Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

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Heisenberg
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Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

ABC
NYT
WP Opinion Piece

The Obama administration has decided that the provision in the health care law that requires "preventative care" to be covered includes contraception, constragestion (Plan B), and sterilization. They've acknowledged that the right to freedom of religion protects churches and other religious institutions from this mandate, but decided that religious schools and hospitals don't qualify for this first amendment right because they have the gall to treat and educate people who aren't of their religion. From NYT:
A religious employer cannot qualify for the exemption if it employs or serves large numbers of people of a different faith, as many Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies do.
The argument the Obama administration is making is that if you're a Jewish hospital who treats only Jews, you're a religious institution and have freedom of religion, but if a busload of Christian children show up bleeding on your doorstep and you have the audacity to admit them, you're a secular institution and have no rights. It's an utterly ridiculous argument.

As the opinion writer puts it:
Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not — and then to aggressively regulate institutions the government declares to be secular. It is a view of religious liberty so narrow and privatized that it barely covers the space between a believer’s ears.
Possible results include institutions kowtowing to government demands in direct violation of their consciences (unlikely), continuing to fund employee health care as they see fit and paying the $2000 per employee penalty, cutting employee health care to afford the penalty, or simply deciding to turn away clients from other religions in order to maintain their autonomy. While I can't imagine hospitals closing their doors on people due to religion, it is important to note that President Obama is incentivizing that behavior, and I find that appalling.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:36 pm UTC

Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not


You mean christians can't just declare anything they do to be a religious mission and exempt from the law? There's like, someone making a decision about that?

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby mike-l » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:37 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:and I find that appalling
Yes, it's appalling that any groups are exempt at all.

Also, if there is a hospital that only treats/hires one religion, I find that appalling as well.
Last edited by mike-l on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Obama is claiming the executive authority to determine which missions of believers are religious and which are not


You mean christians can't just declare anything they do to be a religious mission and exempt from the law? There's like, someone making a decision about that?

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:39 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:The argument the Obama administration is making is that if you're a Jewish hospital who treats only Jews, you're a religious institution and have freedom of religion, but if a busload of Christian children show up bleeding on your doorstep and you have the audacity to admit them, you're a secular institution and have no rights. It's an utterly ridiculous argument.

Sensationalize much? "Serving and employing large numbers of people of a different faith" wouldn't be triggered solely by emergency room services. My understanding is that they aren't being exempted for this because while they're managed by religious institutions, they don't place any limiting factor on whom they work with. If they're willing to employ people of any religion, or lack thereof, and they're willing to provide services, which aren't aren't religious in nature, to people of any religion, or lack thereof, why should they get special religious entity treatment?

I see nothing wrong with this decision.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
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Marvelous, marvelous. Now be a dear and just throw that directly into the incinerator.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Angua wrote:
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Marvelous, marvelous. Now be a dear and just throw that directly into the incinerator.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

Brilliant.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby mike-l » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:If they're willing to employ people of any religion, or lack thereof....why should they get special religious entity treatment?

More importantly, you don't get to impose your religious beliefs on your employees. If you think contraception is wrong, then don't use it. You don't get to make the choice of whether your secretary does or not.

I still find it weird that the route this whole health thing is taking is making people buy insurance/making employers buy insurance, as opposed to a national provider, but that's an entirely different argument.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Dauric » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:47 pm UTC

Many hospitals that are backed by Christian charities are often the only hospital or health facility in a region. Even in places with multiple hospitals, every one of those hospitals may be backed by Christian charities.

A religious employer cannot qualify for the exemption if it employs or serves large numbers of people of a different faith


A busload of jews getting emergency services doesn't count. Being the only hospital in a hundred miles of a community does. It's a decidedly bad thing if a church can use an effective monopoly-power of healthcare to enforce their own political views on a community through denial of 'objectionable' services to that community.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Falling » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:01 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote: It's an utterly ridiculous argument.


You're right; that is silly.

There should be no exemption no matter what the faith of their patients or employees.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:06 pm UTC

Belial wrote:There's like, someone making a decision about that?
That'd be the courts, not the guy who we replace every few years. The President doesn't have the authority to say "Judaism isn't a religion this year" or "No Mosques allowed."
Ghostbear wrote:If they're willing to employ people of any religion, or lack thereof, and they're willing to provide services, which aren't aren't religious in nature, to people of any religion, or lack thereof, why should they get special religious entity treatment?
They should be treated as religious entities because they are religious entities by every reasonable definition. Institutions which are owned, operated, managed, and funded by religions are considered to be religious institutions regardless of which sick people they help.
mike-l wrote:If you think contraception is wrong, then don't use it. You don't get to make the choice of whether your secretary does or not.
I agree 100%. It'd be unethical to deny the sterilization surgery to a secretary. And it's similarly unethical to force me to pay for an operation I don't believe is just.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Falling » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote: It'd be unethical to deny the sterilization surgery to a secretary. And it's similarly unethical to force me to pay for an operation I don't believe is just.


Well in that case there are a lot of taxes I'm not going to be paying this year...
Last edited by Falling on Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:I agree 100%. It'd be unethical to deny the sterilization surgery to a secretary. And it's similarly unethical to force me to pay for an operation I don't believe is just.


Uh, doesn't the patient (or their insurance company) pay for the procedure? I'm not sure where you enter this equation at all.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Malice » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:20 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
mike-l wrote:If you think contraception is wrong, then don't use it. You don't get to make the choice of whether your secretary does or not.
I agree 100%. It'd be unethical to deny the sterilization surgery to a secretary. And it's similarly unethical to force me to pay for an operation I don't believe is just.


What option here isn't unethical, then? You can discriminate by refusing to hire a secretary who wants or may in the future want sterilization; you can oppress her by refusing to pay for her sterilization surgery (therefore forcing your religious views on her); or you can compromise yourself morally by providing the legally mandated amount of financial support for an operation you personally think is wrong.

Note that two of those options are about you hurting somebody else.

Note that is really isn't any different than saying "It's unethical to force me to pay my secretary money, when I know she's going to spend some of it on alcohol, a substance to which I am religiously opposed." Your religious bullshittery is for you, not your employees; the minute you decided to become a businessperson with paid employees, you also became a public figure with responsibilities towards those employees and towards society as a whole, responsibilities which may include paying for things you disagree with. Price of doing business in a civilized society. If you're that upset about it, border's to your left.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:21 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Belial wrote:There's like, someone making a decision about that?
That'd be the courts, not the guy who we replace every few years. The President doesn't have the authority to say "Judaism isn't a religion this year" or "No Mosques allowed."

So if my dad decides his business is a religious organization, do the authorities need to wait for a court order before they can say that it isn't?

What the President doesn't have is the ability to overrule the judicial department. But he certainly has the ability to determine how the law should be applied within that boundary.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Dauric » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:28 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Belial wrote:There's like, someone making a decision about that?
That'd be the courts, not the guy who we replace every few years. The President doesn't have the authority to say "Judaism isn't a religion this year" or "No Mosques allowed."


This demonstrates a fundamental failure to grasp what the decision is about. This isn't about declaring a religion to be not a religion, this isn't about demolishing places of worship.

This is declaring that critical infrastructure, in this case healthcare infrastructure, doesn't get to claim a religious exemption. If the hospital has an effective monopoly on surgical procedures then they have to provide any service that requires that space. You would find similar restrictions if your local power or water companies (which also tend to be local monopolies) refused to provide their services to someone because of political or religious standards.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Qaanol » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

So, the very fact of making a law have an exemption for religious organizations, that is an instance of a law “respecting an establishment of religion”, right?
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:50 pm UTC

Malice wrote:What option here isn't unethical, then? You can discriminate by refusing to hire a secretary who wants or may in the future want sterilization; you can oppress her by refusing to pay for her sterilization surgery (therefore forcing your religious views on her); or you can compromise yourself morally by providing the legally mandated amount of financial support for an operation you personally think is wrong.
Employers shouldn't be legally forced to pay for sterilization, or liposuction, or whatever operations they find objectionable as long as the contract both parties agreed upon stipulates exactly what is and is not covered. It's not oppression to refuse to do something you find morally objectionable.
Malice wrote:Note that is really isn't any different than saying "It's unethical to force me to pay my secretary money, when I know she's going to spend some of it on alcohol, a substance to which I am religiously opposed."
It is different. If I agree to pay you $20 and a bottle of Jack Daniels, that's fine. If I pay you $60 and let you buy your own Jack, that's fine too. If I pay you $60 and forbid you to buy Jack, that's not ok as that violates your freedom to get trashed. If a third party forces me to pay you in Jack Daniels, that's not ok, as that violates my and possibly your religious beliefs.
Dauric wrote:This isn't about declaring a religion to be not a religion, this isn't about demolishing places of worship.
Please read one of the articles. This is about the Obama administration unilaterally deciding who is a religious institution and who isn't. It's not about the hospitals denying services to clients (although the Obama administration is providing an incentive for hospitals to turn away clients of different religions), it's about the government forcing hospitals to pay for their employees' Plan B pills, despite the religious institutions moral objections.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Belial wrote:There's like, someone making a decision about that?
That'd be the courts, not the guy who we replace every few years. The President doesn't have the authority to say "Judaism isn't a religion this year" or "No Mosques allowed."


Right now it just looks like he's saying a hospital isn't a church. Call me when he does that other stuff.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:57 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:This is about the Obama administration unilaterally deciding who is a religious institution and who isn't.

The law provides a religious exemption. The President's job is to faithfully execute the law. How do you propose to have him do that without deciding where the exemption applies and where it does not?
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:If they're willing to employ people of any religion, or lack thereof, and they're willing to provide services, which aren't aren't religious in nature, to people of any religion, or lack thereof, why should they get special religious entity treatment?

They should be treated as religious entities because they are religious entities by every reasonable definition. Institutions which are owned, operated, managed, and funded by religions are considered to be religious institutions regardless of which sick people they help.

Of course they're religious entities, but that seems to be completely secondary to their function, purpose, clientele, or employees / members. Since so little of the entities purpose seems to in fact be based on its official religious association, it seems quite silly to allow them to then force those clientele or employees to bow to a religious purpose that they might otherwise be completely incapable of avoiding.

Moreover:
The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; [...]

Allowing religious exemptions for this would seem to violate the first part (respecting an establishment of religion), while not allowing a religious exemption does not violate the second part (free exercise thereof) as people of faith are still able to follow their religious beliefs and choose not to use birth control (or similar). Further, the supreme court has ruled that the government has the right to refuse to accommodate the exercise of religion if it has an otherwise compelling interest. The compelling interest in this case, of course, being to ensure the good health of US citizens by ensuring that their health care covers functions deemed necessary by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Heisenberg » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Of course they're religious entities, but that seems to be completely secondary to their function, purpose, clientele, or employees / members.
You're painting with a very broad brush, here. While a janitor might not care whether his hospital is religious or not, a theology teacher certainly does. And to say that teachers who accept lower pay to work in religious schools don't care about the mission of that school isn't supported by the facts. Religious hospitals' purpose and mission are directly related to the religious teachings that direct the treatment of the sick and injured. The same can be said of religious schools, and their employees and clientele are certainly composed of those who patronize the institution expressly because of their religious orientation.
Ghostbear wrote:Moreover:
The 1st Amendment to the US Constitution wrote:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; [...]

Allowing religious exemptions for this would seem to violate the first part (respecting an establishment of religion), while not allowing a religious exemption does not violate the second part (free exercise thereof) as people of faith are still able to follow their religious beliefs and choose not to use birth control (or similar). Further, the supreme court has ruled that the government has the right to refuse to accommodate the exercise of religion if it has an otherwise compelling interest. The compelling interest in this case, of course, being to ensure the good health of US citizens by ensuring that their health care covers functions deemed necessary by the Department of Health and Human Services.
It doesn't violate the first part, as it doesn't establish a national religion. It does violate the second, by requiring churches to fund procedures they believe are immoral. And even if the health of the citizenry were a compelling interest (thus far unestablished), that doesn't mean the state has a compelling interest in providing specific procedures, such as sterilization.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Chen » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:It doesn't violate the first part, as it doesn't establish a national religion. It does violate the second, by requiring churches to fund procedures they believe are immoral. And even if the health of the citizenry were a compelling interest (thus far unestablished), that doesn't mean the state has a compelling interest in providing specific procedures, such as sterilization.


The decision doesn't force churches to do anything. It forces hospitals to perform all the listed procedures. If the church opposes that (which is their right) they can pull their funding from the hospital.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:32 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Of course they're religious entities, but that seems to be completely secondary to their function, purpose, clientele, or employees / members.


Religious hospitals' purpose and mission are directly related to the religious teachings that direct the treatment of the sick and injured.


Most of the procedures mentioned pertain directly to the treatment of the sick and injured. There are a number of conditions where the listed procedures are medically necessary.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:34 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:You're painting with a very broad brush, here. While a janitor might not care whether his hospital is religious or not, a theology teacher certainly does. And to say that teachers who accept lower pay to work in religious schools don't care about the mission of that school isn't supported by the facts. Religious hospitals' purpose and mission are directly related to the religious teachings that direct the treatment of the sick and injured. The same can be said of religious schools, and their employees and clientele are certainly composed of those who patronize the institution expressly because of their religious orientation.

First: treatment of the sick and injured has not been monopolized by religion. It might be part of the rationale they used to decide to establish that entity, but the purpose of that entity is decidedly non-religious in nature (unless you want to try to argue that there are no secular hospitals or schools?). Secondly, just because some people will take lower pay, some people go to to a religious school because it is religious, some people are fundementally concerned with that religious association somewhere in there does not mean they all do. The logic used for this decision is that the number of those people who are not of the associated religion are of sufficient number to change that classification.

Heisenberg wrote:It doesn't violate the first part, as it doesn't establish a national religion. It does violate the second, by requiring churches to fund procedures they believe are immoral.

Wait, so the only way to "respect an establishment of religion" is to outright establish a national religion? I'm hoping you just poorly interpreted the word establishment there. It very clear does violate the first part, because it would be respecting a religious establishment over other entities. It does not violate the second part because churches aren't actually required to fund any of those procedures if they are willing to apply their standards to employees and serviced members. Otherwise, they also have the option to just close down the entity in question. They aren't forced to do anything if they disagree with it strongly enough.

I'm not even sure how funding a procedure violates your right to free practice of religion- otherwise, paying taxes that are, in part, used to fund a war would ultimately violate the freedom of religious expression of any pacifist faiths. Religious people are still more than capable of choosing not to use certain medicines, to avoid certain procedures; funding something doesn't violate your religious beliefs at all, and if it does, then (as I said), you're going to find something that your taxes fund that would violate that too. Yet you can not avoid paying taxes because of that.

Heisenberg wrote:And even if the health of the citizenry were a compelling interest (thus far unestablished), that doesn't mean the state has a compelling interest in providing specific procedures, such as sterilization.

How is the health of the citizens of the United States not a compelling interest of the United States government? Of course the state would have a compelling interest in providing specific procedures if it was determined that those procedures were necessary to maintain the health of the people!

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:37 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Wait, so the only way to "respect an establishment of religion" is to outright establish a national religion?


I'm pretty sure that the idea behind this is that it can't elevate one religion over another. Providing all religions with equal exemptions would be constitutional. Providing Catholics an exemptions but not Muslims would not.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Malice » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Malice wrote:What option here isn't unethical, then? You can discriminate by refusing to hire a secretary who wants or may in the future want sterilization; you can oppress her by refusing to pay for her sterilization surgery (therefore forcing your religious views on her); or you can compromise yourself morally by providing the legally mandated amount of financial support for an operation you personally think is wrong.
Employers shouldn't be legally forced to pay for sterilization, or liposuction, or whatever operations they find objectionable as long as the contract both parties agreed upon stipulates exactly what is and is not covered. It's not oppression to refuse to do something you find morally objectionable.


It may not be oppression one on one; but if you are a nurse and every hospital where you might be employed in a 50-mile radius is owned and operated by the Catholic Church, and the Church has its employment contracts all say "health insurance, but no payments for sterilization", then you have been oppressed, haven't you? What else do you call it when your options are A: move, B: find a new career, C: allow your employer's magic skybeard man to make moral decisions about your healthcare?

Moreover, in our society we have laws governing what may, may not, and must be included in specific contracts; you shouldn't be able to say "I'll provide health insurance, but not for this this and this because God said so" any more than you should be able to write an employment contract with terms preventing your employees from having gay sex, children, or gay children.

As I said, employers have a responsibility to the health of their employees, and last time I checked, people make moral decisions about their own health, not the health of others.

Malice wrote:Note that is really isn't any different than saying "It's unethical to force me to pay my secretary money, when I know she's going to spend some of it on alcohol, a substance to which I am religiously opposed."
It is different. If I agree to pay you $20 and a bottle of Jack Daniels, that's fine. If I pay you $60 and let you buy your own Jack, that's fine too. If I pay you $60 and forbid you to buy Jack, that's not ok as that violates your freedom to get trashed. If a third party forces me to pay you in Jack Daniels, that's not ok, as that violates my and possibly your religious beliefs.


It's more like a third party forces you to include free beverages of my request at work so I don't die of dehydration, and I politely request that some of those beverages be JD (or Coke, if that helps the analogy), and your only reason for not acquiescing is religious in nature. That doesn't violate your rights, because I've decided I need that liquid to thrive and that outweighs your rights as a business owner.

Ghostbear is right--funding a procedure you find morally objectionable is no different than paying taxes for something you find morally objectionable, and using that excuse to avoid either simply won't fly. Any more than you can discriminate against people by only hiring those who don't believe in contraception, you can't hire everyone and then refuse to pay for contraception for them under their health insurance. Your employees are your responsibility and there should be no religious exemption allowing you to dictate how they should be cared for.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:41 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I'm pretty sure that the idea behind this is that it can't elevate one religion over another. Providing all religions with equal exemptions would be constitutional. Providing Catholics an exemptions but not Muslims would not.

That has nothing to do with what Heisenberg said. He said it can't be a violation of that clause because it didn't establish a national religion. Which I find patently ridiculous, and I really am hoping that he just misinterpreted the use of the word establishment in the actual language of the amendment.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Qaanol » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:44 pm UTC

Chen wrote:The decision doesn't force churches to do anything. It forces hospitals to perform all the listed procedures. If the church opposes that (which is their right) they can pull their funding from the hospital.

Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, yes, a church can pull its funding from a hospital, but that same church cannot legally start a new hospital that only provides the services approved by that church, unless it primarily employs and services only members of that church. And that is really not a viable alternative for a church that wants to do “good works” for the community.

For comparison, think about a traveler who objects to the law requiring airlines to refuse service to anyone who does not agree to be searched by the TSA. The argument “the traveler can decide not to buy a plane ticket” does not hold water, since there is no suitable alternative to air transportation. And even if a whole group of such travelers got together and started their own airline, they still could not sell tickets unless they also included a contractual clause that their customers also agree to be searched by the TSA. And preventing that was the whole point to begin with.

Continuing the parallel, they could indeed start a private company with airplanes, and they could fly themselves around, because private aircraft are not subject to the same TSA rules as commercial airlines. But they could not offer tickets for sale to the public without compromising their principles, namely that TSA searches are wrong and the law requiring them is unconstitutional.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:45 pm UTC

Can someone please show me where they're only forcing Catholics, or which ever religion, to do something, but not forcing another? This seems to apply to religions with hospitals - if there aren't any muslim hospitals then it can't apply to them, but I'm sure if they opened one they'd be held to the same standards.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Belial » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, yes, a church can pull its funding from a hospital, but that same church cannot legally start a new hospital that only provides the services approved by that church, unless it primarily employs and services only members of that church. And that is really not a viable alternative for a church that wants to do “good works” for the community.


So they have to comply with basic societal decency regulations (like not letting people die on the table, and providing employees with the services deemed to be workers' rights) or get the hell out of the field and stop pretending to be general hospitals?

Horror.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:51 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Can someone please show me where they're only forcing Catholics, or which ever religion, to do something, but not forcing another? This seems to apply to religions with hospitals - if there aren't any muslim hospitals then it can't apply to them, but I'm sure if they opened one they'd be held to the same standards.

I'm pretty sure the people saying that are just sensationalizing over it based on the fact that most religious hospitals or schools in the US are going to be catholic.

Qaanol wrote:Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, yes, a church can pull its funding from a hospital, but that same church cannot legally start a new hospital that only provides the services approved by that church, unless it primarily employs and services only members of that church. And that is really not a viable alternative for a church that wants to do “good works” for the community.

Hospitals and schools aren't the only method of providing "good works" for the community. There also isn't any specific right to perform said works without having to follow federal regulations. Not doing something is always an option, even if it's one that they don't like.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:02 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:And to say that teachers who accept lower pay to work in religious schools don't care about the mission of that school isn't supported by the facts. Religious hospitals' purpose and mission are directly related to the religious teachings that direct the treatment of the sick and injured. The same can be said of religious schools, and their employees and clientele are certainly composed of those who patronize the institution expressly because of their religious orientation.
I'm not sure this is true. I have non-religious (or, at least, minimally religious) friends who teach at religious schools because teaching jobs are incredibly hard to find right now. I know people who have moved hours away to work at religious schools, just because they were the closest schools that were hiring. Likewise, I have an ardently atheist friend who worked as a secretary at a religious medical center because it paid better than any other job he was qualified for.

People do not only work at public religious establishments because of religious affiliation. Sometimes it's the only job available.

What if a hospital with exclusively atheist directors refused to allow their Christian employees to use their paid time off to go on a mission trip to China, because they didn't want to fund something they found morally reprehensible? I don't see any difference.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:06 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Chen wrote:The decision doesn't force churches to do anything. It forces hospitals to perform all the listed procedures. If the church opposes that (which is their right) they can pull their funding from the hospital.


Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, yes, a church can pull its funding from a hospital, but that same church cannot legally start a new hospital that only provides the services approved by that church, unless it primarily employs and services only members of that church. And that is really not a viable alternative for a church that wants to do “good works” for the community.


Private businesses, religious or not, are still required to follow the regulations set out by the government. For instance, even if you run a private school, you are still required to have an appropriate number of fire escapes in your building, are still required to have their employees get proper criminal record checks, are required to keep appropriate records of student attendance, etc. While there is much broader leeway on many issues (curricula, for example), there are some general requirements that apply to any institution that wants to be designated as a school. The same is true for hospitals, small businesses, etc. Being a religious institution does not put you above the law.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby kiklion » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:15 pm UTC

Part of me really hopes all religious institutions pull their funding, just to see it unfold.

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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:15 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, yes, a church can pull its funding from a hospital, but that same church cannot legally start a new hospital that only provides the services approved by that church, unless it primarily employs and services only members of that church. And that is really not a viable alternative for a church that wants to do “good works” for the community.


So they have to comply with basic societal decency regulations (like not letting people die on the table, and providing employees with the services deemed to be workers' rights) or get the hell out of the field and stop pretending to be general hospitals?

Horror.

i think the bolded bit is the part people are missing.

these institutions could decide to be PRIVATE hospitals and get right around this stuff. private hospitals can pick and choose who they serve, and to a larger extent, who they hire.

you can't claim to be both private and public, otherwise you're forcing your religious beliefs on someone else. which, is totally one of those things that we don't allow
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Qaanol » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:16 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Private businesses, religious or not, are still required to follow the regulations set out by the government.

The question at hand is one of “Are the specific regulations that the government is setting out currently a good thing, and would changing them in a certain way make them better or worse?”

You can’t use “The law says X” as a justification for why the law should say X.

You need to make the argument, “Forcing religious organizations to choose between compromising their principles and shutting down their hospitals (either by making them private and excluding other faiths, or by leaving the health-care field entirely), is beneficial to society.” And you don’t get to use statements like, “This law stops religious hospitals from denying life-saving treatment,” because the medical services in question are almost never life-saving procedures.

Instead you need to show that “providing for the common welfare” of the nation should include the medical procedures in question, and that it is more important than the right of religious institutions to operate their hospitals in accordance with their beliefs. And you don’t get to make strawman arguments about how some hypothetical religion could twist that to make a hospital do terrible things, because we’re talking about real hospitals run by real religious organizations that really want to help real people.

You need to focus on what the goals of the law really are, and whether this implementation accomplishes them well, poorly, or not at all. There is certainly an argument for you to make here, but the issue is not nearly so cut-and-dried as you have been trying to present it.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby Griffin » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

Well, regardless, the arguments in the OP about this being a freedom of religion issue are still pretty crap - of COURSE we can debate about whether or not its a good law, though. But that really wasn't the original objection, which basically amounted to "stuff touched by churches shouldn't have to follow government regulations" which is all kinds of BS.
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Re: Obama Rejects Exemption for Religious Hospitals

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:05 pm UTC

I don't see why employers should even care about which healthcare they provide coverage for, anymore than they should care what their employees do with their money once they get it. It isn't their money anymore. They aren't providing a service for their employees, they're giving them something they've earned.


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