Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby cphite » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:39 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
cphite wrote:Millions of people buy their insurance individually; in fact, that's one of the biggest things that The Affordable Care Act does is force people (or at least, coerce people) who don't have employer-based insurance to buy it on their own. So given that that option is available, why should employers be required to provide it at all?
The Affordable Care Act is a crude attempt by the government to make healthcare affordable; ie, you can see it as the government trying to provide healthcare for its citizens (and using employers as part of the solution). If you'd rather the government just make healthcare available to everyone without relying on the employer, I'm right with you.


Crude attempt is putting it mildly.

The real underlying problem is the cost of care itself. The ACA does very little to address this, and even the few things to attempts to do are so riddled with loopholes and exceptions that they may as well not be there. As it stands, the ACA will actually increase the cost of insurance for most Americans, with the middle class being the hardest hit. That whole "cost curve" thing... it's bending upward, not downward.

Most folks in the exchange plans are not only going to be paying more in premiums, but they're also going to pay higher deductibles. The current spin is that this is because the exchange plans are "better" than the old plans... but as usual, it's not that simple. It's true that the exchange plans cover a wider range of things than the old plans; but in terms of coverage for the types of things that actually cause financial harm to people, they're actually worse. Sure, you now have access to birth control; but you're paying a lot more out of pocket if you're injured or very sick.

People need homes every bit as much as they need health coverage; arguably more so. Why is it the duty of the government or business to provide one and not the other?


Governments do provide housing, albeit sometimes suboptimally.


Right; governments provide housing. The don't mandate that a private business provide housing.

At some point in western history, civilized society decided it was the duty of its participants to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. I guess you didn't get that memo?


Traditionally, when civilized society does something like this they do it via government; they don't mandate that private individuals or groups do it.

I have no problem with the government helping people buy insurance if they can't afford to themselves; or better yet, just directly pay for their care. There are ways to do that that would be far cheaper, and far more effective, than this convoluted mess called Obama Care.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby iamspen » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:01 am UTC

It seems most religious folk and the conservative courts are missing the most painfully obvious bit of this: IF THEY PAY FOR INSURANCE AT ALL, THEY'RE PAYING FOR SOMEONE'S CONTRACEPTIVES. It seems to me they have no business deciding whether those contraceptives that they already fucking pay for go to their employees or someone else's.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:19 am UTC

cphite wrote:Traditionally, when civilized society does something like this they do it via government; they don't mandate that private individuals or groups do it.
Except when they do -- like with car insurance, or laws, or programs that use different types of financial incentives (or penalties) to induce a certain type of behavior -- which, by the way, is precisely what the mandate is.

I don't care what's 'traditional' or whether the word 'mandate' bothers your sensibilities; I only care if it works. If a mandate is what we need to make healthcare affordable, mandate the fuck out of us. It doesn't seem like that's going to do it, though.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Silknor » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:46 am UTC

cphite wrote:The real underlying problem is the cost of care itself. The ACA does very little to address this, and even the few things to attempts to do are so riddled with loopholes and exceptions that they may as well not be there. As it stands, the ACA will actually increase the cost of insurance for most Americans, with the middle class being the hardest hit. That whole "cost curve" thing... it's bending upward, not downward.


You're confusing some very different things. There's the amount we (society, government, or an individual) spend on health insurance, and then there's the value we get from each dollar of spending. There's many provisions in the ACA that will try to increase the latter.

There's also the current level (which as you say the ACA will increase, both in aggregate and, at least pre-subsidy, for individuals) and the growth rate. A one-time increase to account for the new benefits (the 10 essential care areas, increased accessibility eg. the pre-existing conditions exclusion ban, removal of lifetime caps, etc) is distinct from the rate of medical inflation, and there's plenty of ways the ACA tries to bend the cost curve, such as the IPAB, ACOs, limited medical malpractice reform and much more. Some of those will show promise and merit expansion. Some won't do anything. But it's inaccurate to conflate the cost curve with a one-time jump in aggregate spending. Indeed, the cost curve is already bending (some of this is due to the recession, some seems to be due to the ACA, and some is due to trends that predate either). That doesn't mean we know if it'll continue to do so, but there's a lot of cost control measures in the ACA that are only getting started or haven't even kicked in yet.

Most folks in the exchange plans are not only going to be paying more in premiums, but they're also going to pay higher deductibles. The current spin is that this is because the exchange plans are "better" than the old plans... but as usual, it's not that simple. It's true that the exchange plans cover a wider range of things than the old plans; but in terms of coverage for the types of things that actually cause financial harm to people, they're actually worse. Sure, you now have access to birth control; but you're paying a lot more out of pocket if you're injured or very sick.


Can you be more specific? There's a lot of provisions that cut the other way, like getting rid of lifetime caps and rescissions that let your insurance company drop you once you get sick. Exchange plans also tend to have higher actuarial value (cover a greater percentage of expected costs) than the ones that were available on the individual market before. Now it's true that on average people will pay more before subsidies. But there's one really clear reason for that: the costliest people were unable to get coverage at all before on the individual market. It does little good to compare rates for a plan available only to the healthy to one available to anyone, unless your point is that those who need coverage the least benefited the most from the old system.

iamspen wrote:It seems most religious folk and the conservative courts are missing the most painfully obvious bit of this: IF THEY PAY FOR INSURANCE AT ALL, THEY'RE PAYING FOR SOMEONE'S CONTRACEPTIVES. It seems to me they have no business deciding whether those contraceptives that they already fucking pay for go to their employees or someone else's.


I don't think that's really true. It's clearly possible to have funds segregated so that funds don't comingle between plans that cover contraception and those that don't. And that's doubly true for employers who self-insure. Indeed I think it's really the opposite:

Group health plans sponsored by religious non-profit organizations such as hospitals, schools, universities and charities that object to offering contraceptive coverage do not have to provide contraceptive coverage. Instead, the plan’s insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) is required to provide or arrange for contraceptive coverage separately from the group health plan at no cost to the organization or plan participants.


In that case, the employers* that cover contraception will be paying for contraception coverage for those employees of organizations that don't cover it.

*Really the employees of those companies, since what your company spends on insurance comes out of your wages, plus the taxpayers since that portion of compensation is untaxed.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby skeptical scientist » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:47 am UTC

mike-l wrote:Also, not that it's in any way required for the argument, but since birth control is vastly cheaper than pregnancy and subsequent medical care for the child, it's usually cheaper to buy a plan that covers birth control than one that doesn't, so the argument isn't even 'I'm being forced to pay for something I don't agree with' (which is still a stupid argument)

Wait, so religious employers are fighting for the right to pay more for employee health insurance just so they can make it more difficult and/or expensive for their employees to get contraceptives? That is fucked up.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby mike-l » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:39 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
mike-l wrote:Also, not that it's in any way required for the argument, but since birth control is vastly cheaper than pregnancy and subsequent medical care for the child, it's usually cheaper to buy a plan that covers birth control than one that doesn't, so the argument isn't even 'I'm being forced to pay for something I don't agree with' (which is still a stupid argument)

Wait, so religious employers are fighting for the right to pay more for employee health insurance just so they can make it more difficult and/or expensive for their employees to get contraceptives? That is fucked up.


http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2012 ... .shtml#TOC So this says that the cost from the health insurance point of view is basically 0, but notes that the employer can further save money by not paying maternity as soon/as often. So I was a little off that the plans are actually cheaper, but they are the same price.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:46 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:
mike-l wrote:Also, not that it's in any way required for the argument, but since birth control is vastly cheaper than pregnancy and subsequent medical care for the child, it's usually cheaper to buy a plan that covers birth control than one that doesn't, so the argument isn't even 'I'm being forced to pay for something I don't agree with' (which is still a stupid argument)

Wait, so religious employers are fighting for the right to pay more for employee health insurance just so they can make it more difficult and/or expensive for their employees to get contraceptives? That is fucked up.


Welcome to religion. The religious objection isn't necessarily a practical objection. In fact, rather a lot of their rules are not well adjusted to modern economic realities. *shrug* At least it helps ensure their argument is genuinely a religious one, rather than an economic one masquerading as a religious one, I suppose.

The Great Hippo wrote:
People need homes every bit as much as they need health coverage; arguably more so. Why is it the duty of the government or business to provide one and not the other?
Governments do provide housing, albeit sometimes suboptimally.

At some point in western history, civilized society decided it was the duty of its participants to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. I guess you didn't get that memo?


DC guarantees that everyone gets a roof over their head in sub-zero weather, at least. I think it's fairly unique in that respect. That said, the load on that system has been steadily escalating, and now they're expecting imminent failure. So, probably not a great example of success.

That said, yes, it is reasonable to ask what the boundary on what we should provide is, and why that boundary is where it is. After all, if no such boundary exists, then we are trying to provide everyone with everything, and reach complete equality. This would seem to be essentially socialist in nature. I don't think most people actually want that extreme, but justifications for what balance should be struck and why are usually not made.

sardia wrote:This isn't a 1-off case though, nor is this district particularly conservative. There is a mitigating factor, (this district court should have had 3 more democratic judges on it, which would have tilted it in favor of contraception. Losing this case in SCOTUS would be pretty hard on poor women, they have to spend money and/or time to get something that men can get for free. (Men get boner pills and condoms without controversy; mostly due to the sexist nature of society/religion/conservatives). Does anybody know what the key issue is? Is it a test of rights violated vs the cost? Or is it a cut and dried test that you cannot violate religious freedoms?

PS http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/busin ... es.html?hp
Millions get free or nearly free healthcare.
Bronze plans aren't heavily advertised becaused it leads to more people like Leady. If you pay the minimum, it drains the pool of valuable cash, raising premiums for everyone else.


Only people that work for such religiously run companies would be affected. I can't see most companies negotiating for less coverage unless it saves them money somehow, which this really doesn't. That said, the hyper-religious are also usually not terribly fond of boner pills or condoms, and aren't really lobbying for the government to pay for those. In fact, they'd rather squelch anything like open discussion of sex altogether. They'd probably love to ban porn, and that's not a particularly anti-woman stance. It stems instead from a repression of sexuality in general. Probably puritan roots or something, *shrug*

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:17 pm UTC

Internet ate my post. =(
TLDR: Anti-contraceptive groups are a large minority; a main one is the Catholics. The service many noncatholics and Cathollics that do want birth control through their hospitals, corps, and universities.
If the previous ruling about freedom of religion provides any hints,
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... /?page=all
I think Robert's court would rule against contraceptives and for the churches.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:32 pm UTC

It's true that the real underlying problem is the inflated cost of the healthcare itself. Insurance is all well and good, but wasting money is not.

A while back I ran some numbers on exactly what happens to healthcare costs. There are a lot of estimates here, and it's set up to maximize taxes for a typical lower-income individual whose costs run shy of making tax exemption possible, but it's still interesting.

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Tyndmyr wrote:The religious objection isn't necessarily a practical objection. In fact, rather a lot of their rules are not well adjusted to modern economic realities. *shrug* At least it helps ensure their argument is genuinely a religious one, rather than an economic one masquerading as a religious one, I suppose.

Or is it? Forcing or manipulating your parishioners to have a lot of kids is a much better long-term financial strategy than depending on conversion as a revenue/adherent stream.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:46 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:It's true that the real underlying problem is the inflated cost of the healthcare itself. Insurance is all well and good, but wasting money is not.

A while back I ran some numbers on exactly what happens to healthcare costs. There are a lot of estimates here, and it's set up to maximize taxes for a typical lower-income individual whose costs run shy of making tax exemption possible, but it's still interesting.
"Look at this uncited, unexplained chart I made that looks at a specific situation wherein tax costs are maximized; isn't it interesting how in it, tax costs are maximized"?

I'd take that chart a lot more seriously if it cited some sources, explained its math, and accounted for things like tax exemptions. The way you presented it really doesn't add any credibility to your point; I could just make up a chart that contradicts yours.

Also, your conclusion is a little silly; for example, why don't you compare Canadian healthcare costs -- where government involvement is much higher -- with American healthcare costs? Which do you think is higher? Did government involvement drive up costs in that case? Or is it more a matter of the type of government involvement?

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:00 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:It's true that the real underlying problem is the inflated cost of the healthcare itself. Insurance is all well and good, but wasting money is not.

A while back I ran some numbers on exactly what happens to healthcare costs. There are a lot of estimates here, and it's set up to maximize taxes for a typical lower-income individual whose costs run shy of making tax exemption possible, but it's still interesting.
"Look at this uncited, unexplained chart I made that looks at a specific situation wherein tax costs are maximized; isn't it interesting how in it, tax costs are maximized"?

I'd take that chart a lot more seriously if it cited some sources, explained its math, and accounted for things like tax exemptions. The way you presented it really doesn't add any credibility to your point; I could just make up a chart that contradicts yours.

Also, your conclusion is a little silly; for example, why don't you compare Canadian healthcare costs -- where government involvement is much higher -- with American healthcare costs? Which do you think is higher? Did government involvement drive up costs in that case? Or is it more a matter of the type of government involvement?

Uncited because OR, lol. :mrgreen:

The particular case was one where an individual's total medical expenses hit 7.5% of his AGI, meaning they could not be deducted. It also assumed median copay and so forth. If I was wanting to prove something, I would have gone back and written up all the sources in a whitepaper; this is more of a "look how high taxes on healthcare can conceivably go". Though of course the polemic at the bottom is sure to rile some people up.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:15 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The religious objection isn't necessarily a practical objection. In fact, rather a lot of their rules are not well adjusted to modern economic realities. *shrug* At least it helps ensure their argument is genuinely a religious one, rather than an economic one masquerading as a religious one, I suppose.

Or is it? Forcing or manipulating your parishioners to have a lot of kids is a much better long-term financial strategy than depending on conversion as a revenue/adherent stream.


Plausible if Christianity wasn't so conversion focused. And of course, there's still a quantity vs quality argument to be made. Having lots of kids young is negatively correlated with income, for instance. Probably also means a greater load on church charity, on average. Definite disadvantages to go with the advantages.

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, your conclusion is a little silly; for example, why don't you compare Canadian healthcare costs -- where government involvement is much higher -- with American healthcare costs? Which do you think is higher? Did government involvement drive up costs in that case? Or is it more a matter of the type of government involvement?


I'm not sure that the US government is actually less involved. They're involved differently, to be sure, but they are certainly spending lots of government money on health care, and much government regulation on health care exists. For any reasonable metric of "involved", the US government is already heavily involved in health care, and was so even before The Affordable Care Act, though that represents an increase in involvement. It's hard to measure the level of involvement against Canada's in any meaningful way.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sam_i_am » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:49 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:There are plenty of reasons to be opposed to forcing insurance plans to cover specific things such as contraception. But freedom of religion isn't one of them.

Requiring contraception to be covered by insurance violates the freedom of Catholic's religion no more than laws against murder violate the religion of Aztecs.

Plainly and simply, religion is not an excuse to violate the law as you see fit.


"Being against contraception" and "murder" do not appear to be terribly interchangeable. The argument of "this can't be violating freedom, because it's the LAW" also does not seem terribly sound. Yes, laws can violate freedoms. Laws have gotten ditched for that before. The fact that it's a law is a poor reason for the law's existance. I mean, that's circular.

Now, while I'm not personally a big fan of religion's anti-contraception stance, I have to admit that it has been around for a while, so it's not a made-up objection. I also have to agree that forcing someone to pay for something their religion says is wrong....kind of goes against freedom of religion. And, in the end, I don't see a compelling reason why this right is outweighed by other rights. So...yeah, they've got a legitimate case. It isn't the case I would use against The Affordable Care Act, but it seems to have some validity.


Why is that not a sound comparison? because you say so?

The only difference between the two is a difference of degree.

Whether or not the law is valid is completely independent of whether or not it interferes with religion.

and as I said, yes there are reasons to be opposed to forcing all insurance plans to cover contraception, but freedom of religion is not one of them.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sam_i_am » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:53 pm UTC

sardia wrote: they have to spend money and/or time to get something that men can get for free. (Men get boner pills and condoms without controversy; mostly due to the sexist nature of society/religion/conservatives). Does anybody know what the key issue is? Is it a test of rights violated vs the cost? Or is it a cut and dried test that you cannot violate religious freedoms?


Please don't tell me that you actually think that the catholic church does not also ban condoms

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:56 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:If I was wanting to prove something, I would have gone back and written up all the sources in a whitepaper; this is more of a "look how high taxes on healthcare can conceivably go". Though of course the polemic at the bottom is sure to rile some people up.

So you were just trolling?
It's hard to measure the level of involvement against Canada's in any meaningful way.
Fair enough, but I think it would be fair to say that the amount of control Canada exerts over its healthcare system is considerably more than America.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:15 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:
sardia wrote: they have to spend money and/or time to get something that men can get for free. (Men get boner pills and condoms without controversy; mostly due to the sexist nature of society/religion/conservatives). Does anybody know what the key issue is? Is it a test of rights violated vs the cost? Or is it a cut and dried test that you cannot violate religious freedoms?


Please don't tell me that you actually think that the catholic church does not also ban condoms

I'm sorry, the Catholic church lobbyist were most definitly threatening lawsuits over the free condoms and boner pills that insurance companies were providing. That Sandra Fluke fellow must have been a real manwhore if he needed all those condoms to sleep around town. If he really wanted free condoms, I demand that he record his sexual activities so we can watch as compensation for his sexual life.

The actions of the Catholic/conservatives do not match their words. They spend far more time legislating women's vaginas compared to men's penises. Some of this is technical, the woman has the baby, not the man, and some of this is because all the leaders are old white men representing an ossified institution set when women were property. For every complaint lodged regarding abstinence, we get twice as many regulatory pushes against contraceptives.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sam_i_am » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:
sardia wrote: they have to spend money and/or time to get something that men can get for free. (Men get boner pills and condoms without controversy; mostly due to the sexist nature of society/religion/conservatives). Does anybody know what the key issue is? Is it a test of rights violated vs the cost? Or is it a cut and dried test that you cannot violate religious freedoms?


Please don't tell me that you actually think that the catholic church does not also ban condoms

I'm sorry, the Catholic church lobbyist were most definitly threatening lawsuits over the free condoms and boner pills that insurance companies were providing. That Sandra Fluke fellow must have been a real manwhore if he needed all those condoms to sleep around town. If he really wanted free condoms, I demand that he record his sexual activities so we can watch as compensation for his sexual life.

The actions of the Catholic/conservatives do not match their words. They spend far more time legislating women's vaginas compared to men's penises. Some of this is technical, the woman has the baby, not the man, and some of this is because all the leaders are old white men representing an ossified institution set when women were property. For every complaint lodged regarding abstinence, we get twice as many regulatory pushes against contraceptives.


Am I to understand that your entire argument revolves around things that Rush Limbaugh said

and still, I somehow doubt that Georgetown University's insurance plan covered condoms in the first place.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:23 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The religious objection isn't necessarily a practical objection. In fact, rather a lot of their rules are not well adjusted to modern economic realities. *shrug* At least it helps ensure their argument is genuinely a religious one, rather than an economic one masquerading as a religious one, I suppose.

Or is it? Forcing or manipulating your parishioners to have a lot of kids is a much better long-term financial strategy than depending on conversion as a revenue/adherent stream.

Plausible if Christianity wasn't so conversion focused.

Catholicism isn't a tenth as conversion-focused as evangelicalism. Quite possibly because evangelicalism literally means "evangelizing". And, big surprise: Catholics are the ones whose panties are all knotted up over birth control.

You'll also notice that the other groups who tend to strongly discourage birth control are the patriarchal fertility cults....which, big surprise, are typically neocalvinist types without the emphasis on conversion.

The Great Hippo wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:If I was wanting to prove something, I would have gone back and written up all the sources in a whitepaper; this is more of a "look how high taxes on healthcare can conceivably go". Though of course the polemic at the bottom is sure to rile some people up.

So you were just trolling?

Like I said, I made that a while back for a completely different discussion, which is why the polemic at the bottom is irrelevant to this topic.

I happen to think that socialized healthcare works brilliantly in many countries. I also think it would work brilliantly in the United States if a few fundamental changes to US policy were made. The original point of that infograph was to illustrate the hilarity of trying to implement half-socialized healthcare while still pretending to have a market-driven system with room for corporate profit.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:As great as letting the free market decide how much you should pay when you're hanging on by a thread is, we could just as easily decide to have the government provide for the general welfare, and eliminate the idea of paying for insurance all together. Just have the government provide healthcare paid through general taxes. Because I said it is easy and better for us, it must be so. Right Heisenberg?

Both of those systems are better for consumers than employer-based health care, yes.

And to your next question, yes, I do find the single-payer system far more preferable to the bullshit half-measure out there now which requires all Americans to pay a breathing tax.
sardia wrote:I'm sorry, the Catholic church lobbyist were most definitly threatening lawsuits over the free condoms and boner pills that insurance companies were providing. That Sandra Fluke fellow must have been a real manwhore if he needed all those condoms to sleep around town. If he really wanted free condoms, I demand that he record his sexual activities so we can watch as compensation for his sexual life.

First of all, if you recall the controversy was over single-use contraceptives and contraceptive surgeries, such as vasectomies, so yes the Church was upset over paying for contraceptives for men. Secondly, the fact that the person who chose to go before Congress and become the poster-child for this issue happened to be a woman seeking birth control pills does not automatically make the Church sexist. The Church told men seeking contraceptive measures and surgeries to fuck right off as well, but none of them came forward to defend their choices.

The Sandra Fluke controversy was terrible and showcased what utter douchebags Limbaugh and his cronies were, but don't try to portray this as the Church hauling her up out of ambiguity to face a slut-shaming squad because she was a woman. She had the courage to stand up and fight against what she saw as an unjust policy and her male coworkers did not.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Am I to understand that your entire argument revolves around things that Rush Limbaugh said

and still, I somehow doubt that Georgetown University's insurance plan covered condoms in the first place.

I looked into it and you are right about Georgetown + Catholics overall not covering condoms. My mistake there. My argument against conservative Catholics revolves around their hardline against contraceptives. Under the umbrella of sex for babies only, they have pushed back at every attempt on compromise. Not only do they want to be exempted from having to pay for contraceptives, they don't want employees, students and consumers to have access for contraceptives. This means forcing people to pay and travel long distances to get something that nonCatholic instutitions provide. What they are asking for is the freedom to religiously coerce others through the power of the purse. It be like denying blood transfusions at hospitals run by Jenova's witnesses. And then demanding that medical insurance not cover anything that uses other people's blood since it violates their religious rights.

Btw, There's a good chance that SCOTUS could take up a case like this in order to boost religious rights over other rights. Remember when they ruled that a teacher couldn't use a nondiscrimination law because the school was religious?

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:24 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:Why is that not a sound comparison? because you say so?

The only difference between the two is a difference of degree.

Whether or not the law is valid is completely independent of whether or not it interferes with religion.

and as I said, yes there are reasons to be opposed to forcing all insurance plans to cover contraception, but freedom of religion is not one of them.


That is not the case. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Laws that abrograte constitutional rights are invalid because the constitution has priority. So, the question really is if this rises to the level of a violation of that right.

sardia wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:Am I to understand that your entire argument revolves around things that Rush Limbaugh said

and still, I somehow doubt that Georgetown University's insurance plan covered condoms in the first place.

I looked into it and you are right about Georgetown + Catholics overall not covering condoms. My mistake there. My argument against conservative Catholics revolves around their hardline against contraceptives. Under the umbrella of sex for babies only, they have pushed back at every attempt on compromise. Not only do they want to be exempted from having to pay for contraceptives, they don't want employees, students and consumers to have access for contraceptives. This means forcing people to pay and travel long distances to get something that nonCatholic instutitions provide. What they are asking for is the freedom to religiously coerce others through the power of the purse. It be like denying blood transfusions at hospitals run by Jenova's witnesses. And then demanding that medical insurance not cover anything that uses other people's blood since it violates their religious rights.

Btw, There's a good chance that SCOTUS could take up a case like this in order to boost religious rights over other rights. Remember when they ruled that a teacher couldn't use a nondiscrimination law because the school was religious?


It isn't quite the same. Driving further to purchase condoms is obnoxious, but not getting a blood transfusion can straight up kill you. A hospital refusing to give you life saving care is different than a drugstore that doesn't carry the item you want.

Personally, I solved the problem by not studying at a catholic school, because I find catholic rules silly. This doesn't seem that unreasonable, and frankly, you can get condoms or whatever at walmart anyway.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:33 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:Why is that not a sound comparison? because you say so?

The only difference between the two is a difference of degree.

Whether or not the law is valid is completely independent of whether or not it interferes with religion.

and as I said, yes there are reasons to be opposed to forcing all insurance plans to cover contraception, but freedom of religion is not one of them.


That is not the case. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Laws that abrograte constitutional rights are invalid because the constitution has priority. So, the question really is if this rises to the level of a violation of that right.


Yes, freedom of religion is a constitutional right, but laws that just happen to interfere with religious practices don't violate that right. At least they don't according to the supreme court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._United_States

The reason why freedom of religion is not a reason to be against insurance companies providing contraception, is because it doesn't even violate freedom of religion in the first place.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:39 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
sam_i_am wrote:Why is that not a sound comparison? because you say so?

The only difference between the two is a difference of degree.

Whether or not the law is valid is completely independent of whether or not it interferes with religion.

and as I said, yes there are reasons to be opposed to forcing all insurance plans to cover contraception, but freedom of religion is not one of them.


That is not the case. Freedom of religion is a constitutional right. Laws that abrograte constitutional rights are invalid because the constitution has priority. So, the question really is if this rises to the level of a violation of that right.


Yes, freedom of religion is a constitutional right, but laws that just happen to interfere with religious practices don't violate that right. At least they don't according to the supreme court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reynolds_v._United_States

The reason why freedom of religion is not a reason to be against insurance companies providing contraception, is because it doesn't even violate freedom of religion in the first place.

In other words, the government is not obligated to accomodate all religious sensibilities, beliefs, practices, and restrictions in the formation of its laws.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:00 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also, if you agree with the court, do you also agree it's the right of hospitals and pharmacies to deny people access to contraception on religious grounds? Even if those people require it to treat serious medical illnesses? In short, do you think it's okay to deny people access to medicine just because your religion tells you they shouldn't have access to that medicine?

Every hospital has ethics rules. If you don't think a Jehovah's Witness doctor should be able to abstain from blood transfusions, it's because you disagree about the particular contents of the ethics rules, not (I hope) because you think doctors should not be able to hold themselves to an ethical standard.

sam_i_am: The relationship between religious freedom and general laws has a long and complicated history in the US, and is not disposed of just by citing Reynolds.

Edit to add: Federal laws such as the ACA are also specifically constrained by statute, which came along much later than Reynolds.

Edit to further add: I am not surprised to learn that this is in fact a RFRA case, and not a First Amendment case. Here is the actual ruling.
Last edited by TheGrammarBolshevik on Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:17 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr, again you're taking for granted the same thing over and over again. Time + Money. You have a surplus of both, many people do not. If I setup a tax cut for everyone in America, but you can only apply for a tax cut by providing a photo ID + signed/notarized statements affirming that you are not a terrorist during business hours only; it's going to affect who gets the tax cut.

Davidstar, that ruling is from the 1800s, I'm talking about a future ruling that can set up a new precedent. While I doubt SCOTUS will overturn it, they can change the scope of religious freedom so that it becomes wider.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:08 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Every hospital has ethics rules. If you don't think a Jehovah's Witness doctor should be able to abstain from blood transfusions, it's because you disagree about the particular contents of the ethics rules, not (I hope) because you think doctors should not be able to hold themselves to an ethical standard.
I think that if I come into the ER, and you're the only available, attending doctor -- and I need a blood transfusion to save my life -- and you abstain on religious grounds -- at best, you've failed every responsibility you have as a doctor; at worst, you're guilty of murder.

If your religion prevents you from practicing medicine responsibly, you should not seek to practice medicine.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, again you're taking for granted the same thing over and over again. Time + Money. You have a surplus of both, many people do not. If I setup a tax cut for everyone in America, but you can only apply for a tax cut by providing a photo ID + signed/notarized statements affirming that you are not a terrorist during business hours only; it's going to affect who gets the tax cut.

Davidstar, that ruling is from the 1800s, I'm talking about a future ruling that can set up a new precedent. While I doubt SCOTUS will overturn it, they can change the scope of religious freedom so that it becomes wider.


Time + Money is not the same as death. Death is pretty irreversable and major. Remembering to grab condoms at Walmart is not on the same level.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby mike-l » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:02 pm UTC

Keep in mind that doctors are subject to particular laws, as are employers, and these laws are different. In one case you are talking about laws that dictate in what situations a doctor can deny service, in another you are talking about laws on how employers must remunerate employees.

For both you can ask the question, does this law regarding employers/doctors violate religious freedom (or something else in the constitution). I'm of the opinion that if it has to do with money only, then in general it doesn't (with some extreme exceptions, like placing a tax on religious groups would violate the first amendment via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCulloch_v._Maryland, but general taxation that religious groups pay the same as everyone else is specifically exempted). And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:21 pm UTC

mike-l wrote:And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.

Disagreeing with the mandatory remuneration is starkly different than the mandatory remuneration going directly against your religious beliefs.

If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse. The same is true for this particular asinine law which requires every employer to distribute condoms.

Notably, these concerns were raised to President Obama directly by religious representatives, who were given a guarantee that their rights would not be violated only to have that promise broken a year later.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:56 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse. The same is true for this particular asinine law which requires every employer to distribute condoms.

I think that's a poor analogy. The better analogy would be if the present law required Catholics to wear condoms (perhaps while teaching). Alternately, a law requiring Jewish employers to provide ham dinners to their employees, though asinine, would not violate their religious rights.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sam_i_am » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:00 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
mike-l wrote:And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.

Disagreeing with the mandatory remuneration is starkly different than the mandatory remuneration going directly against your religious beliefs.

If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse. The same is true for this particular asinine law which requires every employer to distribute condoms.

Notably, these concerns were raised to President Obama directly by religious representatives, who were given a guarantee that their rights would not be violated only to have that promise broken a year later.


Why would they have more right to refuse than a christian or an aethist?

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:01 pm UTC

sam_i_am wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
mike-l wrote:And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.

Disagreeing with the mandatory remuneration is starkly different than the mandatory remuneration going directly against your religious beliefs.

If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse. The same is true for this particular asinine law which requires every employer to distribute condoms.

Notably, these concerns were raised to President Obama directly by religious representatives, who were given a guarantee that their rights would not be violated only to have that promise broken a year later.


Why would they have more right to refuse than a christian or an aethist?

Why do you care? You like green eggs and ham. :wink:

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby mike-l » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:38 am UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
mike-l wrote:And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.

If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse.

And if this law required employers to USE birth control, then you'd have a point.
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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:51 am UTC

mike-l wrote:
Heisenberg wrote:
mike-l wrote:And that's really what it comes down to, does being forced to remunerate your employees in certain ways violate your rights if you disagree with the remuneration, and I think the answer has to be no.

If the government passed some asinine law requiring every employer to share a ham dinner with their employees on Christmas Eve, Jewish employers would be well within their rights to refuse.

And if this law required employers to USE birth control, then you'd have a point.
Also would help with having a point: If consuming ham dinners was, for some people, integral to maintaining their health.

Despite Heisenberg's implication otherwise, this particular law isn't just about distributing condoms; it's about distributing contraceptives -- which are sometimes necessary for reasons other than preventing pregnancies.

(Not to imply that preventing pregnancies alone can't be integral to maintaining your health!)

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

Can the argument, a subsection of the population needs contraceptives for health reasons beyond preventing babies, be a valid reason to overturn all the religious opposition against contraception?

What's wrong with the argument that the benefits of contraception outweigh the religious "violation" that they supposedly incurred?

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby davidstarlingm » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:22 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What's wrong with the argument that the benefits of contraception outweigh the religious "violation" that they supposedly incurred?

The problem is that it admits a violation was incurred. This should not be considered the case. The religious conviction that use of personal contraceptives is wrong, no matter how deeply and sincerely held, is not violated by a legal requirement that other people be permitted access to personal contraceptives.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:
sardia wrote:What's wrong with the argument that the benefits of contraception outweigh the religious "violation" that they supposedly incurred?

The problem is that it admits a violation was incurred. This should not be considered the case. The religious conviction that use of personal contraceptives is wrong, no matter how deeply and sincerely held, is not violated by a legal requirement that other people be permitted access to personal contraceptives.

Can you come down to the police station and argue that for me? I've explained several times that all I did was buy spraypaint and drive my friend to and from the cemetary but they keep insisting I did something wrong.

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby leady » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:36 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Can the argument, a subsection of the population needs contraceptives for health reasons beyond preventing babies, be a valid reason to overturn all the religious opposition against contraception?

What's wrong with the argument that the benefits of contraception outweigh the religious "violation" that they supposedly incurred?


I'm pretty sure from my recollections of Fluke that they already were covered for "real" medical reasons (I can't think of a better way to phrase that so feel free to replace in your own head)

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby sardia » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:
sardia wrote:What's wrong with the argument that the benefits of contraception outweigh the religious "violation" that they supposedly incurred?

The problem is that it admits a violation was incurred. This should not be considered the case. The religious conviction that use of personal contraceptives is wrong, no matter how deeply and sincerely held, is not violated by a legal requirement that other people be permitted access to personal contraceptives.

Can you come down to the police station and argue that for me? I've explained several times that all I did was buy spraypaint and drive my friend to and from the cemetary but they keep insisting I did something wrong.

Wouldn't the metaphor actually be that the police kept telling you that it's not a crime to pay for spraypaint insurance, but you sued the police until a judge issued a court ruling in your favor that you did indeed do something wrong?

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Re: Contraception Violates Freedom of Religion

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

Yeah, it kind of breaks down. How about this: For some people, "accessory" means more than a handbag.

Saying a non-violent Jainist must purchase handguns for himself and his employees, but it's ok because the government doesn't actually force him to shoot anyone is ridiculous. So would forcing a Hindu to purchase a ham for himself and his employees. "It's ok because he can just throw the ham out, he doesn't have to eat it" is not respecting his free exercise of religion and is frankly, pretty offensive.


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