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Author Topic: Galatians 6:7 - karma is a bitch
Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
The healthful benefits of poppy seeds cannot be divorced from the potential for immoral uses. The same is not true for the health insurance. The moral and immoral uses can be separated.

Not anymore per the new regulations. It's now one indivisible package that similarly cannot be separated.

Maybe a better example would be a box of pseudoephedrine shortly after it became public knowledge that it can be used for drugmaking.

The fact that any given thing can possibly be put to an immoral use doesn't make that thing in and of itself immoral. It's only in the use that it becomes so; and that private use is fully out of the legitimate authority of the Church to attempt to dictate to anyone but it's adherents.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Poppy seeds have many good and moral uses. Contraceptives, in the opinion of Catholics, do not.




More correctly put, "in the opinion of some celibate Catholic bishops". Roughly 98% of American Catholic women have used birth control at one time or another.

ETA: I should correct that myself to say that roughly 98% of sexually active Catholic women have used birth control. About the same as American women in general.

[ February 08, 2012, 05:50 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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MattP
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And what of the employer that has religious objections to all healthcare? Christian Scientists, perhaps. While I disagree that the church actually bears moral responsibility for facilitating health coverage for employees who ultimately make their own decisions about what care is appropriate for them, I don't think it's ultimately relevant.

When a church chooses to engage the secular world *as a secular entity*, it is responsible for following the same rules as everyone else. Don't want your clergy to get contraceptive coverage, fine - don't provide it. But if you are going to hire people to work for you in a non-religious capacity, you're going to be bound by civil law which may or may not be in agreement with your current moral sensibilities. This applies to many areas beyond healthcare, most notably anti-discrimination laws.

It seems like the argument against full-service healthcare is equally applicable to all of these other situations. A religious belief that women should not work could be used to justify only allowing your secular institutions to hire males, for instance.

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Pyrtolin
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It's also worth noting that the relevant medicines also have legitimate health uses- control of hormones to alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis, for example- that are completely inseparable from their contraceptive effects.
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DonaldD
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quote:
I've covered this in my previous posts.
You really haven't though. There is really no difference in the two tenders except that one is more restrictive. Cash also has an implicit list of acceptable purposes, including its exchange for legal medical services and medicines.

The church, however, probably feels that that particular boat has sailed, and complaining that cash can be exchanged for contraceptives is a losing argument. To be consistent, the Church should be arguing that it should not be forced to pay salaries in dollars, but rather should be able to provide some other tender in exchange for employment services, one that does not allow for sinful use. That such a tender no longer exists is the problem.

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cherrypoptart
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Interesting reading from Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/exemptions.asp

I won't go into the whole thing, but basically the Amish are exempt from this. I don't see how that can be Constitutional, for instance how it doesn't discriminate against the atheist libertarian fundamentalist. Obamacare is so unConstitutional on so many levels, as I'm confident we will soon find out from the Supreme Court making most of this moot, except for the betrayal by so many liberals of so many Americans' clear Constitutional rights.

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cherrypoptart
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http://news.yahoo.com/analysis-obama-contraceptive-mandate-price-064102913.html

"After two weeks of unrelenting condemnation led by the nation's Catholic bishops, the White House has responded by hinting at some compromise in how the requirement is enforced."

Nothing there about changing the law, apparently just promising selective enforcement based on political pressures. So the law itself means nothing and can be enforced or ignored at will. Much like all those corporate waivers we saw earlier. If people can't be confident about the consistent application of the law, then a government loses all credibility.

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MattP
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quote:
I won't go into the whole thing, but basically the Amish are exempt from this. I don't see how that can be Constitutional,
They are (potentially) exempt under criteria identical to that which already exempts them from social security tax. If there's a constitutional issue, it's a longstanding one which is not new to the health care bill.
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seekingprometheus
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Josh:
quote:
The Church can and has been wrong in the past. It may be wrong on issues now
"The Church" is a large social body constituted by millions of individuals, not just the contemporary authoritative voice thereof...
quote:
My understand is that to be Catholic means to follow the teachings of the Church, i.e. the Bishops and the Pope.
I think I follow the your meaning But this is ironish, because the term actually means "of the whole" or "universal," which is a bit of an antinome to your limiting rendering here. (Which is fitting, given our antinomian theme...)
quote:
I do know this: The Will of God, according to Catholics, is not subject to popular belief.
Of course not. But is it subject to the Pope's beliefs?
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AI Wessex
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"I think I follow the your meaning But this is ironish, because the term actually means "of the whole" or "universal," which is a bit of an antinome to your limiting rendering here. (Which is fitting, given our antinomian theme...)"

I think it means universal in the sense that the Church represents everyone of professed or unprofessed faith. The Pope speaks for God and the Bishops speak for the Pope.

I had to look up antinomian, and it's worse than I feared...

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kmbboots
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The Pope does not speak for God. He is not a prophet.
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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
Well, take it Catholics. Take it. [LOL]

You do that, Alan. And when you do, you tell Rose that if he tries to bump us he'll find out just how hard we "mackerel snappers" can bump back!

quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
[QUOTE]People like you are why prople like me, who believe in states rights, municipal rights, reasonble taxation, and a limited federal government can't get any traction.

Movement Conservatives like you are simply the other side of the same coin that Progressives represent. You want a big imperial federal government, you just want to make sure it's run by Republicans.

You said you don't want a civil discourse, but you meant "I want to be as rude and obscene as I can be, and I want you to be patient with me and try and get me to see reason."

<ahem>

"people like you..." first of all, g-toon is not a person, it's a cartoon.

You don't know what the person behind the caricature actually "wants." G2's author might well be you or me, as I demonstrated last year with "TedK," where I had a dozen of you arguing feverishly against a new Ornerian whose contributions to this board were all quoted directly from the Unibomber Manifesto. It's a point I've made perhaps less successfully for a few months when every statement I made to G2 has been a direct quote from the movie "Needful Things."

Viking, I worry for you when you say to G2 that "people like you are why people like me think x." Please do not base your political positions on the postures of a caricature. That can't be healthy ... and it might very well be precisely what G2's author was banking on.


quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
[QUOTE] The future of the right belongs to the Ron Paul Republicans, and they're not going to play this game with you the way the liberals do. Your days are numbered.

Everyone wants to think that their way is the way of evolution and that opposing ideas have numbered days. That was the mantra of the Goodridge atrocity, it was also Kruschev's swan song as he thumped his shoe on the table and said "we will bury you." (I think I posted a link a couple years back when Kruschev's son became a US citizen ...) As far as you or I know, the future belongs to Carrot Top, and gingers will rule the galaxy.

Peace, out.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
Please do not base your political positions on the postures of a caricature. That can't be healthy ... and it might very well be precisely what G2's author was banking on.
Towerguy: "Captain, maybe we ought to turn on the search lights now."
MCrosky: "No! That's just what they'll be expecting us to do..." [Smile]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
The healthful benefits of poppy seeds cannot be divorced from the potential for immoral uses. The same is not true for the health insurance. The moral and immoral uses can be separated.

Not anymore per the new regulations. It's now one indivisible package that similarly cannot be separated.
No it's not. You can buy, and insurance companies can provide, insurance that does not have the controversial coverage.

There is nothing about health insurance that intrinsically pairs it with coverage for birth control.

quote:
The fact that any given thing can possibly be put to an immoral use doesn't make that thing in and of itself immoral.
I've already addressed this. Please see my previous posts. I acknowledge that, obviously, giving someone cash does not generally constitute an immoral action. However, as I've said, giving a 3rd party a flat fee to go work for you with the knowledge that, for that fee, they will {wash your dog, clean your carpets, or steal from your neighbor}, I have done something immoral.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
quote:
I've covered this in my previous posts.
You really haven't though. There is really no difference in the two tenders except that one is more restrictive. Cash also has an implicit list of acceptable purposes, including its exchange for legal medical services and medicines.
See my post above in response to pyrtolin, and the posts previously in the thread where I expanded on that idea a bit more. If you feel my example is incorrect, please explain why. It seems to fit the fact pattern perfectly.

quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
The church, however, probably feels that that particular boat has sailed, and complaining that cash can be exchanged for contraceptives is a losing argument. To be consistent, the Church should be arguing that it should not be forced to pay salaries in dollars, but rather should be able to provide some other tender in exchange for employment services, one that does not allow for sinful use. That such a tender no longer exists is the problem.

I don't believe that's the case. Others who are more versed in Catholicism can correct me, but it is my understanding that the Church places value on free will. You should be free to sin, and you should decide not to.

That being said, The Church does not want to engage in any sin itself, and it does not want to encourage or enable sin.

[ February 09, 2012, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
The healthful benefits of poppy seeds cannot be divorced from the potential for immoral uses. The same is not true for the health insurance. The moral and immoral uses can be separated.

Not anymore per the new regulations. It's now one indivisible package that similarly cannot be separated.
No it's not. You can buy, and insurance companies can provide, insurance that does not have the controversial coverage.
Per the new regulation they now cannot; that's the whole point of the new regulation.
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
The healthful benefits of poppy seeds cannot be divorced from the potential for immoral uses. The same is not true for the health insurance. The moral and immoral uses can be separated.

Not anymore per the new regulations. It's now one indivisible package that similarly cannot be separated.
No it's not. You can buy, and insurance companies can provide, insurance that does not have the controversial coverage.
Per the new regulation they now cannot; that's the whole point of the new regulation.
[Confused] If the government regulated that water was now composed of H2O2, that would not change the physical reality.
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kmbboots
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More evidence that this issue is a Republican-stirred tempest in a teapot.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/controversial-obama-birth-control-rule-already-law

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
[Confused] If the government regulated that water was now composed of H2O2, that would not change the physical reality.

That's not germane here, because we're talking about a market regulation, not physical chemistry, so the government explicitly does have the authority to set standards in the relevant context.
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scifibum
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I assumed JoshuaD was referring to an individual's ability to choose an insurance plan. I think the restriction only applies to employer-facilitated group coverage, right?
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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
[Confused] If the government regulated that water was now composed of H2O2, that would not change the physical reality.

That's not germane here, because we're talking about a market regulation, not physical chemistry, so the government explicitly does have the authority to set standards in the relevant context.
You are now begging the question. I can't keep going around in circle with you. I don't have the energy. [Frown]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I assumed JoshuaD was referring to an individual's ability to choose an insurance plan. I think the restriction only applies to employer-facilitated group coverage, right?

Maybe in the very short term- but I do believe that these standards also apply to the minimum acceptable offerings that will be allow on the exchange. The regulation defines what the minimum core services bundled into any health plan are, as I understand it, so there won't be an option to choose to buy something without them, just like there isn't a current option to buy a car without a seatbelt, regardless of your moral opinion about seatbelts and the fact that it's technically possible to make cars that don't contain them.

[ February 09, 2012, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I assumed JoshuaD was referring to an individual's ability to choose an insurance plan. I think the restriction only applies to employer-facilitated group coverage, right?

Right. Pyr tried saying that health insurance is like a Poppy seed, you can't separate the good things from the potential for bad. I said that that's not a correct analogy. Coverage for heart surgery does not need to be sold with coverage for contraceptives. They are sometimes sold together and are sometimes sold separately. It's like a toy-car and a battery. It may make sense to some to sell them in one package, but there is nothing about toy-cars and batteries that require that they be sold in the same box. They can just as easily be sold separately.

Pyr's response, that they now must come together since the government has mandated so, doesn't address my point and begs the question. We are trying to conclude whether the government can legitimately tell the Catholic Church that it must buy something that it believes is immoral to buy. You can't conclude that government regulation therefore makes it legitimate.

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Pyrtolin
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The Church has the option to not act as a pool for health insurance at all and instead require its employees to buy it individually. It would probably need to pay a baseline fee to exercise that option as would any other employer of a similar size (as well as paying the social costs of not offering it as a benefit) but the assertion that it's being forced to buy anything is false.

If it chooses to act as a pooling agent for its employees, all of the available options, per the new regulation (and even prior to it, given that there was potential for drug abuse, hysterectomies, and plenty of other potential loopholes) contain the possibility of obtaining things that could be used for immoral purposes.

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seekingprometheus
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Al:
quote:
I had to look up antinomian, and it's worse than I feared...
[Big Grin]

First time I've ever found an apposite position for a juxtaposition of the very different definitions of "antinome" and "antinomian."

I like the term "antinome," and it's always bugged me that there is technically no valid adjective form--though I'll admit to having coined "antinominal" on occasion, since my patience with the lexicon sometimes runs out.

But I couldn't pass a chance to cast a glance at using "universal" as a piece of limiting parlance, and in my book of morality, a failure to point out an antinome in an antinomian-flavored conversation is a sin of communication which is nigh on excommunicable--my church might not quite kick me out for such an oversight, but I'm sure that some of my health benefits would be rescinded...

In other words, once such a concept is conceived, it's against my religion to abort it...

[Wink]

[ February 09, 2012, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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DonaldD
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Josh, the problem is with how you characterize insurance and cash. You said
quote:
In the first case [cash payment], the employer is not directly supporting, either implicitly or explicitly, the immoral action. In so far as its own free will is concerned, it is making no action that supports those who distribute birth control, incentivizes the use of birth control, or in any way shape or form has anything to do with birth control.

In the second case [insurance], the employer is purchasing insurance which provides, among other things, a service that the employer believes is categorically immoral.

In the first case, the employer is paying the employee in cash. Something that isn't immoral.

In the second case, the employer is paying the employee in a commodity that has an aspect which solely provides for the immoral action of the employee.

Breaking it down a bit: in your second point, you state the following: "the employer is purchasing insurance which provides, ... a service". This is incorrect. Insurance does not provide the services in question. It provides the ability to pay invoices for services with money delivered by the insurer directly to the service provider.

In your 3rd and 4th points, you create a false dichotomy: cash is not immoral, but the insurance policy is. Why? Because "the employer is paying the employee in a commodity that has an aspect which solely provides for the immoral action of the employee."

How is this different from cash? Cash can purchase contraceptives, as well as pornography and (where legal) the services of prostitutes. How do you define this 'aspect' that does not equally relate to cash?

Insurance can be used to 'purchase' a set of goods and services, some of which certain groups disagree with. Cash also can be used to purchase a set of goods and services, some of which certain groups disagree with.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Josh, the problem is with how you characterize insurance and cash. You said Cash can purchase contraceptives, as well as pornography and (where legal) the services of prostitutes.

"where legal?" LoL. I'd be very surprised if there's any city on earth where there isn't someone getting laid for cash. Conversely, I'd be very surprised if there's any city on earth where there isn't someone getting in trouble for some prostitution-related activity. Regardless of the rules-set, prostitution will always be with us, and will always cause legal and social disorder.
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Pete at Home
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But that aside, Donald, would you not be offended if Obamacare required all employment insurance to pay 100% of all services of "medical" and "psychological" services to "cure" homosexuality? In such a context, would you feel comforted by your own cash analogy?

The cash-for-wages transaction tends to launder the whole transaction in a way that generic medical insurance does not.

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
But that aside, Donald, would you not be offended if Obamacare required all employment insurance to pay 100% of all services of "medical" and "psychological" services to "cure" homosexuality? In such a context, would you feel comforted by your own cash analogy?

I would only object because it's not evidence-based medicine. I feel similarly about chiropractic, which my current health care plan does pay for. I wouldn't object for moral reasons.

[ February 09, 2012, 08:51 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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DonaldD
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My point was rather that the distinction between cash and insurance payments is in this case artificial, Pete. Offended? No. As an employer, it's not my money to be offended about. No more than I would be offended by the employee purchasing such coverage on their own.

In the real world, I can't imagine such treatments being accepted by the medical establishment, but if our imagination can be stretched, then I might think it stupid unless I was as hypothetically convinced as the regulators; but offended? Not really

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seekingprometheus
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Maybe a better analogy is "health care credits."

In any case, I'm not seeing anything that adequately responds to the fact that the final moral responsibility is located on the shoulders of the individual who is choosing how to redeem their health insurance for the procedures they deem best for their own health.

It is equivalent to cash in this regard--the church is just required to provide tender which is accepted for a full set of legally recognized medical options. Users aren't forced to undergo procedures they consider unethical, the issue is simply that the church cannot limit the procedures for which the medical credit "tender" is valid.

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Carlotta
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Posting from my phone, forgive the brevity

Those of you who see no problem with the HHS rule, what if FGM (female genital mutilation) was legal and the ruling stated that all employers who offered health insurance must only offer policies that covered FGM of infants without a copay, and employers who did not offer insurance would pay fines. Would you say that your employees could have been using their paychecks for FGM all along so having it covered by insurance is no different? Or would you want to have no part in providing this service?

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Carlotta:
Posting from my phone, forgive the brevity

Those of you who see no problem with the HHS rule, what if FGM (female genital mutilation) was legal and the ruling stated that all employers who offered health insurance must only offer policies that covered FGM of infants without a copay, and employers who did not offer insurance would pay fines. Would you say that your employees could have been using their paychecks for FGM all along so having it covered by insurance is no different? Or would you want to have no part in providing this service?

I do see the problem. Your counterexample usefully highlights it.

My answer depends on the justification for the mandatory FGM coverage.

Birth control has some pretty clear advantages for society, by reducing the number of unplanned children born to parents with insufficient resources (or desire) to care for them adequately.

Do unmutilated genitals perpetuate poverty, or lead to crime?

Do the majority of people in the country think genital mutilation is potentially beneficial and useful?

The answers are all "NO".

I'm not sure, but I think even the (minority of, per 'boots) Catholics who agree that birth control is sinful might recognize the social advantages associated with fewer unplanned births, not to mention the non-contraceptive medicinal uses of birth control medicines. My understanding is that the church's objection is based more on the eternal consequences than the anticipated effects on mortal human society.

I simply don't think there's a similar argument to be made for FGM. In fact, the way one arrives at the belief that FGM is a good idea might be similar to the way that one arrives at the belief that contraception is immoral - not so much based in identifiable social effects, but based on ideas about what is good and right in a more abstract sense.

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scifibum
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Meanwhile, there are two easy answers for those whose consciences are bothered:

1) Recognize that the agency being exerted to purchase any sinful service is that of the individual, not of the employer who pooled the funds.

2) Opt out of pooling the funds.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Carlotta:
Posting from my phone, forgive the brevity

Those of you who see no problem with the HHS rule, what if FGM (female genital mutilation) was legal and the ruling stated that all employers who offered health insurance must only offer policies that covered FGM of infants without a copay, and employers who did not offer insurance would pay fines. Would you say that your employees could have been using their paychecks for FGM all along so having it covered by insurance is no different? Or would you want to have no part in providing this service?

And yet no one blinks that circumcisions and non-medically necessary c-sections are covers, despite significant amounts of moral opposition to those from some camps. They just happen to be far enough from the center of the culture war that there's not enough outrage to harness in opposing them.

In the example case- the problem is with the availability of the services at all, not the fact that people can find a way to use insurance to cover it. Go after the cultural inclination toward it on strictly social grounds and the legality of doctors to do it to anyone but the direct requester on ethical grounds instead.

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DonaldD
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I posted this on the first page, but I still am unsure of the answer:
quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
Honest question: under the new regulations, are all employers forced to purchase health coverage for their employees? Or is it simply a requirement that all people purchase some level of coverage? Does the employer have the option of not providing health coverage and leaving it up to its employees to purchase on their own?

Carlotta, I also previously responded to your question (well, to Pete's, initially) although you have now stretched it to include an activity that is actually criminal in the USA. But what about the counter example: what if some hypothetical religious group ran a business which employs people and this religious group had a problem with blood transfusions; should those employees just accept that the insurance they are paying for will not cover their costs in many emergency situations?
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Pyrtolin
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The regulations say that employers of more than a certain size (since the universities and hospitals in question are independently incorporated, they probably get counted individually) pay a penalty for forcing people to shop privately on the exchanges if the need to be subsidized (I think there's a way for the companies to just provide money for individuals to purchase plans from the exchanges as an alternative to offering a direct plan, which is good for people who work at companies too small to swing a reasonable pooling rate.)
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Pyrtolin
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Shuffling the regulatory cards. The insurance packages themselves no longer need to actually contain contraceptive support, the companies just have to offer it independently to subscribers at no cost. (Which is a net win for them, because birth control is dirt cheap, while pregnancy and kids are more expensive, especially on group plans where they have to be consistent about pricing)

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/white-house-announces-contraception-accommodation-for-religious-orgs

quote:
On a conference call with reporters Friday, a senior administration official announced that the White House will move the onus to provide women free contraceptive services to insurance companies if their religiously-affiliated employers object to providing insurance coverage that covers birth control.



"All women will still have access to free preventive care that includes contraceptive services," the official said. "The insurance company will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive coverage free of charge," if the employer objects to providing that coverage in its benefit package.


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DonaldD
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So by the very nature of being insured, people will automatically get access to contraceptive service coverage, whether the employer likes it or not.

I can't imagine this addresses anyone's concerns though it might allow some objector's to save face if they sort of tilt their heads to the side and squint a little.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
So by the very nature of being insured, people will automatically get access to contraceptive service coverage, whether the employer likes it or not.

I can't imagine this addresses anyone's concerns though it might allow some objector's to save face if they sort of tilt their heads to the side and squint a little.

This satisfies the nominal concern of the Bishops; that they (and the church) cannot personally participate in sin. Instead, the insurance company offers it, and the employee decides whether to receive.

However, this does not address any un-stated desires to have the state participate in enforcing Catholic norms on non-Catholics. It will be enlightening to watch the reactions to this compromise, and see which option the bishops in question were really after.

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