This blog,originally founded by Blogger, who is listed in Marquis Who's Who and is a recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Church Vs State - Will Obama Back Down Further?

Despite advice from prominent Catholics in his Administration - including apparently Vice President Joe Biden, the Obama administration went forward with it's plan to dictate to Religious institutions that they must provide birth control - without charge- to their employees. Never mind the fact that, for centuries, some of these religions have preached the doctrine that birth control is immoral and a sin against God. Obama dictates that, despite those beliefs, and despite the first amendment, he and his administration will make this decision!



(While many readers of this blog will not agree with the church's position on birth control, I would suggest that most will agree with their right to believe as they wish and to practice those beliefs.)

Apparently, surprised that Biden was (for once) right - and despite his spokespersons being quoted on Thursday that they were NOT going to back down - on Friday, Obama announced that he was "compromising.". His "compromise" however only served to indicate that he doesn't understand the issue! Prior to Friday's announcement, his position was that all employers must provide insurance coverage which gives free birth control to those who want it. After his "compromise", all employers must provide insurance coverage which gives free birth control to those who want it. His "decision" that insurance companies will do this "for free" does not alter a single fact that he is requiring these church organizations to violate their core beliefs and to be complicit  in what they consider to be an immoral act.



Now, after Catholics in particular and all believers in the first amendment in general, have coalesced against this intrusion, Obama surrogates  are hitting the airways and attempting to re-define the issue into one of contraception and women's rights. I suppose we will also see some behind the scenes moves to demonize Catholics and to denigrate  those who believe that they have the right to their own moral judgements! They will try to redirect the issue into something more defensible and will, through surrogates, attack the beliefs of those who oppose.

What Obama and his ilk don't want to accept is the fact that, while many people disagree with the church on the issue of contraception, many of the same people fully support the right of the churches to follow their own moral tenets. It's not about contraception, it's not about Catholics alone, it's about the government interfering with the religious rights guaranteed by the first amendment.

My bet is that Obama will back down. If congress or the courts overturn his decisions, he will lose much face and will not recover the votes of those he is alienating. If he changes course himself, he can salvage some of those votes!

When even Chris Mathews disagrees with the administration, it's not a good sign for Obama!

“It gets to that interesting point to me, which is frightening, when the state tells the church what to do,” said Matthews February 7 on MSNBC’s Hardball

24 comments:

Jack said...

he is requiring these church organizations to violate their core beliefs and to be complicit in what they consider to be an immoral act.

Opponents have, fairly deftly, framed the issue in just that way. Of course, like any other politically divisive issue, that it not the full truth.

The requirement, the law, is that the provision for contraception be made available to employees. No one is forcing the Catholic Church to personally provide birth control. No one is forcing employees of Catholic institutions to take birth control. Simply, the option must be available, the decision to be made by the individual employee. Personal freedom, hardly controversial.

"But they're forcing the Catholic Church to pay for contraception!" Well.....no. Since birth control severely defrays the cost of pregnancy and birth, costs are mooted. "False!" you say. "Liberal lies!", etc etc. But the Federal Employee Health Benefit provides birth control, free of cost to beneficiaries, and has seen no increase in premiums (for employer or employee).

The administration is not asking the Catholic Church to disregard its beliefs. The Church employs people who are not Catholic (gasp), or may be Catholic but simply don't hold the same beliefs. One person's religious freedom should not be hindered by another's religion (just look back on this blog's discussions regarding Sharia Law).

Furthermore, most Catholics agree with the provision (proportionally more than the average American) and the Catholic Health Association has endorsed the provision. Opponents to the law have grasped onto the opposition from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and run with it, distorting the issue as they go.

Simply put, there is no restriction of religious freedom. And even Justice Scalia has already ruled that religious law cannot trump national law.

Sarkazein said...

Jack wrote gain-"And even Justice Scalia has already ruled that religious law cannot trump national law."

Then there is no First Amendment. Then there is no freedom of religion. Justice Scalia would publicly humiliate a lawyer for using that ruling to argue for the government in this case.
In your perversion of the ruling, the government could pass a law saying-- There will be no groups of 6 or more allowed to gather on Sundays. You are backwards on this one Jack... again.

Jack said...

Sark, you have bought into the false argument (surprising, I know). There is no 1st Amendment infringement. No restriction of religious freedom is present.

Do you believe religious law should trump national law?

NewGuy said...

Do you believe that Obama proclamations should trump the first amendment?

Jack, you seem to argue that contraception benefits won't cost anything. That's not even an issue here. Nice try - but Catholics aren't opposing this because of it's cost. It's because it violates the teachings of their church. It is also not true that their has been no increase in Health Insurance premiums for Federal Employees since this went into effect. Premiums have increased nearly every year since contraception has been included - and, for the most part, co-pays and deductibles are higher as well and other benefits lower. I doubt that the contraception issue was the only cause but it's blatantly false to claim that there has been no increases. Still, no matter - cost isn't the issue, it's only an attempt by Obama supporters to obfuscate the first amendment problem.

And it doesn't matter if large number of Catholics are in favor - another false issue. (And, by the way, Rasmussen polls contradict your assertions in this regard - http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2012/50_oppose_gov_t_mandate_for_religious_organizations_to_provide_contraceptives ) Again, no matter - it isn't the issue. Just more obfuscation!

Obama made a bad political mistake and he knows it. He is unlikely to win it and, if you are counting on Scalia to be the fifth vote should it ever get that far, I think you will be disappointed!

Jack said...

I say there is no 1st Amendment infringement. I've explained why.

You say there is 1st Amendment infringement. Explain.

(....and of course premiums have increased over the years, every premium has increased. But it's not due to birth control access. Nice try. And, oh, Rasmussen, well if they say so......)

NewGuy said...

"You say there is 1st Amendment infringement. Explain."

Seriously? You don't understand the issue here?

Obama is telling the Catholic church that they must provide insurance which includes something that they consider sinful, and you don't see the issue?

Good Grief! Even Chris Mathews understands this issue!

NewGuy said...

First you say that the FEHBP "has seen no increase in premiums for employer or employee"....
Then you say
"of course premiums have increased"...

Which is it?

You cite a pollster nobody has heard of to support an allegation that a majority of Catholics support Obama's position, but you sarcastically dismiss one of the premier pollsters in the USA when they show contrary data?

Jack said...

So, you don't want to explain your stance?

The choice to take the "sinful" pill falls on the individual, not the Church. The law requires that access be made available in an equitable fashion, not dictated based on one's employer's moral code. Just as you would not (have not) endorse application of Sharia Law over national law, Canon Law should not be applied over national law.

Bacon is readily available, yet the Jewish community is not in an uproar.

NewGuy said...

*sigh*

Jack said...

I'll take that as a "yes".

It's really a shame that you are unable to engage in rational discussion with an opposing view present. I should just agree with everything you write. It would make things much easier for you.

guy faulkes said...

Jack apparently only like the concept of separation of church and state when it favors his views.

Birth control is not the issue. Infringement on religious freedom by government is. How does Catholic organizations not offering these measures keep people form getting the measures elsewhere.

Sarkazein said...

Jack you wrote-"Sark, you have bought into the false argument (surprising, I know). There is no 1st Amendment infringement. "

Your comments read as though you believe the Church must obey any law passed by the government. If this were true, there would be no need for the Appeals Court, juries, the Supreme Court, and the First Amendment. I would love to be there (at the Supreme Court) when a government lawyer stands up in front of the Court with your Scalia ruling in defense of this. It will be brutal. Actually it won't happen. One has to qualify to argue in front of the Supremes.
Jack, would you be thinking that because the First says Congress shall make no law...etc -- that the President is not included?

Sarkazein said...

Jack- Why do you think the former Constitutional lecturer Obama is slithering out from under his edict now? Because of his religious sensitivities?

Jack said...

To all,

This will be my last post to this site. It has become apparently clear that this blog has degenerated into nothing more than a conservative drum-circle.

When I first came across this blog, there existed an exchange of ideas, in a (somewhat) respectable fashion. I've noticed that, since HD went inactive, Blogger began posting nothing more than Rasmussen polls and Dick Morris videos, and New Guy took on the bulk of posting, the quality of discussion has suffered tremendously.

This thread, in particular, demonstrates that perfectly. New Guy refuses to expound on his position. If the members of this site are not interested in discussion, then none will be offered.

I truly enjoy debate. I enjoy engaging in intellectual discussion, even if the other has an opposing view. It allows me to learn and grow. But recently, the blog posts have focused nearly entirely on trivial and superficial complaints about the opposing political party. There has been no opportunity to discuss ideas. When debate is introduced into the thread, the responses often regress into ad hom attacks and any rational discourse is lost.

There is no more debate. There is no more intelligent dialogue. There is no more credibility.

Adieu.

guy faulkes said...

Thank you for your defacto admission you were wrong. You cannot win the debate, so you quit.

NewGuy said...

So long, Jack. We will miss you. If you change your mind I am sure we will all be glad to have you back.

Blogger said...

Jack Ditto to NewGuy that you will be missed. I have always used you as an illustration of a liberal worth debating. I had even hoped that Liberal POV would use you as his model. Anyway, because I have always complimented you, I can only believe that the real reason you are leaving is that you feel outmatched.

As to our attacking the left's position on this blog, I don't apologize. You will wake up one day as I have, and realize that your side is destroying the country. We are fighting for our nation's future.

Blogger said...

Jack, I did not debate you on this issue. For me, my post is about Obama overreach. And as I said, this issue played right into our fears that this president is out to grab it all.

You don't seem to be alarmed about the central government takeover of our country, however.

Blogger said...

Jack, Also remember that as conservatives, we know that the central government taking over health care is unconstitutional. Therefore, I won’t debate you on the points you made above as they are irrelevant to the subject. The Supreme Court will have the big debate and our debates on this issue are now immaterial.

Sarkazein said...

With his tail between his legs.

Sarkazein said...

"Overreach is something Liberals, in their support of Obama in the 2008 election, believed he would not do. Now that he has, over and over, they defend it. Liberals don't want debate, they want agreement with liberalism.

Johnny Rico said...

Jack,

Glad to see you go. You were never able to answer my questions, yet you continued posting as if you were some type of authority. Tell you what, quit wasting my hard earned taxpayer money, and I'll quit beating you so bad in one sided debates. Is that an even trade?

Jack, you never did give us an indication of what you thought about the video entitled "No Guns for Negros". Why is it after 4 years you shy away from answering this simple question? LOL!

Your contributions were limited like your intellect.

Your bestest ole pal ever

Johnny Rico

Johnny Rico said...

Jack,

The 2nd Amendment issues in Blowing Rock, Boone and Ashe County weren't "Rasmussen" threads. Yet you were unable to provide even a modicum of a reply to ANY of the conservative posters regarding the abridgement of Constitutional Rights.

Blogger said...

Obama's Real Agenda