pocket.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I thought slippery slope arguments were reserved for evangelicals opposed to same seex marriage?

      July 19, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  18. Steve

    Please God, make religion go away, it only hurts people in the long run.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  19. wert

    First cut off that funding i bet they wise up real quick.

    July 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
  20. CBR

    The first thing that people do is sue. They do not try to work issues through. Unfortunately, this news is not surprising – just sad.

    July 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No the first thing that happened here is the administration currently in power issued a health care mandate which many perceive as unconstiitutional. The legal system in this country is designed to give redress for the violation of people's rights. It helps prevent civil war and anarchy.

      July 19, 2012 at 9:11 am |
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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.