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Abortion and Politics

Started by RogerMartim, August 27, 2012, 07:49:24 PM

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Brian Stoffregen

#750
Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 05:13:41 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 05, 2014, 01:51:53 PM
Or, we've also had court cases where Christian Science parents refused to let their sick children receive the medical treatments that would save their lives? Should the State allow that under their freedom of religion, or take the children away from the parents so that their lives might be saved?

No Brian.  No one is "refusing to let" women buy or use contraceptives.   Even the were (which they are not) it would not lead to death.  Denying a Type 1 Diabetic drugs and supplies would lead to death, and yet there is no mandate that they be provided for free.

(When will those who criticize conservative Christians for using the slippery slope fallacy begin criticizing its use on the left?)


You've misunderstood my point. Just because someone claims that their practice is "religious" doesn't automatically mean that the state will give them free reign to practice it. Parents who refuse to give diabetic drugs to their type 1 diabetic child because their religious conviction is against any medicine - that they trust God to heal - may not be allowed to practice that aspect of their religion when it is detrimental to their child's health. Religious groups who are against war (or specifically in the past, the Vietnam war,) were not able to stop paying their taxes that went to fund the war. They had to express their opposition in other ways. (There were some who reduced their salaries to a level where they weren't paying any federal tax - that was a legal way to stop supporting the way.)


Just because Hobby Lobby says that providing contraceptions is contrary to their religion doesn't automatically guarantee that they will be able to practice that aspect in the way they want to practice it - refusing to provide contraceptive care for their employees.

I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

DCharlton

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 05, 2014, 06:19:20 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 05:13:41 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 05, 2014, 01:51:53 PM
Or, we've also had court cases where Christian Science parents refused to let their sick children receive the medical treatments that would save their lives? Should the State allow that under their freedom of religion, or take the children away from the parents so that their lives might be saved?

No Brian.  No one is "refusing to let" women buy or use contraceptives.   Even the were (which they are not) it would not lead to death.  Denying a Type 1 Diabetic drugs and supplies would lead to death, and yet there is no mandate that they be provided for free.

(When will those who criticize conservative Christians for using the slippery slope fallacy begin criticizing its use on the left?)


You've misunderstood my point. Just because someone claims that their practice is "religious" doesn't automatically mean that the state will give them free reign to practice it. Parents who refuse to give diabetic drugs to their type 1 diabetic child because their religious conviction is against any medicine - that they trust God to heal - may not be allowed to practice that aspect of their religion when it is detrimental to their child's health. Just because Hobby Lobby says that providing contraceptions is contrary to their religion doesn't automatically guarantee that they will be able to practice that aspect in the way they want to practice it - refusing to provide contraceptive care for their employees.

There's quite a difference between refusing to allow your child to receive medical care, and refusing to provide insurance coverage for a narrow range of medications.   Hobby Lobby doesn't have the power to prevent it's employees from purchasing or using arbortifacents.  Hobby Lobby is happy to provide medical coverage for life saving medication.

The only connection between life saving blood transfusions and totally free contraception is via the slippery slope that you, John and Norman usually dismiss as a kind of religious hysteria.   
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 06:28:51 PM
The only connection between life saving blood transfusions and totally free contraception is via the slippery slope that you, John and Norman usually dismiss as a kind of religious hysteria.   


Yup, the connection is basing medical practices and insurance coverages on religious convictions.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

DCharlton

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 05, 2014, 06:54:39 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 06:28:51 PM
The only connection between life saving blood transfusions and totally free contraception is via the slippery slope that you, John and Norman usually dismiss as a kind of religious hysteria.   

Yup, the connection is basing medical practices and insurance coverages on religious convictions.

By saying yup, you admit you are using a slippery slope argument.  Thank you.  Why, however, is it wrong to use the slippery slope argument in the case of same sex marriage but not in the case of mandatory free contraceptives? 
David Charlton  

Was Algul Siento a divinity school?

Matt Hummel

Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 08:25:14 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 05, 2014, 06:54:39 PM
Quote from: DCharlton on April 05, 2014, 06:28:51 PM
The only connection between life saving blood transfusions and totally free contraception is via the slippery slope that you, John and Norman usually dismiss as a kind of religious hysteria.   

Because sadly, Brian has embraced the Culture of Death with arms wide open.

Yup, the connection is basing medical practices and insurance coverages on religious convictions.

By saying yup, you admit you are using a slippery slope argument.  Thank you.  Why, however, is it wrong to use the slippery slope argument in the case of same sex marriage but not in the case of mandatory free contraceptives?
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

peter_speckhard

The case of parents refusing to treat their children is entirely different because the child can't decide for himself. Hobby Lobby employees are not infants. It is chillingly statist to compare this situation to parents and children where parents have total control and children are helpless.

Dan Fienen

#756
Over the last few decades there have been two competing views of the deference owed to religious rights by the government.  One has been a more restrictive view.  Under this view, the government need not exercise any particular concern over whether any particular legislation or administrative rule or procedure would impose a burden on anyone's exercise of their religion so long as the purpose of the legislation, rule or procedure was not specifically to burden religion.  So, for example, a zoning regulation that singles out houses of worship (or houses of the worship of a particular religion) for restrictions from specified areas would likely be found unconstitutional.  But a restriction would be acceptable that would limit the number of people who may gather at one place in a given area would be considered acceptable, even if it would severely limit home Bible studies that some religious groups hold as vital to their ministry, since all groups that meet for whatever reason - even Tupperware parties - would be similarly restricted.  Religions could not be singled out for restriction but general rules are general rules and if it burdens your practice of your religion that is just your tough luck.  Perhaps you should find a religion easier to practice.

On an historic note, if this view of religious liberty had prevailed in the first part of the 20th century, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and probably Anglicans would have been out of luck in their use of alcohol in religious ritual under the Volstead Act.  On a more contemporary note, the use of peyote in Native American religious ritual (not to mention eagle feathers) has been hotly contested and debated.  (Tipping my hand, my sympathy is with the Native Americans here.)

Attempts have been made to support a more expansive view of constitutional religious freedoms.  The most notable example of that is the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) passed by Congress nearly unanimously and signed by President Bill Clinton.  Since then the Act has been upheld as pertains to Federal laws and regulations but not to state law.  Several states have passed similar laws.  The greatest effect of this has been increased protection for Native American sacred sites and Native American use of peyote for religious rituals.  It has also come into consideration in the various litigation concerning the ACA and especially the HHS contraceptive mandate.

Under RFRA a Federal law or regulation that has the effect of infringing on someone's religious freedom may be challenged because, in the words of the Act, "Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."  In order to claim an exemption from a law or regulation under the Act, someone would need to show that their exercise of religion is being substantially burdened.  In order to claim an exemption for the law or regulation from the Act the government would need to meet two tests.  First would be to demonstrate that the law or regulation is necessary for the "furtherance of a compelling government interest."  (It cannot be something merely routine or just to make it easier for the government.)  And further that there is no less restrictive means to accomplish that purpose.

Thus religion is not granted carte blanche to be exempt from any and every government law or regulation.  But religion does hold a special place and may be restricted only by showing a serious need for the restriction.  It is specifically not enough for the government to say that they are applying this to everybody and if it affects your religion more, too bad.

It seems to me that Brian is tending toward the more restrictive view of religious rights, namely that religion has no particular rights that the government needs to respect other than the right not to singled out for special restriction.  He is certainly entitled to that view, and many certainly would agree with him.  However, that is not the view that is currently enacted into law.  RFRA is currently the Federal law and as ACA is a Federal program, enacted by Federal laws, it must function under the scrutiny of RFRA.  It is not enough to say that the mandate for employers to provide free contraceptive coverage is a generally applicable law, like paying taxes, so religion is no reason to seek an exemption from the mandate.  It is not even enough to say that those who object to the mandate are ignorant or misguided in their objections or that their religion is silly in objecting to the contraceptives.  The question is not whether we like their religion but whether it is their religious freedoms are being burdened.

The challenge for the owners of Hobby Lobby, et al is to show that the contraceptive mandate constitutes a substantial burden on their exercise of their religion.

The challenge for the Federal Government is to either show that it is not a substantial burden or that they have a compelling interest in forcing employers to provide their workers with the contraceptives and that this is the least restrictive way to accomplish the goal of the mandate (which I presume is not to make employers jump through government hoops but to make contraceptives readily available to employees of larger companies).

No where in this legal mess is the goal of reducing abortions mentioned.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Chuck

Now where is that like button? Well stated, Pastor Fienen.
Chuck Ruthroff

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. —George Bernard Shaw

RayToy

     It strikes me that this problem stems from the idea that employers are required to provide health insurance as part of an overall compensation package in the first place.  If employers were only required to pay their employees in the form of money (salary) or time (vacation and sick days), then we would not be having this conversation.

     An analogy (albeit an imperfect one) would be requiring employers to provide tobacco as part of the workers pay.  The employers may object on a number of different grounds to paying their employees in a form other than cash.  Likewise, the employees may object to being paid with something they may not use.  Furthermore, even if they decide to sell the tobacco to convert it into cash, they may have objections to that.

    In the case of the Hobby Lobby situation, I get the impression that some folks who are on the government's side of the argument are saying that Hobby Lobby wants to prohibit its emplyees from using a legal product that the employees desperately want and need.  The fact of the matter is that Hobby Lobby does not want certain services covered in its health insurance package, and it would be fair to say that a significant number of employees don't want those services covered either. 

    Are there emplyees who want these services?  Of course such people exist. But Hobby Lobby is not forcing them to sign legally binding statements that say they will refrain from using contraceptives or abortion services, and that if they are discovered doing so, they will be subject to termination.  Employees are still free to pay for these services from their own discretionary funds, just as they are free to choose their own auto insurance, or internet service, or cable TV provider.

     Furthermore, because the ACA requires that these services be provided without copays, unlike other services such as hypertension or diabetes, it seems that those who support the adminstration's position are claiming that Hobby Lobby wants to deprive their employees of this service by not providing coverage in their health plan.  Such an assertion seems to imply that not providing copay free coverage is tantamount to prohibition.  However, just because one has health insurance does not mean that the cost of medical services are completely covered.  If one accesses the health system, there are still out of pocket costs.

    Going back to the original point, it seems that this whole argument over the content of health insurance policies can be avoided by not forcing employers to compensate their employees in a form in which one or both parties object.  So we have two proposals that seek to avoid the conflict all together.

1) Remove health insurance as a form of direct compensation for employers to employees.  That way, employers don't need to examine whether or not they have moral or religious scruples over the content of the health insurance policies and employees can shop for what they want.

2) Make birth control pills over the counter.  This idea was proposed many pages ago.  This action would lower the cost for the consumer and remove the objectionable part of the health insurance coverage from the equation.

     These two proposals are a solid realistic response to the ACA.  I find it odd that those who support the ACA instead propose the idea that Hobby Lobby, Conestoga, the Catholic Church, et al should not coalesce around these ideas, but instead to just admit that they are hypocritical and wrong for wanting to force their religion down the throats of their employees and should just pay up.

Thoughts?
Deacon Raymond Toy, OSSD

Steven Tibbetts

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 04, 2014, 11:38:32 PM

Nope, I have no concern about surplus humans. I am concerned about reducing the number of abortions. I believe that the best way to do that is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The proper use of contraceptives does that. Making them free to the people and providing proper education about their use will reduce abortions, in my opinion.


That, Brian, is a faith statement.  Dare I say, it may be a religious conviction.  After all, you "believe."

Furthermore, you believe what you do even though the dramatic increase in abortions occurred at the same time as artificial contraception became both more reliable and easy to obtain, and public sex education became the norm.  So the means by which you recommend to achieve the end you say you seek have demonstratively, and hugely, failed to bring us to that end.

So who here is being inconsistent?

The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS on April 06, 2014, 01:03:05 PM
Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 04, 2014, 11:38:32 PM

Nope, I have no concern about surplus humans. I am concerned about reducing the number of abortions. I believe that the best way to do that is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The proper use of contraceptives does that. Making them free to the people and providing proper education about their use will reduce abortions, in my opinion.


That, Brian, is a faith statement.  Dare I say, it may be a religious conviction.  After all, you "believe."

Furthermore, you believe what you do even though the dramatic increase in abortions occurred at the same time as artificial contraception became both more reliable and easy to obtain, and public sex education became the norm.  So the means by which you recommend to achieve the end you say you seek have demonstratively, and hugely, failed to bring us to that end.

So who here is being inconsistent?


Not every belief is a religious belief. In fact, I like, and have used the argument that Christianity is anti-religion, when "religion" is defined as following rituals, moral codes, or a confession that seeks to get God or gods on our side. Religions are centered on what we do to win the divine's favor. Christianity centers on what God has done to win us.


Every study that I've looked at that showed an increase of pregnancies by those who used contraceptives were flawed. For instance, when they added "proper use," pregnancies went down. A similarly flaw has been in studies that indicate sex before marriage leads to more divorces. Generally, yes; but when they looked at those who had been involved with only one sex partner before marriages, those marriages were just as long-lasting as couples who waited until marriage.


Also, noting that abortions increased at the same time contraceptions became easier to obtain does not indicate causality. It's more likely that promiscuity that also increased at the same time. That could also be a cause of more unwanted pregnancies and abortions. A couple of unintended pregnancies that I know in the 90's came about because of faulty sex education. One believed: "I can't get pregnant the first time." She was wrong. Another believed, "I can't get pregnant while nursing." She was wrong. While we've had sex education, there are indications that it hasn't been adequate.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Matt Hummel

Just wondering how many in the debate currently on contraception in this thread have read the 1968 encyclical. 
I post a link here:http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

I am curious as to others' thoughts on Paul VI and other Catholic commentators seeming prescience on what would happen.

And I am curious as to why (some) Lutherans who are so insistent on linking things and not splitting them (Law and Gospel, simul iustus et peccator, Coffee and Hour, etc.) do not see the danger in decoupling the unitive and procreative aspects of physical love?
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Matt Hummel

I just read this: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/382914/gosnell-nation-editors.

What is it with the Democrat Party? They have thrown off the rare in the triad of "Safe, legal, and rare." Now they want to eliminate the safe.  As for the legal, with the Democrat Senators attempt to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision of SCOTUS, it looks like legal will become mandatory.

I guess if you weren't near where NARAL's favorite serial killer, Kermit Gosnell, was working, you don't really get the horrors that are out there.
Matt Hummel


"The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks."

― J.R.R. Tolkien

LutherMan

Quote from: Norman Teigen on September 26, 2012, 09:05:01 AM
It seems to me that if there has been  no fertilization, then there is no abortion.   

Might others agree that the term 'abortifacient' has been much misused in the long discussion of the Affordable Care Act?   I suggest that in the discussion abortifacient is a term that has been misapplied, misused, and used to stir up faithful Christians on a political crusade.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

I have just recently been authorized by the ELS to list myself as an official spokesman for the  little synod.
Are you serious (to the bolded)?  Do you have some documentation to back this claim up?

Charles Austin

Mr. Tiegen made this comment more than two years ago, Craig. Where have you been?
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

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