Letters to the Editor

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BIRTH CONTROL: Allow opt-out for conscience

Letter by Terry Nelson, Tacoma on March 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm with 86 Comments »
March 2, 2012 2:34 pm

Re: “This is a modern nation, isn’t it?” (letter, 2-28)

If employers choose not to include insurance coverage for abortions, it does not mean they are suppressing women’s rights. They might choose not to offer that coverage to employees because of costs, religious convictions and/or conscience’s sake. Why should all employees be required to bear the cost of a procedure a minority might want?

If, because of conscience, the owner of a corner market chooses not to sell lottery tickets, would you picket the store because it is suppressing your right to a legal activity or just go to
another store that does sell lottery tickets? Even our military allows for conscientious objectors.

When does your right become greater than my conscience? What’s the solution when your desire to be free from religion clashes with my desire to be free to practice my religion?

Under our Constitution, you have the freedom to start your own insurance company that offers coverage from A to Z. However you do not respect the Constitution when you mandate that employers violate the freedom to exercise their convictions/conscience.

Leave a comment Comments → 86
  1. When does my health care become my employer’s business? Insurance companies have no problem with paying for contraceptives as part of a health insurance plan. Nor do they care about abortions. Both cost them less than a full temp and birth.

    Religious employers need to mind their own business. HIPPA laws provide that my health care needs are between me, my doctor and my insurance carrier.

    Why should my employer’s religion overide my freedom of religion? Where does it say that in the Constitution?

  2. “Why should my employer’s religion overide my freedom of religion? Where does it say that in the Constitution?”

    Look in the First Amendment of The Bill of Rights. That’s where you will find it in The Constitution Lucy.

    No need to thank me. Just happy to be of help.

  3. sandblower says:

    The argument is, where does freedom of religion, which includes belief and practice, allow practice, already restrained, to override the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness?

  4. Pacman33 says:

    If a conservative doesn’t like guns, they don’t buy one.
    If a liberal doesn’t like guns, they want all guns outlawed.

    If a conservative is a vegetarian, they don’t eat meat.
    If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned.

    If a conservative is a homosexual, they quietly lead their life.
    If a liberal is a homosexual, they demand legislated respect.

    If a conservative is down-and-out, they think about how to better their situation.
    A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

    If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, they switch channels.
    Liberals demand that the channel be shut down.

    If a conservative is a non-smoker, he frequents establishments that are non-smoking.
    A liberal non-smoker will seek to ban smoking in all establishments.

    If a conservative is a non-believer, they don’t go to church.
    A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

    If a conservative wants contraception, ella or Plan B they go about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
    A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for theirs.

  5. bobcat1a says:

    If a conservative man can’t get it up, he wants his insurance policy to cover Cialis or Viagra.
    If a conservative hates abortion, he goes out of his way to make sure there are a lot of unwanted pregnancies. Go figure!

  6. concernedtacoma7 says:

    BC1, so far only left leaning posters here have brought up ED drugs. Who has them on their mind?

    But, your argument is weak. Want vs demands. They left is forcing organizations to pay for an individual choice.

  7. Which of the hundreds of drugs used are really necessary, who gets to decide, where does it end? The pill has other medical uses and saves money in the long run, ED pills cost money for someones joy ride. I can only see any argument of costs as a political sideshow.

  8. buddyandelliott says:

    The point is, either pay for my insurance as a benefit of the job, or don’t. Don’t use it as a way to comment on my life, my choices and especially my health. We all would like to choose the rules others live by, that’s just a human trait and Pacman, those are good examples of the extremes of liberal thought but most people in the US lie somewhere in the middle of the extreme, that’s why we have extremes, to form an average.

  9. This whole argument could be completely moot if the country came to its senses and supported Single Payer Universal Coverage.

  10. SPUC sounds like a pretty simple solution, but which form? There are different versions. Which would you suggest: United Kingdom’s National Health Service, Australia’s Medicare, Canada’s Medicare, Taiwan’s National Health Insurance or another?

  11. I haven’t done a complete side-by-side comparison but I would definitely not go for the UK’s version – Australia’s seems pretty good: basic coverage for all, private Insurers provide additional coverage for very low rates.

  12. EdSchultz says:

    “If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, they switch channels.”

    Complete lie. The conservatives wanted Ed Schultz’ head on a platter for calling Ingraham a “slut” last year. Does that sound familiar?

  13. “Australia’s seems pretty good: basic coverage for all, private Insurers provide additional coverage for very low rates.”

    Then that’s NOT actually a Single-Payer plan is it? “Additional coverage for very low [additional] rates” is a disqualifier. Need another example.

  14. Pacman33 says:

    Who the hell is Ed Schultz? What are blathering about?

    Letter submitted to TNT ( Two letters up the list )

    “We have freedom of speech and look what we get: Rush Limbaugh comments to the Georgetown University student that were insulting, hurtful and insensitive (TNT, 3-2).

    He is a “real” piece of work. He should be banned from spewing his disgusting trash.”

    Who is Ted Schultz?

  15. My,my muckibr…you have become quite the nitpicker. The Australian plan does qualify. It is single payer. However, individuals may CHOOSE to pay for additional coverage on top of the single payer (in AU the additional costs per year for additional “Cadillac coverage” was less than what we pay per month).

    But then…you and aislander should just go on arguing semantics and the EXACT definitions of things….meanwhile, I will keep looking for pragmatic solutions.

    (This whole birth control issue has seemed to bring the worst tendencies out in you….)

  16. If anyone is picking nits here it is you beerBoy.

    I simply read about the 4 SPUCs, posted the comment and then YOU came back with information stating that, in fact – according to YOU, the Australian plan was not actually a SINGLE PAYER plan because is has multiple payers. All I was doing was asking a follow-up question: “Then that’s NOT actually a Single-Payer plan is it?”

    But, as usual for you beerBoy, you read into my unambiguous question what YOU want to read into it so that you can find some way to criticize it. YOU are the one who seems to be hung-up on semantics.

    I just asked a question that’s all.

    And, why bring aislander into this? He has not even posted a single comment on this topic yet. Is that another hidden agenda item you feel necessary to promote?

    Don’t read more into things than is there. Sometimes a question is just a question. Oftentimes a question is just a question. Just answer it, if you can.

  17. By the way beerBoy your nitpicking and deflection to aislander is reminiscent of the kind of dissociative diatribe recently credited to Rush Limbaugh, which is obviously not intended for the furtherance of civil discussion – so you deserve any and all comebacks and comparisons to the Great Bloviator himself.

    You set the tone – so you should not be surprised or offended that it came back at you.

  18. If a conservative male wants to avoid getting a female pregnant and avoid having to pay pay child support later on, he gets a vasectomy which is covered by his insurance.
    If a liberal female wants to get birth control, to avoid pregnancy, and have it covered by insurance she is called a slut by a conservative male.

    Are vasectomies are going to be banned from insurance coverage for religious reasons? Where is the uproar over coverage of vasectomies?

    If a man is suffering from an reproductive issue, such as erectile dysfunction, he goes to his doctor and gets a viagra prescription which is covered by his insurance.
    If a female is suffering from a reproductive issue,such as ovarian cysts or irregular periods which require a birth control prescription, she must pay for it herself if she happens to work at an institution which deems birth control morally wrong.

    Why isn’t viagra against anyone’s religious convictions, why isn’t it considered God’s Will when a man can no longer can function sexually?

  19. frankiethomas says:

    Thank you romamar. . .

  20. Why Catholic Groups’ Health Plans Say No To Contraceptives, Yes To Viagra
    by JULIE ROVNER, NPR Health Policy Correspondent
    February 13, 2012

    “If health insurance plans offered by Catholic-sponsored entities refuse to cover contraceptives for women because of the religion’s moral teachings banning artificial birth control, do they cover Viagra for men?”

    “The answer on Viagra coverage is usually yes, Catholic leaders say. And they argue that’s neither hypocritical nor sexist.”

    “Procreation is something the Catholic church encourages. And Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs can be of help.”

    “Vasectomies, on the other hand, are banned by Catholic-sponsored health insurance. “We have the same objection to male sterilization as to the female variety,” Doerflinger says.” (Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/02/13/146822713/why-catholic-groups-health-plans-say-no-to-contraceptives-yes-to-viagra?ft=1&f=2101102

  21. aislander says:

    So…is a pregnancy now considered a disease? If it is, I guess I understand why beerBoy wishes to blur definitions…

  22. Limbush apologized. Anyone else?

  23. sumyungboi says:

    Terry, the latest tactic of talking about contraceptives is just that, a tactic. Progressives no more care about this than they do The Constitution, it’s simply a diversion, that’s all.

  24. Pacman33 says:

    “Progressives no more care about this than they do The Constitution, it’s simply a diversion, that’s all.”

    Exactly SYB. What else would Obama, Dems and their Mindless Drones rather talk about? Their record? Their plan? …… Fat Chance, they are going to use the only tactic that has been successful for them. Their Crutch.

    Division.

  25. Well Publico, I guess if people have something to apologize for, like Limbaugh did, they should go ahead an apologize. Perhaps you should identify who you think needs to apologize. (Not me. I didn’t say anything nasty about anyone.)

    I suppose beerBoy could apologize to aislander, for the comments he made about aislander when aislander had not even stepped into this topic at that time.

    Me, I’m still waiting for frankiethomas to thank me for my 3:51 PM comment as she/he thanked romamar for her/his 3:05 PM comment I responded to.

    Publico, you know you could start by apologizing to Rush Limbaugh for your “Limbush” comment on this and the other topic. Is that kind of thing really necessary?

  26. Sorry Muck – but nowhere in the Constitution does it say anyone’s religion or beliefs can override anybody else’s religion or beliefs.

    How about we take a look at all SPUC systems, keep the parts we like, and come up with an American plan

    Pac33 – why does in not surprise me you do not know who Bid Eddie is.
    You must get all you news and commentary for fox spews.

    Pac & SYB – explain why Speak Boehner scheduled a house debate on the BC issue rather than on jobs, the economy, and the debt. Could it be that it is the cornservacons are despite for a wedge issue.

    Publico – Ed Schultz called Laura Ingraham a ‘right wing slut’ once and was suspended for a week. Limbaugh’s attacks went on for three days on both his radio and tv shows.

  27. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Xring- the American plan is for people to take care of themselves. BM is a raging sexist, with comments above and beyond anything Rush has said. But the libs give him a pass (and take his money).

    Muck- perhaps Rush would be flattered to be compared to 12 years of the most powerful people in the free world.

  28. To Pacman –

    If a conservative doesn’t like guns, they don’t buy one. But they want to make sure any criminal or psychopath can easily get one.

    If a conservative is a vegetarian, they don’t eat meat. And does not want you to know anything about what is in or used to make the food you eat.

    If a conservative is a homosexual, they quietly lead their life. While at the same time they try to ban it, discriminate against it anyway possible until either they are outed or they out themselves.

    If a conservative is down-and-out, they think about how to better their situation. And take government benefits and pretend that they are doing it all on their own.

    If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, they switch channels. Then they just switch back to Faux News

    If a conservative is a non-smoker, he frequents establishments that are non-smoking. But rarely goes out anyway

    If a conservative is a non-believer, they don’t go to church. But they still call themselves Christian and tell all who will listen we must guard against any infiltration of Sharia law even if it is nonexistent.

    If a conservative wants contraception, ella or Plan B they go about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. But still want their heath plan to cover Viagra and Cialis but fail to understand that hormonal birth control is used for more than just preventing pregnancy and in many cases is used to prevent disease.

  29. Posting this here because the Limbaugh thread has, apparently, been closed (why?)

    Limbaugh said on Saturday on his website that he had chosen the wrong words in his comments about law student Sandra Fluke. He said he “did not intend a personal attack” on her.

    I guess in Rush’s world, calling someone a “slut” and a “prostitute” isn’t meant as a personal attack…

  30. xring – “but nowhere in the Constitution does it say anyone’s religion or beliefs can override anybody else’s religion or beliefs.”

    Who is trying to override others religious beliefs with their own religious beliefs, and how? Please explain.

    .

    concerned…7 – “perhaps Rush would be flattered to be compared to 12 years of the most powerful people in the free world.”

    I don’t get this. Who are the free world most powerful people for 12 years, and how have they been compared to Rush Limbaugh? Please explain.

  31. Ever notice how the right needs the big Govt to control “We the people” but thinks is some sort crime if it regulates an insurance company?

  32. xring, If your comment is referring to LucyLew’s statement “Why should my employer’s religion overide my freedom of religion? Where does it say that in the Constitution?”

    A. The First Amendment covers religious freedom, as I said.

    B. She never did specify how any employer’s religion was attempting to override any employee’s religion.

    C. As far as I know, there is NOT a single religion in the world that requires its followers to take or use artificial birth control. If there is, show me, with references please.

    LucyLew’s comment was completely specious.

    If you, or anyone else for that matter, can show a clear documented example of a situation with regard to this BIRTH CONTROL issue where a religious employer is attempting to override the religious freedom and/or practices of its employees, please do. But, please provide reference documentation so we can avoid the argument of what is fact versus what is fantasy.

    Thanks!

  33. p.s. concerned…7, I still don’t get your “12 year” comment. Please explain.

  34. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Lim + Bush. Unless he was using a slang term for a female part.

  35. MaryEllen2 says:

    “As far as I know, there is NOT a single religion in the world that requires its followers to take or use artificial birth control. If there is, show me, with references please.”

    If a woman’s religion does not outlaw birth control and her employer’s religion denies her right to birth control, it is a violation of her religion in lieu of the employer’s religion.

    A belief need not be spelled out as if everyone was stupid.

  36. stradivari says:

    When the church or an individual is in the business of serving the public, it or he must abide by public, not ecclesastical, law. Hiding behind moral conviction to get off cheap doesn’t cut it no matter how much noise the archbishops make.

  37. Well said stradivari!

  38. Pacman33 says:

    The entire Democratic Party has morphed into annoyingly intrusive, know-it-all nannies, whose goal is not to persuade you that their ideas are correct or even better than yours; but to force you to accept their ideas by making them laws.

    By and large, we were mostly able to ignore their nitpicking power plays to control or change our lives. Sadly, we can’t do that anymore. Our complacency has led to this point in time of a post-Constitutional Government Run-A-Muck.

    When they start controlling everything from mandating health care coverage to the type of light bulb you use in your lamps’ to the amount of sugar and other items you consume, a free society just becomes another oppressive postmodern deceit.

  39. “If a woman’s religion does not outlaw birth control and her employer’s religion denies her right to birth control, it is a violation of her religion in lieu of the employer’s religion.”

    WRONG!

    A. Her employer’s religion does NOT deny her the “right” to birth control because:

    – 1. Birth Control is NOT a right, it is a decision if done naturally, and an option if done by use of artificial BC drugs or products.

    – 2. Because her employer will not pay for her birth control, due to religious core beliefs, DOES NOT deny her birth control. She can still get her birth control from other sources. Her employer is NOT preventing her from doing so. No violation of rights that do NOT exist.

    B. There is no “violation of her religion in lieu of the employer’s religion.” because there is NO RELIGION IN THE WORLD (that I know of anyway) that requires its followers to use birth control. The ONLY religious issue here is the one that the church says prevents them promoting and/or paying for artificial Birth Control.

    SORRY, you FAILED on all points of your argument. Try again.

  40. “When the church or an individual is in the business of serving the public, it or he must abide by public, not ecclesastical, law. Hiding behind moral conviction to get off cheap doesn’t cut it no matter how much noise the archbishops make.”

    POORLY SAID stradivari

    This is NOT a matter of “getting off cheap.” This is, and has always been about the First Amendment constitutional rights that protect religions in America to freely practice their core beliefs, without undue influence from the state.

    Churches do abide by public laws. Surely you must have heard of the saying “Answering to a Higher Authority.” God is the Higher Authority, and that’s just the way it is, and why there is a First Amendment protection of religion.

  41. As I have posted elsewhere – SC rulings demonstrate that BELIEF is completely protected but action based upon that belief is sometimes restricted.

    So the Catholic hierarchy’s BELIEF that contraception is sinful is protected, action that impacts public policy may not be (I won’t predict how the S.C. will rule on this).

  42. MaryEllen2 says:

    muckibr:

    Someone needs to inform you that you are not the adjudicator of right and wrong via semantics. My comment is not wrong solely on your opinion and delivery of said opinion.

    If my religious belief is that there is nothing wrong with contraceptives and my employer imposes its will on me because of religious beliefs, that is an example of my rights to religious beliefs being violated.

    The rest of your comment is nothing more than pure spin.

  43. Sorry MaryEllen2, but my answer is based is sound LOGIC and yours is based in emotional spin. Logically, you are still wrong. There is NO religious violation when an employer chooses not to pay for an employee’s birth control, simply because there is no religion in the world that requires its followers to use artificial birth control. You have no religious basis for your argument whatsoever, and that is not spin, it is logic.

  44. MaryEllen2 says:

    muckibr:

    I’ve been reading the other blogs on the subject of birth control and the Limbaugh issue and the one constant is your increadible arrogance displayed. Somehow, you have nominated and voted yourself as king of the blog (as suggested by another comment). Your desire to pigeonhole me as “emotional” is nothing short of the arrogance that you continue to display.

    There is nothing that says a belief must be stipulated in a way that you personally will accept. My religion believes that there is nothing wrong with contraception. If my employer forces their will on my beliefs, that is a violation of my rights to religion. If my employer stipulated that I had to kneel for prayer, and my religion has no requirement – yet no stipulation to same – that is a violation of my religion rights. In short the employer has no business forcing their belief system on me in any form, shape or other method.

    Those of our faith don’t owe you an explanation as to what and why we believe as we do. Beyond it being our own business, the Constitution says that we owe you no explanation.

    Your “employer won’t pay for birth control” is a strawman issue because anyone that is versed on this subject knows that the employer isn’t paying for health care/prescriptions, they are paying for insurance, which is also none of their business as to why a certain drug is prescribed. I’m guessing you are not well versed in HIPPA laws. I am, I handle employee benefits for my company.

    “NO RELIGION IN THE WORLD (that I know of anyway) that requires its followers to use birth control.”

    This is a perfect example of the a ridiculous strawman that you call “logic”. Something need not be hardline required to be a belief.

  45. MaryEllen2 says:

    Self imposed intelligence usually lowers the bar of achievement for the recipient of such acclaim.

    There is no logic to your strawman arguments.

    If you know HIPPA, then you know that an employer has no business interacting with health care providers of an employee. It’s no more complicated than that. The Catholic Church is defying the law. They would not be the first employer to defy a law.

  46. MaryEllen2: “an employer has no business interacting with health care providers”

    Yet another foolish and totally illogical statement.

    The employer negotiates and buys the employee health-care package of benefits from the insurance company.

    A. In this way the employer has specific knowledge of what drugs, services and procedures are covered by the employee health-care package of benefits.

    B. The employer pays the bulk of the cost of the premiums for the employee health-care benefits package it provides to its employees as an inducement to the employee to first join the organization and then stay employed with the organization.

    This is the crux of the situation as regards religious organizations which provide “employer paid health-care benefits packages” to their employees. They, the employers, know exactly what is in the package (see A. above), and they pay for what is in the package (see B. above), thus they have the “right” to exclude from the package those things they find religiously objectionable to their core religious beliefs. i.e. Abortion and abortion equivalent birth control drugs and procedures.

    This “right” I speak of is contained within the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights of The U.S. Constitution, to freely exercise the practice of their religion.

    There is no “straw-man” here. Just facts. (Do you even know what a straw-man argument is? I would guess not by your faulty use of the term at least twice.)

    These facts are undeniable. If you do not understand these facts, then I submit that you do not know your job as it regards handling employee benefits for your company, and your company should probably consider hiring someone who has a far better understanding of employee benefits than apparently you currently have.

    As Will Sonnett might say: That’s no brag… just fact.

    G’night Mary Ellen

    G’night John Boy

  47. MaryEllen2 says:

    “A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.”

    My guess it that you’ll say your ridiculous assertions are not a fallacy or mispresentation.

    Your need to continue to attempt to ridicule your opposition says a mountain about the man, or lack thereof, that you are. I’m safely guessing you are not a woman.

    Companies either select prescription coverage or they don’t. It’s not pick and choose as you attempt to describe. As an example, my company provides Group Health Cooperative, as do many companies in the Northwest. It is the HMO in the State of Washington. They have several programs, all of which include prescription drugs. The difference is the amount of copay. There is no program that excludes them.

  48. MaryEllen2 says:

    You might want to learn the difference between a “health care provider” and a “health care insurer”.

    In most cases, other than Group Health who provides both roles, the two are totally separate.

    In either case, my statement – “an employer has no business interacting with health care providers” – is 100% accurate.

  49. muckibr, thank you for providing the link to the NPR article “Why Catholic Groups’ Health Plans Say No To Contraceptives, Yes To Viagra” That explains some of the Catholic Church’s logic.

    I wonder if their insurance plans cover viagra only for married men that are employed by them, and how they would enforce that requirement, if that’s the case, without getting around patient privacy and HIPAA? Otherwise isn’t sex outside marriage a sin in the Catholic church?

    Also I wonder if anyone knows how the Church ensures that insurance plans that are currently used in their institution/hospitals, don’t already cover things like vasectomies and tubal ligation? For example on their website, Franciscan Health System states that Blue Cross Blue Shield is their employee health insurance, I believe that BCBS, like most insurance plans, covers vasectomies, but maybe that doesn’t really mean that it’s a part of Franciscan’s BCBS package. I have read that there are some Catholic institutions in the country that cover, and perform, these forms of birth control.

    The other thing that disturbs me about the Catholic Churches outcry of Religious discrimination is that the doctors who work for them must be able prescribe birth control for their patients. Does this not go against their religious convictions? Should doctors in Catholic healthcare institutions be banned from providing the care that their patients require if it goes against religious principle? Wouldn’t this conflict with a doctors oath to provide the best care? In other words is the Catholic Church okay with birth control as long as it doesn’t cost them money?

    My main beef is really with insurance companies which historically seem to cover men’s reproductive care but not women’s basic needs for birth control. I tend to agree that the Church shouldn’t have to pay for something that goes against it’s religious principles. But there are issues with how they enforce their principles fairly, and I think they may need to get their members on board with this religious principle since it appears that most practicing Catholics do practice birth control.

  50. MaryEllen2, I think you might want to delve into this issue a bit deeper than surface level. This has never been an issue with health care “providers”.

    This issue is about the kind of insurance coverage religious organizations, such as The Catholic Church, are willing to offer to their employees through negotiations with health-care insurance companies (and also via self-insured benefits packages).

    Your comment: “In either case, my statement –

    “an employer has no business interacting with health care providers” – is 100% accurate.”

    … may be 100 percent accurate as you say, but is it also ONE HUNDRED PERCENT IRRELEVANT to this issue. Your bringing up the issue of health-care “providers” is, IN FACT, the straw-man. Bringing health-care “providers” into this discussion is a complete fallacy on your part, not mine. Thus, a straw-man you created, not me.

    Quite obviously, you DO NOT have a full understanding or appreciation for the issue being discussed here. This has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with health-care “providers” (i.e. doctors, nurses, clinics, hospitals, etc…).

    I have never bought up the issue with regard to health-care “providers”, except to point out that your statement regarding any interaction between employers and health-care “providers” is foolish and totally illogical to this issue. (See my comment above at 3:05 PM to confirm.)

    Please, go do some more reading on this issue before making any more comments that continue to show your apparent ignorance of what is really at issue here.

    By the way, I have also not offered my opinion in any way on anything I have written to you. I have stated only factual and logical information so far. Whereas, you have made some rather unkind and opinionated comments towards me. So, if you want my opinion, here it is… In my opinion, I think you are an idiot.

  51. romamar, You are very welcome. I was happy to provide the information and the link, in the hope it answers some questions that people have about those issues.

    With regard to the other questions and issues you brought up in your latest comment, all I can say right now is that I don’t speak for The Catholic Church, so can’t answer many of your questions. Some of the info you seek could be available on the web.

    Rather than going too far afield on other tangential issues, I would prefer to stay on this topic of how religious organizations, including The Catholic Church, have a justifiable right to opt out of providing, promoting and paying for Birth Control when it goes against their core religious beliefs. This is why I believe the First Amendment was written.

    By the way, you will note that I refer to The Catholic Church as “they”. I was raised in The Catholic Church as a kid, but have not been a practicing Catholic for well over thirty years. I have some serious issues with other aspects of The Catholic Church, but on this issue I agree with their stand.

  52. MaryEllen2 says:

    I have never seen anyone squim so much in my life. Such a valiant attempt to demonstrate out little they really know.

    MaryEllen2: “an employer has no business interacting with health care providers”
    Yet another foolish and totally illogical statement.
    The employer negotiates and buys the employee health-care package of benefits from the insurance company.

    Post it, then deny that you said it. Right there you have confused insurers with providers. When you deny that which is in print on the same blog, you make yourself look really ridiculous.

    There is nothing more than I can say that will make you look more foolish than you do for yourself. I’m just glad that there are men that don’t seek to belittle women on this subject and pretend to be such experts. Those men attend my church and are embarrassed by the behavior of men like you and the more high profile Limbaugh.

  53. Pacman33 says:

    Don’t you love how the oppressive left attempts to portray the First Amendment’s ‘free exercise’ of religion as some new concoction contrived by the right and that American religious organizations have always been required to provide and pay for drugs and procedures they consider morally wrong.

    This is nothing but a shameless and desperate attempt by the Demorats to avoid the conversation of 0bama’s record and 0bama’s “plan”. Can you blame them?

  54. Pacman33 says:

    Does MaryEllen2 know she is going on and on about likely less that 25% of the cases of concern with this topic?

    “Nationwide, 60 percent of workers with health insurance were covered by a self-funded plan in 2011, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey of employer health benefits. Among large employers, the number is even higher. Eighty-two percent of covered workers at companies of more than 200 employees had self-funded plans.

    Insurance industry experts and Catholic groups said they did not know how many religiously affiliated organizations self-insure, but they said the number was likely to mirror the national trend. Many of the organizations are large employers, including hospital systems and universities.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/business/self-insured-complicate-health-deal.html

  55. MaryEllen2 writes on 2/1/@ 3:28 PM “You might want to learn the difference between a “health care provider” and a “health care insurer”.”

    Then she posts her comment on 3/4 @ 4:26 PM that proves she herself does NOT understand the difference between “health care providers” (in her quote) and “insurance company” (in my comment on her quote).

    I guess I could have written instead: The employer negotiates and buys the employee health-care package of benefits from the insurance company. -and added for clarity – The employer does NOT negotiate or buy the employee health-care package from the health-care provider. (I thought she was smart enough to figure that out for herself, but apparently I was wrong about that, and right about her being an idiot.)

    Oh well. I tried to help her understand. But, you know, some people!!!

  56. Sorry for the initial typo above:

    MaryEllen2 writes on 2/1/@

    — should have read —

    MaryEllen2 writes on 3/4 @

  57. Again I have to ask why the right needs Big Govt to control people?
    Why do they always want more and more Govt intrusion into our lives, yet claim they don’t?

  58. MaryEllen2, one cannot reason with a bag of rocks and get any further than talking to one’s self. There are several individuals with the reasoning abilities of a bag of rocks who frequent these pages. You may as well talk to yourself except for the cathartic relief.

  59. CT7,
    Sorry old boy, but the basic American Plan is,and always has been,to work together.

    BM is a comedian doing comic commentary on current events,
    RL is a right wing talking head making (supposedly serious and factual) comments on current events.

    Such a simple concept to be so far beyond your understanding.

    Muck – IMO the anti-BC group is trying to override the rights of those who are pro-BC.

    How was it put above – if you don’t believe in BC you have the right to not use it. BUT you don’t have the right to force others to not use it.

    My 1st Amendment comment was in response to your March 2, 4:28 pm post.

    Also many women need BC pills for reasons other than as a contraceptive.

    If we allow employer to not cover BC, do we also allow Jehovah Witness employers to not cover blood transfusion, or Christian Science employers to not offer any health benefits?

    Your problem with logic is that you don’t know how to use it.

    Don’t know how it works in the private sector but at the federal level we have a choice of several different Health Care Providers each with several options to customize your individual plan.

    Pac33 – and what has the GOP morphed into? IMO they only care for the rich, and making them richer, even if they destroy the US

  60. Xring: “Muck – IMO the anti-BC group is trying to override the rights of those who are pro-BC.”

    See, I think you frame this issue completely wrong.

    I am NOT anti-Birth Control, despite what some here might believe.

    I am pro-First Amendment rights of religion and free exercise thereof, and defend the religious organizations choice to stay true to their core beliefs and NOT promote, provide or pay for birth control, because they see it as the same as abortion. That is their religious belief, and they have a right to it. They are NOT forcing their belief on you or anyone else, they are simply asking that they be allowed to practice their belief. There are other resources where women and men can get birth control even if these religious based organizations do not provide it.

    That is NOT denying anyone else anything at all.

    Comprende?

  61. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Xring- given that you have a huge chip on your shoulder from the draft, why do you want a fatter and increasingly heavy handed govt?

    This is not a rich/poor debate. This is about rights (and a 30 year old professional activist getting calls from BHO). This is about more people demanding more ‘free stuff’. This is about the left (you need to look no farther than this board with muck serving as the one exception) attacking those that have faith.

    That loser BM was on CNN a couple days ago blasting religion and Tebow. He is a selfish jerk, and hosts a political talk show. Not a comedian. He has to insult the majority of Americans (religious, women) just to make headlines.

  62. Muck,
    You frame it your way and I frame in my way.
    That is the American Way.
    So is tolerating others beliefs.

    CT7,
    To begin with I was never drafted, nor did I ever sign up for the draft. I turned 18 in Marine Corps Boot camp, and 21 as a sergeant in Nam.

    The rest of your comment is just, if not more, wrong than your draft statement.

    The basic issue is should birth control be part of a woman’s health care insurance which she pays for.

    No one this blog is attacking anyone’s religious beliefs; we are attacking the forcing of one’s beliefs on others.

    Bill Maher is a comedian who does political commentary in a humors manner. The reason you see him as a political commentator is you are comparing him to the clowns on FOX Spews.

  63. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Drafted or not you have an issue with your service.

    The issue is about who will pay for BC for her. If nothing changed, women would continue to buy incredibly affordable BC and life woul go on.

    BHO made this issue to keep the focus on social issues, not his economic or foreign policy disasters. He waited a year to make his compromise. Why? To let this build and shift the debate.

  64. CT7,
    I have no problem with my service unlike those who never served.

    ‘Who will pay’ is a conseracon talking point. The answer is She
    will pay for her own health care. No Pay = No Plan. Another concept lost on zombie brains.

    The President called for including birth control in health care plane in August 2011. Hardly a year. Next time try checking your facts.

    The real question is why the GOP keeps debating the issue when it is costing them support.

  65. Xring wrote: “No one this blog is attacking anyone’s religious beliefs; we are attacking the forcing of one’s beliefs on others.”

    You are wrong. No religious organization is attempting to force its beliefs on you or anyone else. It is simply asking for the constitutional right to freely practice its own beliefs be upheld by the law of the land. No religious organization is denying you or anyone else the right or freedom to obtain birth control.

    The religious organizations are simply saying, “Please don’t ask or FORCE us to pay for YOUR birth control, because to do so is the same as asking us to perform abortions, and that is clearly against our longstanding core religious beliefs.”

    Even if the church is not required to pay for it, YOU and anyone else can still get an abortion or birth control if you want to, the church is not trying to stop you, it just won’t pay for it. The church is NOT forcing any of its beliefs on anyone. If you think so you are just plain wrong.

    As to the first part of your statement, others on this blog, including you Xring, have ATTACKED these religious beliefs as follows:

    LucyLew 3/2 @ 4:21 PM ATTACK: “Religious employers need to mind their own business.” (This was the very FIRST comment on this blog, and is clearly an attack against religion.)

    Xring 3/3/ @ 11:47 PM ATTACK: “nowhere in the Constitution does it say anyone’s religion or beliefs can override anybody else’s religion or beliefs.”

    (You may not want to admit it Xring, but that is a veiled attack against the church and religion, because the church has never tried to “override anybody else’s religion or beliefs” in its commentary of this entire issue. As I asked before, on 3/4 @ 7:21 AM but you have not yet answered, “Who is trying to override others religious beliefs with their own religious beliefs, and how? Please explain.” You have NOT responded to that.)

    MaryEllen2 3/4 @ 8:33 AM ATTACK: “If a woman’s religion does not outlaw birth control and her employer’s religion denies her right to birth control, it is a violation of her religion in lieu of the employer’s religion.” (This is a totally false statement as I clearly and logically proved more than once in these blogs.)

    stradavari 3/4 @ 8:43 AM ATTACK: “When the church or an individual is in the business of serving the public, it or he must abide by public, not ecclesastical, law. Hiding behind moral conviction to get off cheap doesn’t cut it no matter how much noise the archbishops make.” (This comment is a cheap attempt to divert the issue to one of cost containment rather than core religious beliefs.)

    Would you like to withdraw your statement?

  66. aWomansWrite says:

    Someone’s justifier is working overtime. It appears that there is confusion between fact and opinion.

  67. aWomansWrite says:

    Limbaugh has a right to say what he wants.

    People have a right to react.

    Advertisers have a right to withdraw.

    Bill Mahr has a right to say what he wants.

    Mahr has no advertisers. He is on pay tv.

    No religion has a right to force anyone to adhere to their principles.

  68. aWomansWrite wrote: “No religion has a right to force anyone to adhere to their principles.”

    And NO RELIGION IS FORCING anyone, in the context of this issue, to adhere to their principles. If you can prove they are, then PROVE IT! Otherwise it is simply empty rhetoric on your part.

    Facts are Facts. Provide some Facts to backup your claims or withdraw your false claims.

    Prove that a religion is forcing their birth control principles on anyone. I dare you!

  69. Here is a Real-Life example of an EMPLOYER (not a Religion) that is FORCING its employees to adhere to its principles.

    The employer says to the new hire, “If you want to work here you cannot smoke. Not on company property, not on company time, not even on your own property or on your own time. You cannot smoke. Even though smoking is not an illegal activity, it is against our principles to allow anyone to smoke, so YOU CANNOT SMOKE if you want to work here.”

    The new hire becomes an employee, then the EMPLOYER says, “Now that you are an employee, if you want to keep your job, YOU CANNOT SMOKE! And to make sure you don’t smoke, we have these policies. 1. If anyone sees you smoking and reports that to the company, YOU WILL BE FIRED! 2. The company will force you to submit to random, and not so random, testing to make sure there is no nicotine in your system. If you fail the nicotine screening, YOU WILL BE FIRED! 3. If you refuse to participate in the nicotine screening tests YOU WILL BE FIRED!”

    That is FORCING a belief or principle on someone else.

    Is anything like that happening with regard to the birth control issue? The answer is: No, it is not.

  70. aWomansWrite says:

    A company cannot legally tell an employee they can’t smoke on their own time and off the company grounds. That is a violation of their Constitutional rights.

  71. aWomansWrite says:

    It’s rather ironic to see someone demand proof of others and then making a completely baseless statement without proof.

    I dug this up quickly. I guess if anyone wants the details, they can pay the price for the written document. The description does an adequate job of explaining the employment law issue at hand.

  72. yearofthewoman says:

    The internet is full of examples from legal sources that demonstrate that an employer cannot legally ban smoking on personal time. It appears that “aWomansWrite” neglected a link, but it’s not hard to fill in the blanks on this one.

  73. pantomancer says:

    There are plenty of cases where people have been turned down for employment because of a nicotine habit as well people being fired for it.
    .
    Here’s food for thought. Wait until President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare act is fully enacted. The government will be dictating your life on unprecedented levels. Mark my words.

  74. alindasue says:

    aWomansWrite said, “A company cannot legally tell an employee they can’t smoke on their own time and off the company grounds. That is a violation of their Constitutional rights.”

    Actually, there is no constitutionally guaranteed right to smoke.

    It is becoming an increasingly common practice for employers to forbid smoking anywhere at the place of employment. While I don’t know whether they can forbid the employee from smoking away from the job, it is common for employer provided health plans to charge a higher premium for employees (or covered family members) who smoke.

    As for the birth control issue, someone in one of theses threads (beerBoy, maybe?) had said this issue was a good argument for a single payer national health care program, and I agree. Not only would it make it easier for insurance to be portable between jobs, but it takes the issue of “employer’s conscience” out of the picture.

    Of course, there is another “solution” that no one has brought up yet. Since Plan B and some other forms of birth control are already available without a prescription, why don’t we just make The Pill available without a prescription too. That will without doubt increase women’s access to it – however, it will also almost guarantee that most insurance plans would no longer pay for it.

    Due to the combination of drugs that I am taking, my doctor determined that I had a “medical need” for a prescription level slow release mega-dose vitamin D pill every week. My insurance company paid for it once, then sent me a letter stating in no uncertain terms that even though I had a prescription for the pill, they would not cover it because they “do not cover any drugs that are available without a prescription”.

    I also ran into a similar problem with an anti-fungal medication my son had been prescribed.

    The point is that employer provided insurance companies already decide to not cover various “medically needed” drugs for reasons not having to do with religion. How would deciding to not cover a drug for religious reasons be much different?

  75. Well, you all missed the point of my anti-smoking example.

    1. It is perfectly legal for people to smoke. (Just as it is perfect legal for people to use birth control. And, I will grant you there is no constitutional “right” to smoke, just as there is no constitutional “right” to use birth control. Both are choices, legal choices, but not rights.)

    2. Yet, it is perfectly legal for employers to FORCE their anti-smoking principles on new hires and existing employees. If you don’t believe me, try getting a job with Alaska Airlines in Seattle after you have told them you are a smoker. Here is the PROOF from the Alaska Airlines career site!

    “Does Alaska Airlines have a policy regarding nicotine use?”
    “Yes, Alaska Airlines is a smoke free company. In order to be considered for a position, a candidate must be nicotine free for at least 6 months from the day they interview for a position. In a few states, employers are restricted from asking questions regarding nicotine use. In such states, Alaska does not consider nicotine use in determining employment eligibility.”

    https://careers.alaskaair.com/Alaska-FAQ.asp

    (BTW, it is legal for Alaska Airlines to discriminate against smokers here in Washington state. So, that last line does not apply here, and it has been challenged in state court.)

    3. The question I asked of any of you was: Can any of you cite a specific case like this FORCED Anti-Smokiing Policy, where ANY religious organization has FORCED any employee to NOT use birth control? Another way of saying, can you cite any case where a religious organization has FORCED its beliefs regarding birth control on anyone?

    Until you can prove such a case, any one of you who has complained that “religious employers are FORCING their beliefs on their employees” is FULL OF BEANS!!!

    You cannot prove it, because it isn’t happening. No-one’s rights to birth control are being denied just because the religious organizations choose not to pay for birth control.

  76. yearofthewoman says:

    It is not legal for a company to mandate non-smoking for employees off the clock on their own turf. Regardless, some companies will violate the rights of employees – especially new hires. Doesn’t make it legal.

  77. year… That’s an example of Smoking discrimination, and its in Massachusetts not Washington state. Take a look at the link I provided to the Alaska Airlines Career site, and you will see anti-smoking discrimination is perfectly legal and practiced daily here in our state.

    But, THAT IS NOT THE CHALLENGE I LAID DOWN…

    I asked anyone to provide an example of “where ANY religious organization has FORCED any employee to NOT use birth control? Another way of saying, can you cite any case where a religious organization has FORCED its beliefs regarding birth control on anyone?”

    CHALLENGE: Prove that a religious organization is FORCING others to accept its beliefs on birth control.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

  78. yearofthewoman says:

    What makes you think I care about your challenge? You think too much of yourself. I’m posting to the reasonable people on this blog. I’ve already witnessed your attacks on women.

    An adult doing a little reseach on the internet would know that smoking bans are being challenged on a constitutional basis also, 4th Amendment in particular.

    If you feel the need to declare yourself the winner, please do so and run along so that the rest of us can have a civil discussion.

  79. You are still MISSING THE POINT year…

    I don’t give a dang about smoking bans. It was an example only. The topic of this discussion is about BIRTH CONTROL and how religious organizations have a constitutional RIGHT to not pay for birth control.

    You are stuck on the smoking thing, WHICH I BROUGHT UP, so you are answering MY comments, but your are still answering the WRONG QUESTION.

    And, furthermore, I have as much RIGHT as you do to participate in this discussion even if you know I am right, you are wrong, and you can’t admit it. If you don’t like my comments here, then don’t read them. Nobody is FORCING you to. Get it?

    I have NOT attacked any women on this or any other blog. I argue my points logically, and refute others (male or female regardless) false statements and weak arguments. Some people (male or female) may view that as an attack, but that is only in their own insecure perception. I argue the points on the merits, with the facts, and if you or they cannot take it, then perhaps you or they do not belong here.

    Why don’t YOU run along so that thinking people can discuss this issue, which is about BIRTH CONTROL not about smoking.

  80. PatGreen says:

    Someone brings up the employee smoking issue and then says it’s not about smoking?

    I think some of these people are so busy commenting they don’t remember what they said

  81. PatGreen, No, it’s more of a case that some people lack the intellectual capacity to see the difference between an issue and a metaphor for that issue. Those people expose their lack of smarts when they focus on the metaphor and forget the issue. Deer in the headlights syndrome.

  82. A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

    Kardy is back, and he’s wearing a dress!

    I don’t know about any of the rest of you, because I am NOT the blog monitor, and I haven’t appointed myself to anything, but I do not intend to respond to any comments posted by Kardy’s new monikers, which are: PatGreen, yearofthewoman and MaryEllen2. There may be more, but I am going to completely ignore those. The rest of you can deal with him, er HER however you want to. Just remember, anyone who will constantly LIE about who they are will lie about anything and everything else. He, er SHE has proven that much time and time again on these blogs.

  83. I don’t really care who belongs to what screen name – if their argument makes sense then I will agree with them, if they devolve into hysterics and name-calling then I will lose respect for them.

  84. beerBoy (or should I call you Kardy Jr.) did you lose respect for YOURSELF when you hysterically name-called me Kardy?

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