February 18, 2012

Mandates, religious freedom, and the strange (hypothetical) case of the Muslim bigot car-shop owner [UPDATED and UPDATED again]

Bill Quick believes me confused. Me, I believe Bill has lost his way. To wit: in an attempt to push back against the religious conscience objections to the government mandating of insurer-provided “free” abortifacients and contraceptives, Bill writes:

So…Allah’s Auto Body, a business owned by the local mosque, refuses to repair Henry Finklestein’s car, because Henry is obviously Jewish, and the Koran requires that Jews be hung, drawn, and quartered, and repairing their cars is forbidden (which is how this particular mosque interprets holy writ). And anyway, Mark Levin’s shop right across the street will happily take his money. You like that logic? You might, but it won’t stand up in any court in America. Separate but equal has been legally dead for more than half a century.

Leaving aside for a moment the question of separate but equal as it is now routinely extrapolated out by some motivated litigant to problematize freedom of association (eg.,should the government be able to tell you to whom you must rent out a room in your own home or privately held property?), the problem with Bill’s example is this: it’s a complete red herring.

And that’s because Allah’s Auto Body isn’t being compelled by the federal government to pay for Henry Finklestein’s repair — but rather, it only requires that, should the business wish to be zoned by the city, for instance, it has to agree that separate but equal is unconstitutional, and that if it wants to repair the cars only of non-infidels, it has to find a place that allows for such behavior, or else arrange its business in such a way that, as a freelance auto-body repair outfit, it picks and chooses the clients it wishes to take on, almost like a kind of auto consultant or body repair agent.

Running a hospital does not suggest you’re in the business of aborting fetuses or handing out contraceptives; running an auto repair shop, conversely, suggests you are in the business of fixing cars. So if a person goes into a repair shop and is denied car-fixing service, he has a discrimination complaint; but if a person goes into a Catholic hospital, that person isn’t being denied service if what she’s looking for is an abortion or a fistful of morning after pills: she’s being told that this particular business doesn’t provide that particular service to anyone.

Meaning that Bill is the one who is confused here. He may find religion inherently illogical and determine that it must be relegated only to churches, but that’s simply not what the founders and framers had in mind when the endeavored to respect religious freedom.

And honestly, would Bill Quick say that the fact that Wal-Mart carries contraceptives but, say, Discount Tire doesn’t, what’s being pushing is some iteration of “separate but equal”? Or, perhaps more fairly, let’s try this: imagine Whole Foods carries organic, locally-grown, free-range beets. My local Albertson’s, on the other hand, does not. Both are food stores. Are beets entitled to separate but equal consideration? Am I being discriminated against because I can’t find organic, locally-grown, free-range beets at Albertson’s? Are the beets being discriminated against?

And how is it different with condoms or abortifacients or even abortions? Why must a Catholic hospital (and note that many Christian organizations are their own insurers to begin with, which further muddies the waters) be compelled to provide and pay for certain products and services that they don’t wish to carry?

This is silly.

What I’ve been at pains to say is that this is an issue that at base is about government seizing power over the individual, and that its decision to target religion was merely a way to distract from the larger aim by creating what appears at first blush to be a social wedge issue. But the larger offensive is being aimed not at religious freedom alone, but rather ultimately at the very idea of individual autonomy itself.

About that there is no confusion.

update: In responding to my post, Bill accuses me of being both dishonest and disingenuous — par for the course these days, really, if you dare take issue with someone supposedly on “your side”. The motivation for the dual indictment is the suggestion that I’m:

deliberately trying to make it appear that churches are being forced to provide these things. They aren’t. You squawk about category errors while you merrily lie your heads off by omission.

But their was no omission, just a disagreement over who gets to claim religious conscience protections under the First Amendment, and who gets to define what the Church would call “charity” or “ministry” as a “business” for purposes not of taxation, but rather for claiming jurisdiction over the very faith that underwrites them.

To say that such conscience exemptions only applies to the Church as a corporate entity (and as proof, to offer that a pair of circuit courts have upheld HHS authority) — and not to individual members of the Church — is to say that religious belief must necessarily cease to exist outside of the cathedral. And though I’m not a religious man, even I understand that many religions don’t believe that their covenant with God begins and ends at the stained glass doors of a church.

As geoffB continues to note, this is a move toward reimagining freedom of religion as freedom of worship, which can then be constrained by logistics. Like the religious equivalent of university “free speech zones.”

ObamaCare requires people be covered. It also requires insurers writing policies — including those Christian insurers who oftentimes insure their own corporate bodies — to provide contraception and abortifacients. Meaning, those items and services are being paid for both by those mandated to provide the policy and those mandated to have coverage.

This is an attack on religious freedom under the First Amendment — and on both businesses and individuals who are being compelled by the State to sell things they don’t want to sell or to purchase things they don’t want to purchase, an attack on individual autonomy that fundamentally redescribes the relationship between the individual and the State.

If this reasoning strikes Bill as somehow disingenuous or designed to attack his sacred honor, I can’t help that. This is my attempt to argue through these dictates — and frankly, I’m finding it hard to believe that the distrust of religion is so strong in many self-professed libertarians that they’re willing to allow that, provided an exemption is offered by the State to corporate entities, religious freedom concerns are moot.

I mean, isn’t this idea of corporate personhood, which we celebrated in the Citizens United ruling, applicable to the people who make up the Catholic church?

****
update 2: Before telling dicentra to fuck off because her Cornell-trained mind can’t understand rational arguments, Bill stopped to note this, in the comments to his post:

BTW, nobody – including you or Jeff has yet addressed my analogy: if the Catholic Church owned an auto body shop that makes a profit and employees non-Catholics, should it be exempted from obeying this requirement on the basis of First Amendment liberties?

I believe I’ve answered that, but let me try again: in the analogy, is the State mandating that everyone own a car?

Or that the church provide a box of rubbers “free” with each oil change?

Here. Maybe this will help.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 1:06pm
166 comments | Trackback

Comments (166)

  1. So, under Bill Quick’s “reasoning”, omnivore that I am, I can go into a vegan restaurant and demand to be…not only SERVED beef…but demand the restaurant give it to me for FREE!

    (cuz, like, without FOOD I will die! It’s a health issue!)

  2. Darleen, you know the food police would then show up, slap the unhealthy beef from your hand and give you chicken nuggets.

  3. Dude who refuses to fixes the car of a Jew is making a decision about whom he will serve.

    Catholic hospitals are making a decision about what they will offer.

    To make the analogy fit, the Muslim would have to arbitrarily refuse to perform oil changes—for anyone—because he thinks it’s a Jewish thing to do.

    Or the Catholic hospitals would have to decide not to provide abortions for Catholics but they’d do it for everyone else.

    Enormous, gaping maw of a category error, Bill. You might want to start the day over.

  4. Darleen, you know the food police would then show up, slap the unhealthy beef from your hand and give you chicken nuggets.

    No, they slap away turkey and cheese to give you chicken nuggets.

    When they slap away beef, they provide cheese pizza.

  5. Reason

    What we have in this debate is a clash not between two liberty interests, but rather between two rights-claims – one negative (genuine), the other positive (counterfeit). All that is required for the exercise of a negative right (to self-ownership and, redundantly, liberty and one’s legitimately acquired belongings) is other people’s noninterference. (“When we say that one has the right to do certain things we mean this and only this, that it would be immoral for another, alone or in combination, to stop him from doing this by the use of physical force or the threat thereof,” writes James A. Sadowsky, S.J.) But the fulfillment of positive rights requires that other people act affirmatively even if they don’t want to — say, by providing products or paying the bills. If one person’s freedom depends on the infringement of someone else’s freedom, the first claim is illegitimate. To hold otherwise is to reject the principle of equality.

    Women have the right to contraception (and any other product) in the sense that they have a right to spend their money on it or to try to persuade someone else to do so. There can be no right to force (or have the government force) others to pay. (Aside #2: It’s curious to see feminists asking the male-dominated State for “free” birth control.)

    This controversy is not about contraception. It’s about freedom versus compulsion.

  6. I’m kind of liking Quick’s reasoning. (Not really, but play along.)

    I can go to the car dealership of my choice and demand that they not only give me the car of my choice, but that they service it for free and also cover my insurance payments.

  7. does Quick realize how close he is to that Obama acolyte that screamed in orgasmic delight that with his election he’d be paying her mortgage and her gas would be free?

  8. I really want a Cadillac CTS-V. (Hey, who doesn’t need a luxury car that will do 190mph?)

  9. Meetcha at the Caddy dealership, Blake. We’ll drag race to the Ruth’s Chris for lunch.

  10. Quick has gone ahead and accepted the Oministration’s assumptions about its own authority. He accepts their extremely narrow definition of what constitutes a religious organization and accepts that they can mandate that a private business must sell and that another private entity must buy it.

    That’ll getcha into the tall weeds but fast.

  11. I thought that the issue was that insurance companies would be required to cover contraceptives and the prescription of same. That they would not be allowed to tailor their products to specific customer needs. So if an organization does not sanction the use of contraceptives, and they are required to purchase same size fits all insurance coverage for their employees, they are being forced to provide contraceptive coverage regardless of the dogmatic position on the issue.

    Even if it wasn’t a first amendment issue, it is still government overreach. If a group of blind people were to organize in order to buy insurance, would they not be allowed to customize the coverage so as to not cover eyeglasses and perhaps save a dime or two?

    Less intrusion please.

  12. Final Para of Bill Quick piece linked-

    The churches almost all supported Obamacare very strongly. But then they were appalled when they found out that it would be applied to them, as well… ….If they don’t like Obamacare, the honest thing is to oppose the whole package, rather than seek “exemptions” for themselves that cover things they don’t like,….

    It’s funny the circuitous path folks take to get to their conclusions. I am too tired to figure out the reasoning in Bill’s various examples, so I am not sure how he ended up with his conclusion, I can say I agree with the few sentences I blockquoted. I think those few sentences stumble into a secondary root cause of much of our problems- the process by which problems created by government interference in the marketplace are corrected not by repeal of the initial interference but by adding patch after patch on top of the initial problem.

  13. Dude who refuses to fixes the car of a Jew is making a decision about whom he will serve.

    Catholic hospitals are making a decision about what they will offer.

    Isn’t this what my post says?

  14. Possibly linked earlier but maybe not. The third post on the mandate and the Catholic Church by Paul Rahe.

    …[T]here can be only one reason why Sebelius, Pelosi, and Obama decided to proceed. They wanted to show the bishops and the Catholic laity who is boss. They wanted to make those who think contraception wrong and abortion a species of murder complicit in both. They wanted to rub the noses of their opponents in it. They wanted to marginalize them. Humiliation was, in fact, their only aim, and malice, their motive.
    […]
    This time, he is openly running as a radical. His aim is to win a mandate for the fundamental transformation of the United States that he promised in passing on the eve of his election four years ago and that he promised again when he called his administration The New Foundation

  15. “Running a hospital does not suggest you’re in the business of aborting fetuses or handing out contraceptives.” Actually it does.

    Not to any patient that demands them, but certainly when it is medically required or such treatment is the standard of care.

    The contraceptives might be limited to managing emergency situations like rape – but they could not refuse to give a patient with medication for pathology or (dysfunctional bleeding/endometrial overgrowth/adenomyosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome though that is typically a situation managed in an outpatient environment just because they are in that hospital.

    They would have to be prepared to treat maternal emergency – including induced/surgical abortion to treat ectopic pregnancy or life threatening conditions to the mother or cases where abortion is inevitable and the mother is at risk of sepsis or bleeding out.

    Catholic hospitals and clinics can’t commit malpractice because they are Catholic, or abandon patients or refuse stabilizing treatment in the ER.

  16. Isn’t this what my post says?

    I read this paragraph

    And that’s because Allah’s Auto Body isn’t being compelled by the federal government to pay for Henry Finklestein’s repair — but rather, it only requires that, should the business wish to be zoned by the city, for instance, it has to agree that separate but equal is unconstitutional, and that if it wants to repair the cars only of non-infidels, it has to find a place that allows for such behavior, or else arrange its business in such a way that, as a freelance auto-body repair outfit, it picks and chooses the clients it wishes to take on, almost like a kind of auto consultant or body repair agent.

    as a whole different argument, namely, that you can get away with not serving all clients as long as you extricate yourself from other definitions and jurisdictions and such.

    I guess you could extract WHOM vs WHAT from it, but even I would have to squint a bit.

  17. geoffb: Allow me to repeat that paragraph, given that it distills things so nicely and thus bears repeating.

    …[T]here can be only one reason why Sebelius, Pelosi, and Obama decided to proceed. They wanted to show the bishops and the Catholic laity who is boss. They wanted to make those who think contraception wrong and abortion a species of murder complicit in both. They wanted to rub the noses of their opponents in it. They wanted to marginalize them. Humiliation was, in fact, their only aim, and malice, their motive.

  18. I am too tired to figure out the reasoning in Bill’s various examples, so I am not sure how he ended up with his conclusion,

    Neither am I, because if he’d stipulated all that upstream, his downstream reasoning wouldn’t have led where it did.

  19. Also, Breitbart just became a minor diety with a single Tweet.

  20. I’m wondering just how Catholic Anthony Kennedy is. Is he feeling the stab of this street thug’s blade? Because at the end of the day, he’s the boss.

  21. “Running a hospital does not suggest you’re in the business of aborting fetuses or handing out contraceptives.” Actually it does.

    No, actually it doesn’t, except where lawmakers have presumed to dictate that this be the case. The position of the Church is otherwise — though many Catholic hospitals ignore the dictate of their Church. In fact, emotional appeals about traumatized women who are in no condition to get to a pharmacy or a non-Catholic hospital and can only therefore get the morning after pill from a Catholic facility (despite their being a 72-hour window, and despite the psychic trauma to Catholic true believers should they become complicit in what they think of as a murder), is the way such overreach is justified.

    Same with ectopic pregnancies. Catholic hospitals are prepared to transfer to other hospitals women in that situation.

    This isn’t malpractice. It is refusing — in the minds of Catholics — to help commit a murder. You may disagree, but then, it isn’t your conscience and it isn’t your hospital. And from what I understand, such emergency procedures where labor is induced as a last resort to deliver prematurely a fetus who may not survive outside the womb, is not considered an abortion. In fact, I believe Santorum’s own wife had that happen — though I’m not sure if it took place at a Catholic hospital.

    So while a Catholic hospital has the tools and likely the training to perform an emergency procedure, they don’t have to except in certain states where laws have been passed demanding they do so. More’s the pity they didn’t see the slippery slope coming.

  22. Would Quick endorse a mandate that requires a Moslem restaurant to serve pork? Or an Islamic bookstore to sell the Bible?

    Silly and/or dishonest.

  23. Did you miss the next paragraph, di?

    Running a hospital does not suggest you’re in the business of aborting fetuses or handing out contraceptives; running an auto repair shop, conversely, suggests you are in the business of fixing cars. So if a person goes into a repair shop and is denied car-fixing service, he has a discrimination complaint; but if a person goes into a Catholic hospital, that person isn’t being denied service if what she’s looking for is an abortion or a fistful of morning after pills: she’s being told that this particular business doesn’t provide that particular service to anyone.

  24. Apparently, I did.

  25. And just as apparently, I thought I was the Official Jeff Goldstein Post Condenser™

    Did that get revoked?

  26. As for the hospital thing, are we next going to require that hospitals perform clitorectomies to all who demand it, even when we know that the parents are forcing their daughter to undergo it against her will?

  27. Off topic: I think I’m saying non sequitur when I should be saying red herring sometimes. In these instances, I infer the phantom conclusion that uses the red herring as a premise and then deem it a non sequitur. Which would require mind-reading.

    Okay, back to regularly scheduled programming.

  28. Jeff, the separate but equal response was to your argument thus:

    Jeff adds another wrinkle that Mark Levin has been pushing on his radio show: Since contraceptives are available all over the place (actually not the case with abortions), then church-owned businesses shouldn’t be forced to violate their beliefs in order to provide them.

    The response to your argument:

    To wit: in an attempt to push back against the religious conscience objections to the government mandating of insurer-provided “free” abortifacients and contraceptives, Bill writes:

    Is that churches aren’t being forced to do so, only church owned businesses that don’t meet the qualifications to receive the religious exemption.

    I know you’re smart enough to have noted the separation, so I can only assume that you were deliberately disingenuous here, in which case there is no reason to respond to your post beyond pointing out your dishonesty.

  29. Bill, you see a church owned business, the Church sees its non-profit ministry.

  30. “only church owned businesses that don’t meet the qualifications to receive the religious exemption.”

    why is gov’t in the business of deciding what should be included in health insurance?

  31. Is that churches aren’t being forced to do so, only church owned businesses that don’t meet the qualifications to receive the religious exemption.

    Who wrote the qualifications, Bill?

    Does the HHS have the authority to tell the Catholics that their hospitals do not have an authentically religious function?

    I don’t know about Jeff, but I ignore the distinction because I don’t recognize the HHS’s authority to make those distinctions in the first place.

    The whole mandate stinks to high heaven, Bill. Parsing out the Oministration’s left-wing reasoning gives them more credit than they deserve.

  32. Somehow or other I had been led to think the First Amendment applied to individuals, and not strictly to churches or to businesses or charitable organizations as such. Hence, when government makes law which requires individuals to violate their conscience in contravention of their religious belief, we have a conflict, do we not?

  33. Is that churches aren’t being forced to do so, only church owned businesses that don’t meet the qualifications to receive the religious exemption.

    Those qualifications as determined by the very people enforcing the mandate.

    That doesn’t work for me — especially because some of the businesses they are mandating to are Christian insurers, eg., who oftentimes Churches use for coverage.

    so I can only assume that you were deliberately disingenuous here, in which case there is no reason to respond to your post beyond pointing out your dishonesty.

    Wow. That’s twice in the last few months you’ve taken that same tack with me — both times completely unprovoked.

    I’m not being disingenuous or dishonest. I’m pointing out that a Catholic business is still (at least theoretically) run by Catholics, and that the people who own the business, though not a church, still have a right to religious conscience objections: being told they must pay for things that the government has no right demanding they pay for to begin with is a violation of their first amendment rights.

    That a self-styled libertarian is so committed to his hatred of religion that he’d not recognize that the government granting all sort of exemptions for who and what gets to claim religious conscience objections, strikes me as rather strange.

    You can do away with the exemptions by doing away with the mandates, which you can do away with by telling the government it has no right to tell anyone what they must sell and what they must purchase as a matter of breathing.

  34. Bill, if I may, I think that what sdferr is correct. You’re losing sight of the fact that this is a First Amendment issue.

    The Left is trying to reframe this argument as one about healthcare and the right to contraception. That isn’t the issue.

    We are all Catholics now.

  35. It’s easier to say I’m disingenuous and dishonest and so my argument needn’t be considered than to consider my argument, and to consider my failure to accept that the state has the power to define religious authenticity and conviction as part and parcel of my not accepting the arbitrary cut-off for who is allowed First Amendment protections for religious freedom — the individual, or only those entities granted government exemption (after meeting government criteria).

  36. I grow weary of, in the course of disagreeing with those on the right, being called dishonest, disingenuous, et al. It’s a trend. As if my motivation is somehow NOT to try to discuss the issues, but to ruin people’s sacred honor with my lies and deceptions.

    I grow weary of all of it.

    Honestly.

  37. Well, Jeff, as our flyboys like to say if you are taking flak, you’re over the target.

    I appreciate your voice in the wilderness, fwiw.

  38. That’s OK, Jeff. Over at Bill’s place, he accuses us of

    deliberately trying to make it appear that churches are being forced to provide these things. They aren’t. You squawk about category errors while you merrily lie your heads off by omission.

    And, I guess, for not being sufficiently outraged at the Catholic’s gall at demanding a religious exemption for themselves and not for the rest of us.

    They having suddenly realized that scorpions never keep their promise not to sting.

    Which, even if they deserve it, that doesn’t stop the mandate from being a First Amendment violation.

  39. Bill, you see a church owned business, the Church sees its non-profit ministry.

    In his context, I’d like Quick to define “qualifications”. As, apparently, do the six commenters following him.

    Perhaps to this point, back when I was fighting the State for equal parent’s rights, one of the stickier problems we faced was getting the blame thing to see how a contemporary precedent — more like a habit, actually, typically one motiveted by taxpaid revenues — shouldn’t overcome and swamp a prior right.

    We always lost that argument. Slippery slopes and like that.

  40. JG, I think this is the finest post you have ever written, at least in terms of straight-up logic, that I’ve read.

    I confess to being baffled at Quick’s tone with you. Is there a history there? None of my business, of course, but he was pretty sharp.

  41. I grow weary of all of it.

    Amazing, isn’t it, how few people will actually parse an argument, evaluate it, and then decide whether to accept it based on its merits instead of privileging visceral emotions and prejudices?

    As if my motivation is somehow NOT to try to discuss the issues, but to ruin people’s sacred honor with my lies and deceptions.

    I guess that’s the visceral reaction some people have to being nimbly bested in an argument.

    I’m trying to remember how I react to being corrected

  42. BQ seems to have a thing about us godbotherers. I have at times suspected he dislikes us more than he dislikes proggs, and would feel better if we all voted Democrat so he wouldn’t have to be associated with us.

  43. Let me ask this question to any and all on the board:

    Is the administration’s position that denying female employees of Catholic agencies private-carrier insurance coverage of birth control pills under a carved out exemption mitigated by the profound availability and low-cost (generally) of the most popular forms of birth control?

    Condoms are available everywhere at low cost; BC pills can be had at relatively low fees from any MD capable of writing a script. There seems to be little to no effective opposition to widespread birth control availability and the same to its use.

    Does this invalidate their argument, i.e that without coverage, these women are presumably more exposed to an adverse event like an unplanned preganancy than citizens who have BC coverage?

  44. I split those things, Roddy.

    The 1st Amendment issue isn’t affected by externalities like the easy and affordable availability of birth control. But, their strawman argument, that this is women’s health issue, is affected.

  45. Mr. Quick is not so quick to gather information, it would seem. The USCCB has indeed said that all Catholic and religious owned and operated businesses, Catholic or not, that provide healthcare for their employees should be exempted from this mandate.

  46. BQ seems to have a thing about us godbotherers,

    The best part of this being that Jeff isn’t one.

  47. Parsing out the Oministration’s left-wing reasoning gives them more credit than they deserve.

    Pig-wrestling the progressive fulfills their demand for equal footing when they have earned no such right throughout their movement’s trajectory. In other words, having identified him by his stated aim, I will not debate the illegality of theft with a thief. We both know better and I’ll simply act otherwise before he does.

    BQ seems to have a thing about us godbotherers.

    Attacking a classical liberal’s motive resembles that progressive tactic.

  48. Bill has observed that the HHS language about what constitutes a church for the purposes of opting out of contraception coverage mandates has been upheld by the NY and CA courts.

    Well, then. I guess that settles that.

  49. Roddy, I have worked for public and private employers over the years and some of them provided healthcare and some did not. Never have I had a healthcare plan that covered birth control. Obstetrics, sure. Everything has a co-pay. Where did this “free” thing come from? And when did we decide that getting free shit is more important than our First Amendment guarantees which is really what this is about and not free anything.

  50. Their reason for doing this at all is false. This is a solution in search of a problem, unless of course the problem is that Churches have this bad habit of thinking they can run their own show and not knowing who the boss is.

    But as to your question, I so enjoy the hackery they’re employing with the “98% of Catholics use BC” misread of the Guttmacher study. Assuming their argument to be true seems to be proof that there is no availability problem.

  51. “the “98% of Catholics use BC” misread ”

    makes the numbers better if you exclude womens who want a kid

  52. This is what it comes down to as was noticed in an administration rhetorical shift over a year ago. Do we have “Freedom of Religion” or “Freedom of Worship”?

    Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves—yet “freedom of worship” would protect none of these acts of faith.

    Those who would limit religious practice to the cathedral and the home are the very same people who would strip the public square of any religious presence

  53. Better yet when you narrow it to sexually active women who don’t want to get pregnant. A bit like measuring the literacy rate of bookstore customers.

  54. Jeff isn’t a godbotherer — he’s worse: a non-godbotherer who defends godbotherers. He’s an apostate.

  55. “freedom of worship”

    a positive right?

  56. Do we have “Freedom of Religion” or “Freedom of Worship”?

    Didn’t the Soviets provide the latter and not the former?

  57. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ”

    pelosi/reid just did

  58. What doesn’t Mr. Quick understand about that the rights apply to individuals?

    Individuals have “freedom of religion”. If they choose to gather together as a Church they still, each separate individual, have the same right. Saying that this right applies only to Churches is the same as saying that freedom of speech applies only to the newspaper companies and not to individuals whether they work for a newspaper or not.

  59. I brought up in my update Citizens United, which provided for the free speech of corporations because corporations are really just collections of individuals.

    What Bill seems to be arguing is that the corporation retains its freedoms only so long as it remains a singular corporate identity and defined by HHS, but that individuals do not.

    It’s odd. But maybe I’m missing something.

  60. There appear to be various loopholes for Muslims in the HHS mandate, at least that was what I had read a week or so ago.

    Some are more equal than others.

  61. Leaving individuals free to consult their own consciences as to their understanding of the nexus of belief and act is to invite chaos. Mark it.

  62. Also, I thought I had nasty bouts of PMS, but apparently you don’t need to be a pre-menopausal chick to get that caustic.

    freedom of speech applies only to the newspaper companies and not to individuals whether they work for a newspaper or not.

    Yeah, but what if you’re a blogger?

  63. only so long as it remains a singular corporate identity

    Is a Catholic-owned hospital not a singular corporate identity?

  64. Most diocese are self-insured and not in need of HHS anyway.

    This is going to get ugly before it’s done.

  65. “There appear to be various loopholes for Muslims in the HHS mandate”

    don’t know about that but congress gave exemptions to the amish. it is not about the individual mandate anymore. it is about congress establishing a “religion” via bureaucratic fiat. that “religion” will supply what the gov’t wants done.

  66. Here is a 20 page pdf rundown of various cases that have been brought over religious exemption in the years since Roe/Wade.

  67. I think I read it over on one of the Bigs, nr. You are right about the larger issue being government meddling in our personal lives.

  68. Abortion after the 4th month is forbidden in Islam except for cases of rape or threat of death to the mother. IIRC.

  69. Pretty sure we can hook up Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin to the generator again.

    We’ll be selling back power to the grid with these RPMs.

  70. Before telling dicentra to fuck off because her Cornell-trained mind can’t understand rational arguments,

    No, actually, he’s right, Jeff. His rational arguments were way, waaaay over my head. I couldn’t make any sense of them at all.

  71. The gist of the ire seems to be that the religious will carve out an exemption to Obamacare that the atheists will not be able to also have.

    Solution, dump Obamacare. What the atheist community can’t seem to understand is this is an attempt to undermine all of Obamacare. It is one thrust to kill it. They, if they abhore Obamacare, should applaud and assist in any and all ways to slay this beast.

  72. Before telling dicentra to fuck off because her Cornell-trained mind can’t understand rational arguments…

    I read that more as a “I don’t want to play anymore!” than a “fuck off”.

  73. Except he said “fuck off.”

  74. i knew an arborist once on mainline philly who graduated from cornell. need i say more;)

  75. The gist of the ire seems to be that the religious will carve out an exemption to Obamacare that the atheists will not be able to also have.

    There should be no need for exemptions because there is no Constitutional basis to such a mandate to begin with.

    I’m for Catholics and atheists both!

  76. Something tells me Bill’s drinking tonight. Or something once went awfully wrong with a priest.

  77. Oh.

    Shows what I know. I didn’t go back and read anymore after he did that cute (not) *sigh* thing.

  78. Hmmm.

    Another conservative/libertarian blogger who I didn’t pay much attention to before and can now safely ignore. He’s in the “good man” camp, isn’t he? I must say, that “auto body shop” analogy of his was a clumsy one from the beginning, but, day-um, he ain’t lettin’ go of it…

    O_o

    BTW, at first I thought you were having it out with Bill Whittle, someone I have a great deal of respect for.

  79. Bill gets it right quite a bit, though not always. He links here favorably pretty regularly. But something is the bee in his bonnet here that seems to have gone unmentioned thus far.

  80. What isn’t forbidden must be made mandatory!

    I read that somewhere.

  81. libertarians are really good on “free” stuff. liberty not so much.

  82. “seems to have gone unmentioned thus far.”

    “atheists/libertarians” are proggs with a free market mind. free drugs/birth control/sex dysfunction

  83. Everything that isn’t mandatory is forbidden is the end game.

  84. Ah, I’ve got a ton of libertarian in me. You are free to be hoist on your own petard, or not. Just don’t make it my problem. Leave me out of it, and leave me alone is all I ask.

    Drug war? Failed. Results matter. Birth control? Have at it. Sex dysfunction? As long as it remains between consenting adults, neither of which is my daughter, fine by me. Just keep it in your bedroom.

  85. Sad to see that Pablo. I wasn’t aware that Quick had linked to PW before.

    Perhaps it is that Jeff is defending “god-botherers”. I’ve done the same thing, even though I am definitely not one myself. I’ve never called myself an “atheist”, even though I guess I am one, because the term has such an ugly stain of anti-religious bigotry that I want no part of it.

  86. Oh, Pablo, my #86 is in response to your #80, in case it wasn’t clear.

  87. And I am in complete agreement with your #85, btw…

  88. “iron308 posted on 2/18 @ 3:54 pm

    Final Para of Bill Quick piece linked-

    The churches almost all supported Obamacare very strongly. But then they were appalled when they found out that it would be applied to them, as well… ….If they don’t like Obamacare, the honest thing is to oppose the whole package, rather than seek “exemptions” for themselves that cover things they don’t like,….”

    I’m getting the impression that Bill Q is pissed that the churches who supported Obamacare are now complaining when it bites them in the ass. I’m pissed at those churches that supported Obamacare too; but it doesn’t justify this Admin’s actions or Bill’s treatment of Jeff’s post.

  89. “You are free to be hoist on your own petard, or not. Just don’t make it my problem. ”

    oh you icky so con

  90. “Bill Q is pissed that the churches who supported Obamacare are now complaining when it bites them in the ass.”

    they didn’t have a chance to read it before it was passed- n pelosi

  91. I’m gonna echo Pablo here. One messed up thing doesn’t ruin everything. Libertarianism itself — as compared to what Reason might say here or there — is a friendly entity. I’m sorta in that party myself when I’m not being all Burkean and shit.

    Likewise, it’s discordant and unpleasant that Bill is thinking ill of Jeff’s motives. Why? Because most often he’s not doing that, he’s being a friendly linker and good sort of peoples.

    Hey, occasionally I’m a team guy. Here’s one of them. How about Bill retracts that characterization and we get on with being cool with each other?

  92. I’m afraid I’m not gonna be able to comment on the substance of the argument until I know whether or not the owner of the body shop has a dog named “boy.”

    Seriously, the amount of obtuse from people ostensibly on “our side” is rigoddamdiculous. This kind of thing is why I hate everyone.

    No offense, y’all.

  93. “Libertarianism itself — as compared to what Reason might say here or there — is a friendly entity.”

    not really. not actually. small gov’t ain’t “libertarian”. libertards like their big gov’t.

  94. Okay, maybe there will be no peace and it’ll be man against man forever.

    So, instead, I’ll take the chance to again note how weird it is that so many tolerant non-believers hang out at pw for some reason. About half, if I had to guess.

  95. not really. not actually. small gov’t ain’t “libertarian”. libertards like their big gov’t.

    This would be one of those instances when we’re using the same word to refer to different things. There isn’t an argument to be had here, nr.

  96. “you know if we could get legal pot all is well and gay marriage” reason/luap fans

  97. libertarians like to tell peeps to smoke pot, do heroin, and what ever sexually. eff them and the magic black horse they rode in. big gov’t proggs = libertarians. they you the score in different terms. eff your “religion”

  98. This kind of thing is why I hate everyone.

    No offense, y’all.

    None taken. The first and most intense target of a misanthropist’s disdain is himself.

    The rest is just projection.

    :D

  99. Yes, sorta. Geoff, being a bit more seasoned and wise than myself, can date this within the libertarian movement. Says that their mission creep has been noticeable and profound. (He can relate this himself — and he has before — if he feels like it.)

    But, the thing that was hijacked isn’t bad in itself. Libertarian can be thought of in the same way that we can think of liberal. Same base word. Liberty.

  100. hey libertarian losers – go to the “big tent” where they are passing out condoms. hey pot and heroin and “free abortion” are next!!11!! baracky 2012

  101. Few things will tip over an atheist faster than demonstrating that what he believed to be rational, was in fact wholly dogmatic.

  102. “Libertarian can be thought of in the same way that we can think of liberal. ”

    that be communist at this point

  103. Few things will tip over an atheist faster than demonstrating that what he believed to be rational, was in fact wholly dogmatic.

    Melanie Phillips, atheist, is all over that in the “Scientific Triumphalism” chapter of her upside-down world book. She sticks it to Dawkins but good, and provides a rational defense of Intelligent Design—or rather a defense of its not being warmed-over creationism—that taught me a thing or two.

  104. “Few things will tip over an atheist faster than demonstrating that what he believed to be rational, was in fact wholly dogmatic.”

    go for it. should an atheist be forced by the fed gov’t buy a rosary in their health plans?

  105. that be communist at this point

    Yes, they’ve both migrated towards different things. That doesn’t change the earlier usage though. Or what one might try and reclaim them with.

    Here, let’s go with a different example. Let’s take conservative. Well, I’ve never actually been alive during a time period that really needed conserving. Pretty much the opposite. But, we use words to express ideas. When we use conservative now we don’t mean that we think video games, porn, and reality television are super old, time tested institutions that we shouldn’t mess around with.

    We mean something else.

  106. eff libtards/atheist ein bahn stasse

  107. When we use conservative now we don’t mean that we think video games, porn, and reality television are super old, time tested institutions that we shouldn’t mess around with.

    Unless you’re an AOSHQ moron.

  108. Mark Levin’s shop, in the auto repair business, will repair anyone’s car if they agree to pay the costs.

    That’s how a free economy works.

    If he refuses business to someone, it’s only because they refuse to pay.

    Very simple.

  109. If he refuses business to someone, it’s only because they refuse to pay.

    Or if they have funny eyes.

  110. (skipping ahead a little)

    “Somehow or other I had been led to think the First Amendment applied to individuals, and not strictly to churches or to businesses or charitable organizations as such. Hence, when government makes law which requires individuals to violate their conscience in contravention of their religious belief, we have a conflict, do we not?”

    Sweet point Mr. ferr!

    Also see Ali, Muhammed v U.S.

    (back to catching up so carry on!)

  111. Dicentra, reveal thyself.

  112. <– That's my portrait right there.

  113. Lovely, but not much more.

    Are you a flower? Or a child of a flower?

  114. I am Dicentra spectabilis, an herbaceous woodland perennial, originating in Asia and brought to the U.S. and Europe as an ornamental plant. Happy in heavy clay and can withstand the allelopathic properties of Ailanthus altissima.

    All parts of me are toxic when ingested. I bloom mid-spring, and my foliage dies back in the summer heat. I may be cut back to the ground at that point.

  115. I guess we are going to have to coin the term “Classical-libertarian”. The big split-up came right after 9/11 with the Iraq war being the issue that was used as the wedge to split the Party.

    My own contention is that this was done on purpose and was a left-wing op to take control and repurpose the “label” Libertarian for their own use as they did the Democrat label in the early 70s.

    Another way to distinguish the two is the older ones are small “l” libertarians. Neil Boortz is one for example.

  116. Dicentra spectabilis. You seem like a worthy plant.

  117. Here’s my portrait gallery, including my experimentation with albinism.

  118. Well, in my experience Mr. Quick is a bit of a dick.

    He really doesn’t care for people who point out where he’s written something self-contradictory or outright fucking stupid. Do it enough times (3, if I remember correctly) and you get banned.

    But, if you’re a moron posting moronic counter-arguments against stuff that he has written that a 4 year old could successfully argue against, you can post there until the cows come home.

    (It’s his site and he can ban who he damned well pleases for whatever reasons he wishes. That’s not my point.)

  119. Awesome pics dicentra.

    I think we got off topic.

  120. Bill, if you’re lurking

    under the HHS definition of “church” even Jesus would not qualify, seeing that He ministered to others not of his faith

  121. This can be interpreted incorrectly…

    But, if you’re a moron posting moronic counter-arguments against stuff that he has written that a 4 year old could successfully argue against, you can post there until the cows come home.

    The “that a 4 year old could successfully argue against” should be applied to “moronic counter-arguments” not “stuff that he has written”.

    I happen to agree with a lot of what Mr. Quick posts, but when he dives off into the deep end (from my point of view), he seems to head for the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

    (Yes, this appears to be the case of getting the insult just right.)

  122. Perhaps it is that Jeff is defending “god-botherers”. I’ve done the same thing, even though I am definitely not one myself. I’ve never called myself an “atheist”, even though I guess I am one, because the term has such an ugly stain of anti-religious bigotry that I want no part of it.

    It seems being an apologist here is not unlike being a Gun Rights Nut™ elsewhere. Both support reason and reason supports the philosophy of freedom. I’ve been both all my life but a gun owner (for the second time) only fairly recently.

  123. not really. not actually. small gov’t ain’t “libertarian”. libertards like their big gov’t.

    I think you’re referring to people who consider themselves libertarians because it sounds cool, but without understanding what it means. Sort of like Anarchists for the Nanny State.

  124. dicentra, did you see the Valentine that Bing sent you?

  125. Bill Quick has always puzzled me. He’s apparently on our side, but is almost always wrong when reasoning about his prejudices–in excruciating detail.

  126. Just saw the teaser for the upcoming CBS Face the Crone, hosted by Bob Schieffer. Lindsay Graham and John McCain were apparently unavailable today so he is having Santorum on. You may remember Andrea Mitchell’s response to the Foster Friess joke – I have to catch my breath? Apparently that is the journolist response to a Republican who doesn’t share their worldview, because Schieffer was positively schpilkes in this tease: If Rick Santorum had said nothing in his life before yesterday I could get a hard-on (well) just over what he said yesterday. He doesn’t know Obama’s theology, is that an attack on Obama’s religion? He thinks amnio to predict Downs Syndrome and have abortions is wrong? And the big one, questioning the utility of public schools? Just what kind of nut is he?

    Santorum is just so far out of the attack-space (that the get-along Republicans stay inside and lose in) that Schiefer doesn’t know where to swing next.

    There can be only one this morning Rick, no quarter.

  127. #117 – Libertarianism has always had a strong streak of non-interventionism (if not downright isolationism) running through it. This goes all the way back to people like William Graham Sumner, who opposed the Spanish American war, and much of the broader designs of the early progressives.

    All of which is quite timely, considering it is Sumner who coined the term the Forgotten Man (also where Shlaes got her title.)

    http://mises.org/daily/2485

    Jeff is entirely correct to point out that this is about the rights of individuals not institutions.

    The core of the matter reveals the problem at the heart of the left (all statists really) – they only care about the individual to the extent that that individual can be grouped into some sort of protected, and therefor beholden class.

    To lose sight of this crux of the matter, or especially to deny it’s existence because it is not convenient to your rhetorical position, is to fall into the statist’s trap.

  128. A bit more on my friend Bob Schieffer*.

    *not actual friend

  129. Let me add, in this specific case the Obama administration has taken this one step further. The religious man in this case, due to vocal and public opposition, is no longer quite so forgotten. So the administration’s response has been to seek to foment discord and schism within the religious and secular institution of these individuals – again displaying their overriding concern with the group, and absolute disdain for the people who comprise them.

    They seek to aggrandize themselves at the expense of weakening other societal institutions, and the Bill Quick’s of the world are OK with that, just so long as you can’t call it anti-religious bigotry.

  130. Santorum: I shall now proceed to beat you about the head with what you think are three social gotchas.
    Schieffer: And we are out of time for me to ask you any economic questions, your fault for committing news with your daffy religious stuff.
    Santorum: Can you breathe with your head that far up Obama’s ass?

  131. Mark Levin’s shop, in the auto repair business, will repair anyone’s car if they agree to pay the costs.

    That’s how a free economy works.

    The way a free economy works is, if he wants to refuse service to anyone for any reason — like the sign in his shop says he reserves the right to — he can. The thing is, if he refuses service for stupid or silly reasons, he’s reducing his customer pool. He knows that he won’t make more money by doing less business.

    But it’s not for me to say he shouldn’t be allowed to do less business if he wants.

  132. #129 Thomas D:

    I agree there has been that streak but after 9/11 the streak turned into a purge and an anti-Christian bias was added for additional flavor. Mr. Barrett Brown would be a middle of the road Libertarian now. YMMV

    I had a long time subscription to Reason which I let go because although there was some good items in it for the most part I’d end up throwing it across the room in disgust.

    It was not the only magazine that I dropped for similar reasons. Scientific American became unreadable in the 80s and my over 30 year collection of Analog stopped about 6 years ago when I couldn’t take the AGW bandwagon anymore.

  133. Seems Mr. Quick is atheist – anti-religious-fervor first, then Libertarian as an afterthought. His attack on Dicentra is particularly troubling.

    The poor fellow needs to come to terms with his own soul, and stop performing as an animal.

  134. geoffb,

    Reason hasn’t been the same since Virginia Postrel left.

    It was not the only magazine that I dropped for similar reasons.

    Hell, even a slick trade mag like Fine Homebuilding has gone all Gaia-batty.

  135. even a slick trade mag like Fine Homebuilding has gone all Gaia-batty.

    And they fault Christians for proselytizing.

  136. Agree on Postrel.

  137. Part of the Santorum – Schieffer cage match here.

  138. Jeff, I’m the one who originally pushed Bill’s buttons. I suppose I should have known better.

    Bill wrote me off as a bigoted homophobe years ago because I don’t believe in gay marriage or the government forcing people to associate with others (the whole wedding photographer must take pictures at gay wedding thing).

    Bill is an “anti-theist” as are several of his commentariat.

  139. I think “Bill is a bigot” sums it up, SDN.

  140. Pretty funny when you recollect that Separate but Equal originally applied to railway cars.

  141. Scheiffer really looks like an apple doll in that clip, geoff. He’s past his sell-by date.

  142. The claim that 98 percent of Catholic women use contraception: a media foul

    And.

    Catholic Charities Does Not Support the HHS Mandate or White House ‘Accommodation’

    Pretty much need to just assume that if a Democrat’s mouth is moving they are lying in some respect.

  143. Telling dicentra to fuck off reduced Quick’s stature in my eyes to that of your typical OWie. Not that I ever gave him much thought before this post, as I can recollect.

    What a loser.

  144. Jesus, what a mess. I would simply respond to Bill with his own words:

    Apparently you’re a dumbass who can’t read for comprehension past your own raving prejudices. I’m tired of wasting time on you. You’re too stupid to understand rational arguments.

    Fuck off.

  145. Politico, working the pole for Obama.

  146. Ahmet’s mosque owns Allah’s car repair. Aaron Finkelstein works there. Ahmet’s mosque does not provide insurance that covers boob jobs to employees of Allah’s mosque because Allah’s mosque believes that the body is sacred and should not be modified. The government wants Allah’s car repair to pay for Finkelstein’s boob job because Finkelstein is not a member of Ahmet’s mosque, and the majority of people who appear in movies and television and “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and even some of the members of Ahmet’s mosque think that boob jobs are just fine. Ahmet’s mosque is pissed of because A) Finkelstein can get a boob job on his own dime on his own time and continue to work at Allah’s Auto; B) Boob jobs and stuffed bras can be purchased over the counter, sans insurance; C) some methods of breast enhancement require real live boobs cut from the chests of living Guatemalan orphan girls who are allowed to bleed to death and that’s like, murder and shit to some of the members of Ahmet’s mosque; D) Ahmet’s mosque is non-profit and boob job insurance is expensive; E) the mosque could quit offering medical insurance to employees of its businesses, but then it may have problems getting qualified car repair specialists and would eventually be forced to shut down the non profit business and, of course, F) the body modification thing? It’s been in the pamphlet for like, 2000 years. It’s almost like a religion to Ahmet’s. In fact, Ahmet’s is routinely pilloried on late nite TV and smart public radio shows because of this belief. They don’t want to do it.

    So… Should they be pissed?

    Answer:

    q) No. No one likes them.

  147. Geoffb,

    It seems politico is nothing but a red herring fish farmer. If no issue favors Obama, Politico will create one.

    You’d think Bill Quick (along with Hewitt, Ace and Red State et. all) would be smart enough to recognize this commonality of the MBM and not play along.

  148. Heh. Good one, LMC!

  149. Actually, leigh, Bill isn’t a bigot. He just has a blind spot, as do we all. And on this issue, he’s never had Cromwell cross his mind: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

    This is where I usually come from: there’s a reason for any and all taboos and customs. Before we wreck the institution, let’s make sure we understand why it’s there, and that wrecking it won’t do unintended damage. Having children raised by one man and one woman has worked. Having certain jobs done by men and others by women, based on biological fact, has worked. Before we change what works, we better have a better reason than making a certain group feel good.

  150. You’re right, SDN. Bigot is a little harsh. Agree with the rest of your post, as well.

  151. Before we wreck the institution, let’s make sure we understand why it’s there, and that wrecking it won’t do unintended damage.

    This. I was born into and raised in the Catholic Church. I lapsed at the soonest possible opportunity, and have remained lapsed for 30 years now. Spiritually and/or emotionally, it does nothing for me. But that’s my deal. It does quite a lot for quite a lot of other people, many of them not Catholics. Evangelicals are the same way. Who among us does not know anyone who was on a fast track to self-destruction and had their life “turned around by accepting Christ”?

    You don’t have to like religious people. You don’t have to agree with them. But do yourself and everyone else a favor and leave them the fuck alone. Ignore them. It’s your right and it’s the right thing to do.

    Unless their religion is making them all ‘splodey. Then, head shots.

  152. I see nothing’s changed over there. The guy is still the biggest chicken-shit coward on the net when it comes to discussing religion.

    SDN was right – he’s not atheist, he is anti-theist, and I got banned from him 6 years ago for making that very point.

    And to treat dicentra the way he did? I hope you’re reading this Quick: You’re a fucking asshole, and that’s why you have 5 readers to your blog.

  153. Six people peacefully protested the Obama administration’s mandate requiring employers to provide contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-producing drugs by kneeling in prayer in front of the White House, and they quickly were arrested and whisked away by U.S. Park police.
    Ads by Google

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    “Occupy Wall Street protesters have been occupying federal property for months, but when we kneel in prayer, the police are called in and we are arrested,” said Father Wilde, one of the protesters.

    The six people, including Wilde, of Priests for Life, and Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, organized the peaceful protest on the heels of a Priests for Life lawsuit filed against the Obama administration seeking to permanently block the implementation of the HHS mandate.

    Wilde and the other protesters were cited for “failure to obey a lawful order” as they knelt in prayer in front of the White House. Each paid a $100 fine and was released from custody.

    Wilde said. “We knew that was the risk when we gathered today, and we will do it again regardless of the risk. What people of faith – of every faith – need to do now is stand with us.”

    A WND call to the U.S. Park Police Public Affairs desk went unanswered.

    link

  154. Government exists first and foremost for the sake of our protection. Without it, our lives and our property would not effectively be our own. Government exists also to promote our well-being. For its support, however, taxation is necessary, and we have tacitly agreed that, to be legitimate, these taxes must be passed by our elected representatives. By our own consent, we give up a certain proportion of our earnings for these purposes.

    The money left in our possession, however, is our own — to do with as we please. It is in this that our liberty largely lies. Romneycare and Obamacare, with the individual mandate, changes radically our relationship vis-a-vis the government.

  155. I’m only half way through this but it is excellent. Rick Santorum was interviewed today by Off The Record in Michigan where they discussed a lot of different issues including his stance on minimum wage, why he ran for president (in which he gives a GREAT answer), the payroll tax cut extension and much more. Like I said I’m only half way through the first video.

    link

  156. Look, I have often supposed that the other side, whomever they may be at a given time, might have some points to their argument.

    All of which is to say that I don’t think I’ve seen such a cut and dry case of one blogger being so inaccurate as I have in this Quick v Goldstein issue.

    JGs last line, “They don’t offer those services to anybody” is a killer. It’s the equivalent of them having a sign up on their wall in the waiting room, “We dont repair brakes.” So, if the issue is brakes, you understand you’ll get them repaired elsewhere. No rational person would argue with them–“You must repair my brakes, that’s immoral!” under the theory that not offering those services, even if there is a 98% chance that what ails your car is not braking related, disadvantages you as a customer relative to other people getting repairs at other car shops.

    I just don’t get Quick’s point. Is he arguing that the shop is affirmatively discriminatory for not offering these services, even if they never have, for as long as they’ve been in business?

    What is his governing theory? I’ve read his post five times and it gets progressively sillier. In a marketplace of voluntary associations, I would never HAVE to go to that repair place and I would never have to go work at a Catholic hospital or school. It might be much smarter, advantageous and logical were I to do those things, but if their refusal to cover birth control pills or shots–I assume we are not talking about vasectomies–offends me, or working at a place where my employer is explicitly supportive of BC, is vitally important to my well-being, I do have other options.

    The guy seems to even mistake the fact that these places are run as ministeries of a broader religious body for the public good.

  157. The guy seems to even mistake the fact that these places are run as ministeries of a broader religious body for the public good.

    I mentioned that over there, Roddy, and was promptly informed that that was bullshit. The Catholics are only in it for the money. Which, you’d think they’d be selling whatever sells. But somehow, they don’t. I’m done trying to suss it out.

  158. When we run Quick’s general notion to ground, I think we find we’re in an odd place with him, faced with explaining the intention of “the pursuit of happiness” and why that phrase is decidedly (and wisely) indeterminate. But then we have to ask, “How come he doesn’t know this instinctively?” or, at least, as near instinctively as anything possible in political philosophical reckoning can be so.

    Not that Quick’s individual quirks are terribly significant. Still, for one who espouses liberty as an aim, it sure seems odd.

  159. Señor Quick is a dick.

  160. “are run as ministeries of a broader religious body for the public good.”

    please the baracky knows what is good so shut up already.

  161. Scientific American became unreadable in the 80s

    Ditto for Smithsonian, I think they lost there credibility when they caved to the backlash over their article about monkey-vs-monkey predation.

  162. Like truth, science begs nobody’s pardon. Magazine editors, on the other hand…

  163. dicentra, did you see the Valentine that Bing sent you?

    No, I did not. Thanks for showing it! It’s a nice pic.

  164. And to treat dicentra the way he did? I hope you’re reading this Quick: You’re a fucking asshole,

    He may very well be, but at the time he told me to engage in coitus with myself (is that the correct transliteration?) I was feeling kinda guilty about having signed off the Tribble feed earlier that day with “Lord, you people are thick,” so I figure I got mine, in a way.

    Wevs. I’m less upset about it than y’all are; even so, I do appreciate the chivalry.

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