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Author: Subject: Obama Sandbags the Archbishop

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 10:56 AM
Once again Obama shows that he has no respect for the Constitution of the United States. In this case, it's the 1st Amendment. Basically what Obama is doing is forcing Catholic institutions to go against long held beliefs in regards to how the church feels about contraceptives. Completely agree with Buchanan on the actions (bolded) that the Roman Catholic Church needs to take against Obama Administration. At the very least, Obama stands a good chance of losing the votes of quite a number Roman Catholic votes, many of which are generally loyal Democrats.

quote:
Obama Sandbags the Archbishop

Patrick J. Buchanan
January 30th, 2012

At the end of Sunday mass at the church this writer attends in Washington, D.C., the pastor asked the congregation to remain for a few minutes.

Then, on the instructions of Cardinal Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the pastor proceeded to read a letter.

In the letter, the Church denounced the Obama administration for ordering all Catholic schools, hospitals, and social services to provide, in their health insurance coverage for employes, free contraceptives, free sterilizations, and free “morning-after” pills.

Parishioners were urged to contact their representatives in Congress to bring about a reversal of President Obama’s new policy.


Now, not only is this a battle the Church must fight, it is a battle the Church can win if it has the moral stamina to say the course.

In forcing the Church to violate its own principles, Obama has committed an act of federal aggression, crossing the line between church and state to appease his ACLU and feminist allies, while humiliating the Catholic bishops.

Should the Church submit, its moral authority in America would disappear.


Now, undeniably, the church milquetoast of past decades that refused to discipline pro-abortion Catholics allowed the impression to form that while the hierarchy may protest, eventually it will go along to get along with a Democratic Party that was once home to most Catholics.

Obama’s problem today is that not only is he forcing the Church to violate her conscience, he dissed the highest prelate in America.

In November, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held what he describes as an “extraordinarily friendly” meeting with Obama at the White House.

The president assured the archbishop of his respect for the Church, and the archbishop came away persuaded Obama would never force the Church to adopt any policy that would violate her principles.

Ten days ago, Obama sandbagged the archbishop

He informed Cardinal-designate Dolan by phone that, with the sole concession of the Church being given an extra year, to August 2013, to comply, the new policy, as set down by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will be imposed. All social and educational institutions of the Catholic church will offer health insurance covering birth control, or face fines.

“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Archbishop Dolan, who went on:

“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their health care is literally unconscionable. … This represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty.”


Where do Obama and Sebelius get the power to do this?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, the colloquial name for which is “Obamacare.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America is celebrating the new policy. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, calls it a “health care issue … based on what’s best for women’s health.” Others have argued that many Catholic women practice birth control.

But that Catholics choose to ignore doctrine does not justify the U.S. government imposing on Catholic institutions a policy that violates Catholic teaching.

Even Washington Post liberal E.J. Dionne, in a Jan. 30 column titled “Obama’s Breach of Faith,” charges that the president “threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus. …

“Speaking as an American liberal who believes that religious pluralism imposes certain obligations on government … the Church’s leaders had a right to ask for broader relief from a contraception mandate that would require it to act against its own teachings.”

Why did Obama do it?

Facing a close race for a second term, Obama chose not to antagonize his left. Yet he must have known that siding with them meant leaving Archbishop Dolan with egg all over his face. Obama, calculatedly, came down on the side of those he believes to be more crucial to his re-election.

This affront should tell the Catholic hierarchy, if they did not already know, where they stand in the party of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebilius. And where they sit — in the back of the bus.

Yet if the bishops will look upon this crisis of conscience, this insult, as an opportunity, they can effect its reversal and recapture a measure of the moral authority they have lately lost.

Not only should the bishops file suit in federal court against the president and Sebelius for violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, they should inform the White House that no bishop will give an invocation at the Democratic Convention.

Then, they should inform the White House that in the last two weeks of the 2012 campaign, priests in every parish will read from the pulpit at Sunday mass a letter denouncing Obama as anti-Catholic for denying the Church its right to live according to its beliefs.


If Obama loses the Catholic vote, he loses the election.

The White House will come around, fast. Rely upon it.

 
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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 12:02 PM
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 12:03 PM
quote:
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?


Because of the 1st Amendment.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 12:30 PM
quote:
quote:
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?


Because of the 1st Amendment.


But it gets complicated. You don't need to be Catholic to work for the church; yet is it legal to deny someone who isn't equal medical care? Can the Chabad refuse to hire workers who drive on Saturday? I think this is a very convoluted issue, and would go deep into the court system to resolve it.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 12:44 PM
I have thought for years it's time for the freeloader churches to start paying their fair share. Especially in this day and age where they have a strong voice in the GOP party narrative and are more than happy to wield their power in the political arena. Plus they use services just like any other business, fire protection, police protection etc. The free ride should be over from these resource sucking freeloaders.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 12:52 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?


Because of the 1st Amendment.


How, exactly, does the 1st Amendment exempt organized religion from the issues I raised? Seriously, I don't recall seeing anywhere in the Bill Of Rights that religions should be exempted from laws that abide to citizens. It's been sometime since I've reviewed it but I don't recall anything in there saying religion is exempt from paying taxes, or following laws the rest of us are required. Practicing and paying your fair share are different issues is what I'm suggesting.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 01:37 PM
quote:
How, exactly, does the 1st Amendment exempt organized religion from the issues I raised? Seriously, I don't recall seeing anywhere in the Bill Of Rights that religions should be exempted from laws that abide to citizens. It's been sometime since I've reviewed it but I don't recall anything in there saying religion is exempt from paying taxes, or following laws the rest of us are required. Practicing and paying your fair share are different issues is what I'm suggesting.


Chain,

Because the Catholic Church teaches that "birth control" other than the withdrawal method is against the will of God. And the 1st Amendment protects them in having those beliefs. For Catholic institutions being forced to provide "free contraceptives, free sterilizations, and free “morning-after” pills to their employees is basically the "State" imposing "it's Beliefs" on a religion. And that is a clear violation of the separation of Church and State that is protected by the 1st Amendment.

Btw here's some comments from a William Dalton on Buchanan's column

quote:
The difficulty that Obama and American “liberals” in general have created for themselves is that they have turned the guarantee of religious freedom in the First Amendment from an institutional right, respecting the church and how it is to be neither a creature of nor imposed upon by the state, into a personal freedom for all people to exercise free will according to their conscience. Acknowledge the right of the Catholic (or any) Church to “opt out” of Obamacare on religious grounds and that right would extend to individuals as well.

When I was young I was told there were a number of Christians who refused to buy insurance of any sort because they considered it a form of immoral gambling. Even at the time I was ordained as a minister, in 1989, Uncle Sam recognized the right of ministers in church bodies who made it a point of doctrine not to participate in the Social Security system. Now Obama is arguing before the Supreme Court that the needs of the nation and the commerce clause give him the power to compel private citizens to engage in “commerce”, the purchase of commercial health insurance contracts, and that that power trumps all scruples of conscience. If he makes exception for the Catholic Church are other Americans to be denied equal protection?


[Edited on 1/31/2012 by sibwlkr]

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 01:53 PM
Fair enough, what about taxes? How are they protected from paying what every other citizen pays because of the 1st Amendment?
 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 02:21 PM
If the Catholic Church doesn't like what the government wants them to do then they can give up their tax exempt status and carry on. They can't have it both ways. In fact, I think if a church engages in politics it should lose it's tax exempt status automatically. They can say what they want....no abridging their right to free speech....but they can't be tax exempt if they do it.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 02:52 PM
quote:
Fair enough, what about taxes? How are they protected from paying what every other citizen pays because of the 1st Amendment?


Once again by the First Amendment and the separation of Church and State. If the State has the ability to tax churches, then it has the ability to control churches and their belief system. It really comes down to a "control" issue and whether or not the power of taxation could or would be used to enforce whatever belief system that the government feels is appropriate.

 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 03:03 PM
quote:
If the Catholic Church doesn't like what the government wants them to do then they can give up their tax exempt status and carry on. They can't have it both ways. In fact, I think if a church engages in politics it should lose it's tax exempt status automatically. They can say what they want....no abridging their right to free speech....but they can't be tax exempt if they do it.


Sorry Ann, it doesn't work that way, and thank God that the Constitution still protects the Churches from the government "bullying" their beliefs on them. Your mindset seem to be, if you're " tax exempt" that you have to "kiss the government ass". And that's so wrong, and so many levels.

[Edited on 1/31/2012 by sibwlkr]

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 03:16 PM
quote:
quote:
Fair enough, what about taxes? How are they protected from paying what every other citizen pays because of the 1st Amendment?


Once again by the First Amendment and the separation of Church and State. If the State has the ability to tax churches, then it has the ability to control churches and their belief system. It really comes down to a "control" issue and whether or not the power of taxation could or would be used to enforce whatever belief system that the government feels is appropriate.


Not exactly. As I recall, the US Supreme Court held that religious institutions should be exempt because "the power to tax is the power to destroy." Seems that rationale ought to exempt newspapers too, for example, since thay are protected by the 1st Amendment. But papers pay taxes.

What always struck me as funny is that churches are protected from destruction from taxes, while the rest of us are fair game. Of course, state Constitutions do specifically exempt places of worship from taxes. It would be interesting to see if this particular Catholic hospital is exempt from property taxes (probably is).

What if the Catholic church owned a pay parking lot? Here in GA, that would not be exempt from taxes. Should religious freedom allow the parking lot to violate zoning restrictions? Sort of the same thing w/ the hospital. What does the practice of medicine have to do w/ religion? Nothing.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 03:33 PM
quote:
quote:
If the Catholic Church doesn't like what the government wants them to do then they can give up their tax exempt status and carry on. They can't have it both ways. In fact, I think if a church engages in politics it should lose it's tax exempt status automatically. They can say what they want....no abridging their right to free speech....but they can't be tax exempt if they do it.


Sorry Ann, it doesn't work that way, and thank God that the Constitution still protects the Churches from the government "bullying" their beliefs on them. Your mindset seem to be, if you're " tax exempt" that you have to "kiss the government ass". And that's so wrong, and so many levels.

[Edited on 1/31/2012 by sibwlkr]


If you're going to take from the government and believe me, churches do, then the government has the right to impose certain laws on them. You can't have a church that believes in human sacrifice because it goes against the law. That's a fact. But I'm weary of churches raking in millions and millions of dollars and using some of the money for political agendas. Why doesn't the separation of church and state work both ways?

I have a ministry and a homeschool affiliated with it. I discovered if we applied for a tax exempt status there were rules we had to follow that the government imposed. The only real way to get rid of any government influence is to not apply for tax exempt status....then the money can be used for anything.

As I said....if a church is going to take the tax exempt benefits then they shouldn't be allowed to use that money to influence politics. Agree or not, its my opinion.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 03:57 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?


Because of the 1st Amendment.


But it gets complicated. You don't need to be Catholic to work for the church; yet is it legal to deny someone who isn't equal medical care? Can the Chabad refuse to hire workers who drive on Saturday? I think this is a very convoluted issue, and would go deep into the court system to resolve it.


Chabad can hire whoever they want for whatever reason they want. Regarding the Church, it is a religious tenet of the Church that abortion is a sin. Therefore they don't wish to be responsible for paying for the sin. This is a religious belief. Now the argument can be made both ways but the question of why a religious organization should not be treated like a non-religious organization is that the religious organization is protected by the first amendment. In principal its not that different from the government dictating religious practices of the Church. As a final point, nobody is forced to work for the Catholic Church and if you do you should expect to abide by these rules. Just as if someone worked for a Jewish organization and had to work on a weekend, they could expect to work Sunday rather than Saturday whether they are Jewish or not.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 03:59 PM
quote:
I have thought for years it's time for the freeloader churches to start paying their fair share. Especially in this day and age where they have a strong voice in the GOP party narrative and are more than happy to wield their power in the political arena. Plus they use services just like any other business, fire protection, police protection etc. The free ride should be over from these resource sucking freeloaders.


I do agree that Churches that are largely political should not be tax exempt. But you have to realize that there are plenty of liberal/left wing Churches that fall under this as well. I'm not sure where the line should be drawn in terms of political activity. Certainly the Church should not be endorsing or specifically working for the election of a candidate. I would not want to do away with the tax exemption for non-political religious non-profit organizations.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:02 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Why is the Catholic Church exempt from the provisions of this legislation simply because it violates their beliefs? Many individuals don't believe in some of the provisions but are legally required to abide by them (mandatory purchase of insurance for instance). Why should organized religion get a free pass? Sort of the same question as why are they not required to pay taxes?


Because of the 1st Amendment.


How, exactly, does the 1st Amendment exempt organized religion from the issues I raised? Seriously, I don't recall seeing anywhere in the Bill Of Rights that religions should be exempted from laws that abide to citizens. It's been sometime since I've reviewed it but I don't recall anything in there saying religion is exempt from paying taxes, or following laws the rest of us are required. Practicing and paying your fair share are different issues is what I'm suggesting.


You would have to read the body of first amendment jurisprudence, as interpreted by the Supreme Court and as its developed over the centuries. There is a lot more to it than the simple words of the amendment and always has been. How else has it been decided that there can be no prayer in a public school? That is not in the text of the Constitution either. If all you had to do was read the text we wouldn't need courts.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:04 PM
quote:
Fair enough, what about taxes? How are they protected from paying what every other citizen pays because of the 1st Amendment?


1. They are non-profit organizations and all non-profit organizations are exempt from taxation.
2. They are not individuals, they are religious corporations. See one above.
3. To single out religious organizations for taxation while exempting other non-profits would be a clear and absolute violation of the first amendment.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:07 PM
quote:
quote:
If the Catholic Church doesn't like what the government wants them to do then they can give up their tax exempt status and carry on. They can't have it both ways. In fact, I think if a church engages in politics it should lose it's tax exempt status automatically. They can say what they want....no abridging their right to free speech....but they can't be tax exempt if they do it.


Sorry Ann, it doesn't work that way, and thank God that the Constitution still protects the Churches from the government "bullying" their beliefs on them. Your mindset seem to be, if you're " tax exempt" that you have to "kiss the government ass". And that's so wrong, and so many levels.

[Edited on 1/31/2012 by sibwlkr]


Although she is correct that Churches should not be engaged in political action. Political entities are not exempt from taxation and donations to them are not tax exemt. In this sense the religious organizations try to have it both ways. The question (and I do not know the answer offhand) is how much political activity should be sufficient to change the nature of a religious institution to a political one. Certainly giving a sermon supporting a political position would not be suffiicient. But I always thought endorsing a candidate was a no-no. Yet I see examples of this happening all the time.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:13 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
If the Catholic Church doesn't like what the government wants them to do then they can give up their tax exempt status and carry on. They can't have it both ways. In fact, I think if a church engages in politics it should lose it's tax exempt status automatically. They can say what they want....no abridging their right to free speech....but they can't be tax exempt if they do it.


Sorry Ann, it doesn't work that way, and thank God that the Constitution still protects the Churches from the government "bullying" their beliefs on them. Your mindset seem to be, if you're " tax exempt" that you have to "kiss the government ass". And that's so wrong, and so many levels.

[Edited on 1/31/2012 by sibwlkr]


If you're going to take from the government and believe me, churches do, then the government has the right to impose certain laws on them. You can't have a church that believes in human sacrifice because it goes against the law. That's a fact. But I'm weary of churches raking in millions and millions of dollars and using some of the money for political agendas. Why doesn't the separation of church and state work both ways?

I have a ministry and a homeschool affiliated with it. I discovered if we applied for a tax exempt status there were rules we had to follow that the government imposed. The only real way to get rid of any government influence is to not apply for tax exempt status....then the money can be used for anything.

As I said....if a church is going to take the tax exempt benefits then they shouldn't be allowed to use that money to influence politics. Agree or not, its my opinion.


I don't think religious organizations receive religious money except for things that are totally separated from their basic religious purpose. For example, my Synagogue has received a grant from the Dept. of Homeland Security to put in safety windows. Also Church schools have received transportation funding. But the money has to be segregated from any religious purpose.

In my opinion what this comes down to is that people who are pro-choice don't really see the anti-abortion position as religious in nature. They see it as political. I happen to be pro-choice. But I recognize that the Church has a very strong religious belief that abortion and/or birth control is a violation of its beliefs and teachings. For the government to compel them to pay for these things (when there are alternatives for the people involved especially) seems like a violation of the first amendment. That is my opinion.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:42 PM
quote:
But you have to realize that there are plenty of liberal/left wing Churches that fall under this as well.


Um, which churches are these? The UUs? Off the top of my head I have to admit I can't name a ton of "liberal/left wing" churches as applied to a political context. Methodists because of their outreach to the LGBT community? Liberal as in politics or liberal as in liberal within the traditional teachings of established churches? That's two entirely different things...or did you say that just because you felt compelled to show some balance for brevity's sake?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 04:46 PM
No one is talking about going into the church and passing the stuff out to the congregation. But if the congregates don't believe in birth control, abortion, morning after pills, etc....why worry about it? Seems as if they don't think their congregation is that committed to church beliefs. And another factor to consider....if any religious institutions, such as hospitals, receive government money for any reason, then I want my tax dollars to be spent providing birth control for women. Are people saying we, as taxpayers, don't have the right to have legal family planning choices available if we're footing part of the bill? Sorry....if they don't want to use the services, don't use them but don't force beliefs on everyone else. Not all patients at Catholic hospitals are Catholic.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 05:56 PM
They are providing the sources, not forcing them on anyone. Those against the sources provided can turn them down while those who aren't against them have them provided if they want them. Like someone said, you don't have to be Catholic to work at a lot of these facilities and there are also Catholics who don't agree with every Catholic ideal.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 06:51 PM
quote:
Not all patients at Catholic hospitals are Catholic.


True, but nevertheless these hospital are supported and founded by the church, and the belief system of the church (and NOT the government) should very much have a strong say in what elective medical procedures and services (and that's what procedures and services such as abortion, contraceptives, sterilizations, ect really are) that will be provided in said hospitals and clinics especially if such procedures and services go against well-established doctrines of the church. In addition, the church shouldn't have to provide medical insurance to provide these elective services if they go against well-established doctrines of the church. To so would make a "mockery" of what the church teaches in it's belief system.

Now Ann, hopefully you can understand and respect such a point of view.



 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 07:22 PM
quote:
quote:
But you have to realize that there are plenty of liberal/left wing Churches that fall under this as well.


Um, which churches are these? The UUs? Off the top of my head I have to admit I can't name a ton of "liberal/left wing" churches as applied to a political context. Methodists because of their outreach to the LGBT community? Liberal as in politics or liberal as in liberal within the traditional teachings of established churches? That's two entirely different things...or did you say that just because you felt compelled to show some balance for brevity's sake?


Well how about the Reverend Al Sharpton? The Reverend Jesse Jackson? Actually, traditionally Christian involvement in politics has been more associated with the left than the right. Only in recent decades have Conservative Christians become involved in politics.

 

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  posted on 1/31/2012 at 07:24 PM
quote:
quote:
Not all patients at Catholic hospitals are Catholic.


True, but nevertheless these hospital are supported and founded by the church, and the belief system of the church (and NOT the government) should very much have a strong say in what elective medical procedures and services (and that's what procedures and services such as abortion, contraceptives, sterilizations, ect really are) that will be provided in said hospitals and clinics especially if such procedures and services go against well-established doctrines of the church. In addition, the church shouldn't have to provide medical insurance to provide these elective services if they go against well-established doctrines of the church. To so would make a "mockery" of what the church teaches in it's belief system.

Now Ann, hopefully you can understand and respect such a point of view.





I happen to agree with you even though I certainly don't agree with these teachings of the Church. I think a big part of the problem, as I said above, is that a lot of people don't respect the point of view as a legitimate religious one. They think of it mainly as a political not a religious stance.

 

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