published Friday, February 10th, 2012

Obama's attack on religious liberty not an issue only for Catholics

Not only Catholics but everyone in the Chattanooga area and indeed in our entire country should be troubled by the Obama administration's newly announced rule that religious schools', charities' and hospitals' health insurance programs must cover contraceptives.

Opinions on contraception vary, but the issue is not whether one agrees or disagrees with Catholic opposition to contraception. The issue is that the administration has violated the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty by forcing religiously affiliated organizations to offer contraception as part of their health care plans. The order violates long-held Catholic teachings against contraception and requires such institutions to ignore their religious beliefs.

It is not surprising that Catholic leaders in the Chattanooga area and elsewhere in Tennessee and Georgia have stated clear, powerful objections to this overreach by the Obama administration.

"This is a violation of the First Amendment and freedom of religion ...," Father Paul Williams of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Dalton, Ga., told the Times Free Press. "It has very little to do with the church's teaching on contraceptives and has everything to do with the government forcing us to violate our conscience."

He is absolutely right, but his concern should be shared by freedom-loving Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Neither should it make any difference whether or not Americans in general happen to believe that health insurance plans ought to include contraception. The Bill of Rights was written to safeguard fundamental freedoms. Those liberties are not subject to being denied on a presidential whim.

Republicans in Congress have denounced the Obama administration's attack on religious liberty, and even some Democrats have objected. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., called the administration's decision a "direct affront to religious freedoms."

If the president will not reverse course, Congress should take action.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
shifarobe said...

Hey, #$@& you BHussein! What a thug. Get your long, ugly finger off our freedoms!

February 10, 2012 at 12:07 a.m.
librul said...

The greatest failure of the Health Reform Act was that it didn't establish a single-payer system that would have eliminated the "lose your job - lose your healthcare" trap. But the big pharma and health insurance lobbyists and their client goons in the congress awash in their payoff cash wouldn't hear of it. So the best the President could do was a small reform package with several important improvements to the corporate ripoff circus that we had.

Among the improvements to the old system was a provision that said women who worked for religious institutions would have to have birth control available to them as a part of their package of provided services. That's it. They didn't have to USE it, but for those who wanted it, it would have to be available. THAT'S IT.

All this hysteria and crazy talk by conservative MEN about some anti-religious jihad is nothing but amusing poppycock. The fact that these "religious" institutions have their panties in such a wad (heh, heh) makes it obvious they are unaware that the majority of women who work for them WANT access to birth control and the Republican's "war on women" is going to bite them in the butt come election day. Yet another indication that Republicans are waaaaay out of step with mainstream America.

February 10, 2012 at 1:52 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

The lunacy of religionists and the fanatical right wingers knows no bounds. Here is, once again, a non-issue that they are trying to make an issue out of. They are really good at that. There is NOTHING unconstitutional about this provision. As long as health care is treated as a commodity and in the hands of the free market (big mistake; single payer for all would be the most cost effective and the most egalitarian), and as long as churches and religious institutions are in the business of providing health care, they should and must abide by the labor laws that every other business must abide by. When a church acts as a business, even a non-profit business, it forfeits its so-called "rights" to indulge in its stupid and archaic beliefs, such as bith control being a sin. Besides, no one is forcing anyone to use birth control. This provision is only guaranteeing that it be made accessible to all - a very commendable and sensible provision by anyone's standards, except for the pompous, pretentious pope and his pedophile lackeys.

February 10, 2012 at 5:41 a.m.
joneses said...

librul, rickeroo,

Why are you only attacking Republicans for thier resistance to Obama's taking away religious freedom? Did you not know that Biden and other democrats are against this as well? Do you really think this is about contraception? This is about this pathetic fool you worship as president taking away freedoms. Take your blinders off. Do you really think this pathetic president should have the power to dictate that churches act against their religious beliefs? You are alwasy preaching against the separation against church and state which is no where in the constitution but now you have a president dictating what churches believe. I hope he stands firm on this so it will expose him for the agenbda he wants for this country which is total government control of every aspect of our lives. Maybe this will wake people up to what this fools agenda really is.

February 10, 2012 at 6:15 a.m.
Livn4life said...

I challenge the President, Congress, and Rickaroo, Librul etc. to strip this nation of the religious establishments and institutions who, while in no way perfect, were the backbone of the foundation of this society. Take them away and just see, just experience how wonderful a life you would have with no morality(we are getting closer to that day by day), no standards. You who, decry those "religionists, fanatic right-wingers", would find out who the true upholders of the American way of life are. But no, you make your judgments and you know what's best. Enjoy the rise in government control. But be forewarned as to where it is leading. That will not be a pretty sight.

February 10, 2012 at 6:50 a.m.
joneses said...

Rights taken away by Obama.

  1. Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009 (LLEHCA HR 1913) – Essentially speaking this law (already passed) gives a Federally protected status to gays and minorities. This makes any speech against any gay or minority hate speech and any crime against them is then considered a hate crime. Although I have nothing against individuals being homosexual I do hate this law in that it also discriminates against the first amendment right of Free Speech and Religion. If a preacher speaks against homosexuality, it is considered hate speech. Also if an un protected citizen and a citizen in protected status are both victims of a crime the victim in a protected status’ case is priority over the non protected individual.
February 10, 2012 at 6:58 a.m.
joneses said...
  1. Obama’s Tarp, The Bailout and the Jobs bill – The problem with the bailouts is that nothing is without its price. The cost of the bailouts is more government regulation and control over businesses. Many simply ignore the fact the auto industry is controlled by the government. GM Motors is now Government Motors. If we simply allow the government to take over business by means of bailouts with draconian control measures, instead of letting them fall flat on their faces for their failures to make sound decisions; we are simply opening the doors for government to move into every aspect of our lives. If one owns a business why should they stand by and allow the mistakes of major corporations to affect how their business is run because of harsh government imposed regulations, for bail out money they never even saw?
February 10, 2012 at 6:59 a.m.
joneses said...
  1. Health Care Reform –  Obamacare is not going to help you. This is a subject that one could write an entire book on, not because of it’s 1900 (plus) pages, but because it is un sustainable, irresponsible and unconstitutional. First off, WELCOME TO SOCIALIST AMERICA! This bill HR 3962, is redistribution of wealth on a scale not yet seen in America and will not be dwarfed by any other proposed legislation except for Cap and Trade. Bottom line The Government can now Legally tell you what you have to buy. In this case it’s Health insurance. With the passage of this bill, they also destroy the incentives and rewards system of a capitalist economic system by controlling the entire medical field. The government now decides what the salary will be for a doctor, surgeon, physician assistant and other medical professionals. They also dictate where anyone who would choose to go into the medical field will live and practice.
February 10, 2012 at 7 a.m.
joneses said...
  1. Expanded Government Control over Local and State Law Enforcement -  In January 2010 Barrack Obama signed a law that will enable him to choose 6 governors as key leaders over 6 FEMA regions in the United States to essentially control a “Partnership” between state law enforcement and military. This is essentially the federalization of many state law enforcement agencies in America and expands the roles of the National Guard, thus federalizing them as well. No where in the law does it say anything about martial law; but you can see where this is headed. By the way the media didn’t even touch this one. Another “FYI” even the “TSA” is now unionized. What does that mean for law enforcement in the future?
February 10, 2012 at 7:01 a.m.
joneses said...
  1. The termination of ALL OFFSHORE DRILLING IN THE WAKE OF THE BP OIL SPILL – Barrack Hussein Obama, in all of his infinite wisdom and omnipotence decided that even before the investigation into the matter was complete he would cease all off shore drilling for a minimum of 6 months. This is particularly interesting since a major portion of the oil that our country produces and uses comes from off shore drilling. I will sum it up like this. No drilling, Job losses, supporting businesses lose traffic and profit, eventual increase in prices at the pump because we will have to get the fuel from else where; which result in less mobility, less commuting, less business and less money equaling more damage to the economy and jobless rates equaling more unemployment funding and an increase in taxes. Get the picture.  Obama and Al Gore claim that such off shore drilling causes too much damage to the earth and by the way they also begin the push for Cap and Trade, which is even more oppressive and bankrupting than Healthcare. Coincidentally, even though Obama ceased drilling in America he send 3 Billion in tax payer dollars to his buddy (Campaign fund donor and puppet master) George Soros who is heavily invested in a Drilling company in Brazil named “Petrobras”. Basically we are now paying extra to a Brazilian company to do the same thing that could be done off America’s shores. Just another example of how this administration wants to cripple America’s economy and redistribute our wealth to other nations.
February 10, 2012 at 7:01 a.m.
EaTn said...

Obama did not take anyone's religious freedoms away--contraire, he was giving all workers at religious organizations their freedom to choose. Whether they participate in medical birth control or not is up to the individual.

February 10, 2012 at 7:07 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

joneses: you are correct. There are some Democrats who are wimping out and opposing the president on this and I condemn them too. I am not so much aligned with the Democratic party or with any particular ideology. I just call 'em as I see 'em. Nor am I an Obama worshiper. To be honest, there is a lot about him that I do not like. But it has nothing to do with him being a "socialist" or whatever you right wing lunatics like to call him. Hell, he needs to be more of that! He's TOO conservative for my liking. Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Nixon were more liberal than he is. Yet so many right wingers insist on labeling him a socialist... or worse. They, and perhaps you, need to study up on what a socialist really is.

But I'm not going to argue with you. It's impossible to argue with someone who makes no sense. You say, "you have a president dictating what churches believe." WTF?? Where do you even come up with that? This whole brouhaha has nothing to do with anyone dictating anything. He's simply trying do the fairest, most sensible thing for the greatest number of people. The vast majority of Americans, and even Catholics, believe in the benefits of birth control and are in support of this provision. Cry about religious freedom if you want, but you will be crying with a minority of idiots.

February 10, 2012 at 7:10 a.m.
joneses said...


You are a hypocrit. You say you have no political affiliation then you use the term "right wing lunatics". And then you say Obama is to conservative for your liking and you are not aligned with any political party. It sounds to me you are a liberal/communist and a liar. Move to North Korea I hear they will control every aspect of your life and it sound to me that is what you want. You said "The vast majority of Americans, and even Catholics, believe in the benefits of birth control and are in support of this provision." The vast majority of Americans are against the obama's socialized health care bill and are also against gay marriage. So if you believe that majority rules than where is your outrage against these two issues? You are right you cannot argue with me as one who is a hypcrit and talks from both sides of his mount has no argument. it is entertaining to watch you contradict everything you say. But what else would I expect from a liberal? LOL!

February 10, 2012 at 7:34 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The vast majority of Americans are against the obama's socialized health care bill and are also against gay marriage

Data to support this statement please?

February 10, 2012 at 7:38 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses...other than an early morning exercise of your typing skills, in two or three sentences what's your point?

February 10, 2012 at 7:57 a.m.
joneses said...


Next time look it up yourself.

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

The public is increasingly skeptical of the health care reform bill signed into law last week, a new CBS News poll shows.

More Americans now disapprove of the legislation, and many expect their costs to rise and the quality of their care to worsen; few expect the reforms to help them.

President Obama has continued to tour the country to stump for his new set of reforms. This week he went to Portland, Maine, where he told people it will take more than a week for the benefits of reform to become apparent.

The poll, conducted March 29 through April 1, found that so far the president's efforts to build up support for the bill appear to be ineffective.

Fifty-three percent of Americans say they disapprove of the new reforms, including 39 percent who say they disapprove strongly. In the days before the bill passed the House, 37 percent said they approved and 48 percent disapproved.

Republicans and independents remain opposed to the reforms, and support has dropped some among Democrats. Now 52 percent of Democrats approve of the new reforms, a drop from 60 percent just before the bill was passed by Congress.

February 10, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Now, how about your definition of "vast" and the data on gay marriage? I don't consider 53% "vast" but hey, maybe you have other ideas?

IMO, anyone who claims to be "pro-life" who is not for universal access to birth control reveals themselves as not pro-life after all but someone whose only priority is to punish others for the sexual activities that they disapprove of. Nothing more, nothing less. The more use of birth control, the fewer unplanned pregnancies. Period.

Curious to know what tax burden is caused by thousands, if not millions of children born to women unable or unwilling to care for them. (compared to subsidizing birth control)

February 10, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.
joneses said...

eatn, Comment on my typing skills? Is that all you have? You are an idiot.

February 10, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.
joneses said...


But saying "obama won by an overwhelming majority over McCain(53% to 47%) is acurate? I do not consider53% an overwhelming majority. So I stand corrected. My comment should have said a "majority". But then again when did a liberal ever care what the majority thinks?

February 10, 2012 at 8:12 a.m.
tnlobo420 said...

Contraception is needed when we can't even support our own poor. Ask any vet - neutering is the way to go - too many babies......

February 10, 2012 at 8:18 a.m.
joneses said...

The most important poll is the vote and this has occurred 31 times across the country and all 31 times, people across the U.S. believe in natural marriage, "I think a lot of times, when [pollsters] go up and talk to them or come to their house and ask if they believe in equality, they may be more intimidated than when they get behind the curtain of a voting booth."

February 10, 2012 at 8:20 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

"vast" and slim majority paint different pictures. When it comes to access to birth control, women in larger percentages approve. (ever wonder why?) As far as gay marriage, maybe you can tell us how allowing gays to marry threaten the rights, including the religious rights, of the rest of us. (remember, no one is suggesting that we force any church to perform such marriages)I've been married 30 years, and never have I felt my marriage threatened by allowing anyone else to marry.

February 10, 2012 at 8:28 a.m.
EaTn said...

joneses...I'm very much interested and your and other opinions. I'm sure there's some good stuff in your comments but as an "idiot" I don't have the time or patience to dig for them.

February 10, 2012 at 8:34 a.m.
fairmon said...

This is just one of many many surprises that will come from the AHCA. It is a difficult read but people should unlike congress before approving it should read it. Those on medicare will see their premiums at least double in 2014 with reduced coverage. Those not on medicare will see major increases in their cost of coverage.

February 10, 2012 at 8:53 a.m.
acerigger said...

Exploiting religious divides has long been one of the ways conservatives seek to win over working-class voters, whom they otherwise don't seem to care about. Abortion, gay rights and religious education become wedge issues for politicians like Rick Santorum, who blend a kind of faux-populism with frighteningly reactionary sentiments about the rights of women and LGBT people.

That's just it, too. The claims of “war on religion” seem to always come when a move by the administration, a court, or legislature has granted more rights and protections to those who are not straight, male and usually white. When white evangelicals and Catholics claim that Obama's declaring a war on religion, they mean on their religion. They're evoking the same xenophobia as the demands for the birth certificate, as the claims that Obama is a Muslim. The insinuation is that the president isn't American, isn't like them, and thus is to be feared, hated, or simply voted out of office.

February 10, 2012 at 8:56 a.m.
conservative said...

I for one hope that Obamination does not cave in, at least not until there is irreparable harm done to him. " My Muslim faith" as Obamination put it on national TV exposed himself. The Muslim faith is totally intolerant of ALL other religions even calling for the killing of the infidels. Obamination is only practicing his faith.

February 10, 2012 at 9:30 a.m.

You can have universal access without trouncing on the freedom of faith based organizations. This is a clear attack on religion.

February 10, 2012 at 9:35 a.m.
librul said...

Right on, Ace. These conservathugs are finding themselves on the defensive and in the dwindling minority so they have to shout louder and say meaner things to try to make their "point." Won't matter in the end. They're going the way of the dinosaurs 'cus the political climate is changing. I just hope they haven't messed things up to the point that we're ALL going to head that way.

February 10, 2012 at 9:46 a.m.
conservative said...

An excerpt from today's TFP:

Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, said in a radio interview Thursday that “there is going to be a significant attempt to work this out and there is time to do that.” He said the one-year grace period is “to make sure that we do not force the Catholic Church to do something that they fundamentally think is inconsistent with their religious beliefs.”

Translation: In view of the uproar we will wait a year (the election will be over) before we force the Catholic Church to do something that they fundamentally think is inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

They just keep shooting themselves in the foot.

February 10, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
librul said...

Concessions, concessions, concessions. I wish they would stick it to these bullies for ONCE.

February 10, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.
hambone said...

Women don't know what is good for them. Only the GOP and people like Santorum and Gingrich are capable of making these choices for women!!

February 10, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
acerigger said...

shifarobe said...

Hey, #$@& you BHussein! What a thug. Get your long, ugly finger off our freedoms!

Yeah, OUR freedom to tell YOU how you may live!

February 10, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

All hypotheticals considered, I agree that this is not just an issue for Catholics:

"If Bob Jones University opened a restaurant and decided not to serve Blacks, should they be exempt from civil rights laws if they say that their religion requires it?"

Republicans [and Catholics] say yes . . . and Democrats say no.

And that’s really all you need to know.

Note: Bracket added to Zasloff's hypothetical added by MountainLaurel

February 10, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.
mtngrl said...

It appears they came up with a solution that should work for everyone: .

Capping weeks of growing controversy, Obama said he was backing off a newly announced requirement for religious employers to provide free birth control coverage even if it runs counter totheir religious beliefs. Instead, workers at such institutions will be able to get free birth control coverage directly from health insurance companies. "Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work. That core principle remains," he said from the White House briefing room. "Religious liberty will be protected and a law that requires free preventative care will not discriminate against women," Obama added.

February 10, 2012 at 1:19 p.m.
LibDem said...

I was born and raised in the South. Religious freedom was barring blacks from white churches. Now they've moved on to promoting abortion by limiting access to contraception. 21st century politics.

February 10, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
fairmon said...

Government involvement in anything including health care has and will continue to get more expensive and complicated. My advice to employers has been to avoid being involved in anything the government is involved in unless it is selling them something. I think we will see more employers switch to making a deposit to an employees health care savings account and allow them to purchase their own health care. This concept relieves employers of dealing with insurors and the government while reducing adminstrative cost to employers.

February 10, 2012 at 3:56 p.m.
chet123 said...





February 10, 2012 at 4:28 p.m.
chet123 said...


February 10, 2012 at 4:32 p.m.
fairmon said...

Looking at the issue strictly from a cost benefit perspective it is much cheaper to provide birth control than it is to pay for prenatal care, giving birth, helping provide insurance, housing, clothing, food and education for a kid, planned or unplanned.

From a political view Obama knows there are many more non catholic women voting than the total number of voting catholics and that many catholic women don't agree with and don't obey that teaching.

I don't like his views on what governments role is in peoples lives and governments parenting obligation to every citizen regardless of age. However, he is a savvy politician that could sell frozen popsicles to Eskimos living in igloos. No worries dems he will be re-elected. The other crowd is as extreme in another way as he is except Ron Paul who confuses both parties with his fiscal conservatism and social liberalism not to mention his alienation of the pro-war interventionist industrial military complex supporters in both parties.

February 10, 2012 at 4:38 p.m.
fairmon said...

referencing the reconcile ML said.....

workers at such institutions will be able to get free birth control coverage directly from health insurance companies. "Under the rule, women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services no matter where they work.

I have no problem with women having access but to suggest it is free is misleading. There is no such thing as free, someone is paying for it or at least helping pay for anything that has a cost associated with it.

February 10, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Government involvement in anything including health care has and will continue to get more expensive and complicated." - harp3339

What planet have you been living on? Surely you are aware of how outrageously expenseve health insurance is these days? The private sector handling of health insurance is about as costly and inefficient - not to mention complicated - as it can possibly be. Premiums go up year after year and the monthly rate for an individual health insurance policy for someone my age (61) costs more than many people pay on their mortgages. As for the administrative costs, they are even more than the administrative costs of our government-run Medicare.

We are the only nation that has our health care tied to our place of employment. That is insane. The right wing and all of you who are opposed to universal health care also bemoan the many criticims being thrown at the job creators these days. Well, why should you want to burden the job creators with the onus of having to provide health insurance in the first place? I say take that off the table completely and let us go with Medicare for all. Can you imagine the amount of productivity, new jobs, increased wages, and strengthening of the economy that would ensue if employers had that burden lifted off their shoulders? And how much better off we all would be if we didn't have to choose a job solely on whether or not it offered health insurance?

Health care savings accounts and vouchers will only be band-aids and not a solution as long as health care is left, unregulated, in the hands of private business. It must be made affordable and accessible to ALL, not just those who can afford it or are lucky enough to work for one of the few companies remaining that still provides comprehensive coverage for its employees.

February 10, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
fairmon said...


I am not a republican and can't defend them but I wouldn't object to debating you on your democrats principles. In fact I have never heard or read the principles of either party. I hear both mouthing philosophies and what they say their beliefs are at that point in time, depending on the issue. I hear both parties saying "we have to stick by our principles" but never hear them say what they are. Principles are something you are willing to live or die by, like the ten commandments, they never change. In this case to be elected or not elected but but be unwavering in adhering to and never violating or compromising the party principles. Can you list them?

I issue the same challenge to any republican that believes their party governs based on sound constitution supported principles that are not compromised regardless of the issue.

February 10, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
fairmon said...

Rickaroo said... "Government involvement in anything including health care has and will continue to get more expensive and complicated." - harp3339

What planet have you been living on? Surely you are aware of how outrageously expensive health insurance is these days?

I am painfully aware of the cost of an individual health care policy.

I think your reaction and comment supports my point. It is complicated and having 100% on medicare A,B and D would work if the fraud and abuse were properly policed and punished. Medicare and their negotiated rates distort the cost to those not on medicare. This resulted in insurance ppos and hmos negotiating hospital and provider rates leaving those not in a ppo, hmo or medicare hanging out and charged unmercifully for care and insurance.

100% on medicare with no exceptions with premiums and taxes at a rate sufficient to pay all claims and experience rated/adjusted annually would be a good step in the right direction and would be fiscally responsible behavior on the part of the government. Medicare claims currently exceed premium and tax revenue by about 40%. Hospitals and providers could not off set their negotiated rates revenue loss so they would have to raise their charges. So, the initial adjustment would be significant but fair. Fair only if the medicare premium is the same for every man, woman and child. No family, head of hh and other categories like the discriminatory tax codes.

There would have to be a state or federal welfare program and labeled as that for those that could not pay the medicare premium, not some hidden welfare gimmick like the earned income credit in the tax codes. This is not to say people with limited and low incomes don't need and should not receive assistance it means quit hiding the cost, call it what it is, and let all those paying for and receiving it know the cost. That would be a good incentive for those paying to report abuse and fraud.

The government's role should be regulating and assuring quality of care and policing sufficiently to assure that there is the best possible delivery of health care and no abusive charges. The demise of insurance companies that claim to be non-profit and those that show low profits with both over paying executives and management plus building and maintaining elaborate office facilities plus providing other perks to management without doing anything truly additive to improving or reducing healthcare cost would reduce the amount spent by people on insurance and health care.

A side benefit would be breaking up the cozy relationship of politicians and insurance companies.

February 10, 2012 at 5:59 p.m.
librul said...

Problem solved - a thinking President Obama worked out the conundrum using reason and logic - never to be found among a bunch of Republican zealots. The religionist institutions will not have to provide contraceptives, the insurance companies will. Simple. Elegant. And above all, Intelligent. Something we need not expect from the Rethugs.

February 10, 2012 at 8:37 p.m.
acerigger said...


February 10, 2012 at 9:54 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

To add another interesting talking point on this matter involving religious traditions, peyote, and a decision authored by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

“The Supreme Court was very clear in a case called Employment Division v. Smith, written by none other than Antonin Scalia, that religious believers and institutions are not entitled to an exemption from generally applicable laws.”

The Reagan-appointed conservative justice authored the majority opinion in the 1990 decision Employment Division v. Smith, a critical precedent to the birth control case, decreeing that religious liberty is insufficient grounds for being exempt from laws. The Supreme Court said Oregon may deny unemployment benefits to people who were fired for consuming peyote as part of a religious tradition, seeing as the drug was illegal in the state.

“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,” wrote Scalia, an avowed Catholic and social conservative, quoting from a century-old Supreme Court decision and giving it new life. His opinion was cosigned by four other justices."

February 10, 2012 at 10:27 p.m.
01centare said...

Did anyone read where the US lawsuit against the Vatican on the child molestation issue has been dropped? I just read this on an online news story. Wonder if there's a connection to this and Republicans kissing all over the Catholics? Whom they've openly been hostile to?

February 11, 2012 at 9:36 p.m.
ashwken said...

"It is not surprising that Catholic leaders in the Chattanooga area and elsewhere in Tennessee and Georgia have stated clear, powerful objections to this overreach by the Obama administration."

Apparently neither Catholic leaders, nor the Free Press Editors, are aware that this has been the law in GA since 1999:

...Yes, the law was originally passed back in 1999, four years before Republicans gained control of Georgia’s government. But Republicans have had ten years in which to change the law if they thought there was a problem with it; yet, it has remained intact through ten Republican-controlled legislative sessions.

And with no stated exceptions, this law applies to mega-employer Saint Joseph’s Hospital , a 410-bed acute care facility in Atlanta with several subsidiaries including an employed physician’s group and research facilities, with a total of 3,000 employees. And the law also applies to Saint Mary’s Hospital , a 196-bed acute care hospital in Athens, GA.

February 13, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
Austin said...

ashwaken, the blog you quoted is false. The Georgia law from 1999 does not require self-insured entities like the Catholic church to offer contraceptive coverage. If you read further on that blog, though the blogger misses the point too, Georgia never could force regulations on self-insured entities because only Federal law can regulate them. That's the difference, because now Obama's HHS is mandating that self-insured entities cover contraceptives. Thus the opposition from the Catholic church now.

February 16, 2012 at 8:57 a.m.
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