Monday, September 3, 2012

Preserve Religious Freedom

Seen this sign?

The Preserve Religious Freedom Yard Signs

In the last year, a big deal was made of the part of the health care bill which specifies that contraception must be covered by health insurance. Leaders of religious institutions (hospitals and universities - houses of worship are excluded from the requirement) have been objecting to providing their employees with contraception coverage. Religious leaders in these institutions have claimed that if other people have contraception made available to them (at the expense of the religious institution's employee health care plan) that this is a violation of the institution's religious freedom. In particular, Catholic dogma objects to contraception even though  many Catholics use it.

If the government mandated that some Catholics use contraception, that would be a violation of religious freedom. That is not happening. Nobody is being forced to use contraception. That is up to the individual. No religious freedom is being violated. Are "institutions" even people who can have "beliefs"? And does this argument mean Catholics refuse to do business with any company that provides contraception coverage to its employees?

Innocent civilians are being killed by the United States military in other countries, funded by all U.S. taxpayers. Certainly, the misguided folks who believe there is an attack on religious freedom believe this is a more serious violation of their religious freedom. One of the Ten Commandments is: "Thou shalt not kill."

Protesting contraception covered by health insurance is most similar to protesting soldiers being provided with guns at taxpayer expense. There will exist the possibility that others might do something which you don't believe you should do. However, what other people do among themselves cannot violate your religious freedom. You remain able to believe what you want to believe. Freedom of religion should not give you the right to violate the law with your actions. If a law is worthy of existing, everyone must obey or it is worthless.

If the practice of some religion required murder, should that be okay under religious freedom? No. Let's not forget that the government outlawed Mormon polygamy so that now it's no longer part of their beliefs. That was certainly a heinous government violation of religious freedom. What sort of religion changes their belief when a government tells them it's wrong? Perhaps, Mitt Romney will legalize polygamy if elected. After all, that's traditional marriage in his religion's belief (though they now claim otherwise).

Sadly, Obama capitulated to the demands of the religious institutions so that now health insurers must provide contraception at their own expense. This means that such institutions will not be paying, even indirectly, for the contraception of others. Yet, they still complain. Why? A nasty politician like John Boehner (R-OH) would be remiss to let a good attack go to waste, even if it's baseless.

Related Articles:

Should Catholic and Other Religious Institutions Have to Cover Birth Control?

5 Things You Should Know About Religion and Contraception

Many Catholic Universities, Hospitals Already Cover Contraception In Their Health Insurance Plans

Federal Judge Dismisses Prominent Evangelical College’s Lawsuit Against Obamacare

Obama announces ‘accommodation’ for religious institutions on contraception

John Boehner, Liar of the House

It's not religious freedom he wants. It's religious tyranny over others.


If someone's job is to sell things, it stands to reason that only those who are willing to sell those things should be hired or remain employed. If you're hiring for a hardware store which can only put one clerk on duty at time, would you hire a clerk who refuses to sell lawnmowers? No, you'd hire someone able to do the whole job.

If a pharmacist refuses the morning after pill to a woman because of the pharmacist's religious beliefs and she becomes pregnant as a result of that denial, that pharmacist should be liable for at least half the child support payments.

Employers shouldn't discriminate on the basis of gender, race, orientation, or any other factor which has no bearing on the ability to work. However, people unwilling to do the job for which they are hired should be fired.

It makes me sick that there is a conscience exception for things like pharmacists denying some people medicine just because the pharmacists themselves wouldn't use it. It all stems from a nonsense idea that somehow what others do would violate my religious beliefs. What this is really about is others forcing their religious beliefs down the throats of others.

Forcing your religion upon others isn't an exercise of religious freedom. It's denying religious freedom to others. That pharmacist who denied a woman contraception violated her religious freedom as well as failing to do the job for which he was hired.

Religious Conservatives Love Protecting Religious Freedom When It's About Controlling Women

It's all about contraception, isn't it? When it's not about contraception, it's about abortion. Though sometimes, it's about oppressing gays despite what the Bible says. In fact, some congregations of the Reform Jews, American Baptists, Buddhists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Unitarian Universalists, Methodists, the Society of Friends, and the United Church of Christ have performed marriages for same-sex couples. The fight to ban same-sex marriage is an attack on their religious freedom.

If I ever hear religious conservatives raising a big stink about taxpayer funded murder of civilian "collateral damage" by our military, they might finally seem not so much like creepy misogynists. Except for Rush Limbaugh, he's earned his title of king of the creepy misogynists.

Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, who told Congress about how some women need expensive types of contraception for medical reasons other than birth control, by saying that she said she was having so much sex that she couldn't afford her birth control pills. He called her a whore and said she should make a sex tape public since her sexual activity was being subsidized by the state. In truth, Sandra Fluke never testified about herself, and the amount of birth control pills someone takes isn't related to how much sex someone has. Limbaugh's defenders claim he's merely satire, but too many of his listeners actually believe what he says for it to be defended as any form of humor.

Here are some other sexist Rush Limbaugh comments and remember, Mitt Romney says, "I find it hard to disagree with Rush Limbaugh."

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.”
~Rush Limbaugh, The Rush Limbaugh Show, August 12, 2005

“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex — what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex.”
~Rush Limbaugh, referring to Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown Law School who was denied the right to speak at a congressional hearing on contraception, in which she planned to discuss a friend of hers who needed contraception to prevent the growth of cysts, February 29, 2012

“When women got the right to vote is when it all went down hill,”  July 3, 2012

You can read the Sandra Fluke Testimony Transcript as a PDF.

I'll leave you with a video of incorrect and offensive conservative statements about women's health:

Santorum isn't just some lone offensive person. He's part of a movement which values men more than women victims. Otherwise, this wouldn't be the case -- 31 States Allow Rapists Custody and Visitation Rights.

And please, drop the War on Christmas nonsense. Some Christians act like it's the worst thing in the world to acknowledge that there are other religions. Greeters at stores who say, "Happy Holidays," are not harming any religions by acknowledging the numerous religious holy days that occur around that time of year. I personally like to say, "Merry Christmas," but "Happy Holidays" would work too since it essentially means "Happy Holy Days."

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