No Plan B for religious freedom

AP AP With Plan B on the list of drugs that must be covered under Health and Human Services’ new … Continued

AP

AP

With Plan B on the list of drugs that must be covered under Health and Human Services’ new regulations, a number of religious business-owners are suing the government.

Does health care reform mean forcing family businesses run by Christians to pay for drugs and procedures they believe are immoral, including drugs like the “morning after pill,” Plan B, and Ella, a derivative of the abortion drug RU-486? Are life-ending drugs more important than life-saving ones?

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the answer is yes. Let me share the reasons why we firmly believe that decision is wrong, indeed, at odds with our country’s finest traditions, and the terrible predicament in which this mandate has placed my family.

Since I founded Autocam in 1988, my family has sought to operate the company in keeping with our deeply held religious beliefs.

We have always treated our employees well because our faith teaches us that each person is made in God’s image. Consequently, we offer high wages and exceptional benefits even in tough economic times.

No Autocam employee pays a premium for our award-winning health care plan provided he or she participates in our wellness program, as do 91 percent of employees. We provide 100 percent coverage of preventive care. Other benefits include $1,500 in matching funds dollar for dollar in each employee’s health savings account (HSA) toward an annual deductible of $2,000 (single plan) or $4,000 (family plan).

Motivated by that same religiously inspired respect for human dignity, we’ve ensured that our benefit plan does not fund services, including contraception, sterilization and abortion, that are prohibited by our beliefs. Our faith requires that we draw this line. Otherwise, we’d be writing monthly checks for drugs and procedures that we believe are wrong.

We’ve strived to respect our employees’ freedom while remaining true to ourselves and our faith. But, sadly, times have changed. By requiring Autocam to pay for all FDA-approved contraceptives, the HHS mandate forces us to pay not only for contraceptives but also sterilization and “emergency contraception” like Plan B, Ella, and IUDs. The latter are designed to reduce the probability of conception and, if conception occurs, to prevent the embryo from attaching to the wall of the womb, which we believe terminates a human life. Thus, my family’s current options are each unthinkable: 1) cancel our benefits plan; 2) bankrupt Autocam; or 3) violate our conscience.

Some have recommended that we drop our benefits to avoid the vicious predicament we face. It looks like an easy way out. Terminating our plan would save approximately $5.6 million, even after paying the fine for dropping coverage.

This option, however, would be like throwing our employees to the wolves. Lacking the tax advantages of employer-sponsored coverage, our employees could not secure comparable coverage, even if we added the money saved to their paychecks.

Similarly, we would gladly sacrifice personally to be able to continue our current plans, though we don’t believe our beliefs warrant punishment. But that’s not an option according to the federal government. Our only other choice is no choice at all, because it’s simply impossible for us to bear the fines imposed for noncompliance: $100 per day per employee, or about $20 million per year. Autocam would quickly collapse, destroying our employees’ livelihoods and forcing us to abandon our lifelong vocation.

In comparison, compliance with the mandate bears a relatively minimal price tag, about $100,000 per year. But the moral cost is incalculable: We believe that financing these drugs and procedures jeopardizes our very salvation. This is not about money. So what is it about?

The specious rhetoric of the “war on women” conflates coverage with access, yet such bombast has no application to our situation. Though we object to the mandated coverage and counseling, we do not seek to interfere with access. By offering excellent wages and benefits, including generous contributions to employee HSAs, the plan already permits employees to purchase all mandated services.

Even committed advocates of contraception, so-called emergency contraception, and sterilization should admit that forcing employers to purchase these services is far from the only option available. If the goal is truly to improve access, why ignore the many alternatives that do not burden the religious liberties of American families?

Moreover, the mandate reflects false priorities. The Obama administration has mandated 100 percent coverage for these controversial drugs. Similar provisions for medically necessary drugs like insulin or heart medications are entirely absent. If women’s health is truly the priority, why not mandate full coverage of life-sustaining insulin rather than life-ending drugs?

Even those who disagree with our beliefs should pause and consider whether such large claims for federal administrative power will not force them to pick their own poison in due time. If the government can force a hospital, school, or business to pay for drugs at odds with our deepest moral values, what else can be coerced?

Our nation is at its best when we practice genuine tolerance and respect our constitutional freedoms. Our nation is at its worst when those in power compel compliance with highly controversial mandates demonstrating ruthless disregard for the dignity of their fellow man and the religious freedom enshrined in our First Amendment.

John Kennedy is founder and CEO of Autocam and Autocam Medical, two global manufacturing companies headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Kennedys are plaintiffs in Autocam v. Sebelius, one of 43 cases with over 110 plaintiffs challenging the HHS mandate.

About

  • nkri401

    You know, “religious freedom” was not invented by the Pope, and not even Jesus himself.

    Why do you think that is?

  • Melissa White

    Go to Walgreens already, but why make employers pay for a lifestyle? Americans are letting freedom slip away and they don ‘t care until it directly affects them. What happened to caring what happens to others?

  • oldiesfan1

    I don’t get how pro-contraception/pro-abortion people don’t understand religious liberty.

    It is against many people’s religious beliefs to participate in or pay for contraception and abortion drugs. The First Amendment protests their rights.

    No one can claim that taking contraceptives paid for by their employer is a religious requirement.

    So, we have one group (employers) protected by the first amendment. It is simple. The government can not establish a state religion, which it is attempting to do. It is a religion that has government as it’s god and neutral morality as it’s belief.

  • RealChoices

    By this man’s logic, I should be able to opt out of paying for end-of-life care for other people. I think is pointless to spend large sums of money only to delay death for people who are in a horrible condition and where death is nearly certain in a short period of time. Medical advances are going to make some sort of rationing of care at the end-of-life eventually, we simply won’t be able to afford the costs of heroic care for an ever increasing number of very old. So, can I ask the people who think his argument is legit, can my beliefs be accommodated as well.

  • FYIColumbiaMD

    “What your cites fail to address is the point that if a regulation infringes on the first amendment, it is not constitutional. ”

    It doesn’t quite work that way.

    The government is allowed to regulate actions – it is not allowed to regulate beliefs.

    Scalia takes your assertion head on in the Employment Division ruling:
    “They assert, in other words, that “prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]” includes requiring any individual to observe a generally applicable law that requires (or forbids) the performance of an act that his religious belief forbids (or requires). As a textual matter, we do not think the words must be given that meaning. It is no more necessary to regard the collection of a general tax, for example, as “prohibiting the free exercise [of religion]” by those citizens who believe support of organized government to be sinful than it is to regard the same tax as “abridging the freedom . . . of the press” of those publishing companies that must pay the tax as a condition of staying in business. It is a permissible reading of the text, in the one case as in the other, to say that, if prohibiting the exercise of religion (or burdening the activity of printing) is not the object of the tax, but merely the incidental effect of a generally applicable and otherwise valid provision, the First Amendment has not been offended.”

    In other words, if the law is ‘generally applicable’ – if it is not designed for a specifically religious purpose – the government has the ability to act. Scalia cites the various cases I’ve noted as justification.

    Scalia is well known for his Catholic faith and general support for broad religious rights – yet even he has recognized that the 1st Amendment does not shield religious behavior in the way you assert.

  • Secular1

    Lets see Mr. Kennedy, if your foot was in the other shoe, I believe that having more than 2 children is immoral in a country such as ours and only one child in countries like India and China. So you think i would be right to tell my employees that after the 1st child or 2nd child the insurance plan will not pay for the child birth or the child insurance? Besides Mr. Kennedy you are not giving the insurance with purely altruistic motivations. The insurance you are paying for are deferred wages. I will bet, your employees will flee your company if you did not offer it as apart of th whole compensation package. I bet, you even promote the fact that you offer it, in selling your company to potential employees. So please don’t cry me an ocean.

    Coming to the federal government trampling on religious freedoms. The history is replete with such occurrences. The most egregious being the law against polygamy, in late 19th century. That law is enforced with vengeance, ask the FLDS Neanderthals. Do you protest it, ask for repeal of the same, I bet NOT. Sir you are not living in a theocracy of your subscription. You are not living in a theocracy, that is not of your subscription, either. You are living in a democratic state. That has a great many privileges you do not have in the other two cases. You get live your conscience in your personal life, almost unfettered. One of the time you have to accommodate your conscience is when your conscience interferes with other folks. Such as a Hindu Brahmin may not demand that he not be served by an untouchable, nor a Muslim or a ultra orthodox Jew cannot demand they be served only hallal or kosher roast beef. They all of course have the right not vist a eatery altogether. Just like I could not opt to reduce my federal taxes for teh past 12 year in proportion to the federal expenditures on the two worthless wars. Sir in running a business you have agreed to not limit your self to just you.

    Continued below:

  • Secular1

    Continued from above:

    You agreed to follow the prevailing and future laws and regulations that govern the businesses. Perhaps some lines of businesses have special obligations and some do not. For instance Hobby Lobby, much to my chagrin are not open on sundays. That is ok with the state, as it is a retail store. They could close on Fridays in the future if a Muslim were to acquire it. However, if they were in emergency health care or even just health care they will not have that privilege. Also for instance ten years ago one was not required to print nutritional information on the packaged foods sold. But, now it is required. In the same way the state in view of general welfare has determined the minimum requirements of an insurance product that will be allowed to be sold. If that includes coverage of birth control and compulsory coverage of vaccinations and inoculations, then that’s what it will be. You may have tried to influence it, but just because you failed to influence it all the way to meet your exact preferences, prejudices, and superstitions you may not cry foul. Just like I did not cry foul when our beloved village idiot of a president went to war in 2001, & 2003 and this president continued it, and refuse to pay part of my taxes.

  • oldiesfan1

    Did you watch the video?

    Also, Minersville, which you cited, was overturned three years later and can not be cited as precedent.

    The lower courts are mostly finding for religious employers, or finding that the issue is not ripe (this is in the one year waiver period).

    It will be interesting to see what the Supremes say when it gets to them. So far, the government has admitted that the regulations as written are not defensible, and are trying to get cases dismissed on a promise of future regulations that will be compliant with the 1st amendment. The US Circuit Court of Appeals for DC has ordered updates from the administration every two months until they are compliant.

  • chowlett1

    John Kennedy is probably a lovely boss, as long as you agree with him. He doesn’t seem to be aware that he is practicing a form of paternalism that fits very well into a medieval model where the “superior” was understood to know what was best for his people (and it was always a he) and the duty of his people was to accede to his opinion and recognize his superiority. So according to Mr. Kennedy, none of his employees should use family planning or contraceptives because that is evil behavior. He is enforcing his religious beliefs on his employees – even though it would be illegal for him to hire only people of his religious beliefs. No one has asked Mr. Kennedy to take contraceptives, no one has asked his employees to take contraceptives. The law merely recognizes the practical utility of families planning their children so that they can best take care of them and has recognized this as a medical interest. Women and children are healthier and longer-lived if a woman does not become pregnant too early or too often, and the family is better able to raise and educate children they have planned for. Why this is sinful I leave to Mr. Kennedy and his spiritual counselors. Why Mr. Kennedy would have control over his employees most private family matters is another question, and I would call it spiritual arrogance.

  • chowlett1

    It’s a lifestyle that you and your husband be able to arrange when you have children? Strange that. Most of us think that is the only responsible way to behave. Certainly if you want to have many children you may do so, but I would suggest that there are many parentless children who could use to be adopted. Freedom is HAVING CHOICES, and you are trying to take freedom away by restricting choices you personally dislike.

  • alert4jsw

    Does health care reform mean forcing family businesses run by Christians to pay for drugs and procedures they believe are immoral…
    ______________________

    Yes, Mr. Kennedy, the answer is “yes” from both a legal and moral standpoint.

    If you want to run a “familiy business” in which you can promote your religious values, start a church. But if you are operating a business, your religious beliefs, while important to you, are irrelevant to its operation.

    You operate your business with a license granted by the state, and nowhere in that license does it grant you the privilege of forcing your customers or employees to adhere to your personal religious values. This applies as well to the professional licenses granted to medical practioners such as pharmacists. The state could not grant this privilege even if it wanted to, since that would amount to favoring certain beliefs and values over others, which it is constitutionally forbidden to do.

    What you are arguing for is not religious freedom, but religious privilege. Acting on your conscience in a moral manner means that you personallly bear any financial and social costs of such action. In this case, you would follow the requirements of the law (which Christ obligated his followers to do, by the way), and thus bear the cost of your moral choices. Forcing your employees to forego contraceptive coverage that they may find morally acceptable violates their right to act in accordance with their conscience.

    In forcing your employees to bear the cost of your religious “values,” your action ceases to be moral and instead becomes “moralistic,” which is essentially a form of bullying from behind a veil of piety.

    Any attempt to make civil laws conform to religious values entails the selecting of certain values for preference over others, precisely what the First Amendment was intended to prevent.

  • nkri401

    old,

    You know, “religious freedom” was not invented by the Pope, and not even by Jesus himself.

    Why do you think that is?

  • concernedMD2

    Plan B does not decrease pregnancy nor abortions,but it DOES increase STDs. (see Journal of Health Economics in January 2011 and Economic Inquiry December 2012, among others). If women’s health care truly is of concern, it does not seem prudent to mandate the dispension of free medication that not only does NOT do what it proposes to do, but also increases the risk of serious health consequences for women (and their partners). Our money could be better spent on true health care.

  • oldiesfan1

    Hey, here in America religious freedom comes from the founding fathers and is codified in the Bill of Right to the US Constitution.

    Your statements make no sense at all.

  • oldiesfan1

    No, a law that infringes on the free exercise of religion is unconstitutional.

  • WmarkW

    I’m still waiting for a column by an employer who’s a Jehovah’s Witness, explaining why he objects to paying for surgery involving blood transfusion.

  • nkri401

    “…what else can be coerced?”

    The above puts the author with tin-foil hat TEA party manifest.

    I realize you may be a very good religious business man but you’ve missed your JH civics class.

    Our government represented by we the people cannot coerce you without the law (will of the people) first.

    Do you really think some junior bureaucrat one morning decide to write a a law to include contraceptives in the health insurance (not your business, btw) and enforce it under the capital punishment.

    On the other hand if RCC tries to enforce its dogma on an unwilling, it will be considered a ruling by a foreign enemy as Vatican is foreign sovereign and you will be working for a foreign enemy much like a spy against the COTUS (Constitution of the United States).

  • Catken1

    It is against my religious beliefs to be compelled to pay more for insurance and societal costs of unplanned pregnancies – which are far more expensive than contraception – so that some employer can pressure his employees to have more babies than they want or can care for.

    Make no mistake, it is all of us who pay the costs when contraception isn’t covered. And if you want a public business, you ought to respect your employee’s decisions to do what they like with their earned compensation, benefits or salary.

    What’s next, insisting that an employer’s religious freedom requires them to dock their employee’s salary for purchases of pork, beef or alcohol, lest they be “writing a check every month” to buy things their religion doesn’t approve?

    “No, a law that infringes on the free exercise of religion is unconstitutional. ”

    My use of birth control with compensation I have earned, including benefits, is not an infringement on my employer’s free exercise of religion. A religious employer’s efforts to require me to use my compensation only for things of which his religion approves is an intrusion on MY free exercise of religion. And the demand that we all pay more for more unwanted pregnancies so that Catholic employers can push their employees to follow their faith and their dogma and their belief that a two-celled blastula is a human being and a woman is not is not only intrusive, it is downright offensive.

  • Catken1

    “Go to Walgreens already, but why make employers pay for a lifestyle? ”

    Costs more for insurers, and for society, and for all of us, to pay for unwanted babies than to pay for contraception. Why are those employers demanding that we all pay so they can push their Catholic lifestyle choices onto their employees?

  • cricket44

    Concerned, feel free to link the articles, including page s. The link you claim I’ve only found “information” on from anti-choice sites, highly suspect at best.

  • billy1932

    Religious freedom is also freedom from religion.

  • nkri401

    No one wants you to pay for anyone else. So relax…

  • nkri401

    If you are talking about paying tax, I believe paying tax is a duty as well as a privilege.

    I do not agree how some of the ways my tax dollars are spent so I vote to change that.

    However, I would not deny or withhold from my employees or customers what they are entitled under the law because of my religious view. I respect their religious freedom.

  • psmithphd

    Kennedy is absolutely on target. Anyone wanting coverage for such services can go out and buy the necessary supplemental coverage from the government if necessary. Religious freedom as noted in the 1st amendment is being violated by this HHS provision.

    Even though I personally am not opposed to contraception I think we should respect those who are.

    Phillip C. Smith, Ph.D.

  • nkri401

    Even though I am not opposed to a prayer, I do not respect the religious freedom of those who would withhold medical treatment from children and only pray.

    Na. Ph. D. (Not a Ph. D)

  • leibowde84

    This article is very misleading. If businesses were forced to “buy” these contraceptives (including the morning after pill, because it is actually the same chemical makeup of contraceptive pills), the author would have a point. But, health insurance premiums are cheaper when contraceptives are provided, due to the high cost of unplanned pregnancy. So, where do people get off trying to claim that the mandate forces them to “pay for contraceptives” when, in actuality, they will be paying less money than they would if contraceptives weren’t provided.

    Sure, I would say that this mandate should be subject to strict scrutiny. The compelling governmental interest would be “decreasing the amount of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies in the United States;” something that already (before the mandate) costs Americans hundreds of millions each year. After acknowledging that abstinence is completely unrealistic and unattainable, contraceptives are the only plausible way to combat these unintended pregnancies, which cost the American Taxpayer so much. Thus, the statute passes strict scrutiny.

    According to the Lemon Test, the test used for free-exercise clause questions, would be fulfilled because, 1) the statute fulfills a secular purpose (stated above), 2) the statute does not inhibit religion (because no employer is purchasing the pills directly nor are they handing them out; all dispursment and payment are made by the insurance companies, since employers are paying less in premiums), and 3) the statute isn’t overly entangled with religion, as it’s purpose has nothing to do with religion in any way.

    The statute is absolutely constitutional, and good for America. The more women with access to birth-control, the better. I was thrilled when I originally heard of the plan, and I am a born-and-raised Roman Catholic. Moral decisions should be made by employees, not employers. And asking them to find other employment is out-right “sinful” and mean.

  • leibowde84

    Employers will pay cheaper premiums if contraception is provided at no cost to subscribers.

  • Secular1

    Right on Sin. Lets see what your beliefs are Ignorance, Superstition and bigotry. Off those three you are allowed to practice the first/ I will get slapped if you try the third one, keep in mind.

  • Secular1

    Sin when whoever hired you did they talk of benefits as the total package or just not talk about it. I hope Mr. Kennedy does not take your dumb advice. BTW what are your thoights on Numbers 5-11 thru 5-31

  • longjohns

    Do you pay taxes to support our boys killing Iraqis and Afghanis? Some would say it is immoral to not lock Mr. Bush and Cheney up for perpetrating a false war that killed tens of thousands. How about the money we send to various dictators around the world to suppress their population? Why pick on abortion alone of all the offenses that the Bible enumerates? Do you allow your wife and daughter to appear at church without a veil? How about praying out loud that Jesus expressly asked that we do not do? I believe you are sincere but misdirected. Jesus paid tax–why should he?

  • Joel Hardman

    Two points:

    1. Would you support the ability of Christian Scientist employers to provide health care that doesn’t cover blood transfusions? Why or why not?

    2. Why would anyone worship a god who would damn you to hell for funding a health care plan that allows women to make their own choices about health care? Assuming such a god (or any god at all) even exists.

  • nkri401

    @2 – this is the god that killed off almost all men, women, children, animals, plants, etc by drowning.

  • leibowde84

    That is counterintuitive to say the least. The employer is merely providing coverage and the option. The insurance company is responsible for the cost of specific medications, and the individual subscriber is making the moral decision. The employer is merely making the choice possible. Making a moral choice available is in no way a sin. Depriving people of moral choices fits more into that category, to tell you the truth.

  • leibowde84

    Actually, there is nothing in Christian doctrine that says that providing the opportunity for someone else to chose, on their own, to use contraception is a sin. Further, according to doctrine, you aren’t responsible for the moral decisions of others, and the fact is, the pills aren’t available to the subscriber until they request them. So, I fail to see how this infringes on an employers right to free exercise of religion.

    I mean, think about it. If employers are aloud to deny contraception because of “moral reasons,” why wouldn’t they be able to deny all inoculations for “moral reasons” if they were Christian Scientists. Point is, once you open the door to objections with no basis besides religious doctrine, it makes it very hard to get anything done. Everyone can always use the excuse, “this doesn’t apply to me because I believe it is wrong.” That is a slippery slope, and laws, in the past, have been held to be constitutional if they are universally applied. This one is.

    Sometimes, if you have a religious belief that makes no sense and has no backing apart from religious teaching, you have to suck it up and follow the law. As long as it doesn’t force you yourself to act against doctrine (but sometimes that isn’t even an excuse.

  • leibowde84

    It bothers me that Catholics especially see themselves as “sticking by their doctrine,” yet they still change it all the time to meet their political needs. A special interest group gone terribly wrong = the RCC.

  • Joel Hardman

    Scott,

    I don’t think health care should be provided by employers generally either. That being said, this is the system we have now. Your charcterization of employees who get healthcare as welfare queens is strange at best.

    What sort of sense would help me see that god can kill without commiting murder? You seem to be implying that god’s might makes him right. Is that it?

  • Secular1

    Joel, trying to understand Sin isa fool’s errand. His rants get delusional by the minute. For instance this blather “If you had any sense, you would understand that God cannot commit murder, because He is the creator and sovereign over His creation. He is also perfectly just, so not one person has ever been killed by Him who did not deserve it.” When you ask him what about all the children of JOB that got killed because his sky daddy took a wager with Satan that Job will maintain his faith no matter his difficulties. During that wager he killed off all of Job’s children, just for the whim of it.

  • DRJJJ

    When we invite hell into our country, don’t be suprised when all hell breaks loose-see all of history for reference!

  • DRJJJ

    Secularization iof church and state sure hasn’t done us any favors-turn on the news! And they call it progressive!

  • DRJJJ

    You can always tell a socialist, you just can’t tell them anything!

  • DRJJJ

    Call it part of the ” pro death” world view vs pro life!

  • DRJJJ

    Tax payer funded abortions by the millions-what’s wrong with this picture?

  • leibowde84

    First, it bothers me that you think of Roberts as a “traitor” simply because he disagreed with you on one issue. He is one of the best lawyers (especially memo and opinion writer) alive today, and he is a very conservative pick, hand chosen by George W. Bush. It shows a lack of integrity to turn on such a smart, honest, hard working guy simply because his interpretation of a statute differed from yours. Plus, in many legal scholars opinions, he made the right choice. The new health care law is simply a tax. A tax which, like many other taxes, you have the ability of getting out of paying thru the purchase and securing of health insurance. The right of Congress to tax and spend is provided in the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.

    Further, the argument that Obama “lied,” saying that it was not a “new tax” for so long should not and cannot have an effect on a Supreme Court Justice’s interpretation of a statute. In other words, the “lie” told by the administration might have been a moral gaffe, but it has no effect on the constitutionality of a statute passed by Congress.

    P.S. How it was passed is another discussion, and, due to the separation of powers, would have no effect on the Chief Justice’s decision.

  • leibowde84

    And DRJJ. You offer an opinion that for some reason the decline in moral aptitude (which I would argue doesn’t even exist) has some correlation with the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The fact that you would offer such a profound statement without any proof besides a request to “turn on the news.”

    I watch the news every day and am more convinced on a daily basis that religion is the cause of a vast array of problems in our world today. Look at the middle east, buddy. It is obvious that religion in that part of the world has created an environment not only unsafe for citizens of countries in that area, but every sovereign nation in the world, as terrorists are actively trying to destroy freedom in our country.

    Look at the RCC. Their refusal to acknowledge the changes in what is socially acceptable has caused millions to leave their faith over the past 10 years. As a religious person myself, with a very strong relationship with God, I feel saddened by this, and frustrated with a hierarchy that refuses to take the steps needed for success. I mean, get real. Their major concerns are for banning contraception, abortion, gay-marriage, and women entering the priesthood. The last of which makes absolutely no sense in today’s world. Unless they actively try to at least respond to the changing social norms, they will become a thing of the past.

    And, finally, look at the divisiveness created by religion. When one realizes that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all, basically, one and the same, with admiration toward the SAME GOD, and acknowledgment of Jesus of Nazareth (at least as a prophet from the Almighty), it becomes sickening that so much destruction has been caused by what was once a noble effort. The problem … a lack of ability to change in modern times. One must only look to the progress of Vatican II and the abandonment by recent popes of those righteous ideals.

  • leibowde84

    I guess I didn’t realize that God judged people on things they have absolutely no control over (that being a law which must be followed, and religions are exempt from following the laws as long as they are not targeted specifically and they adhere to the rules I presented above). Seems a bit too judgmental for the big man upstairs.

  • leibowde84

    Religious conviction is not the basis for unconstitutionality … discrimination and entanglement is.

  • DavidJ9

    Employers should have absolutely no say over their employees healthcare treatment. If they don’t like mandates, they need to support single payer.

  • Catken1

    Gee, how “welfare queen-ish” of Mark not to want to pay for his own health insurance with contributions and labor, and then pay extra on top of that for needed medications.
    Health insurance is not a charitable, altruistic gift from one’s employer. It is a reward for services rendered, just like salary. It is part and parcel of “providing for oneself.”
    Patting yourself on the back because you’ve had jobs where you didn’t get health insurance is like patting yourself on the back because you’ve only been paid minimum wage at times, and had to take a second job to get by, and using that to tell someone else they shouldn’t object to having their salary docked when they spend money on things their employer finds objectionable.

  • Catken1

    Yes, death panels are real. Insurance companies use them all the time to deny benefits to people who badly need them.
    But of course, it’s perfectly OK when a for-profit corporation does that.

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Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

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Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

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God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

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The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.