Obamacare violates my First Amendment Rights!

The Constitution cannot be read in a vacuum. See Christine O’Donnell and her being laughed at at a debate because she asks “where in the Constitution is the separation between church and state?”

The Constitution must be read, at the very least, with 200+ years of precedent explaining what the laws mean.We also know from history that there are laws that have been made that violate someone’s freedom of religious. Muslim and Mormon men can’t have more than one wife, Rastafarians can’t smoke marijuana, just to name a few violations of people’s rights that everyone seems ok with. Thus the First Amendment–the literal words being “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”–must be read with an understanding of the Lemon test in mind.

From wikipedia.com. Whenever I hear "Lemon test," I think of a car like this.

From wikipedia.com. Whenever I hear “Lemon test,” I think of a car like this.

The Lemon test comes from the case Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971). It says, in short, that

  1. if a law has a secular legislative purpose,
  2. does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, AND
  3. does not involve in excessive entanglement with religion,

it does not violate the First Amendment, even if it means you can’t do something that your faith tells you that you must. Sorry, no pot and no sister wives. And no, you can’t do half the things Deuteronomy tells you you should.

The Affordable Care Act, as we all know because it’s been talked about to death, mandates that health insurance companies must provide birth control without co-pays or deductibles. A bunch of old men got their panties in a twist about this.

oldmenwithoutvaginas

Somehow in magicland, this violated their religious freedom. Because apparently, and I’m no Biblical scholar, their religion tells them that they are forbidden from having female employees that don’t ovulate or they must regulate the cervical mucus of their female employees. In short, they bitched and moaned that their religious freedom was violated because they could no longer oppress people.

Religiously affiliated hospitals and churches are exempt from this provision of the Affordable Care Act, meaning that insurance plans provided by people who work for churches or religious hospitals don’t have to provide basic health care. So here is how the Affordable Heathcare Act violates your freedom of religion. How the fuck does that provision excepting churches and religious institutions not have the primary effect of advancing religion?

Old news is old.

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About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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17 Responses to Obamacare violates my First Amendment Rights!

  1. Muriel says:

    You’re obviously right.
    But just for the record: Such legislation does not just tie up old religious nuts’ panties, but also comparatively young secular libertarian nuts’ like mine.

    • emmawolf says:

      Yes, because allowing religious entities to control the lives of others is compatible with the ideas of secularism and libertarianism.

      • Muriel says:

        No. It’s not. That’s why I wouldn’t let them force others to pay for that they think is right, either.

        • emmawolf says:

          This hits on why I think our insurance model sucks.

        • emmawolf says:

          Also, no one is forcing the employers to pay for these things. Employees still pay for their own insurance plans. That an important fact that a lot of people miss.

          • Muriel says:

            Yes, but the insurance companies have to pay, don’t they? I’m afraid I don’t keep up too much with the details of US legislation, so I basically got my information about this from your sentence:

            The Affordable Care Act, as we all know because it’s been talked about to death, mandates that health insurance companies must provide birth control without co-pays or deductibles.

        • emmawolf says:

          Not exactly. It’s actually cheaper for the insurance companies to provide birth control pills than to not. So while they are being made to provide BCP, it’s not exactly costing them anything (cost of pills is offset by savings).

          (I have not fact checked this recently, but this is what I learned a million years ago when it was all the rage.)

          • Muriel says:

            They are being forced to pay. There’s my problem.

          • emmawolf says:

            “(And you don’t seriously believe that there wouldn’t be roads and systems of dispute resolution and security services without someone forcing people to pay for them with threats of violence, do you?)”

            No…. I’m just wouldn’t like the result.

            I’m not sure how to phrase this question: how does being a libertarian work in conjunction with the social programs in Germany? (Disclosure: I know little about modern Germany.)

          • Muriel says:

            No…. I’m just wouldn’t like the result.

            I think you might. But then, that kind of thing is obviously what makes me a libertarian nut.

            I’m not sure how to phrase this question: how does being a libertarian work in conjunction with the social programs in Germany? (Disclosure: I know little about modern Germany.)

            Well, what do think? It works almost exactly like being a reasonable person in any contemporary society. You sometimes hate being forced to do stuff you don’t want to, and you hate the oppression, and sometimes you get a little sad about all the injustice and stupidity in the world, but you live with it, because what’s the alternative?

        • emmawolf says:

          They are being forced to save money.

          Government forces people to pay for a lot of things. Since I like things like courts, police, roads, etc. I’m not a libertarian.

          You’re in Germany, right?

          • Muriel says:

            I am. And I know that government forces people to pay for a lot of things. That’s why I’m against it.
            (And you don’t seriously believe that there wouldn’t be roads and systems of dispute resolution and security services without someone forcing people to pay for them with threats of violence, do you?)

        • emmawolf says:

          Roads, maybe. Other things, no. I don’t like it when universities, religious groups, etc. try to “solve disputes” rather than trying to get justice. It can have the effect of oppressing those that most need the help of the justice system.

          What do I think? (First, I hate nesting comments. It’s pissing me off.)

          I see the US lag behind in so many respects. Then I hear people from other countries that are beating the US in these areas talk about freedom. I’d like to know how social welfare is incompatible with freedom. The idealist in me wants to know how we can learn from what you and others think are mistakes. But the cynic in me thinks people confuse money with freedom.

          I’m speaking in really general terms, I know.

          • Muriel says:

            Can’t you just un-nest the comments? When I started blogging, I had that, too, because it seemed like a good idea, but I quickly noticed it wasn’t, and I could change that in the wordpress settings.

            I’d like to know how social welfare is incompatible with freedom.

            Can’t help you there. I think it’s not.

    • emmawolf says:

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll see if I can figure it out.

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