Archive for Friday, June 29, 2012

Large crowd gathers at Statehouse rally for religious freedom

June 29, 2012, 11:00 a.m. Updated June 29, 2012, 4:16 p.m.


— A large crowd is rallying at the Kansas Statehouse against what the state's Catholic bishops and other social conservatives view as attacks by the federal government on religious freedom.

Gov. Sam Brownback has urged a large crowd at the Kansas Statehouse to work to overturn a federal government policy designed to ensure that most employers' health plans cover contraceptive.

Brownback joined the state's Roman Catholic bishops Friday in decrying the policy as an attack on religious freedom. Several thousand people attended.

The rally is part of a nationwide campaign prompted by the mandate announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

The mandate included a religious exemption for houses of worship but not religiously affiliated hospitals, charities, universities and social service agencies. Obama later announced a modification, but Catholic bishops nationwide viewed it as inadequate.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran had been scheduled to speak but was detained in Washington by Senate business.


Hooligan_016 5 years, 8 months ago

Ah yes ... religious freedom ... so as long as you follow mine.

plainspeaking 5 years, 8 months ago

It's interesting how the Catholic Church learned the concept of "messaging" from conservative republicans. Too bad they can't re-brand pedophilia.

blindrabbit 5 years, 8 months ago

How many pedophiles in this group? And what the heck, the Catholic Church wants it's religious freedoms, but does not care about trying to limit the freedoms of others!

KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

The Church is NOT limiting freedom to you or anyone, but the LIE continues.

blindrabbit 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh, forget to add, will "converted" Sammy invite them to Cedar Crest, or is he concerned about meetings and the "Sunshine Law"; this apparently was not a concern when he met with GOP delegation. Maybe an Opus Dei convocation!

peartree 5 years, 8 months ago

This is about money. Catholic organizations will lose federal funding if they discriminate or deny services to certain groups. That's all this is about. In contrast, the Catholic nuns' group currently staging rallies is out there fighting for aid for impoverished children. They get my support.

Hooligan_016 5 years, 8 months ago

Also, shouldn't all the Protestants be out counter-protesting the Catholics?


KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

NO! They may be next to endure a violation of beliefs by this administration.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 8 months ago

How about a counter-protest for freedom from religion? Who's with me?

blindrabbit 5 years, 8 months ago

Crazy------ Your referenced youtube posting is the best thing I've ever seen/heard about the role of "The Church" and control. This short posting should be incorporated into the public schools as part of the Creationism/Evolution debate. How could educated persons not accept and understand what this priest is saying! Great!

somedude20 5 years, 8 months ago

Yes!!! Keep our laws free of religion!! You and your holy ghosts can have a tea party with all of the invisible other gods. Zip up your pants when around little boys and keep your meat paws out of politics because if you want to get into politics (and not little boys), then you will no longer live life tax free.

This is like having a four year old set laws. "I will ban monsters from being under and kid's bed and you can have all the cookies that you want."

I guess I should thank sky god that the book of Twilight or Lord of the Rings did not become your bible because really any book could have and I dislike sparkly vampires and hobbits but I do enjoy zombie stories (yeah jesus)

John Kyle 5 years, 8 months ago

Sounds political. Time to start paying some taxes.

cowboy 5 years, 8 months ago

Moral compass......From KC Star...the real reason the Bishops don't like gov't

A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals that the leader of an American diocese has been held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

The indictment of the bishop, Robert W. Finn, and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by a county grand jury was announced on Friday. Each was charged with one misdemeanor count involving a priest accused of taking pornographic photographs of girls as recently as this year. They pleaded not guilty.

The case caused an uproar among Catholics in Kansas City this year when Bishop Finn acknowledged that he knew of the photographs last December but did not turn them over to the police until May. During that time, the priest, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan, is said to have continued to attend church events with children, and took lewd photographs of another young girl.

Dignitas 5 years, 8 months ago

If you don't know what your talking about maybe you shouldn't make that public.. If you read it in the paper you know as well as I its written to feed the libs of this town.. not telling the truth is the new norm. you can watch everything that happened ... not the version you'll get from here.

jessie 5 years, 8 months ago

Dignitas: Tried your link and I just saw a commercial. Is there supposed to be live coverage?

I will say that as a lifelong Catholic, I do not feel that the government is threatening my freedom of religion.

I attended Mass at the Cathedral in Kansas City, MO, the Sunday after the story broke re: possible charges against Bishop Finn, for not reporting Father Ratigan's actions against children to the police.

Everyone was waiting to hear what the priest, apparently a beloved Monsignor, would say. I will never forget my feeling of disappointment, when, in his homily, Monsignor said he didn't know what the right thing to do was, but he hoped it wouldn't impact donations.

No doubt there is a large group of the faithful in Topeka today, but the Church is losing touch with many of us.

rtwngr 5 years, 8 months ago

No, you're losing touch with the Church. The Church never had a pedophilia problem it had a homosexual problem. Most of the cases of "pedophilia" usually involve mid-teen aged boys. The Church tried for years to treat it the way society subscribed. Counseling and then transfer. It turns out that you get pedophilia when you welcome homosexuals into the priesthood. It is no longer accepted and is an automatic disqualification in today's vocational formation.

jessie 5 years, 8 months ago

Father Ratigan was preying on little girls.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Freedom of religion is a bedrock principle outlined in our constitution. people must have the free and open choice to follow whatever religion they desire.

However, religious freedom has come to mean the freedom to impose your religious views on everyone else.

In this scenario, whose religious views prevail? The majority's? These are bully tactics billed as "religious freedom".

rtwngr 5 years, 8 months ago

Then explain to me when the contraception problem started? The church has never said that society cannot have contraception. The church is not saying that Target and Walmart cannot sell their contraceptives for the $9.00 and some cents that the charge. What the church is saying is that the government cannot force hospitals and schools, for example, to offer these services because it violates their consciences. Nobody is saying other institutions can't offer these services we are saying don't force us.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

And, yet, the compromise offered by the president was that the insurance companies rather than the religiously affiliated businesses would offer the coverage.

Why isn't that enough?

KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

Because it's a 'false compromise', the insurance co. will just raise the rate to offset the 'free' issuance of contraceptives. Do you always buy into lies.

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps because the Catholic Church just wanted a fight? That was my take on the matter. Controling people push for fights so they can assert their control. They can never get enough. Which is why Obama's compromising with the Republican was always a bad idea.

KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

So you think the insurance companies were going to give "freebies"? If they had to give with out pay, they just raise the rates to everyone. It was Obama trying to play quick hand tricks.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

Yup, and we are one of the most expensive nations to give birth to a child in.

Also KS has a 30% (!!!) rate of C-section births. Those are pretty expensive.

Dignitas 5 years, 8 months ago

If you are a well informed Catholic you would know your religious freedom was being affected. But may I just say if you don't support the rights of everyone to have religious freedom it will be the right you hold dear very soon taken from you... Bishop Finn is in my prayers as should be every school business etc that interacts with children. Because children are abused by many many many other people then people in the Catholic church.

p> .. you'll have to go television then stream it.. there will be access to encores later... its almost over. Also EWTN is on TV probably not on cable here but dish has it.. again at the website you can find it and watch...

verity 5 years, 8 months ago

So what is your point that others besides the Catholic Church have abused children?

It does not change in any way what the CC did.

The really awful thing is that, instead of cleaning up this most horrible thing, they've tried to cover it up. The people involved in this are only interested in power and money.

rtwngr 5 years, 8 months ago

So you justify the behavior of the government by saying the Catholic church deserves this because of past problems with homosexual priests? And, yes, there are plenty of other organizations that have these problems. As a matter of fact if you took the time to research this you would find that priests are not the majority of abusers. Most of the time it is a teacher or a relative. The church makes a nice target, though, doesn't it.

CheneyHawk 5 years, 8 months ago

I am a well informed Catholic and these issues weren't 'issues' 5-10 years ago until the GOP fanned the flames.

Enlightenment 5 years, 8 months ago

Interesting...........Quote: "Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) accused Republicans of hypocrisy for pairing protests against a health care mandate with demands for increasingly invasive restrictions on women’s health.

“The only health care mandate they can embrace are transvaginal probes for women,” O’Malley said Friday during a press call."

KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

You just proved that your 'well informed' ideas are contrary to reality. I'll double your years and say that 'typical bullying' sounds like some one who doesn't understand authority. Church doctrine can align with 'political elements', some of them Dem. and some Rep.

Jeanne Cunningham 5 years, 8 months ago

Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept also includes the freedom to change religion or NOT to follow any religion.

James Nelson 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure the cry from many would be "If you won't let me have religious freedom then to hell with yours, too." Justice Roberts, please don't sit down yet. We need for these people to go take another look at early American history. There were very good reasons why our religious founding fathers didn't want government showing any kind of support for any religion. Those reasons still exist today. They tried to guarantee it for us but there are always some dumb kooks with convenient forgetfullness who try to force their beliefs on others. So Sam, you and your hypocritical religious friends who either have forgotten their history lessons or never learned them in the first place should go pick up some history books. Pick up a copy of the constitution while you are at it. What it contains might amaze you.

Enlightenment 5 years, 8 months ago

Interesting that Obama has made several attempts to accommodate the Catholics with their concern that the church would be going against their teachings by "paying for abortions and contraceptives." Despite being narrow minded in regard to contraceptives, the church is unwilling to negotiate with Obama over their difference of required coverage and wants to eliminate the ACA in its entirety. This to me suggests that the Catholic Church is becoming openly political and not acting in the best interest of its parishioners and those employed by faith based employers.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

When a religious organization owns and operates a secular business - like a hospital or school - it is an employer and not a church. Their secular employees are not agents of their faith; they are of many different religions or of no particular religion, and are employed to perform secular jobs. Why isn't the Catholic Church's refusal to comply with government requirements for employee health care an intrusion of its religion into their employees' benefits? Our government has defined basic health care requirements - as part of its responsibilities to promote the general welfare - and those requirements include contraception and reproductive health care. We advocate for those same health care benefits in third world countries because healthy women are good for their families, communities, and countries. Surely what we're eager to see happen in another country should be at least a basic standard of health care in our own? The Catholic Church may describe the requirement for basic reproductive health care as an attack on its religious freedom, but I don't notice any other religious organization joining them. Their objection is political, not religious, and is deeply hypocritical.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

"when a religious organization owns and operates a secular business - like a hospital or school - it is an employer and not a church" - I don't believe that's correct for a couple of reasons. First, if educating or providing healing is part of their mission, then it's part of their mission. The government should not be in the business of deciding what is rightfully part of their mission and what is not. That is something the faithful of each religion should be deciding on their own. Second, while you specifically mention hospitals and schools, I'd be willing to guess that the overwhelming number of schools and hospitals associated with various faiths are being run as not for profits. Businesses, they are not.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

They're non profit businesses, aren't they?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

How loosely would you like to define business? If I purchase all the materials necessary for my child to open a lemonade stand in front of my home, and my child sells the lemonade at what I know will be a financial loss, though the child thinks a profit is being made, is that a business or is it me using the experience as a teaching tool, trying to impress upon my child the value of work, the value of being an entrepreneur. In that case, the business might be more accurately seen as a school. Generally speaking though, we think the mission of businesses is to make a profit. Schools and hospitals affiliated with religious institutions don't work that way (under my assumption).

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Are you really claiming that non profit hospitals, schools etc. aren't non profit businesses, and are more equivalent to a child's lemonade stand?

If you're trying to teach your child something, you should be honest about whether or not the stand is making money, by the way, don't you think? Otherwise, you're just teaching them how to run a failing business.

I disagree that the mission of businesses is to make a profit - that leaves out all of the non profit businesses around, which seems silly.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

What I'm suggesting, what my original complaint was that likening a religious school or a religious hospital to a business is a false analogy. The schools and hospitals are part of the outreach of the religious institution. It's part of their religious mission. And as such, we (the government) ought not be in the business of judging whether or not that part of their mission is a legitimate function of their faith. That is a slippery slope we should avoid.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree it's part of their mission, but it differs from a church if/when they employ people of all faiths, or no faith.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

Now you're putting them in a catch 22. They are not permitted by law to discriminate in hiring when it comes to positions that are not directly related to the administration of the faith. So they can't be forced to hire non-Catholic priests, they can be forced to hire non-Catholic doctors or non-Catholic janitors. Maybe we can simply allow them to discriminate in hiring, as some sort of compromise. (Now, now, I'm not serious. Discrimination would be an unreasonable compromise. But just as I mentioned below about accommodation for the peace churches, we have a history of seeking such accommodations. It's the outright hostility that is new. And it's the accommodation I seek while eliminating the hostility).

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually, from what I've read, they can in fact discriminate in hiring as much as they like.

The point is, that if they employ people who are simply employees, and don't necessarily share the faith of the organization, then they're functioning as an employer, not as a church.

It's one thing to say we don't offer contraception in health coverage because our employees are Catholic and don't believe in it, and another to say it's because we don't believe in it, while the employees may.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

When you say they are functioning as an employer, not as a church, then you've begun down that slippery slope. It's not up to me or the government that when hiring for positions at schools and hospitals, when does the teachings of faith begin and end. If setting a good example is part of the ministry, then that requirement should be honored. It shouldn't be for you or me to say whether setting a good example should be part of the ministry. That's for them to decide.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

The problem is that at a certain point, we have to decide which is more important - the right of religious freedom or the rights of others.

If it's part of a religious person's exercise of their religion to beat others (without their consent), is that ok?

I think both sides on this one fail to grasp the complexity and difficulty of the issue - there's some point at which we have to limit the exercise of religion in order to protect the rights of others, but it's not clear exactly where that point is.

Otherwise, religious believers will abuse others in the name of religion, and claim exemption from the laws we've established to protect people.

For example, many religious believers seem to want to discriminate against gay and lesbian folks in hiring, or as landlords, etc. We can't both protect their right to do that and the rights of those people not to be discriminated against.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree that there is a balance that must be reached. And that's why I called for accommodation, when the beliefs are well known and have been well known for a long time. Clearly the Catholic Church discriminates in hiring, there are zero priests. But are they violating labor laws by discriminating against women? Maybe. But we tolerate it because theirs views about this are genuine. They have been there for a long time. We've come to understand that that belief is an integral part of their faith. Now I don't agree with discrimination against women in hiring, but sometimes, if given a very good reason, exceptions can be made. The Catholic Church's views about contraception is equally well known. It is equally a part of their faith. They are clearly not making this up as they go along just so they can screw women. They are not making this up as they go along just so they can evade some health care law. They are not making this up as they go along just to avoid the addition cost of providing this service. It's clearly a part of their faith. And it should therefore be honored. I agree, compromise is in order. Accommodation is in order.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure that the fact that the belief has been around for a long time is sufficient to deal with this issue.

The beliefs may in fact "screw women" even if they weren't made up yesterday.

There's no way to accommodate both the church and non discrimination against women, in your example - a choice must be made.

What if somebody believes that blacks are inferior, and has believed that for a long time - does that justify allowing them to discriminate against black people in hiring?

I think it's a real problem, and the solution isn't clear to me.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

"There's no way to accommodate both the church and non discrimination against women, in your example - a choice must be made" - I'm not certain a choice must be made. Do we force the church to hire women priests, using the full powers of the government to fine, hold in contempt, even jail offenders? Of course, doing so violates the First Amendment. So we're given these two really bad choices. Must we choose. Can't we just look the other way? Don't we do that all the time? Is every jaywalker given a ticket? Don't we just look the other way? Is every speeder going one mph over the limit given a ticket? Don't we just look the other way? Every plea bargain in the judicial system is an admission that we're willing to look the other way. Half of America cheats on their income taxes yet half of America isn't in jail. Illegal immigrants flood to sanctuary cities, yet we look the other way.

Yes, we can hold the bishops and cardinals in contempt. We can fine them, seize their property, throw them in jail. Or we can look the other way.

Or better yet, we can find some compromise when it is clear that two equally fundamental concepts are apparently in conflict with each other. We can codify that compromise giving it true legitimacy. Just as we recognize that no right is absolute, therefore no remedy must be absolute.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

It's not a compromise - it's the church's freedom being upheld over the rights of women to not be discriminated against.

Whether it's done legally, or by non enforcement of anti discrimination laws.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

If schools and hospitals are indeed an integral part of the Catholic Church's mission, then it behooves it to figure out how to fulfill their mission AND provide their secular employees the basic reproductive health care benefits required by our government. It's 2012. If you refuse to pay for non-denominational medical benefits in the secular world, then you should sell your secular businesses and fulfill your mission by contributing financial support to the new, secular, owners.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree. It's 2012. Really, we still believe in all that mumbo jumbo that is religion? Really? I don't. But that doesn't change the fact that they do. And just as my lack of faith should be honored, so should their faith. I have no more right to tell them how to express their faith than they do how to express my lack of faith. If teaching the young is part of their mission, if providing healing is part of their mission, it's not for me to judge whether or not that expression is legitimate. Maybe it would be easier if they just sold all those hospitals. Maybe it would be best if all Catholics moved to some country where Catholicism is the official religion. And Jews can move to Israel and Blacks back to Africa. But just because it's easier doesn't mean it's better. Or that it's right. I keep going back to the example of the peace churches whose members were excluded from the draft when it existed. Their opposition to all war was clearly known to all and we respected that. Did that make them un-patriotic during WW II? Or Vietnam? It doesn't matter. That's not for us to judge. The fact that their beliefs were well known to all is all that is necessary for those beliefs to be respected.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

I can respect their rights to their religious beliefs. But we are talking about businesses and business laws governing basic employee health benefits. Not sending Quakers into battle or requiring Jews to eat seafood. Religious beliefs do not trump the requirements of the secular marketplace. If you choose to operate a secular business - like a hospital or university - then you have agreed to be subject to secular laws applied to that business. If you cannot do that, then you must cease to operate that business. Find a different way to support education and health and, through that different way, fulfill your religious mission.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Let me make a list here and you tell me which ones are businesses and which ones are not.

St. John Elementary School or New York Elementary School

Veritas Christian School or Lawrence High School

St. Luke's Hospital or Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Catholic Charities or SRS

I would argue that none of them are businesses. I would be interested if you would define them as businesses, or if you would define some of them as businesses and if that's the case, how you would make the distinction.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Public schools aren't businesses, since they don't charge students for the services they provide (at the elementary and high school levels).

Private schools are businesses, and do charge their students.

Hospitals are non profit businesses.

CC and SRS are charitable organizations, one public and one private - I tend to think of those as non profit businesses.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

You are not correct about a couple of things. First, public schools do charge certain fees, though they can be waived should the student come from a very poor household. That said, private schools also offer scholarships whereby tuition can be reduced or even eliminated, so in that regard, they are very similar.

But the crux of the conversation is how you define a business. Is the simple exchange of money how we define a business? If so, then the girl scout selling cookies is a business and the scouts would be in violation of child labor laws. I might be contributing to the delinquency of a minor every time I eat a thin mint. Every lemonade stand that children run would likewise violate child labor laws.

Kids working on the family farm, heck, requiring a kid to do chores in exchange for an allowance might be a violation. If I do give my child an allowance, does that make parenthood a business? Is the receiving of an allowance a business as well? Childhood as a business, now that's a unique way of looking at it.

Catholic Charities charges nominal fees for clothing dispensed and SRS dispenses monies as well. Are they business transactions?

No, business can't be defined so broadly. At least not as we commonly understand the concept. While Koch Industries and a church are both privately held, and both file tax forms, I'm almost certain they file different tax forms. Common sense tells us they are different. Common sense tells us they should be treated differently. And because they are different, because we treat them different, it's more confusing than enlightening to throw a blanket over both and call them businesses. One is clearly a business (Koch Industries) and one is clearly not (the church).

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I never said a church was a business.

The question is whether certain affiliated activities that churches engage in are businesses, right?

If a church runs a non profit hospital, I'd call that a non profit business.

It's been a while for me - when I was in public school, they didn't charge students for things.

Personally, I think requiring kids to work on the family farm is in fact a violation of child labor laws.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I began this discussion with Sunflower-voter by stating my objection to the calling of religious schools and hospitals as businesses.

You're slipping down that slippery slope when you define a hospital or school as a business. I'm no biblical scholar, but the ministry to the sick and to the children is, according to my understanding, part of what Jesus taught. If that's their understanding, then these hospitals and schools are part of their ministry. No matter that someone else disagree, as long as they believe, then it is. I don't want to get into defining what is and what is not their ministry. That's for them to believe.

But we keep coming back to the definition of what is and what is not a business. Just because people are hired and paid a salary doesn't make it a business. As you said, a church is not a business. Yet the collection plate is passed around just so the rent can be paid, the utilities can be paid, the pastor can be paid his salary. Just because he's paid doesn't make the church a business. Likewise a school or hospital. Money transactions are made all the time. Doctors and teachers are paid salaries. But by their very nature, these hospitals and schools don't make a profit. In fact, they frequently lose money. Tuition at church run schools rarely paid the full costs. Fundraising is a year round necessity. Same with the hospitals. While they are reimbursed by insurance companies and are for some of their services, they are not making a profit and fund raising is a significant part of their operations.

So we've got an institution that doesn't make money, in fact loses money. it doesn't make a profit. And it is believed by those who run it that it is part of their ministry. That's not a business to me. And to call it a business, in my opinion, is an attempt to confuse the issue. It's deception.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Church donations are voluntary.

Perhaps a business is one that charges for their services, rather than relying on voluntary donations.

But, I disagree that only businesses that make a profit are businesses - there are nor profit businesses, and failing businesses, etc.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

"Perhaps is a business is ... " Perhaps we shouldn't be intentionally confusing the definition of what is and what is not a business. As your comment implies, what is and what is not a business seems to be subjective. Throwing a blanket over all of them, big and small, profit and non profit, secular and religious, and then pretending they're all the same and should be treated as such, that was my initial complaint.

Church donations are voluntary, as is attendance in a religious school. And if the hospital is providing voluntary services, going there is voluntary. But if the hospital is providing basic services, the kind the government should be providing, then maybe rather than them selling the hospital, the government ought to raise our taxes and build it's own darn hospital. Or simply say thank you to the religious hospital that it's doing the government's job for them. And we ought to thank them for keeping our taxes lower.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm not intentionally doing that - I'm trying to think through the issue you raise, the definition of a business.

And, my continuing point is that there are non profit businesses, so profit is not the best definition of a business.

I agree that government should provide basic services - I've said that all along in other conversations.

Not at all sure that church hospitals lower our taxes, though - since the church is tax exempt. That means that revenue must be gotten in other ways.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

Here's the deal, Jafs. I worked at a non profit for years, many years ago. At some point, the word "non profit" became "not for profit". Never was it called a not for profit business. I have no idea when that began or why it began. It was a social service agency. Maybe we can call it a not for profit social service agency. There is no reason to insert the word business, unless it's to confuse it with the more common usage of business, like the kinds we have on Mass. St. Like the kind listed on the Dow or Nasdaq. Like the kinds at the mall. Just leave the word out, leave the false comparisons out, and then we can discuss whether they should behave in certain ways. The only reason I can think of for including the word business, is to create that false comparison.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Ok - you seem committed to defining a business so narrowly that non profit organizations that charge money for their services, employ people, pay rent, utilities, etc. wouldn't be called a business.

I'm not sure why, but that's ok.

I would call the organization my wife works for a non profit or not for profit business, since it does all of the above things.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

The reason I ask for the distinction is this. The original poster suggested that if you choose to run a secular business then ordinary labor laws should be applied. But as I've tried to explain, these are neither secular nor are they businesses, at least not businesses in the ordinary sense of the word. And because of that, in my opinion, they should not be treated as secular businesses. If someone wants to make the argument that these religious not for profits should be treated in the same way, that's a very different question. But simply by saying they are one thing, when they are something different gives that false impression.

I don't know what then intent was of the original poster. But I think it's clear that there is a certain hostility in this forum towards the Catholic Church in particular and religion in general. And I can even agree where that hostility was been well earned. But in the formal settings of government, their approach towards religion ought to be neutral. Accommodations are routinely made for a variety of people/organizations in a variety of ways. Not for profits pay taxes at a much different rate than for profits, as an example. Members of recognized peace churches were exempt from the draft, when it existed. And I believe accommodations need to be made here, especially when there is a legitimate competition of Constitutionally protected rights.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

I do think anytime a religious organization owns and operates a -- what? a service? -- that others not of that religion or of that religious organization may also own and operate for profit -- both of them are providing the same service: one for profit and one non-profit -- then I can say that service, regardless of the owner's religion, is a business and not a religion or that religion's sacred church. A business, owned by anyone, is a business subject to secular business laws.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

You're sliding down that slippery slope head first defining what is part of a religion's ministry and what is not. That's a road we should avoid, in my opinion.

Interestingly, according to how you define things, if every hospital in American closed, every public and private hospital, every for profit and every not for profit hospital, except those affiliated with religious organizations, then they would regain their status as that service being part of their ministry. They only lose that status, according to your definition, not by doing anything different, but by others becoming involved. Theoretically, a religious hospital could exist for hundreds of years as part of their ministry, yet lose that status if the government opens a nearby hospital. That's an interesting way of looking at things. Especially because as human society has evolved, it was the religious institutions that predated the government institutions. So it's not just theoretical, it really happened. According to how I understand your post, religious hospitals did exist at some time as part of their ministry, but lost that when the government assumed that role. Am I understanding you correctly?

Mike Ford 5 years, 8 months ago

born again regurgatator.....we don't speak like you with your hillbilly all do.... growing up in LA and MS I laugh when you people get all patriotic and religious and act just like the fundamentalists in the Middle East using their religion to judge others and cut off access to contraception they don't approve of. You and those fundamentalists in the Middle East have much in common imposing your will upon others. American fundamentalist ideology and Sharia law=no difference. I grew up a preacher's kid and I laugh at people like you and these yokels at the statehouse. Also, thirty years ago I was a cub scout. you know that homophobic organization. I had an assistant scoutmaster attempt to molest me after he'd committed sodomy on one of my classmates in Manhattan, KS. he got 7 years in Lansing. He wasn't gay.....he was a pedophile. One has to love organized religion with all of it's hypocracy and double standards especially in Kansas.

wireman226 5 years, 8 months ago

i guess all you westboro baptist have the right to condem my church and preists... thanks for judgeing all catholics by a few sick men.. out of millions...nice to be pefect like you...

deec 5 years, 8 months ago

At least 6000 is not "a few". As of April 10, 2012, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has counted 6,115 clerics "not implausibly" and "credibly" accused in 1950-2011 of sexually abusing minors. The USCCB total omits allegations made in 2003.

As of April 10, 2012, the USCCB has counted 16,324 individuals who have alleged that they were abused as minors by priests. The USCCB total omits persons who made allegations in 2003.

blindrabbit 5 years, 8 months ago

Martin Luther tried to resolve this vexing Catholic issue in 1517 in Wittenberg, Germany. Apparently the papists are still trying to influence the folks that left Papal dogma behind. Ironically, many if not most of U.S.papists approach the religion on a pick and choose basis anyway, but the heirarchy still lives in pre-1517. If they want to influence and dictate, let pay taxes.

Also, how can non-Catholics have any confidence that SCOTUS will not cave to Rome; 6 of the 9 justices are Catholic, the remaining 3 Jewish.

Enlightenment 5 years, 8 months ago

If the Catholic Church wasn't so interested in controlling women, they wouldn't have to protest and try to become exempt from the ACA to keep women from taking control of their body and reproductive issues. If the Catholic Church prohibits contraceptive use, one would think it shouldn't matter if contraceptives are available or not because in theory, good little Catholic women would choose not to use contraceptives.

Dignitas 5 years, 8 months ago

Liberalism controls more people then any faith ever tried. Oh and I see people having their heads cut off everyday in Catholic churches around the world. Its always in the news. Haven't you seen it too. It is a belief of Gods people that every child comes from God and that life is to be given every chance to live. Contraceptives are just a license to behave in a manor contrary to what is intended for a womens body. To bring new life into this world. That's doesn't say in anyway a women is less then a man or that that is her only value. It is only the most beautiful gift.. to be someones mommy. But if you knew what was being fought for by the Catholic church you'd know it wasn't to control you. It is to keep the government from making Catholics do things they consider morally reprehensible. That doesn't belong in the hands of any government .. and isn't left to anyone's opinion. It is a right that was given to us all when this country was started. If you don't want to comply there isn't one person forcing you to be Catholic. if you are Catholic and agree that the people that find this morally reprehensible have no right standing up for what your church has believed and practiced from the beginning then you may find that your not in good standing with your church. The laws and practices of Islam is not in anyway a comparison to what the Catholic church teaches on contraceptives. The Catholic church honors a women in the manor that God intended. Why in the world would the Catholic church honor so many women through out the centuries if they just wanted them stuff in a box and used by men. The priests that behaved in a ugly and evil way to children are not every priest. But that is 1% of priest and from years ago. I see teachers, pastors brothers uncles neighbors friends of family's etc on the news nighty that have molested children. Priest are good holy men trying to live out their vocation in the world in the manor they've been called by God. With the world stepping on their necks everytime they turn around Most people hate the Catholic church by what they assume shebelieves and teaches not by what she really believes and teaches. If you are of the opinion that priests wouldn't do these things if they could marry, that's not what they are called to do. Everyone of them know that before they become a priest.. they are not secretly lead into this practice. Plus if marriage was the answer to fidelity then there wouldn't be any other marriages following apart because of infidelity.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's set aside what you think God and the Church wants for women. How are Catholics made to do things they consider morally reprehensible? Who is made to take a pill, or wear a condom or diaphragm? The Catholic Church has been fine with this birth control employee benefits requirement for years in other states, but now, in a contested election year, suddenly the requirement is an assault on religious freedom. That dog just don't hunt, sir.

Oh, and I agree with you that pedophiles come in all sizes and religions and it is manifestly unfair to tar all Catholics with that brush. Perhaps it is because non-Catholic-priest pedophiles usually don't have an organization dedicated to hiding them. Although Penn. State did a pretty good job of it for decades.

Dignitas 5 years, 8 months ago

What does Jesus teach that the Catholics aren't asking for from the government? I'm certain He said give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. Caesar didn't give the right to life to anyone God did. Just think if all those aborted people were here we wouldn't have a tax issues. They'd all be paying taxes. 53 million people would be paying a lot of taxes. Im also certain that businesses are still required to do the governments biding even tho they pay taxes. So either way the government is involving itself in all our business no matter what our tax responsibility is.. Still... the fight the church and its people are involved with is valid and just. When you are in the battle to post your comments here (when that happens, because it will if things keep going this way) I guarantee Catholics will support you.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 8 months ago

The Stench Of Truth: Half (or more) of those 53 million would be unemployed. If Jesus were to come back, he'd probably have an Uzi on him.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 8 months ago

Cancer, cysts, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, & more: when birth control isn't used for birth control

In 1957, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth-control pills, it wasn’t for birth control. The contraceptives won approval as a treatment for severe menstrual disorders; temporary infertility was a side effect. Funny, women across the country suddenly started complaining in droves about severe menstrual disorders.

As religiously-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, continue to complain about federal policies that would require that health insurance cover family planning (President Obama worked out a compromise deal under which the insurance companies would absorb the cost, but the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops still sees this as undue interference), one issue hasn’t come up much: What about when birth control isn’t for birth control?,0,1052001.story

rtwngr 5 years, 8 months ago

When birth control is used for purposes other than birth control it is not considered evil by the Church and is a valid use of medicine. Look it up.

Katara 5 years, 8 months ago

How exactly would the Church know the reason for a woman taking prescription birth control?

Mike1949 5 years, 8 months ago

I might go and protest, but not for the same reason they are there. I want Freedom From Religion! I am tired of ALL Religious People Trying To Control, Dictate, Tell Me How To Think, What Attitudes I Am Suppose to have, You Name it. I am a Christian, and I believe in God, but I don't believe in the racist, discriminatory ideals that many of these so called religious people are spouting out about every day of my life. These people are a joke! We even have one of these jokers running for an education position so they can corrupt our children! Now that pisses me off!

Mike Ford 5 years, 8 months ago

falsie.....don't make me bring up the wd-40 gene, you know the archie bunker gene.....dumb people clowning on intelligence.....does that really work???? baiting a reporter.....does that really work......naw signs of weakness I guess....

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

Is the crowd larger than the typical dozen people who show up for disappointed progressive causes? ( ... from ... a ... source ...)

Corey Williams 5 years, 8 months ago

What does jesus say about abortion? Or contraceptives? In fact, where in the bible does it say anything about either of those issues? How can innocent blood be shed when none of us is innocent due to the doctrine of original sin?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

What did Jesus say about slavery? Actually, nothing (or so I've been told. I'm not a biblical scholar). But we do assume he would have been against the practice.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Why do you assume this? Christendom existed quite contently for 1800 years promulgating slavery.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 8 months ago

This is a complete list of every time the word "slave" appears in the four Gospels:

Matthew Chapter 8, verse 9

For I am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, Go,' and he goes, and to another,Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it."

Matthew Chapter.20, verse 27

and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;

Matthew Chapter 26, verse 51

And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

Mark Chapter 10, verse 44

and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.

Mark Chapter 14, verse 47

But one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.

Luke Chapter 7, verse 2, 3, 8, 10

Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. 3 When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. 8 For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, Go,' and he goes; and to another,Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it." 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.

Luke Chapter 22, verse 50

And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.

John Chapter 8, verse 34, 35

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever.

John Chapter 18, verse 10

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Let's assume the catholic church gets its way.

This means that anyone employed by a catholic institution (university, hospital, etc.) and receiving their health insurance through their job would not have contraception and other reproductive medicine covered.

All around, the catholic church is mounting a strong argument in favor of single payer health care that is removed from one's employment status.

CheneyHawk 5 years, 8 months ago

As a Catholic, IMHO, the women of the church and Nuns on the Bus are going in the right direction and continue to focus on the good to provide the world and the men of the church (Bishops & Rome) are missing the point, barking up the wrong tree and wasting alot of energy. We should be praying weekly during mass for the victims of clergy abuse. We should be supporting education, charity care in hospitals and taking care of the poor.

blindrabbit 5 years, 8 months ago

All bloggers on this subject and particularly those of right-wing persuasions and Catholics. The most logical blog on this subject and one of the most enlightening comments I've seen in a long time was indicated on a youtube reference posted by Crazy_Larry (11th blog on this story). I encourage you to listen to this 3 minute revelation by a Catholic priest. Follow this and your "Dark Ages" will disappear! Have fun! or go back up to his post to open

Enlightenment 5 years, 8 months ago

"Large crowd gathers at Statehouse rally for religious freedom" but an even larger in KS without insurance. 350,000 Kansas residents without insurance and a handful of religious people don't want to pay for contraceptives.

Quo_Vadis 5 years, 8 months ago

The government is impinging on the freedom of religion. Their "compromise" that the insurance pay for the contraception is ludicrous. A large number of hospitals and universities are self insured thus it is the same as having them pay for it.

Contraception is NOT being restricted and the church is not pushing for its restriction. The Church is refusing to pay for it when used as a contraceptive.

This country was founded by people who were seeking a place to worship freely from the government. It is part of the first Amendment. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF..."

If you ignore impingement of the first Amendment because you don't like the Catholic church you can expect further erosion of other rights as the government grows even further.

To the left, it well may be from the right next time.

deec 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually the country was mainly founded by mercantile companies and privateers eager to exploit the native people and the natural resources.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 8 months ago

malarkey like this is great because the Catholic church is doing a much better job than I can of making it irrelevent and powerless over the rest of us.

Their recent spate with the US nuns is going to cost them a lot more than they realize. Telling them that they were radicals for spending too much time with the poor and not enough time on social political issues will blow up..however it is exactly what this Pope wants.

He wants a greatly diminished church were only the uber faithful are members and then rebuild that

The church needs to stop mandating policy for the rest of us or at least, face taxaction.

I am a Christian, the church has nothing to do with Christianity, nor have they for centuries.

KayCee 5 years, 8 months ago

"Telling them that they were radicals for spending too much time with the poor and not enough time on social political issues" That's a distortion of the facts, They were praised for their charity work, and critized for speaking and acting against/ignoring doctrine. The church is NOT mandating policy for you, stop reading the lies.

Enlightenment 5 years, 8 months ago

BornAgain, the Democratic party may not be the same as when Harry was in office, but neither is the Republican party. The Republican party has gone to the extreme right. I think you are also mistaken about Liberals fearing the Christians. I will not speak for all Liberals, but I believe that many Christians operate with the sense of entitlement without any sense of responsibility.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 8 months ago

Talk about a "culture war" taking over a party ~ it's happened to my own party. Let these words from Barry Goldwater illustrate: "Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they're sure trying to do so, it's going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know, I've tried to deal with them." "I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?" "I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of "conservatism." " "I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass."

You know, BAA, claiming any attack against your Christian agenda is coming from Socialists, Marxists, Communists, and the like just shows how desperate you are, and makes any otherwise plausible arguments against Obama sound like they're coming from Phred. And for YOUR devisive and manufactured war against "traditional Americans", it is you who should soak in a healthy helping of shame.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I haven't seen any atheists trying to stop you, or other religious believers, from believing or praying, etc.

What they do want to stop you from doing is imposing your values through government, especially when they infringe on the rights of others.

I agree that they often ridicule religion, which I find distasteful, but they're not alone in that practice - believers ridicule non believers as well. Those on both sides of the political spectrum ridicule each other, etc.

If you find the practice of ridiculing people to be distasteful, then I strongly recommend you refrain from it, and flag people's posts when they do it.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Please don't call me names - I don't call you names.

And, you seem to misunderstand my point - I don't approve of ridiculing people, that's why I don't do it.

You can wear a cross and pray openly if you like - I'm not aware of any attempts to stop you from doing that.

When you start including prayer in public schools and government facilities, you are crossing a line that many believe should not be crossed.

The reason that Christians are the ones being resisted is probably because they're the ones trying to impose their values and cross that line - I don't know of many Muslims or Jews who want to impose their prayers in public schools.

I really think your view is a little bit off here - if Christians stop trying to impose their values in public institutions, then atheists will stop resisting that.

And, my point stands - if you don't believe in ridiculing people, don't do it.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I am offended because your usage is clearly derogatory, given your posting history and attitude towards "liberals", you don't use that sort of shortened version of "conservatives", ie. "cons", and I'm not in fact liberal across the board.

Nobody's stopping you from praying publicly - go stand on the street corner and pray if you like.

What other religions are attempting to get their religion into public schools?

You still miss my point completely about ridiculing people - I oppose it, don't do it myself, and urge everybody to stop, including you.

Atheists, agnostics, and other religious believers (non Christian) feel, with good reason, that Christians seem to be trying to impose their religion on them in a variety of ways, including legislatively.

So, they react accordingly, and say don't do that.

You can re-interpret their resistance to being imposed upon as an attack if you like, but it seems quite convoluted to me.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

And, yet you always manage to spell out conservatives, Christians, traditional Americans, etc.

If you are trying to say that in your view, liberal is not an insult, and "lib" even more so, then I strongly encourage you to become more self aware. You have demonstrated that so clearly in so many posts that everybody on here is aware of the fact.

I have done nothing disrespectful in our conversations, right? I don't call you names, put your religious beliefs down, etc.

"They get respect when they show some" - sounds a lot like you're the one justifying your actions by "the other guy does it", not me.

I don't act towards others based on how they act - I act towards them based on my own values and intentions, which include not insulting people and trying to create a substantive discussion.

Now, can we get back to the conversation?

Nobody's stopping you from praying in public, other religions aren't trying to impose their traditions in public schools, and atheists/agnostics are trying to resist that imposition by Christians.

It is, in my view, more accurate to say that Christians (not all of them, of course) are "attacking" non-Christians in a way, and that they are resisting that attack.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Nobody's stopping you meant it's perfectly legal to do so, and I don't know of anybody who is trying to make it illegal to pray in public.

There may be people who heckle you if you do, which is unfortunate, and something I oppose, just as I oppose bullying.

I'm not aware of any cases involving Christian kids who wanted accommodations to pray in public schools - are you? What sort of accommodations would they need?

When I get to your last paragraph, my eyes tend to glaze over, as they often do when you write things like that - I think that your view is misguided, and that you're perceiving some sort of conspiracy/attack that doesn't really exist.

Nobody I know of wants to "destroy" Christianity - they just don't want it shoved down their throats.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree, since you seem to continually miss my point, and misrepresent it.

You don't seem to understand the difference between individual rights to practice religion, and imposing those through the public school system or government.

As far as I know, students, teachers, administrators can pray unceasingly all day if they like - is that illegal? If I were a teacher, I'd pray for guidance and strength quite a bit, given the demands on teachers right now.

My guess is that Muslims wanted an accommodation because their tradition involves praying several times a day facing in a certain direction, which Christianity doesn't have.

It's too bad you don't understand some basic distinctions, like the one between the right to do something, and the desire to impose it on others.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 8 months ago

The problem here is far too many of the so-called "Christian Right" openly proclaim the state/nation as "Christian" and mandate absolute adherance to their faith. They will label any negative reactions to this as "anti-Christian bigotry." They enjoy their church's tax-exempt status to promote causes that often subjugate or disenfranchise those who are outside their circle (see your friend in Seneca) all the while complaining about the terrible intolerance they are constantly subjected to as Christian Supremacists.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 8 months ago

80%.... hmmm that's even higher than the 77% I believe you've stated in the past. Does this number include the "if I have to pick one, I suppose I'd be a Christian" folks who never attend church and who would not consider their faith to be their primary motivating factor in life? Or does it mean the the entire 80% share a lockstep Christian Supremacist viewpoint? Travel outside your enclave in Kansas and you can easily find entire areas where "Traditional Christians" are flatly in the minority.

The "majority rules" component of your perspective is telling, like the family values guy protesting JC Penny's use of inclusive advertising, who claims that homosexuals in America amount to a scant 2% of the population, rather than the 10% more frequently referred to. Inflating the numbers of your flock while marginalizing all others is a big part of your game. And by the way, I'm still waiting for you to distance yourself in any manner from your friend in Seneca. I assume that the lack of a refutation of his perspective from you means you are in support of his call to violence against homosexuals.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

So, why isn't 80% Christian enough? That should mean that you have ample access to churches, prayer and support groups, communities, etc.

Why do you have to try to impose those values on the remaining 20%?

I'm assuming, of course, that those figures are correct.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 8 months ago

A cradle to grave, nanny state is exactly one that pushes boundaries of personal privacy aside and strives to limit access to abortion and contraception and employs neo-McCarthyist tactics in a modern witchhunt against what they call "Socialism" or "Liberalism".

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 8 months ago

Actually Romney represents the "lesser of evils" in that he's not a rabid theocrat like Perry or Santorum. Obama doesn't even begin to fill the bill, and will certainly not get my vote. His vision of the role of government is just as overstepping and as distorted as yours is ~ many moderate Republicans may not all toe the party line when it comes to courting religious extremism. But go ahead and try to make your tent as small as possible and see where that gets you this fall.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 8 months ago

"but the last time I checked the majority determines what finally becomes law", WRONG. This is not a democracy. In a representative republic, the Constitution is there to protect the minority from the majority...the Supreme Court has final say on the majority's 'law'.

Dignitas 5 years, 8 months ago

Alrighty you want government health care? You thought HMOs were bad wait til you've got some guy in DC or the IRS deciding whether your value to the greater good warrants your right to that health care. You've got it now. So I hope you'll be well til your dead. Slave... why that is apart of this conversation I don't know. But there is still slavery world wide. Slavery like we had here and slavery to governmental control. Then there is slavery to ones own vices etc.. The the nuns on the bus thing aren't out for what you think they are out for. They need prayer. God called them to be His bride and bring the love of Christ to the world .. what are they really doing but being a bunch of bitter malcontents. God established His church to lead all to the love He has for His creation. When anyone of us step out from under His Sacred Heart to behave in a manor unworthy of Him we have failed. Evolution is listed here to.. why I don't know. But I'm thinking that evolution has got to be the most difficult faith tradition to hold onto... the ooze of the earth got together with the fish then produced monkeys alright.. then outta the blue Viola human happened. Were there female and male monkeys? Or just one size makes all monkeys. Then the humans being apparently only male according to the evolutionary chart just up and transformed into a women. Then I guess the ooze the fish and the monkeys had a meeting and decided by a Democratic vote to stop evolving. Poor Fred though he was still in the process of ooze, fish monkey transformation so he was given the role of posing for the picture .. to be used by Darwin some bazillion years later totell you where you came from. OK whatever.. Plus none Christian tick me off to no end with their self righteous attidudes toward Christian ..

Corey Williams 5 years, 8 months ago

" behave in a manor unworthy of Him..." "...then outta the blue Viola human happened." Sometimes I wish I could be as drunk as this.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 8 months ago

"You thought HMOs were bad wait til you've got some guy in DC or the IRS deciding whether your value to the greater good warrants your right to that health care." I'd rather the government decide using the concept of 'greater good' than a corporation who's decision is based solely on profit. It would be idiotic to have it any other way--IMHO. And the rest of your post was 'gibberish'.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 8 months ago

"While the organ pealed potatoes, lard was rendered by the choir. While the preacher prayed devoutly, someone set the church on fire. "Holy Smoke!" the preacher shouted, an in the fire he lost his hair. Now his head resembles heaven, for there is no parting there."

105 in the shade, hotter in the sun. Families with six and nine little kids, all trussed up in black suit coats, while mom and dad wore their T-shirts.

Would rather see the effort directed at making life's most awful situations more bearable for their neighbors, than repeating barely sensible rhetoric for hours on end.

But then, maybe that's the difference between these political "Christians" and those who actually follow Christ in the way they live their lives.

woodscolt 5 years, 8 months ago

The fake christians and the fake governor equals the radical right wing republicans, whom, by the way, are all about telling people how to live while cry babying about being told they can have access to contraceptives because study after study shows that women's overall health dramatically increases with the availability of contraceptives. As the old saying goes, to bad the little boys didn't require contraceptives or the catholic church would have been all over the idea.

Contraceptives save money and dramatically improve the health and well being of women. By all means you wackos, make a fool out of yourselves gathering at the capitol building with brownbackwards attacking womens rights

JackMcKee 5 years, 8 months ago

Funny thing, 90% of Catholics admit to using birth control.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

No one is prohibiting the free practice of religion. However, to these folks, "religious freedom" means the freedom to impose your religion and beliefs on others using the bully tactics of the majority.

How do we decide whose religious views get imposed on everyone? Is it simply a religious war between beliefs (catholic, protestant, sharia) wherein the biggest and strongest bully is able to impose their beliefs on the rest of society?

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

No representation without taxation. This goes for any religion; Catholic, Protestant or the FSM.
That said, using government to shove your ideology down the throats of people that want nothing to do with it was anathema to the founders of this country and is to me as well. If the Catholic Church wishes to receive tax money contributed by ALL citizens then they cannot limit services to just those with which they are ideologically comfortable. Bottom line, either make those services available or give up the grants.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 8 months ago

jhawkinsf: I believe any time a religious organization owns and operates a -- what? a service? -- a service that others (not of that religion or of that religious organization) may also operate for profit -- both of them are providing the same service: one for profit and one non-profit -- then I believe that service, regardless of the owner's religion, is a business and not a religion or that religion's sacred church. A business, owned by anyone, is a business subject to secular business laws. I regret we disagree about where to draw that line when a Church believes it is not a business when they provide a marketed service, but I appreciate that we've both tried to make ourselves clear to the other. It's been an interesting conversation.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 8 months ago

The Progressive religion will be the only one allowed if some folks have their way.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

You use the words "accommodation" and "compromise", but the truth is that allowing the churches to discriminate is simply upholding their rights above the rights of others.

It's difficult to know where to draw the line, of course, and churches are clearly in the "business" of providing charitable services, but at some point, if they employ non believers and function as a similar non religiously based organization, then it seems to make sense to treat them similarly.

What if the church's belief system includes not providing services to gay folks? Or unmarried couples? Etc.?

Do we ever step in and say that the rights of the others are more protected than the right of the churches?

As I said, it's a tricky issue, and I don't know the answer, but I do know that it's a choice between whose rights get protected, when there's a conflict. Accommodation and compromise make it sound like everybody gets a little bit, and that's not what happens.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

It is very difficult. While I was in California, San Francisco in fact, Catholic Charities provided adoption services. There came a time when the diocese ordered them to stop giving services to same sex couples. And yes, I'm very troubled by that behavior. That form of discrimination is repugnant to me. That said, their opposition to same sex activities has been well known.

But here's the deal, we as a society have allowed religious organizations to do much of the work that we as a society should be doing. Why is Catholic Charities handing out free clothes, because we as a society aren't. Why do Catholic schools exist, because public schools aren't adequately providing what we should be providing. Why do religious hospitals exist, to fill the void for care that we should be providing. With a wink and a nod, we've allowed them to provide basic services that we as a society should be providing. That keeps our costs down. It keeps our taxes lower. We justify it by saying it's their religion. But it's our responsibility. The level of services people should get should be set by our society and then we should meet that level. But what we've done is set a level, and then allowed someone else to meet that demand.

What we should do is meet the level of services that we determine. There would be no demand for services by any religious organization to meet the basic level. If the religious organizations wanted to provide services above and beyond, then that's on them. But that's not what's happening. It seems to me that if we are going to allow them to provide basic services, if we're going to accept that service, if we're going to accept the lower taxes, lower costs, smaller government bureaucracy, then we allow them to deny contraceptive services according to their beliefs. Or if we as a society believe so strongly in it, we kick in the additional health benefit. We can always provide those services at our own cost.

To me, it seems rude to accept their charity, which saves us a great deal of money, and them tell them how that charity ought to be administered. We need to either pay our own way, or let them do it the way they see fit.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

We also lose a lot of tax revenue because churches are tax exempt.

The reason they are tax exempt is that they're considered "charitable organizations", right?

If they stopped providing those services, and lost their tax exempt status, I wonder what the overall net would be, a gain or loss of tax revenue to the state?

While I agree the state should be providing the level of services we deem necessary, that's not an easy thing to agree on, as far as I can tell.

And, it's definitely not easy to decide how we pay for those.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree that it's all very complex. And that why I advise against an approach that reminds me of using a sledge hammer.

Quite frankly, I'm not even sure when or why we've come to believe that employers should provide health care insurance. I think it's good business for businesses to provide such a service to workers, so they can retain them. That said, I don't agree with the expectation that they must provide such benefits. If we believe that health insurance is akin to some sort of right, then we should provide it. If it's not a right, then businesses should provide it at their own discretion.

Yes, we do lose a lot of tax money when churches are not taxed. We also lose money when the poor don't pay federal income taxes. We lose money with a complex taxing system that allows the rich and large corporations to use loopholes that the average guy could never use. I'm not necessarily in favor of taxing churches, but if we were to go that route, I'd be in favor of a complete overhaul of the taxing system. One that would be written on a single sheet of paper, where we all would be treated the same. Everyone.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I completely agree about health insurance.

My point was that their tax exempt status comes about because they're providing services we'd have to use tax revenue to provide if they didn't, I imagine.

That's the quid pro quo, or accommodation there.

Since most of the folks who don't pay federal income taxes are retirees living on meager SS benefits, are you supporting taxing them on those?

Treating everyone the same seems like a bit of a sledgehammer approach to me :-)

I said "if churches stop providing charitable services", then perhaps they should lose their tax exempt status, since it's predicated on those.

And, that I'm not sure how it would all work out overall, once that happens, they pay taxes, and we provide services with tax revenue.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

My understanding of our taxing history is a little different. I'm under the assumption that churches get their tax exempt status not because they are charitable organizations, rather it's because of the government's lack of desire to become entangled with the workings of churches. It's precisely because of what we have been discussing. Is that school or hospital serving a religious purpose or is it secular. We've been battling that here in this forum. If a preachers tells his flock to go forth and do something, is that secular or religious. Suppose some preacher said to vote a certain way, because that party would give a benefit to the church. Suppose that preacher said that Jesus said to him last night to vote in a certain way. Anyway, the bottom line is not that they are engaged in charity, rather it's that the government shouldn't be getting too involved in the church. So the government has removed itself from the church.

Maybe by taxing them, we could still stay far enough removed from them so as not to become entangled. I really don't know. But as long as we have this very complex system of taxing, I see no particular reason to change our policies towards churches, alone, and not towards corporations, the poor, everyone actually. I'd be in favor of revamping the tax system for everyone, but if we did it just for religious institutions, I'd personally see that as being hostile towards them and I'd be against that.

You mentioned Social Security. That's a little beyond the scope of this topic, but I'll just quickly say that I'm one of those people who believes we should be paying our own way. If we as a society want a bunch of stuff, we should pay for it. If that means tax increases, and it almost certainly would mean that, so be it. But yes, I do believe that those tax increases should come from everyone. Everyone because just like we can't define what is the purpose of the religious institutions, we can't define what is our fair share. So tax everyone equally. And if we think it will harm retirees, then give them more and tax everyone to pay for it. If we need better schools, raise our taxes on everyone and give more to schools. if the poor suffer from these tax increases, then give them more and tax everyone to pay for it. And when our tax burden becomes too great, reduce services. At some point, we will reach a balance.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Well, we'd have to do some research to find out the truth there.

It's not beyond the scope, since you mentioned taxing the folks who don't pay federal income tax, which is mostly made up of seniors on small SS benefits.

It doesn't make sense to me to tax SS benefits, because they are in fact already tax revenue in nature. And, your idea, to give them more and then tax them on it is more complicated than what we do now.

People pay into SS for years, and then they get benefits, which are tax revenue - why tax tax revenue?

The same is true for poor people, why give them more and then tax them, rather than just giving them less. It's more complicated, and unnecessarily so, in my opinion.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

It wouldn't be that complicated. If we taxed everyone at say 30%. If for some reason we believe that some group is deserving a increase in benefits equaling $70, just give them $100 and tax them 30%. By doing that, they will feel vested, they will have skin in the game. Of course, some may think they deserve more and some may think they deserve less, but either way, they pay 30%. They have skin in the game. I will pay 30%, you, Bill Gates, everyone.

Now if some group wants a benefit, whether it's the poor or some wealthy multinational corporation, we might have to raise our taxes to 31% or 32% or 33%. At some point, we'll all be invested to the same degree, so we'll all be able to decide whether or not the burden is becoming too much. Eventually, we'll reach a balance.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

If they get the same either way, what difference would it make?

Social Security is already tax revenue, so what you're suggesting is to pay more in tax revenue first, and then take some of it back, winding up with the same situation financially as we have now.

I don't see any benefit of doing that.

And, it would be more complicated - then we'd have to have all of those senior citizens filing tax returns, etc.

Probably incurring some extra expenses for the IRS to enforce as well.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

If the tax codes were vastly simplified, the IRS could easily manage returns. No one would ever have to decide whether this or that deduction would be allowed. I suspect that the IRS would need to lay off many workers. And all those tax attorneys and accountants would also need to find new work. Of course, as we generally assume that the rich and big corporations benefit the most from their services, it's the rich and big corporations that would bear the greatest burden of this new system.

If you recall, in a different thread, you and I discussed how we file our taxes now. I said there was a time I did the EZ form. You said you didn't use the mortgage interest deduction because it was too much trouble. Imagine a system where we all filed EZ forms.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

I like the idea of simplifying the tax codes, of course.

But, why give senior citizens $1 and then take $.30 back, rather than giving them $.70?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

The reason is because you can maintain the flat tax at whatever percentage is necessary. If you give them $ .70, tax free, then you've created a tax loophole, or an exemption. And if they get one, then someone else gets one, then someone else. I'm looking towards creating a tax system where no one gets exemptions. No one deducts this or that. We all pay "X" percentage where X = whatever it takes for every taxpayer to pay for the entire expenditures we pass.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

It's silly though, because the money for SS benefits is tax revenue. So, we get no more money with your version than with the simpler one.

I see no good reason to give a certain amount of tax revenue, and then take part of it back.

Otherwise, I agree, and would prefer a simpler system, one that doesn't try to encourage/discourage behavior.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

Although I'm also concerned with taxing those that are barely making it, and would probably want to set some sort of floor for taxation, under which people aren't taxed.

And, a flat tax is regressive in nature, so I'm not sure about that one as well.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

A quick internet search provides information that suggests both motives are at play when churches are tax exempt.

And, that if they had to demonstrate the amount of charity work they do to get the exemptions, they wouldn't get as much that way as they currently do.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

Try to imagine how we should place a value on the charity or ministry or outreach of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka. Imagine if we tried to balance the value of the charity the Catholic Church gives against the costs associated with their child abuse scandals. Talk about complicated. Imagine a church who gave PB & J sandwiches to the poor, while another gave the same, but placed a condition the recipient listen to an hour long sermon. Compare that with another church who gave away hot dogs and burgers with just a half hour sermon. But one of them also gave a place to sleep while another gave free clothing. Too complicated. I say it's best to stay out.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

The point there is that non religious organizations that provide charity services have to justify their exemptions, and get less of them than a church providing comparable services, I think.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 8 months ago

I'm not at all sure how religious organizations justify their tax exempt status or how that compares with charities not affiliated with religious organizations. I don't know much at all about that process.

jafs 5 years, 8 months ago

They get an automatic exemption as a charitable organization, from what I've read, without having to justify that the way non religious organizations have to do.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 8 months ago

I think it is a good time to let some of the air out of this issue and I would do that by looking at the possibility of a workable voucher system for private education.

This would appeal to Catholics and it is a compromise and we need to start considering compromise as a goal in order to end the political polarization in this country.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

"Several thousand people attended." The Topeka paper noted many in the crowd were bussed in. Makes me wonder: 1. Where they came from? and 2. Who paid for the busses?

Paul R Getto 5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks so much for setting me straight. I appreciate your perspicacity and insights.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 8 months ago

He's not nicknamed "Pope Palpatine" for nothing.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, this is not going to go well for the Catholics in my view because religion and politics don't mix and generally one corrupts the other.

The Catholic Church has gone through periods of real religious persecution, but this is not religious persecution. They are being taken advantage of by shrewd politicians.

The best way for the Catholic Church to regain traction in my view is to get back to what they do best, serving the poor and vulnerable in our society and teaching.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Bunch of people gathered for religious freedom ... and they weren't rounded up and arrested?

Guess they have that freedom after all.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

Anarchists are people who take libertarianism to the extreme and want the end of the government, thus they are radicals of the extreme right, not the left.

Sorry BAA, but you can't say that the extreme left wants the government to take care of all their every need -- as you often do -- while at the same time saying the left wants the end of government entirely. Just thought you should know your contradictions are showing.

beatrice 5 years, 8 months ago

And yet you don't want people to be responsible to cover the cost of their own health care via insurance. Interesting.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 8 months ago


1.A state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. 2.Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal.

Interesting that you should mention this word since I have thought for a long time that the Tea Party and the right wing wack jobs are a modern day representation of the word.

More to the point, we are finally seeing the fruit of years of work behind the scenes by organizations such as ALEC to deceive the American people in to thinking a greedy and selfish government that rewards the wealthy and powerful is somehow "patriotic" and even "Biblical" and the weak and vulnerable in our society are somehow selfish, lazy and not worth caring about.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 8 months ago

What do you want to bet better than half of the women attending are currently using the contraceptives their church is against?

Kirk Larson 5 years, 8 months ago

Considering studies show Catholics use birth control and the same rate as the general population I think half is a good number. Since these are clearly hypocrites they will surely lie about doing so, therefore you have to prove they are not using. Show ME the money.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 8 months ago

Religious freedom is being sold as the freedom to impose your religious beliefs on everyone, including those who do not share them.

What this comes down to is power and bully tactics by those who want their beliefs enforced on everyone.

It is not a atretch at all to compare this tactic to those used by the taliban to institute sharia law.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.