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Separation of church and state
Posted: 12 February 2012 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Disestablisment
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From the series, “Churches ad hoc”

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Posted: 12 February 2012 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Great picture.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 13 February 2012 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Love the street signs picture.

Support, advice and encouragement would be appreciated here in Chelsea, Michigan.  We are a SMALL city.  I have learned that there is a City Council member, apparently one of our abundant, ardent religious right wolf-slayers, who has proposed a city policy to allow “a private individual, group, or entity [to] use city property to conduct a religious or seasonal event…. blah, blah,” and also that   “the city may present or sponsor the presentation of a seasonal or holiday event if the overall message of the display is not primarily religious.”

Ignoring the logical inconsistency in that second statement, and also the inconsistencies in the reasoning given for his proposed policy, the stated purpose is “not discriminating against religious events on public property.”

Fortunately, there are at least a couple of clearer-headed people on council who managed to get a “review” moved to Planning Commission—not particularly logical, either, but a delaying tactic. I have written to council, and heard back favorably from the two members who also serve on Planning Commission.  It sounds like they need support and citizen advocates to help (a) educate and (b) take a public stand at meetings in support of past city actions (denying use of city property for a Nativity display) and future potential policies related to First Amendment rights.

I am an introvert.  I do not like standing out.  But I have in the past and will again speak out publicly for human rights!  This is an issue that I do not have any practice with. Resources and suggestions from others’ experiences would be helpful. No one else in town, other than the religious right, seems to be responding to this.

Thanks.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Just been thinking about the current controversy about requiring the RC Church to provide birth control and abortion coverage in medical insurance for its employees.  Does anyone think the “defending church and state separation” reaction would have been the same if it was the Christian Scientists complaining about being required to provide any medical coverage at all to their employees?

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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garythehuman - 14 February 2012 09:12 AM

Just been thinking about the current controversy about requiring the RC Church to provide birth control and abortion coverage in medical insurance for its employees.  Does anyone think the “defending church and state separation” reaction would have been the same if it was the Christian Scientists complaining about being required to provide any medical coverage at all to their employees?

Or Mormons requiring magic underwear to be tax deductible?

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Posted: 14 February 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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The Catholic Church, 68,503,456 members
The Southern Baptist Convention, 16,160,088 members
The United Methodist Church, 7,774,931 members
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6,058,907 members
The Church of God in Christ, 5,499,875 members

A lot of Catholics here with influence and money. Several legislators including the speaker of the house (Boehner) are RC. The church has a long history of influence in local and state elections (ex. Boston) even though they were discriminated against in the 19th Century. Their parochical schools dot the country. We have three in our area alone. So, 68 mill as opposed to 6 mill. even though the Mormon church is growing allows the Rc’s to yell the loudest about religious “persecution”.


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Posted: 14 February 2012 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Jon Stewart nails this topic in his Vagina ideologues.
(Six minutes of truth on comedy central.)

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Posted: 14 February 2012 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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traveler - 14 February 2012 11:21 AM

Jon Stewart nails this topic in his Vagina ideologues.
(Six minutes of truth on comedy central.)

I saw that and as usual he showed the total absurdity of the situation.

I hope that the revised version will either prevent any religious owner of an establishment from claiming exemption from birthcontrol in the employee coverage or at least allow the insurance company to include it as an optional (free) coverage. How that will work without raising all insurance premiums to absorb this optional free coverage for employees who happen to work for a religion sponsored establishment is very problematic to me.
We already pay higher taxes to make up for the exemptions claimed by the church and in effect are forced to support religious organizations.
And they claim a war on religion?

[ Edited: 14 February 2012 03:39 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 February 2012 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Well, there’s probably some validity to the argument that providing birth control is a cost savings to an insurance company compared to the costs associated with pregnancy.

It bothers me that so little has been said about the use of “the pill” for other health reasons. Would it have been impossible to get “birth control” for, say, migraines? (I’m serious—I have a family member who uses b.c. for that, as well as control of other extreme symptoms related to monthly hormone fluctuations.)

Not sure how the fact that there is a larger population of Roman Catholics relates to this, since it seems that it’s the church hierarchy who are opposed to birth control, not the (pardon the pun) masses.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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This is a sticky question. I hate to come down on the side of the catholic church in any argument but employers are not obligated to provide insurance coverage at all so its hard to see how you can tell an employer they don’t have to provide coverage but if they do they have to cover x,y, and z. I’ll give a couple of examples.

1) How would everyone feel if the government came out and required that all insurance plans have to cover sex change operations.

2) What if they forced all insurance plans to cover unlimited infertility treatments or a certain minimum number of IVF attempts.

3) How would we feel if the Jahovah’s Witnesses bought insurance for their employees that did not cover blood transfusions.

If all employers were required to provide health insurance for all employees as part of our attempt to get all Americans insured then i think there is a good argument that they should be able to set certain minimum coverages. Individual businesses and organizations should not be allowed to use insurance as a way to promote their ideology. But if there is no law requiring coverage then i think its a bit inconsistent to require certain things to be covered when they do provide it.  Another argument here for universal care. get the church out of our healthcare .

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Posted: 14 February 2012 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I’m in favor of universal care—a social good, and call me a socialist for it if you like.  Even universal care, however, does not eliminate the need for complex conversations about what is covered since it may be desirable but it’s not feasible to provide completely unlimited care for every conceivable individual need/desire for treatment. Although, perhaps universal care would encourage those very needed conversations, including why society may or may not choose to cover certain things.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Diane Jonas Locker - 14 February 2012 05:41 PM

I’m in favor of universal care—a social good, and call me a socialist for it if you like.  Even universal care, however, does not eliminate the need for complex conversations about what is covered since it may be desirable but it’s not feasible to provide completely unlimited care for every conceivable individual need/desire for treatment. Although, perhaps universal care would encourage those very needed conversations, including why society may or may not choose to cover certain things.

You are right of course. It won’t eliminate the conversation nor should it but it will force us to have the conversation on a larger scale. Special interests like the catholic church won’t have a monopoly in their little corner of the world. they won’t be able to force their views on their employees if they are insured under the larger umbrella of universal health care. Catholics would of course participate in the discussion but they could not dominate it. In addition the discussion and the decisions would have to happen out n the open and couldn’t be hidden from the public.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I agree that it is not feasible or necessary to cover every desired treatment. But when a treatment is used by the majority of the female population, regardless of religious affiliation, for both contraceptive and other healthcare maintenance, it should be included in basic healthcare, IMO.
One might ask why Viagra is a covered medicine as it has no compelling medical necessity at all other than pure desire for gratification. That would certainly prevent unwanted late (and dangerous) pregnancies.
But I would compare the example of Jehovah’s Witnesses re blood transfusions, with the issue of birthcontrol. If an employee works for a Jehovahs Witness organization but is not a member himself, should he be denied his constitutional right to life (blood transfusion) by his employer?

IMO Public Healtcare is an affair of State and the Church should stay out of it. But I would have no objection to a system of refunds by an insurance company, when individuals in a religious organization do not use an available treatment. The automobile insurances now offer discounts and other incentives for accident free driving. But that does not mean that they are not obligated to pay for an accident when it does happen. Such an arrangement can easily be negotiated with insurance companies.

IMO, the question is not if we can force a religious organization to abide by Public Law, the question is if a religious organization can claim exemption from Public Law for religious purposes. But there can be no law that prohibits a negotiated contract between an organization and an insurance company as long as the service under Public Law remains available.

[ Edited: 14 February 2012 06:27 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 February 2012 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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macgyver - 14 February 2012 05:30 PM

This is a sticky question. I hate to come down on the side of the catholic church in any argument but employers are not obligated to provide insurance coverage at all so its hard to see how you can tell an employer they don’t have to provide coverage but if they do they have to cover x,y, and z. I’ll give a couple of examples.

1) How would everyone feel if the government came out and required that all insurance plans have to cover sex change operations.

2) What if they forced all insurance plans to cover unlimited infertility treatments or a certain minimum number of IVF attempts.

3) How would we feel if the Jahovah’s Witnesses bought insurance for their employees that did not cover blood transfusions.

If all employers were required to provide health insurance for all employees as part of our attempt to get all Americans insured then i think there is a good argument that they should be able to set certain minimum coverages. Individual businesses and organizations should not be allowed to use insurance as a way to promote their ideology. But if there is no law requiring coverage then i think its a bit inconsistent to require certain things to be covered when they do provide it.  Another argument here for universal care. get the church out of our healthcare .

Those are excellent points but birth control is something that is inexpensive and a vast majority of women choose (about 98% at one time or another). That is unlike the three examples you provide - but I agree it’s a slippery slope and your point is well taken.

The other thing that bugs me is that it is largely MEN who are making all the stink about this.

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Posted: 14 February 2012 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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I recently saw a panel on birth control. There were some 15 individuals discussing the issue. Not one of them was female or in the medical profession. Go figure!

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