Author Topic: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia  (Read 40863 times)

Donald_Kirchner

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11520
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #165 on: July 17, 2012, 08:34:56 AM »
A good discussion, guys! Thank you.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Norman Teigen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1667
  • I intend to persuade no one.
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #166 on: July 17, 2012, 01:18:42 PM »
Yes, it was a much lengthier discussion than I imagined when I began this thread.  I continue to find it personally amazing that so many Lutherans have bought into the machinations of Cardinal Dolan, James Dobson, and Congressman Darrell (Issa).  It is absolutely amazing that good Lutherans overlook the teachings of the Lutheran Church on the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms in this question.  I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Norman Teigen

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43146
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #167 on: July 17, 2012, 01:35:06 PM »
My father holds it against Eisenhower to this day, that under his administration farmers were forced under social security.

As a newly ordained minister, I believe that you now have the option of opting out of Social Security. It involves filling out a form. You become exempt from paying SS on your ministry income (but not income from other sources).

Form 4361 reads,

"I certify that I am conscientiously opposed to, or because of my religious principles I am opposed to, the acceptance (for services I perform as a minister, member of a religious order not under a vow of poverty, or Christian Science practitioner) of any public insurance that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement; or that makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care. (Public insurance includes insurance systems established by the Social Security Act.)

"I certify that as a duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed minister of a church or a member of a religious order not under a vow of poverty, I have informed the ordaining, commissioning, or licensing body of my church or order that I am conscientiously opposed to, or because of religious principles I am opposed to, the acceptance (for services I perform as a minister or as a member of a religious order) of any public insurance that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement; or that makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care, including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act.

"I certify that I have never filed Form 2031 to revoke a previous exemption from social security coverage on earnings as a minister, member of a religious order not under a vow of poverty, or Christian Science practitioner.

"I request to be exempted from paying self-employment tax on my earnings from services as a minister, member of a religious order not under a vow of poverty, or Christian Science practitioner, under section 1402(e) of the Internal Revenue Code. I understand that the exemption, if granted, will apply only to these earnings. Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this application and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true and correct."

Members of religious orders who have taken a vow of poverty are automatically exempt.


In olden days, before my ordination, all clergy were exempt unless they opted into Social Security.

Quote
If the IRS accepts this request, the exemption is permanent and cannot be revoked.  (Although at least twice a window has been temporarily opened to change one's mind.)  In the ELCA, one is strongly discouraged from making this application, and is reminded that ELCA medical benefits for retirees only supplement Medicare benefits.


Are you agreeing with the ELCA's recommendation? Do you think that socialized pension payments to supplement retirement benefits and socialized health care for folks over 65 are good things?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Buckeye Deaconess

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3036
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #168 on: July 17, 2012, 01:42:55 PM »
It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

Us "good people" understand solid Lutheran theology as well as sound medical evidence.  With all due respect, you are the one who has bought into a lie, and your accusations are completely unwarranted.

You might like to read this and this and this.  Of course, it's much easier to stay uninformed and play up the political rhetoric.

MaddogLutheran

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3489
  • It's my fantasy football avatar...
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #169 on: July 17, 2012, 02:21:08 PM »
Yes, it was a much lengthier discussion than I imagined when I began this thread.  I continue to find it personally amazing that so many Lutherans have bought into the machinations of Cardinal Dolan, James Dobson, and Congressman Darrell (Issa).  It is absolutely amazing that good Lutherans overlook the teachings of the Lutheran Church on the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms in this question... [snip]
Could you be more specific about what exactly you see as "machinations" by the people you mention?  Because other than the size of an audience, what they are doing for their point of view is not really different than the comments you are making here for yours.  That you're making your point among fellow Lutherans about the righteousness of the ACA would seem to indicate there is a proper Lutheran point of view to be found here.  Perhaps I'm missing something.  I'm grateful to the deaconness for providing informational links from her synod showing why some Lutherans might have concerns about the reach of the law resulting from the current administration's regulations implementing it.

Sterling Spatz
Sterling Spatz
ELCA pew-sitter

Scott6

  • Guest
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #170 on: July 17, 2012, 02:25:19 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.

In this case, the presenting issue happens to be contraceptive drugs as well as known abortifacients, but it could well have been, say, mandating that churches perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies or allow their facilities to be used for such.  It is a First Amendment issue.

Given that this has been pointed out numerous times, I would hope that the strawmen cease.  As far as I know, no one is claiming that the government is mandating abortions (I'm not even sure what that means -- would it be a government mandate for all women to get abortions once they get pregnant, whether they want the baby or not?  Or would it be that churches have to pay for physicians to perform abortions?  You get the picture; no one is arguing this).

mariemeyer

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4320
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #171 on: July 17, 2012, 02:25:50 PM »
My benchmark experience of entitlement came when I was newly ordained. The first year, I was assistant pastor in a Minneapolis parish in the Washburn High School area. Very well funded high school--students had their own textbooks, mostly brand-new, latest edition, and if a student was out of school for health reasons, homebound teachers were available to keep them from falling behind. My second year I was at a parish in the South High School area. Students shared textbooks in many subjects, and homebound teachers were hard or impossible to obtain. Both were schools in the Minneapolis School District, controlled by the same school board and top administrators.

Guess which parish was in an upper-middle-class neighborhood, who felt that they were entitled, and successfully skewed school district spending in their favor? An "attitude of entitlement" has meant that to me ever since--nearly always people with more feeling entitled to better, at the expense of people with less.

Peace,
Michael

Related to this discussion is how good LCMS Lutherans have figured out ways to spend down or hide their elderly parents assets to the point that Medicaid  pays for Nursing Home care.  When I first heard Lutherans who could provide financial support for a widowed mother discuss how to have the government pay for her care, I was taken back by their disregard for what Scripture teaches about caring for our parents.  They were the same folks who want the government to stay out of their life.  Oh yes, they also dissed the poor for relying on government entitlement programs.   
Marie Meyer

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5097
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #172 on: July 17, 2012, 03:41:53 PM »
Marie Meyer has raised an issue that I have faced
this year.  I had to place my mother in a Lutheran
Nursing Home.  We sold her home and put all those
assets in a Thrivent Money Market Fund which
will have a monthly payout  to pay for her monthly
skilled care expenses.  I told the Nursing Home
Administrator that when those funds run out, she
will only have my deceased father's pension and
social security.  She told me that the children are
not expected to pay for their parents expenses and
that Medicaid would take over and make up the
difference.

My point is this:  I did not try to hide my mother's
assets, and yet I have some feelings that I am not
wealthy enough to provide for her when those
assets run out.  My faith believes that the Lord is
in control and He will provide for my mother's needs,
even if that involves Medicaid.




Dadoo

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3054
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #173 on: July 17, 2012, 03:45:10 PM »
Yes, it was a much lengthier discussion than I imagined when I began this thread.  I continue to find it personally amazing that so many Lutherans have bought into the machinations of Cardinal Dolan, James Dobson, and Congressman Darrell (Issa).  It is absolutely amazing that good Lutherans overlook the teachings of the Lutheran Church on the Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms in this question.  I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

A show of digital hands, please: If you object to the mandate that Religious institutions be required to have insurance that pays for their employees use of contraceptive including abortifacts are you doing so A) because Bp Dolan, Rev Dobson or Rep Issa is likewise objecting or B) are you objecting because you can see a violation of your need to speak up for the moral and theological convictions of the church?

Please vote now . . . .



Norman,

As the voting results come in, a few words: This is not a two kingdoms issue. If, indeed, the mandate crosses the line between what the state is to administer and what is the place of the church to proclaim, and many are certain this is a line that has been crossed, then the church has no choice but to speak out. If one was a strict anti abortion activist or RC then matters of life and eternal life are in the balance and submitting to the state is not an option. Your own church, the ELS, is as bothered by the matter as the LCMS and has gone on record about it. If you disagree with them, then make a case that the church's ministry of proclaiming Law and Gospel is not effected here. The case I see is that in the eyes of conservative Lutherans the matter of life and its protection requires that the law be preached and the church be protected by intrusion of ungodly ideas and actions forced upon her. Again, if your ELS spoke in a way that you did not agree with and you hoped that there would be allies here to console you that you are right about it,then you really need to engage the folks here on why they think the way they do. And you might want to entertain the notion that you are just plain wrong about it.

Keep the Faith one way or another.

I vote B)
Peter Kruse

Diversity and tolerance are very complex concepts. Rigid conformity is needed to ensure their full realization. - Mike Adams

Charles_Austin

  • Guest
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #174 on: July 17, 2012, 04:13:38 PM »
Dave Likeness writes:
  My faith believes that the Lord is in control and He will provide for my mother's needs, even if that involves Medicaid.

I muse:
"even if..." Interesting terminology. Why is there an "even if" when the issue involved government aid? Is it hard to accept the idea that the Lord can work through such things? I contend that aid from government is often exactly the way the Lord often provides.
God's work, our hands; in some cases the hands of our public agencies.

J.L. Precup

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #175 on: July 17, 2012, 04:40:57 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.

In this case, the presenting issue happens to be contraceptive drugs as well as known abortifacients, but it could well have been, say, mandating that churches perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies or allow their facilities to be used for such.  It is a First Amendment issue.

Given that this has been pointed out numerous times, I would hope that the strawmen cease.  As far as I know, no one is claiming that the government is mandating abortions (I'm not even sure what that means -- would it be a government mandate for all women to get abortions once they get pregnant, whether they want the baby or not?  Or would it be that churches have to pay for physicians to perform abortions?  You get the picture; no one is arguing this).

Here is one example why a "First Amendment issue" may also be a strawman:

"[partial article] Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)

In a stunning motion filed in an Appleton, Wisconsin court the Diocese of Green
Bay has argued that bishops and religious officials who operate schools,
churches, and youth centers can intentionally conceal and transfer clergy child
molesters, even if found guilty of doing so by a jury.

The argument was made by lawyers for Green Bay Bishop David Ricken who are
attempting to dismiss a May jury verdict which found the diocese guilty of fraud
by intentionally concealing and transferring one of the state’s most prolific
sex offender clerics, Fr. John Patrick Feeney.

Following the logic of the diocese argument, the US Constitution allows a bishop
or religious official full civil immunity to secretly assign a cleric to a
parish or school to work with children, even if that cleric has or is intending
to commit child rape. When a bishop assigns a priest, according to the diocese,
that does not mean the bishop believes the priest is safe to be around children.
And any decision a bishop makes about a cleric may not be evaluated or
explained by courts because the First Amendment allows religious organizations
to essentially do what they want and be accountable to no one."
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 43146
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #176 on: July 17, 2012, 04:46:40 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.


Y'mean like members of pacifist churches who oppose all war, paying taxes that support our wars?


"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Scott6

  • Guest
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #177 on: July 17, 2012, 04:51:34 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.

In this case, the presenting issue happens to be contraceptive drugs as well as known abortifacients, but it could well have been, say, mandating that churches perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies or allow their facilities to be used for such.  It is a First Amendment issue.

Given that this has been pointed out numerous times, I would hope that the strawmen cease.  As far as I know, no one is claiming that the government is mandating abortions (I'm not even sure what that means -- would it be a government mandate for all women to get abortions once they get pregnant, whether they want the baby or not?  Or would it be that churches have to pay for physicians to perform abortions?  You get the picture; no one is arguing this).

Here is one example why a "First Amendment issue" may also be a strawman:

How can it possibly be a strawman if it's the argument I'm asserting?  ???

Just to help out re: the term...

James_Gale

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4082
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #178 on: July 17, 2012, 05:04:29 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.

In this case, the presenting issue happens to be contraceptive drugs as well as known abortifacients, but it could well have been, say, mandating that churches perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies or allow their facilities to be used for such.  It is a First Amendment issue.

Given that this has been pointed out numerous times, I would hope that the strawmen cease.  As far as I know, no one is claiming that the government is mandating abortions (I'm not even sure what that means -- would it be a government mandate for all women to get abortions once they get pregnant, whether they want the baby or not?  Or would it be that churches have to pay for physicians to perform abortions?  You get the picture; no one is arguing this).

Here is one example why a "First Amendment issue" may also be a strawman:

How can it possibly be a strawman if it's the argument I'm asserting?  ???

Just to help out re: the term...

Exactly. 

Moreover, the Constitutional argument in the Green Bay case is certainly quite different in critical ways from the Constitutional argument that you and others are making here.  The fact that a church makes a meritless Constitutional argument in one context doesn't invalidate all other Constitutional arguments that that church and others might make in different contexts.

Chaplain, what are you trying to establish by quoting from the SNAP press release?

J.L. Precup

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1122
    • View Profile
Re: Discussions re Affordable Care Act Characterized by Religious Paranoia
« Reply #179 on: July 17, 2012, 05:35:03 PM »
I can barely comprehend how so many Lutherans  embrace the political lie that the HHA Act mandates abortion.  It is unbelievable that good people believe that providing access to pregnancy prevention is the equivalent of abortion.

To be as clear as I know how, what you write is a strawman.

The objection is not to mandated abortion but rather the government mandate that religious institutions are required to pay for and thereby provide things that violate their long-standing beliefs.

In this case, the presenting issue happens to be contraceptive drugs as well as known abortifacients, but it could well have been, say, mandating that churches perform same-sex "marriage" ceremonies or allow their facilities to be used for such.  It is a First Amendment issue.

Given that this has been pointed out numerous times, I would hope that the strawmen cease.  As far as I know, no one is claiming that the government is mandating abortions (I'm not even sure what that means -- would it be a government mandate for all women to get abortions once they get pregnant, whether they want the baby or not?  Or would it be that churches have to pay for physicians to perform abortions?  You get the picture; no one is arguing this).

Here is one example why a "First Amendment issue" may also be a strawman:

How can it possibly be a strawman if it's the argument I'm asserting?  ???

Just to help out re: the term...

Exactly. 

Moreover, the Constitutional argument in the Green Bay case is certainly quite different in critical ways from the Constitutional argument that you and others are making here.  The fact that a church makes a meritless Constitutional argument in one context doesn't invalidate all other Constitutional arguments that that church and others might make in different contexts.

Chaplain, what are you trying to establish by quoting from the SNAP press release?

I am not establishing anything, but putting out the reminder that when an issue become a "right" in legal terms, sometimes those granted their rights see others having their rights diminished. 

The Affordable Care Act is not settled as to what it will expect from the Roman Catholic Church.  If it is settled in a way the Roman Catholic Church dislikes, then their recourse is to make it clear to its members and employees that they should not use the options which their church finds offensive.  Since the estimates are that about 90% of US Roman Catholics have used birth control of some kind, then it would seem they have a lot of teaching to do.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.