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View Diary: Fundies, I get it, I really do, but grow up (227 comments)

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  •  It does not violate one's freedom of speech for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man

    one to accede to a publicly-desired, democratically-passed law in this Republic.

    One can always speak out about the law, one can criticize it, one can try to elect representatives who will propose versions of it that more reflect what one wants, instead of what the rest of the public wanted.  All this happens and that's entirely as it should be.

    Re:  your example:  how do you distinguish between "The Catholic Church" and the many businesses and service centers run by the Church, for which the Church receives government money?  This re: your comment "It would be a violation of the Free Exercise Clause for the government to say, because discrimination against women is bad for the country as a whole, the Catholic Church can't discriminate against women."  A Catholic hospital, for example:  if it is going to receive government funding to carry out a host of operations, and if it's going to rely on public infrastructure, to what extent is the hospital obliged to obey prevailing secular law when the Church's services are not physically being provided in a Church setting, but in an office, say, or a hospital room?  

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:38:19 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The First Amendment also includes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      a "free exercise" clause.  You can't pretend it doesn't exist.

      As for the Catholic hospital, I think that's a grey area of the law, and I will be interested to see how it plays out.  As I've said elsewhere, I agree that religions have to obey the law, but the law cannot be directed toward religion, and cannot be based on the notion that religions beliefs are wrong.  Instead, a law has to have a legitimate, serious (not pretextual) basis that is not related to some statement that the religious belief is wrong.  

      For example, suppose Congress passed a law saying that Catholic owned hospitals have to provide abortions, but the allowed other hospitals could make the decision not to provide abortions if they chose.  I would suspect that would be a violation of the Free Exercise clause, as it would be passed based largely for the purpose of showing Catholics that the government thought their religious beliefs are wrong.  It's the same concept as if, for example, the government said Jewish-based food kitchens had to serve pork.  Making a statement that a religious belief is wrong is NOT a legitimate government interest.  

      On the other hand, suppose there were a law saying that EVERY hospital in the country has to provide abortions.  That may be constitutional, or may not, depending on the justification.  If there was evidence (in the Congressional record, for example) that women could not find any place to have abortions, there could be a legitimate government interest in assuring that a legal medical procedure were available to women who needed it, and Catholic hospitals may have to abide by it or face whatever consequences are in the law.  If, on the other hand, the evidence in the Congressional record were that most women who wanted that medical procedure could find it, then the law might well be seen as pretextual for an attack on a religious belief, enacted for no other purpose than to assure that medical providers had to violate their religious beliefs because the government doesn't think those religious beliefs are legitimate.  That may not be constitutional.  

      •  I can see something more like (0+ / 0-)

        If a hospital provides gynecological services, they must provide ALL services, including abortions where medically indicated.

        That would give an out - if you don't provide ANY gyn services you don't have to provide abortions.

        But it would severely impact the hospital.

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