White House denies contraception exemption to private businesses

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President Obama speaks to Congress.  Photo courtesy the White House

President Obama speaks to Congress. Photo courtesy the White House

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(RNS) The new rules do not apply to private businesses whose owners have religious or moral obligations to contraception -- and that issue has already been a major battleground in federal courts.

  • David Thompson

    ” You can’t say or do that, it offends my religion.”

    This is a Taliban mentality. It’s Iron Age, draconian measures to force other people to live as they desire and it’s mostly male dominated. They are xenophobic, misogynistic, and homophobic.

    I hope they refuse and get charged $1.3 million/day. We could use some new revenue sources and the government can just pay for benefits out of those funds, until they comply.

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  • ecsouth

    I will not venture to debate David Thompson in this forum. His use of the words:
    Taliban, “Iron Age”, draconian, “male dominated”, xenophobic, misogynistic, and homophobic (all in the first paragraph) in describing those with whom he disagrees indicates a complete unwillingness to discuss the topic civilly.
    I must, however, point out the irony of his use of the word “draconian” in describing the refusal to pay for others use of contraception and then applauding the prolonged application of the $1.3 million per day (per day!!!) tax “until they comply”. THAT’S what I call “draconian” !

  • Slder

    Because its true! The christian right is all about controlling women’s sexuality so that it can remain dominated by men. The sooner we get rid of religion, the better.

  • David Thompson

    What civility? There is no civility when one person wants to dominate another person and their excuse is there religion is offended. At that point all civility is history and it’s pure competition for survival. When you are informed by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnibenevolent super being that is imaginary, why should anyone take you serious.

    People have set back for too many years and allowed religion to run roughshod over others. No more. People are standing up and pointing out the puerility of such beliefs as they should have been doing for a very long time. There are over 150 million believers and non believers that don’t agree with this evangelical/fundamentalist bible thumping brigade of tea baggers.

    No, if you are going to push your version of religion in my face, no civility is necessary.

  • Doc Anthony

    I support Hobby Lobby’s courageous efforts to stand up to Barack Obama. Although nobody knows what tomorrow will hold, I congratulate them on their victory thus far.

  • Dale

    The Florida decision, concerning Beckwith Electric, was largely based on that company being a “closely-held” corporation. The judge did not see any meaningful distinction between the company and Thomas Beckwith, who is the founder and majority owner. As such, the religious rights of the owner are extended to the company.

    The judge, in her decision, notes that a different district court took the opposite position regarding Hobby Lobby. The appeals court which, this week, granted a temporary injunction on fining Hobby Lobby seems to have sided with the Florida judge’s view of the law.

    The court cases are many, and the decisions sometimes contradictory, but it is good for us as a country to decided where we draw the line on individual religious liberty.

    I think the decisions made will likely have influence on how similar issues regarding gay marriage are resolved. Does a florist have a right to refuse to create arrangements for a same-sex wedding? What about a photographer asked to take wedding pictures or a baker to create a wedding cake?

    I think those questions revolve around the same religious liberty issues as in the contraception controversy of the Affordable Care Act. Where to we draw the line between serving the public and protecting an owner’s religious beliefs?

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  • R. L. Hails Sr. P. E.

    Slowly, painfully slowly, the essential question is being brought into focus. It is both revolutionary and existential, as developed by both the article and responses. The government clearly seeks to limit the exercise of religion to only the interior walls of the church. The conduct of religious people in secular society, will be severely scrutinized by the bureaucracy, and offenders will be broken to the plow. However, there is also an active element which wants the church to be destroyed; they hold it is an evil, anachronistic cult, inherently devoid of any social good. The central issue is not about abortion; that is simply the battleground.
    This is not new to mankind, just new to the United States of America, a monotheistic nation. Its citizens must choose what is important to them; a fundamental freedom has been challenged. Who dictates how a religious person spends their money, or face a $1.3 million per day fine ?

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    It is clear that this regime in power regards the First Amendment as so much rubbish to be ignored or given the run around.
    No wonder so many government agencies are abusing their power and exploiting the citizenry as so many sheep to be shorn.

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  • Mike in Wisconsin

    David Thompson is exactly right. Public policy must be evidence based, and should never be skewed by primitive superstition and dogma.

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  • There is much more than religious freedom at stake here. Basic human rights, and an acknowledgement that corporations ARE human beings not calculators or somehow NOT human. If you don’t like your companies insurance plan, you can always work somewhere else with a better plan right?