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(RNS) Does the current administration stand for religious freedom globally or does the delay in appointing an ambassador cast doubt on that stand? My answer: Yes.


  1. Mr. Birdsall, you write this in view of the details found in the Obamacare Act that not a single legislator read before voting for it? You write this in view of the all-out attack on Catholic-run facilities and on others whose owners have concerns?


    • If the Catholic-run facilities weren’t making all out attacks on the personal liberties of their employees and customers, claims of them exercising religious freedom would not sound like so much bovine effluence.

      People like yourself believe religious freedom only means that your sect and faith gets to run roughshod over everyone else and notions of civil laws.

      • Larry, yours is a perverse understanding, it seems, of the entire debate about healthcare. I note, too, that there’s hardly been a single point that I’ve made that you’ve come back to argue.

        Again, I’ll state that you have nothing but an emotion-driven “argument” to make, most times. You are, this time, totally without substance, a husk.

        No Catholic facilities are attacking anyone’s personal liberties. People who disagree with Catholic positions on moral issues are free to take their business or employment elsewhere. What you want is everyone marching to the dissonant “tune” of liberal dogma, which hasn’t a coherent set of principles other than that “the self” is all that matters.

      • More liberal “logic.”
        Refusal to pay for employees’ abortificants and contraceptives isn’t violating anyone’s rights – the employees may still purchase and use these to their hearts’ content.
        What IS a violation of someone’s rights is to force someone to pay for something their faith professes is sinful.

        • Refusal to provide state mandated compensation to employees somehow is exercising an employer’s religious rights? No. Your right to free exercise of religion ends where it harms others. By your logic human sacrifice should be legal.

          Forcing others to conform to your religious views through coercion is not exercising religious freedom. The very opposite. Catholics and other religious bullies can ask people of their own faith to follow dogma, but can’t expect those outside the faith to do so. Nor should they expect to use coercive tactics to do so. An employee or patient at a hospital is not expected to get up and take their business elsewhere because the facility acts in a harmful manner.

          Somehow conservatives have defined religious freedom to mean “Christians can do whatever they want”.

          • So when the government mandates that Catholic institutions have to pay for, perform, refer for, and in every other way facilitate women in getting abortions for any and every reason, you’re going to be perfectly fine with that?

          • Of course.

            First of all, they did so before it became politically convenient to oppose it.

            This is nothing more than a conservative political ploy to attack the ACA. A law which was passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court. How many bites of the apple are they expecting?

            Second, if a facility is serving the general public, they have to serve the entire public regardless of their beliefs. You cannot use your religious beliefs as an excuse to harm the rights of others.

            Third, there is no such thing as institutional religious belief. Individuals have beliefs, facilities do not. It is not a principled stand to attack the compensation of employees to further an employer’s alleged religious beliefs. It is bullying.

    • Wow Duane, you wrote two whole sentences without the word “Liberal”. You feeling alright?

      • Don’t need to use the word, Earold. The author of the article is an easy mark. Nothing subtle or nuanced about him.

  2. When Obama mentioned support for “Atheists and Agnostics” he was talking about himself.
    But he would all do us a favor if he stopped mentioning religion or God at all. It has absolutely no place on the national stage.

    • Tell that to the writer of the Declaration of Independence, Max. Yours is nothing more than a personal judgment that has no Constitutional justification. But then, you’ve never written anything in support of that Document.

      That’s your privilege, and it’s anyone else’s right to point out your un-American position regarding the rights of all.

  3. Mr. Birdsall seems to confuse deeds and words as being equal. Exhortations and training are not deeds. They may constitute preparations for deeds, but deeds they are not. Mr. Obama’s policies have not had positive impact on worldwide religious freedom (look up the statistics on religious refugees and incidents of religious persecution, especially among Christians). And they have had a chilling effect here at home. Mr. Birdsall had a tough assignment from his sponsors, but he gave it a college try.

    • The freedom to not believe is just as important as the freedom of religion.
      The world has become much more free during the Obama years.
      Those who say they have no religion are on the rise.

  4. All I have to say is anything Mr. Birdsall has to say on this subject is suspect since he worked for the administration.