Exemptions on moral, as well as religious grounds

Religious organizations can get an exemption from Obamacare’s birth control mandate.  But opposition to contraception and embracing a pro-life philosophy are matters of moral conviction, not just religious conviction.  What about an organization whose stance is based on moral reasoning, rather than religious doctrine?

March for Life is a secular organization, so a judge had ruled that it cannot be exempt from the Obamacare mandate.  But a federal judge threw out that decision, saying that moral objections can carry the same weight as religious convictions.

People are always confusing religion and morality, as if they were the same thing, or as if moral decisions are always religious decisions, and vice versa.  They are related, to be sure, but in the case of Christianity, which affirms both realms, the religious part is not so much about being moral as with finding forgiveness for NOT being moral.

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The administrative state

Mollie Hemingway at the Federalist just rips to shreds the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.  In the course of doing so, she points to an overarching problem:  The establishment of the administrative state, in which Constitutional government is replaced by administrative agencies, which have the power to make laws, enforce them, and judge and punish those who do not comply.  That is to say, we now have bureaucracies that have legislative, executive, and judicial power. [Read more...]

The revised contraceptive mandate

In response to the Supreme Court decision that the Obamacare contraception mandate can violate the religious liberty of pro-life business owners, the administration has issued new regulations that would allow employees to get free birth control–including those that prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg–without violating the religious convictions of employers.

See the details after the jump.  Does this solve the problem? [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Senate bill would reverse Hobby Lobby ruling

Democrats in the Senate are fast-tracking a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.  The measure would say that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would not apply to contraceptive coverage so that religious organizations would be forced to provide them.

Though the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would surely not pass the bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate probably will, giving more ammunition for the Democratic propaganda that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women.”   [Read more...]

Hobby Lobby hysteria

Critics of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Obamacare contraceptive mandate must include exemptions for business owners whose religion does not permit them to purchase birth control pills and possible abortifacients are howling with indignation.  Women are going to be prevented from having access to birth control!  The ruling will result in more unwanted pregnancies and thus more abortions!

But the ruling itself simply makes the remedy already given to churches and religious organizations available to religious individuals who own businesses.  Those who claim the religious exemption will not have to pay for contraceptive coverage in the insurance plans they make available to their employees.  But the insurance companies will have to provide a separate policy that does so at no extra charge to the employees.  Thus, as the court said, all women will still get free birth control.  Even the employees of Hobby Lobby. [Read more...]