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Are Laws that Favor One Religion over Another a Violation of the First Amendment?

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posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 12:24 AM
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a reply to: charles1952



You're right. Go in and amend the language. Pass a different act. Congress, if you want to fix this it's up to you. Definitely windword, lobby and pressure the legislators all you want. I don't think it will happen before the elections though.


The only reason I know about this is because this stuff is plastered all over MSM. I've seen interviews on this topic with some of the people who authored the act, who were horrified, and like I said before, I watched an interview with Hillary Clinton, where she was talking about the need to edit the language of the act. So it's definitely a hot talking point.




posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

originally posted by: butcherguy
I don't believe that they are, in that a closely held company owned by a Muslim would be granted the same exemption as the Christian companies in the suit.


That's still favoring Christianity and Islam (protecting their religious objections) over those who who may have other valid objections on religious grounds.

For example, would a closely held company owned by a Christian Scientist be granted an exemption to pay for vaccinations of their employees and their babies? No. What makes the contraceptive objection weigh more than the vaccination objection?










Are you seriously going to equate the types of birth control in this issue equivalent with vaccinations?

This isn't about Christianity really. It may be for political purposes and impetus and that is what the SC is now days.....an umpire. This ruling is certainly not establishing a state religion simply because if affirms some rights of those that are paying for something to complain about it......in this case.

Just take comfort in the fact that the court upheld the states right to be god almighty Socialist Theocracy if you will by forcing americans into the new "Health Care" system one way or another.

The truth about this ruling has more to do with putting a little water on the growing fire of "fed the f*&k up" with dumbasses tell others what they must pay for at the expense of their religious convictions.

There is also a lot of truth overlooked about HL paying for pre-pregnancy birth control anyway.



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 12:50 AM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: Benevolent Heretic


This Scotus ruling would fall apart and be unenforceable if Congress rewrote the RFRA, which is in their power to do. Also, the Citizen's United case, which allows corporate personhood, could also be reverse if Congress redressed the law that they wrote that made corporate personhood a reality.





Reality setting in.....folks gave this corporation as human or not an ear for awhile, but it is becoming clearer that what some are really after is to destroy any place or position that gives refuge against your twisted political and social agendas.



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 12:57 AM
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originally posted by: butcherguy


I don't view it as such. It is simply a ruling telling the government that it can't force a person(s) to violate religious beliefs (formerly held as a right in this country) by mandating that they pay for someone else to prevent a birth.




And in the HL case, this would be more akin to having to buy heroin for a dope head after offering them every form of therapy, rehab and prevention has failed. And then calling the former a bunch of religious fundamentalist hardliners for objecting to having to pay for the final solution.
edit on 4-7-2014 by Logarock because: n



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 01:18 AM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

Dear Gryphon66,

I want to thank you for the patience you've shown to me. Without anger or insults, you've kept trying to get me to understand your position. I really admire that.

You are quite right. I did not look at the "Friends of the Court" brief to which you provided a link. Just about anyone can file such a brief, it's just an argument to the Court stating their opinion on the subject. This one was by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and about a half dozen other groups. (Just as an aside, FFRF is also a corporation.)

You're absolutely right that they tried to persuade the Court that RFRA was unconstitutional. The fact that unconstitutionality wasn't mentioned, even by the people that opposed the decision tells me a lot. In fact, on the top of page 10 of the brief you linked to, FFRF and friends noted that RFRA's constitutionality had been contested twice, and it was ruled constitutional each time. (I would have thought that would severely weaken their argument, but who am I?)

I didn't agree with their arguments, and they didn't seem too hopeful either as they noted that the Court rarely took on constitutional issues that nobody had raised in court before.

I thought that their insistence that Hobby Lobby would get a great advantage by not having to pay for coverage for those four birth control methods to be a little weak. Basically, I didn't think their arguments were very sound, although the Court did address a couple of points they made.

I'm reluctant to go back to the Court's decision, but on the question of whether RFRA was amended, we have the Court's statement:


Following our decision in City of Boerne, Congress passed the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). That statute, enacted under Congress's Commerce and Spending Clause powers, imposes the same general test as RFRA but on a more limited category of governmental actions. And, what is most relevant for present purposes, RLUIPA amended RFRA's definition of the "exercise of religion. (Cites omitted)

This is why the Court acted as though RFRA had been changed, they believed it had. And as noted, the two times it's constitutionality had been challenged, it survived.

Oh, the comments? Nothing serious.

ADDED IN EDIT: Yes, why don't you and Charles just keep glad-handing and patting each other on the back? LOL.

Meanwhile, you're dancing on the bones of our Republic.

So, since, as we say in the South, butter wouldn't melt in your mouth



Prov. Someone is acting as if innocent. By the time her parents came home, Emily had cleaned up all evidence of having broken the valuable figurine, and she looked as though butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Jane: How can you suspect George of playing that practical joke on you? He looks so innocent. Jill: Yes, butter wouldn't melt, I'm sure.


I didn't take any real offense. It's a habit of mine to encourage people occasionally. There's enough in this world to tear us down as it is.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 04:51 AM
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a reply to: charles1952

At least you actually read it and see the underpinning of the argument. Thanks; I hope your interpretation is the correct one, honestly. I fear it is not. I fear we have a Rogue Court on our hands, which to me is more dangerous than incompetency in the White House.

Best,

PS: The "butter in your mouth thing" was what you were referring to? Lawd. You have my sincerest apology if you felt that was nastiness. It's just a Southern saying for folks who go out of their way to be polite; no offense intended.

EDIT: Of course parts of RFRA were amended! I have never questioned that. That didn't make it an entirely new law? There are still monumental issues with the fix!

Here's what I think you don't see .. this decision does not only rely on those parts of RFRA that were amended! These Justices are not stupid men; they willingly and intentionally chose to embody a clouded statute in case law. See the degree of reference in the decision to RFRA. These men made an IDEOLOGICAL decision, not a PRUDENT one, that will haunt the Court for years.


edit on 4Fri, 04 Jul 2014 04:57:52 -050014p042014766 by Gryphon66 because: As noted



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 05:18 AM
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Charles, sorry that i just can't let it go ...

You said, regarding the AC Brief:



You're absolutely right that they tried to persuade the Court that RFRA was unconstitutional. The fact that unconstitutionality wasn't mentioned, even by the people that opposed the decision tells me a lot.


Do you see how illogical these statements are? The brief tried to persuade that RFRA was unconstitutional ... but didn't mention unconstitutionality???

From the Brief, what then do you make of the introductory comment as follows:




FFRF’s interest in this case arises from its position that the radical redefinition of “religious freedom” to include a right to impose one’s religious beliefs on others is arguably the greatest threat to individual freedom of conscience. This alarming redefinition is embodied in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and arguments demanding strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment for neutral, generally applicable laws.


RFRA mentioned as core of the problem: check. Call for review of the unconstitutionality of RFRA: check.

BUT EVEN MORE TELLING and QUITE COUNTER TO YOUR MOST RECENT CLAIM that the Brief doesn't address unconstitutionality ...

Page 8:




This case is testimony to the extreme religious liberty rights accorded to believers by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq. (2012), at the expense of others. The intense passions about religious freedom and women’s reproductive health in this case have obscured the issue that should be decided before
this Court reaches the merits: RFRA is unconstitutional.


Here, I rest my case.

Best,



posted on Jul, 4 2014 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: Gryphon66

Dear Gryphon66,

Very good work. I have to admit that my respect for you has been climbing over the last several posts. I am really looking forward to talking with you about other issues, I think I can learn a lot from you.

As far as not letting it go? That's wonderful. If you don't understand it, it shows a great desire to learn. If I don't understand it, it shows that you are willing to teach. Nicely done.

YOU ARE RIGHT. MY WRITING WAS CLUMSY.


You're absolutely right that they tried to persuade the Court that RFRA was unconstitutional. The fact that unconstitutionality wasn't mentioned, even by the people that opposed the decision tells me a lot.

I meant to say:

You're absolutely right that they tried to persuade the Court that RFRA was unconstitutional. The fact that unconstitutionality wasn't mentioned by any of the Justices or parties to the suit, even by the people that opposed the decision tells me a lot.

You're right and I'm sorry for my error.


From the Brief, what then do you make of the introductory comment as follows:

FFRF’s interest in this case arises from its position that the radical redefinition of “religious freedom” to include a right to impose one’s religious beliefs on others is arguably the greatest threat to individual freedom of conscience. This alarming redefinition is embodied in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and arguments demanding strict scrutiny under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment for neutral, generally applicable laws.


What I make of that is that they make two arguments. One, that RFRA has been changed by RLUIPA, and in a way which is radical, extreme, alarming, and all the rest of that. Two, that the redefinition allows people to impose their religious beliefs on others, violating freedom of conscience.

Their first argument, though emotionally powerful, carries little legal weight. Roe v. Wade was radical, extreme, and alarming, but the Court said "So?"

The second one might have some weight, but when we look at who is being imposed on, or hurt, it appears that Hobby Lobby is the only one in that situation.

HHS said there would be no net financial loss to the insurance companies, and the Court pointed out there were options already in place whereby women could get the birth control they wanted without any cost to them. Nobody other than the company is being told they have to do something against their conscience.


RFRA mentioned as core of the problem: check. Call for review of the unconstitutionality of RFRA: check.

You're absolutely right, in that one brief. It may have been mentioned in others, I don't know.

You know, dear Gryphon66, we have a ruling. Maybe other arguments might have been made, but I think both sides probably did the best they knew, and I can't see anything wildly wrong about the ruling. As another poster said somewhere, the next step is to amend or repeal RFRA, so this doesn't happen again.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 11:15 AM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic

In my opinion, the SC decision favors one religion over others. Alito even made a point to specify that other religion's objections are not protected by this ruling. So, Jehovah's Witnesses are not protected (they cannot refuse to pay for blood transfusions) and Christian Scientists (they cannot refuse to pay for vaccinations) are not, either.

If the highest court in the country is favoring Christianity over other religions, what does that mean to you?


I do not see your argument. If Hobby Lobby gets birth control pills for their employees they will need to pay for them, but they are not forced to get them. If a JW or CS gets a shot or a blood transfusion then they will need to pay for it also, but they are not forced to get it in the first place.

We are also talking being forced to support behaviors with Hobby Lobby, where with the JW/CS examples these are medical conditions not associated with behaviors.

Once again it is a bigger picture of the Government TELLING you what you will do and can not do. We all have different morals based on religion and/or non-religion foundations and the Government sees us as groups and not individuals, so your personal morals are pushed aside for what the Government feels is best for the group. I personally have a big problem with that since the individual gets lost in all this.





And finally, is it all right with you that a billion-dollar corporation is considered a "person"?


This is kind of weird, I agree, but persons do make up a corporation, so I guess a corporation can take on the morals of the persons in control... Not totally sure the real argument here though in how a corporation becomes a person.




edit on 23-7-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 11:30 AM
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a reply to: Benevolent Heretic So I can essentially make a religion based on driving drunk to get to heaven and that would overrule drunk driving laws. Interesting.

My god says to get to heaven I must smoke and grow drug plants in my yard and sell for profits. I have now eliminated all laws against drug plants use and growing in my yard?



posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: Xtrozero




I do not see your argument. If Hobby Lobby gets birth control pills for their employees they will need to pay for them, but they are not forced to get them. .


First of all, Hobby Lobby doesn't "get" birth control for their employees. They provide and insurance policy that covers birth control, that employees also pay for, through payrole deductions.



If a JW or CS gets a shot or a blood transfusion then they will need to pay for it also, but they are not forced to get it in the first place


No. Blood transfusions are covered under a person's insurance policy. An employer can't deny an employee a blood transfusion based on the employers personal religious objection.


We are also talking being forced to support behaviors with Hobby Lobby, where with the JW/CS examples these are medical conditions not associated with behaviors.


And we are being forced to support Hobby Lobby's, et al, behaviors too, in that their religious practices are behaviors. The religious "behavior" requires them to eliminate the temptation of sin for their employees, their employees' choice of contraceptive methods, and we have to support that. This is discussed in the SCOTUS syllubus.


The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable.


"We The People" are being forced to support the behavior of controlling the behavior of others.


edit on 23-7-2014 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2014 @ 11:57 AM
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originally posted by: WeRpeons
My personal opinion is that our government should remove itself from making any decisions based upon religion. Practice your belief in your church or in private, but don't use it to justify a law or abolishing one.

I find it ridiculous that religious organizations and charities can be tax exempt when they clearly use the same services as the general public. They also receive income from fund raising, donations and raffles. It clearly puts the tax burden on the rest of the public, and laws are altered and changed to benefit these institutions.

Ask yourself, when does the general public get a break when compared to religious institutions, charities, welfare recipients, immigrants and corporations? If it wasn't for the majority, these institutions and programs wouldn't exist.


That's all well and good, but if the government is going to make laws that get involved with every aspect of your life, they are bound to come in conflict with people's religious beliefs. The best answer is not to remove first amendment protections, but to have government stop trying to micromanage everything.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 09:38 PM
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originally posted by: windword
They provide and insurance policy that covers birth control, that employees also pay for, through payrole deductions.

They are being forced to provide an insurance policy that allows insurance for behaviors against their beliefs. They would love to provide a policy that aligns with their belief. We are also talking about something that anyone in America can get for free up to at most 30 bucks a month if they do not want to go the free route. It is stupid, they are better off using rubbers, at least they will keep the STDs down.



And we are being forced to support Hobby Lobby's, et al, behaviors too, in that their religious practices are behaviors. The religious "behavior" requires them to eliminate the temptation of sin for their employees, their employees' choice of contraceptive methods, and we have to support that. This is discussed in the SCOTUS syllubus.


Who is this "we"? Last time I looked you do not need to shop there or work there, so what is being forced on who? They do not want to "eliminate the temptation of sin for their employees" they just feel they should not be forced to pay for those temptations...

BTW do you work for the company? How many employees have quit, how many are on strike over this....It seems you are the "we"....



"We The People" are being forced to support the behavior of controlling the behavior of others.


Do you agree with ALL behaviors? Do you support ALL of them? Do you feel there is no room for an individual or private company to disagree with ANY behavior?

And you want good old big daddy Government to set it all right, tell everyone what they can think and feel about...the difference is when a neighbor disagrees with you then you can just stop talking to them, same with a company, don't shop or work there, but when the Government steps in that is it....comply is the only direction one can go...


edit on 25-7-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:07 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero




We are also talking about something that anyone in America can get for free up to at most 30 bucks a month if they do not want to go the free route.


That's not really true, IUD's can cost as much a month's salary for some women. But, that's not the point. Hobby Lobby et al are exempt from the entire contraception mandate. Some religious employers can pick and choose and others can choose no contraception at all. This ruling affects tens of thousands of women, not just Hobby Lobby employees.

It also affects tax payers, as the burden for paying for what Hobby Lobby, et al, will not pay for falls on the tax payers. Because, while Hobby Lobby, et al, can exercise religious beliefs the government may not. These women are still entitled to "Equal Protection" under the law.

The ACA sets a basic standard level of care an insurance policy should cover. 98% of all women of childbearing years have used contraception. I don't see this contraception mandate as any different than seat belt laws. It's a win/win for the consumer and the insurance companies.



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: windword

"I see a Democratic White House for decades to come!"

Do you, here at ATS, dare to speak such an abomination? (By the way, that should be "Democrat" White House.
Let's get with the memes, OK?

Anyway, keep poking the beast, and maybe they will impeach Obama!

Just imagine the wingnut salivating!



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:26 PM
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a reply to: windword


I see a Democratic White House for decades to come!



There's a big difference between a "Democratic" White House and a "Democrat" IN the White House.


edit on Jul-25-2014 by xuenchen because:




posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:39 PM
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a reply to: Diderot

a reply to: xuenchen

Ooops. I'm guilty of Word Crimes!




posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 10:46 PM
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a reply to: windword

Happens to the best of people.




posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:09 PM
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a reply to: windword

If you say what you mean
then you own it.
But it might come back to bite you.
So what are you trying to say?



posted on Jul, 25 2014 @ 11:32 PM
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a reply to: Diderot

I think the Republicans are loosing the hearts and minds of women and hispanic voters. I see Democrats winning the White House for a while to come.




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