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Thread: Fifty Years Ago American Evangelicals Didnít Care Much About Abortion. What Changed?

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    Fifty Years Ago American Evangelicals Didnít Care Much About Abortion. What Changed?

    In its challenge to the “contraception mandate” of the Affordable Care Act, Hobby Lobby claims that certain forms of birth control—Plan B, “ella,” and IUDs—induce abortion and therefore go against the owners’ religious beliefs. The government’s response is that none of these contraceptives ends a pregnancy. Rather, they prevent implantation in the uterine lining.

    The rejoinder, from supporters of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, is that this doesn’t matter. “Although the government has made statements that terminating a fertilized embryo before it implants in the uterus is not an abortion,” writes Bart Stupak and Democrats for Life in an amicus brief filed in support of Hobby Lobby, “the relevant matter for claim of conscience … is plaintiffs’ belief that a distinct human life begins at fertilization. It is no salve … to be told that the government defines abortion differently.”

    There’s no doubt that this belief is sincere. But what’s fascinating is the extent to which, for conservative evangelicals, it’s new. So new, in fact, that when Hobby Lobby’s president, Steve Green, was a child in the 1960s, it was the minority view among American evangelical Protestants.
    Link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a..._from_not.html

    A fascinating story about how the attitude of evangelicals about abortion and contraception has changed over the last 50 years. Makes you realize the unfair advantage the religious hold when they can take a political position and spin it into religious dogma that protects them from having to follow the same laws that apply to everyone else.

    Regardless of your opinion about abortion or contraception -- and my own views about the former are somewhat ambivalent -- it's interesting to see the sea change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    Link: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_a..._from_not.html

    A fascinating story about how the attitude of evangelicals about abortion and contraception has changed over the last 50 years. Makes you realize the unfair advantage the religious hold when they can take a political position and spin it into religious dogma that protects them from having to follow the same laws that apply to everyone else.

    Regardless of your opinion about abortion or contraception -- and my own views about the former are somewhat ambivalent -- it's interesting to see the sea change.
    .
    Initially a disclaimer... I'm pro-choice and actually think there are situations where contraception should be legally required or at least encouraged.

    This case, and much of the debate about contraception over the last few years, however, is another one of these distractions. Christian fundamentalists own businesses, and I don't see an issue with them being exempt from having to pay for Health plans that subsidize contraception. I'm happy to see information to the contrary, but the number of businesses that would be subject to the mandate that would actually claim this religious exemption even if it comes to pass would be miniscule. In other words, if you really want to have a health plan that covers contraception (my wife's does thankfully) or be able to otherwise pay for birth control pills the Hobby Lobbies or Catholic universities of he world are not going to really impede that.

    Whether you want to call the Hobby Lobby owner a hypocrite (well we all are) that's fine. But in the end, if he and the Chik filet guy has a religious objection to it, it really doesn't affect anyone that wants birth control.

    I'll paraphrase Potter Stewart, this is an uncommonly silly debate.


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    I was pro-life until I had a kid. Then I realized the time, commitment and dedication it takes to properly raise children and became aware that it's not for everyone; especially if they don't want to commit to it. It's always the less intelligent, uneducated section of the population that pops 'em out like pez.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sons of Shula View Post
    I was pro-life until I had a kid. Then I realized the time, commitment and dedication it takes to properly raise children and became aware that it's not for everyone; especially if they don't want to commit to it. It's always the less intelligent, uneducated section of the population that pops 'em out like pez.
    And imagine how much worse it would be if abortion were illegal everywhere. You'd be surprised how many people that are on the fence you can turn into Planned Parenthood donors if you tell them how much a kid whose parents are wards of the state costs the taxpayer.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    .
    Initially a disclaimer... I'm pro-choice and actually think there are situations where contraception should be legally required or at least encouraged.

    This case, and much of the debate about contraception over the last few years, however, is another one of these distractions. Christian fundamentalists own businesses, and I don't see an issue with them being exempt from having to pay for Health plans that subsidize contraception. I'm happy to see information to the contrary, but the number of businesses that would be subject to the mandate that would actually claim this religious exemption even if it comes to pass would be miniscule. In other words, if you really want to have a health plan that covers contraception (my wife's does thankfully) or be able to otherwise pay for birth control pills the Hobby Lobbies or Catholic universities of he world are not going to really impede that.

    Whether you want to call the Hobby Lobby owner a hypocrite (well we all are) that's fine. But in the end, if he and the Chik filet guy has a religious objection to it, it really doesn't affect anyone that wants birth control.

    I'll paraphrase Potter Stewart, this is an uncommonly silly debate.


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    It's less about raw numbers and more about where the line is in the law, because if you allow this kind of thing, you open up the can of worms to any number of religious objections... sincere or otherwise. What's to stop a Christian Scientist from claiming he has a religious objection to subsidizing any form of health insurance? What's to stop any business owner from converting to Christian Science? It might seem like not a lot of businesses are objecting right now (though there are quite a lot of religious primary/secondary schools, universities, hospitals and charities -- not to mention bookstores or other related religious businesses) but the floodgates would open.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sons of Shula View Post
    I was pro-life until I had a kid. Then I realized the time, commitment and dedication it takes to properly raise children and became aware that it's not for everyone; especially if they don't want to commit to it. It's always the less intelligent, uneducated section of the population that pops 'em out like pez.
    I wouldn't know since I don't have any, but I wonder if some people don't realize that having kids means caring about and loving someone more than you do yourself, something I have no interest in doing.
    but when the trumpets blew again and the knights charged, the name they cried was "Stannis! Stannis! STANNIS!"


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    Lord Seaworth is a man of humble birth, but he reminded me of my duty, when all I could think of was my rights. I had the cart before the horse, Davos said. I was trying to win the throne to save the kingdom, when I should have been trying to save the kingdom to win the throne.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    It's less about raw numbers and more about where the line is in the law, because if you allow this kind of thing, you open up the can of worms to any number of religious objections... sincere or otherwise. What's to stop a Christian Scientist from claiming he has a religious objection to subsidizing any form of health insurance? What's to stop any business owner from converting to Christian Science? It might seem like not a lot of businesses are objecting right now (though there are quite a lot of religious primary/secondary schools, universities, hospitals and charities -- not to mention bookstores or other related religious businesses) but the floodgates would open.
    Distinguishing a real religious objection from something contrived is nothing new. Courts deal with it all the time. If there's some real data to the contrary, I'm willing to see it, but it seems very unlikely that a business owner is going to go through some kind of pseudo religious awakening just to save a few bucks on the health care plan he has to provide to his workers, and I doubt it saves any money at all. As I understand it, Hobby Lobby is not saying they should otherwise be exempt from Obamavare, but only that part of it that requires them to have health plans that include contraceptives. Even if they win, it won't do much, if anything for the bottom line.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    Distinguishing a real religious objection from something contrived is nothing new. Courts deal with it all the time. If there's some real data to the contrary, I'm willing to see it, but it seems very unlikely that a business owner is going to go through some kind of pseudo religious awakening just to save a few bucks on the health care plan he has to provide to his workers, and I doubt it saves any money at all. As I understand it, Hobby Lobby is not saying they should otherwise be exempt from Obamavare, but only that part of it that requires them to have health plans that include contraceptives. Even if they win, it won't do much, if anything for the bottom line.
    On the contrary, one way or another this case is going to define a new area of law, and it's implications are potentially massive. Corporations are now officially "people" -- thanks to Citizens United -- so to what degree do they have the same rights as people, in this case religious rights? I do not agree that deciding where the line is on this is a small deal.

    If the SCOTUS rules for the plantiffs, any regulation imposed by the government on an employer would now potentially be subject to a religious test. The ability to deny providing contraception or abortion is just the beginning. What's to stop a business from claiming their religious beliefs mean they don't have to subscribe to equal protection in hiring and firing, or obey labor laws (including child labor), pay a minimum wage, or be prevented from engaging in discrimination against their customers (like, say, a wedding photographer getting an inquiry from a gay couple). It's a can of worms the size of a sinkhole.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    On the contrary, one way or another this case is going to define a new area of law, and it's implications are potentially massive. Corporations are now officially "people" -- thanks to Citizens United -- so to what degree do they have the same rights as people, in this case religious rights? I do not agree that deciding where the line is on this is a small deal.

    If the SCOTUS rules for the plantiffs, any regulation imposed by the government on an employer would now potentially be subject to a religious test. The ability to deny providing contraception or abortion is just the beginning. What's to stop a business from claiming their religious beliefs mean they don't have to subscribe to equal protection in hiring and firing, or obey labor laws (including child labor), pay a minimum wage, or be prevented from engaging in discrimination against their customers (like, say, a wedding photographer getting an inquiry from a gay couple). It's a can of worms the size of a sinkhole.
    The second I hear someone bring up the corporation equals people dog whistle, I know someone doesn't have a real point. Since corporations aren't people, I assume you would have no problem with, say President Palin seizing all of the assets of the New York Times corporation for publishing editorials she didn't approve of. Or forcing a Muslim owned restaurant that does business in the corporate form to serve pork products.

    Have corporations until Obamacare regularly stood in the way of contraception, including the pill being readily available for anyone that has wanted it? Or are corporations going to somehow all the sudden going to gin up religious objections when it means nothing for the bottom line? That is, having to pay for a health plan sans birth control or abortion saves you virtually no money as compared to having to pay for health insurance otherwise.

    And yes, I don't see any reason why a wedding photographer should be forced to take pictures for a gay wedding if he doesn't want to. Whether they do business in the corporate form or not is a distinction that doesn't matter. And frankly a gay people doesn't want that person to take pictures for their wedding either. It's busy bodies trying to make controversies that simply don't exist.

    It's a can of worms that's actually smaller than than a thimble, while we're using metaphors.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Dolphan View Post
    The second I hear someone bring up the corporation equals people dog whistle, I know someone doesn't have a real point.
    "Corporations as people" is the legal basis for the claims by the plantiffs. It is not some bugaboo I'm throwing in. Legally speaking, the corporate entity buys the health care plan, not the individual owner or owners. If that entity was not for technical reasons a person, it would not have a religious freedom basis to make these claims.

    I've got to laugh at the implications of this kind of decision being limited given the fact that this case relies so heavily on the legal definition of corporate personhood as defined by Citizens United. I mean, people definitely saw this Hobby Lobby case coming when that decision was handed down. I can only imagine the number of people out who were beating this same drum you're beating. They've got to feel pretty smart right now.

    Since corporations aren't people, I assume you would have no problem with, say President Palin seizing all of the assets of the New York Times corporation for publishing editorials she didn't approve of. Or forcing a Muslim owned restaurant that does business in the corporate form to serve pork products.
    What in the name of Lloyd Christmas are you blathering about?

    Have corporations until Obamacare regularly stood in the way of contraception, including the pill being readily available for anyone that has wanted it? Or are corporations going to somehow all the sudden going to gin up religious objections when it means nothing for the bottom line? That is, having to pay for a health plan sans birth control or abortion saves you virtually no money as compared to having to pay for health insurance otherwise.
    Corporations before the Citizens United case had been considered "people" in some ways but not in others and was a legally murky area. That case defined it constitutionally. That's why you haven't seen this issue come up before.

    Whether a business makes one of these decisions for issues related to the bottom line or not is really beside the point (though it's a reason to suspect fraud will eventually take a hand). The point is that businesses engaging in practices that are otherwise illegal and standing behind their religious book of choice is not okay. It wasn't okay when the Civil Rights Act was met with a barrage of criticism by business owners who didn't want to integrate their businesses -- citing religious objections -- and it's not okay now.

    If Hobby Lobby was run by a family that wasn't religious but had the same objection to contraception, they wouldn't get a day in court. But somehow being religious means you're special and your ideas are worth more than someone else's.
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