Supreme Court Revives Lawsuit Against Obamcare On Basis Of Religious Freedom

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Liberty University, a Virginia-based Christian college, just got their legal challenge to the individual and employer mandates in Obamacare revived by the Supreme Court. It has previously been dismissed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has revived a Christian college’s challenge to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, with the acquiescence of the Obama administration.

The court on Monday ordered the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., to consider the claim by Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that Obama’s health care law violates the school’s religious freedoms.

A federal district judge rejected Liberty’s claims, and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the lawsuit was premature and never dealt with the substance of the school’s arguments. The Supreme Court upheld the health care law in June.

The justices used lawsuits filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to uphold the health care law by a 5-4 vote, then rejected all other pending appeals, including Liberty’s.

This is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First, it shows that the fight against Obamacare (and the political headaches that represents for the President and his party) is far from over.

Second, this differs from the other lawsuits the Supreme Court has considered in that it focuses specifically on religions liberty. The Obama administration is claiming that the freedom of religion only exists at church, not in making decisions about health insurance and health care. Obviously, people who have a mind to live in accordance with their religious convictions (not just pay them lip service on Sundays) feel differently.

Third, this is going to make it very difficult for the Obama administration to convince the states to begin implementing the exchanges and the Medicaid expansions required under the law. Nearly two dozen states have resisted the exchanges, and most of those are also resisting the expansion of Medicaid (both are optional under the law as it was upheld by the Supreme Court). The feds have moved a deadline for the states to notify about their intentions with regard to the exchanges next month, and many expect the federal government to begin sweetening the pot to lure states into implementation.

But with legal challenges to the law still circulating in the courts, especially challenges such as this one which have the possible outcome of gutting the law, the states resisting this are a lot less likely to implement anything not 100% required by law.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SigFan

    While I would like to believe that the Court would side with the 1st Amendment and religious freedom I have little hope they will. They might rule that religious organizations can option out of the birth control section of the law, and of course that will create a whole new round of legal wrangling to define what is a religious organization, but they’ve made it clear already that they think the law is Constitutional – even though the majority of the country disagree.

    • RCND

      Separation of Powers is fast becoming a joke in America

  • WOOF

    Throwing coal in the boiler of the Federal Single Payer Express.

    • HG

      Just to be clear, the rhetoric from liberals and the Obama administration diminishing the notion that Obamacare was the first step to single-payer was just flat out dishonest?
      Who knew?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Right. Because that’s worked so well to control health care costs in other countries.

      • WOOF

        Yes it has.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          A statistical anomaly created by a number of factors including the fact that a) Americans tend to choose unhealthy lifestyles and b) we determine life expectancy much differently, including counting every birth as a life.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            What party doesn’t count every birth as a life?

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Some countries don’t count children as a life until they survive outside of the womb for a certain amount of time.

            The United States counts ever birth as a life (which is why we usually rank very high compared to other nations in infant mortality).

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Which countries do that? Name some.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-doctor-is-in-infant-mortality-comparisons-a-statistical-miscarriage/?singlepage=true It’s called the internets.

            To answer the question Canada, Germany and Austria are just a few. This article says that in most EU countries if a baby is born before 26 weeks of pregnancy it’s not counted against the mortality rates.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Funny. The document you found on the “internets” doesn’t support Rob’s claim:

            When Canada briefly registered an increased number of low weight babies previously omitted from statistical reporting, the infant mortality rose from 6.1 per 1,000 to 6.4 per thousand in just one year.

            So none of this explains why costs sky rocket for keeping Americans alive from 74-81. And even when you look at the rates they are too small to make a difference on the percentages that weren’t even presented by Woof.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Great! Can’t wait to see how all the follow up cases do who want to opt out of paying taxes for war, because it violates their religious beliefs.

    The Supreme Court threw out this Pandora’s Box, rightly so, the first time. It will be interesting watching all the twisting and contorting the right-wing loons will make in attempt to distinguish this argument from others.

    • HG

      I really don’t know what you libs think you’ve won. You’ve won the hearts and minds of the dependent class libs successfully created. You’ve won singles. You’ve won the youth who don’t know any better. But if you think for a minute that liberty minded Americans are done for, you’ve got another thing coming. Just keep pushin’ us.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        I don’t know why you feel you need to threaten other Americans, GH, but it doesn’t matter that you lie to yourself by pretending liberty loving Americans hadn’t voted for Obama. You ought to spend more time educating yourself and less time deluding yourself.

        • HG

          We disagree on the meaning of liberty. We hold to the liberty the founders pledged their life and possessions to secure, you libs hold to a meaning wrenched from your progressive ideology.
          We’re not saying the same thing even though we use the same word.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            We disagree only to the extent where you claim right to the word, all while perverting it. If you truly believed in the liberty the founding fathers pledged then you would not agree that corporations are people, or put the government in the bedrooms of Americans.

            You use the word prior to our progressive fathers who created this country, going back to the puritans.

            Sorry GH, but your ideology is dying.

            http://scholarsandrogues.com/2012/11/08/mystery-unraveled-how-a-white-moderate-churchgoing-middle-class-middle-aged-woman-could-vote-for-obama/

          • HG

            Liberty never dies, H.
            You apparently have no idea of my opinions on corporations, and I don’t support any policy putting gov’t in anyone’s bedrooms.
            Your definition of liberty includes gov’t forcing me to buy a gov’t prescribed healthcare insurance package. Your versions of liberty includes gov’t confiscating earnings to redistribute them to many who have become totally dependent on gov’t and refuse to work. Your version of liberty ignores the liberty of the unborn in favor of the what you see as the “liberty” of women to end that unborn life. Your version of liberty enslaves people to the provisions of the state. Your version of liberty thinks gov’t is the solution to problems our founders never intended, envisioned, or provisioned. You have no idea what liberty means to at least 49% of voters, and most likely a majority of Americans.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Nice diatribe that has no basis in reality. The founding fathers incorporated the redistribution of wealth to build roads, among other things. Also, would you mind showing me what the founding fathers thought about abortion, or killing the lives of humans? They sure didn’t seem to mind slaughtering the natives and their young.

            Lastly, you are one of the biggest opponents of homosexuality, trying to make homosexuals feel dirty and unnatural, while ignoring the disease and spread of AIDs across the globe by heterosexuals and the infection of women and young girls. Of course you want the government in the bedrooms of all Americans. You also want to prevent children from obtaining these protections from disease in favor of preaching your religious belief system.

          • HG

            So we agree that we don’t define liberty the same way?

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Nice dodge! Afraid to answer questions, GH?

            You and I don’t get to create definitions, the dictionary does that. I agree that you perverted your interpretation of the word, which has nothing to do with what the Founding Fathers passed to us.

          • HG

            Your questions are irrelevant to my point. My point is simply that when we use the word, we do not mean the same thing. Although I did say that your meaning is out of step with the founder’s, I don’t care to argue that point with you. We will never agree on that.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Your point was to claim what the founding fathers knew of liberty, as it relates to abortion and killing lives. I would like to know what you have imagined about that. Please explain.

          • HG

            “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,[note 1] promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

            Posterity – the offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation

            “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.” — James Wilson, Framer of the US Consitution.

            “Various statutes against abortion began to appear in the 1820s. In 1821, Connecticut passed a statute targeting apothecaries who sold poisons to women for purposes of abortion, and New York made post-quickening abortions a felony and pre-quickening abortions a misdemeanor eight years later. It is sometimes argued that the early American abortion statutes were motivated not by ethical concerns about abortion but by worry about the safety of the procedure; however, some legal theorists believe that this theory is inconsistent with the fact that abortion was punishable regardless of whether any harm befell the pregnant woman and the fact that many of the early statutes punished not only the doctors or abortionists, but also punished the women who hired them.”

            By 1900 nearly every state passed laws against abortion.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            Thanks, I didn’t see that. Of course you only offered on persons opinion, leaving out many of our most well known framers position. But don’t worry, I am here to help with that. Because clearly our founders allowed abortions to occur, up until a certain point. You are going to have a hard time defining what he meant by “stirs in the womb”, especially since abortions were allowed up until the 4th month of pregnancy, at the time.

            Following English law, abortion was legal in the American colonies until the time of “quickening” in the fetus, when the baby started to move, usually around the fourth month of pregnancy. Recipes for herbal potions including pennyroyal, savin and other plants capable of “bringing on the menses” were common in home medical guides of the period.

            Some of the more well known founders you purport to know about, show that they agree with me on abortion, as they actually wrote about the subject. Benjamin Franklin’s position can be determined from something that occurred in 1729 when his former employer, newspaper editor, Samuel Keimer of Philadelphia, published an encyclopedia whose very first volume included a detailed article on abortion, including directions for ending an unwanted pregnancy (“immoderate Evacuations, violent Motions, sudden Passions, Frights … violent Purgatives and in the general anything that tends to promote the Menses.”) Hoping to found his own newspaper to compete with Keimer, Franklin responded in print through the satiric voices of two fictional characters, “Celia Shortface” and “Martha Careful” who expressed mock outrage at Keimer for exposing “the secrets of our sex” which ought to be reserved “for the repository of the learned.” One of the aggrieved ladies threatened to grab Keimer’s beard and pull it if she spotted him at the tavern! Neither Franklin nor his prudish protagonists objected to abortion per se, but only to the immodesty of discussing such feminine mysteries in public.

            Dr. Benjamin Rush, a well known physician who signed the Declaration of Independence, shared his views of the subject matter-of-factly in his book of Medical Inquiries and Observations (1805). Discussing blood-letting as a possible treatment to prevent miscarriage during the third month of pregnancy, when he believed there was a special tendency to spontaneous abortion, Rush asked the question, “what is an abortion but a haemoptysis (if I may be allowed the expression) from the uterus?”

            A hemoptysis is the clinical term for the expectoration of blood or
            bloody sputum from the lungs or larynx. In Rush’s mind, apparently,
            what we would now call the three-month-old embryo was equivalent
            medically to what one might cough up when ill with the flu.

            Thomas Jefferson put no moral judgment on abortion, either. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, he observed that for Native American women, who accompanied their men in war and hunting parties, “childbearing becomes extremely inconvenient to them. It is said, therefore, that they have learnt the practice of procuring abortion by the use of some vegetable, and that it even extends to prevent conception for some time after.” Jefferson on the whole admired the native people and the Notes were intended in part to counter the views of the French naturalist Buffon, who accused the indigenous inhabitants of the New World of being degenerate and less virile than their European counterparts. In extenuation, Jefferson cites “voluntary abortion” along with the hazards of the wilderness and famine as obstacles nature has placed in the way of increased multiplication among the natives. Indian women married to white traders, he observes, produce abundant children and are excellent mothers. The fact that they practice birth control and when necessary terminate their pregnancies does not lessen his respect for them, but appears to be in his mind simply one of the ingenious ways they have adapted to their challenging environment.

          • HG

            I proved not only were the founders familiar with Abortion and life as it pertains to liberty, the laws as early as 1821reflected it. Regardless of the ambiguity which some may or may not have spoken of abortion, the connection you claimed I imagined was prevalent and regarded enough to pass laws against it.

            Keep in mind, I never expected you’d agree. My point is simply that you and I do not mean the same thing when we speak of liberty. I don’t expect you’d agree with my claim to the founder’s meaning regardless of the mountains of evidence which would support it. It is enough that you acknowledge the difference between our meanings of liberty.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You proved nothing! What do you mean by “they”? You only provided a quote from one signer of the DOI, and he wasn’t even a notable signer.

            Do you ever notice how you ignore my arguments and only stay narrowly focused on your own?

            Do you realize this is part of how one remains in denial and deludes oneself into choosing to only believe what they want? Why do you ignore my data regarding Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush?

            My data shows that abortion was legal back then, and they only drew a line that can be clearly determined to be at about 4 months.

            And this isn’t an argument to show that we have differening views on a word. It’s to show that you lied when you purported to know what the founders thought about abortion. It’s clear you don’t.

          • HG

            Imagine that, H.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            GH, you made a very specific point about the founding fathers position on abortion and taking lives. I would like for you to explain what their position was on both. Surely you know their position since you decided to make it a distinction between us. So, go for it.

          • HG
          • HG

            Are you blind? I just did.

          • Onslaught1066

            You will, please, provide the dictionary reference showing where “camp” is short for campaign.

            I believe you will find your dog-eared copy of ‘Dictionary for Dummies’ buried in your sand box of irrelevance right next to a nice fat, hair encrusted Tootsie Roll™ just ripe for your bobbing pleasure.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            This, coming from the guy who said “it’s a good idea to stick your cock in the ass of a 12 year old boy. – Onslaught1066″

            As if you understood the difference between “The Obama Camp” and “camp”.

          • Onslaught1066

            Avoiding the question, hannitwat?

            How… very like you.

            You may now return to the irrelevance of your sand box to continue bobbing for Tootsie Rolls™.

      • Guest

        They won more then you, regardless of you how try to rationalize it. You simply dismiss people for not knowing better, when actually they’re smart enough to realize that going back to policies that preceded our current problems is not a solution. Moreover, your demographic is shrinking, while the Democrat’s grows everyday.

        • HG

          Good luck with your demographics. They’ll be the end of you and your party.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            You say this having your tea party cranks voted out of office and after losing the presidential election….twice?

          • HG

            Yep. You think you’ve secured a majority that will follow your lead. What you’ve got is a tiger by the tail. They will turn on you just as soon as they realize you can’t keep giving them what others are earning and still keep people interested in earning. Many of them are driven by envy and greed. They’ll take over the dem party and they’ll do so along the very lines you libs have been dividing the country on. Look around the world, H. Your end is nearer than the last election.

    • RCND

      Interesting analogy you use reference war. Our country has a long tradition of respecting the rights of citizens to opt out of war due to religious beliefs via Conscientious Objector status. The university is not opting out of a tax so much as conscientiously objecting to participating in a program that violates their religious values

      • Guest

        First, just as the country doesn’t force religious objectors to actually kill, it doesn’t force these organizations to actually perform abortions or manufacture condoms. Second, being a conscientious objector didn’t also allow an objector to skip out on paying for the war effort, just as it does not excuse any and all objections to how their money might be spent here.

        • RCND

          So we meet in the middle then. We may not be able to parse out the tax money used for government funding of those activities they object to, but don’t mandate that the plans they pay a non-government entity for cover those activities. The point being a precedent has been set to allow for objecting on conscience

          • Anonymous

            Since when is getting exactly what you want meeting in the middle?

          • RCND

            So is that the point… to screw over an organization and their values simply because we feel like it?

          • Anonymous

            People get their values screwed over all the time in democracy. I objected to the Iraq war and nearly every grounds imaginable, yet I didn’t get a tax deduction for it.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Again, we’re not talking about an appropriation for an army or a war.

          We’re talking about a law which requires that individuals, and organizations of individuals, by a specific product the specifics of which are also set by government mandate.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            One thing leads to another; you know how you guys always argue that gay marriage will open up Pandora’s box so Poof can marry his poodle?

  • Harold

    Supreme court can revive or do anything they want when it comes to Obama Care cuz Obama will issue a Executive Order anytime he wants to that will completely circumvent any order issued by those old geezers on the Supreme Court, only law in america now days is what Obama decree’s as law.

  • Game

    I am glad the Supreme Court is going to rule on this. As much as the right is going to make this about “Obamacare”, I think the constitutional question is this…”Can my employer determine how my benefits of employment are used?” and also “Can my employer’s religion allow them to ignore the law of the land?”.

    I know anti-Obama care people would love for this law to be thrown out, but I worry about the legal precedent. Can an employer opt out of other Civil Rights protections for religious reasons? For example, can a Jewish employer state that salary gained from employment not be used for the purchase of pork? Can a Muslim employer state that they can ignore all laws other than Sharia law? Can a member of a fundamentalist Mormon cult marry multiple women for religions reasons?

    As far as I am concerned, religious freedom is an individual right, and Congress has no right making a law, or making an exemption to a law, that establishes religion. With that , Congress has no right to pass a law that allows my employer to impose his/her religion on me.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      “Can my employer determine how my benefits of employment are used?” and also “Can my employer’s religion allow them to ignore the law of the land?”.

      Boy, that’s a backwards way of looking at it.

      Asking your employer to provide you with health insurance on your terms, even if those terms violate the religious faith of your employer, is like walking into a vegan restaurant and demanding that they make you a hamburger.

      As far as I am concerned, religious freedom is an individual right, and Congress has no right making a law, or making an exemption to a law, that establishes religion. With that , Congress has no right to pass a law that allows my employer to impose his/her religion on me.

      Well, remember we’re not just talking about employers. The insurance exchanges and Obamacare policy gives the federal government the right to define what insurance policies must cover. And the federal government under Obama has decided those mandates will include coverage for contraception and abortion.

      (You liberals shouldn’t be happy about that. What happens with these mandates if we were to one day elect a social conservative like Rick Santorum who could, on a whim, eliminate all coverage for the same?)

      That violates the conscious of many individuals as well as employers.

      • Game

        “Asking your employer to provide you with health insurance on your terms, even if those terms violate the religious faith of your employer, is like walking into a vegan restaurant and demanding that they make you a hamburger.”

        That is not the point. Should my employer, who is a vegan, be able to tell me that I cannot eat meat? Can he refuse insurance to pay for my high cholesterol meds because they were caused by my love of red meat?
        To your second point, this lawsuit is not about exchanges or anything like that. It is about Liberty University as an employer.

        • waterjoe

          Actually, Rob’s example is more on point. The question is the level of participation in the opposed act.

          If the employee is paid solely in cash, the employer is not involved in the employee’s decision to use that money to buy meat. The HHS mandate, however, requires the employer to cover the objected service. The level of cooperation with the opposed act is greater.

          More to your original point: An employee is guaranteed only those rights which are of such a level that they require government protection such as discrimination based on race or a minimum wage. An employee does not have any right to be “protected” from the employer’s religious, personal, or business philosophy. If the employer, such as Disney, insists that all its employees have clean faces, the employee has not right against Disney to keep mustard on his face.

          Religious rights of the employer should have even greater protection. If the employer is a Seventh Day Adventist, he has the right to insist on a smoke-free environment. And, yes, religious employers have the right to insist on certain behavior by employees outside the workplace. That is well-established law.

          The problem with the HHS mandate is that it raises access to free contraception and sterilization to a “right” like that of race discrimination. No other health care procedure is treated that way. The very idea that free contraception is a right that must be balanced (if you are even willing to concede that) against religious rights is a problem.

          • Game

            Are you really comparing medical treatment to employee dress code?
            Do you think your employer has the right to determine what religion you should live your life buy, and how you should be able to treat your body? Do you think that is part of the “employment contract”?

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          I think that if you go to work for the employer and he decides to only serve veggie burgers in the cafeteria than you are free to find an employer that will serve your needs better.

          In the case of contraception, nobody is saying that you as an employee can’t spend your paycheck on birth control pills.

          More to the point, if you think your employers health plan doesn’t work for you find an employer that offers you what you need. Freedom works.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Spot on!!

          Rob wont answer the question because a response would require him to admit he was wrong. If eating beef was against my religion and I was your employer, under Rob’s rules I could deny you coverage of medication that’s required to prevent you from getting diseases from eating meat.

          • Neiman

            You just don’t get it – if you do not like the employers beliefs or the fact they won’t pay for your mistress to get an abortion – DON’T WORK THERE – WORK SOMEWHERE ELSE. Pretty simple formula really and if enough of you non-believers refuse to work there, either that employer will change their policies or close up shop; and in the latter case, if there is a need to be met that customers want, other people will take over that business. In the meantime neither of you had to sacrifice your values, you get to work for someone that will pay for your abortions, the employer you refused to work for does not have to pay for any abortions – it is a win – win situation for everyone, especially the Constitution.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            I think you missed the point, my Christian brother.

            Although I know you wish the constitution was abolished so you could create laws that reflect your twisted views of the bible, it’s not going to happen.

          • Neiman

            First, as you refuse to confess Christ as your only savior and absolute Lord and support both abortion and homosexual rights and separation of church and state (doesn’t exist), you demonstrate that you are a practical atheist, not a Christian; and so we are in no way, shape, manner or form brothers – get that through your head.

            No, I defend the Constitution and original intent, with addition of the Amendments. It is you liberals that hate the Bill of Rights and are constantly rewriting it outside the amendment process, it says,

            Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

            It is the very first clause, showing its importance to the Founding Fathers and it absolutely prohibits Congress, which passed Obamacare, from passing any prohibition against the free exercise of religion and when they force religious organizations to pay for acts which violate their faith, Congress is acting unconstitutionally.

            By the way, you forgot to answer why you work for a Christian or Muslim employer for that matter, that demands you adhere to their faith while taking a paycheck from them. Why don’t you work somewhere else? You are free to work for other companies if they want your sorry liberal butt working there.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I just answered the question, dummy.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            No, you avoided the question. Nobody is asking an employer to make or cook anything. The employer is imposing their religious beliefs on what their employee chooses to buy with part of their compensation package: specifically in the form of health insurance, dummy.

        • Neiman

          No – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WORK THERE AT ALL and everyone wins. Don’t work for people that hold Christian values, work for liberals that do not have Christian values, you don’t have to eat veggie burgers and that bad old meat burger loving employer doesn’t have to pay for your health care.

          People it is an easy formula where everyone wins, including the Constitution. If the employer has religious values and does not want to pay for contraceptives and abortions, doggonit don’t work for that mean old employer, get a job elsewhere where they will.

          • Game

            Neiman, what you fail to understand is that if an organization wants to only allow people of their faith to work at an organization, they can. For example, a church can choose only to have members of that church be employed.

            However, when “religious” organizations become quasi-business, that changes. For example, I used to work for a Catholic Hospital. That Hospital would not have been in operation if they only hired people who were Catholic. So they had a statement saying they are a Catholic organization, however, they accept that all people can work at their organization.

            When they do that, they are a business, and not a religious organization. As a business, they are not exempt from employment law. As a business, they cannot put a religious test on employees. As a business, they cannot exclude people from employment for illegal reasons. That is a well established fact of law.

          • Neiman

            That is your interpretation of things, it is not what is in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” You liberal minded folk do not like that free exercise clause.

            > A religious organization is not denied the right to operate a business under our Constitution.
            > A religiously based corporation is not denied the exercise of their Constitutional rights and make their own rules for employment and choose their own insurance plans that are in harmony with their core beliefs.
            > While this organization may be subject to employment laws, by constitutional guarantee they cannot be forced to violate their core beliefs in the process.
            > If a person wants to work there, they must submit to the policies and beliefs of that organization or look elsewhere.
            > We are talking about corporations operated by religious organizations and in doing so, they do not surrender their constitutional rights.
            > If you try and force them to submit and offer abortion services in their insurance plans, you are denying them their Constitutional rights.

            Yes, the courts, predominately liberal have often ruled in opposite ways, but in doing so they had to violate article one in the Bill of Rights, which liberal courts do every day.

            Don’t like it? Apparently you do not, then work to amend the bill of rights to take freedom of religion from the bill of rights.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Should my employer, who is a vegan, be able to tell me that I cannot eat meat?

          That’s not the question at hand.

          The question at hand is should you, a meat eater, be able to demand that your employer buy you a hamburger.

    • Neiman

      You do not have to work for a Christian company, you are forcing your antichrist values on them by accepting employment in a Christian based company and then demanding they violate their faith to permit you to murder babies on their dime.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Here’s another way to put it:

      Isn’t a mandate that an employer pay to provide you with health insurance on your terms, even if it violates their religious conscience, imposing your religious views on them?

      Or does your notion of “freedom” only run one way?

      • Guest

        Everyone’s not going to get everything they always want in a democracy. If someone can object to their money being used to fund activities they disapprove of, I’d like my money for the Iraq war back.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          That would be true if we were talking about appropriations. But we’re not. We’re talking about a mandate which forces people to engage in certain types of commerce. What’s more, we’re talking about about a mandate that requires one group of people to provide something to another group of people.

          And both mandates are applied without concern as to issues like religious freedom.

          • [email protected]

            The issue is the same: making people do something they don’t want to do on the basis of religious objection. You can’t just narrow the scope of the concept when it conveniently matches your preferred outcome. Why should appropriations be any different than other laws? Appropriations also require groups of people to provide money to other groups of people, just like this law. Appropriations are also applied without concern as to issues of religious freedom. There’s no difference, other than your desire to see Obamacare weakened.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            The issue is the same: making people do something they don’t want to do on the basis of religious objection.

            Uh, no. What we’re talking about is employers being forced to provide something they have an objection to.

            You have it backwards.

          • Game

            Can we be honest and say Liberty University is objecting to being “forced” to provide health care, and it has nothing to do with “religious” liberty? This is nothing more than another attempt by the far right to block health care reform using the court, something they could not block using the legislative branch.

        • Neiman

          You do not belong to a recognized religious organization that has that as a tenet of their faith.

  • Neiman

    If the First Amendment freedom of religion clause means anything at all, it means the State, via Congress may NOT pass any laws infringing on religious liberty. If they pass a law forcing them to finance the cold blooded murder of a helpless, innocent child in the womb, they are by force of law mandating that Christians violate their Christian conscience and that is unconstitutional.

    I have no doubt that through semantic and legal gymnastics the Court will find that the State has an overriding social interest that limits religious freedom and that religious freedom can be breached.

    We sold our souls to the devil in 1948, double downed in 1962 and now there is simply no turning back, the 1st Amendment has been amended by the State and no longer exists.

  • DWHoover

    I am just waiting for the government mandate for Jewish and Muslim schools to serve pork for lunch because of the health benefits.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      You joke, but that’s not at all unlike what these mandates are.

      As I wrote in a comment above, forcing religious employers to purchase abortion and contraceptive coverage for their employees is like forcing a vegan restaurant to serve hamburgers.

      • DWHoover

        I also find it interesting how the “separation of church and state” has turned into a one-way street. We can’t have the church in government, but if you try and take the government out of the church, well, we just can’t have that, can we?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          It’s interesting, isn’t it? It’s as though tolerance of religion means expunging religion from the public square.

          That’s not tolerance. That’s intolerance. Tolerance means recognizing that a majority of Americans believe in one religion or another, and respecting their right to live in accordance with their conscience.

    • Game

      I am worried for a Muslim or Jewish employer who says they can ignore other laws for religious reasons.

      • tony_o2

        And what laws do you have in mind?

  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    I’m afraid that John Roberts will rule that freedom of religion REALLY means freedom from religion and that we should just shut and and be grateful of what he and the other statist “give” us.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Yeah, it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in the Roberts court at this point.

      • LastBestHope

        I disagree. Roberts is a Conservative jurist and scholar. (Read my exchange with Anonymous)

        If the Court rules that any individual can reject the mandate to purchase ObamaCare on moral or religious objections , how does this law survive?

        It can’t.

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          John the Statist Roberts ruled that a fine is a tax, not because he believed that, but because he didn’t want to take a beating in the popular press. He’s am effing horrible person and jurist. It’s one thing to have a legitimate difference of opinion. It’s another thing to betray his beliefs on the most important domestic issue of our time in order for him to get good publicity.

  • Neiman

    You liberals are so dumb it is almost criminal and borders on idiocy.

    1. People of faith under the Bill of Rights may start a company and hire people and set conditions for employment there, like “we won’t pay for abortions or contraceptives in our health care plan.”

    2. DOGGONIT – YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WORK FOR SUCH PEOPLE, go work somewhere else and be happy if they pay for your abortions.

  • chris

    More access to contraceptives means fewer unwanted pregnancies, and therefore, abortions. How’s that for logic?

    • Neiman

      It has nothing to do with whether or not a religious organization under the 1st Amendment may be forced to pay for those contraceptive services, which are also a violation of their faith. You want to wear a condom, use the pill, murder your baby, do it on your own dime and resist forcing the Church to surrender their moral values for your absence of moral values.

  • Lynn Bergman

    Really, our only hope is that the conservatives on the Supreme court first wished to see Obamacare end via the November 6th election… killed by the body that created it.
    With the stark realization on the part of the court that the voters cannot be counted on to reject unconstitutional legislation, Roberts and the other conservatives on the court COULD come to the realization that the Supreme Court is all that stands between the rule of law and the bastardized legislation that Obamacare represents.
    A Republican House and Democrat Senate would very likely replace a rejected Obamacare with a law that actually makes some sense and leaves health care in the hands of the states. In that sense, the history books would very likely treat the Supreme Court rejection of Obamacare (on religious freedom grounds) as a milestone in our system of checks and balances.

  • LastBestHope

    This is one smart Chief Justice we have. Stand By for some really good news from the SCOTUS.

    After the surprise ruling of summer, my take was that Roberts did not want “his Court” to be seen as “activist” by striking down ObamaCare based on an interpretation of the Commerce Clause. “Activist” is not conservative. Roberts wanted The People to decide the fate of this flawed legislation at the polls on 11.6.12. So he punted to the electorate. They fumbled.

    But now we see that Robert’s kept in his back pocket this current scenario, where ObamaCare can be ruled unconstitutional on religious freedom grounds. He knew then and knows now, that he has a majority for such a ruling.

    This is how things work in the BIGS: http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/health-care/item/11897-supreme-court-sidesteps-commerce-clause-cites-tax-power-says-obamacare-is-constitutional

    • Anonymous

      Clearly you don’t know anything about constitutional law. Even if the courts side with the churches on this case, then the worst that can happen for Obamacare is that the churches won’t be forced to provide certain types of insurance coverage. An adverse ruling would only carve out a narrow exception to the insurance mandate, not strike down the whole law.

      • LastBestHope

        Really? My guess is that it’s you who will learn something new when the SCOTUS rules next. This fatally flawed law, which the best legal minds are still trying to decipher years after it was passed, cannot be diced up as fine as you want to believe and still survive.

        Stand By

        • Anonymous

          My guess is you have no idea what you’re talking about. Look at the last Supreme Court ruling on the law where the Court ruled it was unconstitutional to require states to go along with the Medicare law. Was part of the law deemed unconstitutional? Yes. Was the entire law struck down? No, just that unconstitutional part.

          Stand by too look up what the concept of severability is

          • LastBestHope

            “After the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s funding mechanism — the so-called individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a financial penalty — it tossed out all other pending appeals. Liberty University then refiled its lawsuit, saying its objections to the law should be reconsidered in light of the court’s 5-4 ruling affirming the overall law.

            The school believes Americans should not be required to purchase health insurance — and employers forced to provide it — if there are legitimate moral and religious objections to some provisions”

            ? —- If the Court rules that any individual can reject the mandate to purchase ObamaCare on moral or religious objections , how does this law survive?

          • Guest

            If you’d bothered to read their brief, the school’s argument concerns whether their insurance must include abortions and conceptions They cannot and do not argue that they oppose all health insurance on religious grounds. Thus, the best the school can hope for is being allowed to offer health insurance plans without that specific coverage.

  • $8194357

    But…But…Butt..

    It was passed for socialist relgious reasons.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkPa8v5p5mY&feature=player_embedded

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    Once it is understood that Obamacare is a pure political power grab dressed up in health-care bullshit all becomes clear and you don’t have to wait for Obamacare to be implemented to know exactly what’s in it. Any discussion that does not take this into consideration is completely beside the point.

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