Friday, July 4, 2014

The Joys Of Summer Reading During The Week of The 4th of July

Kudos to Bill Day for this cartoon image.

I spent part of my summer week reading the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case.  It had some interesting language.  Some of that language was Justice Alito's and in spite of Justice Alito's attempt to allay the fears of Americans that the Supremes decision to give religious rights to corporations would not necessarily include other right wing religious causes, the facts are proving his words to be just words. Other court decisions handed down subsequent to the Hobby Lobby decision have now put all contraception up for grabs.  It didn't even take 24 hours for the pleas to religiously discriminate against LGBT to land on President Obama's desk.  With one 'narrowly defined' decision, the Catholic males on the Supreme Court have opened the door to Catholic sexual morality in the public as well as private sector. Humanae Vitae can now spread through out America, though not by conversion or the lucidity of it's reasoning,  but by the time tested method of coercion.  Happy 4th of July Americans.  We can all celebrate the fact the just five men on the Supreme Court have seen fit to once again expand the rights of corporations as individuals, and this time over the rights of slutty American women.  You go boys.  

I know I will sleep better at night knowing that if I owned a corporation like Hobby Lobby,  I could profit from the things I object to, but not have to spend corporate money to pay for those.  It would be really swell knowing that 'remote cooperation with evil' only extended to the expenditure side of my ledgers.  Of course if I owned a company, I would be more likely to claim a religious exemption to ED drugs as too many men who use them are either single or past the point of being able to responsibly raise children.  Four of those five male justices would not qualify for ED drugs under my religious scruples, but I also know that since ED drugs are Catholic kosher Judge Alito and company would probably not grant me such an exception under the belief that ED drugs serve a compelling public interest.  After all boys will be boys and have a right to be chemically assisted boys. 

To go along with the Hobby Lobby decision, I also had the pleasure of reading the paper written for the bishops going to the upcoming Synod on the Family.  It was a predictable read, a boring read, and also had some interesting if not very pastoral language.  Apparently the Catholic flock involves a lot of sub species of sheep the Vatican considers 'those people' in Catholics who do not live the pristine Catholic sexual and relational life.  It was predictable in the sense that 'this people' knew right from the get go that the failure of the Catholic laity to embrace Humanae Vitae was going to be all our ignorant self centered cherry picking fault.  And so it was.  As one of the ignorant self centered cherry pickers, I would suggest in the future that Catholic bishops demand Catholic parents not send their Catholic children to schools where science is taught.  I would also suggest that our bishops would better use their time throwing science teachers out of their jobs rather than Gay or pregnant single female teachers..unless those people happen to be one of those science teacher people.  It was those damn science teachers and their damned science that completely eroded my ability to accept Humanae Vitae and not become one of those people.  Instead I became an ignorant self centered cherry picker of a Catholic, really and truly one of 'those people'.  

It seems I have a lot of company.  So much company that we should form a real company and demand our religious rights to celebrate our diversity and get on with living a very different form of Christianity.  A Christianity that does not seek to meld itself with the American Corporate oligarchy, or American Exceptionalism, or American Military Interventionism, or is a paid for shill for some of our most wealthy American Catholic families.  And I'm pretty sure any corporation called 'Those People' would have to be a cafeteria style restaurant where the line moves to the left, but still serves everyone.



  1. sylvesterpatsteffenJuly 4, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Right on, Colleen! Personal conscience is primary to corporation conscience! True Religion is more than a hobby and is primary over corporation religion notwithstanding the obvious fact that The Hobby owns the Religious Right Lobby. Calling a corporation a "person" is no joke, it is benighted and a human tragedy. The word "person" comes from the Latin word "persona", which is female in gender. Corporation "gender" is a great big neuter and has nothing to do with "person" in the authentic meaning of person. For God's sake and for humanity's sake, Women, please rally your political body against this male corruption! Time for a woman president and more women in legislatures and courts.
    "Increase and multiply", indeed! Time to reckon with the other Garden of Eden mandate "not to consume the Fruit of the Tree in the Middle of the Garden". I am chagrined to no end, as every conscionable male should be, by the blatant male sacrilegious exploitation of The Garden. Male ignorance, arrogance and obsession reek to High Heaven! God help us!

  2. Opus Dei is alive and well and running the Catholic Hierarchy and Supreme Court.

  3. It sure does seem like it. I read Betty Clermont's piece at Daily Kos on OD's influence with Pope Francis and can't help but wonder if Roman Catholicism is going to be just a front for whatever global domination game OD is playing. It does not bode well for women, ecumenism, or LGBT.

  4. Even though I knew Hobby Lobby would win with this particular Supreme Court, this is a devastating precedent on a number of levels. Corporations as people will be a valid concept only when incorporating ceases to be a liability buffer for ownership. Kind of reminds me of being a bishop. Individual owners have very little accountability, can now dictate religious morality to their employees, and milk their corporate institution for all the money they can. Patriarchal authoritarianism at it's finest.

  5. "Male ignorance, arrogance and obsession reek to High Heaven! God help us!

  6. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 5, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    The SCOTUS decision to hand over more power & freedom to corporations in the Hobby Lobby case is most definitely a dangerous precedence. Giving personhood to corporations in the first place paved the way for just this type of radical decision to thwart & obstruct the freedom of others deemed as sub species.

    The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy in alliance with these fundamentalistally-led-corporations with the help of Opus Dei & other Supremes seems dead set to create the very circumstances that can only bring more misery into the world. I am reminded in this latest ruling by the Supreme Court of the RCC hierarchy in their decision to give credence to the Nazi Party, with the Centrist Party former head who was a priest in Germany creating such a pact with the blessings of the RCC hierarchy which opened up the gates of hell for those deemed sub species such as the Jewish people, gypsies, gays, those people who did not agree with the Nazi's ideology, those people who were deemed not worthy to even live.

    What is quite disturbing is that anyone or any corporation or court would want to encourage people from NOT having freedom to make their own health decisions with their doctor in a country that should know better. Not a happy 4th of July pronouncements from the Supremes. All those who truly fought for the idea of freedom & justice for all just do not even count as real people anymore.

    Turning in their graves…. The Founding Fathers and Molly Pitchers, all those people who fought against slavery in the Civil War, those people who built this country and left countries to build a better life escaping religious tyranny and/or economic blight, those people who fought Nazis and those people who marched against discrimination and senseless Wars….. I guess we're all deemed useless and incompetent and not worthy of freedom of conscience. Only rabid fundamentalists who are wealthy can now dictate their freedom to exploit and/or eliminate democracy all together,

    I like your suggestion to form a corporation.

  7. Back in the day exorcisms were performed in 17th c French convents where so much pre-Hollywood was going on it was and is hard to keep it looks as if one or more are needed in the Halls of Jus.t.i.c.e.......

  8. Your final paragraph gives me hope, Colleen. Maybe they've gone so far this time that more and more people will band together and resist—since we can see nothing but an impossibly bleak future for all of us except the 1% otherwise.

  9. It does not bode well for an educated membership. That part of RCC is crumbling but does has an occasional person such as not so smarticus to defend it. Look at Europe and the educated cradle catholics in the US. I see nothing but increased departure from this leadership. The People of God constitute this church not the leadership and more and more of them are finding a new way to believe, and even worship. This trend will not change.

  10. Thank you for being so open-minded, inclusive and welcoming to me, especially after all I did was to make a simple statement. Your extreme and exemplary liberal reaction to it illustrates to me your utter hypocrisy.
    When people make emotionally ridiculous and paranoid statements about male patriarchy in regards to the recent Hobby Lobby case while conveniently ignoring the fact that 9 liberal justices made a decision that has led to the murders of over 50 million children, boys and girls, I think I just might want to point out the hypocritical nature of their delusional opinion. It's not like you libs don't make play the game in ways that many others might find offense too. If you don't like it, fine. But, again, you started the personal attacks, not me. Don't expect me to just roll over here.

  11. It was NOT '9 liberal justices' that handed down the Roe v. Wade decision It was 7 justices from across the political spectrum. And there were 2 dissenters - one conservative and 1 liberal. Do your homework.

  12. Lots of rational people from both the conservative and liberal political bent will never buy a full human person exists at conception. When Roe v Wade was handed down, very very few people believed that and that includes Roman Catholics. Science shows implantation is necessary for embryonic development. Before then a conceptus is no more viable than one of my skin cells and science has also proven through cloning that my skin cells hold the ability to become a viable human fetus---if implantation occurs.

    When pro lifers say things like "the murders of over 50 million children, boys and girls" that's a non starter. That is your belief about when life begins. It is not scientific fact, nor is it legally true since abortion is legal. There have also been millions and millions and millions of unknown miscarriages which happen very frequently in the first month of pregnancy. That means God is an abortionist since He apparently is the prime mover behind a system that is this faulty, but because He is the prime mover He must have intended it to be this way.

    I don't expect you will agree with this comment, and that's because your mind is closed to another interpretation of when life begins. The only thing I wish you might do is go back and look at how the Church treated miscarriages before Roe v Wade and the very sudden insistence thereafter that life begins at conception. Aquinas most certainly did not hold that belief.

  13. Both of us assigned him some homework. Smartuckus should do the homework if only to sharpen his arguments.

  14. Actually, I think we have schism in our future, but it's going to come from the 'true' Catholic right wing. As you know, there is a certain segment of all populations which can not deal with ambiguity and need hard and fast rules presented by an external authority in order to put trustworthy boundaries on their own behavior....and there are external authority figures who need those kinds of followers. Right wing Catholicism will schism into the cult it's followers truly want. I give it maybe one or two more years before Pope Francis becomes the anti pope and Benedict the true pope. It will depend on their respective health situations. I don't think for one minute Benedict will want this, but his opinion won't hold any water. His opinion is not bigger than "tradition"

  15. It's already spreading to coverage of HIV medications (no surprise there), in particular the 'miracle drug' Truvada. It's difficult to watch one's culture implode from the peaceful green hills of Bohemia, but this is one reason I'm an expatriate and a post Catholic catholic. Time for a new form of Christianity indeed, one that does not harden into institutional idolatry. This is 2014 and we are STILL arguing over contraception???

  16. sylvesterpatsteffenJuly 6, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    In their biological ignorance, their prideful hubris and
    exclusionary thinking, males continue to deny their own female persona. The deception,
    the injustice and tragedy of this circumstance is that the U.S. Supreme Court
    endorses and enshrines this tragedy to the detriment of the female persona and
    humankind by giving corporations standing equal to a person. As theology
    supposes biology, so does common decency and legal justice. Ignorance of basic
    biology is a “supreme” crisis in law as it continues to be in male exclusionary
    religion, tradition and culture.

  17. sylvesterpatsteffenJuly 6, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Sir, forgive me for this, but your "nom de plum" (forgive my inadequate French) smacks of smart-alekyness.

  18. sylvesterpatsteffenJuly 6, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    And we're the worse off for it.

  19. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Why should I be open-minded, inclusive and welcoming to such a crazy thought that you have uttered about Roe v. Wade? I will not be a hypocrite or extremist and lie and say that every single abortion is murder. It's just not true at all, if you are honest about it. On the other hand, you conveniently leave out all the women who have died in childbirth, risking their very lives to have a child. And those numbers who have given birth, where are those numbers? And of all of those born, is there enough food & medicine for all of them to survive to adulthood? What are those numbers of dead children, little boys and girls, who either are malnourished or who have starved to death and/or died of preventable diseases?

    The anti-Roe v. Wade fundamentalist group-think do not have a complete perception of the issue & they are not open to really discussing anything that would be helpful. The fixation onto this issue and being in an extremist position is absurd and also deadly.

  20. Well, excuse me. But the 7 who voted to legalize this murder were all patriarchal extremists, who decided the way they did in order to secure male dominance over women - at least according to your logic. When it comes to abortion, apparently to those on the left, brains are not required to form an opinion, only uteri.

  21. No one disputes the fact fertilization creates a new human embryo. The disputed issue is when is there a full human person. Viability as an implanted embryo is vastly different from the non viability of a conceptus, just as the ability to live and breathe on it's own has been the legal determination of the existence of a full human person for eons.

    Where you and I differ is in the degree of immorality. I don't think aborting a fetus is murder in the same sense as infanticide. This does not mean I think abortion is a good thing, but I do recognize there are instances when it is a life saving thing.

    If you think I cherry picked Thomas Aquinas then you must concede that Pope Paul did as well: "With regard to the biological processes, responsible parenthood means an awareness of, and respect for, their proper functions. In the procreative faculty the human mind discerns biological laws that apply to the human person." The Summa is the citation for this sentence.

    My human mind discerns these biological laws differently than yours.

  22. I know it was long, but I don't think you actually read the entire post. There isn't disagreement on the science regarding when

  23. I was alive and well, and I remember well the disgust that it's people felt.

  24. Section 60 of EVangelium Vitae states that the pre embryo should be guarded but not that it is a person since it alludes to scientific debates that the Magisterium has not committed itself to.
    Identical twinning happens at c. 14 days precisely because there is no person present... but there is human life but not an individual. Further, in the chimeric individual, two pre embryos lie too close and then merge into what eventually may be one person unless it too twins at c. two weeks. You seem to be using deluge of cites to avoid the twinning problem.

  25. You again avoid the twinning problem...identicals at c. 14 days because there is human genetic life but not an individual until the cells are no longer totipotential.
    If you avoid problems for a worthy cause...anti abortion...the devil wins.

  26. Jayden, You are a post Roman Catholic. That does not exclude you from the People of God. In fact, it may make you a more powerful member.

  27. Thank you Elijah fan, because I didn't have the energy last night to get into the problems of twinning and how that impacts the notion of 'full human person'.

  28. So you make an error of fact and when called on it you demand to be excused for doing so then double-down on your wrong 'facts'. Yeah, no. I'll not excuse that kind of behavior.

    Roe v. Wade was about the autonomy of women to make their own medical decisions without outside interference - including that of a patriarchal government. By definition this is not by any means an extension of patriarchy or male dominance.

    Row v. Wade was also a compromise. Before viability of the fetus the woman could decide free of governmental interference. After viability, the patriarchal government could assert it's rights in preserving the life of the fetus - with certain restrictions pertaining to the life and health of the woman.

    The patriarchy says women are disposable. Not the justices who decided Roe v. Wade.

  29. Please see my response to your similar statement.

  30. The same could be said of others - why should anyone be open-minded, inclusive and welcoming to people with whom they disagree? I would answer "civility," but it's the lefties who are always citing intolerance while conveniently excusing their own. I simply wanted to take a moment to point out your hypocrisy.
    The pro-life position is not the extreme one. Justification for murder is the extreme position.

  31. "Life begins is different from individual begins that's why EV often switches to life. EV often veers to the "person always present" in its non infallible passages (99% excepting one par. in sect.62) as those non infallible ones are the given Pope's predilictions... but that passage I gave breaks momentarily with that inclination of his to state that the Magisterium has not committed itself to the various debates ( the twinning one went on for years at Theological Studies ( Jesuit) by well known opposing authors none of whom disagree that two weeks is normative as the outside possible).
    Totipotentiality is the essence of the twinning problem.
    Forget the word twin and you still have uncommitted cells for two weeks...totipotentiality which will lead back to a variant of the longer tradition in the Church...delayed ensoulement. A person does not split into tripulets or twins...a totipotential cell mass does.

  32. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 7, 2014 at 10:47 AM

    What is arrogant is any decision by a nation's highest court that denies freedom of conscience and the freedom for women to make their own health care decisions with their doctor. Now their boss is in the middle and women have lost their right to even think or make decisions on their own. Their boss has done all the thinking for them with the help of a Supreme Court. The Supremes have decided in favor of a religious extremist's position on birth control which denies their female employees to make their own personal decisions regarding birth control coverage. That is tyranny. The tyranny itself is directed to women of child-bearing age & despite whether or not a woman might need birth control for medical reasons she now has to pay for such a prescription because some religious fanatic right wing extremist corporate control freaks with the backing of the Supremes now dictates to her that she will not be reimbursed by her insurance company for birth control. That's just plain and stupid arrogance and let's call it what it is. It's corporate fascism and it is discrimination against women.

  33. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    The truth is, Smartuckus, that there is no such thing as civility from the right wing in the RCC when it comes to issues about women and gay persons. One either agrees with the right wing ideology or they are deemed hypocrites, such as you are doing at the moment.

    Being truly in a pro-life position entails a much broader view and perspective than you have provided.

  34. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 7, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    In addition, Smartuckus, it is not your person I've been attacking. It is the "thought" generated by fundamentalist & corporate bullies that is the problem and which needs to be addressed, for corporate fascism historically has proven its bent for widespread justification for murder and that is the extreme position.

  35. Elijah, thanks for your response. However, you still failed to address the main point. You stated:

    "Life begins is different from individual begins that's why EV often switches to life."

    Point one - EV is not a scientific work. The science of Embryology makes no distinction between human being and human person. Most embryologists make a point of stating that they are one and the same thing. The "Human Person is different from human being" argument is political, being rooted in the "pro-choice" movement, not the scientific.

    You continue:

    "Totipotentiality is the essence of the twinning problem. Forget the word twin and you still have uncommitted cells for two weeks."

    There is no problem other than that science can't explain WHY. You are creating a non-existent problem to engineer an outcome. If monozygotic instruction is present at conception; if it is a product of something smaller than DNA or RNA or telomeres - something yet unknown and unobservable, what difference does totipotentiality make? In other words, being totipotent is an embryonic capability. Why do only 2% of embryos divide into two separate human lives? Why not all? Again, science can't explain the why - it can only explain the process. That human zygotes have a potential to split into two isn't at the heart of the discussion - the heart of the discussion is "why do they?" Another question therefore is, do all human zygotes have this capability? If they do, why don't they? Or is that a best guess?
    Is it possible that more than one person exists in the single-celled zygote? We are spiritual beings despite our corporality, right? But we are deviating into the theological and the philosophical.

  36. What is arrogant is any decision by a nation's highest court that denies freedom of conscience and the right to life to our most innocent sons and daughters. Ok, so I get it that you disagree with that sentiment, but you can’t seriously look yourself in the
    mirror and describe it as extreme. It is in fact a principled one. Are we not to be allowed freedom of our own conscience? If you want to practice birth control feel free to do so, just keep your hands out of my wallet.

    The recent case did nothing to infringe upon the rights of women to choose any method of birth control. Did the Supreme Court say that women can’t purchase these products, or did the court, as is actually the case, say that employers don’t have to pay for it? So the employers are extremists
    because they find coverage of 4 out of 20 methods approved by the Department of HHS to go against their consciences? You throw around the word extremist any time anyone disagrees with you. Disagreement with you is not a form of extremism. Not wanting to be forced by the government to pay for anyone else’s birth control isn’t extreme – it’s the
    forcing of them to do so that is wildly extreme. You can’t see the difference?

    Didn’t women always have to pay for it in some manner or another (directly or indirectly through higher premiums passed along to all of us)?

    Most birth control is inexpensive. But if a corporation must saddle the entire cost, it becomes expensive for the company.

    The Hobby Lobby ruling wasn’t discrimination in any
    way. That’s a politically-driven opinion held by extremists.

  37. It would be great if what you said were true, but this is how you began with me:

    "You are not too awake and not too smart and not all there to make such a remark, notsosmartuckus"

    I'm just a big dummy because I presented a viewpoint with which you disagree, and had the audacity to back it up with facts.

    "there is no such thing as civility from the right wing in the RCC when it comes to issues about women and gay persons"

    I guess all those conservative women in the RCC are mysogenysts? You can't comprehend a respectful debate or disagreement between conservatives and liberals when it comes to "women's" issues or LBGT issues? I can. It's just that the left won't even tolerate a civil discussion or debate. All the proof you need for that last assertion is the warm and welcoming comments made by posters here.

  38. Twinning is rare but every cell mass can be teased into twinning by scientists ...ergo whether there is normally instruction at conception is moot. I actually believe with you that abortion is evil as does the Church infallibly in sect.62 of EV wherein the Pope polled all Bishops worldwide and thus avoided the need for research necessary in solitary excathedra. But as a theologian pointed out in TS, the Church has not defined the front end of abortion...when does it begin. Prolifers by verbal tradition aligned with the CDF etc. have made it at fertilization but then if that were the case, the entire Catholic Church should be warning all Catholic women to stay slim because like the pill or maybe more so...obesity militates against implantation. In your google search slot, type implantation obesity....pages will appear. Yet pro lifers denounce pill users but are totally silent on women who have an extra plate of pasta etc. This silence means ideology is trumping real worry about the pre the pro lifer orientation. If a person begins prior to implantation, overeating should be a main topic of Catholicism everywhere....blogs, usccb, sermons, Popes etc. It is nowhere mentioned anywhere in the Catholic world

  39. Twinning may be a form of asexual reproduction, where one embryo divides into two, but this doesn’t mean that s/he wasn’t an individual before then. Scientists don’t know for certain if parthenogenesis is the process by which one zygote or blastocyst
    becomes two, but in either case it is reasonable to conclude that the life of one twin began at conception while the other's began at the point of division. Ergo, the "twinning" argument is moot. The production of a second, genetically-identical twin does not mean the original being ceases to exist or never existed at all, does it?

    The process of human reproduction is itself a remarkable example of how one body can give rise to a separate, morally-significant, genetically-distinct, second body—without ever ceasing to exist itself. Conceiving and giving birth doesn't mean the woman wasn't already human before the process took place. Nor does anyone suggest that she has somehow become two people. Her body has simply produced another body.

    Science can tell us when individual life begins. Science tells us that biological life and personhood are one and the same thing. Think about it. Since there is no way to distinguish between zygotes that will divide into monozygotic twins and those that won't, and since the division can occur anywhere within a nine-day range, the existence of monozygotic twinning does not provide an observable line of demarcation whereby an embryo definitively moves from being a human non-person
    to being a human person.

    Consider a starfish. It has the ability to reproduce asexually too. If I showed you a single starfish,
    would you tell me it isn’t a starfish?
    Would you tell me that it isn’t one starfish, but it is many starfish, simply because it has the potential to split into, literally, a limitless number of starfish? I’m guessing you would agree with me that it is a single starfish. And when I chop that starfish into two equal
    halves, each half will grow into a complete, whole starfish. I will then have two starfish, the original one still exists as the original one.

    To suggest that a zygote isn’t a person because it has the potential to “twin” is the same thing as saying that the starfish isn’t an individual starfish.

    The twinning argument, then, instead of pointing away from the early human embryo being an individual, points to the early human embryo
    having the potential to generate a sibling through asexual reproduction.

    Philosophically, the reality of monozygotic twinning does raise some interesting questions. But from a biological standpoint, not much changes. Even if you want to use monozygotic twinning to argue against the existence of "personal" human life prior to day nine, or twelve, or fourteen, does it really make sense to argue that so long as one human being can become two human beings, we should be allowed to destroy the one before that can happen? Shouldn't the human embryo's remarkable capacity to reproduce itself secure it more protection instead of less?

  40. You're forgetting a. scientific teasing and b. totipotentiality wherein the cells are open to being diverse parts which means they cannot yet be part of a person because they haven't chosen a part at all...But were you correct, then...Aquinas was wrong about the soul which permeates every part of the person and cannot divide according to him and Aristotle. I'm going to go with Aquinas.
    Let's look at what you didn't address to date: obesity mïlitates against implantation yet not one pro life leader is worried about those failed implantations of tragically killed persons even though he is distraught when it is the result of a pill maybe...and the chimeric person who results from two fertilized pre embryos merging into one person. Did one person die, lose its soul during the merge yet its then dead matter was revivified in the merge by the other soul?

  41. The employers bringing the suits want the tax subsidy to compensate workers in health care rather than wages, but rather than meet the concomitant legal requirements they want to impose their religious beliefs on employees who don’t share them by denying them a benefit to which they’re legally entitled and giving them nothing in return.

  42. Econ101: The employer is NOT paying for the health insurance coverage. The employee pays for his/her own - every single time out of his/her wages. At most, in our current system of 'employer'-based health insurance coverage the employer is a convenient transfer point for the insurance premium and nothing more.

    The ACA has detemined that health insurance should include certain things as basic coverage. The employer could simply decide to opt out of being the transfer point for the premiums if it was that worried about tarnish rubbing off from the whole icky women's reproductive health and well-being. Now why did Hobby Lobby not just get out of the premium transfer business and focus on their core business? The only reasonable answer I can come up with is that they demand the right to impose their consciences on the employees. They do have other options if they insist on a sin of over-scrupulousness.

    So the SCOTUS with this decision has in fact privileged the employer to impose morality outside the law on the employees.

    Personally I think the answer here is to tell the employees at Hobby Lobby that they can join the health exchanges individually and send the bill for the premium to Hobby Lobby. Instead of the current situation where the employee is forced to accept the sub-standard 'health insurance' that Hobby Lobby is choosing to provide with corporate tax deductions.

  43. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Smartuckus, Your first comment about the most recent Supreme Court decision and to this blog's writing about it harkened you back in time to an emotional response of Roe v. Wade in the negative which you seemed to equate to our response which had nothing to do with any desire on your part to get past that or for having a real discussion about the current situation and the ramifications of the recent SCOTUS decision. You would rather continue the drama about the horrors of Roe v. Wade. Yet if Roe v. Wade had not been the law, there would have been more dead.

    This most recent SCOTUS decision is about birth control being available in insurance policies in private companies for their employees. Yet you go on and on about abortion and do not see past that to have any real discussion.

    It is in that context in which you are not all there or awake. The recent SCOTUS decision is what is not warm and welcoming at all for women or for US policy. It sets a very dangerous precedent.

    If you are religious and do not believe in abortion and/or you do not believe in birth control, you are free to practice your convictions. You should not be free to dictate your beliefs on everyone else, including that which is between a patient and their doctor and their convictions and freedom of conscience should not be denied. Otherwise we create a fascists world and all the chaos that comes with that.

  44. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 8, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Smartukus, corporations that provide private health insurance coverage do not pay the entire cost and as john fremont has stated below, you'd be wise to read and comprehend. Employees make monetary contributions & choose the level of coverage. So employees hands are not in the employer's pockets at all. Regarding higher premiums, look at the profits that insurance companies are making. The level of care has not improved either, despite the profits. That's another subject. People do not really get to choose their doctor either in many of the plans provided.

    Corporations love to complain about their costs and what they've chosen to do with that cost for health care insurance coverage is share it with their employees as part of their "compensation." That being the case, employees should be compensated in their paycheck for now having to pay out of their own pockets for birth control, which used to be covered with the employees contribution towards health care coverage. The female employees are being discriminated against and should be compensated for the additional cost for birth control if they want it because they are still paying for it. It doesn't really come out of the employer's pocket.

    Does anything really come out of the pocket of corporations these days? Tax breaks for the corporations and huge profits for the corporations and the employee's wages remain stagnant. Corporations are not saddling the cost of much these days. I am not of child bearing age anymore, so the Supreme Court ruling rather than being a personalized event has more to do with discrimination and religious bigotry and corporate greed than anything else. The corporate trend has been all about money in their pockets. It's become a game to find any loop-hole to be selfish. The "religious" loop hole now allows for discriminating against women or any other group even more than before.

  45. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 8, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    Smartuckus, one more thing to address from your comment here. You said "What is arrogant is any decision by a nation's highest court that denies freedom of conscience and the right to life to our most innocent sons and daughters."

    Seems you are saying that the unborn are entitled to all the rights of a person that is born, and moreso, since in the case of even rape or incest you consider any form of pharmaceutical intervention to prevent a pregnancy to be an abortion. Sounds like that is what you are saying. That is extreme, imho. Preventing a pregnancy means there is scientific control over pregnancy.

    You also seem to be stating that you believe a fetus has a conscience.

    Your denials about the recent Supreme Court case are very much slanted in favor of right wing fundamentalist views shared by our Bishops who are supposedly so pro-life. While focusing on the issues of birth control and of Roe v. Wade being of such grave concern for the freedom of conscience and right to life of the unborn, the born are ignored.

    You never did provide those numbers of children who are dead every year due to starvation around the world and perhaps I am guilty to death because I see them as a priority because they are born. So I will present some numbers for you now.

    Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.

    Why is this not given priority? Why is this not a pro-life issue? Why is it more important for the Bishops and fundamentalists to deny birth control coverage and harp about Roe v. Wade instead of taking care of what we have now which is a vast killing of children around the world due to hunger?

    I present this to you to point out that we need to take care of those who are born and the Church leaders don't seem to care to want to do anything about it. You can roll out your fact sheets to rationalize this focus on birth control and abortion and it will still not erase the fact of the death of millions of children every year due to a lack of food. They'll support economic policies that can only create poverty and soon will follow the hunger related deaths on a wider scale. What is the logic of focusing on the unborn and not giving a rat's ass about the conditions into which they will be born? What is the gospel message from the Bishops when they live in mansions and contribute nothing that has to do with life?

    2.6 million children die each year of hunger-related causes. And you want to focus on what?

  46. This just is not so many of the early fathers allowed abortion until quickening (first felt movement at about 12 weeks gestation). There was even the case of a bishop allowing a priest to procure an abortion for his lover because it was prior to quickening. So once again Mr. Smart, your facts are indeed suspect.....

  47. I was really hoping you'd stay out of the conversation. You have nothing to

  48. Actually the number is estimated to be between 20% and 50%. These are termed as "wastage" by the biology community. Again, so what? We are not morally responsible for things that occur naturally. We are certainly responsible for intentionally killing our offspring. You seriously can't see the difference between the two? The "wastage" argument is a non-sequitur, as are almost every single

  49. Really? Perhaps you can provide some evidence there.

  50. You show others who you are by projecting your own ideas of your dislike into others who just give you factual information. So when you call me names, I look to where it is coming from and see it as a compliment.

  51. The biological community does not use the term "wastage" for non implanted zygotes. They just realize that most zygotes in mammals do not implant. Your ideas that in humans that these zygotes are fully people would seem to require CPR by your ilk..

    Your statistics are not correct. At least 60% of zygotes are not implanted. So is an athletic woman who's uterine lining does not allow implantation, is she practicing BC or abortion or nature. Is a man with impotence, who takes viagra, practicing nature.

    Any thing that is factual, you seem to think is "a non-sequitur." Perhaps you are projecting again your in ability you use factual evidence.

  52. After the beginning of the Christian era... legal regulation of abortion as existed in the Roman Empire was designed primarily to protect the rights of fathers rather than rights of embryos.

    ...induced abortion is ignored in the most central Judeo-Christian writings: it was not mentioned in the Christian or the Jewish bible, or in the Jewish Mishnah or Talmud. Abortion, it is true, was denounced in early Christian writings such as the Didache. But church councils, such as those of Elvira and Ancyra, which were called to specify the legal groundwork for Christian communities, outlined penalties only for those women who committed abortion after a sexual crime such as adultery or prostitution. Most importantly, perhaps, from the third century A.D. onward, Christian thought was divided as to whether early abortion - the abortion of an "unformed" embryo - was in fact murder. Different sources of church law and teaching simply did not agree on the penalties for abortion or on whether early abortion is wrong. There is a lot written on this and I don’t have the time to reference it all but you could start with: 1. “Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood by Kristin Luker, University of California Press and 2) Robert Nisbet, Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictonary (Harvard University Press ISBN 0-674-70066-X) p2

  53. Sorry you are wrong, a portion of my research was in early brain growth and development.

  54. Pope Innocent III (circa 1161-1216):He wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not "animated."

    Early in the 13th century he stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of "quickening" - when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.

  55. Not sure what you are debating here. I think you inferred something that I did not say. What I in fact stated was that the Church has always taught that abortion is wrong. I stand firmly by my statement.

  56. There are scientists that have probed blastocysts causing twining so once again your ideas are not very useful. Your last paragraph makes no sense at all. You were trying to defend the idea that life and personhood begins at fertilization. This idea does not fit with twinning nor in the case of cloning.

  57. Sorry but all your
    arguments evolve around your feelings that man can know absolute truth.
    It is no more possible in ethics than it is in science.

    I did quote you one incidence
    in which one pope did say that abortion prior to quickening is
    "relatively" OK. My contention is that we do absolutely know
    when life begins and have sited both twinning and cloning in mammals.

    You make an argument for
    asexual reproduction with a twin. NO, Sir, there was plenty of sex
    necessary to produce that blastocyst. You are speaking scientific none
    sense. A scientist to duplicate can stimulate a blastocyst; a clone can
    be made from a single skin cell and an evacuated ovum. Your understanding
    of science is very poor or perhaps prejudiced to want to make science say what
    you want to hear.

    You continue to use name-calling
    and personal attack as part of your modus operondi. I must admit that I see you as either some
    one very ignorant of scientific facts or someone that is purposely misusing
    idea that are not scientific at all.

  58. Again you fail to address a point I made about this issue. If Catholic theology assigns omnipotence to God, then God intended the 'wastage' problem and that makes him creation's greatest abortionist.

  59. rdp, you hit the crux of the argument, the same answer I gave Smartuckus (more clumsily) in the previous thread. The arguments all revolve around absolute knowledge. I can't see how an intelligent person like Smarty thinks that God is knowable. It goes against transcendence, and this is from me, the usual defender of immanence.

    My condolences that you are too dense to understand the discussion.

  60. After reading your messages I get the impression that weren't the researcher, you were being researched.

  61. I think if you take Smartuck;s messages in their entirety he's making a lot of sense. What I don't get is the circular way you argue without making any real point. He says one thing and you say he didn't say it. It's like the rest of us are spectators watching him talk to a wall,

  62. So I'm not the only one who thinks so.

  63. I can't take it any more. Why do you waste your time here with these Philistines? There are a few here that can form complete sentences but a couple of these folks are just not playing with a full deck. I think you have a few closet serial killers here.

  64. factual information? This is where I would insert an emoticon, laughing hysterically.

  65. The only thing that I have said that is at all personal is to tell your Mr. Smart that he either does not understand science or he distributes false information about science. You see I have a long background in academic sciences and it is easy to understand when some one is making false scientific claims as Mr. Smarticus has done. I used his own description of himself when I used the word "dummy," Mr. not so smart uses names like ass hole and stupid in many of his remarks when others open bare his lack of understanding of what he speaks.

    You, yourself, Missbehaven have shown little sensitivity in your use of the word idiot. Once again as I told your Mr. Smart, I only consider the source and consider what you meant as and insult as a compliment. I understand what Mr Smart wrote, but I can not agree with it.

  66. Your projections of misbehavior show a whole lot about who you really are.

  67. Uhm, I sure hope your "I can't take it anymore" means you won't be back, because if I read another comment of yours which adds nothing to the conversation but are just attacks on others not names Smartuckus, you won't be back.

  68. Again your so what is as meaningless as your lack of accurate statistics! You described me inaccurately as someone knowing nothing about genetics or embryology. This is truly a projection of your own situation. It seems that your only use of what you call science is to explain your versional religious beliefs. This is not science because you start from what you consider dogmatic facts and try to deductively explain them with what you describe as science. Observation and inductive reasoning is needed to describe any science and deductions are only at a later time. The same should also be true for theology. I know you don’t see it that way but you are using a medieval paradigm in a world that has advanced to a post modern way of thinking. No wonder you are so angry with me, but you could try to catch up in your paradigm—— All good scientists have and many theologians as well….

  69. The wall belongs to Smarticus because he does not use good documented science. I address this issue mostly because he has no argument to address if he falsifies what he calls science.... He has been doing this for at least one year on this blog... When I call his bluff in using false facts, he gets very angry and calls me names and claims I am not knowledgeable.

  70. I am disagreeing with your central conviction that the Church always emphatically taught that abortion was wrong. Seems there was much devergence in thought. I have shown you some of it and referenced where you might look up a lot more.

  71. Is Mr. Smart a scientist, are you one. How do you make such preposterous claims. Mr. Smart began calling people names over a year ago. He even admitted being censored for his misbehavior.

    I usually have to read most scientific articles several times to understand them, so if you are reading what I say more than once, good for you, but they are not meant for a scientific journal. They are only meant to bare the pseudo scientific facts that Mr. Smart claims about science. The wonderful thing about science is that we all are looking for more truth and we do make mistakes all the time. This is part of growth and development of a science. It often are those who believe mistakenly that they know that Mind of God that continue to falsify facts to deductively defend their own feelings of omniscience.

  72. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 11, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Smartikus, you said, quoted below, among other things:

    "The process of human reproduction is itself a remarkable example of how one body can give rise to a separate, morally-significant, genetically-distinct, second body—without ever ceasing to exist itself. Conceiving and giving birth doesn't mean the woman wasn't already human before the process took place. Nor does anyone suggest that she has somehow become two people. Her body has simply produced another body."

    Women are not just biological entities to make other bodies. That is what is missing from your entire understanding. You have essentially reduced women to being biological sexual objects and their job and entire purpose in life is to have babies, one after the other, with no planning whatsoever. Science tells us in 2014 that the rhythm method does not work and that using birth control prevents pregnancy.

    In the paragraph I quoted from you, you are even in denial that women die in childbirth. You totally leave that out.

    There is a huge difference between what is a human being and a human embryo. A huge difference. There is no human being to kill if a woman uses birth control.

    Real living and breathing human beings already born are dying and I will always remember how you never acknowledged those posts, as well as MissBehavin' just in total denial of that FACT. 2.6 Million of real persons, children, the least amongst us, our sons and daughters are denied the right to life by starvation!! You refuse to acknowledge this fact that those already born are starving to death in huge numbers every year and yet you argue about zygotes and embryos that are not fully developed as living persons have the right to supremacy.

    Your science is incomplete if it does not include the rights of women to use the science of contraception to prevent pregnancy and to have the option of a morning after pill in the case of rape, and to include the fact that some women with certain medical conditions will not survive a pregnancy unless they use birth control.

    In fact, you seem to think that the Magisterium is the Supreme Being and God over all. That is dumb.

  73. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 11, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Correction to the post above: Some women have medical conditions which make it necessary to use birth control because they would not survive a pregnancy.

  74. When they ruled that humans could be killed in the womb?

  75. He's ignoring the fact that starvation kills embryos and fetuses and prevents implantation and stops ovulation altogether. But what the heck, starvation isn't 'artificial'. It's always been around it's part of the 'natural' order of things.

  76. Birth control pills are not a murder weapon!!!

  77. BaptizedBabyBoomerJuly 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Yet starvation is man-made and mankind has the ability & technology to feed everyone, as Jesus also fed the hungry. Guess Mr. Smart doesn't believe in the gospel reading of the loaves and fishes, or perhaps he doesn't understand it yet. Was it natural or artificial that the loaves and fishes were multiplied? No one in the presence of Jesus went hungry in that Gospel. Then, of course, there is the story Jesus told of the Good Samaritan. Guess Mr. Smart's stance is really to not be a Good Samaritan. We should, according to Mr. Smart, ignore those left on the side of the road to die.

    Then it would seem that Mr. Smart also denies that which is Supernatural and therefore denies that we were all created in the image and likeness of God, to be like God, which simply means to be Love, be the signs and symbols of God's love, be the light of Love in the world.

  78. I have a more thorough response coming. I've been out of town for a couple of days and when I got back home my internet connection was down, so I do apologize for not having responded sooner and do ask for your patience.