The O’Brien Decision: A Gift to the Obama Administration From a Bush Appointee


See all our coverage of O’Brien v. United States Department of Health and Human Services here.

Late last month, Honorable Carole Jackson in the Eastern District of Missouri issued a forceful rebuke of the arguments being made by the various religious organizations that are filing lawsuits against the Department of Health and Human Services alleging that the birth control benefit infringes upon their religious liberty.

Jackson’s opinion is sensible and grounded in the law, a point that seems odd to make considering that it is a judge’s job is to do just that… issue opinions that make sense as a matter of law. Still, after having read case after case in which courts swallowed the idea that requiring employers to offer health insurance plans that include contraception without a co-pay constitutes a violation of the First Amendment and infringes upon the religious liberty of both secular and non-secular companies (and their owners), reading an argument that made sense, both logically and as a matter of law, was refreshing.

In O’Brien v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, O’Brien Industrial Holdings (OIH) (a secular, for-profit company in St. Louis, Missouri, in the business of mining, processing, and distributing refractory and ceramic materials and products) and its owner Frank O’Brien alleged, among other things, violations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims.

As I have noted in previous articles on this subject, the RFRA forbids the government from “substantially burden[ing] a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability” unless the government “demonstrates that application of the burden to the person (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

In O’Brien, the Court stated that “substantial burden must place more than an inconvenience on religious exercise,” and that “a substantial burden is akin to significant pressure which directly coerces the religious adherent to conform his or her behavior accordingly.” The Court then found that the birth control benefit does not constitute a substantial burden on the exercise of religious freedom:

[T]he challenged regulations do not demand that plaintiffs alter their behavior in a manner that will directly and inevitably prevent plaintiffs from acting in accordance with their religious beliefs. Frank O’Brien is not prevented from keeping the Sabbath, from providing a religious upbringing for his children, or from participating in a religious ritual such as communion. Instead, plaintiffs remain free to exercise their religion, by not using contraceptives and by discouraging employees from using contraceptives. The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by health care providers and patients covered by OIH’s plan, subsidize someone else’s participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. This Court rejects the proposition that requiring indirect financial support of a practice, from which plaintiff himself abstains according to his religious principles, constitutes a substantial burden on plaintiff’s religious exercise.

Precisely.

The birth-control benefit does not require anyone to use birth control, nor does it require any employer to directly provide birth control to its employees. Rather, it leaves the decision to the employee herself. If a female employee want to use birth control, she can, and she can obtain it through her health insurance plan without a co-pay. If she doesn’t want to use birth control, she doesn’t have to.

In reaching its conclusion, the Court in O’Brien argued that RFRA is not intended to be used as a sword to coerce unwilling individuals to play by the sword wielder’s rules:

RFRA is a shield, not a sword. It protects individuals from substantial burdens on religious exercise that occur when the government coerces action one’s religion forbids, or forbids action one’s religion requires; it is not a means to force one’s religious practices upon others. RFRA does not protect against the slight burden on religious exercise that arises when one’s money circuitously flows to support the conduct of other free-exercise-wielding individuals who hold religious beliefs that differ from one’s own.

Indeed, if the financial support of which plaintiffs complain was in fact substantially burdensome, secular companies owned by individuals objecting on religious grounds to all modern medical care could no longer be required to provide health care to employees.

The Court in O’Brien, like courts before it, side-stepped the issue of whether or not the term “person” in RFRA includes a corporation. Plaintiffs wanted the Court to “presume corporations are included within the word ‘person’ in RFRA” based upon Citizens United. (In my view, the “corporations are people, my friend” precept in Citizen’s United, which deemed corporations to be “persons” for purposes of the Free Speech Clause, goes too far when applied to the Establishment Clause. Corporations are not sentient beings capable of exercising religious freedom.) The Court declined, citing Newland v. Sebelius.

In Newland (which I discussed here), the Court demurred on both the Citizens United and the “substantial burden” issues. The Newland Court threw up its hands: It assumed the existence of a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, and moved on to the “compelling interest/least restrictive means” bit of analysis, ultimately finding that the government had failed to demonstrate that “refusing to exempt Plaintiffs from the preventive care coverage mandate” was the least restrictive means of furthering its compelling interest in promoting women’s public health.

The Court in O’Brien, however, declined to address the Citizens United/corporations-are-people-too analysis because it didn’t need to address it. The Court determined that the birth control benefit did not substantially burden religion, and that was enough to dismiss the RFRA claims. And, in tackling the “substantial burden” question head-on, the Court provided somewhat of a gift to the government—a well-reasoned argument (from a Bush appointee, no less!) that provides guidance to other courts, not just in the Eighth Circuit but across the country.

[You can read my mark-up of the Court's order here on Scribd.]

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  • marlowe28

    While I applaud the end product, I’m troubled by the line that says that the employer is free to try to convince the employee to choose not to use birth control. I hope that the author of the opinion meant that the employer is free in his private life to exhort against birth control and not that he was free to force his employees to listen to his religious beliefs or any beliefs, for that matter in reference to birth control.

  • marlowe28

    While I applaud the end product, I’m troubled by the line that says that the employer is free to try to convince the employee to choose not to use birth control. I hope that the author of the opinion meant that the employer is free in his private life to exhort against birth control and not that he was free to force his employees to listen to his religious beliefs or any beliefs, for that matter in reference to birth control.

  • marlowe28

    While I applaud the end product, I’m troubled by the line that says that the employer is free to try to convince the employee to choose not to use birth control. I hope that the author of the opinion meant that the employer is free in his private life to exhort against birth control and not that he was free to force his employees to listen to his religious beliefs or any beliefs, for that matter in reference to birth control.

  • marlowe28

    While I applaud the end product, I’m troubled by the line that says that the employer is free to try to convince the employee to choose not to use birth control. I hope that the author of the opinion meant that the employer is free in his private life to exhort against birth control and not that he was free to force his employees to listen to his religious beliefs or any beliefs, for that matter in reference to birth control.

  • abl

    That’s a good point. I doubt the court meant that employers could impose on employees that way, but it is troubling language, to be sure. 

  • nevervotegop

         Haven’t we emerged from the dark ages and discovered effective ways for women to have control over their reproductive lives? Why would anyone want to discourage a responsible woman from being responsible? It is high time for women across this country to unite behind the party that practices true equality in it’s policies. Say no to the party of hate, fear, and exclusion. Say yes to a STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC TICKET this year. Can you identify all 63 teapublicans featured in this 3 minute video? 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvTIphPnDM8

  • xuinkrbin

    Judge Jackson misconstrued the purpose of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with the “[it's] a shield, not a sword” comment by ignoring the fact the Act is specifically to protect People from requirement of federal Authorities in certain circumstances. Secondly, Judge Jackson’s reasoning in the ruling was already presented to the Supreme Court in Thomas v Review Board of the Indiana Employment Services Division case in 1981 and categorically rejected in an 8-1 opinion. Judge Jackson also failed to note the ratio of the fine levied under the mandate, approximately $40,000 per Employee per year, to the cost required to avoid the fine, on the order of $1,000 or less, is excessive according to United States v. Bajakajian. The odds of Judge Jackson’s ruling remaining intact on appeal are slim to none. And “slim’s” out of town while “none” is waiting for the bus.

  • prochoiceferret

    Judge Jackson misconstrued the purpose of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with the “[it's] a shield, not a sword” comment by ignoring the fact the Act is specifically to protect People from requirement of federal Authorities in certain circumstances.

     

    No, she recognized that the Act protects People from, say, being required to use contraception. It does not mean that People can make Other People do as the People’s Religion says they should. Which is what the “shield not sword” comment was getting at.

     

    Secondly, Judge Jackson’s reasoning in the ruling was already presented to the Supreme Court in Thomas v Review Board of the Indiana Employment Services Division case in 1981 and categorically rejected in an 8-1 opinion.

     

    I’m sorry, but I’m missing the part where Thomas argued that his religious proscription against participating in military production entitles him to employment in a non-military-production capacity.

     

    Judge Jackson also failed to note the ratio of the fine levied under the mandate, approximately $40,000 per Employee per year, to the cost required to avoid the fine, on the order of $1,000 or less, is excessive according to United States v. Bajakajian.

     

    But not according to Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum. How’s $675,000 versus $30 strike you?

     

    The odds of Judge Jackson’s ruling remaining intact on appeal are slim to none. And “slim’s” out of town while “none” is waiting for the bus.

     

    Unfortunately, “slam” and “dunk” broke into their house and stole all their stuff.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “Unfortunately, “slam” and “dunk” broke into their house and stole all their stuff.”

    LOL!  :D

  • xuinkrbin

    It does not mean that People can make Other People do as the People’s Religion says they should.” — Except Nobody in this case is trying to “make Other People do as the People’s Religion says they should.” Such would be a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Mischaracterization fallacy.


    I’m missing the part where Thomas argued that his religious proscription against participating in military production entitles him to employment in a non-military-production capacity.” — Nobody said the ruling did entitle Thomas such a right; what the ruling said was Thomas’s right to unemployment compensation could not be denied because Thomas has a religious objection to the work He would have otherwise been required to perform. Mischaracterization fallacy #2.


    But not according to Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum. How’s $675,000 versus $30 strike you?” — The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the case. When an appeal was made to the court for review, the court left the ruling as is without comment, a signifcant fact because it means the court has not made any decision of any kind about the case. Consequently, no conclusion contrary to precedent can logically follow from the lack of comment. To answer the question directly, however, the answer could depend on whether the $675,000, later reduced by the Judge (again, because of Supreme Court precedents in other cases) to $67,500, was required by statute or not. Since Bajakajian has stated a 40:1 ratio is excessive, had the Supreme Court heard the case, both the $67,500 and $675,000 could very well have been found to be excessive, especially if the penalty was statutory in nature.


    Unfortunately, ‘slam’ and ‘dunk’ broke into their house and stole all their stuff.” — More unfortunately, cheap expressions do not automatically equal valid arguments.

  • prochoiceferret

    Except Nobody in this case is trying to “make Other People do as the People’s Religion says they should.” Such would be a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Mischaracterization fallacy.

     

    If the religion in question didn’t say “contraceptives are bad, mmmkay” then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, would we? Hate to burst your bubble, Miss Fallacy, but this is all about attempting to exert control over the reproductive health care of women.

     

    Nobody said the ruling did entitle Thomas such a right; what the ruling said was Thomas’s right to unemployment compensation could not be denied because Thomas has a religious objection to the work He would have otherwise been required to perform. Mischaracterization fallacy #2.

     

    Great, so I’m sure employers who object to insurance-benefit regulations won’t be denied unemployment compensation when their businesses are shut down due to non-compliance. Sorry again, Charry.

     

    The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the case. When an appeal was made to the court for review, the court left the ruling as is without comment, a signifcant fact because it means the court has not made any decision of any kind about the case. Consequently, no conclusion contrary to precedent can logically follow from the lack of comment. To answer the question directly, however, the answer could depend on whether the $675,000, later reduced by the Judge (again, because of Supreme Court precedents in other cases) to $67,500, was required by statute or not.

     

    Did you miss the part where the award was later reinstated to $675K by the First Circuit Court of Appeals?

     

    Since Bajakajian has stated a 40:1 ratio is excessive, had the Supreme Court heard the case, both the $67,500 and $675,000 could very well have been found to be excessive, especially if the penalty was statutory in nature.

     

    But they didn’t lift a finger for a 22,500:1 ratio, so what does that tell you?

     

    More unfortunately, cheap expressions do not automatically equal valid arguments.

     

    Neither do wildly far-fetched interpretations of Supreme Court case history.

  • xuinkrbin

    “If the religion in question didn’t say “contraceptives are bad, mmmkay” then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion, would we? Hate to burst your bubble, Miss Fallacy, but this is all about attempting to exert control over the reproductive health care of women.” — The religion in question says, “Do not facilitate anything else this religion says is a moral evil.” That is the issue in question: do People have a legal right to not comply with this mandate if doing so violates Their beliefs. #RepeatedMischaracterizationFallacy

     

    “Great, so I’m sure employers who object to insurance-benefit regulations won’t be denied unemployment compensation when their businesses are shut down due to non-compliance. Sorry again, Charry.” — So, We are in agreement the penalties involved for adhering to One’s beliefs are sufficiently high so as to punish One with “shutting down” One’s business for practicing One’s religion, good. In response to the point You made, so long as such Employers meet the requirements laid out in Thomas, They certainly will not be denied or, if They are, They will have grounds sue.

     

    “Did you miss the part where the award was later reinstated to $675K by the First Circuit Court of Appeals?” — To use Your sentence structure, did You miss the part which says, “The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the case”? The court has not said one way or another, in this particular case, whether such a fine is excessive while other another Supreme Court case has indicated such a fine reaches that “excessive” level. #CognizanceOfJudicialProcedureFail

     

    “But they didn’t lift a finger for a 22,500:1 ratio, so what does that tell you?” — Since the appeal was denied without comment, it says nothing of any usefulness. At best, the denial of the appeal says, “We are not going to consider this case at this point in time. Our schedules are limited in the number of hours We have to hear cases and We have others on which We feel We should focus at this point in time. If You have another argument to present, please trying again. Thank You.” (Cf. Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70, and United States v. Carver, 260 U.S. 482, 490) #CognizanceOfJudicialProcedureFail

     

    “Neither do wildly far-fetched interpretations of Supreme Court case history.” — And yet You have not shown the analysis I have presented to be incorrect, much less “far-fetched”.

  • prochoiceferret

    The religion in question says, “Do not facilitate anything else this religion says is a moral evil.” That is the issue in question: do People have a legal right to not comply with this mandate if doing so violates Their beliefs. #RepeatedMischaracterizationFallacy

     

    So I take it this religion in question is very careful to ensure that the salaries it pays to its secular employees are not spent on contraception, pornography, or (gasp!) abortions? #ThisAintTwitter

     

    So, We are in agreement the penalties involved for adhering to One’s beliefs are sufficiently high so as to punish One with “shutting down” One’s business for practicing One’s religion, good. In response to the point You made, so long as such Employers meet the requirements laid out in Thomas, They certainly will not be denied or, if They are, They will have grounds sue.

     

    If businesses do a good enough job of not following business regulations, then yes, they can get shut down. And no, they can’t then go to a court and say they are Special and shouldn’t have to follow the rules. I think a judge would find it pretty amusing if the Enron principals sued in court, saying they have a religious objection to accounting regulations.

     

    To use Your sentence structure, did You miss the part which says, “The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the case”? The court has not said one way or another, in this particular case, whether such a fine is excessive while other another Supreme Court case has indicated such a fine reaches that “excessive” level. #CognizanceOfJudicialProcedureFail

     

    Um… you are aware that if the Supreme Court doesn’t grant certiorari, it’s because they don’t feel the case is worth their time? And if the case happens to be yours, that it’s the end of the road for you? #PeopleWhoseLifeIsConsumedByTwitterToThePointThatTheyUseHashTagsEverywhere

     

    Since the appeal was denied without comment, it says nothing of any usefulness. At best, the denial of the appeal says, “We are not going to consider this case at this point in time. Our schedules are limited in the number of hours We have to hear cases and We have others on which We feel We should focus at this point in time. If You have another argument to present, please trying again. Thank You.” (Cf. Missouri v. Jenkins, 515 U.S. 70, and United States v. Carver, 260 U.S. 482, 490) #CognizanceOfJudicialProcedureFail

     

    So, in other words, the comment-less denial allows you to feel that your position has actual legal merit, while in fact not helping your case in any way whatsoever. It’s like the law equivalent of a penis pill.

     

    And yet You have not shown the analysis I have presented to be incorrect, much less “far-fetched”.

     

    Actually, I have, but not to you.

  • xuinkrbin

    “So I take it this religion in question is very careful to ensure that the salaries it pays to its secular employees are not spent on contraception, pornography, or (gasp!) abortions?” — Whether the religion does so or not is irrelevant from a legal perspective as answering such a question would require the courts to engage in so-called “line drawing”, a process the Supreme Court rejected as impermissible in Thomas. (Also, whether “This Ain’t Twitter” or not is irrelevant to the legal issues in question.)

     

    “If businesses do a good enough job of not following business regulations, then yes, they can get shut down. And no, they can’t then go to a court and say they are Special and shouldn’t have to follow the rules. I think a judge would find it pretty amusing if the Enron principals sued in court, saying they have a religious objection to accounting regulations.” — In the Enron case, or any other case, to defend any particular regulation against which a claim of “substantial burden upon religious exercise” has been raised, the government would have to show the regulation (a) is in furtherance of a compelling government interest, (b) is generally applicable, and (c) is one which is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion while advancing that interest. To use the Enron example, the prevention of fraud would almost certainly qualify as a “compelling government interest”. Accounting regulations are generally applicable to all publicly traded companies. Whether such a regulation is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion would depend on (1) the burden in question and (2) whether or not a reasonable alternative could be devised, whether or not such an alternative is implemented.

     

    “Um… you are aware that if the Supreme Court doesn’t grant certiorari, it’s because they don’t feel the case is worth their time? And if the case happens to be yours, that it’s the end of the road for you? #PeopleWhoseLifeIsConsumedByTwitterToThePointThatTheyUseHashTagsEverywhere” — No, that’s not the case. As noted in United States v. Carver, “The denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case”. As noted in Missouri v. Jenkins, “[I]f a petition for rehearing is timely filed in the lower court by any party in the case, the time for filing the petition for a writ of certiorari . . . runs from the date of the denial of the petition for rehearing or the entry of a subsequent judgment” because if certiorari is denied, You remain free to petition again. Combining these two with the reasonable conclusion One may increase One’s chances of having certiorari granted if One has new evidence and/or arguments to present, We easily reach the conclusion I demonstrated. (Also, I have no twitter account. I use hash tags because I have noticed they are an increasingly common way of denoting a particular category/meme/classification/etc. on the internet. Even if such were not the case, whether or not an argument is made by Someone “Whose Life is consumed by twitter to the point that They use hash tags everywhere” has no bearing on the accuracy of the argument nor does asserting such a Person’s Life is so consumed make an attempted counterargument correct. Cf., ad hominem fallacy)

     

    “So, in other words, the comment-less denial allows you to feel that your position has actual legal merit, while in fact not helping your case in any way whatsoever. It’s like the law equivalent of a penis pill.” — Re-read what I said: a comment-less denial says nothing about the case. Again, as noted in Carver, “The denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case”. Since a denial imports to no expression, no opinion of any kind can be gleaned from that denial. A denial of review is similar to, though not exactly the same as, the situation where a high school Student has access to some of the answers to Their math homework, goes to double check if They have the right answer to one particular problem by looking up that answer to try to compare it with the result They determined, only to find out that answer is not among the that particular list. To verify the Student had the right answer, They would need to find another source of information. From a judicial aspect, the question would be, “Is the ruling and/or procedure used in this case correct?” Parties found no answer of any kind from the Supreme Court in the denial of appeal. If 1 of the Parties wants to file a petition to challenge the fine as excessive in the case You originally cited, They would be free to do so if They had not done so in the initial application for appeal because a denial of review is only a denial of review based on what was presented.

     

    “Actually, I have, but not to you.” — After removing all the errors of assertion, fallacies of logic, and irrelevant points from what You have presented here, all You have left of that presentation is approximately, “I think You are wrong,” which is an assertion without evidence.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “To use the Enron example, the prevention of fraud would almost certainly qualify as a ‘compelling government interest’.”

    Well here’s a compelling government interest that you deliberately overlook:  the “religious liberty” condemnation of maternal life- and marriage-saving contraception, sterilization and abortion was invented by spoiled pedophile priests who can’t afford weekly sex tours to Latin America or the Philippines!  Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t give the perps the right to practice unlicensed medical malpractice on the mothers of their victims and potential victims.  Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t strike down the Constitutional right to life, etc. of women who offend you and your perps when they have sex with their very own spouses.  Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t turn us into disposable brood mares for your pedophiles.  Perhaps you should join the Taliban.

  • prochoiceferret

    Whether the religion does so or not is irrelevant from a legal perspective as answering such a question would require the courts to engage in so-called “line drawing”, a process the Supreme Court rejected as impermissible in Thomas.

     

    God forbid that religions have to be consistent in what they object to, ah?

     

    (Also, whether “This Ain’t Twitter” or not is irrelevant to the legal issues in question.)

     

    So why did you include irrelevant Twitter-thingies into your legal-issue question-in?

     

    In the Enron case, or any other case, to defend any particular regulation against which a claim of “substantial burden upon religious exercise” has been raised, the government would have to show the regulation (a) is in furtherance of a compelling government interest, (b) is generally applicable, and (c) is one which is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion while advancing that interest.

     

    All of which the contraception mandate has in spades.

     

    Whether such a regulation is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion would depend on (1) the burden in question and (2) whether or not a reasonable alternative could be devised, whether or not such an alternative is implemented.

     

    So all the Enron folks would have to do is devise a religion for which industry-standard accounting regulations are overwhelmingly burdensome and unreasonable… right?

     

    No, that’s not the case. As noted in United States v. Carver, “The denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case”. As noted in Missouri v. Jenkins, “[I]f a petition for rehearing is timely filed in the lower court by any party in the case, the time for filing the petition for a writ of certiorari . . . runs from the date of the denial of the petition for rehearing or the entry of a subsequent judgment” because if certiorari is denied, You remain free to petition again. Combining these two with the reasonable conclusion One may increase One’s chances of having certiorari granted if One has new evidence and/or arguments to present, We easily reach the conclusion I demonstrated.

     

    I’m sure that the denial of certiorari’s non-importing of opinion expressions on case merits will be a great comfort to Joel Tenenbaum when he has to pony up the $675K fine that the Supreme Court let stand.

     

    (Also, I have no twitter account. I use hash tags because I have noticed they are an increasingly common way of denoting a particular category/meme/classification/etc. on the internet. Even if such were not the case, whether or not an argument is made by Someone “Whose Life is consumed by twitter to the point that They use hash tags everywhere” has no bearing on the accuracy of the argument nor does asserting such a Person’s Life is so consumed make an attempted counterargument correct. Cf., ad hominem fallacy)

     

    Claiming that you were abducted by aliens would also have no bearing on the accuracy of your (non-alien-related) arguments, but it too would cast doubt on your credibility and lack of good faith in making your argument.

     

    Re-read what I said: a comment-less denial says nothing about the case. Again, as noted in Carver, “The denial of a writ of certiorari imports no expression of opinion upon the merits of the case”. Since a denial imports to no expression, no opinion of any kind can be gleaned from that denial. A denial of review is similar to, though not exactly the same as, the situation where a high school Student has access to some of the answers to Their math homework, goes to double check if They have the right answer to one particular problem by looking up that answer to try to compare it with the result They determined, only to find out that answer is not among the that particular list. To verify the Student had the right answer, They would need to find another source of information. From a judicial aspect, the question would be, “Is the ruling and/or procedure used in this case correct?” Parties found no answer of any kind from the Supreme Court in the denial of appeal. If 1 of the Parties wants to file a petition to challenge the fine as excessive in the case You originally cited, They would be free to do so if They had not done so in the initial application for appeal because a denial of review is only a denial of review based on what was presented.

     

    Gee, then I guess all the times a litigating party has called denial of certiorari “the end of the road” were in error…

     

    After removing all the errors of assertion, fallacies of logic, and irrelevant points from what You have presented here, all You have left of that presentation is approximately, “I think You are wrong,” which is an assertion without evidence.

     

    I see you’re dressing up as a debate geek for Halloween!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “I see you’re dressing up as a debate geek for Halloween!”

    Priceless!  :D

  • xuinkrbin

    “[T]he ‘religious liberty’ condemnation of maternal life- and marriage-saving contraception, sterilization and abortion was invented by spoiled pedophile priests who can’t afford weekly sex tours to Latin America or the Philippines!” — Ad hominem fallacy. Even if true, the assertion has no bearing on the legal question involved because the origin of the objection to contraception is irrelevant to whether the People asserting a right to refuse to directly subsidize and/or facilitate their use have a legal right to actually refuse.

     

    “Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t give the perps the right to practice unlicensed medical malpractice on the mothers of their victims and potential victims.” — (1) At no point have I said I admire “pious perps”; even if I had, whatever admiration I have for Anyone has no bearing on the legal question. (2) The “pious perps” to which You refer in this case are not looking to “practice unlicensed medical malpractice” on Anyone. You have a combination of mischaracterization errors and ad hominem fallacy here.

     

    “Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t strike down the Constitutional right to life, etc. of women who offend you and your perps when they have sex with their very own spouses.” — (1) Again, at no point have I said I admire “pious perps”; even if I had, whatever admiration I have for Anyone has no bearing on the legal question; Your repetition of assertion does not make it true. (2) I never said Anyone has “offended” Me when They have sex with Their Spouse and even if I had, say it with Me, it has no bearing on the legal question. Here, You have repeated the same said mischaracterization errors and ad hominem fallacies while adding a case of ipse dixit.

     

    “Your admiration of pious perps doesn’t turn us into disposable brood mares for your pedophiles.” — (1) Yet again, at no point have I said I admire “pious perps”; even if I had, whatever admiration I have for Anyone has no bearing on the legal question; Your repetition of assertion does not make it true. (2) I have never said Anyone should be a “disposable brood mare” for Anyone. You keep committing the same errors and fallacies which suggests You don’t really have much of an argument to present.

     

    “Perhaps you should join the Taliban.” — Congratulations, to the extent One can be congratulated, on invoking the 21st century equivalent of “Reductio ad Hitlerum”: portraying (absent any argument or evidence free of error, fallacy, or irrelevance) Someone making a statement with which You do not agree as a Member of the Taliban. Please rejoin the conversation after You have acquired an argument free of such defects. Meanwhile, You are only risking making Yourself look unreasonable to 3rd party Readers of this thread Who have not yet formed an opinion.

  • forced-birth-rape

    Christians are LIARS. Bible god is in no way pro-life, but he does love to torture women and little girls with pregnancy and childbirth. Any one can read the bible and see they are LIARS.

     

    What the bible says about cannibalism.

     

     

    Christian bible god is pro-people eating their children.

     

    Leviticus 26:29

    “You shall eat the flesh of your sons and of your daughters.”

     

    Jeremiah 19:3

    “And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel: Behold, I am going to bring such evil upon this place that the ears of whoever hears of it will tingle.”

     

    Jeremiah 19:9

    “And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and they shall eat each one the flesh of his neighbor and friend in the siege and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their lives distress them.”

     

     

    What the bible says about little girl rape.

     

    Christian bible god saves man, Lot, who offers, NO begs, that a gang of rapist men take his two virgin daughters and gang-rapes them.

     

    Genesis 19:8 

    “Look now, I have two daughters who are virgins; let me, I beg of you, bring them out to you, and you can do as you please with them. But only do nothing to these men, for they have came under the protection of my roof.”

     

    Numbers

    31: 17 “Now therefore, KILL every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman who is not a virgin.

     

    31:18 “But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.” 

     

    Christian bible god telling soldiers to rape twelve and thirteen year old virgin girls.

     

    Peter one of Jesus Christ chosen twelve, calls Lot, a man who offered up two virgin girls to be gang-raped, righteous. Did Jesus Christ know Peters character before choosing him? Yes he did, and he chose a man, Peter, who called pro-gang-rape of virgin girls “Lot” righteous. Jesus Christ did not pick any sexually abused women as apostles, only rape is irrelevant men.

     

    2 Peter 2:7

    “And He rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless.”

     

    Obviously gang rape of virgin girls is very Christian-bible-god, godly.

     

    The pro-rape bible says if a man rapes a girl the father of the girl can sale her to her rapist. If the girls hymen has already been promised to another man the rapist gets put to death for stealing the mans hymen which happens to be in the raped girls body. How the girl feels is irrelevant, its about what the girls father can get out of her rape and that another mans opportunity to break a hymen got stole from HIM.

     

    Deuteronomy 22: 28-29

    “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her and they are found, Then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her; he may not divorce her all his days.”

     

    The Pro-Rape bible consistently condemns none virgin women and girls.But it does not consistently condemn the men who rape them.

     

     

    The Ten Commandments does not say, Do not Rape. Jesus Christ never said, Do not Rape.

     

     

     

    Christian bible god is a happy-go-lucky self proclaimed baby killer.

     

    Isaiah 13:16

    “Their infants also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.”

     

    Ezekiel 9:6

    “Slay outright the elderly, the young man and the virgin, the infant and the woman; but do not touch or go near anyone whom is the mark. Begin at My sanctuary. So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple [who did not have the Lord's mark on their foreheads].”

     

    2 Kings 2:23-24

    “He went up from Jericho to Bethel. On the way, young [maturing and accountable] boys came out of the city and mocked him and said to him, Go up [in a whirlwind], you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!

     

    And he turned around and looked at them and called a curse down on them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and ripped up forty-two of the boys.”

     

    2 Kings 15:16

    “Then Menahem smote Tiphsah and all who were in it and its territory from tirzah on; he attacked it because they did not open to him. And all the women there who were with child we ripped up.”

     

    Hosea 13:16

    “Samaria shall bear her guilt and become desolate, for she rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women shall be ripped up.”

     

    1 Samuel 15:3

    “Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

     

     

    PSALM 137:9

    “Happy and blessed shall he be who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock!”

     

     

    Christian bible god making sure women and little girls know they are crap in his eyes.

     

     

    Genesis 3:16

    “I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and cravings will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

     

     

    Exodus 21:7

    “If a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant or a bondwoman, she shall not go out [in six years] as menservants do.”  Christian bible god pro-female slavery.

     

    Leviticus 12:1

    “And the Lord said to Moses, Say to the Israelites, if a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be unclean seven days, unclean as during her monthly discomfort.”

     

    Leviticus 12:5 “But if the child she bears is a girl, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her periodic impurity, and she shall remain separated sixty-six days to be purified [from her loss] of blood.” Baby girls make their mothers extra dirty.

     

     

    Leviticus 27:1-7

    “And The Lord said to Moses,

     

    2: Say to the Israelites, when a man shall make a special vow of persons to the Lord at your valuation,

    3: Then your valuation of a male from twenty years old to sixty years old shall be fifty shekels of silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary.

    4: And if the person is female, your valuation shall be thirty shekels.

    5: And if the person is from five years old up to twenty years old, then your valuation shall be for the male twenty shekels and for the female ten shekels.

    6: And if a child is from a month up to five years old, then your valuation shall be for the male five shekels of silver and for the female three shekels.”

     

    Christian bible god makes sure women and little girls know they are worth less then men and boys. People who teach this extremely hurtful, hateful crap to their little girls are just penis worshipers.

     

    Christians promote bible verses that benefit their agendas and flatter their egos, and sweep under the rug like liars bible verses that don’t.

     

    Their life manual the bible testifies against them that their life manual, the bible, was written for slave owners, and little girl rapist.

     

     

    If these bible verses are not true then the Ten Commandments and the creation story is not true either.

     

     

    If you care about women and little girls, RAPED little girls, quit letting these misogynistic people get away with their woman and little girl hurting lies

  • forced-birth-rape

    St. Augustine said, “Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders.”

    Martin Luther wrote: “God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it.”

     

    “Anders Behring Breivik christian terrorist, pro-forced-birther, killed seventy seven people.

    What he thinks about womens rights, women need to breed, breed, breed.

    1. Limit the distribution of birth-control pills (contraceptive pills): Discourage the use of and prevent liberal distribution of contraceptive pills or equivalent prevention methods. The goal should be to make it considerably more difficult to obtain. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points but would degrade women’s rights.

    2. Reform sex education: Reform the current sex education in our school institutions. This may involve limiting it or at least delaying sex education to a later age and discourage casual sex. Sex should only be encouraged within the boundaries of marriage. This alone should increase the fertility rate by 0,1 points.

    3. Making abortion illegal: A re-introduction of the ban on abortion should result in an increased fertility rate of approximately 0,1-0,2 points but would strip women of basic rights.

    4. Women and education: Discourage women in general to strive for full time careers. This will involve certain sexist and discriminating policies but should increase the fertility rate by up to 0,1-0,2 points.

    Women should not be encouraged by society/media to take anything above a bachelor’s degree but should not be prevented from taking a master or PhD. Males on the other hand should obviously continue to be encouraged to take higher education – bachelor, master and PhD.”

     

    “Self-Described ‘Christian Counterpart To Osama Bin Laden’ Arrested In Plot To Bomb Abortion Clinic

    Justin Carl Moose describe “himself” as the Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden. Moose wrote:

    “I have learned a lot from the muslim terrorists and have no problem using their tactics.”

    Each year about 890,000 women have abortions in Pakistan, and every day 10 women die because they had an unsafe abortion. Some 560,000 Filippina women have unsafe illegal abortions every year, with 90,000 suffering complications from the procedure and 1,000 dying.~

     

    Pro-forced-birthers favorite piece of literature of all time.

    Genesis 3:16

    “I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and cravings will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

     

    “In the 1800′s when chloroform was introduced to the US to help ease the excruciating pain of childbirth for women, it was woman-hating Christians who fought against its permitted use on the grounds that easing women’s childbirth pain was contrary to God’s will. They cited the book of Genesis where God punishes women with the curse of pain in childbirth.”

     

    What pro-forced-birthers think of raped little girls.

     

    “Church excommunicates mother of 9-year-old rape victim – but not accused rapist.”

    A senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.”

    “Police believe the girl was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.”

     

     

    The southern baptist wife beating convention is the second biggest pro forced birth group in the world, after the child raping catholic church.

     

    “TIME ranks Southern Baptists’ rejection of sex-offender database as a top “underreported” news story of 2008″

     

    These people want more unwanted, unloved, unprotected, unvalued, virgin children to sexually terrorize, I know, I grew up with them.

  • xuinkrbin

    “God forbid that religions have to be consistent in what they object to, ah?” — From a legal perspective, religious consistency is not required.

     

    “So why did you include irrelevant Twitter-thingies into your legal-issue question-in?” — I explained that part later in the comment. Please read posts in entirety before replying.

     

    “All of which the contraception mandate has in spades.” — Actually, no. In the contraception case, though One may or may not be able to show the regulation is in furtherance of a compelling government interest, the various exceptions to the mandate as given by the text of the Affordable Care Act itself and by the regulation put forth by the Secretary of the HHS shows the regulation is not “generally applicable”. The very fact millions of policies, if not tens of millions of policies, are unaffected because they enjoy so-called “Grandfather” status by itself shows the regulation is not “generally applicable” as is the fact other policies are not required to provide such coverage if the Employer has less than 50 “full time equivalent” Employees. Even if the regulation could be construed as “generally applicable, the regulation is not one which is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion while advancing that interest. For example, a less restrictive approach, and just for the record one I prefer, would involve a two-step process: (1) For those particular medications which can be sold without a prescriptions, such as birth control /pills/ and not IUDs, change their status to “over the counter”, which will allows Customers to comparison shop and place birth control pills on a near equal footing, at least as far as the contraceptive aspects are concerned, with condoms; such a move by itself would help make contraceptives and the preventive benefits they provide more affordable. (2) Allow People to receive a direct tax credit for the contraception, whether pill, diaphragm, IUD, etc., when filing taxes. Both steps by themselves would make contraceptives more affordable while placing a less burden on Others exercise of religion. Taken together, the approaches would do even better than separately.

     

    “So all the Enron folks would have to do is devise a religion for which industry-standard accounting regulations are overwhelmingly burdensome and unreasonable… right?” — No, the People at Enron would also have to show a less burdensome approach, while still advancing the compelling government interest, could be reasonable devised. So far, to My knowledge, Nobody has constructed such an approach. If Someone has done so They have not presented such to a court as far as I can tell.

     

    “I’m sure that the denial of certiorari’s non-importing of opinion expressions on case merits will be a great comfort to Joel Tenenbaum when he has to pony up the $675K fine that the Supreme Court let stand.” — If Mr. Tenenbaum has not already challenge the size of the fine as excessive and has sufficient time to do so, He remains at liberty to assert His right under the eighth amendment. If Mr. Tenenbaum’s Attorney has neither considered this point nor brought it to His attention, Mr. Tenenbaum can possibly still challenge the ruling on the ground He did not receive adequate counsel.

     

    “Claiming that you were abducted by aliens would also have no bearing on the accuracy of your (non-alien-related) arguments, but it too would cast doubt on your credibility and lack of good faith in making your argument.” — Fortunately for advancing the cause of constructive discussion, I have not made such a claim. Filing this under “irrelevant”.

     

    “Gee, then I guess all the times a litigating party has called denial of certiorari ‘the end of the road’ were in error…” — Only if They had no additional evidence and/or arguments to present, yes. Otherwise, if They did have additional arguments and/or evidence, Their Attorney’s should have, as a matter of due diligence, re-filed petitions.

     

    “I see you’re dressing up as a debate geek for Halloween!” — (1) Check any other post of Mine, be it on this site or any other, and You will see I engage in such highlighting or fact checking errors and logical fallacies on a regular basis. Since discussions of political issues, especially health related political issues, have such a strong effect on Our Lives, nudging People away from errors or fallacies, especially fallacies, is so vital in My opinion. While I do not engage every conversation on every page, I do where I think I will be, ultimately, of use to Our shared body of knowledge. If I were to do otherwise, I feel I would be leaving Others to the fate of bad decisions based on faulty reasoning. Filing this under both “irrelevant” and “ad hominem”.

  • jennifer-starr

    What about companies and other institutions that are now whining and whinging about covering things under the mandate that *gasp* they already covered under their current insurance?  You don’t see just a touch of hypocrisy there? 

  • give-em-hell-mary

    Your ad hominem attacks and evasions prove your misogynist Catholic inability to accept women as human equals with equal rights to the same safe reproductive health that men already enjoy and I am forced to support through taxes.  My taxes pay for the Viagra sprees of pedophile priests, GOP adulterers and trolls like you.  My taxes treat your resulting STDs, prostate problems, and abandoned kids.  While I don’t appreciate subsidizing your spoiled playboy sins, there is a public health benefit in damage control through affordable medicine.   So not only are you Un-American to deny the same for us women, you are also self-defeatingly stupid by forcing Americans into the same overpopulated Catholic poverty pits now sinking Latin America and the Philippines.  You missed my point that the “religious” objection to accessible contraception was invented by criminal pedophiles who demand unlimited victims, even if their birthing kills their mothers!  Priests who rape children or who protect other pedophile priests should pay for all women’s contraception.  We women already pay for their Viagra, STD meds and molested kids.  Fair is fair.  And Jesus never said a bad word about popular contraception to his Apostles, so don’t play the phony religion card.

  • prochoiceferret

    Actually, no. In the contraception case, though One may or may not be able to show the regulation is in furtherance of a compelling government interest, the various exceptions to the mandate as given by the text of the Affordable Care Act itself and by the regulation put forth by the Secretary of the HHS shows the regulation is not “generally applicable”. The very fact millions of policies, if not tens of millions of policies, are unaffected because they enjoy so-called “Grandfather” status by itself shows the regulation is not “generally applicable” as is the fact other policies are not required to provide such coverage if the Employer has less than 50 “full time equivalent” Employees.

     

    “Generally applicable” doesn’t mean that the law applies equally to everyone. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a generally applicable law, even though it too has grandfathering provisions.

     

    Even if the regulation could be construed as “generally applicable, the regulation is not one which is the least burdensome towards the exercise of religion while advancing that interest. For example, a less restrictive approach, and just for the record one I prefer, would involve a two-step process: (1) For those particular medications which can be sold without a prescriptions, such as birth control /pills/ and not IUDs, change their status to “over the counter”, which will allows Customers to comparison shop and place birth control pills on a near equal footing, at least as far as the contraceptive aspects are concerned, with condoms; such a move by itself would help make contraceptives and the preventive benefits they provide more affordable. (2) Allow People to receive a direct tax credit for the contraception, whether pill, diaphragm, IUD, etc., when filing taxes. Both steps by themselves would make contraceptives more affordable while placing a less burden on Others exercise of religion. Taken together, the approaches would do even better than separately.

     

    The part you’re forgetting is that paying for an employee health benefit is not a burden on the exercise of religion. It’s a burden on using religion to control the lives of others, but then, that’s not a freedom granted by the First Amendment, is it?

     

    No, the People at Enron would also have to show a less burdensome approach, while still advancing the compelling government interest, could be reasonable devised. So far, to My knowledge, Nobody has constructed such an approach. If Someone has done so They have not presented such to a court as far as I can tell.

     

    Yes, because it’s a rather expensive way to make a judge laugh.

     

    If Mr. Tenenbaum has not already challenge the size of the fine as excessive and has sufficient time to do so, He remains at liberty to assert His right under the eighth amendment. If Mr. Tenenbaum’s Attorney has neither considered this point nor brought it to His attention, Mr. Tenenbaum can possibly still challenge the ruling on the ground He did not receive adequate counsel.

     

    So if Mr. Tenenbaum had an infinite amount of time, and an infinite amount of money to pay his legal costs, he might just still win his case!

     

    Fortunately for advancing the cause of constructive discussion, I have not made such a claim. Filing this under “irrelevant”.

     

    I’ll bet you think that what you wear to a job interview is “irrelevant,” too.

     

    Only if They had no additional evidence and/or arguments to present, yes. Otherwise, if They did have additional arguments and/or evidence, Their Attorney’s should have, as a matter of due diligence, re-filed petitions.

     

    Or, perhaps, they should have filed those additional arguments and/or evidence in their original petition, to give them the best odds of winning their case.

     

    (1) Check any other post of Mine, be it on this site or any other, and You will see I engage in such highlighting or fact checking errors and logical fallacies on a regular basis. Since discussions of political issues, especially health related political issues, have such a strong effect on Our Lives, nudging People away from errors or fallacies, especially fallacies, is so vital in My opinion. While I do not engage every conversation on every page, I do where I think I will be, ultimately, of use to Our shared body of knowledge. If I were to do otherwise, I feel I would be leaving Others to the fate of bad decisions based on faulty reasoning. Filing this under both “irrelevant” and “ad hominem”.

     

    Wow, your good intentions are so thick, you could pave a road with them!

  • forced-birth-rape

    Dont you just hate it when the rape loving, child raping, christians, catholics, pro-lifers and republicans try to dictate your vagina?

     

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/10/25/mitt-romneys-bff-alleged-serial-rapist-greg-peterson-commits-suicide-while-out-on-bail/

     

     

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/25/miami-priest-accused-of-years-of-oral-sex-and-sodomy-with-runaway-boy/

     

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/24/1149395/-GOP-Rape-Advisory-Chart-h-t-to-connecticutie

     

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/25/1149967/-GOP-Rape-Advisory-Chart-Volume-2

     

     

     

    I was sexually abused as a little girl and I do not want one penny of my money going to the child raping, rape loving pro-lifers. Pro-lifers my rapist gives you two thumbs up, you are his kind of people.

     

    http://stopbaptistpredators.org/index.htm

     

     

     

  • purplemistydez

    Frankly employers or your religion does mean jack shit to me.  I work for my benefits.  No employer has a right to dictate what I can do with my pay that I earned.  If contraception is against your religion, then do not fucking use it.  I do not give one rat’s ass what your religion dictates for you because that is personal.  You abide by your dogma, do not force me or anyone to do so.  Whine all you want that you can not force your religion on others.  We do not care fucking care.  Once I clock in and then out at the end of the day, that is money I earned that I can use to spend on whatever benefits I want.   You are not paying for my contraception, nor taking it.  So you can go fuck yourself.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    I ♥ you!  My nightmare Catholic childhood is the flip side of yours.  My childbirth-ruined mother disfigured me as her permanent abstinence excuse.  I told the mother of a sexually trafficked young son that I was the flip side of her son — the pretty or handsome kids get sexually trafficked while the ugly ones like me get medically trafficked for experiments — all by the same vicious “pro-lifers”.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “I’ll bet you think that what you wear to a job interview is ‘irrelevant,’ too.”

    LOL again!  He probably wears his “debate geek” Halloween costume!

  • xuinkrbin

    Whether We see a changing in stated religious beliefs or not is irrelevant and involves the same said impermissible line drawing, according to the Thomas case.

  • jennifer-starr

    That’s not what I asked you. I asked if you found that kind of ‘moral’ posturing to be hypocritical. 

  • jennifer-starr

    We can even put this another way. Do you think that companies who already had contraception coverage to begin with were actually motivated by a sincere religious belief concerning mandated contraceptive coverage, or do you think they saw the chance to get some publicity and maybe some extra $$  by painting themselves as victims of ‘big, bad Obamacare’? 

  • xuinkrbin

    “I work for my benefits.  No employer has a right to dictate what I can do with my pay that I earned.” — Nobody is saying differently. Just as You are and should be free to do with the pay You earn, Employers are saying They should be free to do with the pay (in the form of profit) which They earn, including being free to offer or not offer contraception coverage.

     

    “If contraception is against your religion, then do not fucking use it.  I do not give one rat’s ass what your religion dictates for you because that is personal.” — In this case, however, the Employers are saying Their religion prohibits Them from not just using contraception but also /facilitating/ the use of contraception.

     

    “You abide by your dogma, do not force me or anyone to do so.  Whine all you want that you can not force your religion on others.  We do not care fucking care.” — In this case, Nobody is seeking to force a “dogma” or any other system of belief on Anyone. In fact, just the opposite is happening: They are seeking to prevent the imposition of a system of belief which says, “It is not only acceptable but required for You to facilitate what You otherwise believe to be a ‘moral evil’.”

     

    “Once I clock in and then out at the end of the day, that is money I earned that I can use to spend on whatever benefits I want.” — I absolutely agree: Your money is Your money to spend on whatever benefits You want. In this case, however, the Employers are being told They have to directly spend Their money on Your benefits in a way They would not choose, which is distinctly different from the case You describe because at no point in time does that particular amount of money become Yours.

     

    “You are not paying for my contraception, nor taking it.” — Under the HHS regulation, yes, the Employer is paying for it by paying for the insurance policy which covers it. Additionally, in the case of Self-insured plans, where the Employer pays for the medical bills, the Employer absolutely is paying for it and doing so directly.

     

    “So you can go fuck yourself.” — So-called “incivility” only hurts One’s case by alienating Those Who might otherwise agree with You.

  • xuinkrbin

    “‘Generally applicable’ doesn’t mean that the law applies equally to everyone. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a generally applicable law, even though it too has grandfathering provisions.” — “General applicability” certainly does not mean “applied to the health insurance policies and/or plans of only 1/3 of All Americans”. As noted in Newland v. Sebelius, the policies and plans of approximately 191 million Americans are exempt from the mandate.

     

    “The part you’re forgetting is that paying for an employee health benefit is not a burden on the exercise of religion. It’s a burden on using religion to control the lives of others, but then, that’s not a freedom granted by the First Amendment, is it?” — The definition of “religious exercise” in this context is governed by 42 U.S.C. 200cc-5 (7)(a) which reads (with emphasis added), “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief.” In Frazee v Illinois Department of Employment Services, the Supreme Court concluded even an action so simple as refusing to work on Sunday qualified as a valid free-exercise of religion. Since taking no employment-related action in that case qualifies as “free-exercise of religion”, taking no employment-related action in this case also qualifies as “free-exercise of religion”. Additionally, no “[use of] religion to control the lives of others” exists in this case because, the Employer is not saying, “If You use contraception You are fired,” but is instead saying, “If You are going to use contraception, We are not going to participate in the facilitation. Pay for it out of the salary We pay You after We pay You. We will not buy it for You, either directly or by means of an insurance policy.”

     

    “Yes, because it’s a rather expensive way to make a judge laugh.” — Even if such were true, such an alternative has not been presented while an alternative to the contraception regulation has.

     

    “So if Mr. Tenenbaum had an infinite amount of time, and an infinite amount of money to pay his legal costs, he might just still win his case!” — An “infinite amount of money” is not necessary; the Attorney may be performing such services pro bono. Whether or not an “infinite amount of time” exists depends on whether the court or statutes in question place a time limit on appeal. In this case, the O’Brien case, time does remain and sufficient funds to continue the challenge exist.

     

    “I’ll bet you think that what you wear to a job interview is ‘irrelevant,’ too.” — What I wear to a job interview has no bearing on the legal question at hand.

     

    “Or, perhaps, they should have filed those additional arguments and/or evidence in their original petition, to give them the best odds of winning their case.” — Again, due diligence and competent counsel would be the issue in that case. However, the lack of either or both in other cases has no direct bearing and on the slightest indirect bearing on this case. (The indirection comes in to play in the scenario where the lack results in an erroneous precedent being set.)

     

    “Wow, your good intentions are so thick, you could pave a road with them!” — Nonetheless, My intentions have no bearing on the legal question at hand.

  • give-em-hell-mary

    “If You are going to use contraception, We are not going to participate in the facilitation. Pay for it out of the salary We pay You after We pay You. We will not buy it for You, either directly or by means of an insurance policy.”

    You are ignoring how dangerously expensive many methods of birth control are for women who may die or suffer gross, divorce-causing injuries (bladder and bowel incontinence fistulas) because spoiled pedophile heretic genocidal cultists demand the criminal Munchausen by Proxy “right” to kidnap all women’s wombs for their own corrupt indulgence, while forcing those same women to pay for those priests’ Viagra-fueled raping of their kids.  Your criminal Munchausen by Proxy enabling won’t get a free pass from me.  Your intentions are criminal!

  • give-em-hell-mary

    You are criminally enabling pedophile priests to force suicidal pregnancies on female employees, never mind that those women are already paying for the priests’ sinful STD treatments and Viagra abuse.  Why won’t you address your own gross fallacies??

  • chris-in-nm

    This has got to be one of the most horrible misuses of Scripture I’ve seen in a while.

     

    Regarding the first three uses of Scripture and cannibalism, the question must be asked: why did they eat their own sons and daughters? The answer is because they did not keep the commandments of the Lord (Lev. 26:14ff). Since it was the duty of the the people to read the law to their children so this would not happen to them (Deut. 6), the fault lies not with God, but with the people. So your assertion with these passages, as with the rest of the ones you quoted, are utterly false.

     

    By the nature of your response, I take it that you do not believe God exists, or that it is impossible to know whether He does or not. If that is true, then there is nothing wrong with cannibalism, lying, rape or murder. So everything you wrote, even if it were true (which it is not), is only your opinion and nothing more. So why the attitude?

  • forced-birth-rape

     ~ My grandfather was a southern Baptist preacher.

    My wife beating father, son of a southern Baptist preacher, was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at my grandfathers church, my father read me the bible every night before I went to bed, I went to Christian home school, I went to church three times a week for the first fifteen years of my life, countless revivals, vacation bible school, my grandfather, grandmother, and father made sure I knew the bible.

     

    There are many different religions, many different gods. You have chosen a god that tells you women have to be submissive to men, a god that is pure concentrated misogyny. Just because Christian bible god turns you on does not mean he turns every one on, people who love women and hate little girl rape do not have to be subject to your little girl rape loving god.

     

    Christian bible god does not condemn rape or slavery, I am from the south, many church going white men had slaves and said out loud it was gods will. 

     

    I was sexually abused the first ten years of my life by a bible loving, bible verse quoting southern Baptist Christian man, I prayed to Christian bible god for it to stop, it did not. The god you peddle obviously likes looking down watching children getting raped.

     

     If your heartless head was not up your self important ass, if you had a drip of love or compassion for women, little girls, raped women, or raped little girls, it might dawn on you that a book that says what the bible says about rape and all the other misogyny stuff would be massively hurtful and traumatizing to a woman who had been sexually abused by a man.

     

     

    Everything you wrote is just your self-benefiting, self-elevating opinion and nothing more. But don’t fear, I did catch your dismissive attitude of my feelings about misogyny and rape.

     

     

    I am sure like all Christian men you will immediately dismiss everything I have written, you will not entertain the idea that maybe you do not know everything, and some times it is wrong to hurt women and girls feelings. 

     

     

    You want to have your cake and eat it, these bible verses are true as the bible verses that pleasure you. You cannot polish these bible verses up to make them ok. ~

  • forced-birth-rape
  • chris-in-nm

    It is sad that you were abused by this man. However, the fact remains that not all Baptists are like the examples in the link you posted. I know, because I spent nearly 20 years in the Baptist church. I left because they twist the scriptures to their own destruction. That does not make every single one of them evil to the core, however.

    I was molested as a little boy, by a close relative. However, I did not mark all close relatives as child molesters. I do not do so to anybody unless someone gives sufficient proof to make me believe otherwise (1 Cor.13:1-8).

    I don’t dismiss anyone’s feelings as invalid. But feelings are not the determining factor in what a person ought to do. If that were the case, I would have been put in prison for murder years ago. I CHOOSE not to act on feelings that may be destructive to another person’s welfare without just cause.

    The Bible condemns rape, as this falls in the category of fornication (Heb 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:8-10); hence, the man that abused you was not a “bible loving” man. God regulated slavery because of people’s hard-heartedness. Just because God allows something to happen does not mean it is in accordance with his will (Matt. 19:7-8).

    The Bible verses you quoted are true, as are the Bible verses the devil quoted to Jesus in the wilderness are true (Matt 4). Whether they are being used properly in context is an entirely different story, however.

  • forced-birth-rape

    You are a liar! The bible is pro RAPE.

  • chris-in-nm

    According to Heb. 13:4 and 1 Cor 6:8:10 (and other scripture), the Bible is not.

  • xuinkrbin

    “Your ad hominem attacks and evasions prove your misogynist Catholic inability to accept women as human equals with equal rights to the same safe reproductive health that men already enjoy and I am forced to support through taxes.” — (1) I have engaged in a single ad hominem attack; every critique I have raised has been based on the merits of the argument raised and not the Person making the argument. (2) I have never said I am Catholic and this is for a good reason: I am not. (3) This issue is not a question of whether Someone is treating Women as Human Equals but is instead a question of whether the federal government has the authority to directly act in contrary fashion to One’s sincerely held beliefs, whether We agree with those beliefs or not.

     

    “My taxes pay for the Viagra sprees of pedophile priests, GOP adulterers and trolls like you.” — (1) What Your taxes pay for is orthogonal to the issue of whether Someone can be required to act directly in contrast to Their beliefs. The Supreme Court did say the levying of taxes does not, generally speaking, substantially burden the free exercise of religion and I feel quite confident, if the plan instead were to have the government pay for contraceptives with tax money, all of these suits would vanish overnight due to a lack of legal standing. (2) I am not a Troll because a Troll, in internet parlance, is “a person who submits deliberately inflammatory articles to an internet discussion” (source: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/troll); all I did was point out the fact the Judge’s logic is flawed based on Supreme Court precedent. The only way I could be a “Troll” in this case is if the facts themselves were inflammatory or, put another, if reality itself had Troll-like qualities.

     

    “My taxes treat your resulting STDs, prostate problems, and abandoned kids.” — I have no s.t.d.’s, prostate problems, or abandoned Children.

     

    “While I don’t appreciate subsidizing your spoiled playboy sins, there is a public health benefit in damage control through affordable medicine.” — (1) I have no “spoiled playboy sins”. (2) Nobody is disputing the public health benefit; what is in dispute is whether the government has used the approach which is least burdensome to the free exercise of religion while advancing this interest. The Plaintiffs contend the answer is, “No,” while Judge Jackson rejected that contention using a basis the Supreme Court itself has rejected. As such, Judge Jackson’s ruling is likely to be overturned.

    “So not only are you Un-American to deny the same for us women, you are also self-defeatingly stupid by forcing Americans into the same overpopulated Catholic poverty pits now sinking Latin America and the Philippines.” — (1) “Un-American” is a subjective term and not as helpful, in My experience, as an objective term in constructive discussions of the issues. (2) I am not seeking to deny Women anything; as noted in other posts, I would prefer allowing People to deduct the cost of contraception from Their taxes as a credit, taking the issue completely out of the hands of Employers and insurance companies. (3) I am not looking to “force” Anyone into Anything; instead, I am attempting to /prevent/ People from being forced to violate Their beliefs and to make sure We use constructive, accurate, and objective criteria when assessing the merits of any particular policy. (4) Since the “standard of living” in Latin America and the Philippines have tended to improve over time, even with high catholic populations, the assertion they are “now sinking” due to “overpopulated Catholic poverty pits” seems a bit of a stretch.

     

    “You missed my point that the ‘religious’ objection to accessible contraception was invented by criminal pedophiles who demand unlimited victims, even if their birthing kills their mothers!” — And You missed the point, from a Free Exercise perspective, the origin of the religious objection is irrelevant or, if You did not miss it, chose to ignore that fact just as if it did not exist.

     

    Priests who rape children or who protect other pedophile priests should pay for all women’s contraception.” — And if You want to make this a penalty applied upon conviction, I will join You in that effort.

     

    “We women already pay for their Viagra, STD meds and molested kids.” — (1) Not every Priest spreads s.t.d.’s or molests Children; so, You will probably only get support for leveling this requirement against Those Who do since People are understandably loathed to hold the Innocent responsible for the actions of the Guilty.

     

    “Fair is fair. And Jesus never said a bad word about popular contraception to his Apostles, so don’t play the phony religion card.” — (1) I have not played any “religion card”; I have only pointed out the fact the religion of the Plaintiffs has this requirement, whether We agree with it or not. (2) Jesus also never said a bad word about spreading s.t.d.’s and molesting Children; yet, You and I both agree doing either is wrong. In any event, courts do not inject themselves into determining what a particular religion says is right or wrong; they only determine if a sincerely held belief is impermissibly burdened.

  • xuinkrbin

    Whether I find such behavior deplorable is irrelevant to the legal issue at hand.

  • xuinkrbin

    What I think, absent any evidence, is irrelevant from a legal perspective. Even if the companies did cover such before the mandate but then chosen later not too (1) any “helpful” motive would be hard to contrive, even if it is to portray Themselves as “Victims of ‘big, bad Obamacare'” because the issue does not seem to have moved opinion of the PPACA much as far as I can tell and (2) as far as the legal challenge is concerned, the Supremem Court has already determined in Hobbie v. Unemployment Appeals Commission of Florida, 480 U.S. 136, the right to Free Exercise of Religion remains even when the conversion takes place after the fact.

  • xuinkrbin

    “You are ignoring how dangerously expensive many methods of birth control are for women who may die or suffer gross, divorce-causing injuries (bladder and bowel incontinence fistulas) …” — From a Free Exercise perspective the expensiveness is irrelevant if a method less burdensome upon religion exists to advance the federal government’s compelling interests.

    “… because spoiled pedophile heretic genocidal cultists demand the criminal Munchausen by Proxy ‘right’ to kidnap all women’s wombs for their own corrupt indulgence, while forcing those same women to pay for those priests’ Viagra-fueled raping of their kids.” — (1) You seem to really have some deep issues with Priests. Do You need to speak with a Counselor of some sort? I can recommend a few very good Ones, each with decades of experience. (2) Even if everything You said about “spoiled pedophile heretic genocidal cultists” were true, it does not have any relevance on the legal matter at hand.

     

    “Your criminal Munchausen by Proxy enabling won’t get a free pass from me.” — I am not enabling Anyone. For a moment, let Us pretend everything You have said about Priests and Cultists and Pedophiles were both true and relevant; they’re not but let Us pretend they are. These Individuals (for Whom You clearly hold a certain degree of I-hate-Them-and-I-don’t-care-if-My-attempts-to-discredit-Them-harms-Others-in-the-process type of emotions), would They not want to prevent the conception of Children resulting from Their actions so as to reduce the likelihood of evidence of Their crime? Would They not want Others to have contraception as a result? Would They not want to avoid paternity suits, palimony suits, and contracting s.t.d.’s Themselves? Would They not want to do everything They could to avoid getting caught either by law enforcement or karma? Would such Persons not be backing such a regulation?

     

    “Your intentions are criminal!” — No, might intentions are to make sure We have an open, honest, objective, accurate, and constructive discussion of the issues.

  • ljean8080
  • xuinkrbin

    “You are criminally enabling pedophile priests to force suicidal pregnancies on female employees …” — (1) As noted in another comment, I am not enabling Anyone; please see that comment for more information. (2) If the Employees are Employees of the Priests, Their health plans are already exempt under the proposed regulation and (3) whether the Employees are Employees of the Priests or not, matters of pedophilia are best handled by law enforcement; I’m all for harsher penalties for Pedophiles.

     

    “… never mind that those women are already paying for the priests’ sinful STD treatments and Viagra abuse.” — Again, this is an issue for law enforcement and is independent of the legal question before the court.

  • colleen

    Odd, your analysis is also irrelevant to the legal issue at hand.

  • forced-birth-rape

    If there is anything the birth control hating catholics can get on board with it is child RAPE.

     

    “The Catholic Church is working against the interests of child abuse victims in state legislatures around the country. In recent weeks, lobbying by the church has blocked measures in Wisconsin, Arizona and Connecticut intended to widen the legal window for victims to file lawsuits against hidden predators.”

     

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/opinion/16sun2.html?_r=1&

     

    “Oliver O’Grady has been called the Hannibal Lecter of pedophile Catholic priests.

    And Saturday, when O’Grady turns 65 in his native Ireland, an annuity purchased by the diocese seven years ago will pay him about $788 a month for 10 years, totaling $94,560. There is nothing the diocese, its parishioners or his outraged victims can do about it.”

    Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2010/06/04/1194014/church-pays-abusive-ex-priest.html#storylink=cpy

  • jennifer-starr

    Except that your Pope once wrote a letter saying that such things should stay in the church and be hidden from law enforcement. 

  • jennifer-starr

    My thought is that forced abortion is as reprehensible as forced birth. My other thought is that this has nothing to do with the subject of this article. 

  • af-alexander

    The “Citizen’s United” of Religious Liberty is a twisting and redefinition of what true religious liberty is: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/13233326-the-citizens-united-of-religious-liberty

  • xuinkrbin

    Based on … ?

  • xuinkrbin

    (1) As stated elsewhere on this page, I am not Catholic. (2) Even if I were, the raping of Children is a separate matter from whether an Individual has a constitutional or otherwise legal right to refuse to support what They consider a “moral evil”, whether I agree with said Individual or not.

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