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What does religious freedom mean?


Amira
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What does that term mean to you?

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country?

 

If you're not a religious person, how do you feel about it?

 

This question was partially prompted by this NPR story, but that story isn't the only aspect of religious freedom I'm talking about. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483901761/conservative-christians-grapple-with-what-religious-freedom-means-for-muslims

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What does that term mean to you?

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country?

 

If you're not a religious person, how do you feel about it?

 

This question was partially prompted by this NPR story, but that story isn't the only aspect of religious freedom I'm talking about. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483901761/conservative-christians-grapple-with-what-religious-freedom-means-for-muslims

 

Sadly enough, the title of that NPR story reads almost like an Onion headline.  :(

 

I only have a bit of time, so quickly:

 

What does that term mean to you? Freedom to worship and practice my faith without fear of significant* persecution (like physical harm, the loss of income or home, or the suppression of free speech).

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? At this point, not much, but I wouldn't be surprised if things go south over the next few decades. 

 

About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Yes.

 

Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country? Yes, especially when compared to other countries.

 

*Ideally, of course, I'd hope for no persecution. However, when people in other countries are dying, it's hard for me to get worked up about things like name calling.

Edited by MercyA
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I'm an atheist. 

For me religious freedom means that your right to practice a religion or to profess no religion is protected in the laws.

No religion gets priority treatment over any other.
The state is secular and works to accommodate everyone. 
& specifically we try hard to accommodate those intersections of private & public where conflicts may arise. 

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The places that I see the biggest difficulties are when a religion calls for something that is against the public good - say, limiting the education of women or refusing to pay for the health care needed by employees, or refusing to get medical treatment for children, or carrying weapons in secure locations... Once a religious belief is in conflict with the rights of children or employees of the religious person or with the state in general... I think those are the places where it becomes less clear what "religious freedom" means. And we have a different interpretation in the US than in many Western nations.

 

I consider myself religious, but I'm not religious the way many on this board are. I don't see religious liberty in the US as threatened in the least. I do see us becoming more secular and pluralistic in society and I know that many find that threatening. I think that's pretty obviously different from religious liberty itself being threatened.

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Sadly enough, the title of that NPR story reads almost like an Onion headline.  :(

 

A lot of us have been noticing the same trends for years. It's not recent, and it's not fabricated either.

 

As an atheist, I'm very concerned about religious freedom, which exists for us too! Religious freedom, to me, means YOU can practice your faith (or not) - but you can't push it onto others. It seems to me that a lot of people are confused about that point, and seem to feel that their faith requires coercing others into sharing their faith, and the government should back them up.

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What does that term mean to you?

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country?

 

If you're not a religious person, how do you feel about it?

 

This question was partially prompted by this NPR story, but that story isn't the only aspect of religious freedom I'm talking about. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483901761/conservative-christians-grapple-with-what-religious-freedom-means-for-muslims

 

I apologize, I do not have time to read the article (honestly, I'm really tired, so this may not even make sense, but I'm going to answer anyway)

 

Religious freedom means I am free to decide what religion, if any, I follow.

 

Personally, no, I am not concerned about my own religious freedom.  I am concerned about the religious freedom of those from other religions - Islam, for example.  I am a Christian and though there are crazy stupid Christians out there, Christianity as a whole is not, at least IME, frowned upon as being inherently bad or under any threat of becoming taboo on a legal scale.  I don't think Islam could ever become illegal, but I think about the peaceful followers of the religion every time a radical tea partier tries to say that the religion as a whole needs to be wiped out.  The ... what's the word I'm looking for here... hypocrisy? .... in the statements these people make baffle me, because just as they would balk at being compared to the Crusades or other horrible things done by men in the name of our God, they should be able to do the same for others.

I *think* religious freedom is protected in our country.  I live in the U.S.  I don't know that all religions have been treated equally over time, and I know a lot of Christians are upset and feel like they're being 'persecuted' because they are having privilege removed... I don't feel that way.  To compare anything 'happening' to Christians in the U.S. to persecution is horrendous, and does nothing but make the people crying it look ridiculous.  And it's honestly a bit shameful to say something like that when there has been real persecution of all sorts of people in other parts of the world.

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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Yes, I am very concerned about religious freedom in this country.

 

One person's inconvenience should not trump the right of the other individual to act in accordance with his/her faith. Is it inconvenient to have to go elsewhere for a non-emergency service or pay out-of-pocket for something you feel your employer-based health insurance plan should cover? Sure. But your desire not to be inconvenienced is less important than the other person's religious freedom.

 

I do think there are limits to religious freedom when one person's religious freedom causes a threat to another person's physical safety. For example, I don't believe that hospital employees should be able to decline vaccines on religious freedom grounds because that puts the safety of immunocompromised patients at risk.

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Is it inconvenient to have to go elsewhere for a non-emergency service or pay out-of-pocket for something you feel your employer-based health insurance plan should cover? Sure. But your desire not to be inconvenienced is less important than the other person's religious freedom.

 

Your health insurance company is not a person, I don't care *what* the SCOTUS says. Corporations aren't people.

 

When health insurance companies deny services, they're preventing people from accessing them. If we all had the cash to pay out of pocket, we wouldn't need insurance. It'd be better if we had a single payer system. We don't. Until we do, they have no right to keep people from accessing medical treatment.

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Yes, I am very concerned about religious freedom in this country.

 

One person's inconvenience should not trump the right of the other individual to act in accordance with his/her faith. Is it inconvenient to have to go elsewhere for a non-emergency service or pay out-of-pocket for something you feel your employer-based health insurance plan should cover? Sure. But your desire not to be inconvenienced is less important than the other person's religious freedom.

 

I do think there are limits to religious freedom when one person's religious freedom causes a threat to another person's physical safety. For example, I don't believe that hospital employees should be able to decline vaccines on religious freedom grounds because that puts the safety of immunocompromised patients at risk.

A question about the inconvenience part- how do you determine if something is merely inconvenient or if it's actually discriminatory? Jim Crow laws were (at least) an inconvenience for people who weren't white and some who fought against ending them were doing it for religious reasons. But we still decided that religious liberty didn't trump civil rights.

 

I'm not trying to argue or set you up for a debate, but I can't really see a good reason for allowing people to opt out of statues banning discrimination against protected classes, especially since religion is a protected class itself. Can you help me understand your view better, even if I don't agree with you?

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I apologize, I do not have time to read the article (honestly, I'm really tired, so this may not even make sense, but I'm going to answer anyway)

 

Religious freedom means I am free to decide what religion, if any, I follow.

 

Personally, no, I am not concerned about my own religious freedom. I am concerned about the religious freedom of those from other religions - Islam, for example. I am a Christian and though there are crazy stupid Christians out there, Christianity as a whole is not, at least IME, frowned upon as being inherently bad or under any threat of becoming taboo on a legal scale. I don't think Islam could ever become illegal, but I think about the peaceful followers of the religion every time a radical tea partier tries to say that the religion as a whole needs to be wiped out. The ... what's the word I'm looking for here... hypocrisy? .... in the statements these people make baffle me, because just as they would balk at being compared to the Crusades or other horrible things done by men in the name of our God, they should be able to do the same for others.

I *think* religious freedom is protected in our country. I live in the U.S. I don't know that all religions have been treated equally over time, and I know a lot of Christians are upset and feel like they're being 'persecuted' because they are having privilege removed... I don't feel that way. To compare anything 'happening' to Christians in the U.S. to persecution is horrendous, and does nothing but make the people crying it look ridiculous. And it's honestly a bit shameful to say something like that when there has been real persecution of all sorts of people in other parts of the world.

Before hearing this story on the radio today, I had never heard the anti-Muslim view presented by one of the Baptist ministers. To paraphrase, he said he couldn't support their religious freedom because it would be like condemning them all to he** because he believes his religion is the only true one. I find this stance very sad and frightening.

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Your health insurance company is not a person, I don't care *what* the SCOTUS says. Corporations aren't people.

 

When health insurance companies deny services, they're preventing people from accessing them. If we all had the cash to pay out of pocket, we wouldn't need insurance. It'd be better if we had a single payer system. We don't. Until we do, they have no right to keep people from accessing medical treatment.

 

If the employer pays money towards the employee's health insurance coverage, then the employer should have the right to opt out of funding non-emergency services for religious reasons. A blood transfusion to save the employee's life, no. But sterilization or contraception, yes.

 

As someone's employer, I could not stop that employee from spending his/her paycheck how he/she wishes. But the government has no right to force me to pay for something that violates my religion.

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A question about the inconvenience part- how do you determine if something is merely inconvenient or if it's actually discriminatory? Jim Crow laws were (at least) an inconvenience for people who weren't white and some who fought against ending them were doing it for religious reasons. But we still decided that religious liberty didn't trump civil rights.

 

Jim Crow laws were more than just an inconvenience because they relegated African-Americans to lesser-quality services. The segregated schools, etc. were not actually "equal"  to the white ones as claimed but inferior.

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What does that term mean to you?

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country?

 

If you're not a religious person, how do you feel about it?

 

This question was partially prompted by this NPR story, but that story isn't the only aspect of religious freedom I'm talking about. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483901761/conservative-christians-grapple-with-what-religious-freedom-means-for-muslims

 

 

To me, ideally speaking, religious freedom means people can practice whatever religion they want as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others.  It also means that others should be free FROM religions they do not practice, and in that sense, I think that religious freedom should be limited to private expression and kept entirely out of the public sphere.

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To me, ideally speaking, religious freedom means people can practice whatever religion they want as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others.  It also means that others should be free FROM religions they do not practice, and in that sense, I think that religious freedom should be limited to private expression and kept entirely out of the public sphere.

 

Is anybody FORCING employees to go work at a religiously-affiliated employer? The employee's acceptance of a job offer from the religious employer rather than a secular one means that they have CHOSEN to place themselves in a position where they need to concern themselves with the teachings of the affiliated faith. Don't like what the Catholic Church teaches about contraception? Don't work for a Catholic hospital, college, etc.

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If the employer pays money towards the employee's health insurance coverage, then the employer should have the right to opt out of funding non-emergency services for religious reasons. A blood transfusion to save the employee's life, no. But sterilization or contraception, yes.

 

As someone's employer, I could not stop that employee from spending his/her paycheck how he/she wishes. But the government has no right to force me to pay for something that violates my religion.

 

Why the distinction?  Why is one religious belief protected but not the other?

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To me, ideally speaking, religious freedom means people can practice whatever religion they want as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others.  It also means that others should be free FROM religions they do not practice, and in that sense, I think that religious freedom should be limited to private expression and kept entirely out of the public sphere.

 

You said it much better than I was going to.

 

There can't be freedom of religion if there's not also freedom from religion.

 

And yes -- freedom of/freedom from should apply to all religions (and none) equally.

 

And yes, I understand it's a sticky wicket.

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Why the distinction? Why is one religious belief protected but not the other?

Not the poster but going to try to answer.

Both people's beliefs are protected. The distinction is who is being forced to do what. In her example, the employer is opposed to paying for contraception or sterilization. The employee is still free to get those services, he/she has to pay for them.

 

To use a different illustration (and probably poor illustration but the coffee is still brewing), just because owning a handgun is legal and a person thinks it's his/her right to own one, no one should be forced to buy a handgun for him/her.

Edited by MSNative
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Saying that religious freedom should be confined to what one believes or does in private really means there's no religious freedom at all. To say that one is allowed to believe something as long as it doesn't effect their life in public is simply saying they aren't allowed to act on their beliefs. Which is a legitimate position to argue as it pertains to the greater good, it's just not liberty or freedom.

 

As in: Sure, you can be a pacifist, it's fine to believe that in private, but when the government deems it mandatory, you better pick up your gun and shoot.

 

I also think in a post-modern society where moral relativism is seen as the standard and secular values are somehow seen as "neutral" it's very difficult to allow for religious freedom. We've simply taken one set of beliefs about humanity, labled it "the best", then said, "it's not religious" and therefore it trumps any other set of ethical standards and people must comply.

 

Thankfully, historically speaking, nothing bad has ever happened in socities where religion is banned from the public square.

Edited by JodiSue
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Why the distinction?  Why is one religious belief protected but not the other?

 

Most likely, because one is a belief she holds and not the other.

 

Sterilization saves lives. Contraception saves lives. Both of those have medical uses besides the obvious, and it's not anybody's business whether you're using a drug or having a procedure for a necessary reason or an elective one. If CW is going to hold tight to this, then we need to get rid of insurance and go on single payer.

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Before hearing this story on the radio today, I had never heard the anti-Muslim view presented by one of the Baptist ministers. To paraphrase, he said he couldn't support their religious freedom because it would be like condemning them all to he** because he believes his religion is the only true one. I find this stance very sad and frightening.

 

The problem I see with his view is:  he assumes that God has no power in this.   It is ultimately God who converts people, not people protesting against the building of a mosque.

 

If Christians act like jerks to people of other religions, they, and others who witness it, are unlikely to be interested in exploring Christianity.  

 

So, I think religious freedom means the right to practice one's faith; that's pretty simple.  But there are going to be limits to some practices that are antithetical to the culture and those problems have to be worked out.  No education for kids?  Not good.  8th grade level education for kids?  Is that good enough?   (I'm not advocating for that.)   Genital mutilation for girls?  Not good.  But then what about circumcision? (I know they are different.)  It's not easy to find the limits. 

 

I'm a Christian in the US and I don't feel my freedom is currently threatened.  I don't take that for granted, though. 

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I think of religious freedom as including being allowed to privatly and publicly practice a religion (or no religion,) to instantiate those beliefs in my life, and also for religious institutions to function in society.  I see this as existing for all religions, not particularly just my own. 

 

I also think that we have a tendency, even legally, to be too narrow in our understanding of what is a "religion" - it is in important ways out of date for the concept of freedom of religion to work.  Religion has two main aspects, and some focus on really just one - the worldview aspect, how we think reality functions, and then the institutionalization or practice associated with that worldview.  Neither are necessarily attached to some of the ideas that we tend to key into to define religion - theism, Sunday services, or whatever.  Existentialists (for example) are still protected in their thinking, if they want to have groups of some kind for their own purposes or to promote existentialism, and on the other hand we should not see, in a secular system, a government explicitly aligning itself with an existentialist worldview.

 

Do I worry about religious freedom - on a worldwide basis, yes.  The expulsion of anyone who is not the "right" kind of Muslim from some areas is worrying, the near extinction of Christianity in the Middle East is worrying, both are being accomplished in ways that are horrifying, and stupid as well.  Generally this sort of thing also has significant socio-political elements as well, so I don't think it can be reduced to religious persecution.

 

In my country - not particularly, although as I said, I think it will need to evolve to remain functional and relevant. But I have some particular concerns.  The attempt at the Quebec charter of rights recently, and certain other things that have gone on in that province, show us I think one way "secularization" can go wrong. I find it frustrating at times the degree to which people misunderstand fundamentally the meaning and historical origins of the idea of, the function of, secular government.  In part this is because many Canadians tend to assume that what they see on American tv is what it means here, which is simply untrue - our version is closer to what you see in Europe.  Many people fail to understand that it is largely about mediating direct institutional links between government and religious institutions, for the protection of both, rather than about avoiding a particular set of values in government as mediated by individual voters.

 

This latter idea is, possibly, where we may see a failure of secularization - it's been I think the substance of the criticism states with a more explicit religious view have made of secular government as a system - that it falls apart when there isn't some kind of substantive agreement between citizens about values and even worldview, because you simply can't have some kind of democratic or citizen led government while also separating individuals from their worldview when they act as citizens (say in voting.)  Until recently I'm not sure this has been really tested, but it may come to be, and I am not 100% sure that the model we've had will be able to pass that test.

 

Overall, I do think Canadians are very protective of religious freedoms, both to practice and not to, or to have all kinds of different worldviews.

 

 

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But the government has no right to force me to pay for something that violates my religion.

 

How I wish that were true. I'm forced to pay for things that violate my religion every time I pay taxes.  :(

 

I agree with you in principle, however.

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Yeah that's a tough one.  I guess I see it as my freedom ends where another person's freedom begins.  But by the very nature of a lot of religions it seems it's a belief that the details of religion trump other people's beliefs that don't line up.  Which of course I don't like.  Then again where I live I don't feel pressured to join or follow any particular religion.  I think that is the way it should be, but basically it is that way because there are more people who believe as I do than don't.  So is that really freedom?  No that is more along the lines of just living in a place that works for me. 

 

And in terms of the insurance covering certain things....what insurance policies cover is often regulated for all sorts of procedures.  Insurance companies are out to make money.  So are most of the companies that provide insurance.  Our health isn't really their top priority.  So many many things that are covered are covered because it was determined that covering those things was beneficial, fair, etc.  So, to me, what is covered should not be determined by the religious beliefs of anyone.  That isn't a good enough reason to reject covering something.  Just like "I don't feel like paying for that" shouldn't be the determining factor. 

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How I wish that were true. I'm forced to pay for things that violate my religion every time I pay taxes.  :(

 

I agree with you in principle, however.

 

Holy cow yeah.  I hate war and violence.  I'm still paying for it. 

 

But as much as I hate it, I understand that I don't always get to decide this.  It wouldn't work out so well if we were allowed to pick and choose in this department.  So I'm ok with it because it mostly works.

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I find this view shocking. Are you saying I shouldn't be allowed to wear my head covering in public? What about praying in public? What about reading Scripture aloud in public, as I saw someone doing a few years ago? 

 

Can you elaborate on this? 

 

I would assume she meant public as stuff like meetings of Congress and not just people hanging around at a public park having a picnic. 

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If the employer pays money towards the employee's health insurance coverage, then the employer should have the right to opt out of funding non-emergency services for religious reasons. A blood transfusion to save the employee's life, no. But sterilization or contraception, yes.

 

As someone's employer, I could not stop that employee from spending his/her paycheck how he/she wishes. But the government has no right to force me to pay for something that violates my religion.

 

That's an interesting concept to me, considering how much money we ALL pay to make up for the tax exemptions of every religious entity around us.  Or the funds that go to NGOs/NPOs, etc. run by religious groups.  Or to war,  Or to banks. Or to many other things that violate my humanistic principles.

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Yeah that's a tough one.  I guess I see it as my freedom ends where another person's freedom begins.  But by the very nature of a lot of religions it seems it's a belief that the details of religion trump other people's beliefs that don't line up.  Which of course I don't like.  Then again where I live I don't feel pressured to join or follow any particular religion.  I think that is the way it should be, but basically it is that way because there are more people who believe as I do than don't.  So is that really freedom?  No that is more along the lines of just living in a place that works for me. 

 

And in terms of the insurance covering certain things....what insurance policies cover is often regulated for all sorts of procedures.  Insurance companies are out to make money.  So are most of the companies that provide insurance.  Our health isn't really their top priority.  So many many things that are covered are covered because it was determined that covering those things was beneficial, fair, etc.  So, to me, what is covered should not be determined by the religious beliefs of anyone.  That isn't a good enough reason to reject covering something.  Just like "I don't feel like paying for that" shouldn't be the determining factor. 

 

Even in a system though where insurance companies aren't  abig issue, there still are decisions made about what to cover, and to a large degree, they still come down to what people's ethical and moral beliefs are.  Something like human cloning, or genetic manipulation of humans - these aren't much a practical issue in medicine for people seeking treatment, but could be soon, and they are issues in science.

 

Some of the questions are practical - what could go wrong - but a lot of them come down to things like - how do we value others?  What does it mean to be a human being?  What kind of way of life honours those principles and what doesn't?  Does this practice fall within that, or outside it? 

 

I don't see how it is possible to separate questions like that from our deepest values, or basc worldview, which is always going to go beyond some kind of objective facts we can all agree on - to tell a Sikh voter that he can't refer to his basic views of what it means to be human, but the non-religious voter can, sems rather arbitrary - certianly there doesn't seem to be any way the Sikh voter in that instance could separate himself from his view of what it means to be human, so as to vote "as if" he were non-religious - to try to insist on that seems like a pretty fundamental infringement on his private views. 

 

We can make space in institutions, I think, for people to have as much room as possible, and it may be that the reason Americans have so much trouble with this issue is that something about the way their health care institution is set up makes it harder to do that.  But I don't think it's possible to get away from the fact that some of the questions that come up can only be referred by each individual to our private understanding of what is right and good.

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Jim Crow laws were more than just an inconvenience because they relegated African-Americans to lesser-quality services. The segregated schools, etc. were not actually "equal" to the white ones as claimed but inferior.

Thanks for your response.

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I haven't seen this in the replies but, maybe I just missed it.  Amish in Iowa use tractors with steel wheels.  It's destroying the roads.  The courts have struck down a law that banned the wheels and fined them for damages.  Should everyone else be required to pay extra for their religious beliefs?  

 

 

http://lancasteronline.com/news/tractors-steel-wheels-do-damage-to-lancaster-county-roads/article_2f003524-29f8-5fa8-b817-aa0151bab93a.html

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Jim Crow laws were more than just an inconvenience because they relegated African-Americans to lesser-quality services. The segregated schools, etc. were not actually "equal"  to the white ones as claimed but inferior.

 

If the schools had been equal, would that have made the laws ok?

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Even in a system though where insurance companies aren't  abig issue, there still are decisions made about what to cover, and to a large degree, they still come down to what people's ethical and moral beliefs are.  Something like human cloning, or genetic manipulation of humans - these aren't much a practical issue in medicine for people seeking treatment, but could be soon, and they are issues in science.

 

Some of the questions are practical - what could go wrong - but a lot of them come down to things like - how do we value others?  What does it mean to be a human being?  What kind of way of life honours those principles and what doesn't?  Does this practice fall within that, or outside it? 

 

I don't see how it is possible to separate questions like that from our deepest values, or basc worldview, which is always going to go beyond some kind of objective facts we can all agree on - to tell a Sikh voter that he can't refer to his basic views of what it means to be human, but the non-religious voter can, sems rather arbitrary - certianly there doesn't seem to be any way the Sikh voter in that instance could separate himself from his view of what it means to be human, so as to vote "as if" he were non-religious - to try to insist on that seems like a pretty fundamental infringement on his private views. 

 

We can make space in institutions, I think, for people to have as much room as possible, and it may be that the reason Americans have so much trouble with this issue is that something about the way their health care institution is set up makes it harder to do that.  But I don't think it's possible to get away from the fact that some of the questions that come up can only be referred by each individual to our private understanding of what is right and good.

 

I totally agree.  I believe in separation of religion and state, but I don't for second think they are or ever will be 100% separate.  Not unless we allow robots to run the state. 

 

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What does that term mean to you?

 

If you're a religious person, are you concerned about your religious freedom? About the religious freedom of religious people from religions different than yours? Do you feel that religious freedom is protected in your country?

 

If you're not a religious person, how do you feel about it?

 

This question was partially prompted by this NPR story, but that story isn't the only aspect of religious freedom I'm talking about. http://www.npr.org/2016/06/29/483901761/conservative-christians-grapple-with-what-religious-freedom-means-for-muslims

 

Religious freedom (to me) is being able to practice everything that I believe that I should in the name of my religion.

 

I am concerned about this, because I believe that it is not possible for everyone to have complete freedom at the same time.  As some groups gain freedom, others lose it.

 

It's an interesting topic.

 

I grew up near Pennsylvania Dutch Country and there were sometimes religious freedom issues that would come up.  A quick google search led me to this, which I thought was an interesting conundrum.

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Why the distinction?  Why is one religious belief protected but not the other?

 

Because the person who doesn't receive a blood transfusion in an emergency situation will die. Sterilization and contraception are not emergency situations. People who don't have insurance coverage for the latter things can choose to either not engage in activities that could result in pregnancy or they can choose to pay out-of-pocket for the procedures/medications. There's no time crunch life-or-death situation.

 

ETA: Or the person can go get a new job at a secular employer where the insurance DOES cover the desired items. People change jobs for insurance coverage reasons all the time. I know a lot of families who have done this to get coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy for their autistic child.

Edited by Crimson Wife
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I haven't seen this in the replies but, maybe I just missed it. Amish in Iowa use tractors with steel wheels. It's destroying the roads. The courts have struck down a law that banned the wheels and fined them for damages. Should everyone else be required to pay extra for their religious beliefs?

 

 

http://lancasteronline.com/news/tractors-steel-wheels-do-damage-to-lancaster-county-roads/article_2f003524-29f8-5fa8-b817-aa0151bab93a.html

Thanks for posting that story. I think that road safety is a concern banning steel wheels isn't unreasonable, especially since other accommodations are available. I liked the one outlined in the story linked below especially since I'm more often a pedestrian than a driver. Widening a few roads that are more heavily used by steel-wheeled tractors seems reasonable.

 

http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/buchanan-county-s-broad-shoulders-accommodate-amish/article_fd07f972-27a9-11df-8242-001cc4c03286.html

 

(Also, the title of this article is perfect.)

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I haven't seen this in the replies but, maybe I just missed it.  Amish in Iowa use tractors with steel wheels.  It's destroying the roads.  The courts have struck down a law that banned the wheels and fined them for damages.  Should everyone else be required to pay extra for their religious beliefs?  

 

 

http://lancasteronline.com/news/tractors-steel-wheels-do-damage-to-lancaster-county-roads/article_2f003524-29f8-5fa8-b817-aa0151bab93a.html

 

That is interesting!

 

Seems appropriate that if something a certain group uses causes an undue financial burden on the surrounding community, that person should pick up the cost of that.   Though I'm sure it's not quite that simple, because surely that is not the only thing destroying the roads.   A tax for extra wear and tear caused by the wheels?

 

Pandora's Box indeed!

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Most likely, because one is a belief she holds and not the other.

 

Sterilization saves lives. Contraception saves lives.

 

There is no situation where a person will die if she doesn't get her tubes tied or birth control pills. There are ways to 100% avoid the chance of pregnancy that do not involve using sterilization or contraception. The individual may not LIKE that option, in which case she is free to use her own money on elective procedures/medications. Again, the convenience of the individual does not trump the right of the religious person to not fund something that violates his/her religious beliefs.

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That is interesting!

 

Seems appropriate that if something a certain group uses causes an undue financial burden on the surrounding community, that person should pick up the cost of that.   Though I'm sure it's not quite that simple, because surely that is not the only thing destroying the roads.   A tax for extra wear and tear caused by the wheels?

 

Pandora's Box indeed!

 

Yes, it seems difficult to reduce it to just one thing.  I also think these are tricky questions because there are so many things individuals might choose that can cost extra for the system.  But a lot of the time we don't see those people as a group.  And we can also turn the question around - maybe if there are a substantial number of people using a different kind of vehicle, roads should be made in such a way as to account for that?

 

OTOH, there is something to be said for working expenses into the system.  It's interesting to me that people often object to extra taxes on very polluting vehicles because they see it as an infringement of their right to drive what they want.  I tend to see it as paying for the pollution they cause, but it's hard to draw a fine line between different types of extra expenses.

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There is no situation where a person will die if she doesn't get her tubes tied or birth control pills. There are ways to 100% avoid the chance of pregnancy that do not involve using sterilization or contraception. The individual may not LIKE that option, in which case she is free to use her own money on elective procedures/medications. Again, the convenience of the individual does not trump the right of the religious person to not fund something that violates his/her religious beliefs.

Does it concern you that women don't always have a choice in whether they have sex or not or that pregnancy only happens to women? It seems to me that this is more than just about convenience for those reasons.

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There is no situation where a person will die if she doesn't get her tubes tied or birth control pills. There are ways to 100% avoid the chance of pregnancy that do not involve using sterilization or contraception. The individual may not LIKE that option, in which case she is free to use her own money on elective procedures/medications. Again, the convenience of the individual does not trump the right of the religious person to not fund something that violates his/her religious beliefs.

 

What if it would be life threateningly dangerous for a woman to get pregnant?  That is a definite reason to have a tubal.

 

A family member of mine opted to get a tubal because she has a severe mental illness.  But you know she is still a real person with feelings who wants to live some sort of a normal life.  She is married.  It is a very bad idea for her to have children.  But, again, she tries to live her life as best she can.  You really don't think she made a good decision?  Or do you think she should have just not gotten married....maybe go live in a mental institution or something.  

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Holy cow yeah.  I hate war and violence.  I'm still paying for it. 

 

I'm right there with you.

 

As a Christian, I just keep in mind that Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's," even though Tiberius wasn't exactly a paragon of peace and justice.

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There is no situation where a person will die if she doesn't get her tubes tied or birth control pills. There are ways to 100% avoid the chance of pregnancy that do not involve using sterilization or contraception. The individual may not LIKE that option, in which case she is free to use her own money on elective procedures/medications. Again, the convenience of the individual does not trump the right of the religious person to not fund something that violates his/her religious beliefs.

 

Birth control pills aren't always about preventing pregnancy. Ones religious "right" to oppose birth control pills should never be allowed to trump someone else's right to have their heavy monthly bleeding treated with those pills in an attempt to control anemia. Nor should ones privacy ever be violated by having to disclose to an employer, pharmacist, pharmacy technician or anyone the medical reason for a prescription for those pills. Nor should anyone have to use their own money to treat a medical condition simply because the best, most common treatment for that condition happens to be pills that someone else opposes for religious reasons.

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What if it would be life threateningly dangerous for a woman to get pregnant?  That is a definite reason to have a tubal.

 

A family member of mine opted to get a tubal because she has a severe mental illness.  But you know she is still a real person with feelings who wants to live some sort of a normal life.  She is married.  It is a very bad idea for her to have children.  But, again, she tries to live her life as best she can.  You really don't think she made a good decision?  Or do you think she should have just not gotten married....maybe go live in a mental institution or something.  

 

Nobody is stopping her or her husband from getting a job at a secular employer that does include coverage for sterilization. I definitely don't think sterilization should be banned because it's none of the government's business. But the flip side is that the government has no right to dictate that religiously-affiliated employers pay for it. You do your thing, and let religious people do theirs.

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Nobody is stopping her or her husband from getting a job at a secular employer that does include coverage for sterilization. I definitely don't think sterilization should be banned because it's none of the government's business. But the flip side is that the government has no right to dictate that religiously-affiliated employers pay for it. You do your thing, and let religious people do theirs.

 

But you are free to not have these procedures.  And you not having them does not interfere with my right to have them.  Companies rejecting to cover those things for religious reasons isn't about flexing their freedom.  It is about controlling other people's private lives. 

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It's a bit of an aside, but why not just make employee health plans some sort of co-op model.  Really, the coverage is paid for by the employees, not the employer, who just administers it.  If they don't want to administer it for any reason, make it work some other way.

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Does it concern you that women don't always have a choice in whether they have sex

 

Yes, I do and that is why I support harsher penalties for rape. But the solution to rape isn't birth control but rather punishing criminals who force themselves on unwilling victims. A rape victim needs law enforcement help and proper counseling/therapy, not co-pay free contraception.

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