Sharpton: Obama needs to dictate to the Catholic Church to maintain separation of church and state, or something

posted at 11:10 am on February 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Someone has a very confused idea about the separation of church and state, and surprisingly, it’s the Reverend in this Morning Joe panel today. Working off of Peggy Noonan’s Wall Street Journal column from Saturday, Al Sharpton argues that Barack Obama had to dictate to the Catholic Church to violate its religious tenets in order to … preserve the separation of church and state?

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Rev. Al Sharpton: No, I think you have to have the reverse argument, and that is if I want to seek employment and have employment in a church but that I disagree with the dogma and theology of the church, do I have the right to be protected by law? And I think that what the Obama administration is saying that you do not have to follow the tenets of a church organization to be an employee of a church.

Scarborough: Do you think this is a good decision?

Sharpton: If we are going to have a separation of church and state, we’re going to have a separation of church and state. Whether I would personally agree with the decision or not, the question is do I have a right to make that law?

This is an absurd perversion of the concept of separation of church and state.  When Thomas Jefferson wrote that (it’s not found in American law), he meant that the church should not dictate to the State on law — and that the state should not dictate to the church on doctrine. Jefferson wanted to avoid establishing a state religion run by Parliament that had the power to manipulate the spiritual for the sake of the secular. That is exactly what Obama proposes to do in this case: dictate to the Catholic Church and its organizations that its doctrine on contraception, abortion, and sterilization are incorrect and force them to fund those practices that violate their most deeply held beliefs on the sanctity of life, all to satisfy Obama’s political needs.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski aren’t buying Sharpton’s spin:

Mika Brzezinski: Obviously they’re getting money from the government. Having said that, the Catholic religion believes certain things; they believe it to be fact. And so you’re asking them not to be Catholic if you impose these regulations on them.

Scarborough: You have a lot of Catholics who are pro-choice who were offended by this decision…The very idea that a centralized government, a centralized state can reach out and tell the church…Kathleen Parker put it this way “You have to forfeit your most fundamental beliefs or face prohibitive penalties or close hospitals, schools, charities, etc…” I must say it’s a staggering, staggering decision by HHS…[to Mika] You’re a Catholic. What are your thoughts?

Brzezinski: I think it’s wrong; I agree with you. And I think it was an overstep.

The Catholic Church’s hospitals get money from the government, but only for caring for the otherwise indigent.  If that’s the basis of the intervention, then Catholic hospitals will likely close their doors.  The bishops will not allow for abortions and sterilizations that violate the very mission on which those hospitals are based — the protection and promotion of sacred human life.  That will only make matters worse for the poor, and also for the government that would have to fill the very large gap left by the closing of hundreds of hospitals and clinics.

If one disagrees with the Catholic Church’s doctrine on the sanctity of human life, then they don’t need to work for their institutions, as Scarborough says later in the segment.  Otherwise, they can buy their own abortions, contraception, and sterilization.  Catholics who see these as deep sins should not be forced to underwrite them through their own church (it’s bad enough that we’re doing so through the government), and especially not based on an elitist diktat from a government that is supposed to stay out of church business.


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Rev. AL has been violating his religious tenets since, forever.

multiuseless on February 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

because Romney is so firmly pro-life and stuff

DHChron on February 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Compared to ObaMao, absolutely. Time to stop whining and pick a side.

cicerone on February 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

has this obamacare act been challenged on a religious freedom allegation? time for an amicus curiae brief from the catholic church? that may be a stronger assertion than the mandate under the commerce clause….

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

cicerone on February 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

such is the problem cicerone – there’s only one side.

lib with mom jeans or lib with great hair.

DHChron on February 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

What does Mr Electable (Mr. Massachusetts Mandate) have to say about this?

Pragmatic on February 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Catholics who see these as deep sins should not be forced to underwrite them through their own church (it’s bad enough that we’re doing so through the government), and especially not based on an elitist diktat from a government that is supposed to stay out of church business.

Obamacare violates the beliefs of many employers. The RCC doesn’t get to avoid insurance requirements that other employers of similar size and similar industry have to abide by.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Why doesn’t the Catholic Church stop whining and take action;

Pragmatic on February 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

I think that over the last couple of weeks you have seen a stirring and coming together within the Catholic Church that hasn’t been seen for a long time. And the Church is being joined by other denominations who rightfully see this assault as a threat to religious freedom throughout the country. Obama has stirred a hornet’s nest he never imagined was there, and it will cost him dearly. Thank God!

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Exactly, stop providing health care and let the states and their hospitals pick up the tab for indigent care.

Let them choke on that bill, they’ll rescind this quicker than Bammy slices into the woods.

NoDonkey on February 6, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Hey NoDonkey, you’re not thinking like a jackass. They want this.

Don’t you get it. THEY WANT THE FREAKING CRISIS!!!!!!

Choke on the bill? Are you kidding. THEY WANT THE BILL TO BE HUGE!

The bigger the bill, the more reasonable singler payer looks, and unreasonable it is to talk about freedom.

Start thinking like a Marxist and it all become crytsal clear.

WisRich on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I see Brzezinski had a rare moment of clarity. Perhaps they had her on 100% oxygen just before the show.

darwin on February 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

This whole attack on the Catholic faith by the Obama administration is a rare moment of clarity for the general populace into who they really are, and have been all along. Only we have known since day one.

When Obama can’t get someone like Mika Brzezinski on board, regardless of Al’s pathetic sales pitch, that’s a bad sign.

I actually hope Obama doubles-down on this. If he wanted to make the church complacent for the duration of the election, his admin would have been granted them a year-long waiver on Obamacare, just like the unions and McDonald’s were.

But he didn’t, and is now going after the church just like he has gone after the state of Arizona, Gov. Walker, deep-sea oil drillers and the Tea Party (just to name a few). Regardless if he hemorrhages a significant chunk of a reliable Democrat voting base.

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

“The bishops will not allow for abortions and sterilizations that violate the very mission on which those hospitals are based — the protection and promotion of sacred human life.”

They just did. Have you followed the recent name change of Catholic Healthcare West to Dignity Healthcare. The Bishops lost control of the Hospitals a long time ago.

DocasaurusRx on February 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM

If forced to provide abortions they will shut down their hospitals and health care facilities. That’s over 600 hospitals providing 15% of patient treatment in the country. Over 13 million emergency room visits and 86 million. That’s the social consequences of this president’s assault on the Constitution.

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

You know Obama probably wants this. That way he thinks that they will be able to play this into more government intervention into health care. They always create problems, and then they create their solutions to the problems they created. Wait and see…

The problem is this time Obama made a fatal mistake in going after Catholics. They are a power voting block in swing states. The GOP needs to attack this not only as a move to destroy religious freedom in America, but as an attack that will hurt the poor.

William Eaton on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM

If Congress passed a LAW specifically stating that institutions receiving federal money had to provide insurance that covers Birth Control or Hospitals were required to provide abortions, then there would be very little recourse for the church. Think Polygamy or animal sacrifice.

They did….it was called the Affordable Health Care Act of 2009

libfreeordie on February 6, 2012 at 11:28 AM

There is a misunderstanding on this point in the comment thread. This mandate has nothing to do with receiving federal dollars. The Catholic Church could refuse federal dollars for all of its charitable works and it will still fall under the dictates of this law.

In any case, I don’t understand why receiving federal money should make a darn bit of difference. These are not businesses, but charitable organizations designed not to make a profit but to help society’s poor and destitute. Charities do the work that the government sometimes tries to do but they do it better and more efficien tly.

We should be thanking these charitable organizations, not making their work harder.

But of course, the problem is that Obama and his cronies want to control them or better yet, cause them to shut down.

So much for the compassionate liberal mindset.

PackerBronco on February 6, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I have a very good friend who works for Catholic Health East, which runs 38 hospitals. Four of their hospitals are the only ones that serve the poor in their communities. She told me that the organization ill not comply with the rule, nor will it pay a fine to the government, nor will it drop insurance coverage for those employees now covered. They are going to find a way.

rockmom on February 6, 2012 at 12:04 PM

What a pathetic tool this man is.
The administration’s goal with the health care law was to destroy the insurance industry as we know it and put in place, because it then would become and “emergency”, single payer health care. Bankrupt it…much like the coal industry that Obama said must be “necessarily bankrupt” to allow for his green ajenda to be implemented.
Obama told the american public what he was going to do before he was elected and the american people didn’t believe him. well, this “yeah, sure…” attitude has us headed straight for the pooper.
These Catholic institutions will close rather than provide these services or pay for their employee’s insurance that does. The Catholic Hospital here won’t even perform a tubal ligation.
Pray, people. Work harder than you have ever worked before to help elect whoever the nominee is and whoever has the best shot of beating this man. I know…that’s so raaaaccciiiiiiissttt of me…oh well, so be it.

He’s coming after education next, folks. Pay attention to what you hear about it in his speeches. Last week, he said that rich people should pay more for education. Nancy Lagosi said a couple of weeks ago that education sends more to the treasury than just about anything else. Biden has made some comments about it recently, also.

Man, unless the Republicans start speaking coherently, we are screwed. People are going to be led blindly just like 4 years ago. Bbbaaaaahhhhhhh bbbaaaaaahhhhhh. wake up sheeple!!

sandlin71 on February 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Obamacare violates the beliefs of many employers. The RCC doesn’t get to avoid insurance requirements that other employers of similar size and similar industry have to abide by.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

That is why it’s going to the Supreme Court and why they will have to rule on the constitutionality of such a sweeping mandate. That’s the fundamental question we’ve all been arguing.

Do try to keep up.

PackerBronco on February 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

This may, in fact, be a very clever strategy on Obama’s part. By diverting the discussion to whether or not religious institutions can be forced to offer certain types of coverage, he’s distracted us all from the debate of whether they government can force ANYONE to offer certain types of coverage.

Shump on February 6, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Also, if Catholic institutions decide to shut their doors instead of violating their morals, that gives the government another problem to “solve”. And the influx of patients into the government health care system would push us even further toward a true individual mandate.

hawksruleva on February 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I haven’t read through all 150 or so comments, so someone may have mentioned this already, but it bothers me that Mr. Sharpton assumes employment is an activity reserved to the state.

Jens on February 6, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Hey NoDonkey, you’re not thinking like a jackass. They want this.

Don’t you get it. THEY WANT THE FREAKING CRISIS!!!!!!

Choke on the bill? Are you kidding. THEY WANT THE BILL TO BE HUGE!

The bigger the bill, the more reasonable singler payer looks, and unreasonable it is to talk about freedom.

Start thinking like a Marxist and it all become crytsal clear.

WisRich on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

EXACTLY.

Either Obama has calculated that – even if he DOES hemorrhage Democrat Catholic voters – it apparently doesn’t matter much in current internal polling to pose a significant problem with his re-election.

They are likely betting that the church stateside will cave to obey the Obama admin, which is STILL very much possible, especially if the Supremes uphold Obamacare in total this June-July. And that the crisis will likely simply subside enough in October, presuming that either Mitt, Newt or Rick flop badly on their own campaign.

Either way, in 2013, Obama effectively become a four-year-long lame duck with nothing to lose. Even if there is another big-time midterm Dem defeat in November 2014, Obamacare will have polluted the economic and societal structure of the U.S. that it will never be repealed.

So, per their calculations, Obama will get his way.

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution does not say “Separation of church and state.” In fact, no where in our constitution does it say such a thing.

This is what it says:
1st Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

MoreLiberty on February 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Obamacare violates the beliefs of many employers. The RCC doesn’t get to avoid insurance requirements that other employers of similar size and similar industry have to abide by.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Still here flogging that dead horse? It’s not that the Catholic Church gets to “avoid” requirements set by government mandate, it’s that the government does not have the right to impose requirements on a religious organization that go against its core beliefs and tenets. Churches are specifically protected in their religious freedm by the Constitution, Ford, Safeway, and General Electric are not. This is not about health care per se, it is an attack on the First Amendment by the government.

And, by the way, what exactly are “similar industries” to the Church?

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

You know Obama probably wants this. That way he thinks that they will be able to play this into more government intervention into health care. They always create problems, and then they create their solutions to the problems they created. Wait and see…

The problem is this time Obama made a fatal mistake in going after Catholics. They are a power voting block in swing states. The GOP needs to attack this not only as a move to destroy religious freedom in America, but as an attack that will hurt the poor.

William Eaton on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The only thing Obama wants is to buy the votes of young women with free birth control. I have zero doubt that this rule will be drastically modified as soon as the election is over, if Obama is reelected. The White House knows that it will not hold up in court, which is why they decided to delay implementation until 2013. It was a shamelessly cynical election-year ploy, which should be the main argument against it.

Once again, we are missing the point and the opportunity here. It will not sell to the average voter to start yelling about a War on Catholics, or Obama wanting all the hospitals to close in order to hesten a government takeover of health care. People just don’t believe that stuff. What they will believe is that this is a President who will do anything, including trampling on the First Amendment, to get himself reelected.

rockmom on February 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

There is another alternative – not to take government money.

I don’t know if this is what you meant, but not taking government money would not exempt them from this ruling. It applies to every employer.

Missy on February 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I’m still wondering how MSLSD can rationalize putting a racist accessory to murder on the air to begin with.

RadClown on February 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

The problem is this time Obama made a fatal mistake in going after Catholics. They are a power voting block in swing states. The GOP needs to attack this not only as a move to destroy religious freedom in America, but as an attack that will hurt the poor.

William Eaton on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM

What are the chances that Mitt and Newt do that?

hawksruleva on February 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Compared to ObaMao, absolutely. Time to stop whining and pick a side.

cicerone on February 6, 2012 at 11:53 AM

And it begins already.

“Yes, ok, you conservatives were right all along and Mitt is actually a pro-choice, pro-tax, pro-government moderate Republican. BUT COME ON! He’s better than Obama! So shut up and vote for him.”

Thank you, no. I’m not voting for a slightly less bad candidate. I’ve done that enough.

makattak on February 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I have a very good friend who works for Catholic Health East, which runs 38 hospitals. Four of their hospitals are the only ones that serve the poor in their communities. She told me that the organization ill not comply with the rule, nor will it pay a fine to the government, nor will it drop insurance coverage for those employees now covered. They are going to find a way.

rockmom on February 6, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Rockmom,

Civil disobedience. I like it. Maybe it will wake up the American people once they see FBI raiding hospitals, retirement homes, and churches.

Only problem with this is that the mandate burden is put on the insurance company, not the church. Obama will put the hammer down on the insurance companies and they will have no choice to offer it unless the church is self funded(which it probably is).

WisRich on February 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

what if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?

“Man, unless the Republicans start speaking coherently, we are screwed. People are going to be led blindly just like 4 years ago. Bbbaaaaahhhhhhh bbbaaaaaahhhhhh. wake up sheeple!!

sandlin71 on February 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM

most of the citizens are like sgt shulz, “they know nuzzink!”

and the LSM has no interest in informing them.

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Churches are specifically protected in their religious freedm by the Constitution, Ford, Safeway, and General Electric are not. This is not about health care per se, it is an attack on the First Amendment by the government.

And, by the way, what exactly are “similar industries” to the Church?

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The First Amendment doesn’t specifically mention “churches”. The government can regulate hospitals and schools. The religious beliefs of the business owners don’t exempt them from US employment law.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

because Romney is so firmly pro-life and stuff

DHChron on February 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

As much as Reagan was.

tbrickert on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Sharpton: If we are going to have a separation of church and state, we’re going to have a separation of church and state.

Hey Ma, can I take another ride on that Merry-go-round?

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

A fence works to keep things out and also to keep things in. So yes the fence will always have 2 sides.

FlaMurph on February 6, 2012 at 12:19 PM

has this obamacare act been challenged on a religious freedom allegation? time for an amicus curiae brief from the catholic church? that may be a stronger assertion than the mandate under the commerce clause….

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

It would really be tough for the Catholic Church to be a “friend of the Court” when the Catholic Church is clearly the Defendant.

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

It appears they are doubling down with kathleen writing an oped today

cmsinaz on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Mooooooooooom! Meatloaf!

DHChron on February 6, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I’ve never understood why they consider sterilization immoral. I guess there’s the “God made you this way” argument, but does that mean they’re against in vitro as well or is it specifically that as humans we should have as many babies as possible?

As someone who hates abortion, I’d much rather sterilize those who would rather use it as birth control.

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:24 PM

The First Amendment doesn’t specifically mention “churches”. The government can regulate hospitals and schools. The religious beliefs of the business owners don’t exempt them from US employment law.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

You seem to want to argue that this is settled case law, but I don’t see how you can since the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the individual mandate portion.

PackerBronco on February 6, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Please stop giving Al Not-So-Sharpton free publicity.

KS Rex on February 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Poor Al. It’s not his fault he’s stupid.

morganfrost on February 6, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Extremely-unintelligent-race-baiting-partisan-hack-and-stooge-of-the-libtard-party.

Tim_CA on February 6, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The First Amendment doesn’t specifically mention “churches”.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Then what makes you think these rights are only limited to churches?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Sharpton is a certified fool . . . . np more and no less.

rplat on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

The First Amendment doesn’t specifically mention “churches”. The government can regulate hospitals and schools. The religious beliefs of the business owners don’t exempt them from US employment law.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

We went around on this the other day, and you still don’t understand. While the 1st Amendment may not specifically use the word “Churches”, what exactly do you think “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” was referring to if not churches? Also, you cannot separate Catholic hospitals or Catholic schools from the Catholic Church. The hospitals and schools are an integral part of its Christian ministry.

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

It would really be tough for the Catholic Church to be a “friend of the Court” when the Catholic Church is clearly the Defendant.

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

well that’s true to 4 of the justices, right?

kennedy is the question mark? i heard on the hugh hewitt show, a legal scholar say that he’d go with a compassionate arguement. harder for him to also rule against the establishment clause?

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

EM:

“…and surprisingly, it’s the Reverend in this Morning Joe panel today.”

I hope you meant that in jest.

AnonymousDrivel on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

That liberals would destroy the Catholic church is not surprising. They destroy everything they touch as if they cannot have their way then they had rather it be destroyed. They destroy public education rather than limit union power and perks. They destroy western traditions rather than tolerate those who disagree. They would rather destroy a church they disagree with rather than simply change their membership. The OWS leftist would destroy the property they demonstrate on if they can’t have their “free speech”. Liberals will disrupt a speech by a conservative and destroy free sleech on a campus rather than carry on a logical debate . And they would rather destroy a country and coerce everyone through control of the Supreme Court rather than tolerate diversity of ideaology. And they would destroy and bankrupt a breast cancer charity rather than allow the charity to stop funding Planned Parenthood.

artman1746 on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

It would really be tough for the Catholic Church to be a “friend of the Court” when the Catholic Church is clearly the Defendant.

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:20 PM

well that’s true to 4 of the justices, right?

kennedy is the question mark? i heard on the hugh hewitt show, a legal scholar say that he’d go with a compassionate arguement. harder for him to also rule against the establishment clause?

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Dr. D, please….no mas. It’s tough enough trying to put my thoughts to words let alone trying to understand what you are trying to say. I’m just an underthinker, I guess.

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM

The problem is this time Obama made a fatal mistake in going after Catholics. They are a power voting block in swing states. The GOP needs to attack this not only as a move to destroy religious freedom in America, but as an attack that will hurt the poor.

William Eaton on February 6, 2012 at 12:00 PM

What are the chances that Mitt and Newt do that?

hawksruleva on February 6, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Not bloody likely.

Even as Newt is a converted Catholic (and don’t knock them; Laura Ingraham is another significant convert) will he credibly make the case as opponents continue to make the race an exercise into Newt’s past?

And then there’s Mitt…

Rick Santorum, because of his beliefs and convictions, actually would have a better opportunity to seize upon this as a main cause, and could get enough support from the pro-life Catholic bloc (and probably their endorsement while the primaries still slug forward). But I doubt such support even spread to the pro-choice Democrat-leaning Catholic bloc, as least right now.

As it is, the Church (vis-a-vis pro-life related groups) will likely drag the GOP nominee to the finish line by urging a vote “against” Obama. But if I were Mitt, Newt or Rick, I’ll take THAT GOTV drive in a heartbeat.

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

You seem to want to argue that this is settled case law, but I don’t see how you can since the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the individual mandate portion.

PackerBronco on February 6, 2012 at 12:24 PM

i think it is easier to rule that the commerce clause gives congress wide legislative authority… haven’t they been doing that since the ’30s? “a switch in time saves 9″ or something like that?

an establishment clause argument would be more troublesome as demonstrated by mika…. that’s why i asked if that was part of the argument against owe’bama care….

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

The First Amendment doesn’t specifically mention “churches”. The government can regulate hospitals and schools. The religious beliefs of the business owners don’t exempt them from US employment law.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM

You might want to re-think that. The adminstration received a 9-0 smackdown in the recent Hosanna-Tabor case decided by SCOTUS. The justices upheld the “ministerial exception” in church employment. Don’t expect these new regs to withstand similar SCOTUS scrutiny.

Missy on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Seriously, the Bishops and the Church will cave. Because the majority are liberal and believe Obama still has their best interest at heart. Just as Notre Dame caved when giving him an honorary degree; that day the Catholic church lost it’s last sense of being who they were and became bowers and scrapers to the Obama diety!

D.O.A.Voter on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Then what makes you think these rights are only limited to churches?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I don’t. I believe the opposite. Religious belief is what is protected at the individual level. The comment I was responding to had identified churches as specifically the target of the First Amendment. For Madison and others belief was something different.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

the rest of the msdnc talking heads are defending dear leader on this right now

natch

cmsinaz on February 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Dr. D, please….no mas. It’s tough enough trying to put my thoughts to words let alone trying to understand what you are trying to say. I’m just an underthinker, I guess.

timberline on February 6, 2012 at 12:33 PM”

i think you are doing fine! and i don’t claim to be a con-law expert…. but i play one in my tool shed…

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I may someday join them, but I can assure you that Obamba, Sebelius and all those abortion promoting a$$ wipes will end up in HELL. Yes, there is a hell and they will find out first hand.

rjulio on February 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Perhaps little Bammie wants the Catholic hospitals to shut down. Then he can take them over and create Government Hospitals (GH). He will claim that he had no choice but to do so in order to not lose all that healthcare capacity.

On the other hand, he may have a wealthy bundler waiting in the wings that wants to buy them out for a price of his choosing.

With little Bammie we have to think ahead a few Checkers moves.

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

No one else sees a pattern here:

Due to government regulations,

Catholic Adoption services are closing

Catholic Counseling for victims of human trafficking has all but ceased

Why wouldn’t the administration view a few more regulations as the means to shut down more Catholic Presses, Charities, Hospitals, and Universities; as well, as most administrative Diocesan and arch Diocesan functions. That’s just about the simplest way possible to “bomb” 23% of the US population back into the dark ages.

2nd Ammendment Mother on February 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

You might want to re-think that. The adminstration received a 9-0 smackdown in the recent Hosanna-Tabor case decided by SCOTUS. The justices upheld the “ministerial exception” in church employment. Don’t expect these new regs to withstand similar SCOTUS scrutiny.

Missy on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Hosanna-Tabor works against the RCC on this issue since SCOTUS made a distinction between ministers and non-ministers with regard to employment law. In this case the RCC is not making any claim that ministers are affected. It is the non-ministerial doctors, nurses, school teachers in question.

If belief can exempt an employer from complying with the law then any business owner can do the same, not just the RCC.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Oh and by the way, this black moron reverend Al, did he buy is title from the sears catalog or what? This fool of a tool needs to have his teeth knock down his throat.

rjulio on February 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I don’t. I believe the opposite. Religious belief is what is protected at the individual level. The comment I was responding to had identified churches as specifically the target of the First Amendment. For Madison and others belief was something different.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Then why should it matter if Catholics are operating a church or a hospital?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Perhaps little Bammie wants the Catholic hospitals to shut down. Then he can take them over and create Government Hospitals (GH). He will claim that he had no choice but to do so in order to not lose all that healthcare capacity.

On the other hand, he may have a wealthy bundler waiting in the wings that wants to buy them out for a price of his choosing.

With little Bammie we have to think ahead a few Checkers moves.

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

george soros, buffet, ge, or that light squared guy may have some time on his hands now?

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Oh and by the way, this black moron reverend Al, did he buy is title from the sears catalog or what? This fool of a tool needs to have his teeth knock down his throat.

rjulio on February 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

That’s an insult to the Sears Catalog.

Now, if you had said Woolworth’s… :P

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM

The “Reverend” proves their is no separation of religious bigotry and idiocy.

lonestarleeroy on February 6, 2012 at 12:44 PM

WisRich on February 6, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Force the showdown: if all 57 states agree to pay NO federal taxes and ignore the heavy-handed dictates, the fed gov’t will grind to a halt before they can do too much. Let the states collect the fed taxes as state taxes and spend that money more sensibly…

affenhauer on February 6, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Didn’t the Supreme Court just recently address Sharpton’s employment point with a 9 – 0 finding on a case out of Michigan?

peter the bellhop on February 6, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Seriously, the Bishops and the Church will cave.

D.O.A.Voter on February 6, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Not on this one they won’t. This is an assault on religious freedom and an assault on one of the Church’s core beliefs. The bishops are rock solid on this one.

Trafalgar on February 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Even as Newt is a converted Catholic (and don’t knock them; Laura Ingraham is another significant convert) will he credibly make the case as opponents continue to make the race an exercise into Newt’s past?

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Gingrich Claims Obama Violates Catholics’ Right to Worship – Jan. 30, 2012

Both Obama and Romney Have Used Government Power to Attack the First Amendment Freedoms of the Catholic Church – Feb. 04, 2012

Gingrich Blasts Obama’s Birth Control Policy as ‘Outrageous Assault’ on Religion – Feb. 05, 2012

Flora Duh on February 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM

If belief can exempt an employer from complying with the law then any business owner can do the same, not just the RCC.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I really don’t see the problem with that. Why should any of us be forced to do something against our religious beliefs so long as not doing so causes no direct harm to anyone?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

This latest proclamation by Obama is EVIL: that is to say, he is a very real tool of the devil.

disa on February 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

because Romney is so firmly pro-life and stuff

DHChron on February 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

He’s come around to that, yes. That should be our ultimate goal, to change peoples minds.

Most politicians are too pig headed to admit they’ve changed their minds, because the media just hammers back with the Flip-Flop meme.

kirkill on February 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I LOVE your handle.
During the 1980′s,I went to school groggy on many a Monday because of that show.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I LOVE your handle.
During the 1980′s,I went to school groggy on many a Monday because of that show.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

as elvis pressley said, “thank you, thank you very much!”

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

slickwillie2001 on February 6, 2012 at 12:40 PM

If and when the Church shuts down the hospitals, they should shut them down in such a way that the government cannot take them over by eminent domain or any other means. Burn the suckers. Let the gov’t eminent domain the land and start from scratch…

affenhauer on February 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

This whole attack on the Catholic faith by the Obama administration is a rare moment of clarity for the general populace into who they really are, and have been all along.

Myron Falwell on February 6, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Indeed, and Protestants and Jews are not amused either. This was a stumble, and the jug-eared-dope’s timing couldn’t be better as this will churn away in churches and temples across America through election day.

Added Bonus: His biggest political allies on this issue seems to be Pelosi and Sharpton – already percieved as radical, unintelligent dufusses.

Tim_CA on February 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I really don’t see the problem with that. Why should any of us be forced to do something against our religious beliefs so long as not doing so causes no direct harm to anyone?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 12:54 PM

At that point you would no longer have a legal code. One would have no idea what set of laws their neighbors were following and a court would have no way of resolving issues. The Supreme Court began addressing some of these questions on the limits of religious expression in the 1870′s.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Indeed, and Protestants and Jews are not amused either. This was a stumble, and the jug-eared-dope’s timing couldn’t be better as this will churn away in churches and temples across America through election day.

Added Bonus: His biggest political allies on this issue seems to be Pelosi and Sharpton – already percieved as radical, unintelligent dufusses.

Tim_CA on February 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

i am hoping you are right…. but i doubt it… they are afraid of being called racists, having their tax exemption status taken away, ETC. we are sheeple being led to the slaughter by the dems and their enablers/cheerleaders in the LSM.

then after 100 years of gov’t intervention, they’ll claim, “see, capitalism doesn’t work!”

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

At that point you would no longer have a legal code. One would have no idea what set of laws their neighbors were following and a court would have no way of resolving issues. The Supreme Court began addressing some of these questions on the limits of religious expression in the 1870′s.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM

No, we can clearly have both side by side. Churches are allowed to discriminate based on religion (can’t hire an atheist as a pastor after all), but that doesn’t mean they can steal or kill anyone.

Again, the whole, not hurting someone else aspect will keep most laws in tact. But when it comes to individual choices that do not harm others, we should have a really good reason for the law in the first place and an even better reason for forcing people to violate their religious beliefs.

Otherwise, what was the point of the First?

Esthier on February 6, 2012 at 1:08 PM

You seem to want to argue that this is settled case law, but I don’t see how you can since the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the individual mandate portion.

PackerBronco on February 6, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I’m opposed to the individual mandate and hope SCOTUS rules against it on the basis of it being an unConstitutional expansion of federal power. The RCC is making another claim which is indifferent to whether the federal or state government is writing the law.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

What dummy at MSNBC ever thought it was a good idea to hire Al Sharpton?

Roymunson on February 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

Obamacare violates the beliefs of many employers. The RCC doesn’t get to avoid insurance requirements that other employers of similar size and similar industry have to abide by.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

With all due respect, I think this viewpoint ignores our country’s rich tradition of respecting “conscientious objector” status. We don’t make Quakers shoot people, for example, even when we have had military drafts. Likewise, we shouldn’t require any organization that has a long and consistent record of being institutionally pro-life to provide abortions, or funding for them; nor should individuals who are pro-life have to do so.

RegularJoe on February 6, 2012 at 1:18 PM

The Roman Catholic Cult has a few viable options if the ruling is to stand. One would be to drop all insurance for its employees. This is probably the aim of the ruling since if enough employers drop coverage the government will be forced to eventually bring back the public option as the number of insurers diminishes. The second would be more effective. It would be to immediately send notice to all employees that as of a certain date the hospitals will only retain Catholic employees. In addition. Only Catholic patient will be admitted. For Emergency room cases non Catholics will be transferred elsewhere as soon as their condition is stabalized.

Yet another option would be to sell off the hospitals and give the proceeds to the poor.

In the likely contest between Obamney and Rombama these are the only real options since the ruling will stand if either of these guys is elected.

Annar on February 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I hear ya doc….but keep the faith that this issue will anger the “flock”….The Catholic church’s politics won’t trump the attitudes of the faithful….and I worry even less about the protestants and jews – their churches aren’t as rooted in a pre-made highly political power structure.

I think most people of faith absolutely disdain government interference in thier religious beleifs.

Tim_CA on February 6, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I am still troubled that the government should be telling insurers for ANY business that they HAVE to cover certain procedures.

We were read a letter from our Bishop during the homily saying we will not stand for this. Father mentioned dropping health care for employees and paying the associated taxes/fines, or civil disobedience.

tommer74 on February 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Obama/Biden 2012
Like Jesus; only pro-abortion.

Cleombrotus on February 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM

It would be to immediately send notice to all employees that as of a certain date the hospitals will only retain Catholic employees. In addition. Only Catholic patient will be admitted.

But then we would be sued for discrimination based on religion. By the way, did you use “Cult” to offend or just using it for its definition?

tommer74 on February 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

There you have it, the Afro-American Nancy Pelosi.

DaveDief on February 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

What dummy at MSNBC ever thought it was a good idea to hire Al Sharpton?

Roymunson on February 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

The same one who thought the Matthews et al were good hires.

Annar on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

If and when the Church shuts down the hospitals, they should shut them down in such a way that the government cannot take them over by eminent domain or any other means. Burn the suckers. Let the gov’t eminent domain the land and start from scratch…

affenhauer on February 6, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Good idea. And I hope they’ll send all of the medical equipment to any country that is willing to outlaw abortion.

I also wonder what will happen when — in addition to the people who don’t go into medicine because of the lowered pay — the half of the country that is pro-life reject medical careers because they don’t want to be forced to provide abortions?

Yeah, this Obamacare stuff is going to be awesome. :o/

RegularJoe on February 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I’m not a frequent commenter here, but a frequent lurker. Sometimes I just can’t stay silent, though. Reverend Al is a moron, there is little doubt. What’s more disturbing, though, is that Obama and his HHS really do appear to have some strategic goals in mind here. I’m not a conspiracy nut but this does seem to be a deliberate attack on the Catholic Church. Why? Because the Catholic Church is a major health care provider in the US, probably the largest single provider. It’s also a major provider of education. Both of these areas are targeted by progressives for full take-over. The Catholic Church stands in the way of that full take-over. The Constitution protects the Church so the progressives are beginning to redefine religion. Matters of morality, for example, are slowly being pulled away from religion and placed into secular hands. Religions cannot speak about morals as religious doctrine as specific to that faith, but only generally, as acceptable to a pluralistic (a.k.a., secular) society. You pull that away from religion, and you’re left with just personal belief in one thing or another. Never mind that the Constitution was meant to specifically address both personal and institutional religion. So I think it is clear they are trying to strip away elements of what has historically been the purview of religion so as to neuter the impact of any church on public policy. Churches cannot claim Constitutional protection if the subject is not “religious”. So in a twisted way, Reverend Al may have hit on the future of “separation of church and state” because if the state can define what is health care and what is moral, then religion cannot intrude on any decision concerning either. Very scary.

BillyWilly on February 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Someone has a very confused idea about the separation of church and state, and surprisingly, it’s the Reverend in this Morning Joe panel today.

Most people have a confusion about this. Unsurprisingly, its the Morning Joe Panel.

ted c on February 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Dear Reverend Al,
Let’s try it this way — see if you approve.
First, let’s set the time machine to January 2008:
George Bush needs to dictate (policy) to the African American Methodist Church to maintain separation of church and state.

Does that sound right to you?

You idiot.

Warmest regards,
Me.

stevezilla on February 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM

BillyWilly on February 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

good input. thx.

ted c on February 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

But then we would be sued for discrimination based on religion. By the way, did you use “Cult” to offend or just using it for its definition?

tommer74 on February 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

A bit of both. A group that indoctrinates children is in some sense a cult in the negative sense. In spite of my opinion about that institution I respect their constitutional rights.

Annar on February 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Did anyone really expect anything that makes the least bit of sense to come out of Sharptons’s mouth????? He has enough trouble locating the correct camera to speak into at the right time/then to have to form a coherent thought???????? GMAB

Karla1953 on February 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

That will only make matters worse for the poor, and also for the government that would have to fill the very large gap left by the closing of hundreds of hospitals and clinics.

And that’s the plan.

crazy_legs on February 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Hosanna-Tabor works against the RCC on this issue since SCOTUS made a distinction between ministers and non-ministers with regard to employment law. In this case the RCC is not making any claim that ministers are affected. It is the non-ministerial doctors, nurses, school teachers in question.

If belief can exempt an employer from complying with the law then any business owner can do the same, not just the RCC.

OptionsTrader on February 6, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I’m not saying the cases would exactly align nor that either side would argue in the same manner. I’m saying SCOTUS broadly recognizes churches as organizations with special rights under the First Amendment. If SCOTUS finds that religious organizations are protected in staffing decisions, I can’t see that they will find it a stretch to also find that they are protected in decisions about purchasing health insurance on behalf of their employees. But we will see.

Missy on February 6, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Romney would be at least as bad as Obama on this issue, he ordered Catholic Hospitals to provide the abortion pill, so Catholics should not expect any relief from him.

neuquenguy on February 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Dr. Demento on February 6, 2012 at 12:38 PM

I LOVE your handle.
During the 1980′s,I went to school groggy on many a Monday because of that show.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 6, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I agree. I loved that show too!

ted c on February 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’m not a frequent commenter here, but a frequent lurker. Sometimes I just can’t stay silent, though.

BillyWilly on February 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Sharpton has that effect on people…..and excellent post btw.

Tim_CA on February 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Al is a racist liar, bigot, and loser; exactly like the racist Holder and the Failed President. Americans will not tolerate this order and ask yourself why the 1200 waivers for unions until after 2012.

The Failed President is both a liar, loser, and is destroying America. Secret Service personnel have stated he is a dishonest person and his wife hates white people. He is a very dangerous man and ignores the law in general, the will of the American people, Congress, and the Constitution.

There are no longer massive adoring crowds to deceive. For the first time in Barack Obama’s life, he is accountable. He has repeatedly shown that he cannot deal with, and will never be able to shoulder responsibility, as he is at his core a self-absorbed man, and a very dishonest human being.

Obama has never stood for individualism, capitalism, or liberty. The citizens of our country naively gave the reins of power to a tyrant. The White House has been marginalized and he has proven himself to be the most inept president in modern history. He is symbolic of a man who has downgraded the White House, the Constitution, human life, foreign policy, race relations, and America herself.

His resignation from office would be a great first step toward economic recovery. The majority of Americans are sick of his condescension, his policies, his racist bigotry, and his incompetence. Obama is “the most disastrous president in our history.”

This is the most corrupt, incompetent, dangerous tyrannical administration in American history.

Brushjumper on February 6, 2012 at 1:34 PM

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