Religious Liberty Exec Order

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Re: Religious Liberty Exec Order

Postby William Thornton » Tue May 09, 2017 11:00 am

KeithE wrote:
William Thornton wrote:I was referring to Sandy's ketchup.

It's clear cut to you and clear cut to the objectors.

And if the “objectors” are so sure about not interfering with the possibility of an embryo developing because that often leads to life, they should also be sure about protecting a full blown life whose life is in jeopardy because of lack of money for treatment.


Simple enough for you to pronounce what others should do.
My stray thoughts on SBC stuff may be found at my blog, SBC Plodder
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Re: Religious Liberty Exec Order

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 09, 2017 11:26 am

KeithE wrote:
Rvaughn wrote:What kind of "harm" are you talking about?

Cost of carrying out their religious practices in the manner they would like to.
Keith, thanks for clarifying. I thought you meant cost/money, but I wanted to be sure. I think here we have flipped to talking about individual policyholders who work for the same company -- in which the cost might be driven up for one because of the kinds of coverage offered? I really don't have much problem with that, since it seems that is only an issue of cost for each individual policyholder to get what he or she wants to get. I was originally talking about what was forced on employers ("that all businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees provide health insurance to at least 95% of their full-time employees and dependents up to age 26, or pay a fee"). (Stuff that is addressed in cases like Little Sisters of the Poor, Hobby Lobby And Conestoga Wood, but there clearly may be details I don't understand. Insurance is not my area of expertise, nor do I want it to be.)

In all my life I have never heard anyone who claimed that their religion mandated contraceptives, and even among those whose religion allows it I never heard any claim they were doing it for religious reasons (though that doesn't mean that some aren't). As I said, I'm not really worried about individuals who choose their plans and get what they pay for -- or even who is "harmed" the most financially. Each can buy what they choose and can afford. In my case, I don't buy any, and haven't found any I thought was affordable. Since the IRS probably thinks a family of two making $40k is getting wealthy, I make sure I cover my "shared responsibility payment" (such sweet words) and move on with life. I don't worry about what they do with it and my conscience doesn't bother me about it. That doesn't mean others' consciences doesn't bother them. As far as contraceptives for the sake of contraceptives, I have as little sympathy there as I do for "the state" paying for Viagra, but don't object to insurance companies offering it and people paying for it. Yes, all this gets complicated, but it is mainly complicated by deciding that we want someone else to help pay for what we think is the right thing to have or do. As long as each of us are paying for what we believe in we don't usually get out of sorts about it.

Sandy notes that this is really a side issue to the original discussion of the Trump executive order on the Johnson Amendment. As I have said before on the Amendment itself, I think there are two issues -- one which is an internal church problem (whether endorsing political candidates is biblically justified or morally wise) and one which is a constitutional issue -- that the government generally ought to stay out of what is said in pulpits. For all the talk about it one way or the other, what has actually changed? Very little that I can see. As Michael Grunwald said at Politico, "Trump’s Executive Orders Are Mostly Theater...The president knows how to stage a photo op, but so far his signature hasn't changed much."

I disagree with governing by Executive Order (though obviously some of it is necessary for any President) and Trump has obviously overdone it. But I would be interested in hearing a discussion I have not heard -- how many of Trump's EOs are reversing Obama's EOs? IOW, if that it the case, it might inflate his numbers to a greater degree than would have happened otherwise. But Grunwald's point probably still sticks well, that President Donald Trump knows a photo op when he sees one.
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Re: Religious Liberty Exec Order

Postby Sandy » Tue May 09, 2017 2:47 pm

William Thornton wrote:Sandy and Bingo notwithstanding, thank God for judges who take the first amendment seriously. It is complex.


It's more a matter of which court, and which judge. It's perspective, not how seriously a judge takes the first amendment. In the contraceptive case, the decision actually trampled on the religious freedom of individuals, in favor of a corporate "right". The same judges have ruled that those who have a religious objection to the content of the curriculum taught in the public school system and who believe that it is antithetical to their religious beliefs still have to pay for that curriculum to be taught.

William might think that's also an absurd example. :wink:

Realistically, as far as this has to do with the Johnson Amendment, I think this order will be very helpful in providing a means for people to distinguish between a genuinely confessing church, and political action committees that have Sunday School and worship services.
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Re: Religious Liberty Exec Order

Postby William Thornton » Tue May 09, 2017 4:56 pm

It's ultimately a SCOTUS matter. No one is satisfied with everything and there's a lot ahead.
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Re: Religious Liberty Exec Order

Postby Sandy » Wed May 10, 2017 12:06 pm

I keep hearing the terms "originalist" or "strict constructionist" with regard to constitutional interpretation. I think that discerning the perspective of the founding fathers is vital for a court to understand how to rule, but there's a difference between understanding their perspective, and insisting that it be the only consideration. The founding fathers created an amendable document, with a court system designed to interpret it based on the changes in society they knew were coming, and would continue to come.

I doubt many conservative Christians today would want to apply an originalist interpretation to the concept of freedom of religion, based on the perspective of the founding fathers. For virtually all of them, the church was an institution of the state, a place where the walls served as boundaries on the influence of the faith, and as a means of channeling what influence it did have to the benefit of the government, usually the monarchy. The authority of the pulpit stemmed from the licensing of pastors by the magistrate. Few, if any, of the men gathered in Independence Hall in Philadelphia had any idea of what it was like to belong to a "free church," and if you read what many of them wrote about it, Jefferson's idea to abandon a state-endorsed or operated church in favor of a church separated from the state was intended to diminish its influence within the government even further, and not worry about whether or not it could survive without tax dollars. Many didn't.
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