Letters to the Editor

Financial expression

March 7, 2012


To the editor:

Freedom of religion is not just freedom of worship. It is also the freedom to express that religion. The most common way we have of expressing ourselves is how we spend our money. We vote up or down on businesses based on our patronage. We vote up or down on politicians with our donations. We vote up or down on the charities we support with our donations.

The HHS mandate is not about contraception; it is about freedom. When an entity, such as the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, is self-insured, the funds to provide that insurance come from its own coffers and all these funds are fungible. When the archdiocese insures the employees of a Catholic school that is not attached to a church but is freestanding, the funds come from those coffers. If the government should force the archdiocese to provide contraception as part of its health care package, then the monies are not coming from an outside, separately subsidized entity. It is forcing a religious organization to act in direct opposition to its conscience.

On the 1040 form we file for income taxes, there is a box that asks if we would like to contribute to the presidential campaign fund. What if this box were not an option? What if you want to donate to your politician of choice but, in order to do so, you must also provide equal funds for their opponent? That’s fair, isn’t it?


Gandalf 6 years, 2 months ago

"Freedom of religion is not just freedom of worship. It is also the freedom to express that religion."

It's also freedom from religion.

It is better to have a religious organization forcing an employee to act in direct opposition to his/her conscience?

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

So let me make sure I understand you. The entitlement to receive contraception, as part of a healthcare package, is in conformity with someone's conscience? Do you know what "conscience" means? I have an idea. Why don't you stop commenting on any of these threads until you make it to middle school.

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

How could you agree if you don't know what a sin is or isn't. What about McDonalds? How come they get a waiver on this but the Catholic Church doesn't? Explain that one away.

KevinBacon 6 years, 2 months ago

Employers can't "force" their employees to do anything. Only the government can force, as is the case here.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Considering the wisdom that the leaders of the Republican Party have recently demonstrated, I don't think you should expect your Financial Spring to arrive in the fall of 2012.

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

The Anointed One is the sacred title of Lord Jesus Christ. Aren't you ashamed to use it as a term of political abuse, especially when you are defending the Roman Catholic Church?

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

Not in the least. It is the big "O" who thinks of himself as "anointed", and displays that attitude. We use it to show his arrogance.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

Quite an assumption. Can you read big "O" s mind? Whovever that might be.

thefisherman 6 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Greg Cooper 6 years, 2 months ago

Number one, name calling is pretty much against the TOS.

Number two, it shows a lack of imagination.

Number three, it shows pettiness.

Finally, you made no answer to the comment by the person you denigrated. My suspicion is that you have nothing useful to say so you insult. This is the type of comment that makes you look like the person of which you accused the poster of being.

I'm certain you have a mental equivaloency far above the "moron" stage, but your comment certainly doesn't show it.

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

Come on kid, you know who I mean. Don't have to be a mind-reader to hear his words and see his actions.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

In what way do the President's words and actions prove that he believes himself the "annointed one". Give us something definitive. Otherwise it is merely your opinion. I cannot say that your opinion would be right or wrong, cause that would be my own opinion. But I can and will disagree/agree based on my beliefs.

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

When the words 'annointed one' are used it refers to the manner in which he acts as if he is above all us common people. Not because he is POTUS, but is 'intellicually superior', having an arrogant air. He was going to 'save' all us from the problems of the previous admin according to his speaches. Now actions are the appointments made without consulting, people named to positions without Senate aproval, seeming to dictate instead of letting the legislators decide. I have never in my life seen a president respond in this manner.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

"intellectually" "approval" "speeches"

Anybody who has a manner that you read as arrogant is somebody who believes they are "annointed"?

In my experience, many politicians, and especially many presidents, exhibit the sort of attitude and behavior you mention.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

You see it as arrogant. I see the President as someone who is direct, well spoken, and confident....qualities that are important if you are leading this nation. Some have a hard time dealing with this especially if they are predisposed to the opposite party.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

Who was named to a position without senate approval (if senate approval was required)?

Kirk Larson 6 years, 2 months ago

C'mon, just say it. You know you want to.


Corey Williams 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok then, how about this: the amount that the employer kicks in for insurance, that can't be used for contraception. The part of the insurance premium that is paid for by the employee, that can be used to pay for contraception if it doesn't go against the employee's personal belief.

Otherwise, prove your god exists in order to claim your religious freedoms.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

There is no need to prove anything to receive the protections afforded by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Sometimes it seems unfortunate that the LJWorld does not have a minimum educational, knowledge, or literacy requirement in order to comment.

Abdu Omar 6 years, 2 months ago

Don't understand what you meant, Mancity, sorry, but two fragments are not sentences. So what's your point?

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

My God that gives me religious freedom also gives you freedom of speech. How about this; if you go to work for a religious organization, don't expect them to provide things that go against their beliefs. i.e. If you should be hired by a kosher deli, don't expect them to sell bacon.

sci4all 6 years, 2 months ago

If you work for a Jehovah's Witness, don't expect blood transfusions or transplants to be covered.

If you work for a Christian Scientist, only prayer- or faith-related 'cures' would be allowed.

If you work for an Amish employer, you wouldn't get health insurance.

All of a sudden, it becomes very attractive for employers to espouse whatever religion can save them the most money on their employees' health insurance.

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

You can't really be this obtuse. Rights are unalienable. Rights are not bestowed upon a people by government they are protected by government. Anything the government gives you, it can take away.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"Otherwise, prove your god exists in order to claim your religious freedoms."

Early leader for Dumbest Post of the Day.

Abdu Omar 6 years, 2 months ago

If a person doesn't think birth control is right for them, they don't have to take them. No one is forcing them down the throats of anyone. If the Church doesn't condone them, that is their right and the followers of that faith can forego them. What is the big deal?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, wounded_soldier, I'll explain it to you. Somebody planted a corn seed. Then it was watered and fertilized regularly, and a plant grew. Later a husk of corn was picked and shucked. After that, most likely, it was thrown in boiling water. Then someone ate the corn. And now, what's left is in a very dark place.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

The Catholic Church is anti sex but not anti child molestor???

The Catholic church is anti abortion but also anti abortion prevention????

The catholic church sounds a lot like the republican party or should I say the former republican party that has become the RINO/CINO party. It's all about the art of extreme deception.

This whole mess was born by and has been promoted by the RINO/CINO party. The super duper phonies.

Meanwhile the RINO/CINO party of NO is still getting in the way of jobs jobs jobs jobs and new stronger economic growth. This should the headlines.

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

  1. A lie. 2.You're confused. 3.The Catholic Church sounds like no political party. 4.The whole mess was promoted by by the "O" administration. 5.LOL

I already knew you we not in touch with the real world.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

I'd say you are the one who is confused. Claiming that other people are out of touch with the real world is false. They (including me) are out of touch with the world as you see it. This does not make you or us wrong.

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

In the above post merrill was using an opinion because in was in regard to the Catholic Church. I know the facts, merrill does not. Therefore, out of touch with issue being discussed.

camper 6 years, 2 months ago

What are the facts? Tell us so that you can be believed.

KayCee 6 years, 2 months ago

You really don't get the difference of M's opinion? 1.The Church isn't anti-sex, it does oppose molestors. 2.'anti abortion prevention',The Church wants to prevent abortion, so M is 'confused' 3.Explained, M's opinion 4.The 'O' admin and HHS with the mandate. 5.I laughed and still do.

Believe me yet? I won't hold my breath.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

"Freedom of religion is not just freedom of worship. It is also the freedom to express that religion..."

Absolutely not. You have freedom of belief not freedom of action, or else every religious terrorist would plead "religious expression" as a defense.

More importantly, churches are exempt under the contraception law, but church-affiliated organizations (i.e., businesses) are not. Should businesses be able to decide they don't want to pay for health insurance that treats sexually transmitted diseases, cancer, heart disease, etc?

Lastly, keep in mind that no one is being forced to use contraception, businesses are simply being made to provide coverage for it in case the employee decides, as a matter of her religious conscience, that she wants it.

I won't even go into how hypocritical it is for the Catholic Church - which has facilitated the rape of tens of thousands of children - to say anything about morality. Such a criminally and morally corrupt organization has no moral authority to proclaim contraception immoral.

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

So, you are saying that freedom of religious expression is not protected in this country by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights? I bet I can find a few USSC cases that would shoot a hole through that obtuse statement.

You're another one that is trying to make a link between receiving contraception coverage in your healthcare as a matter of conscience. Do you know what "conscience" means? Are you and Gandalph, above, in the same grade?

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

That depends on what you mean by "expression". Freedom of belief is protected, and freedom of speech and speech-like expression is protected (whether religious or not). However, freedom of action is not protected because, again, if religious action were protected then people could commit all sorts of crimes in the name of religion with impunity.

The letter-writer is arguing that when an employer carves contraception out of their employees' insurance policies, then that is a protected expression of free (religious) speech. I disagree, I think its expressive action - not speech - which is not protected.

Its the same argument that is often raised against campaign contributions - whether donating money is protected speech or unprotected action.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

"Lastly, keep in mind that no one is being forced to use contraception, businesses are simply being made to provide coverage for it in case the employee decides "

You've got it twisted. This isn't about someone being forced to use contraception, it's about that "business" being owned and run by a church which doesn't believe in contraception and is being forced to provide them.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

"...hypocritical it is for the Catholic Church..." Now, now. We are all hypocrites about something or other and we are all athiests because no one believes in all the gods invented by man. The church is not criminal or corrupt, but some of the people who work for it are. I do, however, agree they should stay out of this argument, particularly since their success rate convincing their own members is apparently less than 5%.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

+1. I'll buy that. Actually, since no one can prove or disprove the existence of an invisible being, the term skeptic is, I believe, more appropriate. When most people discuss 'athiesm' they are saying: "You don't believe in the god I chose, therefore...." As for me, I like gods you can get a handle on and take into your house......for example Zao Jun http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kitchen_god

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Good point. There are days I wish Thor were real. Might get him to toss a thunderbolt or two.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, I understand your point.

But, many believe not in one God, but in multiple Gods, which is a bit different.

And, it's not guaranteed that God will judge us in the way you mean.

I do like your version somewhat, in that it includes doing good, which I think is important.

But, I don't share the idea that God demands we believe in him in that way.

bad_dog 6 years, 2 months ago

Regrdless whether one does or does not believe in a higher power, the only thing important on any day is your sincere effort to do good things.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

+1, and we all need to remember statements on these topics concerning the unseen should all start with "In my opinion....." because, absent evidence, that's all any of us have.

Corey Williams 6 years, 2 months ago

In response to BAA's statement of "The only important thing on judgement day will be your belief in the Almighty and your sincere efforts to do good things in God's world."

I say if you can't prove your god exists, then no tax exempt status for you.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

Did you miss the other story today about how Kansas is considering repealing its ban on happy hour - a ban that was enacted by social conservatives? More government regulation of your private behavior from uneducated conservative hill-billies.

asixbury 6 years, 2 months ago

A liberal arts education has absolutely nothing to do with this issue. You obviously did not go to college, or you would be aware of that.

Darrell Lea 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't believe churches and other religious organizations get a free pass to write their own rules if they choose to participate in the secular society that surrounds it. I support President Obama and the compromise he supports regarding birth control coverage.

SnakeFist 6 years, 2 months ago

I agree. This is not a case of secular society imposing itself on religion, this is about religion choosing to operate in secular society - which means following the rules like everyone else.

Liberty275 6 years, 2 months ago

That's all well and good except for the first amendment. Religious organizations should be as protected from secularism by the amendment as secular business should be from religion.

Also, we aren't really a secular society. We expect a secular government as demanded by the constitution but it seems more Americans than not believe in some sort of god.

Confusing society and state should be avoided. That's like confusing Donald Trump with his valet.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

So, the real reason behind Scott Burkhart's letter isn't really so much about religious freedom. it is about the Archdiocese of Kansas City being self insured. If their self insurance covers medical coverage for their employees I really have to question the sanity of the Archdiocese for making that choice. There are many self insured organizations but most are smart enough to have plans for things like employee health insurance, liability, etc.

If they thought they were big enough to be self insured then this contraceptive thing shouldn't be a problem. Another fine attempt at spinning the real issue.

headdoctor 6 years, 2 months ago

Brownback isn't a practicing Catholic. He probably joined that Catholic Church in DC for some obscure political reason that involved impressing some person or group.

Darrell Lea 6 years, 2 months ago

What I find bothersome about all this is the whole nod-and-a-wink attitude among parishioners and clergy alike regarding the contraception issue.

If such a large percentage of the flock actually uses contraception in their daily life, why continue the charade of subservience and obsequiousness toward paternalistic leaders who make the rules? A church is nothing more than its members, yes?

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

Very few people have queried why Roman Catholic Church leaders decided to make a stand for "religious freedom" on the issue of insurance coverage for birth control. But they should. Catholic doctrine doesn't oppose use of birth control under all circumstances. Rather, it permits use of birth control when pregnancy would be unhealthy for the woman; this isn't an absolute ban, such as that on murder. The Church does not obligate itself to prohibit birth control use by non-Catholics, so it does not face any moral issue or violation of its religious freedom if it is required to include birth control in insurance coverage for non-Catholic employees. The Roman Catholic Church has other doctrines that current insurance regulations violate. The Church bans remarriage after divorce, but Church institutions readily provide insurance coverage to the spouses of remarried divorcees. Why aren't Catholic leaders making a fuss about this? The Church bans premarital and extra-marital sex, but it doesn't withhold insurance coverage for the treatment of sexually-transmitted diseases.
Given the inconsistency in the Church leaders' moral outrage, I have to wonder if this issue is just a political ploy to rally support to conservative Catholic candidates, such as Santorum.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Your examples are good, and interesting ones.

To be fair, though, the RC church can't really "prohibit" anything for non-Catholics - they just don't have the authority to do that.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Essays. First Series. Self-Reliance. ==== It's hard, hard I tell ya, to be consistent, particularly with complicated issues. Good comment.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

"Very few people have queried why Roman Catholic Church leaders decided to make a stand for 'religious freedom' on the issue of insurance coverage for birth control."

I have wondered that same thing. At least two states already have laws about this and we didn't hear a peep. Why is it suddenly a religious freedom issue?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

....because there's an election coming up?

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

I would also go so far as to suggest that maybe they are seeing this as a chance to regain the political power that they have lost.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 2 months ago

The Catholic Church is not against Big Government. They just pine for the days when they were the Government.

verity 6 years, 2 months ago

Exactly. The Roman Catholic Church, as far as I can tell, is the only medieval institution left. The first world war pretty much took care of the other leftovers.

Enlightenment 6 years, 2 months ago

Ok, religious entities, regardless if they are self insured or not, should not be exempt from including contraceptives in their health insurance coverage. Contraceptives are not only used by women for prevention of pregnancies, they are also used for other health reasons. Besides, the majority of the women in their parishes have used contraceptives at one time or another.

Also, the Catholic church may believe their religious freedom is being infringed upon when government requires that their insurance companies provide contraceptives, but the church conveniently overlooks all of the funding their institute receives from the government. For instance, their Catholic schools would not be possible without the funding from the Fed. government. Just like the Catholic religion doesn't think that they should be forced to pay for women to have decent health coverage, I don't believe that my tax contributions should be used to fund religious schools.

rtwngr 6 years, 2 months ago

The bottom line is the Obama administration is trying to impose its will on the Catholic Church not the other way around. It wasn't as if the church ran afoul of the law and the administration has stepped in to correct it. No, this is a blatant, secularist attack on and institution that it views as the enemy.

David Reynolds 6 years, 2 months ago

End the tyrany from Washington. Vote for freedom from in November.

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