Obama administration breaks promise on conscience exemptions

posted at 8:48 am on October 8, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama went to Notre Dame to speak at their commencement and accept an honorary law degree from the Catholic university, he attempted to quiet the outrage from conservative Catholics and pro-life activists by claiming to respect the religious teachings of Catholics and protect freedom of conscience on abortion.   He insisted that he would do the same during a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.  According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Obama administration has written an expiration date on that promise already in North Carolina, where the EEOC has demanded that a private Catholic college offer abortion and contraception coverage as part of its health-insurance benefits (via Gateway Pundit and The Anchoress):

The president of a small Catholic college in North Carolina is in a standoff with the Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over demands that the school must offer contraception coverage in its employee health insurance. Belmont Abbey College President William K. Thierfelder says he will shut down his school before doing so, citing the Catholic Church’s prohibition on contraception and First Amendment religious liberty rights.

On September 10, the college retained the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to appeal an August 5 ruling by the EEOC, charging the school with discrimination. In a letter to Thierfelder, the EEOC stated the college “is discriminating based on gender because only females take oral prescription contraceptives. By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women.” Thierfelder objected with a letter posted on the school’s website, saying: “Belmont Abbey College rejects the notion that by following the moral teachings of the Catholic Church we are discriminating against anyone.… We are simply and honestly exercising the freedom of religion that is protected by the Constitution.”

The case started when BEC mistakenly bought insurance coverage that paid for contraception, which violates the doctrine of the Catholic Church.  After realizing their mistake, they had that coverage removed.  Eight employees filed suit with the EEOC as a result, claiming that the motivation for the change was gender discrimination.

How could anyone working at a Catholic college possibly come to that conclusion?  Whether or not one agrees with the church on contraception and abortion, their position on those two issues is both well-known and fundamental to doctrine on the sanctity of human life, reaffirmed constantly and publicly.  Anyone who goes to work for a Catholic institution and expects to get insurance coverage for either is acting out of intellectual dishonesty.  If the church position on contraception and abortion offends them that much, they shouldn’t agree to work for a private Catholic institution.

And initially, the EEOC agreed, as the Becket Fund notes, and also notes that only two of the eight complainants of gender discrimination are women.  The local EEOC tossed the complaint, but it got mysteriously reinstated by the national office over the summer:

The conflict is rooted in changes the school made to its health coverage in December 2007 after a faculty member discovered their plan inadvertently covered abortions, prescription contraception, and elective sterilization. At the time, Thierfelder explained the changes: “As a Roman Catholic institution, Belmont Abbey College is not able to and will not offer nor subsidize medical services that contradict the clear teaching of the Catholic Church.” Eight employees countered with a complaint filed with the North Carolina EEOC, claiming the college was in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The local EEOC bureau threw out the discrimination charge in March, but the federal EEOC reversed that ruling in July. The new ruling also charges Belmont Abbey College with retaliating against the eight employees by making their names public. (Interestingly, only two are women.)

Will the Obama administration protect freedom of conscience in its health care overhaul, as it has promised?  Or will it use its power to force religious institutions, doctors, and hospitals to provide services which violate their religious beliefs?  This test case indicates that the White House is intent on dismantling such protections despite Obama’s promises to the Pope and at Notre Dame, which surprises us not at all.


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For those Catholics, they are not going to care about this one bit.

Niere on October 8, 2009 at 9:11 AM

I disagree – the people you’re speaking of are Catholic – but you say they don’t really live the faith.

However, I believe even though they don’t “live” the faith – they still identify with it and will be horrified to see abortion thrown down the throats of the Catholics that are living the faith.

I’m one of those people of whom you speak. I’m Catholic – but I haven’t been inside a Catholic Church in 25 years except for purposes of tourism. I’m Pro-Life, not because the Church says to be – but because the Pro-Life position IS the intellectually superior position. If we cannot define when human life begins (and we can’t – even Obama says we can’t) – then we should not be destroying a human fetus in any stage.

But I get quite angry that my more pious brethren in the church are being forced to take a pro-abortion position.

I remember a scene from a movie once. It was some Nazi movie and Vanessa Redgrave played a Jew in a concentration camp. She was starving and the Nazis gave her a pork sausage to eat. She was so hungry she devoured it. Redgrave is an idiot – but that scene was very compelling to me – she was forced to give up her religious prohibition on pork to survive. It was a scene that pissed me off – and I’m not even Jewish.

Forcing Catholics to support abortion should be equally outrageous.

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM

This is one of the very reasons I don’t want to be a wedding photographer in the future. Once NC says gay marriage is ok then I will probably get sued for refusing to do one. And I just don’t want the headache.

therightscoop on October 8, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Or will it use its power to force religious institutions, doctors, and hospitals to provide services which violate their religious beliefs?

I believe that that is what’s called a rhetorical question.

Physics Geek on October 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Attacks on freedom of religion are to be expected from those of a totalitarian bent.

WannabeAnglican on October 8, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Unless you become a member of the new State religion, which seems to be a wacky version of islam where Obama is both the prophet and the “god”.

wildcat84 on October 8, 2009 at 10:10 AM

By the way, the EEOC gets THOUSANDS of complaints every year, many of them actual cases of real workplace discrimination against women, minorities, and older workers. It’s very difficult to get one to this level. There should be no doubt that this one was elevated by the Obama appointees.

rockmom on October 8, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Obama said his health care plan would protect health care workers’ conscience rights. There was never anything in there related to insurance by a Catholic institution which was not related to health care.

To say this was a promise by Obama is simply false.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Obama won 54% of the Catholic vote. His pro-infanticide credentials were clear even then, and you think they’ll care now?

oogba on October 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Obama said his health care plan would protect health care workers’ conscience rights. There was never anything in there related to insurance by a Catholic institution which was not related to health care.

To say this was a promise by Obama is simply false.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:16 AM

1. That’s a weaselly attempt to CYA, and it only proves that Obama has no respect for the principle of individual conscience at all.

2. It’s false:

Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/17/obama-notre-dame-speech-f_n_204387.html

You cannot possibly argue federal oversight of the scope of employer insurance coverage is not a health care policy.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM

Chris, it is not a health care policy and you are, like Ed, are a filthy liar. The conscience laws Obama has spoken about deal with not requiring medical institutions and medical personnel who receive federal funds to perform abortions or other procedures against their conscience. There was no discussion of schools in those policies.

See http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/22/feds-move-to-protect-health-workers-who-oppose-abortion for an accurate and truthful discussion of those rules (unlike Ed’s summary).

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Or will it use its power to force religious Christian institutions, doctors, and hospitals to provide services which violate their religious beliefs?

FIFY

CarolynM on October 8, 2009 at 10:30 AM

HondaV65
The movie you’re thinking of is “Playing for Time”.
It was made for TV-and it was the only time my Jewish parents forbade me to see a show. My mother said that to have Redgrave playing a victim/survivor of Nazi persecution insulted the memory of 6 million dead Jews.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM

I’ve reached a point in my life that I don’t give a damn what women feel. Frankly I’m sick of hearing about their stupid feelings. It’s like I taught my daughters, NEVER say, I feel, say I THINK. They’ve turned out pretty successful with that.

Jeff from WI on October 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Classy.

HeroesforGhosts on October 8, 2009 at 10:33 AM

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM

+++This is a true description of Obama’s plan for America…*shudders…

lovingmyUSA on October 8, 2009 at 10:37 AM

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

You missed the whole point–as usual…

lovingmyUSA on October 8, 2009 at 10:38 AM

How could anyone working at a Catholic college possibly come to that conclusion? Whether or not one agrees with the church on contraception and abortion, their position on those two issues is both well-known and fundamental to doctrine on the sanctity of human life, reaffirmed constantly and publicly. Anyone who goes to work for a Catholic institution and expects to get insurance coverage for either is acting out of intellectual dishonesty. If the church position on contraception and abortion offends them that much, they shouldn’t agree to work for a private Catholic institution.

–Does this institution require all of its employees to be orthodox Catholic? Notre Dame doesn’t, and neither do some other Catholic institutions.

The difficulty is that the EEOC “religious exemption” only applies if the employer who satisfies all of the following:

(1) The entity is organized and operated for religious purposes and is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
(2) The inculcation of religious values is one of the primary purposes of the entity.
(3) The entity employs primarily persons who share the religious tenets of the entity.

If the school doesn’t meet the last two tests, it has no EEOC exemption.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:39 AM

The point was that the laws of conscience being talked about in the health care debate were those related to health care workers, not schools. This has nothing to do with that, lovingmyUSA, even though you and Ed want to falsely drag it into that debate.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

This is absolutely unbelievable. A college is actually contemplating closing it’s doors rather than be forced … by the United States government to do something it doesn’t want to do.

We are so much closer to becoming another Venezuela than most people realize. Just wait til they go after conservative radio and press.

I’m afraid even elections won’t mean much in the future. The communist democrats do whatever they want without regard for the Constitution or the will of the people.

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 10:46 AM

This is why last January I wasn’t buying into the “we have to give Obama a chance and support him until he proves himself otherwise.” Those fools seem to have disappeared from view and I hope that they used their moronic bleatings as a “teachable moment” to understand that, like dogs, radical marxists cannot learn new tricks.

highhopes on October 8, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Operative word=fools

fools=braindead suckers

Gang-of-One on October 8, 2009 at 10:47 AM

The point was that the laws of conscience being talked about in the health care debate were those related to health care workers, not schools. This has nothing to do with that, lovingmyUSA, even though you and Ed want to falsely drag it into that debate.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Hey braindead. That government has no business in the first place dictating ANYTHING. The federal government has overstepped it’s authority and must be reined in.

It has no business telling anyone what insurance they must have, or who it must cover, or what it must cover and they certainly don’t have any business telling a religious school what to do.

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 10:49 AM

This is beautiful! Shove abortions right down the mouths of Catholics!! Bring those voters right to the doorstep of the GOP baby!!

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Except the all too numerous Ted Kennedy-Joe Biden Catholics, of course.

Gang-of-One on October 8, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Darwin:

I’m afraid even elections won’t mean much in the future. The communist democrats do whatever they want without regard for the Constitution or the will of the people.

Of course. That’s what the dictators in black robes the judiciary is for.

WannabeAnglican on October 8, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Hey, Darwin, imbecile: if you don’t like it, change the laws.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Chris, it is not a health care policy and you are, like Ed, are a filthy liar. The conscience laws Obama has spoken about deal with not requiring medical institutions and medical personnel who receive federal funds to perform abortions or other procedures against their conscience. There was no discussion of schools in those policies.

See http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/22/feds-move-to-protect-health-workers-who-oppose-abortion for an accurate and truthful discussion of those rules (unlike Ed’s summary).

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

The point was that the laws of conscience being talked about in the health care debate were those related to health care workers, not schools. This has nothing to do with that, lovingmyUSA, even though you and Ed want to falsely drag it into that debate.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:41 AM

We’re quoting Obama. You don’t get to pick and choose what Obama statements make up the Obama position.

Hey braindead. That government has no business in the first place dictating ANYTHING. The federal government has overstepped it’s authority and must be reined in.
It has no business telling anyone what insurance they must have, or who it must cover, or what it must cover and they certainly don’t have any business telling a religious school what to do.
darwin on October 8, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Anybody who tries to crush a First Amendment argument by citing a government regulation isn’t really at our level.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Wait…

Not offering a service that can only be used by women is discrimination against women?

Wouldn’t that mean that offering a service that can only be used by women was already discrimination against men?

remywokeup on October 8, 2009 at 10:57 AM

We all see him as the liar he is…..when will it dawn on the rest?

ohiobabe on October 8, 2009 at 9:14 AM

For those who can’t see it by now, most likely never.

Gang-of-One on October 8, 2009 at 10:59 AM

This test case indicates that the White House is intent on dismantling such protections despite Obama’s promises to the Pope and at Notre Dame, which surprises us not at all.

I guess Notre Dame isn’t such a school of advanced education after all…if they can’t see a simple con job, if they can’t discern an obvious liar, if they can’t understand recent history, if they can not look at a politician and analyze what his policies are, then I would say they have no business passing out degrees in political science….every one of their political professors should hang their head in shame, at least the ones who supported him coming and lying to them.

right2bright on October 8, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Context, Chris. He was talking about health care workers (see below). And the US Supreme Court has refused to hear two lower court cases related to this issue. In one of those, involving Catholic Charities of Sacramento, the California supreme court held that the Catholic Charities were not exempt from a California law requiring them to provide contraceptives. See http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/20040602.htm.

You need to read up more on the First Amendment before you’ll be able to run with the big dogs, I’m afraid.

“What bothered the doctor was an entry that my campaign staff had posted on my website – an entry that said I would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.” The doctor said that he had assumed I was a reasonable person, but that if I truly believed that every pro-life individual was simply an ideologue who wanted to inflict suffering on women, then I was not very reasonable. He wrote, “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion, only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

……

So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Well if the ‘complaining’ employees don’t like the coverage, they do have the option of quitting and finding work elsewhere.

GarandFan on October 8, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Hey, Darwin, imbecile: if you don’t like it, change the laws.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Try a higher octane breakfast cereal. You’re not firing on all cylinders.

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 11:12 AM

Anybody who tries to crush a First Amendment argument by citing a government regulation isn’t really at our level.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

No doubt

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Try a higher octane breakfast cereal. You’re not firing on all cylinders.

–I’m just someone who’s more evolved than you, darwin.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

I’ve reached a point in my life that I don’t give a damn what women feel. Frankly I’m sick of hearing about their stupid feelings. It’s like I taught my daughters, NEVER say, I feel, say I THINK. They’ve turned out pretty successful with that.

Jeff from WI on October 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM
Classy.

HeroesforGhosts on October 8, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I’m with Jeff on this one. As a woman who spent way too much time wallowing in her feelings (liberal then), I have found that I’m much better served relying on logic and analysis (conservative now). I’m teaching my 17 year-old daughter to do the same.

CarolynM on October 8, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Notre Dame, how do you like your Obortionist now?

HellCat on October 8, 2009 at 11:14 AM

because only females take oral prescription contraceptives. By denying coverage, men are not affected, only women.”

Of course, only women can take oral contraceptives. And have abortions. So don’t hospitals which offer such things–exclusively to women, mind you–the bastards–discriminate against men, by the same flawless logic?

Please tell me this would be laughed out of court. Lie to me if you must, but tell me.

TexasDan on October 8, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Your intelligence and grace is exceeded only by your humility.

kingsjester on October 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Granted, what is being done by the EEOC is wrong. However it’s also completely expected.

Someone at Belmont had to be completely incompetent not to check the insurance plan for coverage that violates Catholic teaching. In this day and age these problems are routine.

My guess is that the Belmont administration didn’t care enough to look the first time. If so, they deserve the grief they’re now going to get.

Gaunilon on October 8, 2009 at 11:24 AM

TexasDan, lower courts are split on this issue, some finding that prescription contraception is not related to pregnancy, and so not covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act’s amendment to Title VII. Others have found that the lack of coverage impacts men and women the same because prescription contraception isn’t covered for the female dependents of male employees either.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM

It’s like I taught my daughters, NEVER say, I feel, say I THINK. They’ve turned out pretty successful with that.

Jeff from WI on October 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM

As a daughter who was raised this way too, I think know you did the right thing. It’s served me well for decades.

jusgottabeme on October 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Try a higher octane breakfast cereal. You’re not firing on all cylinders.

–I’m just someone who’s more evolved than you, darwin.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Your intelligence and grace is exceeded only by your humility.

kingsjester on October 8, 2009 at 11:22 AM

–My comment was meant tongue in cheek.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Chris, it is not a health care policy and you are, like Ed, are a filthy liar.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Liberals gone Wild…
I love it when you guys go over the top…I love this “filthy liar”, that cracks me up.
Do you have anymore of those great lines? John Wayne you are not, somehow a guy like you posting “filthy liar” I envision a little “wrist” action in punctuating that…whatever…

right2bright on October 8, 2009 at 11:29 AM

The college is still screwing up IMHO”

Two of the tests are:
(2) The inculcation of religious values is one of the primary purposes of the entity.
(3) The entity employs primarily persons who share the religious tenets of the entity.

If you go to the college’s website, they have two open positions. Only one (for a head lacrosse coach) says anything about related to the religious tenants, but even there it is a “preference” for “candidates that can demonstrate past accomplishment and/or vision in the recruitment of student-athletes that fit well with the institution’s mission and character as a Catholic and Benedictine college”. It doesn’t require that candidate to share those beliefs.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Right2bright, I’m just using the same words that highhopes has been using for months. Do you think he writes with a limp wrist?

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Context, Chris. He was talking about health care workers (see below).

Of primary importance is your rejection of conscience as a principle–which the Administration shares. We don’t get into the context of a good faith requirement in contracts, do we?

As for the context:

After I read the doctor’s letter, I wrote back to him and thanked him. I didn’t change my position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my website. And I said a prayer that night that I might extend the same presumption of good faith to others that the doctor had extended to me. Because when we do that – when we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do – that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.

That’s when we begin to say, “Maybe we won’t agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this is a heart-wrenching decision for any woman to make, with both moral and spiritual dimensions.

So let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions by reducing unintended pregnancies, and making adoption more available, and providing care and support for women who do carry their child to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/17/obama-notre-dame-speech-f_n_204387.html

Emphasis on what you omitted.

You gonna tell me Obama’s appeal to work together was also limited to health care workers?

And the US Supreme Court has refused to hear two lower court cases related to this issue. In one of those, involving Catholic Charities of Sacramento, the California supreme court held that the Catholic Charities were not exempt from a California law requiring them to provide contraceptives. See http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/20040602.htm.

You need to read up more on the First Amendment before you’ll be able to run with the big dogs, I’m afraid.

And I can dig up a Supreme Court case that says there’s no individual right to bear arms, and that was the law of the land too, until it wasn’t.

I don’t allow the Supreme Court to think for me. I answer to my own conscience.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 11:37 AM

–I’m just someone who’s more evolved than you, darwin.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM

If you’re so highly “evolved” couldn’t you have come up with a better name than “Jimbo3″?

I would have thought someone teetering on the edge of leaping into a pure light consciousness could come up with something more catchy …

You know something like MegaCranium or SpatialSpaz.

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 11:38 AM

The college is still screwing up IMHO”

Two of the tests are:
(2) The inculcation of religious values is one of the primary purposes of the entity.
(3) The entity employs primarily persons who share the religious tenets of the entity.

If you go to the college’s website, they have two open positions. Only one (for a head lacrosse coach) says anything about related to the religious tenants, but even there it is a “preference” for “candidates that can demonstrate past accomplishment and/or vision in the recruitment of student-athletes that fit well with the institution’s mission and character as a Catholic and Benedictine college”. It doesn’t require that candidate to share those beliefs.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Any requirement that a religious entity violate its own teachings because it does not satisfy federal exemptions, violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Yes, I absolutely think it was related to health care workers and health care institutions. And Chris, why has the US Supreme Court refuse to hear those two cases if it was so clear that there was a First Amendment violation. I don’t see Catholic Charities requiring their employees to hold Catholic values, and I don’t think the Abbey does either.

Darwin, ok, call me SpatialSpaz. My wife would agree.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM

“religious tenants”

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Would those be, like, renters who go to church???

notropis on October 8, 2009 at 11:55 AM

How can this be sexual discrimination? I bet a dollar to a donut that condoms aren’t covered either.

darcee on October 8, 2009 at 12:01 PM

A certain someone seems to have evolved to the level of a slime mould.

Dhuka on October 8, 2009 at 12:03 PM

There is no freedom left in America. Everytime we claim to be a “free” country, we are lying. Everytime we offer ourselves as an example of a free people, we are lying. Every time we chastise other countries or other nations for not providing “freedom” for their own people, we are engaging in hypocrisy of the rankest sort.

When the (not, “our”, but “THE”) government can tell a private institution what it must and must not cover in a voluntarily provided work benefit, that is not freedom. When “THE” government can force us to spend the fruits of our labor and the sweat of our brows on “health insurance”, that is not freedom. When “THE” government can force us to comply with their every whim at the risk of our fortunes and freedom, that is not freedom. Everytime we allow “THE” government to expand beyond its mandate to provide for the common defense and common welfare, to intrude into what our private companies pay their employees, or what private schools must teach their students, or what private people may legally “say” or even “think”, then that is not freedom.

We have become the doormats of those who would place themselves over us, allowing them to place their feet on our throats, so that they may promote their ideas of what is right or good, whether it be “green” living, or “diverse” teachings”, or “providing for the needy”, or . . . We have become a nation of slaves.

We have slowly but consistently allowed our freedoms to be taken from us in the names of “equality”, “diversity”, “compassion”, and the overarching fear that someone, somewhere, at sometime, may claim to be offended, or to have had their feelings hurt, because the rest of us haven’t “celebrated” their perversions, their personal choices, or the dictates of their inner gods. Our founding fathers must be weeping to see how we have squandered their sacrifice of their fortunes, their families and even their very lives for the dream that one day their progeny would live in “freedom”.

We should be ashamed at the mockery we have made of those sacrifces.

Fatal on October 8, 2009 at 12:17 PM

The obama(pbuh) administration will eventually back down as long as the college stands it’s ground. I think the lefties are just testing the water at this point. Real oppression of this sort will have to wait until they consolidate their power over the next ten years.

cjk on October 8, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Obama lies, more freedom dies!

chickasaw42 on October 8, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Yes, I absolutely think it was related to health care workers and health care institutions.

I asked: LIMITED to health care workers. The way you say his pledge of a conscience exemption is limited to health care workers.

And Chris, why has the US Supreme Court refuse to hear those two cases if it was so clear that there was a First Amendment violation. I don’t see Catholic Charities requiring their employees to hold Catholic values, and I don’t think the Abbey does either.

Because a majority don’t accept the absolute guarantees of the Bill of Rights, for starters.

In particular, they have liked to believe that if your conscience is more narrow than most doctors, pharmacists, or cab drivers, then you can exercise your religious freedom by being run out of those professions.

However, thanks to you liberals, that attitude is now inoperative. A faithful Catholic now may freely exercise their faith–by never acting as an employer, ever.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 12:23 PM

I’m not too worried about this. Catholics have a history of going along with public opinion. Look at how they adopt every pagan holiday and try to “Christianize” it.

TTheoLogan on October 8, 2009 at 12:26 PM

“… related to the religious tenants, but even there it is a “preference” for “candidates that can demonstrate past accomplishment…”
Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Jimbo3, that would be religious tenets.

marybel on October 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM

That’s the second time I’ve misspelled tenents. My bad.

And yes, his pledge was limited to health care and health care workers. All the discussion was related to the repeal of an overly-broad regulation by the Bush administration that applied to health care workers and health care institutions (and possibly to workers with insurance companies handling health care matters).

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Chris, it’s not just liberals who think this way. The First Amendment and the Bill of Rights only apply to governmental action. They don’t cover actions by private employers.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 12:45 PM

I very much doubt the First Amendment guarantees the religious liberties of state and federal agencies.

What you have here is an employer who is being punished by the federal government despite a religious objection by its board.

They had guaranteed religious liberty in the USSR too, you just couldn’t hold a government job.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 12:54 PM

If Obama thought a citizen had a right to personal conscience, he would not be limit it to one industry, even if he somehow misspoke and told non-medical-caregivers that they should work with him to protect other people’s liberties.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 12:57 PM

He lies. Mr. Wilson did us all a favor. Obama will say anything to anyone because he has no clue who he is, so long as he ‘wins’. The fools are those who voted for him, all of you. You were snokered.

Schadenfreude on October 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM

…they have no business passing out degrees in political science….every one of their political professors should hang their head in shame, at least the ones who supported him coming and lying to them.

right2bright on October 8, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I think the honorary degree was in fact a juris doctor, which is even more ridiculous. He is an actual expert in politics — the art of lying about government and winning elections as a result — but he’s an effing nitwit on the law.

Besides, a law degree isn’t supposed to be conferred on someone who lies, is it?

Jaibones on October 8, 2009 at 1:21 PM

This is absolutely unbelievable. A college is actually contemplating closing it’s doors rather than be forced … by the United States government to do something it doesn’t want to do.

The communist democrats do whatever they want without regard for the Constitution or the will of the people.

darwin on October 8, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Both have already been done. A Catholic charity in the northeast closed it’s doors rather than place adpotable children with homosexuals, IIRC. The will of the people has been overturned by judges, and one infamous organization has said that ‘some things are too important to be left up to the people.’ Where have you been?

AnotherOpinion on October 8, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Schadenfreude on October 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I believe that about 30% of this nation would follow this man to destruction and hell regardless of how many lies he spouts.

cjk on October 8, 2009 at 1:58 PM

That 30% is also of the type of people that are will to take disagreements to disruption, violence and blood if they feel or perceive their right to pillage is endangered.

cjk on October 8, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Suspect the time is coming when all true ministries and charities are going to have to self-cancel their 501c3 tax exemption in order to keep the government from taking their freedom of speech, freedom of religion and right to life.

Christian Conservative on October 8, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Any requirement that a religious entity violate its own teachings because it does not satisfy federal exemptions, violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.

Chris_Balsz on October 8, 2009 at 11:39 AM

I depends on whether the religious entity is engaged in an activity central to its worship. In the case of Bob Jones SCOTUS clearly saw a lower standard of protection for a university than for a church.

I disagree with that particular decision but recognize that businesses can’t be exempted from laws simply because a religious entity is part of the ownership.

dedalus on October 8, 2009 at 3:06 PM

“That’s the second time I’ve misspelled tenents. My bad.”

And that’s the third time….

T-E-N-E-T-S (I’ll bet you mispronounce it, also.)

notropis on October 8, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Well, I guess that’s one way to get a Catholic employer to drop their health plan entirely.

Keith_Indy on October 8, 2009 at 3:23 PM

If we cannot define when human life begins (and we can’t – even Obama says we can’t) – then we should not be destroying a human fetus in any stage.
HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 10:07 AM

I agree with your overall point about protecting babies in the womb, but science settled the “when human life begins” question long ago. For example, I have in front of me a copy of The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 4th edition, published by the W. B. Saunders Co. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.) in 1988. It was published for medical students.

On page 1, it defines zygote as “[the cell that] results from fertilization of an ovum by a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being.”

On that same page, the author also states, “Human development is a continuous process that begins when an ovum from a female is fertilized by a sperm from a male.”

On page 13, the book says, “Human development begins at fertilization, when a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or ovum to form a single cell called a zygote (Gr. zygotus, yoked together)…This cell marked the beginnings of each of us as a unique individual.”

Let’s not buy the line that “no one knows when life begins,” or that it’s “a matter of faith.” Science is quite explicit about it.

KyMouse on October 8, 2009 at 3:29 PM

There are too many things wrong about this for me to go through, and that’s without even touching on whether the actual act of abortion is wrong.

Count to 10 on October 8, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Hey people looky here:

The First Amendment and the Bill of Rights only apply to governmental action. They don’t cover actions by private employers.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 12:45 PM

That there is PURE comedy gold!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA
 
I’m going to speak right up to my boss about my going to Mass just as soon as I untie myself after the unlawful search and seizure that was done when I blurted out I had money in my pocket.

Blacksmith8 on October 8, 2009 at 4:58 PM

snokered.

Schadenfreude on October 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM

As this is the typo thread, I must ask you
snokered = drunk
or
snookered = cheated
Which did you mean? I do understand that either meaning would be applicable to your context.

Blacksmith8 on October 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Laugh all you want, Blacksmith, but the Bill of Rights only does apply to federal and, now, state actions. What was your point?

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Obama will say anything to anyone because he has no clue who he is, so long as he ‘wins’.
Schadenfreude on October 8, 2009 at 1:15 PM

He’s the moral equivalent of Levi Johnston, who will do anything for anyone because he has no clue who he is, so long as he ‘wins’.

ya2daup on October 8, 2009 at 5:21 PM

This is beautiful! Shove abortions right down the mouths of Catholics!! Bring those voters right to the doorstep of the GOP baby!!

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 9:04 AM

With decades of Kennedy Catholics and Cuomo Catholics making it fashionable for Catholics to turn their back on the unborn, why would this latest erosion in morality have any impact on Catholic voting? It hasn’t before.

Mark30339 on October 8, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Will Notre Dame authorities reach out to their honoree to make good on his pledge? Don’t hold your breath. In the minds of many Catholics, some twisted notion of imposed social justice trumps life itself. It reminds me of the crazy communist excuse asserting that when nazi’s kill, they kill for contempt; ah but when socialists kill, they kill for love. Notre Dame’s Fr. Jenkins is just getting started on his love for those who protested the Obama honorary degree.

Mark30339 on October 8, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Right2bright, I’m just using the same words that highhopes has been using for months. Do you think he writes with a limp wrist?

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Context…it is all in context, and that is how I saw your post, in that context.
Why drag someone else in…”Johnny does it, so can I”, “Johnny did it first”….wrist action with a whine, it’s getting better all the time.

right2bright on October 8, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 5:06 PM

You’re completely correct, the mindset of the idiot criticizing you is pure fools gold. Liberals can’t ever seem to distinguish the difference between private and public/government.

cjk on October 8, 2009 at 7:23 PM

This test case indicates that the White House is intent on dismantling such protections despite Obama’s promises to the Pope and at Notre Dame, which surprises us not at all

.

Certainly not me. This is exactly the kind of arrogance I’d expect from someone who’s above proving he’s eligible. You guys created this monster. Deal with it and stop your whining.

Basilsbest on October 8, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Chris, it’s not just liberals who think this way. The First Amendment and the Bill of Rights only apply to governmental action. They don’t cover actions by private employers.

Jimbo3 on October 8, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Haven’t read much of the thread, but isn’t the point that the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment does apply to the government and any potential action against the free practice of a religion and its tenements..heh..the government should have no power to force a religion, who’s stance regarding abortion and contraception is well known and long standing to violate those principles.

Why not have the government just demand that gays be priests and be done with any potential controversy?

Itchee Dryback on October 8, 2009 at 8:21 PM

I did my best to get this attitude going last year; At least it happened in my lifetime:
ATTITUDE=INFORMED

Cybergeezer on October 8, 2009 at 8:42 PM

Why not have the government just demand that gays be priests and be done with any potential controversy?

Itchee Dryback on October 8, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Because there is greater First Amendment protection for sacraments like Ordination than there is for insurance policy selection when operating a school. If the school were a seminary it would have a stronger First Amendment case.

dedalus on October 8, 2009 at 9:07 PM

Since they can’t (yet) be forced to provide health care coverage, Belmont Abbey should just drop the coverage and spend the money where it will be better appreciated. Let those eight self-righteous employees pride themselves on having taken away a valuable benefit for themselves and all their co-workers.

inmypajamas on October 8, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Since they can’t (yet) be forced to provide health care coverage, Belmont Abbey should just drop the coverage and spend the money where it will be better appreciated. Let those eight self-righteous employees pride themselves on having taken away a valuable benefit for themselves and all their co-workers.

inmypajamas on October 8, 2009 at 9:26 PM

They could do that, but presumably they recruit in a competitive market place and would need to increase the cash compensation.

That’s actually the way things should work. Businesses pay employees and employees buy what they want. In the case of buying health insurance it should be tax deductible.

If the government wants to mandate some low-cost catastrophic coverage for everyone, and subsidize it for the poor, that could be a good idea. However, the congress is off in the wrong direction.

dedalus on October 8, 2009 at 9:36 PM

dedalus on October 8, 2009 at 9:07 PM

Look up – that object that just zoomed over your head at Mach 3 was the actual point he was making.

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Massive civil disobedience.
Massive protests.
Tax revolt.

No violence.
Yet.

justltl on October 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

Look up – that object that just zoomed over your head at Mach 3 was the actual point he was making.

HondaV65 on October 8, 2009 at 10:34 PM

I’ve never seen anything travel at Mach 3. It must be difficult. You have a Taylor guitar? They’re nice. I’ve been debating whether to get a Taylor or a Martin.

dedalus on October 8, 2009 at 10:47 PM

The final insult to pissing on America-ACORN thugs knocking on your door and with a LEGAL right to enter. Hide the jewelry and silverware and send your 13 year daughter to the neighbors.

MaiDee on October 8, 2009 at 11:44 PM

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