Friday, February 10, 2012

Contraception debate

Okay. I've heard quite a few right wing pundit's say that the Obama policy (to require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance) is a conflict of the first amendment. That is is a so called "attack" on religious freedom. Well. Um. Hmm. I don't quite see it that way... The policy states that the institution (and universities and hospitals which serve the PUBLIC) has to provide the OPTION of birth control. No one is forcing any women to take or not take birth control. It is up to the individual to decide what is right for her body.

So there, it's NOT an attack on religious rights! You can still preach against birth control in the church. You can still have a class against contraception in your religious university. All the policy states is that a institution serving the public has to abide by the laws of the nation and give the option if requested. That's it. I don't see where this is an infraction on religious rights? All the smoke and mirrors from the right wing is just clouding the issue. You still have the choice to not use birth control. No one is forcing YOU to use it. They are just saying that if your neighbor thinks otherwise; and you serve the public, you have to give the OPTION.


  1. I'll just point you in a couple of directions as a follow up to this:

    The strategy behind the decision and resulting controversy:

    How Justice Scalia (of all people) views the issue, based on prior judicial history:

    On the whole, this strikes me as a tremendously well played troll by the Obama folks. 99% of women have, at some point in the past, used some form of contraception. Over 60% support the compulsory offering of free birth control by insurance companies (who also support it because it's cheaper than abortion or childbirth from their perspective).

    And, frankly, if you oppose contraception, not only are you an idiot, in light of the fact the world is overpopulated as it is, but you aren't voting Democratic anyway. So this was an easy issue to troll Republicans on, and to make them look even more out of date with the under 60 crowd by inviting them to fight an issue settled 50 years ago.

    All told, some terrific gamesmanship.

    1. Mr. Cromartie - exactly! Republicans were punked! Love it!

  2. Let's tack these little gems on as well:

    The Supreme Court, considering a challenge to anti-polygamy laws in 1879: "Laws 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." (Reynolds v. US). Interestingly, this is why Mitt Romney's father was born in Mexico. Mitt Romney's grandfather and his wives fled the US because their "religious liberties" were subject to restrictions of law.

    "The Supreme Court in 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. (Minersville School District Board of Education v. Gobitis)

    "The US Supreme Court in a unanimous 1982 decision: "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." (US v. Lee)

    "Justice Scalia writing for the Court in 1990: "[Appellants] assert, in other words, that 'prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]' includes requiring any individual to observe a generally applicable law that requires (or forbids) the performance of an act that his religious belief forbids (or requires). As a textual matter, we do not think the words must be given that meaning. It is no more necessary to regard the collection of a general tax, for example, as 'prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]' by those citizens who believe support of organized government to be sinful, than it is to regard the same tax as 'abridging the freedom . . . of the press' of those publishing companies that must pay the tax as a condition of staying in business. It is a permissible reading of the text, in the one case as in the other, to say that if prohibiting the exercise of religion (or burdening the activity of printing) is not the object of the tax but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended." (Employment Division v. Smith)