Quotes of the day

posted at 11:07 pm on February 14, 2012 by Allahpundit

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., relented on Tuesday and now says he’ll allow a Senate vote on an amendment that would reverse the White House’s controversial requirement that all insurers provide birth control free of charge to women. The proposal put forward last week by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., would exempt employers from providing any care they find immoral.

“It’s unlikely to pass the Senate, and Reid blocked the vote last week. But he gave in on Tuesday, providing a potential opportunity for his fellow Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska (a cosponsor of Blunt’s amendment), Robert Casey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to go on the record with their opposition to the contraception mandate…

“Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Blunt’s proposal could lead to effects far beyond contraception. ‘If I believe that prayer should cure all disease, that’s my belief, and I’m an employer, I can deny coverage for any life-saving intervention,’ Boxer said at a news conference on Tuesday.”

***

“‘Let’s be clear about what’s at stake,’ said Carney. ‘The proposal being considered in the Senate applies to all employers — not just religious employers. And it isn’t limited to contraception. Any employer could restrict access to any service they say they object to. That is dangerous and it is wrong. Decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.’

“The measure, proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) would amend the Affordable Care Act to allow any employer to exclude any health service coverage, no matter how critical or basic, by claiming that it violates their religious or moral convictions. Moreover, according to the National Women’s Law Center, the amendment would remove critical non-discrimination protections from the Affordable Care Act. For instance, an insurer could deny maternity care coverage to a same-sex couple, an interracial couple or a single woman for religious or moral reasons.’…

“‘This is a terrible vote for them,’ said a Senate Democratic aide, explaining why Reid relented. ‘We are thrilled at the prospect about spending as much time as possible talking about this vote. They are caught between their base and a hard place.’”

***

“Obama’s revised rule appears to have won over Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine. Both had called for changes to the original rule despite their support in the past for a bill with a similar objective.

“‘It appears that changes have been made that provide women’s health services without compelling Catholic organizations in particular to violate the beliefs and tenets of their faith,’ Snowe said in a statement. ‘According to the Catholic Health Association, the administration ‘responded to the issues [they] identified that needed to be fixed,’ which is what I urged the president to do in addressing this situation.”

“‘While I will carefully review the details of the president’s revised proposal, it appears to be a step in the right direction,’ Collins said in a statement. ‘The administration’s original plan was deeply flawed and clearly would have posed a threat to religious freedom. It presented the Catholic Church with its wide-ranging social, educational, and health care services, and many other faith-based organizations, with an impossible choice between violating their religious beliefs or violating federal regulations. The administration has finally listened to the concerns raised by many and appears to be seeking to avoid the threat to religious liberties posed by its original plan.’”

***

“Catholics’ views of President Obama were little changed during a week in which the administration battled publicly with Catholic leaders over whether church-affiliated employers should have to pay for contraception as part of their employees’ health plans.”

***

“Catholic bishops, energized by a battle over contraception funding, are planning an aggressive campaign to rally Americans against a long list of government measures which they say intrude on religious liberty…

“On the federal level, the Obama administration has cancelled or threatened to cancel contracts awarded to Catholic charities for work to prevent HIV and to help victims of sex trafficking. The administration says the charities have to provide services such as condoms, emergency contraception and abortion referrals to maintain the contracts; the charities protest that such conditions violate their religious faith.

“Several states, meanwhile, have required adoption agencies that receive public funds to treat same-sex couples on par with any other prospective foster or adoptive parent. Catholic Charities object, saying the church doesn’t sanction gay and lesbian relationships. Rather than comply with the laws, bishops in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. have shut down Catholic adoption agencies.

“The bishops portray this as an out-and-out war on free exercise of religion.”

***

“Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he trusted Obama wasn’t anti-religious and intended to make good on his pledge to work with religious groups to fine-tune the mandate.

“‘I want to take him at his word,’ Dolan said in Rome, where he will be made a cardinal Saturday. But he stressed: “I do have to say it’s getting harder and harder,’ to believe Obama’s claim to prioritize religious freedom issues given the latest controversy…

“Dolan, the archbishop of New York, said the main concern is that the so-called ‘choking mandates’ remain. In addition many Catholic entities are self-insured. It remains unclear how they would get around the mandate to provide services that they consider morally illicit.

“‘Was what was intended to be a concession, and what gave us a glimmer of hope at the beginning … really just amount to a hill of beans? And it seems as if it does,’ Dolan said.”

***

“Sen. Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate, said Tuesday afternoon that he doesn’t know if President Obama’s revised contraception mandate violates the religious liberty of self-insured religious institutions, such as some hospitals, universities, and the Catholic church in Washington, D.C.

“‘That is the remaining question in my mind–the risk plans, the self-insured,’ Durbin told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following the Senate Democrats weekly luncheon. ‘I want to know how they’re treated. I’ve asked that.’…

“Durbin said he doesn’t know what, if anything, needs to be done to protect self-insured religious institutions. ‘I don’t know. I need to know the answer,’ he said. ‘The same question’s been raised to me, and I don’t know.’”

***

“Obama has made clear who is part of his ideological coalition and who is not. Discussions on the structure and restructuring of the contraceptive policy were conducted between the administration and pro-choice and feminist groups. The institutions targeted by the mandate — particularly those represented by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — were not in the room. The administration engaged in no substantive consultation with Catholic bishops, who were only called to receive pronouncements. Interest-group liberalism is alive and well in the Obama White House…

“[W]ith a single miscalculation, Obama has managed to unite economic and social conservatives in outrage against government activism and energize religious conservatives in a way Mitt Romney could never manage. Culture-war debates in America are evenly divided. But the objects of culture-war aggression do not easily forget.

“If Obama is playing a political chess game, he has just sacrificed his queen, a rook and all his bishops. It would have to be a deep game indeed.”

***

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Classic Dire, You a big Buffet fan?

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:05 AM

MontanaMmmm on February 15, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Good Deal..Later..:)

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:06 AM

“Catholic bishops, energized by a battle over contraception funding, are planning an aggressive campaign to rally Americans against a long list of government measures which they say intrude on religious liberty…

They should go all out Pope Urban II on Herr Obama and not stop until November 7th.

VorDaj on February 15, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 1:49 AM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha
What genre does that fall into?

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:07 AM

Classic Dire, You a big Buffet fan?

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:05 AM

Sure..I thought everyone is a Parrothead??!!??..:)

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:09 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCDZzf4ragg

MontanaMmmm on February 15, 2012 at 1:52 AM

Pleasant Dreams, MontanaMmmm, thanks for the tunes.

Love Little Feat bring some for tomorrow ; )

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:09 AM

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:09 AM

Thats true, I guess in a way its a little like being a Dead Head. Speaking of which wonder where John has been? You know the Libertarian one not Galt.

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:11 AM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha
What genre does that fall into?

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:07AM

Um…80s Bubblegum Pop is my best guess.

Endicott stands for decency
Endicott means formality
Endicott’s the epitome
Endicott stands for quality

Endicott 2012
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:11 AM

I don’t know where JtL is..I saw him posting today.He must be doing other things..:)

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Huh, interesting. Endicott.

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:19 AM

Cool, I like John, seems like a good guy. Well Dire guess I’ll turn in. Might take a little peek around some of the other threads first, just to see how it all turned out. See ya tomorrow friend. : )

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Huh, interesting. Endicott.

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Moral turpitude is the new black this season.
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Lanceman, see I knew that’s what it was. Maybe one day we can meet for a beer and see who can catch the quarter before it falls in the glass. Or we can try this.
http://www.topendsports.com/testing/reaction-timer.htm

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I ain’t good at drinkin’ games. I drink and that’s about it. And never before 10:30pm.

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:28 AM

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:28 AM

And there’s this ‘culcha vulcha’ business again.
WHY do I keep picturing Linda Richman?!?!?

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 AM

John the Libertarian is an excellent poster on HA (Among many I might add)..:)

PS..Later..:)

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:30 AM

And there’s this ‘culcha vulcha’ business again.
WHY do I keep picturing Linda Richman?!?!?

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Because it’s frikkin’ hilarious (as well as “like buttah”)?
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:32 AM

Ain’t you got a QOTD song my brother from another Mother?

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 1:32 AM

Sorry…went to a couple of other threads to aggravate joana,csdeven and Jailbreak…so just came back to see if you guys were doing the music again. Gotta crash! First, I have to wash off the temp tattoos of Valentines- I had on my face and neck at work all day. (boss just shook his head!) Enjoy your music!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Because it’s frikkin’ hilarious (as well as “like buttah”)?
:)

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:32 AM

I’m getting ferklempt. Twalk amongst yoahselves. I’ll give you a topic. Hope and change is neither hope nor change.

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:39 AM

Sorry…went to a couple of other threads to aggravate joana,csdeven and Jailbreak…

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Heh. cdseven. What uselessness. And I see people encouraging it. Notice it ain’t here? 95% of the time on Palin threads

Anyhoo, I gotta crash too..

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:41 AM

Don’t mean to kvetch. In fact, your understanding of my name makes me kvell. I mean it, Bubbala. You’re giving me naches here among the michegoss that is this Hot Air Political tsoriss.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on February 15, 2012 at 2:47 AM

Reid blocked the vote last week

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said

Still unbelievable that these two got re-elected.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 15, 2012 at 3:42 AM

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Decided to stop by, and what a treat! Thanks, guys. I’m on a plane tomorrow for the East Coast to take my daughter skiing yet again, so I’m pretty psyched. I won’t be on the boards much for the next week or so, so keep on posting.

John the Libertarian on February 15, 2012 at 3:51 AM

This one’s for you, DS

John the Libertarian on February 15, 2012 at 3:54 AM

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 2:34 AM
Heh. cdseven. What uselessness. And I see people encouraging it. Notice it ain’t here? 95% of the time on Palin threads

Anyhoo, I gotta crash too..

Lanceman on February 15, 2012 at 2:41 AM

In case you check…I brought her over…

You don’t win elections by treating the base with contempt.

tom on February 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM
I thought the base was The Establishment? And the 30% support Romney has maintained has been The Establishment.

You must mean he isn’t pandering to the fringe portion of the GOP who think that calling Obama names and arguing with the media is the way to win elections.

csdeven on February 15, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Schadenfreude on February 14, 2012 at 5:28 PM
Your obsession with me isn’t healthy. In all honesty, it’s flat out creepy. I have no idea why people need to focus so much on motives and on the other commentators instead of debating the issues instead. The reason there’s so much nastiness and name-calling – I was accused of being
a) drunk
b) ugly
c) lesbian
d) paid by the Romney campaign
e) paid by the Obama campaign
f) Christian-hater
g) stupid
h) ignorant
i) liar
several times in the last few days.

A bit less focus on personalizing the attacks on other commentators would help a better discussion.

Now I’ll go back to ignore your multiple posts about me.

joana on February 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM
I was not sure about b)…but you mean to tell me the rest of it isn’t true?
Oh!
Wow!
Shocked!
I think you have a sister here too!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM

You mean get nasty like csdeven saying she wonders where Jesus hangs his skin suit when he is God? You mean that kind of nasty?

right2bright on February 14, 2012 at 8:39 PM
It is just like you to take that conversation out of context.

Someone, probably you, was calling Mormons a cult because they believed weird stuff. My response was to ask that person if they understood that eating flesh and drinking blood was pretty extreme. And that a body that had been dead for three days would be in very bad condition, yet he expects people to believe that body would just rise up in perfect shape was very weird also. And to top it off, expecting people to believe that God was a Ghost, a Spirit, and a has a body was a stretch also. I then asked you to explain what God does with his Jesus skin suit when he wanted to be Ghost God or spirit God.

The entire comment was to lead you to realize that you had no standing to criticize ANY religious belief when you yourself believe some very weird stuff.

Yeah, trying to get you to be less judgmental (IE remove the beam from your eye etc) before criticizing others. Especially when you were using it as a religious test for the office of POTUS.

csdeven on February 15, 2012 at 12:56 AM

I think you have a sister here too!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Speaking of the devil! Look up joana!

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM

Now I’ll go back to ignore your multiple posts about me.

joana on February 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM
They can’t help it. You live in their heads 24/7/365! I’m a bit jealous because I used to live there.

csdeven on February 15, 2012 at 1:45 AM

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 4:10 AM

“The measure, proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) would amend the Affordable Care Act to allow any employer…

 
Hooray. When we’re arguing with the cannibal over whether he’ll eat our toes or our fingers first it means we’ve accepted that we’ll be eaten.
 
Obamacare has officially been accepted, folks.
 

This is a terrible vote for them,’ said a Senate Democratic aide, explaining why Reid relented. ‘We are thrilled…

 
Asked before but no answer. Hopefully one of our legal types will eventually see it-
 
Considering these waivers and amendments, isn’t this where Obamacare not including a severability clause like this one:
 
“In the event that any one or more of the provisions contained herein shall, for any reason, be held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability shall not affect any other provisions of this agreement…”
 
forces the entire law to be null and void/removed/redacted/re-whatevered?
 
(Assuming someone in Congress was actually against Obamacare and willing to file the paperwork, of course.)

rogerb on February 15, 2012 at 4:15 AM

“‘Let’s be clear about what’s at stake,’ said Carney. ‘The proposal being considered in the Senate applies to all employers — not just religious employers. And it isn’t limited to contraception. Any employer could restrict access to any service they say they object to. That is dangerous and it is wrong. Decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.

Indeed this is serious. fortunately I am self insured, but I would see this has danger of any boss get into our personal health care choices of both mens and womens. Say, If my employer was a jeova witness, he could make me pay for blood transfusions? this is nuts!

this is worth notice:

“On the federal level, the Obama administration has cancelled or threatened to cancel contracts awarded to Catholic charities for work to prevent HIV and to help victims of sex trafficking. The administration says the charities have to provide services such as condoms, emergency contraception and abortion referrals to maintain the contracts; the charities protest that such conditions violate their religious faith.

“Several states, meanwhile, have required adoption agencies that receive public funds to treat same-sex couples on par with any other prospective foster or adoptive parent. Catholic Charities object, saying the church doesn’t sanction gay and lesbian relationships. Rather than comply with the laws, bishops in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. have shut down Catholic adoption agencies.

“The bishops portray this as an out-and-out war on free exercise of religion.”

catholic charities that fight AIDS that receive state funding do not give condoms? really? what they do? teach abstinence to foreign sex workers?
catholic can discriminate on their adoption prospective foster or adoptive parents? really? hell, if they do it for gays they can also do it for members of any religion they consider heretic…
this is not going to end well, for the catholic church…

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 5:06 AM

nathor
I think your mistaken, this is more about religious freedom then condoms. Once you start telling ppl what their religion can or can’t do the ppl start opening their eyes. This isn’t simply about condoms, it’s religious freedom.

angrymike on February 15, 2012 at 5:31 AM

catholic charities that fight AIDS that receive state funding do not give condoms? really? what they do? teach abstinence to foreign sex workers?

 
Yeah, that’s not right. So remove all government funding from all charities. Problem solved and I’m glad we agree.
 

catholic can discriminate on their adoption prospective foster or adoptive parents? really?

 
“Discriminate” is a stretch, but I understand you’re just attempting to frame the people you disagree with in hopes of cheapening their position. Anyway:
 
Fine. That’s their own business, and if they run out of funding they can stop. If gays don’t think they’re getting good customer service they can take their business elsewhere, or even set up an adoption service catering strictly to gays.
 

hell, if they do it for gays they can also do it for members of any religion they consider heretic…

 
Fine. That’s their own business, and if they run out of funding they can stop. If heretics don’t think they’re getting good customer service they can take their business elsewhere, or even set up an adoption service catering strictly to heretics.
 

this is not going to end well, for the catholic church…
 
nathor on February 15, 2012 at 5:06 AM

 
Pro-choice except for every other single thing in everybody else’s life, right?

rogerb on February 15, 2012 at 5:49 AM

I binged ObamaCare + religious exemptions, and the only two major religions not exempted are Christians and Jews. Then they go after their religious freedoms. I think if relious freedom isn’t imnportant for Christians and Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Native American Indians, Christian Scientists, etc. should not be exempt either. What happened to equal protection under the law?

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:03 AM

@EdMorrissey Why the hell am I up this early?

7m ago via Echofon

Just in case you stop in, Good Morning Ed!

You can always join in with the rest of us HA early risers. It’s not quite as “dangerous” as the later in the day threads. IYKWIM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Yeah, that’s not right. So remove all government funding from all charities. Problem solved and I’m glad we agree.

I am fine with that.

“Discriminate” is a stretch, but I understand you’re just attempting to frame the people you disagree with in hopes of cheapening their position. Anyway:

Fine. That’s their own business, and if they run out of funding they can stop. If gays don’t think they’re getting good customer service they can take their business elsewhere, or even set up an adoption service catering strictly to gays.

i really never gave it much tough but is there are government regulation regarding adoption agencies? I not even sure how the process works, for example can a mother choose what family will get her baby, for example, can she ask, I want a catholic family to get my child, is this legal?

Fine. That’s their own business, and if they run out of funding they can stop. If heretics don’t think they’re getting good customer service they can take their business elsewhere, or even set up an adoption service catering strictly to heretics.

I not sure this adoption should run in the same guidelines as free market. imagine that some shady religious group with an history of polygamy would pay big bugs for babies.
I have to think better about this, for now I reserve my opinion.

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 6:33 AM

It’s not quite as “dangerous” as the later in the day threads. Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:32 AM

Shhhh! Don’t wake them! ;-)

Good Morning, Flora Duh! Hope All is Well! :-)

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

@EdMorrissey Why the hell am I up this early?

7m ago via Echofon
Just in case you stop in, Good Morning Ed!

You can always join in with the rest of us HA early risers. It’s not quite as “dangerous” as the later in the day threads. IYKWIM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:32 AM

If I didn’t have a kid to get on the bus before 7:00 am, I certainly wouldn’t be up this early either. But since I am, Good Morning!

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

angrymike on February 15, 2012 at 5:31 AM

Exactly. This administration wants to impose their own vision of societal norms, ethics, and values on the Proletariat.

And Christians stand in the way.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., relented on Tuesday and now says he’ll allow a Senate vote on an amendment that would reverse the White House’s controversial requirement that all insurers provide birth control free of charge to women. The proposal put forward last week by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., would exempt employers from providing any care they find immoral.

Well isn’t that gracious of Harry ‘The Court Jester’ Reid. /sarc
Someone needs to tell that d-bag in no uncertain terms that he does not run this country!
You know what they say about “payback”, ’tis indeed a ______ ______ .
A smart guy in the Congress would have realized that by now.

~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 15, 2012 at 6:39 AM

If I didn’t have a kid to get on the bus before 7:00 am, I certainly wouldn’t be up this early either. But since I am, Good Morning!

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Good Morning! Alas, I am so not a morning person. That’s why I crank the music up loud! ;-)

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:41 AM

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Good Morning, Kingsjester!

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:42 AM

Good Morning, Flora Duh! Hope All is Well! :-)

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Good morning. Doing well, thank you. I haven’t seen you in a few days.

If I didn’t have a kid to get on the bus before 7:00 am, I certainly wouldn’t be up this early either. But since I am, Good Morning!

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Morning! Ah yes, I remember those days. Funny thing, now that I have absolutely no reason not to sleep in, I usually awake anywhere from 4 to 5.

Good morning to you, too, nathor!

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

I’ve been busy with work and life. ;-) Thankfully, you, Night Owl, Kingsjester, and the others have been keeping the place in check! :-)

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:44 AM

Good Morning, Kingsjester!

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:42 AM

Mornin’, JonB! O/T: For those of y’all who missed it yesterday, I started tweeting Saturday, and yesterday, the Senate Republicans started following me. Not too shabby for a “lame” blog, as csdeven was calling it all day yesterday. Thanks, gang.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:46 AM

nathor
I think your mistaken, this is more about religious freedom then condoms. Once you start telling ppl what their religion can or can’t do the ppl start opening their eyes. This isn’t simply about condoms, it’s religious freedom.

angrymike on February 15, 2012 at 5:31 AM

how much religious freedom can be given to break laws? very little according to scalia, enjoy:

We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition. As described succinctly by Justice Frankfurter in Minersville School Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586, 594-595 (1940):

Conscientious scruples have not, in the course of the long struggle for religious toleration, relieved the individual from obedience to a general law not aimed at the promotion or restriction of religious beliefs. The mere possession of religious convictions which contradict the relevant concerns of a political society does not relieve the citizen from the discharge of political responsibilities.

(Footnote omitted.) We first had occasion to assert that principle in Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1879), where we rejected the claim that criminal laws against polygamy could not be constitutionally applied to those whose religion commanded the practice. “Laws,” we said,

are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. . . . Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.

Id. at 166-167.

Subsequent decisions have consistently held that the right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a

valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes).

United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 263, n. 3 (1982) (STEVENS, J., concurring in judgment); see Minersville School Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Gobitis, supra, 310 U.S. at 595 (collecting cases).

Justice Scalia reminded his fellow justices of the Court’s 1982 decision in United States v. Lee, where Amish plaintiffs protested having to collect taxes for Social Security, since they didn’t believe in government support programs as a matter of conscience. In that case, Chief Justice Burger (mmm … burger …) explained for a unanimous Court:

The obligation to pay the social security tax initially is not fundamentally different from the obligation to pay income taxes; the difference — in theory at least — is that the social security tax revenues are segregated for use only in furtherance of the statutory program. There is no principled way, however, for purposes of this case, to distinguish between general taxes and those imposed under the Social Security Act. If, for example, a religious adherent believes war is a sin, and if a certain percentage of the federal budget can be identified as devoted to war-related activities, such individuals would have a similarly valid claim to be exempt from paying that percentage of the income tax. The tax system could not function if denominations were allowed to challenge the tax system because tax payments were spent in a manner that violates their religious belief.

He adds:

Congress and the courts have been sensitive to the needs flowing from the Free Exercise Clause, but every person cannot be shielded from all the burdens incident to exercising every aspect of the right to practice religious beliefs. When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity.

you live in a country where religious practice(not opinion) is already restricted.

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Good Morning! Alas, I am so not a morning person. That’s why I crank the music up loud! ;-)

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Good Morning!

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:47 AM

I binged ObamaCare + religious exemptions, and the only two major religions not exempted are Christians and Jews. Then they go after their religious freedoms. I think if relious freedom isn’t imnportant for Christians and Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Native American Indians, Christian Scientists, etc. should not be exempt either. What happened to equal protection under the law?

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 6:03 AM

indeed!

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 6:49 AM

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:44 AM

We try. But sometimes a whip and a chair just isn’t enough to hold off the really ferocious lions. I’m thinking we need to add a tranquilizer to the arsenal. ;-)

Good morning kingjester, Karl Magnus, and anyone else I may have missed.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

I started tweeting Saturday, and yesterday, the Senate Republicans started following me. Not too shabby for a “lame” blog, as csdeven was calling it all day yesterday. Thanks, gang.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:46 AM

WOW! That is excellent news! I am so glad! You have a great blog! I love reading it! In fact, I am reading it now – Obama cutting the National Defense to 1950 level.

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Mornin’, Mizz Flora Duh. I see the dKos crowd is still going strong on the other thread.

Did Scooter actually think that he was going to get by with going after Americans’ Freedom of Religion? Schmuck.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:53 AM

I started tweeting Saturday, and yesterday, the Senate Republicans started following me. Not too shabby for a “lame” blog, as csdeven was calling it all day yesterday. Thanks, gang.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Welcome to Twitter! You’ll find a whole new world open up. I just followed you, I’m sure you’ll recognize my username.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:54 AM

Amazing how complicated things are made when you allow central authority to design a solution – The real ultimate solution is to take employers out of the equation. You can’t force employers to provide coverage without introducing all manner of issues and controversy. Insurance should be a personal matter between you and your insurance company – we know where this is going.

Ultimately employers will be out of the picture except to pay their big fine for not providing insurance and then the government is directly controlling you by creating this dependency on healthcare coverage and everything will be wonderful !

Dear big government – please don’t try to help us any more ! or as my blood pressure rises I often say “Leave me the F*ck alone !”

alQemist on February 15, 2012 at 6:54 AM

I see the dKos crowd is still going strong on the other thread.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:53 AM

Oh my! I haven’t looked in on that thread since around 10 last night. Not sure that I want to now. lol

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:55 AM

I’m thinking we need to add a tranquilizer to the arsenal. ;-)

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:50 AM

LOL! Sometimes, I think they must be actors playing a role. ;-) Surely real adults couldn’t be so virulent and and vitriolic.

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:56 AM

@foxandfriends new polls on the republican candidates at the top o the 7am EST hour … also in the am hour mitt romney on the couch and sarah palin

2m ago via web

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:58 AM

The strange thing is I do support the practice of all medical decisions being made between a doctor and their patient, without regard to any factor.

When the government gets into the paying end of things it shafts doctors, shifts costs, increases burdens by overhead, distorts markets, gets to decide what drugs are ‘safe’ and which ones aren’t and for which procedures, attempts to make decisions that are vital to someone’s life come under the diktats of bureaucracy that is unacountable, subsidizes insurance that further burdens the overall cost to the system, mandates care… if women were serious about the ‘hands off my body’ language, they would vehemently hate any and all attempts by the federal government to have ANY involvement in health care. It now costs so much BECAUSE of all the ‘help’ on payment that the government dispenses and limits your choices because the payer gets to have a say in your decision and when it is subsidized by government then IT gets a say in your decision.

You want to make health care affordable and leave all decisions purely between a doctor and a patient?

Fine.

Get the government ‘help’ out of the system and leave it SOLELY between a doctor and a patient and leave it up to them and charities to figure out how to cover the destitute. By moving into this most positive of our liberties and duties to our fellow man, the government is destroying our society as we learn NOT to care for our fellow man and expect GOVERNMENT to pick up the tab while it shafts us with the cost shifting and the overhead cost of a payment scheme that DOESN’T WORK.

ajacksonian on February 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM

These are strange and trying times.

At the hour of our greatest need, the man the Establishment would choose to lead the party is the same man who gave us the blueprint for Obamacare.

Obamacare – the abomination of a healthcare law that sucks the liberty out of our soul, drowns our hopes of a limited government in government regulations and strangles our freedom of choice with death panels and government mandates.

Who will be our Reagan for these times?

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 7:11 AM

LOL! Sometimes, I think they must be actors playing a role. ;-) Surely real adults couldn’t be so virulent and and vitriolic.

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 6:56 AM

I don’t think a lot of them are adults. They don’t seem to remember anything earlier than the last election.

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Morning! Ah yes, I remember those days. Funny thing, now that I have absolutely no reason not to sleep in, I usually awake anywhere from 4 to 5.

Good morning to you, too, nathor!

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:43 AM

good morning!

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.’

Exactly right, Carney, which is why the federal government shouldn’t be forcing the boss to provide the employee with government-mandated-and-government-approved healthcare insurance in the first damn place.

Repeal the unconstitutional and idiotic Obamacare, Congress, and you won’t have to worry about which mandated coverages are offending which employers.

AZCoyote on February 15, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Get the government ‘help’ out of the system and leave it SOLELY between a doctor and a patient and leave it up to them and charities to figure out how to cover the destitute. By moving into this most positive of our liberties and duties to our fellow man, the government is destroying our society as we learn NOT to care for our fellow man and expect GOVERNMENT to pick up the tab while it shafts us with the cost shifting and the overhead cost of a payment scheme that DOESN’T WORK.

ajacksonian on February 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Amen Brother!

I often wonder if the promoters of the “nanny state” realize that this country survived many, many, years before the creation of “The Great Society”.

Yes, there were hardships, but those hardships seemed to strengthen the resolve of the people to truly be “One Nation Under God”.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I don’t think a lot of them are adults. They don’t seem to remember anything earlier than the last election.

Night Owl on February 15, 2012 at 7:13 AM

If they’re not wayward adults, then our educational system has failed them. Their inability to engage in civil and respectful debate doesn’t bode well for their future success.

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 7:28 AM

I see the dKos crowd is still going strong on the other thread.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:53 AM

Oh my! I haven’t looked in on that thread since around 10 last night. Not sure that I want to now. lol

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 6:55 AM

I was researching and making arguments over US vs reynolds when the I found DKOS had those nuggets already, it was to tempting not to copy paste.
but me a DKOS crowd? yuck! I hate hippies!

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Exactly right, Carney, which is why the federal government shouldn’t be forcing the boss to provide the employee with government-mandated-and-government-approved healthcare insurance in the first damn place.

Repeal the unconstitutional and idiotic Obamacare, Congress, and you won’t have to worry about which mandated coverages are offending which employers.

AZCoyote on February 15, 2012 at 7:19 AM

agree very much

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM

Santorum Leads in Ohio

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney among likely GOP primary voters, 36% to 29%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20% and Ron Paul at 9%.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Oh boy.

@JimPethokoukis BREAKING NEWS: Iran stops oil exports to France, Spain, Italy, three others: Press TV via Reuters

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 7:46 AM

you live in a country where religious practice(not opinion) is already restricted.

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 6:47 AM

Since you support at least some aspects of ObamaCare you support even more restrictions on the 1st Amendment.

darwin on February 15, 2012 at 7:48 AM

A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney among likely GOP primary voters, 36% to 29%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 20% and Ron Paul at 9%.

Flora Duh on February 15, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Interesting! Thanks for the Poll!

Will Rick survive the shellacking that is coming his way? Newt seems to be much worse off for the unrelenting carpet bombing he endured.

Romney is inflicting political collateral damage on himself. If he’s the nominee, how well will he recover?

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Barbara Boxer; nice slippery slope fallacy. Your illogic is stunning.

ted c on February 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Since you support at least some aspects of ObamaCare you support even more restrictions on the 1st Amendment.

darwin on February 15, 2012 at 7:48 AM

I dont suport obamacare at all. what i said is if we have obamacare anyway, its better without religious exceptions. make a law to be enforced on all citizens on dont make it at all.

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 7:59 AM

I’m off. Have a great day!

JonBGood on February 15, 2012 at 8:11 AM

I dont suport obamacare at all. what i said is if we have obamacare anyway, its better without religious exceptions. make a law to be enforced on all citizens on dont make it at all.

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 7:59 AM

It’s scary how easily you shrug off 1st Amendment rights.

darwin on February 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

darwin on February 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

We need to amend the constitution to included “fair”.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Somebody please help me out here.

Excepting for the Obamacare mandate, are employers required to provide healthcare coverage at all? From what I remember, the only reason employers are involved is because health coverage was a perk to attract prospective employees away from a company that didn’t offer healthcare. However, now it is a part of the total compensation package. What would stop an employer from not offering healthcare coverage (and presumeably paying a higher wage to offset the lack of coverage)?

Mitoch55 on February 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

“It’s unlikely to pass the Senate

How delicious if it did pass…

tinkerthinker on February 15, 2012 at 8:56 AM

KOOLAID2 on February 15, 2012 at 4:10 AM

; )

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

It’s scary how easily you shrug off 1st Amendment rights.

darwin on February 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM

its scary how you dont see the problem with exceptions given to common laws. wait until the muslims understand they can get exceptions too. how will you like that?

nathor on February 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 2:24 AM

Dire Straits on February 15, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Decided to stop by, and what a treat! Thanks, guys. I’m on a plane tomorrow for the East Coast to take my daughter skiing yet again, so I’m pretty psyched. I won’t be on the boards much for the next week or so, so keep on posting.

John the Libertarian on February 15, 2012 at 3:51 AM

John
Skiing, East Coast, as Palin would say WTF, or is it 0 that says that? Well as soon as I figure that out……..I’m sure Dire and I can keep straight in your absence, its a little like corralling kittens after all. We will keep ya posted for sure. Have a sweet time!

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM

keep straight=keep em straight

Bmore on February 15, 2012 at 9:18 AM

In case anyone is interested:

To correct the threats to religious liberty and rights of conscience by the Obama administration, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act has been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1179, S. 1467).

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1179:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1467:

bluefox on February 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM

“Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said Blunt’s proposal could lead to effects far beyond contraception. ‘If I believe that prayer should cure all disease, that’s my belief, and I’m an employer, I can deny coverage for any life-saving intervention,’ Boxer said at a news conference on Tuesday.”

Yes, Babs. Sorry, Ma’am. Here’s the thing. An employer should not be required by any laws anywhere to provide any benefits to employees. If they choose not to do so, employees will seek work elsewhere. If ever the government finally took its hands off of business in these ways, the productivity of business would explode. The best employers would get the best employees by offering the best incentives to work for them, and everyone else would have to compete or suffer. The results would be unlike anything seen since WWII.

If I could, I would negotiate with my employer to raise my salary by the equivalence of what they pay in health care coverage for me. I don’t pay anything, and since I’m retired military there is a significant duplication of coverage, the cost of which is wasted by my employer. Nobody benefits from that money spent except an insurance brokerage. Thank you government regulation.

Freelancer on February 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

And Christians stand in the way.

kingsjester on February 15, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Yeah, well, the Catholic Church is coming in a little late to the party but better late than never, I suppose. The Church could gain a measure of credibilility as an opposition voice to President Obama’s authoritarian overreach by excommunicating every prominent, pro-abortion American politician who professes the Catholic faith, starting with Nancy Pelosi. There’d be no going back after that.

But then, I’m not Catholic and could never get my head around the cognitive dissonance it would require to oppose abortion while simultaneously embracing its proponents.

troyriser_gopftw on February 15, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Decisions about medical care should be made by a woman and her doctor, not a woman and her boss.

Hey, I’ve decided to use condoms when i go out this weekend, my doctor recommends them when I have sex with strangers… let me get my insurance card…

What, condoms aren’t covered? Therefore I’ve determined my employer is prohibiting me from using condoms… if they’re not paid for by someone else there is no option available to me but to do without.

“Buy them myself”? What do these words mean? I’ve followed this argument and I can’t understand what you’re saying… is that like forcing my employer to pay for them even if he doesn’t want to? Or is that raising everyone’s insurance premiums to cover my specific small cost?

Neither of those? Well I just can’t possibly understand those words.. oh well, clearly my employer is against all contraception as my insurance doesn’t cover condoms.

What, that’s the argument, right? Have I missed the “contraception must be covered” side’s argument anywhere?

If “contraception must be covered” they’re buying my condoms, right? regardless what brand I choose, etc… that’s my choice and not theirs… right?

Or do we need this for equality, but men shouldn’t get the same benefit… because that somehow wouldn’t be fair?

gekkobear on February 15, 2012 at 4:42 PM

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