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So Religion's for Fools, eh? Fools and Liberals! [Separation of Church and State Thread]

AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
edited February 2012 in Debate and/or Discourse
A thread about keeping these guys:
Spoiler:

Out of this:
Spoiler:

The Offending Article
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.

AManFromEarth on
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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    The primary thread was getting bogged down in this.

    Here's the last thing that was said, stolen before edited away by @Delzhand

    Delzhand wrote:
    Honestly, I wouldn't have a fundamental issue with starting the school day or a public event with a moment of silence, but I do have practical concerns - students aren't going to use it to be introspective (introspective kids will always find time on their own to ponder the universe), they're going to use it to think about cars, dating, sports, video games.

    If there is a teacher-led prayer? I do fundamentally oppose this, but practical concerns still abound. What about all the students who don't share the teacher's belief? Are they allowed to leave the room? Man, what a clusterfuck that would be. Suddenly your 30 second prayer includes everyone arriving, getting seated, letting the non-believers exit the room (and I can only imagine the "hey, someone hide the heeb's water bottle while he's out" shit teens would pull), prayer, and re-entry, re-seating...

    Why is it any business of anyone's what the students use the moment of silence for? Provide it and let people do what they want with it. It isn't the state's job to reinforce religious beliefs. If parents want their kids taught religion, they can take them to church or do it themselves. It's the DoE's job to provide a quality education in math, science, literature, the arts, etc. so that a child can make an informed decision about what they want to do with themselves at age 18, leading them to be productive members of society and informed voters and participants in our democracy.

    Ain't no room for Jesus in that description.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    It's not like students aren't free to start their own religious clubs, have prayer meetings on school grounds and the like. There are thousands upon thousands of student-run religious clubs in high school in the US. On the other hand, public employees should not be involved in such religious activities during school hours.

    I don't know why anyone would be opposed to starting a public event with a moment of silence.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad. The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I'm not opposed to a moment of silence, per say. I just don't really see the need for it. But all that means to me is that during it I'd be getting a hot dog or something.

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    KalTorak wrote:

    She's been taking that shit in stride for the most part it seems. There's a lot of shitheads that have been making threats to her AND her family, including a younger sibling. Because y'know, Christian love.

    But yeah, this lawsuit and the decision to go in favor of the plaintiff was the right thing to do. There's people all getting pissed off about tradition, but really, tradition is shit anyway.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
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  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    Being walkers with the dawn and morning,
    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • seabassseabass Doctor MassachusettsRegistered User regular
    Speaker wrote:
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    I can see a need if your religion mandates you pray at certain times. We require students to be enrolled in schools up to a certain age, so we have to make allowances for it.

    I'm not aware of this ever being the issue with prayer in schools. As far as I can tell in the states, it's always Christians, who, per my understanding, aren't supposed to make a public spectacle out of prayer (Mathew 6ish?).

    Run you pigeons, it's Robert Frost!
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    seabass wrote:
    Speaker wrote:
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    I can see a need if your religion mandates you pray at certain times. We require students to be enrolled in schools up to a certain age, so we have to make allowances for it.

    I'm not aware of this ever being the issue with prayer in schools. As far as I can tell in the states, it's always Christians, who, per my understanding, aren't supposed to make a public spectacle out of prayer (Mathew 6ish?).

    Hahahahahahaha that's a good one (though true).

    To be less snarky, you can pretty much always have an argument over baselines, because "religion" is such a malleable term. Some devout Christians might be able to pray within the confines of a moment of silence, but what about someone whose religion demands that prayers be spoken? Or that prayers be made only from a certain body position?

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote:
    To be less snarky, you can pretty much always have an argument over baselines, because "religion" is such a malleable term. Some devout Christians might be able to pray within the confines of a moment of silence, but what about someone whose religion demands that prayers be spoken? Or that prayers be made only from a certain body position?
    Generally, they're free to pray as they see fit outside of class hours, such as during study periods or during lunch.

    The American system when it comes to prayer in school works for pretty much everyone except a few people at the extremes. And people who really don't like the system are always free to send their kids to religious school or to homeschool.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Speaker wrote:
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    This is my feeling as well. I'm a Christian, and I don't feel like I need to have a special time to pray. I'll do it whenever I feel like I need to.

    camo_sig2.png
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

    Scalia himself said that this kind of shit is legal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Division_v._Smith
    But Oregon's ban on the possession of peyote is not a law specifically aimed at a physical act engaged in for a religious reason. Rather, it is a law that applies to everyone who might possess peyote, for whatever reason—a "neutral law of general applicability," in the Court's phrasing. The Court characterized Smith's and Black's argument as an attempt to use their religious motivation to use peyote in order to place themselves beyond the reach of Oregon's neutral, generally applicable ban on the possession of peyote. The Court held that the First Amendment's protection of the "free exercise" of religion does not allow a person to use a religious motivation as a reason not to obey such generally applicable laws. "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." Thus, the Court had held that religious beliefs did not excuse people from complying with laws forbidding polygamy, child labor laws, Sunday closing laws, laws requiring citizens to register for Selective Service, and laws requiring the payment of Social Security taxes.
    For the religion in Employment Division v. Smith, banning peyote would actually destroy a basic part of the religion in contrast to the shit Catholics are bitching about. The government could legally ban all alcohol and not allow any exceptions for Catholics as long as the law wasn't passed to fuck over the Catholics.

    Couscous on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.
    Yeah, if my religion says that I'm not allowed to hire or rent housing to black people or Latinos, nobody gives a shit when the government tells me to fuck off. I don't see why this is any different.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Unfortunately, Smith has been whittled down significantly, to the point where it's tough to tell how much power it still has.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    The shit that whittles it down is legislative shit and not constitutional though.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

    Except when the general rule violates free exercise, which in this case does.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    spool32 wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

    Except when the general rule violates free exercise, which in this case does.

    Hod does it violate the constitutional right? This isn't even really a case where even strict scrutiny would necessarily kill it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Freedom_Restoration_Act#Applications_and_effects
    In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress states in its findings that a religiously neutral law can burden a religion just as much as one that was intended to interfere with religion;[1] therefore the Act states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”[2] The law provided an exception if two conditions are both met. First, if the burden is necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest.”[2] Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues.[3] The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.
    In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court stated: "...while petitioner's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest."[15] In the case of Miller v. Commissioner, the taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the "mark of the beast" from the Bible. In its decision, the U.S. Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.[16]
    There is a substantial interest, and I would argue that making sure there aren't too many holes in insurance means what the government is doing is about as least restrictive as it can be without leaving massive holes in the law.

    Couscous on
  • Fallout2manFallout2man Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    Yeah, if my religion says that I'm not allowed to hire or rent housing to black people or Latinos, nobody gives a shit when the government tells me to fuck off. I don't see why this is any different.

    Where do you draw that kind of a line? I mean it has to be drawn somewhere like the above suggests. But is there some objective standard of harm here that can be defined that would be mutually agreeable to all parties involved?

    On Ignorance:
    Kana wrote:
    If the best you can come up with against someone who's patently ignorant is to yell back at him, "Yeah? Well there's BOOKS, and they say you're WRONG!"

    Then honestly you're not coming out of this looking great either.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

    Except when the general rule violates free exercise, which in this case does.
    Again, if the Catholics wanted to not hire black people or Mexicans, we would--without hesitation or reservation--tell them to fuck off. So I don't see why requiring them to give the same benefits to their employees that everyone else has to is a violation of free exercise. It's holding them to the same standards that everyone else has to.

    I suppose if they wanted to force 4-year-olds to sew tennis shoes for 22 hours a day in the name of Free Exercise, you'd be okay with that, too?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Basically, the debate reminds me of this:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-passionate-defender-of-what-he-imagines-c,2849/

    Again, when has SCOTUS said anything that would make this unconstitutional (ignoring shit SCOTUS later overturned). If you think SCOTUS is wrong, what do you think "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" mean? Does it mean only laws specifically aimed at the exercise of religion, laws that coincidentally harm the exercise of a person's religion, etc.? The law can't mean absolutely no restrictions that damage a person's ability to exercise their religion unless you won't insane religions to be able to do whatever they want.

    Couscous on
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Couscous wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    Usually it's the Establishment clause that creates the friction, but it's that Free Exercise clause that's troubling the current Administration.
    Or so Catholics claim. Making people follow the law, and not letting them have special rules, is not a violation of free exercise.

    Except when the general rule violates free exercise, which in this case does.

    Hod does it violate the constitutional right? This isn't even really a case where even strict scrutiny would necessarily kill it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Freedom_Restoration_Act#Applications_and_effects
    In the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress states in its findings that a religiously neutral law can burden a religion just as much as one that was intended to interfere with religion;[1] therefore the Act states that the “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability.”[2] The law provided an exception if two conditions are both met. First, if the burden is necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest.”[2] Under strict scrutiny, a government interest is compelling when it is more than routine and does more than simply improve government efficiency. A compelling interest relates directly with core constitutional issues.[3] The second condition is that the rule must be the least restrictive way in which to further the government interest.
    In the case of Adams v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court rejected the argument of Priscilla M. Lippincott Adams, who was a devout Quaker. She tried to argue that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, she was exempt from federal income taxes. The U.S. Tax Court rejected her argument and ruled that she was not exempt. The Court stated: "...while petitioner's religious beliefs are substantially burdened by payment of taxes that fund military expenditures, the Supreme Court has established that uniform, mandatory participation in the Federal income tax system, irrespective of religious belief, is a compelling governmental interest."[15] In the case of Miller v. Commissioner, the taxpayers objected to the use of social security numbers, arguing that such numbers related to the "mark of the beast" from the Bible. In its decision, the U.S. Court discussed the applicability of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, but ruled against the taxpayers.[16]
    There is a substantial interest, and I would argue that making sure there aren't too many holes in insurance means what the government is doing is about as least restrictive as it can be without leaving massive holes in the law.

    Well, I'd say it fails the test for exceptions because

    1) there is no compelling government interest in forcing the Catholic church to provide one specific service to its employees. They probably exclude dozens of medical services from their healthcare plans, from breast augmentation to contraception to vasectomies to acupuncture and on and on. Demonstrating that one specific service - compensation for contraceptive medicine - is necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest but others are not, would be challenging. I believe it fails that test.

    2) If there is a government interest (and you could probably argue that there is, with some success at least, even though you are in essence arguing that the nation would be better if there were fewer citizens in it), it is not compelling - there are other avenues, including various government programs and private charities, that cover the minimal cost of contraception for those who cannot afford it. Furthermore, there are other, free methods that achieve the same result. Compelling the Catholic church to provide those services in violation of the Free Exercise clause is doesn't meet either part of the test.

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    1) there is no compelling government interest in forcing the Catholic church to provide one specific service to its employees. They probably exclude dozens of medical services from their healthcare plans, from breast augmentation to contraception to vasectomies to acupuncture and on and on. Demonstrating that one specific service - compensation for contraceptive medicine - is necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest but others are not, would be challenging. I believe it fails that test.
    Pretty much every goddamn doctor agrees that contraception is good for the public health. The public health is certainly a compelling interest. The SCOTUS usually avoids second guessing why Congress did not go further. The reason is that it would basically require the government to do everything or nothing when there are perfectly rational reasons for the government to go only so far despite being able to go further.
    2) If there is a government interest (and you could probably argue that there is, with some success at least, even though you are in essence arguing that the nation would be better if there were fewer citizens in it), it is not compelling - there are other avenues, including various government programs and private charities, that cover the minimal cost of contraception for those who cannot afford it. Furthermore, there are other, free methods that achieve the same result. Compelling the Catholic church to provide those services in violation of the Free Exercise clause is doesn't meet either part of the test.
    Charities fucking suck when it comes to coverage nationwide. They only cover fairly small areas and number of people. Government programs would violate their beliefs just as much as the Catholics would still have to provide for it in the form of taxes. Either way, they are still being forced to provide contraceptive.

    Couscous on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    Well, I'd say it fails the test for exceptions because

    1) there is no compelling government interest in forcing the Catholic church to provide one specific service to its employees. They probably exclude dozens of medical services from their healthcare plans, from breast augmentation to contraception to vasectomies to acupuncture and on and on. Demonstrating that one specific service - compensation for contraceptive medicine - is necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest but others are not, would be challenging. I believe it fails that test.
    This is like saying there's no compelling government interest in providing cancer care, or organ transfusion.

    Reproductive health is fucking important, and as far as return on investment goes, is one of the simplest, cheapest preventative steps that can be taken to provide huge benefits to people at a minimal cost. The law requires that all insurance cover it because if it didn't, a lot of insurance companies would opt not to, simply because insurance companies are run by fucking assholes.

    There is a more compelling government interest here than there is in banning peyote among practitioners of Native American shamanism, and since that's where our line is drawn, I don't think you have a leg to stand on.
    spool32 wrote:
    2) If there is a government interest (and you could probably argue that there is, with some success at least, even though you are in essence arguing that the nation would be better if there were fewer citizens in it), it is not compelling - there are other avenues, including various government programs and private charities, that cover the minimal cost of contraception for those who cannot afford it. Furthermore, there are other, free methods that achieve the same result. Compelling the Catholic church to provide those services in violation of the Free Exercise clause is doesn't meet either part of the test.
    There are charities that will pay for medical care for people, yet we still mandate that employers above a certain size provide insurance to their employees.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Couscous wrote:
    1) there is no compelling government interest in forcing the Catholic church to provide one specific service to its employees. They probably exclude dozens of medical services from their healthcare plans, from breast augmentation to contraception to vasectomies to acupuncture and on and on. Demonstrating that one specific service - compensation for contraceptive medicine - is necessary for the furtherance of a compelling government interest but others are not, would be challenging. I believe it fails that test.
    Pretty much every goddamn doctor agrees that contraception is good for the public health. The public health is certainly a compelling interest. The SCOTUS usually avoids second guessing why Congress did not go further.
    2) If there is a government interest (and you could probably argue that there is, with some success at least, even though you are in essence arguing that the nation would be better if there were fewer citizens in it), it is not compelling - there are other avenues, including various government programs and private charities, that cover the minimal cost of contraception for those who cannot afford it. Furthermore, there are other, free methods that achieve the same result. Compelling the Catholic church to provide those services in violation of the Free Exercise clause is doesn't meet either part of the test.
    Charities fucking suck when it comes to coverage nationwide. They only cover fairly small areas. Government programs would violate their beliefs just as much as the Catholics would still have to provide for it in the form of taxes. Either way, they are still being forced to provide contraceptive.

    1) We're not talking about banning contraception. The 'furtherance of a compelling interest' test requires that the government show the specific action must be done in service to a compelling interest, and the action in question here is not "provide contraception", it is "provide insurance coverage for contraception". The Catholic church is not threatening to discriminate in hiring, pay, or promotion against contraceptive users (stop being goosey, Than). They are simply refusing to offer insurance coverage for a specific service, one among dozens they also refuse to provide. Obesity is also a public health issue, but the church is not mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's!

    2) The government is free to violate religious beliefs in its behavior, and in fact is often forced to do so or run afoul of the Establishment clause. The taxation angle is a giant red herring, and I think we can all discard it safe in the knowledge that it would derail the topic with ridiculous arguments. Conversely, the government is not free to demand that a religion behave in a certain way outside very limited restrictions. For example, the Catholic Church is also free to exclude women from the priesthood despite the fact that equal opportunity for employment is a compelling government interest. Contraceptives are not prohibitively expensive, and prevention of pregnancy can be had for $0.00 without insurance coverage. For those too poor to buy contraceptives, the government provides medical insurance. If the issue here is that contraceptives are not widely or easily available and the government feels it necessary to remedy the issue, it should act through its own programs, not by forcing a religious entity to do the work for it in violation of the religion's teachings.

    spool32 on
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  • skyrimisneatoskyrimisneato Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Can I recommend that we all try to avoid a flame war that will get this thread shut down please? This is a topic that rarely has a PA thread for long so please think before you post everyone.

    Let's try to keep out the personal attacks and knee-jerk reactions, or this will quickly go the way of previous religion threads.

    skyrimisneato on
    really neato.
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    The government's argument is further broken because it threatens to more severely impact public health if its demands are not met. In effect, they argue that if the Church does not comply, the government will make the situation even worse!

    I see direct comparisons with Republican objections to funding Planned Parenthood.

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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    What, you mean made-up bullshit like Jon Kyl's claim that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    1) We're not talking about banning contraception. The 'furtherance of a compelling interest' test requires that the government show the specific action must be done in service to a compelling interest, and the action in question here is not "provide contraception", it is "provide insurance coverage for contraception". The Catholic church is not threatening to discriminate in hiring, pay, or promotion against contraceptive users (stop being goosey, Than). They are simply refusing to offer insurance coverage for a specific service, one among dozens they also refuse to provide. Obesity is also a public health issue, but the church is not mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's!
    "Provide insurance coverage for contraception" and "provide contraception" are functionally the same.

    Again, the government does not need to explain why it only did the shit it did or else every single law that doesn't do everything in its power to do with every law will fall afoul of the first amendment. SCOTUS doesn't require Congress to deal with every drug that is a massive problem, for example. Congress can choose to focus on one part of a compelling interest while deciding to ignore a facet of the compelling interest.
    2) The government is free to violate religious beliefs in its behavior, and in fact is often forced to do so or run afoul of the Establishment clause. The taxation angle is a giant red herring, and I think we can all discard it safe in the knowledge that it would derail the topic with ridiculous arguments. Conversely, the government is not free to demand that a religion behave in a certain way outside very limited restrictions. For example, the Catholic Church is also free to exclude women from the priesthood despite the fact that equal opportunity for employment is a compelling government interest. Contraceptives are not prohibitively expensive, and prevention of pregnancy can be had for $0.00 without insurance coverage. For those too poor to buy contraceptives, the government provides medical insurance. If the issue here is that contraceptives are not widely or easily available and the government feels it necessary to remedy the issue, it should act through its own programs, not by forcing a religious entity to do the work for it in violation of the religion's teachings.
    The law does not cover the Catholic Church itself. It specifically excludes religious employers.

    Contraceptives are expensive enough to discourage many women.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6671479

    From the point of view of Catholics, what is the difference between being forced to pay for contraception via taxes and paying for it via insurance? They are being forced to do the exact same thing through a different method.

    Finally, this is just legislative shit and isn't constitutional so even if it ran afoul of RFLA, it still wouldn't violate the first amendment which is what the detractors are bitching about.

    Couscous on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    1) We're not talking about banning contraception. The 'furtherance of a compelling interest' test requires that the government show the specific action must be done in service to a compelling interest, and the action in question here is not "provide contraception", it is "provide insurance coverage for contraception". The Catholic church is not threatening to discriminate in hiring, pay, or promotion against contraceptive users (stop being goosey, Than). They are simply refusing to offer insurance coverage for a specific service, one among dozens they also refuse to provide. Obesity is also a public health issue, but the church is not mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's!
    No, but neither is anyone else mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's. Everyone else is, however, mandated to provide coverage for contraception. And the fact is that the Catholic Church doesn't have to provide anything to anyone; they have an exception to the rule. It's only non-church Catholic-owned institutions (like hospitals and schools) that have to provide contraception coverage. If the Catholics don't like it, then they should get the fuck out of the education and health care businesses.
    spool32 wrote:
    2) The government is free to violate religious beliefs in its behavior, and in fact is often forced to do so or run afoul of the Establishment clause. The taxation angle is a giant red herring, and I think we can all discard it safe in the knowledge that it would derail the topic with ridiculous arguments. Conversely, the government is not free to demand that a religion behave in a certain way outside very limited restrictions. For example, the Catholic Church is also free to exclude women from the priesthood despite the fact that equal opportunity for employment is a compelling government interest. Contraceptives are not prohibitively expensive, and prevention of pregnancy can be had for $0.00 without insurance coverage. For those too poor to buy contraceptives, the government provides medical insurance. If the issue here is that contraceptives are not widely or easily available and the government feels it necessary to remedy the issue, it should act through its own programs, not by forcing a religious entity to do the work for it in violation if the religion's teachings.
    Again, these are not restrictions on the Catholic Church; these are restrictions on Catholic hospitals, schools, etc.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    Speaker wrote:
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    Because people who don't pray young rarely pray when they get older. If you know what I mean.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    The government's argument is further broken because it threatens to more severely impact public health if its demands are not met. In effect, they argue that if the Church does not comply, the government will make the situation even worse!

    I see direct comparisons with Republican objections to funding Planned Parenthood.
    Just to check: this is nothing like how the Catholic church shut down adoption services when told they'd have to let gay people adopt, right?

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    No, providing insurance to offset the cost of something, and providing something, are not functionally the same.
    Yes, in this case the government must specifically explain why its actions meet the criteria for the first part of the test. Difficulty in following the Constitution is not an excuse to ignore it.

    Contraceptives are far less expensive than pregnancy, abortion, or child rearing. The financial deterrent does not weigh against contraception as opposed to other options. And, again, women can indefinitely prevent a pregnancy for $0.00. Couscous, you're not really touching most of my arguments here.

    I'm not going to be drawn into a ridiculous argument about the justification for taxation in the United States. Please stop, it's not a winning point for your side. It's a red herring, and I'm pretty positive we could get the Modern Man / Thanatos / spool32 trifecta to agree on that point at least.

    As we all know: if the three of us agree about something, it is irrefutably correct. :)

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  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    No, providing insurance to offset the cost of something, and providing something, are not functionally the same.
    What is the significant difference? It is only a question of directness.
    Yes, in this case the government must specifically explain why its actions meet the criteria for the first part of the test. Difficulty in following the Constitution is not an excuse to ignore it.
    RFRA is not the cosntitution.
    And, again, women can indefinitely prevent a pregnancy for $0.00.
    And a person can prevent getting plenty of diseases with zero cost but we still require insurance to cover it.
    I'm not going to be drawn into a ridiculous argument about the justification for taxation in the United States. Please stop, it's not a winning point for your side. It's a red herring, and I'm pretty positive we could get the Modern Man / Thanatos / spool32 trifecta to agree on that point at least.
    How is it a red herring? What is the difference between having to provide for it one way and having to provide for it another way that is so significant? From the point of view of the average practitioner, it should be the same.

    Couscous on
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    The reason it's in there is because there has to be a minimum standard for what qualifies as health insurance coverage so that we don't have a bunch of one cent plans that cover nothing (or only things that are impossible) designed to dodge the mandate. Contraception coverage is standard in most insurance plans due to how cheap it is to cover and because of how easily it promotes the public interest.

  • skyrimisneatoskyrimisneato Registered User
    edited February 2012
    I'm just going to repost this point from the SGK thread:

    The whole point of changing the rules about health insurance is to end the discriminatory practice of religious organizations shitting on the religious freedoms of the people that work for them who don't share Catholics beliefs on contraception = critical sin failure. What Catholics fail to understand is that religious groups, particularly Catholic charitable organizations, are CURRENTLY trampling on the religious rights of others (their millions of non-Catholic employees) by refusing to cover birth control for religious justifications, and now the Feds are saying that if you are a large enough employer "you don't get to discriminate against people who don't share your religious beliefs in the workplace anymore". Pretty fucking cut and dried that the Catholics are in the wrong here - they currently, as in right fucking now and at this moment, discriminate against non-Catholic employees and now they are crying cause the Feds are ending their religiously intolerant behavior. :P

    Presumably the good Catholics that work for the Church can be counted on to buy into the plan with no contraception coverage on their own and if not, then maybe the Catholic Church is trying to uphold an untenable and nonsensical position that their members don't actually believe, nor follow.

    skyrimisneato on
    really neato.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    seabass wrote:
    Speaker wrote:
    People can pray silently all by themselves at any moment of the day or night.

    Why set aside time at school?

    I can see a need if your religion mandates you pray at certain times. We require students to be enrolled in schools up to a certain age, so we have to make allowances for it.

    I'm not aware of this ever being the issue with prayer in schools. As far as I can tell in the states, it's always Christians, who, per my understanding, aren't supposed to make a public spectacle out of prayer (Mathew 6ish?).

    I went to school in Texas and there was a pretty devout Muslim guy going to class there. He'd set up a prayer mat at this one really nice big window where there wasn't a lot of foot traffic and over the years I'd see him occasionally in between classes praying until we'd gotten far enough that we didn't have to be present the whole school day.

    Point being I don't see the issue. If he can do it with the requirements Islam has than any Christian can manage to find time to talk to God.

    Quid on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote:
    No, providing insurance to offset the cost of something, and providing something, are not functionally the same.
    Yes, in this case the government must specifically explain why its actions meet the criteria for the first part of the test. Difficulty in following the Constitution is not an excuse to ignore it.

    Contraceptives are far less expensive than pregnancy, abortion, or child rearing. The financial deterrent does not weigh against contraception as opposed to other options. And, again, women can indefinitely prevent a pregnancy for $0.00. Couscous, you're not really touching most of my arguments here.
    And a fuse is much cheaper than the deductible on your homeowner's insurance, yet some people still stick a penny in their fusebox when it blows. Contraceptives are an absolute expense, something you have to pay for whether you need it or not; pregnancy/abortion/child rearing are things you only pay for once they become an issue. If you don't understand the way reasoning works on this, I strongly suggest you read John Cheese's articles on Cracked. The economics of this decision for a poor person are not the same as it is for you, spool, though your complete lack of empathy and understanding doesn't really surprise me.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    1) We're not talking about banning contraception. The 'furtherance of a compelling interest' test requires that the government show the specific action must be done in service to a compelling interest, and the action in question here is not "provide contraception", it is "provide insurance coverage for contraception". The Catholic church is not threatening to discriminate in hiring, pay, or promotion against contraceptive users (stop being goosey, Than). They are simply refusing to offer insurance coverage for a specific service, one among dozens they also refuse to provide. Obesity is also a public health issue, but the church is not mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's!
    No, but neither is anyone else mandated to provide insurance coverage for Weight Watcher's. Everyone else is, however, mandated to provide coverage for contraception. And the fact is that the Catholic Church doesn't have to provide anything to anyone; they have an exception to the rule. It's only non-church Catholic-owned institutions (like hospitals and schools) that have to provide contraception coverage. If the Catholics don't like it, then they should get the fuck out of the education and health care businesses.

    A Catholic-owned institution is a Catholic institution. If they aren't required to provide contraception insurance for their priests and bishops, they shouldn't be required to do so for their janitors and nurses. I've worked for a Catholic hospital before - perhaps you don't understand the degree of involvement or institutional control they exert. This is not like an investment the Church has made, that they don't touch except when the time comes to reap the profits. At least for the Daughters of Charity organization, they're intimately involved with the operation of the hospital from the executive board right on down to the cafeteria and janitorial services. It's clearly a religious institution, through and through.

    The government's job here is to demonstrate why the action is necessary in the furtherance of a compelling interest. It's not clear that contraceptive insurance is a compelling interest, and it's definitely not clear that this violation of the Free Exercise clause is necessary to its furtherance. "We do it for everybody else" Is an argument against its necessity, not for.

    The argument that "well, if you don't like the constraints we've placed upon your Free Exercise of religion, you can just stop exercising it!" is definitely not a winning one.
    Thanatos wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    2) The government is free to violate religious beliefs in its behavior, and in fact is often forced to do so or run afoul of the Establishment clause. The taxation angle is a giant red herring, and I think we can all discard it safe in the knowledge that it would derail the topic with ridiculous arguments. Conversely, the government is not free to demand that a religion behave in a certain way outside very limited restrictions. For example, the Catholic Church is also free to exclude women from the priesthood despite the fact that equal opportunity for employment is a compelling government interest. Contraceptives are not prohibitively expensive, and prevention of pregnancy can be had for $0.00 without insurance coverage. For those too poor to buy contraceptives, the government provides medical insurance. If the issue here is that contraceptives are not widely or easily available and the government feels it necessary to remedy the issue, it should act through its own programs, not by forcing a religious entity to do the work for it in violation if the religion's teachings.
    Again, these are not restrictions on the Catholic Church; these are restrictions on Catholic hospitals, schools, etc.

    2) This section of the argument follows the second part of test, namely that the government's compelling interest, assuming it can demonstrate one in 1) above, is not one of administrative convenience and can only be accomplished through the action taken. So far, most of my alternate avenues for addressing the assumed (but IMO not yet proved) government interest haven't been invalidated.

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  • skyrimisneatoskyrimisneato Registered User
    edited February 2012
    Thanatos wrote:
    spool32 wrote:
    No, providing insurance to offset the cost of something, and providing something, are not functionally the same.
    Yes, in this case the government must specifically explain why its actions meet the criteria for the first part of the test. Difficulty in following the Constitution is not an excuse to ignore it.

    Contraceptives are far less expensive than pregnancy, abortion, or child rearing. The financial deterrent does not weigh against contraception as opposed to other options. And, again, women can indefinitely prevent a pregnancy for $0.00. Couscous, you're not really touching most of my arguments here.
    And a fuse is much cheaper than the deductible on your homeowner's insurance, yet some people still stick a penny in their fusebox when it blows. Contraceptives are an absolute expense, something you have to pay for whether you need it or not; pregnancy/abortion/child rearing are things you only pay for once they become an issue. If you don't understand the way reasoning works on this, I strongly suggest you read John Cheese's articles on Cracked. The economics of this decision for a poor person are not the same as it is for you, spool, though your complete lack of empathy and understanding doesn't really surprise me.
    That and a generally poor understanding of religious freedom.

    @spool32 -> Religious freedom is not the ability to force non-believers to conform to your beliefs, and that is exactly what the Catholic Charities and other religious NGOs are doing (and the Obama administration is attempting to end) and that is why they will almost certainly lose this fight.

    skyrimisneato on
    really neato.
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