LCMS President’s statement on HHS mandate

Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, has issued a statement on the federal government’s mandate that religious organizations must provide free abortion pills and contraceptives to their employees in their insurance plans.  He clarifies what this will mean for Lutheran organizations and expresses his strong opposition:

A Statement on Recent HHS Decision and Religious Freedom

We are deeply distressed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent decision to require nearly all private health plans, including those offered by religious employers, to cover contraceptives. This will include controversial birth-control products such as “Ella” and the “morning after” pill, even though the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that such drugs can cause the death of a baby developing in the womb. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) objects to the use of drugs and procedures that are used to take the lives of unborn children, who are persons in the sight of God from the time of conception, and we are opposed to the HHS’ decision mandating the coverage of such contraceptives.

This HHS action relates to a provision in the “health care reform” legislation (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) signed into law in 2010. The church’s benefits partner, Concordia Plan Services, which provides health care coverage to nearly 48,000 people, has been actively monitoring this legislation and, as a result, Concordia Health Plan (CHP)—the LCMS church workers’ health plan—has been maintained as a “grandfathered” plan. As such, employers and workers participating in CHP would not be subjected to the mandate. However, many religious organizations do not have grandfathered plans and cannot avail themselves of the extremely narrow religious-employer exemption, which only is applicable to religious employers that primarily serve and employ members of that faith.

For centuries, Lutherans have joyfully delivered Christ’s mercy to others and embraced His call to care for the needy within our communities and around the world. In a nation that has allowed more than 54 million legal abortions since 1973, we must consider the marginalization of unborn babies and object to this mandate.

In addition, I encourage the members of the LCMS to join with me in supporting efforts to preserve our essential right to exercise our religious beliefs. This action by HHS will have the effect of forcing many religious organizations to choose between following the letter of the law and operating within the framework of their religious tenets. We add our voice to the long list of those championing for the continued ability to act according to the dictates of their faith, and provide compassionate care and clear Christian witness to society’s most vulnerable, without being discriminated against by government.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, a church body of sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus, has affected the lives of millions of people with care, aid, housing, health care, spiritual care and much more. We have been a force for good in this nation, promoting education (the nation’s largest Protestant school system), marriage and giving people the tools and assistance to be good citizens. We live and breathe Romans 13:3–7. The governing authorities are “God’s servant for good.” We pray constantly for our President and those in authority. We have sent our sons and daughters to fight for this country. We have provided military chaplains, elected officials, officers, including some who have held the highest military offices and other appointed positions in this country. Our people have and are serving as congressmen and women and senators.

Increasingly we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience. We believe this is a violation of our First Amendment rights. We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens, against this erosion of our civil liberty. Come what may, we shall do everything we can, by God’s grace, to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
President
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

via Steadfast Lutherans » Harrison issues “A Statement on Recent HHS Decision and Religious Freedom”.

I would just add that we cannot take much solace from “grandfathered plans.”  Where I work, we have one, but that applies only to 2015.  And if the plan changes–if rates are adjusted or the coverage is modified–the grandfathered status goes away.

Again, this is not just a Catholic issue.  All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • #4 Kitty

    I don’t understand why this is our problem or why we should at all be concerned. Given that God is all powerful he could prevent the HHS decision from being carried out, that is, if he were the least bit interested. I think I’ll pass on this latest call to arms and instead consider the lilies of the field.

  • #4 Kitty

    I don’t understand why this is our problem or why we should at all be concerned. Given that God is all powerful he could prevent the HHS decision from being carried out, that is, if he were the least bit interested. I think I’ll pass on this latest call to arms and instead consider the lilies of the field.

  • Dan Kempin

    The operative question is: What will we do as a church when this moves beyond rhetoric? Will we have the courage to refuse when the govt says that there are no more exemptions? And if so, which I earnestly pray, how will we continue to do church?

  • Dan Kempin

    The operative question is: What will we do as a church when this moves beyond rhetoric? Will we have the courage to refuse when the govt says that there are no more exemptions? And if so, which I earnestly pray, how will we continue to do church?

  • Joe

    here is my question. How do we obey God rather than man? Do we refuse to comply with the law and not provide coverage for certain birth control options? Or, do we obey God rather than man by no longer providing insurance and instead, giving LCMS workers additional income to allow them to buy their own coverage? Isn’t the second way the right option? Are we supposed to fight battles with the state that we can avoid without compromising the Gospel?

  • Joe

    here is my question. How do we obey God rather than man? Do we refuse to comply with the law and not provide coverage for certain birth control options? Or, do we obey God rather than man by no longer providing insurance and instead, giving LCMS workers additional income to allow them to buy their own coverage? Isn’t the second way the right option? Are we supposed to fight battles with the state that we can avoid without compromising the Gospel?

  • Mary

    This is much bigger than a contraception/abortion pill issue. The government through the HHS is telling churches how they will practice their religion. They are basically saying: It’s okay for you to worship as you see fit, but you better not take those beliefs outside the doors of the sanctuary. This is a power grab, and a breach of the First Amendment.
    A similar case is happening in my state of Illinois. The state has told all adoption agencies they must place children in same sex parent households. The Catholic Church has refused, and is fighting the ruling-willing to decline public funds if necessary. Lutheran Child and Family Services to date has stated their intention to comply. FAIL. Will the Catholic Church go to the mat in the same manner with the Obama administration? If so the health care system as we know it will crumble. The Catholics run upwards of one fifth of the hospitals in the US. Not to mention all of the other charities they and the LCMS maintain.

  • Mary

    This is much bigger than a contraception/abortion pill issue. The government through the HHS is telling churches how they will practice their religion. They are basically saying: It’s okay for you to worship as you see fit, but you better not take those beliefs outside the doors of the sanctuary. This is a power grab, and a breach of the First Amendment.
    A similar case is happening in my state of Illinois. The state has told all adoption agencies they must place children in same sex parent households. The Catholic Church has refused, and is fighting the ruling-willing to decline public funds if necessary. Lutheran Child and Family Services to date has stated their intention to comply. FAIL. Will the Catholic Church go to the mat in the same manner with the Obama administration? If so the health care system as we know it will crumble. The Catholics run upwards of one fifth of the hospitals in the US. Not to mention all of the other charities they and the LCMS maintain.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “Given that God is all powerful he could prevent the HHS decision from being carried out, that is, if he were the least bit interested.”

    Err… gee Kitty, I take it that this is tongue in cheek. God could have prevented WWI, polio, and polyester bell-bottoms. That doesn’t mean we should be sanguine about such evils.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “Given that God is all powerful he could prevent the HHS decision from being carried out, that is, if he were the least bit interested.”

    Err… gee Kitty, I take it that this is tongue in cheek. God could have prevented WWI, polio, and polyester bell-bottoms. That doesn’t mean we should be sanguine about such evils.

  • Dan Kempin

    Joe, #4,

    Good question, and one that we need to engage.

    For one thing, if our workers have to buy their own insurance, they will have to buy insurance with this mandated coverage. How does that resolve the issue of conscience other than dumping it on the individual rather than standing as a group?

    This is very, very ominous and immediately threatens every lutheran school in the synod.

  • Dan Kempin

    Joe, #4,

    Good question, and one that we need to engage.

    For one thing, if our workers have to buy their own insurance, they will have to buy insurance with this mandated coverage. How does that resolve the issue of conscience other than dumping it on the individual rather than standing as a group?

    This is very, very ominous and immediately threatens every lutheran school in the synod.

  • Mike

    Hmm… Interesting. Actions against the church. First an attempt to tell the church who it may hire and fire. Now telling the church it must act against it’s own moral principles. This is the stuff of totalitarianism.

    Obama cannot tolerate the idea that there are large groups of people who have the freedom to think and live in a way that is contrary to his own way of thinking and living.

  • Mike

    Hmm… Interesting. Actions against the church. First an attempt to tell the church who it may hire and fire. Now telling the church it must act against it’s own moral principles. This is the stuff of totalitarianism.

    Obama cannot tolerate the idea that there are large groups of people who have the freedom to think and live in a way that is contrary to his own way of thinking and living.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.

  • mikeb

    Mike @ 7

    +1

    Freedom means people being free to do things we disagree with. That used to be the mantra of the Left. Be tolerant, etc…

  • mikeb

    Mike @ 7

    +1

    Freedom means people being free to do things we disagree with. That used to be the mantra of the Left. Be tolerant, etc…

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

    What does Luther’s Two Kingdoms doctrine say that Lutheran Christians should do?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

    What does Luther’s Two Kingdoms doctrine say that Lutheran Christians should do?

  • Joe

    Dan – if the individual buys insurance they can buy whatever is available on the market, that may or may not include various forms of BC or abortions. But nothing in the law mandates that the individual use it. If they do that is their own choice that they need to repent of (if it is sinful – let’s avoid going down the is BC a sin rabbit hole for now).

    It is different if the church is forced to provide the coverage that includes abortion and/or BC because it is the gov’t forcing the church to facilitate sinful decisions/actions of the individual. The problem is that the Church does not want to pay for what it deems sinful. It is this forced enabling and implied sanction that is the problem for the church. Thus, the church can avoid the problem of enabling/ implied approval by simply not providing insurance and instead giving their employees a raise to cover the cost of insurance on the market. The church should then continue to preach the Word of God.

  • Joe

    Dan – if the individual buys insurance they can buy whatever is available on the market, that may or may not include various forms of BC or abortions. But nothing in the law mandates that the individual use it. If they do that is their own choice that they need to repent of (if it is sinful – let’s avoid going down the is BC a sin rabbit hole for now).

    It is different if the church is forced to provide the coverage that includes abortion and/or BC because it is the gov’t forcing the church to facilitate sinful decisions/actions of the individual. The problem is that the Church does not want to pay for what it deems sinful. It is this forced enabling and implied sanction that is the problem for the church. Thus, the church can avoid the problem of enabling/ implied approval by simply not providing insurance and instead giving their employees a raise to cover the cost of insurance on the market. The church should then continue to preach the Word of God.

  • kenneth

    Another incident by Obama to further communism. Sickening mandates that the public over- 50%, will not tolerate could be a piont for revolution or a least ousting Obama. Abortion is plain murder which they call progerssive while killing the American system of chechs and balances. A great woe on this nation and the world will ensue if he is continous to dictate.

  • kenneth

    Another incident by Obama to further communism. Sickening mandates that the public over- 50%, will not tolerate could be a piont for revolution or a least ousting Obama. Abortion is plain murder which they call progerssive while killing the American system of chechs and balances. A great woe on this nation and the world will ensue if he is continous to dictate.

  • Cynthia

    Joe, I beg to differ with you. When an individual buys health insurance, his premium is going into a pool that pays for every policy holder’s coverage; consequently he is paying in part for the birth control or morning-after pill that someone else in his insurance plan is using. The Obama administration thinks it has put itself in a win-win situation.

  • Cynthia

    Joe, I beg to differ with you. When an individual buys health insurance, his premium is going into a pool that pays for every policy holder’s coverage; consequently he is paying in part for the birth control or morning-after pill that someone else in his insurance plan is using. The Obama administration thinks it has put itself in a win-win situation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Dear Joe,
    Employees are too stupid to shop for and buy their own health “insrance,” which is why we need Big Daddy to step in and force employers to provide it and what coverage to provide.

    Next step: Single payer health “insurance,” because the employers themselves are too stupid (and evil!) to select appropriate plans for their employees.

    After that: Single-payer employment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Dear Joe,
    Employees are too stupid to shop for and buy their own health “insrance,” which is why we need Big Daddy to step in and force employers to provide it and what coverage to provide.

    Next step: Single payer health “insurance,” because the employers themselves are too stupid (and evil!) to select appropriate plans for their employees.

    After that: Single-payer employment.

  • Jon

    Cynthia, that may be so that the money of Catholics and Lutherans goes into a pool that everybody else dips from, including abortion pills. However, the important thing is, the Catholics and Lutherans have the say over what their employees are allowed to dip out of the pool–or not–according to their religious beliefs. That ability to control goes away now once a plan is no longer grandfathered.

  • Jon

    Cynthia, that may be so that the money of Catholics and Lutherans goes into a pool that everybody else dips from, including abortion pills. However, the important thing is, the Catholics and Lutherans have the say over what their employees are allowed to dip out of the pool–or not–according to their religious beliefs. That ability to control goes away now once a plan is no longer grandfathered.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kennneth – I disagree with Obama on this stance, but “further Communism”? You are really foaming at the mouth there. If you oppose something, a well argued and reasoned opposition goes much further than tinfoil hat opposition.

    Just sayin’.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kennneth – I disagree with Obama on this stance, but “further Communism”? You are really foaming at the mouth there. If you oppose something, a well argued and reasoned opposition goes much further than tinfoil hat opposition.

    Just sayin’.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    There is a new petition on the Manhattan Declaration site found at http://manhattandeclaration.org/petition/petition.aspx

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    There is a new petition on the Manhattan Declaration site found at http://manhattandeclaration.org/petition/petition.aspx

  • Jonathan

    Harrison’s announcement would be more compelling if the LCMS shared the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception.

  • Jonathan

    Harrison’s announcement would be more compelling if the LCMS shared the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception.

  • Sam

    J. Dean @ 8: “Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.”

    I would agree and so would Chuck Colson.

    http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/18710

    http://www.colsoncenter.org/twominutewarning/entry/33/18706

  • Sam

    J. Dean @ 8: “Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.”

    I would agree and so would Chuck Colson.

    http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/13/18710

    http://www.colsoncenter.org/twominutewarning/entry/33/18706

  • http://lutheranvisuals.com Ken Ring

    Do you think that Santorum victories yesterday reflected Catholic voters protest the the Obama directive?

  • http://lutheranvisuals.com Ken Ring

    Do you think that Santorum victories yesterday reflected Catholic voters protest the the Obama directive?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “Again, this is not just a Catholic issue.”

    Facts: The HHS policy was formulated by HHS secretary Kathleen Sabelius. It’s supported by Nancy Pelosi.

    Sebelius is Catholic. Pelosi is Catholic. For that matter, VP Joe Biden is Catholic.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “Again, this is not just a Catholic issue.”

    Facts: The HHS policy was formulated by HHS secretary Kathleen Sabelius. It’s supported by Nancy Pelosi.

    Sebelius is Catholic. Pelosi is Catholic. For that matter, VP Joe Biden is Catholic.

  • Cynthia

    Jon, you did not understand what I was saying, or you are unaware that the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) is self-insured and does not cover any type of abortion. If the CHP is dissolved and the Church pays employees to purchase their own insurance, those employees will be forced by law to buy into plans that cover at least some types of abortion.

  • Cynthia

    Jon, you did not understand what I was saying, or you are unaware that the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) is self-insured and does not cover any type of abortion. If the CHP is dissolved and the Church pays employees to purchase their own insurance, those employees will be forced by law to buy into plans that cover at least some types of abortion.

  • CRB

    I agree with J. Dean #8.

    Perhaps the time is shortly coming when we as church will have to move beyond merely saying, “I’m pro-life and I send money to such-and-such an organization and I participate in those marchs when I can.” I believe in the civil rights movement under Dr. King
    that many were put in jail, right? I we, as church, willing to pay that price?

  • CRB

    I agree with J. Dean #8.

    Perhaps the time is shortly coming when we as church will have to move beyond merely saying, “I’m pro-life and I send money to such-and-such an organization and I participate in those marchs when I can.” I believe in the civil rights movement under Dr. King
    that many were put in jail, right? I we, as church, willing to pay that price?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    The HHS rule will never see the light of day. It will be locked up in the courts. All this is is election time posturing by the Obama administration. Obama is trying to solidify his base by throwing a bone to his pro-choice supporters. He knows full well this will never be enforced because there will be an injunction filed and a case that will eventually be heard by the Supreme Court. Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.

    @#18 We as a church body have already stated we are against the Morning-After pill, just like the RCC. There is also a fair number of Lutherans who are against “the pill” in its various forms because of their abortifactant nature.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    The HHS rule will never see the light of day. It will be locked up in the courts. All this is is election time posturing by the Obama administration. Obama is trying to solidify his base by throwing a bone to his pro-choice supporters. He knows full well this will never be enforced because there will be an injunction filed and a case that will eventually be heard by the Supreme Court. Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.

    @#18 We as a church body have already stated we are against the Morning-After pill, just like the RCC. There is also a fair number of Lutherans who are against “the pill” in its various forms because of their abortifactant nature.

  • CRB

    Truth Unites…and Divides,

    I don’t hear any calls from the Roman Catholic hierarchy for the priests their respective parishes to begin the process of excommunication. WHY is that?

  • CRB

    Truth Unites…and Divides,

    I don’t hear any calls from the Roman Catholic hierarchy for the priests their respective parishes to begin the process of excommunication. WHY is that?

  • Joe

    Cynthia – I know that there are risk “pools” but is it actually true that the insurance company keeps the premiums separate by pool? I don’t think that it is; this is just an accounting mechanism. It is not a trust fund. Thus, in reality while you are charged different rates for different levels of coverage, I think your premium is actually available to offset all of the ins. co.’s costs. In other words you are already subsidizing abortions. Am I wrong on this?

    The self-insured angle is interesting, still working through that in my head.

  • Joe

    Cynthia – I know that there are risk “pools” but is it actually true that the insurance company keeps the premiums separate by pool? I don’t think that it is; this is just an accounting mechanism. It is not a trust fund. Thus, in reality while you are charged different rates for different levels of coverage, I think your premium is actually available to offset all of the ins. co.’s costs. In other words you are already subsidizing abortions. Am I wrong on this?

    The self-insured angle is interesting, still working through that in my head.

  • kenneth

    klasie

    I never have foamed at the mouth.l The only defense I have is my deep hatred of communism or even socialism. tThe world is a very dangerous place Here are a couple of what if’s; nuclear proliferation cause Obama to declare a state of emergency, Abortion becomes mandatory, Obama is a muslim of the hamas persuation.

  • kenneth

    klasie

    I never have foamed at the mouth.l The only defense I have is my deep hatred of communism or even socialism. tThe world is a very dangerous place Here are a couple of what if’s; nuclear proliferation cause Obama to declare a state of emergency, Abortion becomes mandatory, Obama is a muslim of the hamas persuation.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    CRB, #25: “Truth Unites…and Divides,

    I don’t hear any calls from the Roman Catholic hierarchy for the priests [of] their respective parishes to begin the process of excommunication. WHY is that?”

    I don’t know. It’s a good question.

  • mikeb

    Ken Ring @ 20

    Do you think that Santorum victories yesterday reflected Catholic voters protest the the Obama directive?

    Missouri is maybe 10-15% Catholic (?). Santorum won by 25%. I think there may have been some backlash though from our Evangelical and Pentecostal voters, who generally agree with the Catholics on abortion issues. But just the Catholic vote isn’t enough to secure that margin of victory. And we have a large Mormon population, probably as large as the Catholics (remember, the RLDS has its HQ in suburban Kansas City) that likely would offset their vote, if it was a bloc vote.

    Just as importantly to consider, the Show Me State was the first in the nation to pass a voter approved law banning the Federal insurance mandate from being enforced. It’s more likely that Santorum’s stance on Obamneycare in general is responsible for the win. We’re rabidly against the healthcare law here.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    CRB, #25: “Truth Unites…and Divides,

    I don’t hear any calls from the Roman Catholic hierarchy for the priests [of] their respective parishes to begin the process of excommunication. WHY is that?”

    I don’t know. It’s a good question.

  • mikeb

    Ken Ring @ 20

    Do you think that Santorum victories yesterday reflected Catholic voters protest the the Obama directive?

    Missouri is maybe 10-15% Catholic (?). Santorum won by 25%. I think there may have been some backlash though from our Evangelical and Pentecostal voters, who generally agree with the Catholics on abortion issues. But just the Catholic vote isn’t enough to secure that margin of victory. And we have a large Mormon population, probably as large as the Catholics (remember, the RLDS has its HQ in suburban Kansas City) that likely would offset their vote, if it was a bloc vote.

    Just as importantly to consider, the Show Me State was the first in the nation to pass a voter approved law banning the Federal insurance mandate from being enforced. It’s more likely that Santorum’s stance on Obamneycare in general is responsible for the win. We’re rabidly against the healthcare law here.

  • DonS

    Dr. Luther @ 24 says: “Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.”

    Yes, I believe this is true, NOW. But if Obama is elected for another term, it may not be true in four years. The most overlooked aspect of every presidential election is that the president gets to fill the courts with like minded judges. The courts can be the guarantors of our precious Constitutional rights, such as the right to free exercise of religion, or they can be the means by which those rights are evaporated. The courts are, in fact, the most lasting legacy of any presidency.

    Please consider this when you vote in November.

  • DonS

    Dr. Luther @ 24 says: “Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.”

    Yes, I believe this is true, NOW. But if Obama is elected for another term, it may not be true in four years. The most overlooked aspect of every presidential election is that the president gets to fill the courts with like minded judges. The courts can be the guarantors of our precious Constitutional rights, such as the right to free exercise of religion, or they can be the means by which those rights are evaporated. The courts are, in fact, the most lasting legacy of any presidency.

    Please consider this when you vote in November.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Rev. Charles Lehmann

    The first comment on this post makes me want to cry. The church being forced to fund infanticide isn’t worth getting upset about?

    What is, then?

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Rev. Charles Lehmann

    The first comment on this post makes me want to cry. The church being forced to fund infanticide isn’t worth getting upset about?

    What is, then?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    TUAD @10: According to the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the state is not to interfere with the church. Also, God rules the secular realm with the moral law (the 1st use). That means that we are right to work for civil righteousness in the world.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    TUAD @10: According to the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the state is not to interfere with the church. Also, God rules the secular realm with the moral law (the 1st use). That means that we are right to work for civil righteousness in the world.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • DonS

    Or, Tom @ 33, perhaps it is from the “it is irrelevant to the rights of some that a majority don’t understand or agree with the tenets of their own faith” department.

    In any event, isn’t it interesting that the media and administration only seem to focus on the contraceptives and not on the abortifacients?

  • DonS

    Or, Tom @ 33, perhaps it is from the “it is irrelevant to the rights of some that a majority don’t understand or agree with the tenets of their own faith” department.

    In any event, isn’t it interesting that the media and administration only seem to focus on the contraceptives and not on the abortifacients?

  • Tom Hering

    Don, I forgot to indicate the sub-department. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Don, I forgot to indicate the sub-department. :-D

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

    Me: “What does Luther’s Two Kingdoms doctrine say that Lutheran Christians should do?”

    Dr. Veith, #32: “TUAD @10: According to the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the state is not to interfere with the church. Also, God rules the secular realm with the moral law (the 1st use). That means that we are right to work for civil righteousness in the world.

    Thank you for providing the general principles, Dr. Veith. How does Luther’s Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms work itself out WHEN the State does interfere with the Church?

    When you say that “we [conservative Lutherans or the Church] are right to work for civil righteousness in the world” do you support political activity in the Public Square as one of the means to effect civil righteousness in the world?

    As a 2-Kingdom Lutheran given the actions of the State interfering with the Church, would you support what J. Dean says in #8 provided that all reasonable means have been exhausted:

    “Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.”

    I.e., would a 2-Kingdom Lutheran like yourself support civil disobedience when the State interferes with the Church?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Lutheran Culture Warrior Dr. Gene Veith: “All conservative Christian ministries and pro-life organizations are being put in the position of having to pay for abortion pills.”

    Me: “What does Luther’s Two Kingdoms doctrine say that Lutheran Christians should do?”

    Dr. Veith, #32: “TUAD @10: According to the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, the state is not to interfere with the church. Also, God rules the secular realm with the moral law (the 1st use). That means that we are right to work for civil righteousness in the world.

    Thank you for providing the general principles, Dr. Veith. How does Luther’s Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms work itself out WHEN the State does interfere with the Church?

    When you say that “we [conservative Lutherans or the Church] are right to work for civil righteousness in the world” do you support political activity in the Public Square as one of the means to effect civil righteousness in the world?

    As a 2-Kingdom Lutheran given the actions of the State interfering with the Church, would you support what J. Dean says in #8 provided that all reasonable means have been exhausted:

    “Sounds like civil disobedience to me. Sounds like that’s the route we’ll be needing to take.”

    I.e., would a 2-Kingdom Lutheran like yourself support civil disobedience when the State interferes with the Church?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kenneth – “muslim of the hamas persuasion”.

    Hamas is a political, Palestinian group.

    Obama is a christian, but of a liberal persuasion. He is not a Muslim. Muslims hate abortion too. And liberalism. And alcohol, which Obama has had the White House Staff brew in the White House. and which he consumes as well.

    You are an ignoramus.

    Again, if you disagree with somebody, come up with a decent, good counter-argument. Otherwise, shutting-up is also a good option.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kenneth – “muslim of the hamas persuasion”.

    Hamas is a political, Palestinian group.

    Obama is a christian, but of a liberal persuasion. He is not a Muslim. Muslims hate abortion too. And liberalism. And alcohol, which Obama has had the White House Staff brew in the White House. and which he consumes as well.

    You are an ignoramus.

    Again, if you disagree with somebody, come up with a decent, good counter-argument. Otherwise, shutting-up is also a good option.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Or, do we obey God rather than man by no longer providing insurance and instead, giving LCMS workers additional income to allow them to buy their own coverage?”

    How about a Concordia medical share program like Samaritan? A small increase in pay, supplemental insurance like AFLAC seems like a better way to bear one another’s burdens than just dumping LCMS workers into a system where the only legal insurance they can buy will be mandated to pay for abortions, etc.

    The whole contraception thing is just a ruse to peel off voters who don’t care about abortion but are gullible on the topic of contraception. Contraception is so cheap anyway, there is no reason to have insurance pay for it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Or, do we obey God rather than man by no longer providing insurance and instead, giving LCMS workers additional income to allow them to buy their own coverage?”

    How about a Concordia medical share program like Samaritan? A small increase in pay, supplemental insurance like AFLAC seems like a better way to bear one another’s burdens than just dumping LCMS workers into a system where the only legal insurance they can buy will be mandated to pay for abortions, etc.

    The whole contraception thing is just a ruse to peel off voters who don’t care about abortion but are gullible on the topic of contraception. Contraception is so cheap anyway, there is no reason to have insurance pay for it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In any event, isn’t it interesting that the media and administration only seem to focus on the contraceptives and not on the abortifacients?”

    Calculated strategy?

    Honestly, who really needs someone to pay for their contraception?

    Anyone that poor already qualifies for MedicAid. Employees of Catholic institutions that qualify for health insurance make enough money to pay for their own contraception.

    They just think American voters are so stupid they will just reflexively misunderstand and come over to Obama. Probably true of some voters. The country is split almost 49/49, so that least engaged 2% is the money slice. Get those and you win. Spoils for all your friends.

    Numerous pundits have predicted that the requirement —and its narrow exemption for churches — will be a political liability for Obama. But where Shields sees “cataclysmic” fallout, the White House sees something quite different: a chance to widen the reproductive health debate beyond abortion to issues like contraceptives, winning over key demographics of independent voters in the process.

    And that could explain why the White House, alongside the Obama campaign, has engaged eagerly on the issues. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in USA Today earlier this week, praising the new provision. The Obama campaign meanwhile hasn’t been shy either, drawing up an infographic praising the new regulation. While there are some signs of a potential compromise for religious groups, the White House has made it pretty clear it plans to stand firm behind the current regulation.

    But while Catholic leadership has blasted the new regulation, polls show that a majority of Catholics are actually more supportive of the provision than the rest of the country. A poll out Tuesday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds 52 percent of Catholic voters agreed with the statement, “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” That’s pretty much in line with overall support for the provision, which hovers at 55 percent – likely because Catholics use contraceptives at rates similar to the rest of Americans.

    A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision. “Outside the political punditry, most Catholics agree with the administration on the issue,” says one Obama campaign official, explaining the view that this could be a political win.

    And a lot of this likely isn’t about Catholic voters at all.

    Rather, it may well be about the demographics that are most supportive of this particular health reform provision: young voters and women. In the PRRI poll, both groups register support above 60 percent for the provision.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-white-house-sees-political-opportunity-in-the-contraception-battle/2012/02/07/gIQAZ9hryQ_blog.html

    Looking for more support from the least informed and least responsible voters. Unfortunately that is the key demographic.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “In any event, isn’t it interesting that the media and administration only seem to focus on the contraceptives and not on the abortifacients?”

    Calculated strategy?

    Honestly, who really needs someone to pay for their contraception?

    Anyone that poor already qualifies for MedicAid. Employees of Catholic institutions that qualify for health insurance make enough money to pay for their own contraception.

    They just think American voters are so stupid they will just reflexively misunderstand and come over to Obama. Probably true of some voters. The country is split almost 49/49, so that least engaged 2% is the money slice. Get those and you win. Spoils for all your friends.

    Numerous pundits have predicted that the requirement —and its narrow exemption for churches — will be a political liability for Obama. But where Shields sees “cataclysmic” fallout, the White House sees something quite different: a chance to widen the reproductive health debate beyond abortion to issues like contraceptives, winning over key demographics of independent voters in the process.

    And that could explain why the White House, alongside the Obama campaign, has engaged eagerly on the issues. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in USA Today earlier this week, praising the new provision. The Obama campaign meanwhile hasn’t been shy either, drawing up an infographic praising the new regulation. While there are some signs of a potential compromise for religious groups, the White House has made it pretty clear it plans to stand firm behind the current regulation.

    But while Catholic leadership has blasted the new regulation, polls show that a majority of Catholics are actually more supportive of the provision than the rest of the country. A poll out Tuesday from the Public Religion Research Institute finds 52 percent of Catholic voters agreed with the statement, “employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception and birth control at no cost.” That’s pretty much in line with overall support for the provision, which hovers at 55 percent – likely because Catholics use contraceptives at rates similar to the rest of Americans.

    A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision. “Outside the political punditry, most Catholics agree with the administration on the issue,” says one Obama campaign official, explaining the view that this could be a political win.

    And a lot of this likely isn’t about Catholic voters at all.

    Rather, it may well be about the demographics that are most supportive of this particular health reform provision: young voters and women. In the PRRI poll, both groups register support above 60 percent for the provision.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/why-white-house-sees-political-opportunity-in-the-contraception-battle/2012/02/07/gIQAZ9hryQ_blog.html

    Looking for more support from the least informed and least responsible voters. Unfortunately that is the key demographic.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.”

    Let’s say that is true. But what if the objective isn’t to win on this point, but to vilify an opponent and use that as political leverage? As the electorate becomes ever more selfish and less civic minded, this is the main strategy. It doesn’t matter that a candidate is the darling of Wall Street and enemy of the common man. He just needs to convince the common man that he isn’t, and Wall Street will fund the campaign to persuade the common man to this belief.

    The problem isn’t so much that the Court will not uphold the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions in this particular case. The problem is that day by day fewer and fewer people actually believe in religious freedom and many of the other fundamental principles in the Constitution. They only believe in unfettered hedonism underwritten by, uh, someone, anyone, else. Well, that doesn’t have the greatest track record.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Current make up of the court makes it a reasonable bet they will strike down the provision requiring this coverage.”

    Let’s say that is true. But what if the objective isn’t to win on this point, but to vilify an opponent and use that as political leverage? As the electorate becomes ever more selfish and less civic minded, this is the main strategy. It doesn’t matter that a candidate is the darling of Wall Street and enemy of the common man. He just needs to convince the common man that he isn’t, and Wall Street will fund the campaign to persuade the common man to this belief.

    The problem isn’t so much that the Court will not uphold the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions in this particular case. The problem is that day by day fewer and fewer people actually believe in religious freedom and many of the other fundamental principles in the Constitution. They only believe in unfettered hedonism underwritten by, uh, someone, anyone, else. Well, that doesn’t have the greatest track record.

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 39: Women, young adults, and the majority of Catholics are “the least informed and least responsible voters”? Or did you mean a group in addition to those groups? And if so, who are they? And how do you know they’re selfish, less civic minded, and unfettered hedonists?

  • Tom Hering

    sg @ 39: Women, young adults, and the majority of Catholics are “the least informed and least responsible voters”? Or did you mean a group in addition to those groups? And if so, who are they? And how do you know they’re selfish, less civic minded, and unfettered hedonists?

  • http://www.larknews.com/archives/241 Jonathan

    Health care plans that cover contraception, etc., are already mandated in more than half the states. Why nary a peep of protest?

  • http://www.larknews.com/archives/241 Jonathan

    Health care plans that cover contraception, etc., are already mandated in more than half the states. Why nary a peep of protest?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @41 I am talking about those who are easily swayed by baseless hype and don’t really know about the issues. Sorry for the way I phrased it. It came out ambiguous.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @41 I am talking about those who are easily swayed by baseless hype and don’t really know about the issues. Sorry for the way I phrased it. It came out ambiguous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > Why nary a peep of protest?

    Allow me.
    I don’t see why the government at any level should be concerned about the content of an agreement between private parties. The government’s legitimate interest in such agreements ought to be limited to holding the parties to what they agreed to (but that’s should already be regulated by contract law, isn’t it?) and to make sure that the agreement isn’t written in misleading gobbledygook that can’t be easily understood by the average consumer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > Why nary a peep of protest?

    Allow me.
    I don’t see why the government at any level should be concerned about the content of an agreement between private parties. The government’s legitimate interest in such agreements ought to be limited to holding the parties to what they agreed to (but that’s should already be regulated by contract law, isn’t it?) and to make sure that the agreement isn’t written in misleading gobbledygook that can’t be easily understood by the average consumer.

  • kenneth

    the Ignoramas klasie!1

    Hamas is a militant fascist politcal nightmare the west needs to realize. Arguements, ihave not seen one from you.

    Obama may be a muslim as he will flip flop on any issue, gender or religion. So there dummy!!!

  • kenneth

    the Ignoramas klasie!1

    Hamas is a militant fascist politcal nightmare the west needs to realize. Arguements, ihave not seen one from you.

    Obama may be a muslim as he will flip flop on any issue, gender or religion. So there dummy!!!

  • Tom Hering

    Muslims flip-flop on religion??

  • Tom Hering

    Muslims flip-flop on religion??

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kenneth – you know zilch about Islam. Flip-flopping ain’t no trademarkof Islam. Yes, Hamas does confess a certain (Sunni) brand of Islam. But you cannot be a Hamas Muslim.You can. Be a Sunni Muslim. A Shia Muslim. An Ahwadi Muslim. Even a Sufi Muslim. Those are recognised strains or sects within Islam. And, btw, you also called him a Communist earlier on. You know that won’t do – opiate of the people and all that.

    Your blind hatred of Obama is making you into a quite a charicature, you know that. And you still aren’t getting the message: it is not doing your side of the argument any good!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Kenneth – you know zilch about Islam. Flip-flopping ain’t no trademarkof Islam. Yes, Hamas does confess a certain (Sunni) brand of Islam. But you cannot be a Hamas Muslim.You can. Be a Sunni Muslim. A Shia Muslim. An Ahwadi Muslim. Even a Sufi Muslim. Those are recognised strains or sects within Islam. And, btw, you also called him a Communist earlier on. You know that won’t do – opiate of the people and all that.

    Your blind hatred of Obama is making you into a quite a charicature, you know that. And you still aren’t getting the message: it is not doing your side of the argument any good!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sorry, that should be Alawite in #47, not Ahwadi. Note that there are also other sects, andd subsects within the major sects, etc etc. The point though is that there is no evidence that President Obama is Muslim, not real evidence, and certainly not behaviorial.

    On this topic I recommend Jonathan Kay’s book, Among the Truthers.

    Why do I care about obviously outrageous outbursts like these? Because in a day where the Church has already rock-bottom PR, the presence of such utterances, and them going going unchallenged, on a site such as this one, provides more ammunition for her enemies.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Sorry, that should be Alawite in #47, not Ahwadi. Note that there are also other sects, andd subsects within the major sects, etc etc. The point though is that there is no evidence that President Obama is Muslim, not real evidence, and certainly not behaviorial.

    On this topic I recommend Jonathan Kay’s book, Among the Truthers.

    Why do I care about obviously outrageous outbursts like these? Because in a day where the Church has already rock-bottom PR, the presence of such utterances, and them going going unchallenged, on a site such as this one, provides more ammunition for her enemies.

  • Michael B.

    @Mike Westfall

    “I don’t see why the government at any level should be concerned about the content of an agreement between private parties.”

    Surely you can’t mean this. What if one of them is selling heroin to the other?

  • Michael B.

    @Mike Westfall

    “I don’t see why the government at any level should be concerned about the content of an agreement between private parties.”

    Surely you can’t mean this. What if one of them is selling heroin to the other?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Good point Michael @49: How often are seemingly very important arguments nothiong more but arbitrary lines in the sand. When discussing these issues, such simplistic lines of argumentation are to be avoided.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Good point Michael @49: How often are seemingly very important arguments nothiong more but arbitrary lines in the sand. When discussing these issues, such simplistic lines of argumentation are to be avoided.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Selling heroin is already illegal. Has nothing to do with legislating health care coverage.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Selling heroin is already illegal. Has nothing to do with legislating health care coverage.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Mike, you’re missing the point of Michael’s response. He was responding to the substance of your previous statement.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Mike, you’re missing the point of Michael’s response. He was responding to the substance of your previous statement.

  • nativetexasn

    My old fashioned opinion is that if you think you are ready to have sex, you should pay for your own birth-control.

  • nativetexasn

    My old fashioned opinion is that if you think you are ready to have sex, you should pay for your own birth-control.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    All I can say is “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    All I can say is “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

  • Gary

    sg @ 39

    “A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision”

    Before it becomes accepted as established fact that the administration is “waging war” on religious folk in general, and Christians in particular, could we look at what this 52% really tells us? And if it were American Lutherans being polled instead of U.S. Catholics can anyone doubt the numbers would be even MORE supportive of this mandate? (Remember, LCMS and WELS combined are still far outnumbered, and I’d be interested in a poll of only LCMS laity; most of the LCMS rank-and-file will never be aware of President Harrison’s statement, and I wonder how many would automatically agree with it if it were brought to their attention anonymously?)

  • Gary

    sg @ 39

    “A majority of Catholics – 52 percent – also agree with the Obama administration’s decision to not exempt religious hospitals and universities from the provision”

    Before it becomes accepted as established fact that the administration is “waging war” on religious folk in general, and Christians in particular, could we look at what this 52% really tells us? And if it were American Lutherans being polled instead of U.S. Catholics can anyone doubt the numbers would be even MORE supportive of this mandate? (Remember, LCMS and WELS combined are still far outnumbered, and I’d be interested in a poll of only LCMS laity; most of the LCMS rank-and-file will never be aware of President Harrison’s statement, and I wonder how many would automatically agree with it if it were brought to their attention anonymously?)

  • DonS

    Gary @ 55: Are you saying that our Constitutional protections under the Bill of Rights are based on popularity? That they don’t protect the minority? If that is not your view, then certainly you realize that it is irrelevant that many Catholics (and Lutherans) are nominal.

  • DonS

    Gary @ 55: Are you saying that our Constitutional protections under the Bill of Rights are based on popularity? That they don’t protect the minority? If that is not your view, then certainly you realize that it is irrelevant that many Catholics (and Lutherans) are nominal.

  • Gary

    No, DonS @ 56, I’m not saying that. I’m saying it’s a minority of Catholics and Lutherans who have any problem of conscience with the idea of religiously-affiliated businesses paying for insurance plans that cover contraceptives. The majority of U.S. Catholics believe their church’s dogma in this regard is outdated and irrelevant, and the majority of Catholic women believe this is fundamentally a health issue. No one is polling Lutherans, but I imagine the same holds true. Holding such positions does not demonstrate these folks are merely “nominal” Catholics or Lutherans.

    I’m also saying when Fox News paints this issue as an assault on the Catholic Church, or when President Harrison expresses his personal view that “we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience,” it all amounts to the same thing–a mistaking of a religious position influencing the consciences of a few for a broadly held conviction held by the faithful backbone of the Church. But why should the only religious voices that are heard in this regard be from Catholic bishops and a Synodical President? PUBLIC policy is being decided here, so if the majority of U.S. Catholics (and probably Lutheran laity) choose to FOLLOW THEIR CONSCIENCE by using contraceptives, irrespective of what their church leaders want them to believe or practice, maybe a totally secular administration is not being so intrusive after all.

    Please follow the link below, not for the article itself (which does not especially impress), but to read the comments. Read as many as have time for. Those comments can tell you a lot, if you’re willing to listen.

    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/09/10365844-catholic-bishops-birth-control-stance-harms-employees-bioethicist-says

  • Gary

    No, DonS @ 56, I’m not saying that. I’m saying it’s a minority of Catholics and Lutherans who have any problem of conscience with the idea of religiously-affiliated businesses paying for insurance plans that cover contraceptives. The majority of U.S. Catholics believe their church’s dogma in this regard is outdated and irrelevant, and the majority of Catholic women believe this is fundamentally a health issue. No one is polling Lutherans, but I imagine the same holds true. Holding such positions does not demonstrate these folks are merely “nominal” Catholics or Lutherans.

    I’m also saying when Fox News paints this issue as an assault on the Catholic Church, or when President Harrison expresses his personal view that “we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience,” it all amounts to the same thing–a mistaking of a religious position influencing the consciences of a few for a broadly held conviction held by the faithful backbone of the Church. But why should the only religious voices that are heard in this regard be from Catholic bishops and a Synodical President? PUBLIC policy is being decided here, so if the majority of U.S. Catholics (and probably Lutheran laity) choose to FOLLOW THEIR CONSCIENCE by using contraceptives, irrespective of what their church leaders want them to believe or practice, maybe a totally secular administration is not being so intrusive after all.

    Please follow the link below, not for the article itself (which does not especially impress), but to read the comments. Read as many as have time for. Those comments can tell you a lot, if you’re willing to listen.

    http://vitals.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/09/10365844-catholic-bishops-birth-control-stance-harms-employees-bioethicist-says

  • Klasie Kraalogies
  • Klasie Kraalogies
  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @55

    “Before it becomes accepted as established fact that the administration is “waging war” on religious folk in general, and Christians in particular, could we look at what this 52% really tells us?”

    It tells us they aren’t Catholic. Surveys allow folks to self identify. If the survey first asked 1) Are you Catholic and 2) If so, do you attend Mass weekly, and only those who answer both yes, are really Catholic. Then we could see what practicing Catholics believe. Not that it matters in their case because the Pope is the last word on Catholic teaching according to their church structure.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @55

    “Before it becomes accepted as established fact that the administration is “waging war” on religious folk in general, and Christians in particular, could we look at what this 52% really tells us?”

    It tells us they aren’t Catholic. Surveys allow folks to self identify. If the survey first asked 1) Are you Catholic and 2) If so, do you attend Mass weekly, and only those who answer both yes, are really Catholic. Then we could see what practicing Catholics believe. Not that it matters in their case because the Pope is the last word on Catholic teaching according to their church structure.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 58:

    The White House said on Friday that it will require insurance companies to pick up the tab for women’s contraceptives, exempting religious employers from the rule, in what it called an “accommodation” on the hotly contested issue of paying for birth control.

    The White House said it would post a proposed rule that requires insurance companies to offer contraception coverage directly to women.

    The much-awaited compromise is meant to appease religious institutions that say federal rules on contraception violate their religious beliefs.

    “Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge,” the White House said in a statement. “Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception,” it added. “Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception.”

    So the “fix” they are considering is to shift the costs of providing free contraceptives and abortifacients to the insurance companies. Um, since insurance companies can only provide benefits using premiums, that means the premium payers, including the religious institutions purchasing policies, are still covering those benefits, right? It’s just not itemized on their statement. Out of sight, out of mind — is that the theory? Not sure that’s really a “fix”. If people of faith accept this as a resolution to the issue, then we really are pathetic sheep.

    Anyway, the devil’s in the details. The regulations are final. They have to be withdrawn, rewritten, republished for comment, and then published as final rules again. That probably pushes them past the election. So, we won’t know for a while what the administration is really willing to do.

  • DonS

    Klasie @ 58:

    The White House said on Friday that it will require insurance companies to pick up the tab for women’s contraceptives, exempting religious employers from the rule, in what it called an “accommodation” on the hotly contested issue of paying for birth control.

    The White House said it would post a proposed rule that requires insurance companies to offer contraception coverage directly to women.

    The much-awaited compromise is meant to appease religious institutions that say federal rules on contraception violate their religious beliefs.

    “Insurance companies will be required to provide contraception coverage to these women free of charge,” the White House said in a statement. “Religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception,” it added. “Religious organizations will not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception.”

    So the “fix” they are considering is to shift the costs of providing free contraceptives and abortifacients to the insurance companies. Um, since insurance companies can only provide benefits using premiums, that means the premium payers, including the religious institutions purchasing policies, are still covering those benefits, right? It’s just not itemized on their statement. Out of sight, out of mind — is that the theory? Not sure that’s really a “fix”. If people of faith accept this as a resolution to the issue, then we really are pathetic sheep.

    Anyway, the devil’s in the details. The regulations are final. They have to be withdrawn, rewritten, republished for comment, and then published as final rules again. That probably pushes them past the election. So, we won’t know for a while what the administration is really willing to do.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @58

    Actually, I think Obama didn’t really care nor did the Democrats. They are pragmatists. They got what they really wanted, more polarization and shifting the middle to the left. By causing this hue and cry, they caused who knows how many who ignore or forget about the contraception objections from the church to feel less warm to catholic teaching and warmer toward the progressive view. So, it is a win for Obama. Probably got him more votes than it lost him. The most religious group of democrat voters are blacks, and they are mostly protestants.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @58

    Actually, I think Obama didn’t really care nor did the Democrats. They are pragmatists. They got what they really wanted, more polarization and shifting the middle to the left. By causing this hue and cry, they caused who knows how many who ignore or forget about the contraception objections from the church to feel less warm to catholic teaching and warmer toward the progressive view. So, it is a win for Obama. Probably got him more votes than it lost him. The most religious group of democrat voters are blacks, and they are mostly protestants.

  • Cindy

    I am writing an article for a local conservative newspaper and I have found the discussion here noteworthy. Before I got onto this site I was reading a blog in which the question discussed was “should politics EVER be discussed from the pulpit?” The overwhelming belief from the writer and the people that posted was that it should not be discussed. This was an old post from ’10 but the attitude was exactly like the one displayed in the first post. My question is this : When evil is using the vehicle of government to win should the pulpit still stay quiet? As I am researching some of my local churches (by sitting in on some of their services and interviewing the pastors) the Catholic Church is the only service I have sat in that the health care mandate was brought up. In the service that the Bishop’s letter was read the follow-up by the Father explained the issue. I have not made it to a Lutheran Church yet but I hope to do so this week. My own personal belief is that Christians and America as a whole is about to see where standing in the shadows and hoping God does all the work leads. Prayer and biblical study are the preparation for the battle – not the battle itself. At some point God expects us to fight for him just as he fought for us.

  • Cindy

    I am writing an article for a local conservative newspaper and I have found the discussion here noteworthy. Before I got onto this site I was reading a blog in which the question discussed was “should politics EVER be discussed from the pulpit?” The overwhelming belief from the writer and the people that posted was that it should not be discussed. This was an old post from ’10 but the attitude was exactly like the one displayed in the first post. My question is this : When evil is using the vehicle of government to win should the pulpit still stay quiet? As I am researching some of my local churches (by sitting in on some of their services and interviewing the pastors) the Catholic Church is the only service I have sat in that the health care mandate was brought up. In the service that the Bishop’s letter was read the follow-up by the Father explained the issue. I have not made it to a Lutheran Church yet but I hope to do so this week. My own personal belief is that Christians and America as a whole is about to see where standing in the shadows and hoping God does all the work leads. Prayer and biblical study are the preparation for the battle – not the battle itself. At some point God expects us to fight for him just as he fought for us.

  • Cindy Maynard

    The church has been laying on more restrictions on its members.
    It’s leaders does not answer it’s members questions and just wants them to follow.
    Unforurnantly now you know how it feels. The govt is coming down on the church. And they are also to busy to answer your questions.
    You are being treated like children and you will have to realy more on God for answers. Not so easy to handle hmmm?

  • Cindy Maynard

    The church has been laying on more restrictions on its members.
    It’s leaders does not answer it’s members questions and just wants them to follow.
    Unforurnantly now you know how it feels. The govt is coming down on the church. And they are also to busy to answer your questions.
    You are being treated like children and you will have to realy more on God for answers. Not so easy to handle hmmm?


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