The Duck Dynastization of the Bishops’ “Religious Liberty” Meme

What, exactly, have the Catholic bishops wrought by inflaming the religious right with the idea that fundamental religious freedoms are under attack in America because Barack Obama wanted health insurers to give women free birth control?

It was just three years ago that the USCCB introduced the idea that “religious liberty” was imperiled in America because of the contraception mandate and the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Fast forward to today, and the “religious liberty” meme is now firmly entrenched throughout the Christian right and, thanks to the Hobby Lobby decision, has come to stand for the widespread, if imaginary, persecution of Christians for being Christian.

As Mariah Blake reported in Mother Jones, Christian right activists used Hobby Lobby to activate conservative religious voters going into the midterms:

In recent months, a coalition of conservative evangelical organizations has been pursuing an aggressive voter mobilization campaign that involves a combination of high-tech tools, briefings for pastors, and rallies simulcast to mega-churches around the country.

The goal of these gatherings is to drum up outrage over recent political skirmishes, including the Hobby Lobby lawsuit, and to persuade believers that their religious freedoms are under attack by ungodly forces. During one recent event, which was shown in churches across the nation, speakers likened the situation of US churchgoers to Christians beheaded by ISIS in Syria.

The capstone event of this effort was the “I Stand Sunday” simulcast rally featuring “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, who likened the suspension of his television show (for an anti-gay tirade) to Christians in the Bible being imprisoned for their beliefs and “asserted that the same thing could happen in the United States.”

The rally, sponsored by Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and the National Organization for Marriage, featured former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has been promoting the religious liberty-imperilment narrative on his Fox News show. He warned of an America where people couldn’t “pray and preach and worship and believe as their conscience would tell them to do.”

It’s a big jump to go from requiring religiously-affiliated nonprofits to allow their insurers to provide contraception to asserting that there’s an effort underway to actively prevent people from praying, preaching or worshiping as they believe. But nuance doesn’t matter in politics if it works—which apparently it did.

As my RD colleague Sarah Posner points out, white evangelicals again punched above their weight in the midterms and were critical to Republican victories in at least five key Senate races. And, as she notes, it’s all about turnout; and politically aggrieved voters tend to show up, even if their grievances are imaginary or exaggerated.

RNS’ Mark Silk speculates that the religious liberty meme peeled moderately religious voters off the Obama coalition:

[I]t does look as thought there’s been some shift away from the Democrats of those who attend worship irregularly. Perhaps charges of an Obamaite “war on religion” by evangelical and Catholic leaders have gotten through.

The bishops created the “religious liberty” drive as a political tool to beat back policy initiatives that threatened to usurp their authority over the meaning and content of marriage. But the meme has now metastasized throughout the Christian right and helped catapult to power a slate of candidates who, it’s safe to say, don’t support Pope Francis’ critique of “trickle-down” economics and unfettered markets as a “new tyranny.”

  • Jim Reed

    We should switch to a single payer health care system like they have in the rest of the developed world. Then religion wouldn’t have to be involved, and all our problems would go away.

  • Frank6548

    Christian religious freedoms are the new civil rights of our age.

  • Jim Reed

    When Bush was elected he instituted the new Crusades of our age. This new set of politicians might institute a new Inquisition for our age.

  • Andre M

    How?

  • Craptacular

    “Civil rights legislation comes into play when the practice of personal preferences and prejudices of an individual, a business entity, or a government interferes with the protected rights of others.” – theFreeDictionary.com

    So you consider religious discrimination against homosexuals, African-Americans, atheists, and other minorities a “protected right?” More specifically a right of christians? Good to know you think this way.

    However, what you pretend not to understand is that your “personal preferences and prejudices” do not equate to rights. And your personal preferences and prejudices will become “rights” only by denying others those same rights. I love the freedom of speech! It lets big mouths with small brains show their true colors.

  • Frank6548

    It most certainly does. Well done in exposing yourself.

    Christian religious freedoms are the new civil rights. Watch and learn.

  • Andre M

    You can’t provide a reasonable response to any criticism or question, Frank. You fail.

  • Frank6548

    Oh the irony.

  • Andre M

    Yet another content-less response. Your arguments are empty. You fail.

  • Frank6548

    See above.

  • Andre M

    Prove me wrong and produce a thoughtful, logical reasonable response that actually engages with the criticisms and questions posed to you.

  • Craptacular

    So the best response you can come up with is “I know you are but what am I?”

    I am disappointed, I was hoping for at least something clever. You used to be so much better at this, it’s like you don’t care to defend your bigoted views anymore…I bet your god is also disappointed in your lack of effort.

  • Frank6548

    When you have some thing cogent or compelling to say I will happily answer.

  • Frank6548

    The truth will defend itself.

  • Andre M

    Plenty of people, including me, have asked you plenty of cogent questions and given you plenty of cogent criticism, and you consistently provide non-answers. There are cogent questions and criticisms posed by others in this very thread. Until you can provide a well thought-out response to anything, you fail.

    By the way, again, you fail.

  • Andre M

    You fail. Again.

  • jperry

    Christians aren’t discriminating against anyone, but homosexual extremists who hate Christians, for holding fast to their religious beliefs, who stand up for their first amendment rights and freedoms to freely believe and conduct their lives and that includes their businesses according to their religious beliefs & the very same first amendment says the government can not dictate that Christians violate their religious beliefs… of course homosexual extremists are free to go prove they aren’t seeking to oppress Christians, by demanding muslim bakeries, lodging, florists, et al.. accomodate their demands. Guess what extremist, you don’t get to persecute Christians, to demand they affirm your lifestyle choices

    First amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  • jperry

    Christians aren’t discriminating against anyone, but homosexual extremists who hate Christians, for holding fast to their religious beliefs, who stand up for their first amendment rights and freedoms to freely believe and conduct their lives and that includes their businesses according to their religious beliefs & the very same
    first amendment says the government can not dictate that Christians violate their religious beliefs… of course homosexual extremists are free to go prove they aren’t seeking to oppress Christians, by demanding muslim bakeries, lodging, florists, et al.. accomodate their demands. Guess what extremist, you don’t get to persecute Christians, to demand they affirm your lifestyle choices

    First amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”.

  • Jim Reed

    Could this problem be solved if all businesses were allowed to publish a list of what types of people they will or will not do business with?

  • Craptacular

    “…and conduct their lives and that includes their businesses according to their religious beliefs…” – jperry

    Wherever did you get the impression you can conduct business “according to religious beliefs?” Businesses are licensed by the local or state governments, not a church. If you want to open a public business, then you obey the public access laws. I remember when business owners were all riled up about making their business handicap-accessible. They said they would be driven out of business if they were forced to make the improvements demanded by law. Yet today we continue to have thriving, successful businesses, and they are handicap-accessible.

    “…to demand they affirm your lifestyle choices.” – jperry

    affirm: 1. to show a strong belief in or dedication to; 2. to say that something is true in a confident way.

    Curiously, neither definition mentions “selling someone goods” or “decorating a cake” as a way to “affirm” someone.

    When you seek to discriminate and curtail others’ rights based on your own prejudices, you are a bigot, regardless of the source of those prejudices. Even “sincerely held” prejudices.

    bigot – a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices (M-W online dictionary)

    Yep, that fits you and Frank6548 like a glove.

  • I would argue that the Obama administration created this fight in order to beat back the Church, and my hat is off to bishops who stood up against that.

  • It’s not that they “won’t do business with them.” Rather it is that they won’t engage in certain behaviors. Baking cupcakes for a homosexual’s birthday party is one thing. Baking a wedding cake is quite another. It’s not the people, it’s the particular behavior.

  • Jim Reed

    So we also need a list of two kinds of companies, those who do things like bake for birthday parties who shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate, and those who do things like bake for weddings who should be allowed to discriminate.

  • Jim Reed

    The bishops are going to have an easier time defeating Obama than they are defeating the Catholics.

  • Whiskyjack

    How does baking an item, regardless of its final destination, equate to “engaging in certain behavior”? Surely, the act of baking is fairly neutral. I do not see how the ultimate usage of an item meant to be eaten and enjoyed has any impact on the religious sensitivities of the baker.

  • apotropoxy

    The Jesus believers have systematically oppressed Jews since the 400’s and, as divisions among them sharpened, persecuted each other. Adding to their neurosis is their relationship with their evil deity, the devil. Since their earliest days, the Christians have been convinced that the terrestrial domain was ruled by the Father of Lies and that a savior would one day rescue them.
    Christianism and Islam share the same attitude toward the devil and today are locked in a codependent hate spiral. These religions are manifestations of mental illness. There’s no denying that both institutions have given us many good things but not nearly enough to outweigh the harm they’ve caused.
    Today in America, the religionists sense that their time is passing and their gods are fading into irrelevance. Fear causes them to strike out against their own demons.

  • Andre M

    Wait, wait. I remember this part from Exodus:

    “…AND THE LORD GOD SAID UNTO MOSES
    THOU SHALL’ST BE PETTY UNTO THE POINT
    OF BAKING CAKES FOR SOME
    AND NOT FOR OTHERS
    IN THIS WAY THE LORD THY GOD
    SHALT KNOW THAT THOU
    FOLLOW’ST IN HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS…”

  • DKeane123

    Remove “homosexual” and insert “Jew” or “black” instead. Thank you.

  • DKeane123

    As far as “ultimate usage”. Possibly “ultimate consumer” would be a better term. Not sure the government could claim that it would be discrimination if a baker refused to make edible underwear.

  • DKeane123

    I would like to see the evidence behind this, Especially since Obama is a Christian.

  • Whiskyjack

    I think a better analogy would be a confectioner who was already making edible underwear, but refused to sell the product based on the sexual preferences of the customer.
    The point I’m trying to make is that these people are already making and selling cakes. I cannot see how the nature of the festive occasion for which they are destined impinges on the religious freedom enjoyed by the baker (or owner of the bakery.) They can continue to worship in any way they see fit.
    On the other hand, their refusal to sell to certain clientele has an impact on their customers. Should racial bigots be able to refuse to sell to blacks? The analogy to the Jim Crow laws is, I think, apt. Once again, people seem to confuse a liberty (the ability to practice your religion) with the removal of a liberty from others (the ability to buy a cake from those who make cakes.)

  • DKeane123

    Agreed

  • FrJesusGaylord

    I don’t affirmation for my “lifestyle choices” from worthless bigot trash like you. I hope you’re in heaven really soon.

  • Andre M

    Well, in my gut, I’ve always known Obama is a gay Muslim Kenyan Nazi Socialist, so what more proof do you need?

  • Jim Reed

    Doesn’t that mean we are kind of on our own? We can’t rely on God, and it won’t work to just follow the church? If we still want Armageddon as a kind of closure the only way to get there will be to vote it in. Political candidates will have to be more open about declaring if they believe in end times, rapture, and American exceptionalism.

  • apotropoxy

    We’ve always been on our own. The Armageddon meme is the death wish Freud identified 100 years ago.

  • apotropoxy

    One of the religious right’s first ad campaigns against Obama was a dog-whistle campaign using the Left Behind story to imply that the Democratic nominee was the anti-Christ. While the Catholics don’t buy into the Evangelical voodoo, they are more than willing to reap the benefits of its hate.

  • Again, as I already noted, “baking an item” is not the issue.

  • Easy. Who started this fight? Obama did.

  • I am Catholic and like all good Catholics I follow the dogmas of the Church and any bishop who defends those dogmas.

  • Jim Reed

    As someone who is divorced and celibate I don’t think you represent the mainstream of Catholicism.

  • Andre M

    He didn’t go out looking for a fight, first of all. Secondly, what is the evidence that he is doing it to “beat back the Church”? That’s the question that you avoided answering.

  • Frank6548

    See above.

  • DKeane123

    No, you said he started the fight to beat back the Church. Therefore, his pre-determined intention for having insurance companies cover birth control wasn’t for better health care for women, but to conspire against the religious? Does this conspiracy also include the medical panel that made the recommendation to the government in the first place? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/health/policy/20health.html?_r=0

  • DKeane123

    Andre – your arguing with the equivalent of a Mr. Potato Head. After a while it becomes your fault for thinking your going to get someplace with it. 🙂

  • Frank6548

    Arguing? Hardly. Nothing cogent or intelligent has ever come from Andre. I hold out hope however. He can’t be that ignorant.

  • Andre M

    Haha, you’re right. I shouldn’t engage. He’s just so gross, it’s hard not to though.

  • Andre M

    It’s hard to argue when you can’t offer a substantial response to any of the cogent or intelligent criticism that has come your way, Frank. You shame Christ’s name, Frank. Give it up. You seem to love turning people away from God.

  • Andre M

    Frank, you obviously can’t offer any serious, thoughtful replies to ANYONE on here. So admit that you are a failure.

  • Frank6548

    See above.

  • Frank6548

    See above. Repeat.

  • Jim Reed

    100 years and they still haven’t figured out it isn’t ever going to happen?

  • Andre M

    I’m sure Jesus is really proud of your arrogance and glibness. This is exactly the way he would have interacted with the unsaved, I’m sure. I can just imagine Jesus saying, “Oh, lepers and blind men and tax collectors, nothing cogent or intelligent has ever come from you! I don’t really respect you, so I’m not going to bother trying to engage with you as human beings!”

  • Frank6548

    Oh Andre. Anyone who came to Jesus with an open heart he engaged with. Anyone who came to Jesus working against him, he exposed.

    You were exposed long ago.

  • Jim Reed

    He keeps trying to accommodate them, but they aren’t going to allow it. In the end, his only choice will be to beat them back.

  • Andre M

    How was I exposed?

    The funny thing is, Frank, that intelligent and thoughtful conservative Christians do exist–but they would probably prefer the company of everyone besides you here more than you. I’m sure they’d want to distance themselves from you, because you make Christianity look mean and insane.

  • Jim Reed

    It is an issue of who you are baking for, and if you want to serve them.

  • Whiskyjack

    Actually, you are making the “baking an item” an issue. In your own example, you draw a moral distinction between baking an item for a birthday party and baking an item for a wedding. To me, the act of baking an item is morally indifferent: it is neither good nor bad.
    According your own example, however, baking an item and then selling it gains moral significance based on what happens to it after it leaves the store. Somehow, in some inexplicable way, the destination to which that cake is sent morally impacts the sale of the cake to the point that it infringes on your religious freedom if you sell it for the purpose of a homosexual wedding celebration rather than a homosexual birthday party.

  • PieRatz

    Your quoting of the first amendment here shows a lack of understanding about the civil rights laws in place to prevent discriminatory practices by businesses. You may freely do all things within your excerpt. This does not include the right to refuse service to someone based on perceived/known sexual orientation. Religious freedoms do not trump fundamental civil rights especially in a customer/business engagement/potential engagement. If there exists NO legitimate business reason for the refusal of service, then discrimination is arbitrary and unlawful.

  • Craptacular

    Actually, I think they are more of a “Magic H8-Ball” than Mr. Potato Head, based on their limited* and bigoted RD posts. “Shake it” to see which response you get, homophobic or pro-strife…uh, I mean “life.”

    *limited in their views, not quantity

  • Craptacular

    “Rather it is that they won’t engage in certain behaviors.” – Lisa Graas

    I was married a little over a year ago (my second) and we bought a great cake from a well-known bakery. I don’t remember the baker requiring I have sex with them, or even mentioning sex, before they allowed me to purchase the cake. Maybe you need to try a different baker, because that’s not the way most bakeries work.

  • Jude

    Then you should definitely go live in these countries and experience the wait times for services in single payer health care systems.

  • Jude

    Or take those out and insert “pedophile” or “alcoholic”. Deviant behavior is not equivalent to race, gender, or creed. The APA only caved to political pressure when it removed it from the list of abnormal behaviors.

  • Jude

    So a black baker should definitely be forced to bake a cake for the KKK rally.

  • Jude

    Every day everyone “discriminates.” Whenever you decide chocolate over vanilla, Republican over democrat, Yankees over Cubs, you have discriminated. The question is whether it is unjust discrimination. Notice that when a homosexual hair stylist refused service to a Conservative, no lawsuit was filed.

  • Jude

    You do understand that moral relativism is a self-refuting proposition?

  • Jude

    A homophobic is one who fears sameness. Even used in the current bastardized English, it is nonsensical, as those who disagree with the behavior and find it repulsive do not necessarily fear individuals who exhibit said deviant behavior.

  • Jude

    Not even close. I can claim to be a tap-dancing monkey. That does not make me a tap-dancing monkey. His claim to be a Christian was an expedient path to political office. Who would vote for him, if he admitted his true religious and political beliefs?

  • Jude

    Faithful Catholics and CINOs vary greatly in their beliefs. But the time of “cultural Catholicism” is coming to an end, just as foreseen by Pope Benedict XVI. The more orthodox Church will rise up. It has become a pattern in history.

  • Jude

    I believe the current wait time for knee-replacement surgery in Ontario is 6-1/2 months.

  • Andre M

    Second-hand information from a biased source. So cool.

  • Andre M

    You’re an ignoramus. Don’t pretend like you know what moral relativism is or can state the facts about it.

  • Andre M

    He’s no true Scotsman!

  • Andre M

    If it’s widely accepted, it’s no longer deviant. Sorry, bub.

  • moonbug

    Jude! The American health system is rated no higher than 50 in efficiency compared to the rest of the world by the United Nations health service. If you are rich in this country, you can get excellent medical service, but the poor suffer greatly under our present system.
    Those waiting times you are referring to in those single payer systems are largely a myth, but not for the reason you think. As in our country some specialists are known as the best in their field, As a result there is always a waiting list to see them. I have to make my eye appointment six months in advance if I want to see my eye doctor. She is extremely good and therefore popular. Mrs. Clinton is in favor of a one payer system, but Obama wasn’t because he wanted to have a system that would give the American people good coverage, he wanted to make the doctors, the insurance companies, and the hospitals happy. Such a naïve thought.

  • Andre M

    *citation needed

  • Andre M

    “current bastardized English”? I’m sorry, what is the English ideal for you? The Queen’s English? Shakespearean English? Middle English? Old English?

    You’re probably not the best source for linguistic advice.

  • DKeane123

    Are you a trained psychologist?

  • DKeane123

    Amazing you can divine all this information without any real evidence.

  • Jim Reed

    History shows us nothing good ever happens when people take the church too seriously.

  • apotropoxy

    Do you understand that moral absolutism is the hallmark of religious madness?

  • apotropoxy

    Can you point to any country that has a healthcare for all model with a significant political movement focused on converting cpverage to what many of them call The American Plan?
    Take your time.

  • moonbug

    I bet if you checked that out, Jude, you would find the list may be that long for some well known specialists, but by no means all. It’s the very same here.

  • apotropoxy

    How long for a knee replacement for residents in San Antonio who can’t afford health insurance or the copay for the insurance they have?

  • apotropoxy

    He’s not even a trained apologist.

  • Epic Fail.

  • Epic Fail 2.

  • Epic Fail 3.

  • Epic Fail 4.

  • Cake is a metaphor for all the ‘things’ religious authoritarians want to save me from or for. Feel free to substitute the words ‘birth control’ or ‘abortion’ or ‘big fat hard cock’ for the word ‘cake.’ Maybe that will help with perspective on this mess.

    The impetus for this rant was an article at The Atlantic entitled Is Evangelical Morality Still Acceptable in America?

    I do not care if the Evangelical/Catholic motivation for their political actions is sincere religious objection or bigotry if the result is the same – humiliation, punishment and deprivation for physical or social characteristics a customer cannot change or does not need to change – blackness, gayness, femaleness, muslimness, queerness.

    When a baker refuses to do business with a person(s) because of perceived gayness, what is the purpose of that action?

    Is it to shame/punish the person(s) for being gay? It certainly is not civil religious disobedience, also referred to as conscientious objection.

    What is nonviolent civil or religious disobedience? Gandhi’s definition is the clearest in my opinion:

    “I have also called it love-force or soul-force. . . I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and compassion. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.” – Mohandas Gandhi.

    The conscientious objector must take upon him/her self the burden of conscientious objection. Transferring the burden of conscientious objection to the Other is not conscientious objection. It is assault. Which assault the Bible directs the religious to commit. Stone the Gay! If you cannot use a stone because it is 21st century America, use a cake.

    Cakes or stones, both are punishments and not religious conscientious objection. Religious Authoritarians do not get to inflict religious punishment anymore on folks in the United States of America. No matter how many times they obfuscate and yell Jesus!

    Let us face our history and look it dead in the crusade. Religious zealouts will disembowel you for Jesus while singing Onward Christian Soldiers. And feel real good about it.
    “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” – Hosea 13:16

  • He should pay a fine if he will not, just like the ‘christian’ baker.

  • The APA only caved to political pressure when it removed it from the list of abnormal behaviors.

    ………..
    Prove it.

  • That is not being a ‘good’ Catholic. That is being an authoritarian Catholic.

    “Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. “He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.”

    “Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”.
    Joseph Ratzinger, 1967
    (in: Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II

  • Moral relativism is a proposition? Can you repeat the ‘proposition’ verbatim for those of us who did not get the memo?

  • And you know his true beliefs? How so? You old college roommates? Drinking buddies? You are his confessor?

  • Frank6548

    I agree. I feel sorry for Andre and anyone who believes it’s ok to sin.

  • Frank6548

    Based on my experience the commenters here don’t know very much at all so you probably are confusing them.

  • Frank6548

    Shhh the truth will send them into a tizzy.

  • I never do sin.

  • Andre M

    You got the “Shhh” part right.

  • Shannon Menkveld

    Can you define “moral relativism” for us? And, to shut down what I’m assuming is going to be your answer, I’ll go ahead and say that drawing your moral code from the sacred texts of your religion doesn’t get you out of the subjectivity trap… because you chose your religion.

    Most religions have moral instructions and requirements, and, unless you’re an unthinking twit, the particular moral rules of your religion were a significant factor in your choice to follow it, but you’re still choosing your own morality for your own reasons. This remains true even if you correctly and absolutely adhere to every moral and ethical requirement of your religion, all the time and without fail.

    The best you can say is that your moral relativism is one level more complex than the non-believers’… you’re still choosing what is and is not moral behavior, you just chose a pre-written code rather than writing your own.

    This remains true even if it turns out that the God you worship is, in fact, the one true God… because, since there was no independent way for you to know that when you made the decision to worship Him, your choice to do so was still purely subjective.

    Moral relativism isn’t self-refuting… it’s inescapable. All human moral decisions are subjective, and thus are relative to the individual human making them.

    –Shannon

  • Jim Reed

    I think you have it all wrong here. We don’t choose a religion based on comparisons of moral codes. We base a religion on which one we trust to get us into heaven. The primary way to know is by seeing which religion friends and family have selected. When you see the consensus, you follow that because even if it leads to hell, everyone else will be going there too. It could be a big mistake to be morally too picky, and end up socially wrong.

  • Jim Reed

    Christians spent many centuries killing their way across every continent for the right to make those judgments.

  • Yeah, well fug em.

  • apotropoxy

    Can you riddle us why Roman Catholic institutions routinely provided contraception coverage for women for decades and only recently (Obama’s tenure) discovered this immorality in their own health plans?

  • apotropoxy

    Your comment is a tidy example of the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

  • mgardener

    The inclusion of birth control was done at the behest of MD’s.
    It had nothing to do with religion.
    Birth control prevents pregnancies. Decreases the need for abortions.

  • mgardener

    I always thought that the church signed up with the Evangelicals to better their reputation during the sex abuse disaster.

  • phatkhat

    I pray to the FSM every day that the “rapture” comes soon, because the world will be a much better place with all the fundies in heaven.

  • phatkhat

    Political candidates already are open about their crazy fundy proclivities. Unfortunately, their fellows elect them while the dems argue about political purity and stay home.

  • phatkhat

    I hear bagpipes…

  • joeyj1220

    Nonsense. I live in Ontario. Emergency services are immediate and non emergency issues are usually resolved in a month’s time

  • joeyj1220

    Frank6548 and Jude are one and the same person… they like to talk to each other. Frank’s head is a scary, dark place

  • pennyjane

    you know, jude…….it’s a democracy. only haters of such suggest that a person leave for suggesting policies you don’t like, in democracies, and lovers of such, it is essential that people advocate the changes they’d like to see in society. mr reed seems to fit the american model so much closer than you.

  • pennyjane

    if you have to lie to make your case…..you don’t have much of a case.

  • pennyjane

    okay….it’s firmly established that you are an ignorant bigot. now just climb back under your rock and wallow in the slime.

  • The lie automatic.

    -dlj.

  • So?
    Jude, I don’t think that what you believe qualifies as a datum in any health care debate.

    In Ontario people who need it and want it have the option of getting their knees replaced. Is that true for Americans?

    -dlj.

  • Joey,

    This is correct. Here’s the principle: in Ontario treatment of cases is prioritized on medical criteria, not financial ones.

    -dlj.