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

Supreme Court delays contraception mandate for two Catholic nonprofits

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

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

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

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

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

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. Alias

    It is not legal to hire or fire someone based on religion.
    Even if all the employees in these groups claim to be catholic, what if one changes their mind?
    Why does a religion have the right to tell a doctor what they can and cannot prescrie for a patient?

    This is clearly and obviously a case of a religion attempting to infringe on someone's rights.

    January 2, 2014 at 10:31 am |
    • G to the T

      If christian believed in free will, I would think they'd be more interested in taking personal responsibility than trying to dictate what a person can or cannot do from "above" (i.e. the employment/government level).

      January 2, 2014 at 10:43 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Have you ever noticed that nobody ever says: "Please pass this law so that I won't be able to do something I know I should stop."? Nope – it is always something they hate to see their neighbors doing.
        Stop them "for their own good" — not because those who want to ban something claim to be harmed by it.

        January 2, 2014 at 10:51 am |
        • Alias

          Ever notice how few laws are just for our own good?
          If it isn't protecting someone from harm, it goes against the idea of living in a free country.

          January 2, 2014 at 10:56 am |
        • G to the T

          Absolutely agree with what both of you are saying. Certainly both parties are guilty in their own ways but it certainly seems to be more extreme these days (nanny state vs fundamentalist morality police).

          January 2, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • Alias

          The Nanny State bothers me less than the Morality Police.
          I see their motivations as being the major difference.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:08 am |
    • Responding to the Pride

      "Why does a religion have the right to tell a doctor what they can and cannot prescrie for a patient?" Is that what is going on here? I thought they simply didn't want to pay for the service (or at least make health insurance available for their employees that included contraception coverage.) Where did you get that they have the right to follow their employee into the medical exam and start dictating?

      January 2, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • Alias

        I did not say they were going to follow anyone into an exam.
        Ask an intelligent question and I might respond.

        January 2, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Responding to the Pride

          Nice deflection–are you really that dense? O.k., let's try this again...whether in the examination room or somewhere outside of it....? Your turn.

          January 2, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          I think a better way to handle this is for all companies to claim to be religious in some way that allows them to be able to boss around the US government and tell them which laws they are not going to follow because of their religious views.

          January 2, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
  2. 2 EASY

    LOL

    20 minutes and they r finished.
    nice try

    January 2, 2014 at 10:25 am |
    • hharri faith

      You need a better lover.

      January 2, 2014 at 10:41 am |
  3. o LAWRENCE. CALLING LARRY

    COME ON DM, Let her answer

    January 2, 2014 at 10:21 am |
    • hharri faith

      So answer, dipwad.

      January 2, 2014 at 10:44 am |
  4. Doc Vestibule

    Why do Catholics oppose birth control?
    The condemnation of birth control stems from their belief that God wants humans to spew forth as many cro/tch critters as possible in order to populate heaven and to "be fruitful and multiply" (gen 1:28).
    To purposely countermand God's will to breed like rabbits is to lie to the Holy Spirit in the same way that Ananias and Saphira did in Acts 5 : 1-11 when they held back a portion of their gift to God. God's slaying of that couple is one of the few instances of divine wrath in the New Testament.
    They also believe that many forms of birth control, like IUDs and the pill, are actually forms of abortion and therefore consti.tute murder.
    There is also a heavy emphasis on self-denial as a path to righteousness amongst Catholics, this stemming from Matthew 16:24 in which Jesus says "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."
    For Catholics in terrible marriages, God allows separation (and therefore lifelong abstinence) but not divorce.
    It was the apostle Paul's opinion that it was far better to be single and abstinent, but marry if you can't control your loins.
    "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion." (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)
    There is also the old fear of witches and warlocks and their ungodly potions which God condemns in Gal. 5:20 and Apoc. 9:21. Today's sorcerers are pharmaceutical biochemists.
    But most of all, the scripture cited by Catholics in regards to contraception is Genesis 38:9.
    In that uplifting story, God commanded a fellow named Onan to impregnate his sister in law.
    They repeatedly got jiggy, but Onan kept pulling out at the critical moment. For this transgression, God killed him.

    January 2, 2014 at 10:06 am |
  5. betty from lebanon

    are visible and detectable, so we know that it exists,

    what effects r visible and detectable?

    jesus was a great moral teacher

    January 2, 2014 at 9:41 am |
    • boober of balogna

      plus, one would expect if gods really was, we would c proof that they had done somethin measurable, somethin we could c the effects of or some indication or hint that they was around. we got nothin but some old rocks and hot gas

      January 2, 2014 at 10:00 am |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      The character Jesus was hardly a great moral teacher, have you ever read the bible?

      January 2, 2014 at 10:00 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        Jesus did indeed have a lot of good to teach.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with a message of humility, compassion, charity and forgiveness.
        It's His Dad that is immoral, genocidal, vengeful, smitey, petty, and jealous.

        January 2, 2014 at 10:11 am |
        • Honey Badger Don't Care

          Jesus also condoned slavery and taught that you are suppoed to hate your mother and father (which is a sin by the way).

          January 2, 2014 at 10:17 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Again, it was His Daddy that gave the explicit instructions about how to buy, sell and treat slaves.
          Christ's words indicate more of a tacit acceptance of the inst/itution.
          Perhaps a rather fine distinction, but still....

          January 2, 2014 at 10:45 am |
        • Dyslexic doG

          but isn't jesus actually his daddy and his daddy is actually jesus and there is a holy ghost that is actually part of them both ...

          January 2, 2014 at 11:41 am |
      • DOC DOC THE THIRD ONE

        plus, one would expect if gods really was, we would c proof that they had done somethin measurable, somethin we could c the effects of or some indication or hint that they was around. we got nothin but some old rocks and hot gas

        talk 2 observer

        January 2, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • DOC DOC THE THIRD ONE

        Jesus did indeed have a lot of good to teach.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with a message of humility, compassion, charity and forgiveness.

        he repeated what many already said. see sam stone b.s. 12 vs 4

        January 2, 2014 at 10:14 am |
      • DOC DOC THE THIRD ONE

        plus, we no jesus was a delusional huckster and scammer

        c observer 2 vs 90

        January 2, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  6. betty from lebanon

    are visible and detectable, so we know that it exists,

    what effects r visible and detectable?

    January 2, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  7. betty from lebanon

    The effects of gawd are not visible nor detectable, so we know that gawds don't exists, and we just don't know what form of energy gawds is or their methods of operation.

    Cpt. Crunch

    The effects of dark energy

    the effects of dark energy? like what?

    January 2, 2014 at 9:29 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I would advise you to educate yourself on what dark energy is. Perhaps a good starting point would be wikipedia, and you can go from there. The point is, the energy scientists labeled "dark energy" is sooooo prevalent (everywhere in space) and causes such drastic results (expansion of the fabric of space and time/reality) that it demanded attention and a name.

      January 2, 2014 at 9:43 am |
      • captain video

        agreed. and as devout believers in no gods, we no gods have no effects that r measurable, visible or nothin else.

        January 2, 2014 at 9:54 am |
  8. betty from lebanon

    The effects of gawd are not visible nor detectable, so we know that gawds don't exists, and we just don't know what form of energy gawds is or their methods of operation.

    January 2, 2014 at 9:26 am |
    • Lyndell

      "The effects of gawd are not visible nor detectable, so we know that gawds don't exists"

      Wow, that is the dumbest quote of the day. Congrats.

      January 2, 2014 at 11:15 am |
  9. Eric G

    Please provide any verifiable evidence that your god, or any gods exist.

    Until existence is proven, any claims of knowledge of any gods actions, abilities or desires are intellectually dishonest.

    January 2, 2014 at 8:54 am |
    • hanky panky of portugal

      gods don't exist cause i don't like any of them, even zeus or buddha or horrus

      January 2, 2014 at 8:58 am |
      • igaftr

        Buddha was a man...not a god.

        January 2, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • rehiok

          prove it

          January 2, 2014 at 9:00 am |
        • rehiok

          u r delusional.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:02 am |
        • rehiok

          u r delusional. if u don't agree with my beliefs and dogma, u r delusional and full of the nasty

          January 2, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • rehiok

          i suppose u think dark energy exists!

          January 2, 2014 at 9:05 am |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          The effects of dark energy are visible and detectable, so we know that it exists, we just don't know what form of energy it is or its method of operation.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:13 am |
    • hanky panky of portugal

      yea. no gods cause they r vindictive

      January 2, 2014 at 9:00 am |
    • Eric G

      Nothing? Not one piece of verifiable evidence?

      January 2, 2014 at 10:16 am |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    So Catholic employers don't want to provide coverage for contraception.
    Jehovah's Witnesses won't want to cover blood transfusions.
    Scientologists won't cover any mental health related medical costs.
    I guess Christian Scientists shouldn't have to provide ANY medical coverage at all!

    What are pharmaceutical biochemists but today's sorceror's, witches and alchemists anyways.

    January 2, 2014 at 8:36 am |
    • Doris

      Jesussavesillin 500mg tab.

      Take only one pill as directed for pain caused by original sin.

      LOT 1____________________Expires 12-31-98

      Dr. Luke

      January 2, 2014 at 8:57 am |
      • Doris

        (that's the year 98, not 1998; lol)

        January 2, 2014 at 8:59 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      A Few Other Christian Sects that Oppose Medical Care

      Christian Scientists believe that anybody can channel Christ's magical healing powers

      if they just adhere to the doctrine laid out by their founder, Mary Baker Eddy, back

      in the 1800's – thus making medical care unnecessary.
      Many of their followers have died due to negligence, includign 11 year old Ian Lundman

      who died of diabetes, 12 year old Elizabeth King who died of treatable cancer,and

      Michael Schram who died of a ruptured appendix at age 12.

      Believers from the Faith Tabernacle say that the Bible opposes all medical and

      surgical practices. They've got around 20,000 members. Some of their infants have

      died during childbirth, which is done at home and usually without so much as a

      midwife. Two kids, Melina Fridenberger (18 weeks) and Clayton Nixon (8 years) died of

      dehydration.

      Charles Meade, head of the End Time Ministries, preaches that illness is the work of

      The Devil brought on by lack of faith or unconfessed sin. They've lost many infants

      thanks to their refusal to seek any medical advice or assistance during birthing.

      The Church of the Firstborn's steadfast refusal of medicine forced the Oklahaoma

      legislature to change their religion exemption law after 9 year old Jason Lockhart

      died of appendicitis. There is now an addendum that "medical care shall be provided

      where permanent physical damage could result to a child."

      In Ohio, death rates among female members of the Faith Assembly in childbirth are 870

      percent higher than among Indiana women in general.
      Death rates among their infants were 270 percent higher than the statewide average.

      At least 5 kids dies of easily treatable illnesses becuase their parents were

      followers of The Christ Miracle Healing Center in Arizona.

      January 2, 2014 at 9:03 am |
      • Doris

        Disgusting & idiotic. Unnecessary suffering upon children and infants at the hands religious nuttery.

        January 2, 2014 at 9:09 am |
        • doolittle of dorchester

          u tell em.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:13 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          No kidding.
          I had a disgustingly long list of examples from which to chose, but I picked the ones that are the most obviously preventable with standard medicine.
          Infant mortality rates are a tiny fraction of what they were 100 years ago precisely becuase of advancements in medicine.
          Diabetes is easily controllable with proper medication and appendectomies are very low risk and done every day.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:14 am |
    • Shadowflash1522

      Good point. I can think of lots of other reasons why this is a bad idea, but that one never crossed my mind.

      Thanks for stirring the intellectual pot 🙂

      January 2, 2014 at 11:17 am |
  11. wesleyan snake handlers

    plus, god is mean and nasty and throws everybody into hell

    January 2, 2014 at 8:29 am |
  12. wesleyan snake handlers

    i no there ain't no god cause i don't believe there is

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

      What if I said that I don't believe that you exist, does that mean that you don't exist? Nope. Your belief has no impact on truth.

      January 2, 2014 at 8:45 am |
      • pete otoole

        u r a phoney

        January 2, 2014 at 8:53 am |
      • pete otoole

        u r a phoney.

        lol. and an idiot.

        January 2, 2014 at 8:54 am |
      • Lawrence of Arabia

        pete otoole,
        Why is that? Because post modern thinking isn't logical?

        January 2, 2014 at 8:56 am |
      • K-switch

        And if you say your God exists, it doesn't mean He does.

        January 2, 2014 at 9:01 am |
        • charlie of capernium

          if i say he don't exist, u prove that he will heal my big toe

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

        You're right. Belief has no impact on truth. However I'm fairly certain I could launch an investigation given time and resources to confirm that poster wesleyan snake handlers does indeed exist. Can you do likewise for God?

        January 2, 2014 at 9:03 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Yep.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:06 am |
        • AtheistSteve

          Liar.

          January 2, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      • Woody

        "What if I said that I don't believe that you exist, does that mean that you don't exist?" – LoA

        When god magically appears in my living room, shows me a photo ID proving that he/she/it is really god, then I'll believe. Until that happens, the existence of your god (or any other god) is hearsay.

        January 2, 2014 at 11:39 am |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Luke 16:31 – But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

          January 2, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • BRC

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          That's a silly passage. Of course someone will take more weight from witnessing the "impossible" then from hearing someone else say the impossible is real. If your kid says there are monsters under the bed you don't actually believe there are, but if you look ith your own eyes and there is actually a 6 eyed furry red monster with giant claws stairing back at you, then you're gonna huddle under the blankets too. peopel lie, often, not believing them when they say things that dissagree with the observable world around us isn't a bad thing, it's common sense.

          January 2, 2014 at 11:55 am |
        • Woody

          "......If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets,......"

          Moses, if he actually existed, was either the P T Barnum of his day or a delusional psycho. The same could be said about the "prophets".

          January 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
        • Fan2C

          Lawrence of Arabia,
          " ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

          This "God" is totally stumped for a way to make its existence confirmed?... ah, the poor weak, incompetent being...

          January 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
  13. Honey Badger Don't Care

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

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

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

      i support athies who make violent threats against elected officials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        my beliefs r true

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

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

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

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

        cause they r dogmatic

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

        i believe i'm right

        i no more than god believers

        cause they r dogmatic

        i am not a crook

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

          I believe you're clinically insane.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          L of A

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

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

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

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

          LoA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          the bible funny BS !

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Cheech & Chong Read the Bible

          It is funny or die stuff !

          funnyordie.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Actually, that wasn't from an apologist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        theantirepublcrat

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Good grief, what a deluded nitwit.

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

    Love those pink beanies. Where can I get one ?

    January 2, 2014 at 12:01 am |
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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.