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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. lol??

    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Servants gone wild, errr feral!!
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    lol??
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Pwogwessives are never satisfied doin' their copycattin'. You're fergettin' the Beast the bullies built. It's in charge of EVERYTHING. Its Inquisitions are held every April 15th. Send all the dough to Washington for laundering. Readers would be shocked at how many of the commenters are little Beastie Public Servants or contractors. Don't ferget the educratists who complete the circle, err church who keep the supply coming and going. They are VERY efficient at makin' the next generation into slaves. The Frankfurt School will getcha every time.

    January 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
    • lol??

      New York style pizza for me, hold the anchovy.

      January 3, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Readers would be shocked at how many of the commenters are little Beastie Public Servants or contractors."
      Lying for the cause, standard Christian doctrine, right ?

      January 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
      • lol??

        Ima contractor myself.

        January 3, 2014 at 10:20 pm |
  2. bostontola

    Every person I know has a different set of beliefs, atheists and religious. Some agree on the big items but differ on details. Beliefs fall along a spectrum and each individual falls someplace on that spectrum. Your spot can change as your beliefs get refined.

    Taking 3 representative spots on that spectrum:

    1. God is as the bible defines. The universe was created by God. The bible is truth. When scientific knowledge conflicts with the bible, science is wrong and may discover its error in the future.

    2. God created the universe. God utilized natural law to do so. There are no conflicts between God's creation and science because God is natural. As science advances, its description of nature is a better depiction of God's tool.

    January 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • bostontola

      Premature post.

      3. There is no Gods. The universe and life arose naturally with no help.

      I see little difference between 2 and 3. 1 is not realistic given the bible's internal conflicts, errors of fact, and poor moral example.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I actually agree with your post. The only thing I would ask or perhaps not understand is why would you dismiss 1.
        I acknowledge your reason, however you should leave room just in case your current knowledge is limited. You would agree none of us knows everything.
        I heard but did not verify that currently knowledge doubles every 6 mths. So who knows, the possibility exists that in 6 mths you and I will know twice as much as we do now.

        January 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm |
        • bostontola

          JB,
          It is daunting that humanity is acc.umulating knowledge at such an acceleration. It is exciting for me to imagine where it will go.

          I respect everyone's right to believe what they want. I can't believe in any docu.mented religion because all the ones I've studied have beautiful but factually wrong creation stories. The bible specifically also has logical inconsistencies, and the morality of its God conflicts with my moral compass.

          January 3, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          I don't have much time, but I want you to consider this... perhaps can discuss it another time.
          We're made of particles of quantum energy.
          These are some of the properties of quantum particles:
          1. They're visible particles
          2. They can be invisible – i.e. they're still there, they've only changed their form.
          3. A Q.P. can exist in one place
          4. Q.P. can exist in two places or many places at the same time AND they're always connected.
          5. Q,P. can communicate with themselves in the past and in the future. (Will explain this later)

          Remember, we're made of Quantum Particles.
          Can we do everything Q.P. says or that we know to be true about Q.P.?

          My Answer: Absolutely Yes – It's all in the Bible. (Will explain later)

          January 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm |
        • Jesus' Beloved

          Worth noting or just a reminder, the Bible already prophesied the explosion of knowledge in the last days.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
        • Observer

          Jesus' Beloved.

          I agree completely with bostontola's comment.

          The "explosion" of information could have been claimed many times throughout history. Look at the huge impact of the first printing press HUNDREDS of years ago. Nothing new for the claim. All claims from the past did not materialize for being the "end days"..

          January 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Jesus,

          While I agree that I may shortly find much of what I believe is wrong, that the Bible presents at best a grossly inaccurate god is one I'm pretty confident on. That 1+1 will sill=2 is up there, too.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm |
        • RB

          Bostontola

          How does your moral compass conflict with God?

          January 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
        • Observer

          RB,

          It's likely that NO ONE has the same moral compass as God fortunately. There isn't much support for slavery and other discriminations as well as beating people with rods. Same for most people about selling their daughters.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:10 pm |
        • bostontola

          RB,
          I feel that punishing 4 generations of a transgressor is immoral, those descendants were innocent of those crimes.

          I feel that punishment should be proportional to a crime, e.g. manslaughter should have less consequences than murder 1. To punish people with eternal horror is immoral.

          I feel that condoning slavery is inconsistent with my morality.

          I feel that placing women in a subservient role is immoral.

          There are more examples, but that should make the point.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm |
        • RB

          No doubt, but people were doing those things at that time. God lets us do what we will. Reminds me of when Jesus was chewing out the Pharisees, he told them it was because of the hardness of their heart that they were allowed to divorce their wives.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm |
        • RB

          Bostontola

          I noticed you are in total agreement with God on manslaughter & murder. God told them to kill murderes, but provided sanctuary cities for those who commited manslaughter.

          On eternal punishment, can God be just without punishing the guilty?
          Would half an eternity be ok? What would you recommend?

          January 3, 2014 at 10:37 pm |
        • Observer

          RB

          "people were doing those things at that time. God lets us do what we will"

          This seems to be a standard excuse that God was being politically correct at the time. Let's just forget about ALL the killing ordered by God then. So why doesn't "politically correct" apply to gay marriage today? Sadly, it's just a matter of picking-and-choosing what you agree with.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          JB
          Would love for you to provide some references about you statements about particle physics, not some garbage science from an apologist site, but possibly some peer reviewed conclusions/papers from the physicists at CERN, for example. I do hope you come back and explain your conclusions, that would be interesting.

          January 4, 2014 at 6:15 am |
      • Jesus' Beloved

        I absolutely cannot go without letting you know you have a very wrong idea of who God is.

        Read about David and his promise to Jonathan, and what happened to Mephiboshet as a result of wrong information due to misunderstanding.
        David is a type – represents God
        Jonathan is a type – represents Jesus
        Mephiboshet – represents the World

        Mephiboshet was made lame because his nanny thought David was coming to take over, and to kill M. in order to reign when nothing could be further from the truth. David loved M. He honored his blood covenant made with J.

        In the same way, the world is made lame due to wrong information, wrong belief, wrong doctrine about God. They think God is out to get them, that He is punishing etc.
        Just look at Jesus and you will see the Father. Jesus said, I do all that I see my Father doing. Jesus only did good, so Father only did good.
        God is light and in Him there is no darkness.

        Great Blessings and Holy Spirit overwhelm bostontola with the Love of the Father. May he not be able to escape the warmth of Father's embrace. In Jesus name I pray. amen.

        January 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
        • bostontola

          JB,
          I am happy that you find your religion and God fulfilling.

          It is interesting that almost every generation since Jesus read into the bible text that the end would happen soon. Your statement about the explosion of information predicted by the bible is an example.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I just wouldn't be able to spend eternity with some terrorist azzhole who is allowing human beings to suffer torture forever and ever. The only being that deserves eternal torture is the one who would allow such a place to exist when he could destroy it. I couldn't serve god in heaven because I'd be trying to beat up the azzhole in between vomiting bouts at his disgusting behavior.

        January 3, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
    • Vic

      Catching on late in the game with this discussion, I would like to say this:
      '
      Obviously, the above three categories correspond to Christians who believe in "creation" as opposed to "evolution," Christians and/or whoever believes in a God and "evolution," and atheists, respectively.

      Well, there is an incredible "oversimplification" problem with the premise that 2 & 3 have only a little difference. That premise makes no difference between the existence or non-existence of God, let alone undermining God, for starters.

      There is a monumental difference between 2 and 3 at best, and drastically more fundamental than the difference between 1 and 2. The difference is the "Existence of God," "Creation" and the "Divine Will & Wisdom of God" in how to do things—for the sake of argument, if God used "evolution" as the tool to craft life and the species, it would still be God who created "Nature," including "matter," and all its mechanisms. Furthermore, 3 is a quantum leap from "creation" to "abiogenesis." and "atheistic evolution!"

      That is a common uncritical acceptance of the simple-to-complex by non-theists!

      January 3, 2014 at 11:50 pm |
      • bostontola

        Maybe you didn't read the first paragraph of the OP. I said everyone has their own set of beliefs. I specifically chose 3 points, not all points. Regarding 2 and 3, there is little difference if you read them. In 2, God does not vary from nature at all. There is no way to tell if God is there or not. It matters little if God created the universe or not. You read your own God into it.

        January 4, 2014 at 12:16 am |
        • Vic

          I read the OP very clearly and regretfully notice the extreme bias against Christianity to the extent of attempting to bridge the gigantic gap between 2 and 3 and dismissing 1.

          It is a clear cut between believing in God and not. It is a clear cut between believing in "creation" or "abiogenesis & atheistic evolution."

          January 4, 2014 at 12:25 am |
        • bostontola

          Vic,
          You are demonstrating bias, not me. I was clear in my definitions and that this is opinion. In my opinion there is little difference between 2 and 3. You presume to tell me my opinion is wrong? Facts can be right and wrong, opinions are yours and mine. Feel free to to support your opinion. Since there is no way to detect God 2, and God 2 never exerts super natural force, it matters little to humans. Your God may be more involving, but them it isn't God 2, it is a different God along the spectrum I spoke of.

          January 4, 2014 at 12:40 am |
  3. Professor Knows

    Arthur Miller was not a Christian. Not that anyone said he was. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew this.

    January 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
    • ?

      Lol. Thanks.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
  4. GH Manager

    Adolf Hitler was not a Christian and replaced the Bible with Mein Kampf in the schools.

    He did NOT believe in the God portrayed in the Bible.

    January 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
    • Observer

      GH Manager,

      Probably not. He just depended on the support of Christians who believed his proclamations of belief in God.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
      • lol??

        No disputing his handling of the opposition, just like Saddam Budweiser, errr Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikrit and the CNN HAHA socie moderatin' mob.

        January 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
      • lol??

        The SS had a socie science method of procreatin'.

        January 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • lol??

          I am interested in the socie ways of procreatin. I obsess endlessly. Pizza too

          January 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
    • Bagel Mode

      GH Manager, it is pretty well documented that Hitler claimed to believe in the Christian god, at least in his early days in power-seeking. That evil man is (fortunately) long dead now, but that also means that you cannot interactively examine him to try to prove your statements – which do have a ring of No True Scotsmen to them.

      Whatever Hitler believed or didn't believe has no bearing on the veracity of your own beliefs.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • Sequencer

        Saying something like (fill in the blank) was not a Christian is not helpful. Unless you are talking about somebody good, like Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin.

        January 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • Laurel

          That made no sents.

          January 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
  5. christiansteve

    Well lawri, at least explain to ur brethren how dark matter can't exist. no such thing

    January 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
    • christiansteve

      I like sausage pizza.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm |
    • WASP

      you do know the term "dark" as in matter and energy means unknown in scienctific terms, correct?

      i love how people use layman terms and mix them up for their scienctific counter-parts. it's hilarious.

      January 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
      • cross eyed mary

        Thanks lawri! Now, y do u love jesus? Take ur time. B thorough! Phoney pharisee

        January 3, 2014 at 9:36 pm |
  6. Observer

    Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian and thought the Bible contained far more NONSENSE that verses worth saving.

    He did NOT believe in the God portrayed in the Bible.

    January 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
    • Doug B

      "They are the result of a life of inquiry & reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other. "

      Thomas Jefferson

      January 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
      • Observer

        Doug B,
        \
        Jefferson did NOT BELIEVE that Jesus was the DIVINE son of God.

        January 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm |
        • Doug B

          " I am a Christian." Thomas Jefferson

          January 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
        • Doug B

          "...different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions."

          January 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Observer

          Doug B,

          You missed the KEY part for the non-Christian Thomas Jefferson:

          "ascribing to himself every HUMAN excellence; & BELIEVING HE NEVER CLAIMED ANY OTHER. "

          January 3, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
        • Doug B

          I never said he was a Christian. But he did.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • Observer

          Doug B,

          You have taken that out of context. He certainly didn't believe that Jesus is divine, which is the MOST IMPORTANT tenet of a Christian.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!"

          Jefferson was not a Christian. He cut out all of the offensive and supernatural parts of the Christian Bible leaving only what he believed to be the moral teachings of Jesus. Without those, you don't have Christian teachings, and you don't have a Christian.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
        • Doug B

          That quote is in the Jefferson Bible.

          He concludes that quote I pasted:

          " I am moreover averse to the communication of my religious tenets to the public, because it would countenance the presumption of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to er*ct itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience which the laws have so justly proscribed. It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circ*mstances, become his own. It behooves him, too, in his own case, to give no example of concession, betraying the common right of independent opinion, by answering questions of faith which the laws have left between God and himself. Accept my affectionate salutations. "

          January 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
        • Doug B

          I never said he was a Christian.

          But he himself said he was a Christian. Go find his grave and yell at it for his error.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Youtube video - "Context!!!!!"

          And I need to add, neither were Paine, Franklin, and Adams.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm |
        • Observer

          “The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”
          - Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 1/24/1814

          January 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm |
        • Observer

          “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
          - Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, 4/13/1820

          January 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm |
        • Frank

          He was either a deist or a Christian, depending on your definition of Christianity. He was a follower of Jesus’ teachings but didn’t believe in his divinity. According to his definition of Christianity...he was a Christian.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
        • Observer

          Frank,

          How many Christians say Jesus wasn't the direct son of God?

          Get serious.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
        • Frank

          How many Christians on here said Thomas Jefferson was a Christian? 0. (Well, unless you count Thomas Jefferson, who said he was a Christian. But you say he wasn't a real Christian so his vote doesn't count).

          January 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
        • Observer

          Frank,

          You've missed comments from Christians on these blogs.

          January 3, 2014 at 7:57 pm |
        • Frank

          No, I saw it. Somebody posted a bogus quote about Thomas Jefferson. I couldn't find anything to back up the quote, just a posting on an anti-atheist webpage. It didn't say anything about Jesus, Christianity or Christians, though. And the poster made no claims that she was Christian or that Jefferson was Christian.

          January 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
        • Observer

          Frank,

          We are both right. I said "on these BLOGS", not "on this blog". I have seen several Christians quote Jefferson for support.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm |
        • Frank

          It is fine to quote Jefferson. He was for religious freedom.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm |
        • Observer

          Frank,

          Yes, Jefferson was a brilliant (although slightly hypocritical) person with an insatiable desire to learn. I wouldn't be surprised if in these days of knowledge of Darwin and amazing scientific discoveries, that he might be an agnostic today.

          If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend going to Monticello.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
  7. Topher

    Surprised there isn't a story on the big debate.

    January 3, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
  8. Colin

    If altar boys could get pregnant, contraception would be a blessing and abortion would be a sacrament.

    January 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
    • ?

      Wonder if the pedo priests wear condoms?

      January 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  9. Test

    Testing. 1. 2. 3.

    January 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
    • Test

      Thanks, Mac. That was very kind of you.

      January 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm |
      • Mac

        It is my pleasure to help all people. Regardless of their beliefs.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
      • Test

        Me, too.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • Mac

        Must be your first day, lol.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
      • Test

        That obvious, hu. LOL! 🙂

        January 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
      • Mac

        lol. Love Our Lord! lol.

        January 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm |
      • Test

        lol!

        January 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      • Mac

        So what have you been doing the past few days?

        January 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Test

        I've been on a private island down south! No cars, not internet for a whole week. It is good to get logged back in. lol I started to go through internet withdrawals. lol.

        January 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • Mac

        I haven't logged in since Kwanza! Argh! I was going through withdrawals, too. lol. I need internet anonymous.

        January 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
      • Test

        !LOL!

        January 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        Mac: It most definitely isn't Test's first day. In fact Test comes here and posts the same crap regularly and then insults non-believers incessantly. Don't fall for the trolls and liars. That same list has been posted numerous times over for this troll/liar.
        The best thing to do is report abuse on this person, he/she just likes to waste blog space.

        January 4, 2014 at 5:55 am |
    • lol??

      The mob does a masterful job of moderatin', more than any mechanical word filter could ever dream of.

      January 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
      • midwest rail

        As do you with your multiple screen names – moderating your own posts to remove the replies you don't like.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
      • Observer

        midwest rail,

        Yes. It shows a complete lack of any INTEGRITY or HONESTY.

        January 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    A look at the cost structure of the ACA, for those interested. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Good luck.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7Y-5rjsaJY&list=TLMOgWGQYq8GihSLPEpPcniqnf0T6ZVT6L

    January 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Unfortunately I'm at work therefore I can't see the video. So I don't know if you are pro or con.

      January 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
      • lol??

        lol??
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Plenty of cons are PRO's.

        lol??
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        lol??
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Don't let the twerps twerk ya. Make sure their doctrines fall in line with their new chaplain's fantasies at Harvard.

        January 3, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
        • lol??

          Twerpin pepperoni pizza for me.

          January 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm |
  11. Reality # 2

    Not so fast Kenny M: insurance-supplied co-ndoms (less than 50 cents each) and Pills (less than one dollar each)

    (if you can afford to have intercourse, you should be able to afford your own supplies)

    Then there is this nitty-gritty:

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

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

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

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

    Added information before making your next move:

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

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

    And from:

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

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

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

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

    Followed by:

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

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

    January 3, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You need to get out more. Yes if you don't have s3x you wont get pregnant. That isn't reality. The next best thing is to make birth control easily available. I gurantee you, if men got pregnant I'd bet my life that birth control would be available like chewing gum.

      January 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
      • cross eyed mary

        Geniuses. Not ur reality but reality.

        January 3, 2014 at 11:17 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          I didn't complete the sentence I was thinking. I was trying to say that expecting people not to have s3x isn't reality. My bad.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        But abstinence is a form of contraception and therefore is listed as one as is masturbation.

        January 4, 2014 at 12:22 am |
        • 00 00

          false and funny.

          plus, abstinence may include self-abuse, 2. unthinkable to heathen

          January 4, 2014 at 7:38 am |
    • ?

      Show me an insurance policy that dies supply condoms.
      They're over the counter, same as aspirin.

      Gimme a break.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        Obviously, the ACA will now make "condoms" and Pills "free". This will not change the Brutal Effect of Stupidity".

        January 4, 2014 at 12:20 am |
  12. Doug

    You might be living off love but your killing the chickens.

    January 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Ann

    The mistake was in allowing any religious exceptions to begin with. Once they get their foot in the door, they want everything to be adjusted to their beliefs.

    If you're a religious organization running a business, and your beliefs conflict with the law, then get out of running the business.

    January 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Ann: so i guess you hated MLK?

      January 3, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
      • Paul D

        That is what I was wondering.

        January 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Civil rights isn't a belief. Rights are rights that apply to all. Different people have different religious beliefs (even those of the same faith).

        January 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • Paul D

          But at one point equal rights for non-whites conflicted with the law.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          There are bad laws that need to be changed. The mandate (birth control) is not a bad law. Do you know what causes abortions? Unwanted pregnancies. If you eliminate unwanted pregnancies you'll will eliminate abortions. So which is worse: Preventing pregnancy or abortion?

          January 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Paul D

          I'm talking about her statement that if you don't agree with all the laws you should stop operating as a business.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Well if you don't respect the law you are breaking it. So I guess you should get out of the business. But really this anti birth control argument is a phony argument. Nobody is making them take birth control. Nobody is making them pay for it. They wanted an exemption, got it and now complain about something else.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Paul D

          Yea, I wasn't talking about the anti birth control argument.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo: you said "civil rights isn't a belief..."
          so where do they come from? on what basis does one have rights?

          January 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Russ.......Civil rights is based on EQUALITY. What one group has the others want. (Gay marriage for an example) You could have 10 people read the bible and come up with 10 different opinions. That is belief.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo: equality of WHAT? you're not being honest about the foundation here.

          here's a Scientific American article arguing that life has no definition... life of ANY kind...
          "It’s just as premature to reach the conclusion that there is no intrinsic nature to life as it is to define life..."
          http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/2013/12/02/why-life-does-not-really-exist/

          if you can't even define life, how can you define "equality"? do rocks have rights?
          you are mocking others' metaphysical assumptions without admitting that you EQUALLY have your own.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Ok Russ I see you want to be argumentative. (In other words play dumb) Now you don't know what equality is. Let me make my point in simpler terms. I'm sure you don't like paying taxes. Do you know why taxes are high? Children. More children mean more taxes for the rest of us. Children are not free for ANYBODY. You subsidize their education, pay the hospital bill for the uninsured and support those on public as.sistance. If you don't like higher taxes, you should be for birth control.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo:
          1) no, i'm not playing dumb. i have a different metaphysical basis than you do. i'm not Catholic, but I am Christian. you are mocking our beliefs. okay. you have that *right* in the US. but on what basis do you claim others' rights?

          that's what i'm doing. i'm pointing out that you are being disingenuous (if not outright self-contradictory). you yourself have a metaphysical basis for *your* beliefs – one which is equally problematic in this discussion. you clearly assume everyone has rights. i agree that is the case, but I base it upon the very things you mock. so, the better question for you is: *why?* why do you *believe* people have rights – especially in a way supports the notion that (as you said) "civil rights isn't a belief"?

          2) so you're saying you're against kids? is that a personal rule – or a belief you just want to impose on others?

          January 3, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Blah, Blah, Blah....This isn't about me or you. My beliefs or yours. I have two kids, so yes I love kids. The religious whack jobs should mind it's own business. The gov't isn't infringing on their rights. Nobody is making them pay for anything or use anything. THEY HAVE AN EXEMPTION.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken:
          as i said below, this *is* their business – & it was being dictated to them, despite going directly against their beliefs. they didn't have the exemption before. it was just granted to them. read the quote i posted below by Landsburg.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:22 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Man you really like talking out your AZZ. All this crap from a so called "christian". The reason the exemption exists is because THE RELIGIOUS GROUPS WANTED IT. There was nothing to grant before because the ACA didn't exist. The president listened to the religious groups and granted the exemptions. The religious groups also wanted the president to cut abortions also. The prez in trying to end the abortions, wants to make birth control easier. The religious whack jobs moved the goal posts and here we are today.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken: you really didn't read the article, did you?

          it says: "Some religious-affiliated groups were required to comply with contraception coverage or face hefty fines." that's not pre-existing. that's obamacare – even after so-called compromises for churches/etc.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ you're going to beli.eve what you want to beli.eve facts be da.mned. The laws are stated as clear as day. I'm sure you're one of the many who thought the supreme court would rule against the ACA because it was "against the consti.tution" The "gubmit" can't do this. I'm not going to change your mind and you're not going to change mine. This can be a real slippery slope if companies can disregard laws based on religious beliefs. We'll turn into the middle east where people do things in the "will of allah" If that is the case you better hope you follow the teachings of your boss. Because he might do to you what these religious inst.itutions want to do to these women. Take away their rights and ignore their beliefs.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken: slippery slope? you say "we'll turn into the middle east"... it's a well established historical precedent in America. it's part of what makes us *different* than the middle east: the *freedom* of religion. again, you seem to want to impose your beliefs & not admit that's exactly what they are: beliefs.

          your example of the muslim business doesn't make sense. why work for an explicitly muslim company and expect them to compromise their faith for your beliefs? if their beliefs are a problem, choose a different place of employment at the outset.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Hate was not mentioned in the original post. What's the MLK reference?

        January 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Santa: "your beliefs conflict with the law..."
          strong implication here: just go along with the law.
          it's naively forgets that we *make* the law in democracy as well.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
      • ME II

        @Russ
        "so i guess you hated MLK?"

        What's the logic in that conclusion?

        January 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ didn't have an educated response so out of frustration he threw that out there.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II & Ken Margo: as i replied above to Santa...

          @ Santa: "your beliefs conflict with the law..."
          strong implication here: just go along with the law.
          it's naively forgets that we *make* the law in democracy as well.

          She's forgotten that civil rights advocates did the exact opposite of what she's suggesting.
          so either she's being hypocritical here or she's anti-civil rights (on the basis of her logic).

          January 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @Russ...As I replied earlier.

          There are bad laws that need to be changed. The mandate (birth control) is not a bad law. Do you know what causes abortions? Unwanted pregnancies. If you eliminate unwanted pregnancies you'll will eliminate abortions. So which is worse: Preventing pregnancy or abortion?

          But really this anti birth control argument is a phony argument. Nobody is making them take birth control. Nobody is making them pay for it. They wanted an exemption, got it and now complain about something else

          January 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo: again, you're missing the underlying point.
          you keep saying "bad" laws. who defines "bad"? on what basis do you determine 'good' & 'bad'?

          you keep asserting something is bad while mocking other people's appeal to the very same notion. the entire debate is in your underlying assumptions. so let's talk about *that* instead of the pot calling the kettle black.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          The OP mentioned "religious exception".
          King was not arguing for a religious exception, but equality under the law for all, which, one might argue, was already in the Consti.tution and Amendments, but not being enforced.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ...........I'll make a deal with you. Since you're against the mandate fine......Eliminate birth control, raise YOUR taxes, lower MY taxes and I'll let you pay for the kids. Since MY money is involved my position makes more FINANCIAL sense than yours.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II: read David Chapell's "Stone of Hope" (or even just a good review of it). MLK was effective in the South precisely *because* he appealed to conservative's religious basis from WITHIN their pre-existing religious grid.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo:
          1) I'm not Catholic & I'm not in agreement with them on all their views on contraception.

          2) my money is equally invested in my position. that's an irrelevant argument.
          we have a govt that protects the freedom of religion & our civil rights. great. i just want to see that line held here – including not forcing people who morally & religiously object to something to support it with their finances.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ
          You miss my point. I'm not saying that MLK wasn't religious or that he didn't use religious arguments, just that his goal was equality for all regardless of religion.

          The topic in question is requesting an exception to the law, expressly because of religion.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ they have an exemption. They are not paying for it (birth control). They do not have to use it. This is a phony argument by them and by you. These phony crooked christians are trying to force their obsolete views on others. You mentioned the money, if things go your way, we'll be paying more taxes for kids you really don't care about.

          Spare the moral reason. This is the same catholic church the covered up priests molesting boys.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II: and yet you keep missing my point.

          you said "The topic in question is requesting an exception to the law, expressly because of religion."
          MLK was requesting exception to the law precisely because of *his* religion.

          was he fighting for those rights for all despite their particular beliefs? yes.
          but *why* did he advocate that? because of his particular beliefs.

          you can't have it both ways.
          either standing against the law can be a good thing or it can't.
          if it can (which most concede), *why* & *when*?
          MLK was clearly motivated by his faith to stand against a law he found morally reprehensible.
          that's the same thing the Catholic Church is doing here.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          @ME II............Russ is going turn everything azz backward. I hope the supreme court doesn't mess this up. This isn't just a women's issue. Men could be a silent victim in this also.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken Margo:
          1) read the article. they were fighting to get the exemption. they didn't *already* have it.

          2) here's a quote from a 2012 article by economist Steve Landsburg regarding these (at the time) proposed "compromises..."

          As economist Steve Landsburg explains, the proposed compromise does not really change the fact that the religious employers are still being forced to pay for the contraceptives-abortifacients:

          "[A]ll economists (and I hope everyone who's successfully completed a Principles course) understands that transferring the responsibility from employers to insurers amounts to transferring the cost from insurance buyers to insurance providers, which is to say that it's not a change in policy. One of the first and most important lessons we teach our students is well summarized by a slogan: "The economic burden of a tax is independent of the legal burden". Ditto for a mandated insurance purchase. It is not the law, but the underlying price-sensitivities of buyers and sellers, that determines where the burden ultimately falls.

          Your president knows this. He's banking that you don't."

          http://www.thebigquestions.com/2012/02/13/your-president-hopes-youre-stupid/

          January 3, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          I know a way to solve this issue. The prez should require the insurance co. to charge people their cost for birth control. That way people are paying for it. It will shut the whackjobs up. The ins. co. will just be a middle man. Poeple will get birth control at a cheaper cost.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ... you and Steve Landsburg act as if the old system was working perfectly! 40+ million americans didn't have insurance. That's what you want to go back to? You got a better plan. Lets hear it.

          January 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken: i'm not arguing against the whole system (that's another debate entirely). i'm pointing out that this policy *does* infringe on the freedom of religion... one of those *rights* you were talking about before.

          January 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          I couldn't help but notice you ignored my solution. You just repeat yourself. What about this scenario: A person working for one of the religious establishments, gets his/her paycheck that they earned. Then they go out and buy birth control. Does the religious establishment have the right to tell them what to do with their hard earned money?

          January 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm |
        • Ken Margo

          Russ your "freedon of religion" statement is crazy. Is someone making them muslims now? We'll see what Sonya Sotomeyer rules on this. This may indicate the decision where the Hobby Lobby case that is going before the supremes will end up. I thought being a woman in the middle east was brutal, now we got groups trying to turn back the clock on women's rights here. The Ironic thing is if the religious whack jobs get their way. It will result in more unwanted pregnancies and therefore more abortions.

          January 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Ken:
          1) you claim that i ignored your "solution." you mean, kind of like you ignoring my repeated question: on what basis are you defining rights?

          yes, i keep repeating myself b/c you haven't answered that question – and it is the CENTER of this discussion. we are at an im.passe if you refuse to discuss the heart of the divide. you want a solution without actually discussing the problem. that is not a solution – it is dodge. politically viable? maybe. furthering the discussion? no.

          2) you said "does the religious establishment have the right to tell them them what to do with their hard earned money?"

          a) again, i point out that you have failed to define what you believe to be the basis for "rights." it's hard to have a discussion about 'rights' when you refuse to admit your basis for making such claims (and yet you insist to continue on insulting my fully disclosed basis for appealing to rights).

          b) in our system of govt, an individual can do what he/she wants within the law. but that's not the question here, is it? the whole discussion arose because of the OP claim that people should just submit to the law – as if there were no cases warranting civil disobedience (i.e., MLK, etc.). ironically, this is the very narrative the g.a.y lobby has wanted to co-o.pt... yet when it comes to the religious right's civil disobedience, those same voices are strangely silent...

          3) you keep insisting on making a comparison with the middle east. we do not have a state religion here. we have *freedom of religion.* it's not a fair a.n.alogy. if you don't like Hobby Lobby's expl.ic.itly Christian company ethos, you can choose to work at Walmart or Target or any other retail chain. if you've got the job skills, you can find a job at a compet.itor with an ethos more in tune with your beliefs.

          January 3, 2014 at 11:49 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          "MLK was clearly motivated by his faith to stand against a law he found morally reprehensible.
          that's the same thing the Catholic Church is doing here."

          MLK may have been *motivated* by his religion, but his argument was secular, equality for all.

          Standing against a law can be a good thing, but the basis should not be solely religious, as in the Lemon test. For example, a law should not be passed to ban work on Saturday, solely because it would offend Yahweh. Similarly, local noise ordinances should not allow exceptions for church bells nor Muslim’s call to prayer, (although many do, I’m sure.)

          I’m not arguing about MLK’s position, motivation, or faith. I’m simply saying that the OP, @Ann, can disagree with the opposition to the current law without hating MLK, i.e your logic is incorrect regardless of the correctness of either position. @Ann was talking about religious exceptions and you conflated her opposition to making exceptions with a hatred of MLK, which I think is incorrect.

          A reasonable argument can be made that these requirements do not infringe on religious liberty, while still agreeing with the position that MLK took, i.e. equality for all.

          “... the whole discussion arose because of the OP claim that people should just submit to the law”

          I disagree. 1) She was talking about religious organizations that run businesses, not people. 2) She was talking about religious exceptions to laws not all laws.

          January 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II:
          1) here's the OP quote: "If you're a religious organization running a business, and your beliefs conflict with the law, then get out of running the business." read that carefully. if your beliefs conflict with the law, then get out of running a business.

          a) this is an incredibly exclusive statement. let's just be honest about the implications.

          b) MLK's beliefs were not secular, though they had secular implications. he did argue for racial equality – but he pressed the racist South with their supposed biblical values by *appealing to* their authority... not asking them to leave it or submit to another authority. that's what made him so effective.

          c) the clear statement here from Ann is that: if your beliefs conflict with the law, you should get out of doing business (i.e., submit to the law). there is no room for challenging an unjust law. it presumes there is no such thing as appropriate civil disobedience (much less that the govt could be *wrong*). that certainly goes directly against MLK's entire approach.

          it's not conflating her position with another; it IS her position. i'm quoting her. it's what she said. she's being inconsistent. and that's the whole point.

          d) again, i'd recommend David Chapell's book (Stone of Hope). even just a good, quick, online review would help you here.

          2) you said "A reasonable argument can be made that these requirements do not infringe on religious liberty, while still agreeing with the position that MLK took, i.e. equality for all."

          a) this fails to even *hear* what the opposition is saying. there can't be much of a discussion when you fail to hear the loud objection they are making – much less address the basis of their concerns.

          b) they are not arguing that everyone agree with them. they are arguing that ANY group (such as themselves) should be granted exemption here when they are being asked to financially support something with which they directly & passionately disagree. again, i'd think this is a rare instance where conservatives & the ACLU are in line.

          3) you said: "I disagree. 1) She was talking about religious organizations that run businesses, not people. 2) She was talking about religious exceptions to laws not all laws."

          a) religious organizations ARE groups of people. you're splitting hairs.

          b) again, MLK was arguing against a law on the basis that it was immoral. as i've continually pressed Ken Margo here, on what basis does one make that argument? there is not some agreed upon secular set of moral bases, so what are we ALL doing? we are appealing to our metaphysical convictions. you don't have to call that religion (as so many atheists object to that definition), but you certain do have to call those beliefs or even faith (as Nietzsche said: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science").

          as such, you are attempting to claim your own metaphysical claims of morality are somehow exempt from the very critique you are giving of my claims – but you are categorically ruling out metaphysical claims. it's self-refuting. you fail to see that you are doing the very thing you are requiring no one does.

          SUM: and that was my entire point with Ann. she's not being honest about her own position. it's self-refuting. and ANY group calling for a change of law – especially on moral grounds (e.g., the g.ay lobby calling for "equality") – is certainly doing the very thing she is saying CANNOT be done. that goes against MLK or Wilberforce or any such heroes of social change.

          you can't tell people OR groups of people to shut up & submit to the law while championing civil rights changes. it's self-contradictory.

          January 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          1) You are quoting out of context. @Ann’s first statement was about religious exception and the article in general is about a very specific situation the AFA requirements.

          a) … by itself, sure. In context, not so much.

          b) irrelevant

          c) @Ann’s statement “...presumes there is no such thing as appropriate civil disobedience”. I disagree; you are extrapolating her views on a specific situation to a general philosophical statement. That is unwarranted.

          d) Thanks for the recommendation, but as I said before, I’m not arguing MLK’s motivations.

          2)
          a) This fails to even *hear* what I’m saying. A reasonable argument can be made, that’s it. Not that it is necessarily correct, or that the other side doesn’t also have a reasonable argument, just that one can be made. (sheesh).

          b) Yes, they are arguing for an exception, which is what @Ann seemed to be arguing against. She did not seem to be arguing against the right of people to oppose what they see as injustice. In addition, everyone runs the risk of supporting things that they don’t agree with by paying taxes and yet everyone still must pay income taxes, when applicable.

          3)
          a) “She was talking about religious organizations that run businesses, not [individual] people. “ You on the other hand are comparing that to individual rights, e.g. civil rights. In addition, the organizations themselves are not in question, just how they run their business.

          b) irrelevant

          SUM) Incorrect. If one thinks that the current laws are moral, then fighting those laws would in effect be immoral. I don’t necessarily agree or disagree, I’m just pointing out that Ann’s position, in the context of this specific law and this group, is not necessarily self contradictory, unless of course one over-generalizes her statement.
          In other words, it is possible for one to think that this particular law is moral and that racial equality is also moral and that they both should be submitted to if they are the law or fought for it they are not the law.

          January 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II:
          1) out of context. really? i quoted the last sentence. there were only 3 sentences. here's the full post then:
          Ann said: "The mistake was in allowing any religious exceptions to begin with. Once they get their foot in the door, they want everything to be adjusted to their beliefs. If you're a religious organization running a business, and your beliefs conflict with the law, then get out of running the business."

          a) Note well: in the first sentence, she said "the mistake was allowing ANY religious exceptions to begin with" (my emphasis, of course – but that was her point). no, i was not speaking out of context. her first sentence made the point even more categorically.

          b) not irrelevant. it's what makes an effective argument. arguing from WITHIN someone else's paradigm is almost always more persuasive than arguing from outside. that's important to remember in this debate – for both sides.

          c) again, read her FULL quote. the first sentence is clear: "the mistake was allowing ANY religious exceptions to begin with..." that's not just this situation.

          d) MLK's motives determined his actions. if you want to argue about his approach, it's important to understand *why* he took that approach.

          2) you said "a reasonable argument can be made that these arguments do not infringe on religious liberty..."
          a) no, that is the entire debate in question. you are attempting to make that a given (effectively ENDING the debate). that is failing to hear the objection.

          b) why is this so difficult to understand? it's not merely a classroom debate over "how do you feel about it?" (so they can object to what they oppose as an injustice – as you put it). instead, they are being FORCED to pay for something they find morally reprehensible. that necessarily infringes on their rights. (it leaves the realm of "we can respectfully disagree" & becomes "you can disagree, but you still have to pay for it.")

          and we're not talking about income taxes. we're talking about forcing one group to financially support what they effectively regard as murder. even if you absolutely disagree with their views, doesn't that trouble you? wouldn't it if the converse were being forced upon you?

          b) it's only irrelevant if you fail to understand the argument. this is the central issue.
          Ann is making metaphysical judgments (based on *her* own metaphysical views, something she seems to lack awareness she is doing) – while simultaneously objecting to others doing the same.
          it's self-refuting. that's the pot calling the kettle black.
          far from being irrelevant, it debunks her entire position.

          you can say my logic is flawed. you can argue against me. but to say "irrelevant" leaves only a few options – none of which are flattering for you (lack of comprehension, general logical apathy, etc.).

          4) per your thoughts on my SUM: your response is disingenuous. it's a given here that BOTH groups find the laws unfaithful (either past or present). one group has just CHANGED the law (so the old law was wrong), the other group is fighting against that change. there is no room for saying: "well, it's always been & always will be right." would you make that argument regarding slavery? it's preposterous.

          January 5, 2014 at 1:08 am |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          1) Yes, out of context.
          January 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm: “the clear statement here from Ann is that: if your beliefs conflict with the law, you should get out of doing business (i.e., submit to the law). there is no room for challenging an unjust law.”
          January 5, 2014 at 1:08 am: “a) Note well: in the first sentence, she said ‘the mistake was allowing ANY religious exceptions to begin with’ (my emphasis, of course – but that was her point). no, i was not speaking out of context. her first sentence made the point even more categorically.”

          There is a difference between saying ‘no religious exceptions’ in the law and ‘no challenging unjust laws at all’. I’m glad to see you including that distinction now.

          2) You misunderstand my point. I’m not saying that @Ann is correct, but simply that your claim of ‘allow religious exception or hate MLK’ (loosely paraphrased obviously) is a false dichotomy fallacy.

          4) I don’t know what you mean by “BOTH groups find the laws unfaithful (either past or present)” and I was not in any way saying that the law always has been and always will be right. I was simply providing an example of a self consistent position that allows for supporting both no religious exceptions and racial equality at the same time, thus refuting your initial claim that @Ann *must* hate MLK. (again, paraphrased)

          January 5, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Russ

          @ ME II:
          1) if i am understanding you correctly here, you are delineating between "unjust" and "religious" – as if they are based upon radically different categories. therein lies the disconnect. it's the reason you've said "irrelevant" when i've made this point above...

          on what basis does one define "just" or "unjust"? it is necessarily an ethical/moral appeal – which exposes one's underlying metaphysical claims. if you (or Ann) claim a law is just or unjust, i will press you on your basis for such a statement. you think it's irrelevant – but you necessarily are making metaphysical claims in declaring something "unjust." if you are willing to disclose your basis for making such a moral claim, then we'd discuss how that *equally* falls prey to the critique being advanced here. it is doing metaphysics, & metaphysics = faith-based – by definition! as i said before, it's the pot calling the kettle black.

          in short: Ann is doing metaphysics while ruling other forms of metaphysical appeals out of bounds. it's hypocritical, if not outright self-contradictory.

          2) wanting the law to change or wanting the law changed back BOTH require making a judgment against the law – something Ann is precluding for *one* group while allowing for another. again, it's a double-standard.

          and to press the point in #1: on what basis does one claim racial equality? it is making a metaphysical appeal. it is doing metaphysics (philosophically, ethically, morally – if not outright functionally doing theology & religion). on what basis do you claim the races are essentially the same & enti.tled to "rights"? where do "rights" find their basis? note well: even if you are a pure materialist or naturalist, materialism & naturalism *are* still metaphysical systems.

          see, it's simply disingenuous to claim there are such things as "rights", "justice" and "equality" without admitting those concepts are thoroughly BASED on a certain metaphysical set of convictions. once that is admitted, the OP critique becomes utter hypocrisy. it's saying "i can make metaphysical appeals, but you can't."

          January 5, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
      • Noise

        @Russ : so I guess you hated Mary Magdalene?

        January 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
    • Alias

      I absolutely agree.
      Unfortunately, the large number of christians in this country have considerable political influence.

      January 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
  14. Paul D

    "Faith is not a blind, irrational conviction. In order to believe, we must know what we believe, and the grounds on which our faith rests."
    Charles Hodge

    January 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,

    January 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
    • Tim

      Nor should it ever be.

      January 3, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • Quoteer

      "Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the author of nature, because necessary for his own sustenance."
      Thomas Jefferson (but owned slaves)

      January 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
      • lol??

        lol??
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Don't let sam stone hinge see ya quoting.

        January 3, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
    • Responding to the Pride

      Dog...I'm curious...do you know what the "common law" is? How about "civil law"?

      January 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
  16. christiansteve

    Dark matter is for real. Gawds not so much

    January 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      christiansteve
      And dark matter is probably increasing pushing visible matter away at an alarming rate, don't tell LofA, it would confuse him.

      January 3, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
      • Alias

        I know!
        Dark matter is gawd!
        it is an obvervable miracle that something undetectbale is pushing all that matter.

        January 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          Alias
          No more a miracle than any other phenomenon that we are now beginning to observe and understand, we live in an interesting age which has technology that was not considered possible just a few hundred years ago.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
    • cross eyed mary

      Dark matter dont exist. U don't no what claims it makes.

      January 3, 2014 at 7:49 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    For all of you Christian frauds who believe that contraception is a sin (even though the bible doesn't specifically state it) – I hope you are following God's word and DO NOT partake in the following:

    Eating ham: Leviticus 11:7-8
    Getting a tattoo: Leviticus 19:28
    Rounded haircuts: Leviticus 19:27
    Have injured private parts: Deuteronomy 23:1
    Consulting psychics: Leviticus 19:31
    Gossiping: Leviticus 19:16
    Wives helping out their husbands during a fight: Deuteronomy 25:11-12
    Children cursing their parents: Exodus 21:17
    Getting remarried after a divorce: Mark 10:11-12
    Working on the sabbath: Exodus 31:14-15
    Woman speaking in churches: 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
    Eating shrimp, lobster, or other assorted seafood: Leviticus 10-11
    wearing clothes of wool and linen woven together. Deuteronomy 22:11
    seeking revenge or bearing a grudge against anyone Leviticus 19:18

    and how many of the ten commandments do you break?!

    January 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lawrence of Arabia

      Contraception isn't a sin... Contraception that carries even the slightest possibility of abortion is a problem.

      January 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • JL

        Abortion is mentioned nowhere in the Bible.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        @Lawrence
        That is not the belief of the Catholic Church.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          Well, that's one of the many errors with them... Contraception in general isn't a soul condemning issue, but they'd still have a hard time giving Biblical grounds for calling it a sin...

          January 3, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • Alias

        But non one is forcing the christians to use contraception.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          No, they're just wanting to force Christian insti.tutions to pay for them.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Tim

          They are not above the law.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm |
        • ME II

          @Lawrence of Arabia
          "No, they're just wanting to force Christian insti.tutions to pay for them."

          Technically, I think the law is only for those who offer insurance. There is a penalty I think, but they can simply not offer health benefits.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          No LoA, the money that pays for those benefits is money that the employee has earned...it is no longer the employers money and thus what the employee chooses to do with their money is not the employers business. How does one deciding to use birth control affect your life directly? Tell me moron, if your wife was raped and got pregnant, would you insist she keep the babe? If her life was on the line and the one thing that could save her was abortion, who would you choose? What if it was your daughter or grandchild or niece??

          January 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        LoA: So the birth control pill is okay?? After all it is a daily pill meant to prevent pregnancy (there are other uses of course). If no fertilization can happen, then no new life has begun.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          As I've stated before, if it can be shown that there is zero chance that the medication could cause an abortion, then it's not sinful.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          You do comprehend that if you remove the right to abort legally you then bring in to effect numerous potentially more dangerous factor's, right?
          Backyard abortions are not unheard of.
          Most people who seek abortions will get them one way or another. You should maybe focus on the ills of your own religion, it is a well known fact that christian women have the most abortions-there's a reason for that and it's largely due to people like you who think they have some power over what a woman does with her body.
          We won't come in to your bedroom, please stay out of the bedrooms of everyone else...

          January 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Last year in Chile, an 11 year old who was ra/ped by her step-father was forced to carry a child to term because the devoutly Catholic country has laws prohibiting abortion in any circ/umstances.
          Absolutely disgusting.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
        • Alias

          @LoA
          What you keep missing is that te RCC expects people on birth control to have more s.e.x.
          THAt is what they are trying to stop.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • sam stone

          i love Larry of Arabia's learned proclamations of what is "sinful"

          January 3, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • Ken Margo

        Yo Larry. It has been stated over and over, Plan B (morning after pill) DOES NOT cause abortions. Not even slightly.

        January 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
  18. Alias

    Maybe I should be more direct here to get my point across.
    The church is trying to force their beliefs onto other people. That is what this is all about.
    The RCC thinks you should only have s.e.x to make babbies, so they are trying to keep everyone else from having s.e.x for any other reason.
    Infringing on their rights is just a BS excuse. Their rights are not being infringed upon.
    No one is forcing them to take birth control.

    January 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Alias : The church is trying to force their beliefs onto other people

      How so? By objecting to the church being forced to do something against their beliefs?

      <><

      January 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm |
      • Tim

        Are they being forced to take BC?

        January 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • Alias

        The church is not being forced to do anything, except obey the same laws every other employer has to follow.
        No one is forcing them to use birth control.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Alias : The church is not being forced to do anything, except obey the same laws every other employer has to follow. No one is forcing them to use birth control.

          The same case could be made for school prayer. If you were forced to bow down to Allah every morning before work/school (etc.), would that be a violation of your religious freedoms? Yes. So being forced to perform a specific action that violates your religious freedoms is contrary to the constitution – whether it is bowing down to Allah or bowing down to the secular god that preaches promiscuity.

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • Tim

          Please show me an example where this law is physically forcing one person to swallow a BC pill against their will.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Tim

          Want to tell me the name of that god that preaches promiscuity?

          January 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Can a pacifist tell the IRS that they don't want any of their tax dollars to go to the Pentagon?

          January 3, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • Alias

          @Live4him
          You almost have it now – "So being forced to perform a specific action that violates your religious freedoms is contrary to the constitution – whether it is bowing down to Allah or bowing down to the secular god that preaches promiscuity."
          Except no one if forcing the catholics to have s.e.x.
          The catholics are trying to keep others from having s.e.x
          They are the ones denying other people's rights.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Is this the god that teaches promiscuity?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVGi_0P7Qb8

          January 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • Oh wait, I think this must be the god of promiscuity...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05GAeQ45YxU

          January 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  19. bostontola

    I have never met an atheist that knows there is no God(s). They all either believe there is no God(s), or just don't believe there is God(s).

    That refers to any possible God(s). What about the specific ones defined so far by man? I have never found a God in any religion that stands up to reason as they themselves defined the God (e.g. The bible). Those Gods by any reasonable analysis are false.

    January 3, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
    • AtomHeart

      I've never met a Christian parent or priest that brainwash children with bronze age fairy stories and the threat of eternal fire and torment if they don't believe.

      January 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Johnny

        Then you need to get out more.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm |
        • AtomHeart

          I was raised in a Christian household and have met and interacted with thousands of Christians since deciding to not continue in the belief system. I've only seen fire and brimstone preaching from tv evangelists and a few atheists online.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
        • ME II

          "fire and brimstone preaching"

          Is not fire and brimstone inherent in the belief that without Jesus as savior all will burn in hell for eternity due to their inability to meet God's standard?

          January 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • Paul D

          I've been taught God will overcome and destroy evil. Not burn evil in hell for all eternity.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • ME II

          @Paul D,
          I'm not sure what you were taught but it seems to me that Matthew (25:41) and Mark (8:43) among others would disagree.

          January 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Paul D

          The "eternal fire" destroys the devil and his angels. It leads to death.
          The wages of sin is DEATH not life eternal in hell fire.

          "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. "
          Matthew 10:28

          January 3, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • ME II

          @Paul D,
          Ah, so you are arguing for the eternal "fire and brimstone" of annihilation, but not eternal torture, is that it?

          I'm not sure that I see the distinction, at least as it relates to preaching and "brainwashing". Fire and brimstone still seem inherent in either message.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm |
        • Paul D

          God will overcome evil. And destroy evil. Anything we teach children deals with placing their trust and confidence in God. Not that they will be punished eternally for holding the wrong belief.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • ME II

          @Paul D,
          "Anything we teach children deals with placing their trust and confidence in God. Not that they will be punished eternally for holding the wrong belief."

          Are you saying that they are taught that they *won't* be punished?

          January 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Paul D

          No.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • ME II

          So you're just emphasizing the carrot and de-emphasizing the stick, correct?
          But you are not claiming that there is no stick, right?

          January 3, 2014 at 5:47 pm |
        • Paul D

          No. No.

          We reap what we sow.

          January 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
    • Live4Him

      So, you agree that atheism is a belief system?

      January 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • bostontola

        L4H,
        I have always said atheism is a belief. It is not a system since it is composed of 1 belief, there are no Gods.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @bostontola : It is not a system since it is composed of 1 belief, there are no Gods.

          A 'system' is not limited to multiple beliefs. However, I would posit that you have more beliefs than just this one. For example, you have a related belief on how this world came to be (i.e. BB/evolution). And you have related beliefs on morals (i.e. no judgment for your actions after death). And I could expound on just these two until I filled an entire page. For example, google Humanist Manifesto I & II for more 'beliefs'. I would suspect that you would agree with most of them.

          <><

          January 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          If you want to define it as a system, have at it.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Atheism describes what I don't believe.
          Naturalism is a term for what I do believe.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        atheism is a belief system like bald is a hair color

        January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        atheism is a belief system like NOT collecting stamps is a hobby

        January 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • Warren

          If you spend all day long on stamp collecting blogs insisting they are wrong and you are right, you might as well call not stamp collecting a hobby. If that is all you seem to talk and think about, it is a hobby.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • Doris

        I am with Boston if you are speaking of strong atheism; but for weak atheism – I don't see that as a belief system at all.

        January 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • Doris

          And weak atheism is "mainstream" atheism.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
      • Warren

        The Atheist Channel is located on the religion tier of my television channels!

        January 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
  20. Live4Him

    @lunchbreaker : I thought that is why we don't have prayer in school.

    That's exactly my point. The Constitution supersede ordinary laws. It states that religious beliefs cannot be infringed by ordinary laws without a justifiable benefit to society. However, Observer wants to argue that ordinary law trump religious beliefs. I'm opposing his posit.

    January 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • Saraswati

      L4H, could you quote that bit of the consti.tution, please?

      January 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • JL

      How is denying their employees infringing on their rights AT ALL? I would have to assume that they refuse to cover Viagra. You know, since it has to do with naughty bits and all.

      January 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      Maybe the third time will be a charm here....

      A muslim woman working on a contruction site must remove her Hijab and put on a helmet in accordance with federal safety regulations. They are required to show their faces when getting ID pictures taken and when passing through customs in the U.S. even if it goes against their deeply held religious convictions.
      Kosher and Halal abbatoirs are subject to the same safety, cleanliness and animal cruelty mandates as secular ones.
      Even if one's religion is against medicine, the law stipulates that medical care shall be provided where permanent physical damage could result to a child.

      January 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
    • Doris

      "Observer wants to argue that ordinary law trump religious beliefs." I think you may have misrepresented what Observer's been saying – it's always impossible to tell since you won't reply properly.

      Again – I would not say it's something we see much of, like we see with laws that involve the 1st Amendment as a basis, but any law can trump religious belief. The two things you are ignoring (things not even involving the Establishment Clause) is when one's rights are seen as infringing on the rights of others. Also, you're forgetting that there may be laws in place that are against the beliefs of some, but where those with said beliefs have made no claim against the law. So if a law exists that does not challenge with consti-tutional law as basis then it very well may trump in actuality some religious belief.

      January 3, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
      • Austin

        Doris, can you really trump the law of sin? is that belief or is that real and alive?

        January 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
        • JL

          Do you not have any clue how the secular laws in this country work??

          January 3, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Doris

          I can wait to hear this argument of Austin's on court TV some day. Comedy gold for certain.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Doris

          (I *can't* wait)

          January 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      L4H
      You do not seem to know how the government of your country works. A law cab be passed by a state or federal government if people object that it is unconst!tutional they can take the case to the supreme court. That is what has been done in this case, the court will make the decision not a religious group.

      January 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      It's been a while since I had poli-sci, but I doesn't the Supreme Court decide if a law is contsti tutional or not?

      January 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @lunchbreaker : It's been a while since I had poli-sci, but I doesn't the Supreme Court decide if a law is contsti tutional or not?

        Absolutely. But how? Laws are not given carte blanche power over religious beliefs. However, they can be deemed important enough to society to trump some beliefs – when the harm of not having the law outweighs the loss of freedoms for those whose beliefs are impacted. Observer was arguing carte blanche power over religious beliefs. I tried pointing out obvious points (i.e. school prayer) that contradicted his/her views, but to no avail.

        <><

        January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          L4H
          Please translate your post above this, what are you trying to say?

          January 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          L4H
          The Supreme Court has demonstrated a willingness to strike down any practices that might be likely to be perceived either as coercive or as a state endorsement of religion. You may want to read up on the Establishment Clause.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
        • Noise

          Boring L4H is boring.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • Charm Quark

        Lunch
        They do it all the time, you could check out the cases involving school prayer and the Establishment Clause.
        EngeL v Vitale 1962
        Wallace v Jaffree 1985
        Lee v Weisman 1992
        Sata Fe v Doe 2000

        January 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • lunchbreaker

          I've looked into those quite a bit. What I do find interesting is that the major cases that fought prayer in schools were brought forth by Catholics, Mormons and Jews. Theists not wanting other Theists to tell thier kids how to pray.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          lunchbreak
          Quite true the various Christian religious cults really cannot stand each other. Notice L4H is doing his rope a dope thing when he can't formulate an answer, hard for some Christians to accept the laws made for a secular state.

          January 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.