A Contradiction in Terms: The Ignorant Conservative Defense of ‘Religious Freedom’

religious-freedomA term that’s become extremely popular among conservative Christians here lately is “religious freedom.”  But every time I see conservatives say this, a famous line from the movie The Princess Bride pops into my mind: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Which shouldn’t be surprising considering conservatives are often big fans of repeating words or sayings that might sound good, they just don’t make a whole lot of sense.

And the term “religious freedom” is a great example of that.

By its very nature, religion is the exact opposite of freedom.  Religion is a belief based on faith in something you cannot prove.  It’s a set of rules, guidelines and requirements which highly restrict the freedoms of those who claim to follow whichever particular religion to which they subscribe.

A Christian, if they were to follow the Bible word for word, wouldn’t be allowed to do many of the things a lot of us do in our day to day lives.

While it’s popular for Christian conservatives to go off on rants about abortion or gay marriage, I see plenty of them with tattoos, eating shellfish or wearing blended fabrics.

All things that are taboo according to the Bible.

It’s an irony I pointed out to someone who once strongly defended Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson to me.  His son has tattoos, they all have long hair and their company sells plenty of blended fabrics.

But I just find it humorous how so many of these conservative Christians go on and on about “religious freedom” when what they’re really talking about is restricting the rights of others.

See, they want the freedom to follow whatever set of rules they choose.  They just don’t want people who disagree with them to be able to follow the rules of their choosing.

Because when these people say “religious freedom,” what they’re really defending is their right to tell someone else what is or isn’t acceptable based on their religion.

Which is partially what our Founding Fathers were escaping.  It’s why they gave us the freedom of religion in our First Amendment.  So that no American could be forced to follow the rules (aka control) of another based on religious views that they do not share.

Essentially that’s what the entire Hobby Lobby case was about.  A law that stated health care had to cover specific methods of contraceptives and a right-wing Christian stating that their beliefs on contraceptives should matter more than the thousands of employees who work for them.  One person’s beliefs ruling over thousands.

That’s not freedom.  That’s theocratic rule.

Here in Texas (and other places as well) I can’t buy liquor on a Sunday.  Heck, I can’t even buy beer or wine until after noon on Sundays.  Some counties don’t sell alcohol at all.  Is it because I support these laws?  Nope.

And where do these laws come from?  Religion. 

So even when it comes to something as menial as being able to buy a bottle of whiskey on a Sunday in Texas, I’m not allowed to do it based off beliefs I don’t support.

Where’s my “religious freedom”?

But religion has nothing to do with freedom.  In fact, religion is almost the exact opposite of freedom.  It’s a set of rules that people are supposed to follow otherwise their souls will be sent to some horrific place upon death.

So the next time some conservative says something about “religious freedom,” just say the line uttered by the great Inigo Montoya:


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • adcbeast

    Conservative christian = American Taliban

    • kosmo vitek

      adcbeast=American idiot

      • adcbeast

        Kosmo DOOOSH … PhD + JD Georgetown … NEXT !!

      • adcbeast

        Kosmo = Small Willie ..

      • ShelleysLeg

        Proving that you didn’t read the story!

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        So reading the article as written by a self-professed Card-carrying Progressive, somehow causes a genomic shift from giver to taker?

      • Nemisis

        No, that would be Mosquito.

        The two ideologies are close enough as to be analogous.

    • youcantgetridofmethateasy

      Fail.

  • u_go_guys

    ~
    “But I just find it humorous how so many of these conservative Christians go on and on about ‘religious freedom’ when what they’re really talking about is restricting the rights of others. See, they want the freedom to follow whatever set of rules they choose. They just don’t want people who disagree with them to be able to follow the rules of their choosing.”
    Examples: same sex marriage, contraception, religious displays in public places, selling/buying alcohol on Sunday (Jewish sabbath is not Sunday), homosexuals (revered by many cultures ), praying publicly (Jesus said “go to your closet”), “In God We Trust” (really? Everybody?), base government and constitution on Christianity (now thems frighten’ words y’all!), x, x, x.

    • youcantgetridofmethateasy

      Seriously? Am I demanding your sermons from the pulpit? Am I demanding you to subsidize my Contra-conception products? Am I demanding that you cease referencing God when explaining who gave us our ‘civil rights? Am I demanding that you stop insisting that God is superior to Government in the enumerated ‘rights’ enjoined in the Bill of Rights? Is that really me forcing you subsidize your gov’t Religion?
      And why, when it is suggested that ALL Tax-exempt statuses be revoked, including everyone from AARP to PrioritiesUSA to The Tides Foundation to the UAW & 1099, you clam up? Why is that again?

  • paulmurrey

    The blindness of this article is astounding. INCONCEIVABLE.
    First, I’ll point out the obvious; Religious freedom is the freedom to CHOOSE a belief system. If Christians do not want to be a party to murdering babies, then they have the freedom to choose a hands off policy.

    Secondly, NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING, about the Hobby Lobby decision imposes any thing on any one else. In fact it says the opposite. It says Progressives cannot impose their will on other people.

    Religion, especially the Bible, is a beacon of freedom. The core story of the Jews, i.e. Moses’ escape from slavery, is a story of freedom. The people who came to live in Israel, moved to the hills of Canaan to escape the chariots of Totalitarian Progressives of Egypt, Syria, and Babylon, who enslaved people to make them form their bricks and irrigate their wheat. These city/states would march through the outer regions and capture slaves, bring them back to their cities, and set them to hard labor. Israel was a place where people could escape to and live in freedom.

    • Laura Hurt

      He doesn’t contradict that it is the freedom to choose a belief system. But that freedom goes to everyone, not just to those people who choose to believe the bible. It goes to EVERYONE. That freedom also does not say that people who choose the bible, have more freedom than people who choose something else. That freedom also does not say that people who choose the bible are more right than people who choose something else. That freedom also does not say that people who choose the bible get to make choices for everyone, even for those who choose something else.

      EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING about the HL decision says that the christian religion trumps everything. It trumps science, because it is based on faulty facts, and it trumps the freedoms of its employees, because the belief system of the employer was found to be more important than the belief system of its employees. It’s got nothing to do with progressives imposing its will on other people, the HL founders can live how they want, they should just have been limited to impose that way of living on others.

      And hahahahahahahahahahaha, religion is a beacon of freedom. The sad thing is that you probably believe it too….. really really really sad. No sir, religion is not a beacon of freedom. You are not free. You are a slave to your god. You have to do what you think he wants, else you are not getting your reward. That’s not freedom, that’s slavery. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you’ve been duped.

      • paulmurrey

        The last paragraph is the most important and lasting subject matter. You are right. My sins withstanding, I’m a slave to God.

        Rather than being a slave to murder, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to thievery, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to money, I choose God.
        Rather than being a slave to homosexuality, I choose God.
        Rather than being a slave to deception, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to drugs, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to promiscuity, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to food, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to hate, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.
        Rather than being a slave to pride, I’ve chosen to be a slave to God.

        And what have I chosen to be a slave too? Love, Truth, Beauty, Grace.

      • Pipercat

        Now all you have to do is stop being a slave to fallacy and you’ll have all the bases covered!

      • Laura Hurt

        rather than choosing to be a slave to god I choose freedom to be myself and live a life as good as I can, with as much goodness and beauty and truth and love as I can. I choose that because I want to choose it. Not because anyone makes me, not because I am afraid that I will receive a punishment in an imagined afterlife, but because I will at the very least punish myself if I would act any differently. If you need a god to do all that, then you are still nothing more than a slave. I have real freedom. I am free to be totally me. Because for me, there are no sins. There are crimes, yes. But no sins. The first is legal, the second is moral. Any action I take I look at the life I want to live and if that action does not live up to those rules, I won’t do it. Those are MY morals. I don’t need a god to live morally, I can do that very well on my own. As do most atheists. And my reward is that I can look back on a life that is full of goodness and beauty and truth and love. All the while still having the freedom to be totally me. Something your precious religion would really really not let me be. I’ll take my own belief over yours any day, thanks.

      • paulmurrey

        “Because for me, there are no sins. There are crimes, yes. But no sins. The first is legal, the second is moral.”

        I have no idea what that means. It sounds like a bunch of double talk and redefinition, and censorship of the word “sin”. It sounds like you are being a slave to deception.

        The idea that Christians try to lead a moral life simply for a reward in afterlife is a deception that atheist have created. We try to be moral for morality sake alone. Nothing more. Please try to free yourself from that deception. Or at least stop wasting every one else’s time with it. It makes you look foolish.

        I’m glad that you try to be a moral person. That’s good. But keep in mind that you learned your morality from religious people. You did not learn it from Socialists, or Totalitarians who seek to control religious freedom. You did not learn it from Stalin, or Pol Pot, or Chairman Mao, or Kim Jong Il, or any of the other atheists that seek to strangle religious freedoms. Instead, you learned morality from the LONG line of ancient religious people who wrote down these laws, and teached their religion and their morality.

        If you don’t want to believe in God, then that’s your right. But you do not have a right to enslave others by forcing them to participate in murder or any other immoral actions simply because you do not believe that sin exists. Your religion of a sinless world is a unique religion. I can see that your god has great power over you, if you have come to believe in this deception. You have a right to your beliefs, but you don’t have a right to force your belief system on to other people.

      • Laura Hurt

        Phew where to begin with so many fallacies.

        There really is a difference between a crime and a sin. That you don’t know that is sad. First: crime is a legal judgment, objectified by laws. Second: sin is a religious invention, made to keep people in slavery. Sin is a moral judgment, not only of your own actions but also those of others. I subject to the first because I firstly agree with those laws and secondly because I agree with the need of those laws. I do not subject to the second, because I am not religious and I am not going to live according to the beliefs of someone else.

        Then, living morally for the sake of it? That may be true for some, but certainly not for all. You know how many people live in fear of hell? I have a sister in law who is in a dreadful marriage but she is not going to divorce her husband because of what religion has taught her: she is going to hell if she does. And since she is terrified of that, she stays. So she is behaving morally, at the cost of her present life. I don’t know about you, but to me that does not sound moral at all. That sounds horrible. And there are millions of stories like these. You can try all you want and redefine religion, but the bible is pretty clear about heaven and hell.

        Morality comes from humans, not from religion. The god of the bible has no problem with slavery, murder, incest, selling your own daughters as slaves, giving your own daughters to strangers to rape them etcetera. That does not sound moral at all. Religion has appropriated morals but they certainly didn’t start there.

        I am not enslaving anyone. I am not making anyone participate. You are free to live your life according to your morals, and I will live mine to mine. I don’t know where you read that I want everyone to live according to my rules? Where am I forcing those beliefs? Ooooh wait, I know, you cry that I hinder you in your religious beliefs because I won’t allow you to hinder my life with yours. Funny, how that works. You feel persecuted, while all that is happening is that you are reigned in from determining lives of people who don’t share your beliefs. And of course you are referring to the HL decision. Simply said: there is a law. You can agree on that law or not, but that law is there. The law states that employers with a lot of employees have to buy their employees health care. That has nothing to do with forcing someone to believe or not believe, that is simply a financial arrangement. You know, like salary and such. All those things should be the domain of the employee himself. HL could have said: we don’t want to get involved, we will pay the penalty (which, funny enough, is a whole lot less than paying for the insurance itself) and then they could have stayed out of the business of their employees. But they chose to be involved and as a consequence they are now allowed to make decisions FOR OTHERS over their private lives. I’m really sorry but I feel to see how being against that is forcing you to live according to my beliefs. It is forcing you to let ME live according to my beliefs, and that must be a bitter pill, I understand that, after so many centuries of dominating the world, but alas, you are losing that battle, you are thrown out of governing all and are steered back to just governing your own life. As it should be.

      • paulmurrey

        Laura, you write as if you have some type of intellectual superiority over others. You might want to watch that. I’m not saying you are stupid, because you aren’t, but neither are you superior.

        No one on this board needs you tell them the difference between a crime and sin, as if we are 3 year olds.

        You stated that “there are no sins.” Which we all know, including you, is not true. First of all, criminal law is a derivative of moral sin. The sin came first, then the civil law. Second, the idea that you only follow criminal law and not morality is absurd, and we both know it. For example; it is no crime for you to cheat on your spouse or boyfriend, but yet you don’t do it because you know it is a sin.

        “The god of the bible has no problem with slavery, murder, incest, selling your own daughters as slaves, giving your own daughters to strangers to rape them etcetera.”

        You are confusing sinners from the Bible stories with morality.

        “I am not enslaving anyone. I am not making anyone participate.”
        Not true. By opposing the HL decision, you are condoning a law that would FORCE HL to participate in an action that they find immoral. You are, in fact, “making someone participate.”

        You say that you follow criminal law, but yet you don’t follow the part about abortion. We only disagree as to whether abortion is taking a life. We don’t disagree that murder is wrong. You don’t seem to have a problem with me forcing you to abide by the law of “no murder”, and vice versa. Our only difference, when it comes to abortion, is pinpointing the moment of life. We don’t really have a difference of morals, we have a difference of scientific belief; when does life begin?

      • Stephen Ramey

        Which was Laura’s point, I believe. You are free to practice your beliefs about abortion and she is free to practice hers UNTIL YOU FORCE her to stop because of your belief system. She is NOT forcing you to have abortions–that would certainly be an infringement of your rights. Restricting access to contraception that women not employed by christian corporations have free access to is just one small step, but an important one. When the belief system of a corporation trumps the belief system of individuals it employs, we risk returning to that bad old age of company towns and pseudo-slavery. It’s a dumb move.

      • paulmurrey

        You are confused. Laura and I agree that murder is wrong and there should be a law “forced” upon society to punish those who commit murder. I don’t know, perhaps you agree with this law? If so, then we can all agree that “infringement” has its place in society.

        I’m not sure what you mean by “free access” to contraception. No one has taken away access to contraception. All can access it freely. $9 bucks a month, just go to the drug store and buy it, freely. However, If by “free” you mean, that users shouldn’t have to pay for it, and that only employers should pay for it, then, all I can say is, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS? You can’t FORCE someone to pay for your abortions. Have you lost every single marble in your head? You can’t force someone to pay for another’s assassin. When did this entitlement come up?

      • Stephen Ramey

        Okay, so if I believe that it is murder to eat meat, that’s enough to lock you away if I see you eating a hamburger? The key point you don’t want to admit (though you did actually admit it earlier) is that you and Laura disagree upon what constitutes a murder. That’s the issue, not the red herring you want to cling to. As for the contraception thing–it’s more than $9 a month for the stuff the law bans, and even if it was 10 cents a month, it would be silly to allow an employer to require you to pay that when everyone else gets it for free just because you are not of the same belief system as the corporate stock holders. Shall we deny employee coverage for blood transfusions if a Jehovah’s Witness buys enough stock? Do we permit Jewish-owned corporations to fire gentiles who refuse to be circumcised? Once we start letting stockholders decide what is right and wrong based on their belief systems, we have a mess in the making.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        “if I see you eating a hamburger?” But am I forcing you to pay for my Hamburger? And for Contraception products and Abortions, Am I forcing you to subsidize such through Community Block Grants and direct payments? Did I force you to earmark your tax dollars to Medicare/Medicaid payments used to supplement Women’s Reproductive Health Grants? Kermit Gosnell made a small fortune in Planned Parenthood subsidies to his clinic. Did I force you to supplement his efforts in Genocide of the Black community? Was that me?

      • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

        @paulmurrey—you really sound like an arrogant know it all when you start out your conversation with words like “you are confused”. Maybe it is YOU who is confused! Just because you don’t understand someone else’s ideas and beliefs does NOT make that person “confused” and certainly not wrong. I do not believe that anyone but the person who wants an abortion to pay for it. However— I know that we have a terrible problem in our country with people giving birth to children that they don’t want and can’t take care of and then they end up at the bottom of lakes, or dead in the bushes, or burned by sadistic parents who are not equipped either morally or mentally to to take good care of them. No child should have to suffer at the hands of parents that didn’t want them in the first place. Most of these are women or couples that wouldn’t even think about giving their child up for adoption for whatever reason—-maybe simply because they don’t know how to go about it.

      • Mr_A

        So, if I understand this correctly, because a baby is not wanted and may be Murdered after it is born, we should condone, and PAY for the child to be murdered before birth? Because the parents are not responsible enough to keep from having unprotected sex in the first place, or even have the responsibility to not have sex in the first place, abortion is what others should be forced to provide for these irresponsible parents. Did I get that correct?

      • Jeff Friesen

        Nope. Not even close.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        56 million dead babies can’t be wrong. Progressive Social Engineering is the new political ethos.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Shoveling against the tide. Ms. Scheffler. This is the very same crowd that applauded the efforts of Margaret Sanger and her Social Engineering Homicide.

      • Jillz

        First of all, it is very unlikely that you can purchase the type of treatment (contraception) that HL has won the right to exclude from an employee benefit plan for $9. Secondly, since the law dictates that the employer is responsible for providing benefit coverage that includes this type of treatment, then HL employees should NOT have to pay for it since employees of companies whose owners AREN’T imposing their religious beliefs on others are not required to pay for the same treatment. Third, HL are not doctors or scientists. Their BELIEF that the four types of contraception being denied in their employee benefit plan cause abortions does not make it fact. They are imposing their BELIEFS, which are based on religion, onto their employees – regardless of whether those employees share the beliefs or not.

        As was said above, HL could have easily decided just to pay the penalty. Instead, they took it all the way to the Supreme Court to win the right to discriminate. That’s all it is no matter how you put it.

      • Nemisis

        I agree, free access does not mean free.

        Not all contraceptives are $9.00 some are as expensive as a few thousand. What is contested is women’s access to health insurance that will not cover the costs, but ease the costs. For men, contraception is covered. A Vasectomy is covered. Not one religious group is complaining about that. Condom’s are handed out by churches, yet birth control pills for women are the problem. I think the real issue is about giving women control of their vaginas. I think they can do a nice job of keeping their vaginas under control.

        As for anyone else paying for someones contraception. Never happens. The employee pays a premium for that health insurance. If employers don’t want to to pay that, then insurance companies need to offer that as a rider policy.
        I have only ever had one job that 100% of the insurance coverage was covered by the employer and that coverage had exclusions to which I could pay an additional charge to get coverage for the exclusion. I do miss that job. My point here is that HL wants exclusion based on religion. That does not hold water because HL does not observe any of that religion when money is involved.

        Additionally, no one is saying HL or anyone must cover the cost of abortion. The coverage is for contraception. One should think this would be a non issue since the Hyde Amendment of 1977 prohibits federal funds to be applied to all abortions except in cases of incest or rape.

        In the claim that abortion violates the 10 commandments:(about murder or killing)

        Genesis 9:6
        “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

        Exodus 21:12
        “Anyone who strikes a person with a fatal blow is to be put to death.”

        Yet in Leviticus 26:7-8
        7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
        8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
        A another clear instruction to kill or murder.
        I won’t even cover the other instances where murder is commanded. There are plenty. Especially when dealing with children, women and fetuses.

        So, which is it?

        Observe the Commandments or head your god?

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        and of those very few women who need a Proscribed thousands of dollars contra-conceptive drug, is there no a Doctor who will proscribe it? The argument is ‘Abortion for Convenience’, which is the very majority of Planned Parenthood’s profits. Yes?

      • Killing is not necessarily murder. Murder, by definition, iis the unlawful taking of a human life. Hence, for example, capital punishment, which kills someone, is not murder.

      • Stephen Barlow

        11Hey Rubber stamp Fitzgerald!! You type the same garbage to EVERYBODY!!!

        You’ve obviously got nothing. Post after post, you give a string of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which amount to nothing. Such assertions are inadmissible, since you did not substantiate them. So, you have yet to contribute anything to the discussion. 1

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        ” murder is wrong and there should be a law “forced””??
        But Mr. Murrey, whom do you answer to if you’re not caught? Who hold final judgment on your sins committed against your fellow man, if Man’s Law doesn’t address what you did? Who do you answer to then? are you just “scott-free’ ?

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        “infringement of your rights”?? What right is that? Are you referencing a SCOTUS decision forced upon States where it’s citizenry chose that they will not support the murder of 56 million babies? Please come back at me with your token ‘Rape’ argument. But present the numbers of Abortions because of Rape, and Abortions for Convenience. It’s not like I’m already subsidizing Contra-conception products for the Sandra Fluke’s of America.

      • Laura Hurt

        First of all, thanks for the personal attack in the beginning, so nice of you.

        If you are telling me that I am redefining words, then I need to explain to you what the words mean. If you find that condescending, you shouldn’t have been condescending yourself.

        There are no sins. There are only sins in religion. In my life there is no religion and therefore there is no sin. There can be crime, but there can’t be sin. That there is overlap between what the bible dictates and my choices of behavior still does not make me consider some behavior sinful. I could consider some behavior wrong, but never sinful. Because, again, sinful is a moral judgment coming from religion and I don’t use that. Ever.

        These bible stories are stories about righteous people. They are doing exactly those things that god will allow them to do and amongst them are slavery etc.

        As I said: HL CHOSE to be involved. They could have chosen NOT to be involved. So yes, they are imposing their religious beliefs upon others. I am not making them pay for something, they chose to be involved and then chose to be moral about the private lives of their employees. So -I- am not making them anything, they CHOSE their own play.

        I follow criminal law but not the part about abortion? Which is what exactly? And how on earth would you know that? You have NO idea what I consider wrong and what not. I have no trouble abiding to laws, even if I don’t agree with them, as I stated before, because I agree to the need of laws. I do not, in any way, agree to judging crimes as sinful though. And we do have a difference of morals. I have no problem with gluttony, sexuality is no taboo nor limited to a different-sex partner nor limited to a married spouse, I have no problems with using drugs/drinking alcohol (with moderation), I have no problems with abortion. That does not mean that I am doing all those things myself, but I am not walking around judging other people for doing it either. Their life, their choice, if they don’t bother me or the society I live in, I don’t mind what they do with their lives. Even if I do not agree with certain things, that still doesn’t make it a sin. As long as it’s legal it’s not a crime and everything other is none of my business. And it shouldn’t be yours or anybody elses either.

        All the same, you have neatly circumvented responding to some of the parts of my previous post. Nice cherry picking, as usual with believers ^ ^. They do the same with their bible after all.

      • paulmurrey

        “sinful is a moral judgment coming from religion and I don’t use that.”

        Can you name one of your moral judgments that did not originate from a religion?

        You’ve been terribly misinformed about the people of the Bible. The people of the Bible were great sinners. That is why stories were written about them, as a demonstration of sin. I can only suspect that the disinformation comes from your atheist network. Disinformation is one of the pillars of atheism. Your slavery to this god and your belief system is astounding. I hope that you will break free of these chains, but when talking to a Jew/Christian/Muslim don’t mention that you believe that people of the Bible did what God asked them to do. Then, they will know right away that you have not read the Bible, and have only read the Atheist’s Holy Scriptures.

        “HL CHOSE to be involved. They could have chosen NOT to be involved.” How did they choose to be involved?

        Sorry about my sentence on abortion and the law. It was poorly written and not very clear. I meant to say that, when it comes to abortion, we have the same morals. Meaning that we both denounce murder. We only disagree as to when life begins. I’m not sure when you believe life begins, but I believe it begins at conception. I’m sure that at some point in a person’s life, you would identify the taking of a life as murder. Therefore, we do not disagree on the morality of the issue, only on the scientific definition of when life begins.

        “I have no problem with gluttony, sexuality is no taboo nor limited to a different-sex partner nor limited to a married spouse, I have no problems with using drugs/drinking alcohol (with moderation), I have no problems with abortion. That does not mean that I am doing all those things myself,”

        The intellectual dichotomy of that statement astounds me. Let’s be honest. You do not do those things because you know they are harmful. Yet how can you not love your fellow man enough to help them by admitting those habits are harmful? Christians do not judge the person, but like everyone else, we judge the behavior. When the behavior is harmful, we say so. Jesus loved the prostitute and saved her from judgment, but he did not save her sins from judgment. When she thanked him for saving her life from stoning, he said, “sin no more.” He saved her from judgment, but he also cared enough about her to tell her that prostitution is harmful, and thus helping her even more. And let’s be even more honest. You, in fact, *do* make judgment about other people’s behavior. You did it with me even. You told me that making personal attacks is wrong and that I shouldn’t be so condescending. So let’s be real. Do you really stand by your statement? – “As long as it’s legal it’s not a crime and everything other is none of my business. And it shouldn’t be yours or anybody elses either.”

        All of those things, (gluttony, sex outside of marriage) that you mentioned are sins. These sins are mentioned in many religious texts. These sins also adhere to the second definition of sin, which is, any reprehensible act. You find these actions not to your liking for the same reason that religious people finds these actions sinful, i.e. they are harmful. If you want to parse words, and not use the word “sin” then fine, but you can be courteous enough to allow me to use the word “sin” because, at the end of the day, we are both talking about the same thing, i.e. a harmful act.

        as for “circumventing your responses,” I did not do it on purpose. What did I ignore? I’ll be glad to address it.

      • Laura Hurt

        I was never taught religion, nonetheless I have morals. Ergo, morals do not come from religion. That is a really very arrogant standpoint in my opinion. As if mankind can’t behave if there is no parent to tell them it’s wrong.

        Terribly misinformed huh?

        However, you may purchase male or female slaves from
        among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of
        such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You
        may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent
        inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel,
        your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

        (Deuteronomy
        20:10-14)
        As you approach a town to attack it, first offer
        its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to
        you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they
        refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the
        LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may
        keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You
        may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

        That’s ten minutes work. Two examples. I can give more but I’ll leave it at that.

        The behaviors that I stated I find not sinful and not harmful. Therefore I will not, ever, tell other people not to behave that way. Any other thing I will leave to them. If THEY have a problem doing it and they come to me for advice or help, I will help them make a decision that fits THEM, not a decision that fits me. Because it’s their life and their decision. My opinion about their choices is not relevant. They can ask for it, and at most I would say that it would not be my choice. But never ever will I impose my choice on them.

        I do NOT judge other people. As I stated, when you are doing something that is harming ME, that’s a different story. So when you make this a personal issue, yes I will draw the line there. But your choices are your choices. It’s never up to me to judge you for your choices, nor to tell you on my own behalf, that your choices are wrong. In my view, there really IS no sin. There is crime and there is personal morals, and the first is punishable by law and the second is none of your business. Sure you are free to use the word sin, but you are trying to make ME use the word sin or at least admitting that I really am talking about sins, and I am not. There is no objective person determining what is wrong or not. There may be things wrong for you, but that does not mean that those things are wrong for me. As illustrated by that short list that I gave, you find them sinful, but I am totally ok with them, some of them I do myself and some of them I don’t, but all of them are ok for me, unless it’s hurting me or unless it’s hurting the person himself, on his own admission, and not just in my view.

      • paulmurrey

        Can you name a single moral value that you have, that was not identified, first, by a religion? Can you name even one tenet, not named by the ancients? Do you think that you have created something new under the sun? Do you think that you just magically invented this morality on your own, without the help of thousands of years of humanity, and billions of religious people, and millions of teachers, millions of books and papers written on the subject that have saturated every aspect of the airwaves? How are you immune to this information? Do you have some secret force field that kept this information away from you? Are you so special and so “arrogant” as to believe that you dreamed this morality up all by yourself, with no influence from your environment? Is this not the apex of “arrogance?” Can you name even one piece of morality that was not first identified by a religion?

        “The behaviors that I stated I find not sinful and not harmful.” How is gluttony not harmful? How is sex outside of marriage not harmful? How is excessive drugs/alcohol not harmful?

        The Bible passages are about slavery and killing for a certain people, at a certain time, in a certain place, under a certain condition. The passages are part of a story. They are not laws that apply to how we should live, and they have nothing to do with the subject at hand. The Ten Commandments are laws that we will always practice. HL is practicing the “not kill” law. It is a well established law in all societies and all religions, so HL has a right to practice the law.

      • Laura Hurt

        There are many many people in the world who are not religious. There are cultures that are not religious and still they manage to survive and to have a culture and to have a society. So no, morals do not come from religion. I am not arrogant, I am just a bit tired of this discussion, since you are hammering down on religion being the core of morals and it simply is not. I was taking an easy way out and that did come out as sounding arrogant. Of course I did not come up with my own morals all on my own. On the other hand, since I was not brought up religious I was free to choose my own morals and this is what I came up with. Not bad for someone without religion, right?

        Not harmful as in not harmful to others. Again: you are free to do what you want with your own life, as long as you don’t harm others. That’s the difference between you and me. You see murder as a sin, I see it as a crime. You see sex outside of marriage as a sin, I fail to see where it can harm anyone (unless you are married and are having sex outside of your marriage and your partner did not agree to that and gets hurt, but than you are talking again about doing something that is harmful to another). Everyone has a right to make his or her own choices, nobody has the right to tell you that you are wrong.

        Take the story of the prostitute. All nice and well that Jesus told her not to sin, but after that she died of hunger because she couldn’t do anything else to make money. Being a prostitute is a job and one that purely exists because of the MEN that wants them. It’s the MEN who are sinning, not the prostitute. To judge the prostitute to do a job that men want her to have is morally more wrong than being a prostitute. Rarely any woman is a prostitute because she likes it. They are because they don’t know what else to do, or because they are forced.

        Oh right, the bible-is-for-that-moment-argument. If it goes for THOSE passages, than who is to choose which passages are still counting now? The bible is either gods word and then they are ALL still valid, or you get to pick and choose but then you got to admit that it can’t be gods word. Then it;s just a book of nice stories and you, like I, choose your own morals, and you choose to name them as sins and use them to judge others on. As in the story about my sister in law, who lives in a dreadful marriage but stays because she has been made terrified of hell, thanks to stories about your ‘loving god’.

      • Stephen Ramey

        I suspect what Laura is arguing, and rather articulately, is that laws are not based on the concept of “sin” or “moral harm” but on the concept of actual harm and fairness. We don’t ban murder because it’s a “moral sin” but because it causes social harm (one person infringing upon another’s right to live). You keep wanting to entangle your morality with social policy, which is kind of the whole problem with this ruling. It’s absolutely fine for someone who does not believe in using contraception to not use contraception, but it’s a very different can of beans to tell someone else they can’t use it because it’s a sin in your rule book. Are you willing to behave as I want you to behave if I have a rule book I really, really like? Maybe I’ll have you stop driving a car/truck because my rulebook says that burning fossil fuels damages the planet and is therefore wrong. We both know it IS wrong to damage the planet, after all. That’s essentially what you advocate when you say a stockholder should define morality for others.

      • Laura Hurt

        Thanks Steven 🙂 Very nice to hear 🙂

      • paulmurrey

        A difference without a distinction. Sin, moral harm and actual harm are all the same. They are all harmful. I challenge you to provide examples that shows that this is not the case.

      • Stephen Ramey

        Of course there’s a distinction unless you define the distinction away. Sin is a religious ruling. Moral harm is a philosophic concept. Actual harm is measurable in the real world. Thus, while it might be a sin to worship a different god, there’s no real measurable harm to the individual. And while it may be a sin to draw a cartoon depicting Mohammed, there’s no actual harm to the individual (and you would not likely see it as morally harmful, where others would).

      • paulmurrey

        If someone worships the god of money, or any false god, then they will experience an actual harm. Their desires and belief system will become corrupted by that false god. Making a graven image causes actual harm by reducing that individual to a small, subset of themselves. In the case of a cartoon, it is a false image all together. If I take a picture of you, drunk, then I have captured a part of you, and I can use that image for nefarious purposes. You have heard that many “native” or traditional populations, such as American Indians or African Massai, do not like their picture to be taken, because, “it steals their souls.” This belief is rooted in the fact that when someone creates an image of another person, that image can be used in a false way, to create a false story line. There is a reason why the book is always better than the movie.

        You may see these acts as small, insignificant, perhaps even “harmless”, and I may even agree with you. I love taking pictures and I think that a carton of Mohamed was an over reaction by Muslims, but my thoughts on the matter does not make it so. These actions have consequences, real, actual harm, however small.

      • Stephen Ramey

        And there, you’ve made my case for me. Because you believe it, it must be true for everyone. By your reasoning, taking a photograph of a person is morally wrong because it offends some segment of a population. Shaving my beard is morally wrong too, then, as is wearing mixed fabrics, or driving an automobile, or wearing a hat or not wearing a hat, or being left-handed, or eating meat. Your worldview is fine for determining how you live your private live, but I don’t want it dictating how I live mine any more than you would want my worldview dictating how you live yours. So, maybe we should agree that it’s best to keep religion out of public policy altogether.

      • Laura Hurt

        I agree. Paul wants to throw all things together, but there are different words because there are different meanings. Crime and sin are not the same. Crime is objective, as in harmful to others or harmful to society. Sin is subjective, in the eyes of the beholder. Sin is a judgment on an action itself, not on its consequence.

      • paulmurrey

        It seems that the only way that you can win an argument is to put words in my mouth. If that is the case, then you don’t need me. You can just argue with your self.

        I did not say that images are wrong because it “offends”. I said that an image can create a false story. You’ve let the media make your talking points. The cartoon was not wrong because it offended. It was wrong because it created a false story. The harm was actual.

        I watch movies, TV, read cartoons, and take pictures, just like everyone else, so we all take these things with a grain of salt, and we enjoy them, but we cannot deny that these images are not reality. Perhaps they are close, but not full reality. Consider what a picture of Jesus does. Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus that was accurate? The pictures create a false story. It shows Jesus with blonde hair and blue eyes. That false story has a consequence. We may consider it to be a small consequence, but you cannot deny that it has an effect..

      • Jillz

        Whether or not crime and sin are the same thing or not is not the point. Religious freedom means you are free to believe whatever you want — but so am I. The issue is that religious believers try to impose THEIR beliefs upon others.

      • jwinters

        You say that ‘The issue is the religious believers try to impose THEIR beliefs upon others.’ Isn’t that exactly what the non-believers are trying to impose upon the owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Products (the other plaintiff that keeps getting left out because they’re a much smaller company). How is it NOT right for them to impose their beliefs (via their health insurance) on their employees (who have a choice to work there or not) but it’s ok for YOU to impose YOUR belief on the owners of these companies? Explain that please.

      • Jillz

        No, non-believers are not trying to IMPOSE their beliefs on others – that would involve forcing others to make lifestyle choices that they don’t believe in. That’s what HL is doing.

        Nobody is asking the owners of HL to USE those contraceptives which WOULD be imposing other beliefs on them. HL is required to provided health insurance (not contraceptives) to their employees and it is their CHOICE to hire employees. If they choose to hire employees and they don’t want to pay for coverage that includes certain contraceptives, they have the option to pay the penalties as outlined by law. Instead, they chose to force their beliefs on their employees. These employees now have no coverage for four specific treatments, regardless of their OWN belief system. That’s forcing your religious beliefs on others.

        The amusement is already starting on this ridiculous decision anyway. I’ve already heard of two challenges to the law – one a ridiculous claim by a job seeker who was not hired based on her voluntary assertion that she would fail to provide specific services of the clinic based on her OWN religious beliefs (so now of course she is being persecuted /sarcasm) and what I’ve REALLY been waiting for, a non-Christian religion challenging the law, as is the case with a Satanist group advising women to inform their doctors IN WRITING that invasive procedures (like a forced ultrasound prior to an abortion) is against THEIR religious beliefs.

        Will be interesting to watch the fallout of these hideous (HL and Conestoga Wood) decisions unfold.

      • jwinters

        It is also the employee’s CHOICE to work there as well, and knowing that the employer opposes certain contraceptives (but not all) if they don’t like it, then they can quit/not work there and go elsewhere. No one is forcing anyone to work for these companies.

      • Jillz

        I see the point you are making but it doesn’t change the fact that HL’s actions result in them imposing their religious beliefs on others.

      • Stephen Ramey

        Sorry that I misunderstood your point. Are you saying, then, that anything that is false to your belief system causes harm? Does it cause harm if someone worships a god that is false to me? Or is that reserved only for gods that you deem false? Does it create harm when someone denies Climate Change or Evolution? Which harms should we punish by law? If there’s no difference between a moral wrong, a sin, and a crime, shouldn’t we punish them all? I guess I’m having trouble figuring out who determines these absolutes you cling to. Is it you? The Bible? Some other mysterious source? If it’s objective truth we’re after, shouldn’t we worship the Big Bang? You seem like a bright guy, but I can’t quite get a handle on the reasoning behind these claims.

      • paulmurrey

        You asks good questions. When talking about this subject, there are some overriding factors to keep in mind:

        1 – we are all sinners.

        2- we are all fallible.

        Having said that; to answer your questions;

        Are you saying, then, that anything that is false to your belief system causes harm? To the extent that my belief system is true, yes, anything that is false, causes harm. To the extent that my belief system is false, then that is harmful.

        Does it cause harm if someone worships a god that is false to me? If you have true knowledge, then their worship of the false god will cause harm.

        Or is that reserved only for gods that you deem false? All false gods cause harm.

        Does it create harm when someone denies Climate Change? The overall theory of Climate Change is fairly new on our landscape. If it is true, then denying it will cause harm.

        Evolution? The theory of evolution has not been disproven despite bold attempts, although some aspects require more thought. To me, denying it causes harm.

        Which harms should we punish by law? In my opinion, we should punish or better yet, manage, transgressions according to the measure of harm placed on society. The most harmful transgression require more management. Small personal slights do not need government intervention.

        If there’s no difference between a moral wrong, a sin, and a crime,…? Moral wrong, sin, and harm, are philosophical constructs based on values. There is no difference between them. The dictionary gives two definitions of sin, one based on religion, the other without religion, but both definitions connote wrong doing based on a value system. Crime is a legal construct. It is a derivative of moral values. The sin was identified first, the crime came latter.

        …shouldn’t we punish them all? We should manage them all. Management ranges from, making a general, public statement that an act is sinful…to the other end of the spectrum of capital punishment.

        I guess I’m having trouble figuring out who determines these absolutes you cling to. Is it you? Yes. Who else? 🙂

        The Bible? Inanimate objects cannot make determinations. We can learn from books, but we cannot ask them to make decisions.

        Some other mysterious source? If we had contact with a mysterious source, then it would cease to be mysterious.

        If it’s objective truth we’re after, shouldn’t we worship the Big Bang? Isn’t it just a theory? People worship according to their faith. If you have faith in the Big Bang Theory, then you can worship it. I suspect that you probably do. However, to what ever extent you are wrong, then you will cause your self harm. Still, we should worship objective truth.

      • Stephen Ramey

        Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your cogent responses. I appreciate that. You should note for future reference that a “Theory” is the highest confidence in science. The Theory of Gravity, for example has stood the test of time (so far), as has the Theory of Evolution, and the Big Bang Theory (though over a somewhat shorter span). The general usage of theory is a different animal altogether. That said, the chasm between us seems insurmountable, as you posit an absolute truth that cannot ever be measured, but can be understood through divine revelation (but whose divine revelation do we trust–there are so many)? Which simply brings us back to the beginning. If we cannot agree on basic rules for morality, why not agree on those with measurable effects? Murder, rape, theft, etc. where the harm is measurable and undeniable. Managing other problems that we cannot measure or even see with any certainty, seems problematic, since it requires crowning one world view as the true king. Also, your point about faith–maybe it’s a semantic thing too–but why can we not worship real things too? I don’t know why the object of worship must be unknowable. But that’s for another day. I have deadlines looming. Thanks for a spirited conversation 🙂

      • paulmurrey

        “If we cannot agree on basic rules for morality, why not agree on those with measurable effects? Murder, rape, theft, etc. where the harm is measurable and undeniable. Managing other problems that we cannot measure or even see with any certainty, seems problematic, since it requires crowning one world view as the true king.”

        Can you provide an example of “other problems that we cannot measure?”

        In my opinion, people do worship real things. Examples are money, material goods, consumerism, political viewpoints, scientific theories, etc. The worship is subconscious, but powerful.

        As for getting on our hands and knees and professing worship, prayer, praise and devotion to something knowable, what would be the point?

      • Stephen Ramey

        How do we measure the damage done by a man saying “Goddamit!” in the privacy of his home? Or by using a contraceptive device? How do we measure the damage done to an atheist who mock-worships the spaghetti god? How much damage is done by someone kissing someone of the same sex? How do you measure the damage done by a believer misinterpreting a Bible verse in his own mind? How do you measure the damage of lustful thought? How much harm do I cause by honestly believing in a different god than you?

      • paulmurrey

        How do we measure the damage done by a man saying “Goddamit!” in the privacy of his home? We can’t measure it. (Assuming of course he doesn’t do it on Facebook. Big Brother has a ways to go yet.) But the man can measure it for himself. The man can measure his thoughts, in this case anger, as they turn into words. He can measure his words as they turn into actions. He can measure his actions as they turn into habits. He can measure his habits as they turn into character. Finally, he can measure his character as they turn into destiny. But all of that only accounts for the anger. Your question also points to taking the God’s name in vain, which, actually goes to creating a false God. By calling on God’s name in a false way, we are pretending that we know God, when really, we don’t know God. The first 3 Commandments all point to the same thing; do not worship a false God.

        Or by using a contraceptive device? we can measure the results of the side-effects. We can measure the rise in STD. We can measure the rise in emotional illness from poor relationships. We can measure the rise in the divorce rate.

        How do we measure the damage done to an atheist who mock-worships the spaghetti god? In my opinion, that can’t be measured. 🙂

        How much damage is done by someone kissing someone of the same sex? Homosexuals have a high suicide rate, depression, drug use, and STD rate. These can all be measured.

        How do you measure the damage done by a believer misinterpreting a Bible verse in his own mind? Depends on the Bible verse.

        How do you measure the damage of lustful thought? As the thought turns to action, it can be measured.

        How much harm do I cause by honestly believing in a different god than you? It depends on the god and its value system.

      • Stephen Ramey

        How do you measure the damage done by a man saying “Goddammit” on Facebook? Some people will nod, others will get offended. Same effect as someone saying “Jesus Saves!” really. What you want to measure is actions presumed to have been driven by impulses you deem unhealthy. But there’s really no reason to assume these actions will take place, or that the consequences you see are in fact dominant. STD’s have decreased thanks to effective contraception, as have unwanted pregnancies. You can argue that contraception increases sexual promiscuity, but I doubt you have actual evidence to support that. And what if shouting “Goddammit!” helps the man avoid the violent action he was contemplating in the moment before the thought? Is that more or less damage? The problem we have is that you prejudge impulses as good and evil, then derive consequences to fit that judgement. You presume god, then defend him. It’s all backward from a rational perspective, and yet you are a thoughtful guy all the same. I do appreciate that. It just doesn’t seem likely we can find a common ground.

      • paulmurrey

        I just did a quick search on STD and the pill, just to confirm my intuition, and yes, I’m right, birth control can increase STD.

        Notice, I did not say, shouting “dammit” is the problem. I said, the thought, i.e. anger, is the problem. Yes, I judge that anger causes problems. Do you disagree?

        First, everyone judges good and evil, including you.

        Second, how do you know I do not, first, see the consequence, and then judge the impulse as good or evil? Are you not being presumptuous?

        You haven’t shown me an example where there is not a negative consequence resulting from a traditional sin.

      • tiger16id

        Birth control can cause STD? How is that? What causes the STD transmission is unprotected copulation.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Did you notice the title of this Web Message Board?

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        ” Because you believe it, it must be true for everyone”, inversely, because you don’t believe it, it can’t be true for someone. Isn’t that Bigotry?

      • John Masters

        Surely you saw this response coming Stephen Ramey. They always claim it causes harm, but can’t ever actually pinpoint the harm caused.

        I’ve gotten engaged in this debate with @paulmurrey, but forgot a basic rule I’ve found invaluable. You can’t reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place.

      • paulmurrey

        Okay. I’ll pinpoint the actual harm. Let’s say that a business owner worships money. Let’s call them Hobby Lobby, just for brevity sake. At some point, this owner may decide to buy cheap goods from China so that their god will be good to them, and reward them with lots of godly essence. Now the “actual harm” of this is that China will use this money to perform more abortions, and little babies will die. What’s more, here at home, Hobby Lobby will be accused of being a money worshiper and a hypocrite.

        There’s a pinpoint example of how a sin translates to actual harm. Satisfied?

      • John Masters

        @paulmurrey, according to you, Hobby Lobby is not sinful…to you, they are heros for being free and following their religious convictions. So, no harm no foul I guess.

      • paulmurrey

        John, why are you putting words in my mouth? Is it so you can win an argument? Why don’t you just get two accounts, call them angel and devil, and just argue with yourself all day.

      • Nemisis

        Do you think the cross would not fall under the graven image category? Perhaps more so is the cross with an image of Christ upon it.
        It’s pretty convenient that the cross is not considered graven.
        It’s also convenient that Christianity claims all other gods to be false. Other than being a fallacy of logic it is pretty self serving. Which is, according to the bible, a sin. James 3:14-16

        Your closing statement is an example of morality and law and illustrates the difference. It also shows that morality is based in law not the other way around.
        Our morals provide the picture is harmless our laws reflect that. That there are cultures that believe that a picture captures the soul, for whatever reason, is a belief issue and their laws would prevent it.

        The bigger moral issue that is not addressed is that knowing of an objection based on someone else’s
        belief system or legal code then taking the picture anyway is a violation of ones own moral standard to do no harm real or imagined. Regardless of the physical aspect of the harm done. A person that would take the picture has committed the sin of selfishness by not considering the other person.

      • jamesfitzgerald

        The reason why the cross is not “considered” graven is because it’s not graven. The word graven is just another word for engraved. You don’t engrave something in wood. You engrave something in stone. It would be very stupid indeed if someone “considered” the cross to be graven.

        There is no fallacy of logic in claiming that all other gods are false. You have not got a clue about logic.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        I get it.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        “sin is a religious ruling”? Where did you come up with that one? Now your making it up as you go along.

      • tiger16id

        Sin, well that is not a word used in the Judicial System. Nor do any laws specify Evil. The Laws concern themselves with Human rights rather than morals. There is no moral harm crime, it is specified in the law itself. Our Nation is a Nation of LAWS not MORALS. What you may deem immoral is not necessarily against the law and what may be against the law is not always considered immoral.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        “(one person infringing upon another’s right to live)” ?? and who assigned that ‘right’? Government? What Gov’t gives, gov’t can take away. You game for that?

      • Laura Hurt

        As for the HL decision, as I said: an employer can choose not to buy the insurance themselves, then they have to pay a penalty via tax, but that penalty is a whole lot less than what they would have to pay for insurance. So yes, they CHOSE to get involved.

      • paulmurrey

        There must be some miscommunication. After last week’s SCOTUS decision, HL is not obligated to make a choice. Before, they were obligated to make a choice. In either case, HL did not “choose to get involved.” In one case they were forced to get involved. It wasn’t their choice. Now they are not forced to get involved. So they are doing what they’ve always wanted to do; not get involved.

      • Laura Hurt

        There are laws that we have to live by. As a society we have to have laws, and we have to choose to abide by those laws, even if we don’t agree with them, because we have to agree that having laws is for the benefit of society. There will always be people disadvantaged by certain laws, but that has to be taken in stride because it gets evened out by laws that are beneficiary to them. The health care law is one of those laws. Now, you can agree with that law or not, but you really have to stop calling it Progressives forcing people to have to live with that. Because that’s how laws work, as stated above.

        HL were, like everyone, forced to follow this law. This law states that employers with more than 50 employees have to buy insurance for their employees OR have to pay a tax fine. HL chose to get involved. And after that they chose to get moral about it. They could have stayed out of it altogether. They could have chosen to pay the tax fine and than they wouldn’t have to pay for the contraceptives either, but than they would have kept their religious noses out of the private lives of their employees. Yes, they CHOSE to be involved, because they could have chosen to pay the tax fine. It was not their choice to have to choose, but having to choose, they chose to get involved.

      • paulmurrey

        “we have to choose to abide by those laws, even if we don’t agree with them, because we have to agree that having laws is for the benefit of society.”

        I don’t understand. You said that you take drugs. You are breaking the law. Which one is it?

        Sodomy is against the law in most states. Do you support telling homosexuals how to behave?

      • Laura Hurt

        some laws are based on religious morals, like drugs and sodomy, no I don’t agree on that. I think all criminal laws about actions that have no harm for another should be banned. Thanks for pointing out that flaw, precisely making my point.

      • paulmurrey

        First, drugs and sodomy are harmful.

        Second, all laws, that have been firmly ingrained into law throughout history, like murder and stealing, were born from religious morals, based on sin.

        Third, you are talking in circles, contradicting yourself at every single turn. “…we must follow the law, even the one’s I disagree with. Well, not every law. Only the laws that I agree with. we shouldn’t impose our morals on everyone, but HL should follow my morals. I mean the old moral law, not the new law. but laws shouldn’t be based on morals. I don’t judge, but I judge HL to be morally wrong. I believe in freedom of choice, but HL can’t chose…”

      • Laura Hurt

        drugs is harmful to a person himself. Sodomy is only harmful if you don’t use enough lube. They are in no way harmful to other people. Murder and stealing are simply wrong because they harm others, that can objectively established. They are not wrong because god tells us or because religion tells us, they are wrong because they are harming other people.
        And no I am not contradicting myself. It is very simple. As you stated, there are laws that I don’t mind breaking because those laws are based on religious morals, like sodomy. It can be objectively established which laws are actual based on objectiveness, namely an action that has a victim outside of the person(s) committing that action, and those that are based on subjective religious morals, namely with the victim just being the person committing that act or a willing other (as in the case with sodomy). I am not saying HL should follow my morals, I am saying that HL had the opportunity within the law not to get involved and that they chose to be involved and then put their religious moral noses in the private lives of their employees where it doesn’t belong, because no individual (including companies) has a right to make other people live according to what they believe.

        You are mixing up two things. First there is trying to make other people live according to your beliefs, which is what HL is doing, the second is opposing that, what -I- am doing. I am not trying to make HL follow my morals, I am trying to get them to let ME follow my morals. There really is a big difference between the two.

        And again, nice skipping of other issues. If you wanna know which ones, read again, I don’t have to do your homework too.

      • paulmurrey

        “drugs is harmful to a person himself. Sodomy is only harmful if you don’t use enough lube. They are in no way harmful to other people.”

        Laura, I read your words of compassion and caring, and I see your picture of you standing by The Appalachian Mountains, and I get an image of a person who is spiritually connected to the world. But then I read, “…harmful to a person…not harmful to other people.” Laura, how can you care about people, but yet not realize that no man is an island? We are all connected. When we harm ourselves, we are harming others. Especially when it comes to sex. It’s no coincidence that gay men have an HIV transmission rate that is 21 times higher than heterosexuals. STD has devastating effects on billions of people around the world. This is real, actual harm.

        You’ve skipped over many of my issues, which is okay, everyone does it. Even me. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I’m not going to try to read your mind, nor will I admonish you for skipping over issues, because I certainly don’t expect you to read my mind. Nor do I expect you to read through all of the postings and try and play match game. If you want me to address an issue, then ask me. Be direct.

      • Laura Hurt

        Harming others when we are harming ourselves is a religious moral judgment. There is no such thing. You are not harming me when you are doing drugs, you are only harming yourself when you do it in a way that influences your life negatively. And I can pity you and I can help you and I can advise you. But not ever will you hear me say to you that you are doing something wrong or that you are harming others by doing that, unless you are in actions harming them (like stealing from them to buy the drugs with or attacking them while under influence).
        If my kid would be doing drugs in an excessive way that would influence his life in a bad way, he still would not be harming me. I would hurting if he would do that, absolutely. And I would try to help him, absolutely. Because he would be harming himself, because that’s not the life I would want for him, because I want my kids to fulfill their possibilities. But ultimately it is their choice how they want to live. And if they choose to live that way, that is their freedom of choice. And I can only accept that. And as long as they are not harming me with it, they will ever have my acceptance.

        Being harmed in a moral way is in the eyes of the beholder. Sin as you see it, is as if actions are wrong in and of themselves. I simply don’t believe that. That’s the difference between religion and morals. Religion wants you to believe that god is setting a sort of boundary within which things are good and outside which things are bad. I think life is simpler than that. You still can be good outside that framework and you still can be bad inside that framework. You need that framework to be good, I don’t. And you use that framework to judge the life and choices of others. Since I don’t have that framework, I don’t need to judge other people or their actions or their choices.

        About addressing issues, I wouldn’t write things down if I didn’t want you to address them, it would be kinda silly to write things that I’d rather have you ignore. So when you write me back, I address the issues you stated. If you tell me that I didn’t address them all, I will go back to your post and see what I didn’t address.

      • paulmurrey

        Laura says – “not ever will you hear me say to you that you are doing something wrong”
        “I don’t need to judge other people or their actions or their choices.”

        Hmmm…I must say Laura; that is quite a statement. It sounds really, really stylish. Very non-judgmental of you. Liberal. Open minded. Live and let live, you are. But is it true? In the short time I’ve known you; here are a few of your words that I just can’t quite square with that statement. Can you help me to reconcile that sentence with the follow words from you?:

        – “you shouldn’t have been condescending”

        -“That is a really very arrogant standpoint in my opinion.”

        -“then put their religious moral noses in the private lives of their employees where it doesn’t belong”

        -“It’s the MEN who are sinning” (my personal favorite since you also don’t believe in sin)

        – “drugs is harmful”

        -“Murder and stealing are simply wrong”

        “I have a sister in law who is in a dreadful marriage but she is not going to divorce her husband because of what religion has taught her: she is going to hell if she does. And since she is terrified of that, she stays. So she is behaving morally, at the cost of her present life. I don’t know about you, but to me that does not sound moral at all. That sounds horrible.”

        “The god of the bible has no problem with slavery, murder, incest, selling your own daughters as slaves, giving your own daughters to strangers to rape them etcetera. That does not sound moral at all.”

        Thanks Laura. I look forward to your non-circular response.

      • Laura Hurt

        ah so instead of a debate over the subjects we have a debate over the exact words I am using, how very interesting…. not. You are trying to catch me on my words and not on my ideas. Thanks, I just lost any interest in continuing this conversation.

      • paulmurrey

        What ideas??? That’s my point!!! You are inconsistent. You want everyone else to follow your rules, but you won’t follow them yourself, even worse, you claim that you have no rules, but still everyone else should follow them anyway.

        “Religious people are judgmental, but I’m not.”
        “HL should follow the law, unless I disagree with the law.”
        “HL should not impose their beliefs on others, but I can impose my beliefs on HL.”

        When hypocrites are exposed, they cut and run.

      • Laura Hurt

        I don’t care for your condescension. I don’t care for your lack of arguments and your turning towards personal insults. So far you seem to be the only one having a problem with understanding what I mean and what I am saying. So far you seem to be the only one who thinks that I make no sense. You want me to admit to things that I don’t think, you want to catch me on my words and take them out of context. Calling me a hypocrite while you are the one not understanding, well hahahaha, that’s typical of believers isn’t it. When they don’t understand, it is because it’s not-understandable, not because they don’t try to understand. You are so bent on not believing anything I say, you are so bent on not having your mind changed, that you can’t hear what I am saying, and instead of getting into the things I am actually saying you are now reverting towards word fencing and personal insults. You don’t know me, at all. You don’t know anything about me, you don’t understand anything about me. Not because I am not understandable, but because it’s impossible for you to consider anything outside of your own framework.
        THAT is why I am done with this conversation. Because the amount of personal insults is increasing, because the amount of condescending remarks is increasing, because the amount of real arguments is diminishing. Simply said: you are no longer saying anything worthwile responding to. Therefore I am done with this conversation. That has nothing to do with me being called out and running from it, that has all to do with a lack of substance to this conversation. A lack of substance to your side of this conversation, to be precise. Insulting me with calling me a hypocrite is really not gonna bring me back to the discussion. And this really will be the last thing I will say to you.

      • paulmurrey

        You admonish Christians for making judgments, then you say that you don’t judge, and then you make judgments, yet you don’t want to be identified as a hypocrite.

        Okay, I’ll cut you a deal. Stop admonishing Christians for being judgmental or stop making judgments or stop saying that you don’t judge. You can’t have all three. If we were being truly intellectually honest, then we wouldn’t even accept two of them.

        I make judgments about sinful behavior. I admit it. I don’t make judgments about people, because we are all sinners, and we are all hypocrites.

        Now what subject did I not address?

      • Jillz

        She’s not talking in circles at all, actually. She is making her argument clearly and consistently. She also said in a prior post that she herself does not personally participate in most (if not all?) of those examples she listed, only that she does not try to impose her own right or wrong belief system on those that do.

      • paulmurrey

        “She’s not talking in circles at all, actually. She is making her argument clearly and consistently.”

        Thanks Jill. I’m glad you see consistency, because I can’t. In fact my head is spinning. I have no idea who she really is and what she stands for. Perhaps you can explain the consistency of this perennial theme from Laura versus other statements she has made.

        From Laura – “not ever will you hear me say to you that you are doing something wrong” “I don’t need to judge other people or their actions or their choices.”

        Laura says this a lot, that she is not judgmental. She says it over and over, but then she follows it up with judgmental stuff. Can you help me to reconcile that sentence with the following words from Laura?:

        – “you shouldn’t have been condescending”

        -“That is a really very arrogant standpoint in my opinion.”

        -“then put their religious moral noses in the private lives of their employees where it doesn’t belong”

        -“It’s the MEN who are sinning” (my personal favorite since she also says that she doesn’t believe in sin)

        – “drugs is harmful”

        -“Murder and stealing are simply wrong”

        – “I have a sister in law who is in a dreadful marriage but she is not going to divorce her husband because of what religion has taught her: she is going to hell if she does. And since she is terrified of that, she stays. So she is behaving morally, at the cost of her present life. I don’t know about you, but to me that does not sound moral at all. That sounds horrible.”

        – “The god of the bible has no problem with slavery, murder, incest, selling your own daughters as slaves, giving your own daughters to strangers to rape them etcetera. That does not sound moral at all.”

        Thanks Jill. I look forward to your response.

      • Jillz

        She is consistently stating that she does not adhere to religious beliefs; that “sin” is something born of religion, and not objective while “crime” has a tangible, objective and measurable harm. As a non-religious person, her “morals” are not based on any religion, but based on the standards she holds for herself to describe and be a good person. She subscribes to the belief of “right and “wrong” based on these personally developed morals, which while not based on religion, do have similarities with what religions state is a sin. She has provided examples in order to attempt to illustrate her points, not necessarily as her literal position. Acknowledging that something doesn’t sound “moral” in a discussion about what religious morals are, is not inconsistent with her arguments (in my opinion).

        I have not found her posts to be judgmental, rather I have found her to be rather patient in trying different ways to explain her position. When she said you shouldn’t have been condescending, it was in a response to a condescending comment. When she is using your words (“sin” or “sinning” for example) it feels to me that she is trying to use language you understand to explain her position. I’m not sure what you are looking for with the list of quotes – all of them appear to back up a consistent argument that there is a difference between “sin” and “crime” unless you are a right-wing Christian.

        Paul, no offense, but from this reader’s perspective, you are trying to change her mind about her position on what constitutes right and wrong or “sin” and “morals”, and the labels they should have – pushing your beliefs on her; she seems just to be explaining her position without trying to push her beliefs on you.

        Laura, I posted this summary of what I believe your ongoing point is on request. Please forgive me for any errors if I have misperceived anything.

      • paulmurrey

        Thanks Jill. You make some good points.

        “which while not based on religion, do have similarities with what religions state is a sin.” I submit that those similarities are not mere coincidences. There is nothing new under the sun.

        “When she said you shouldn’t have been condescending, it was in a response to a condescending comment.”
        People who say, “I don’t judge, or I don’t tell people what to do,” and then turn around and judge, always point to truth and accuracy as the reason for their judgments. I guess, I’m supposed to respond; “Oh. Now I see. There is a **REASON** for your judgments. That makes sense. Everyone else has no reasons for their judgments. Only you.” But the point they seem to be missing is, “truth and accuracy” is the reason for ALL judgments, not just from those who pretend that they do not judge. People who say, “I don’t judge,” and then speak in long sentences about the nature of the world, walk a razor’s edge. Most cannot do it. I was simply kind enough to point it out. I value consistency, and so do a lot of people.

        I’m not foolish enough to try to change Laura’s mind, or your mind, or any one’s mind that I am directly speaking to. However, I know that I come to these boards because I learn something, almost every time. I write my opinion, and someone responds from a different angle, thus I benefit. Its a good learning mechanism.

        Thanks again Jill.

      • Laura Hurt

        Thanks Jill 🙂 Yeah that was a good summary. A shame he didn’t understand that either but that’s not for lack of clarity but for the impossibility for him to allow anything other than what he already is thinking. I gave up the discussion because of it. I am glad to hear that you at least understood what I was saying 🙂

      • John Masters

        Wow, now that was a bunch of word salad that made no sense. Paul, Laura is correct. Hobby Lobby had an option here. They could have just not provided health insurance. There is an allowance in the law for that.

        But answer these questions for me. 1. The insurance they provided prior to the ACA including coverage for these same drugs…why did not become so egregious for them until Obama Care required it? 2. They purchase a significant amount of their merchandise from a Country (China) which has, in many cases, government-forced abortions. Why, again, if participating in abortions is so egregious to the owners of Hobby Lobby, do they support the Chinese government economically, but not their own employees?

        See Paul, it is, for you, unfortunately not really an argument about their religious beliefs, it’s about money. So people don’t think the HL owners are some kind of Christian heroes…they worship money.

      • paulmurrey

        Why should HL be FORCED to pay money for abortion, or be FORCED to pay a penalty? That is not an free option. That is a slave’s option. Work or be beaten.

        They did the right thing. The asked for freedom, and they got it.

        1. The insurance they provided prior to the ACA including coverage for these same drugs…why did not become so egregious for them until Obama Care required it? It wasn’t until ACA that they were forced to subsidize murder. Prior to that they did not pay for murder.

        2. They purchase a significant amount of their merchandise from a Country (China) which has, in many cases, government-forced abortions. Why, again, if participating in abortions is so egregious to the owners of Hobby Lobby, do they support the Chinese government economically, but not their own employees? I don’t know. Fair question though.

        Maybe they worship money, maybe they don’t. I don’t know. A lot of people do. But I do know that I’m glad that I live in a country that has a Constitution that speaks to religious freedom, and I’m glad that at least 5 members of the Supreme Court can read.

      • John Masters

        1. But they were willing to “subsidize murder” (your characterization) prior to ACA. You didn’t answer the question. Why was it OK to do it then, but not now. Also, why are Quakers and others who object to war on religious grounds forced to support a standing army?

        None of our freedoms are absolute. Every freedom has the potential to run afoul of another’s freedom, and we live in a society…not as individual islands. You have freedom of speech, but you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. There’s the famous quip about your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, etc. Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to follow perfectly reasonable rules. We often set “minimum” requirements for things. Most states require you to have a driver’s license, and set some minimum standards to get that. If all freedoms are absolute, which can’t I just get in my car and go?

        The ACA didn’t require HL to do anything they were not already doing. They wanted nothing more than to lodge an objection to a specific law…not because of what it required them to do, but because of who got it passed.

      • paulmurrey

        “But they were willing to “subsidize murder” prior to ACA”.
        Are you sure? That’s not what I read. What is your source?
        If that’s the case then, no, its not okay.

        No one is happy with war. Even the war mongers are dissatisfied. However, national defense, so the theory goes, benefits everyone, even the pacifist.

      • John Masters

        Humans came along long before “religion” came along, and people managed to start, even early on, in developing some moral understandings…and they did so without religion…Oh, and from just which religion did all the “morals” of the world arise there Paul?

      • tiger16id

        I made the moral judgment to spend hundreds of dollars and spoon feed my companion when she was near death and saved her life. She’s a cat. Are pets in the Bible under morals?

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        The website’s titled “Forward Progressives” for a reason.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Once again, whom will you answer to if you get away with your crime? What is that penalty which you should suffer? To whom to you ask for absolution?

      • John Masters

        I find war immoral Paul, but I don’t get to reduce the taxes I pay by the percentage of them that goes to the Department of Defense…because we live in a Republic, where no one person gets the final say.

        Hobby Lobby is NOT a “someone.” I can’t believe that any Christian can believe that a corporation is a person. That would be blasphemy. There is, as was oft cited during the civil rights era, the curse of Ham, and many have a religious belief that black people are inferior. So, you’re OK that, so long as they believe for religious reasons, they have a right to discriminate against people of color?

        Also, you seem to think that everyone ordered to do something which now embarasses you was a sinner in their biblical story. Not true at all. The only man saved from the destruction of Sodom offered is daughters for gang rape, and then, BTW, had incestuous relations with them.

        God often ordered the killing of women and children (everyone in a town) not because of a moral judgement of them, but because he wanted the town for his people.

      • paulmurrey

        Not sure what race discrimination has to do with HL? Perhaps you mean that since people were wrong in the past, that you are wrong right now? Is that the relationship you are drawing?

        “you seem to think that everyone ordered to do something which now embarasses you was a sinner in their biblical story. Not true at all.”
        Yes, I say they were sinners. But you say that is not true. Please enlighten me. Which one of these Old Testaments characters was not a sinner? I’m sitting at your feet for this answer.

      • Nemisis

        Actually the Law permits abortion, so HL opposing that law is opposing god.
        Romans 13:1
        “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no
        authority except that which God has established. The authorities that
        exist have been established by God.”

        What I don’t see there are the words “Except Hobby Lobby”

        I contend that morality is a product of law not religion.
        Religion merely capitalizes on it.
        “Our belief system must be right, everyone already practices it.”
        I also suspect that if murder were legally allowed, there would be no moral objection and there would be far fewer ass-hats.

        There are some countries with deep religious ties that allow murder if preformed as part of a blood feud.
        Google this: Albania blood feud law pdf
        Blood feuds are disallowed here.
        Yet in Albania, it is morally acceptable to the point that it is a legal defense to murder.

      • Your translation of Romans 13:1 is inaccurate. The second sentence should read: “The authorities that be authorities have been established by God.” This second sentence is just reinforcing the first sentence. The gist of both sentences is that unless an “authority” is established by God it is not a legitimate authority. Hence, for example, Romans 13:1 teaches that a government established by thugs, like the Nazi government in Germany during World War II, is not a legitimate government. Our forefathers in the faith believed in this accurate translation of Romans 13:1. This is what allowed them to remove tyrants from their usurped positions. Baptists have always opposed this and have, hence, been enablers of tyrants.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        It is gov’t that has no problem with Sex Slavery, Military Industrial Complex Murder, RINO & DINO Political Incest and selling unborn babies (56 million) for convenience.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Ms. Hurt, in the religion of Gov’t; subordinating God, the laws of man are superior. Books like the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations are their ‘bible’. There is no higher authority to answer to if you violate your gov’t imposed ‘moral’ code if you don’t get caught. I can never violate my Moral Code nor can you, even if we don’t get caught, because both of us MUST answer to that higher authority. Our ‘Natural Rights’ exist no where in both the USC and CFR, and the Gov’t religion teaches to a Common Core that all things come from government. God is never mentioned purposefully.
        As graphically displayed here on “Forward Progressives’, these individuals have no God in their hearts or their heads, to temper them. and yet they insist they have ‘morals’. Laughable at best, frightening at worst. Yet I love them all, and will always accept them as they are. Pray.

      • Joe Logue

        The big problem here is I haven’t got a clue which sky daddy everyone is talking about. As for morals every religious person should stop lying to there children about some god that in all probability never existed. As for moses who was supposed to have written the first 5 books of the bible Lies. Did jesus, exist maybe but as a failed Jewish preacher.Paul is the biggy in the Christian world who never even knew jesus.

      • You are obviously big on making bald, unsubstantiated assertions. Since you do this, you are obviously not intelligent enough to know that doing this is a complete waste of time for everyone reading these assertions, including yourself. All such assertions are illegitimate and excluded from any intelligent conversation. Why is that? Because, if we include such assertions, then anyone can assert anything, which inevitably leads to moronic conversations, the type of conversations which you obviously prefer.

      • Laura Hurt

        Hahaha, wow, were you bored at work or something?
        If you’ve got something substantial to say, let me know….

      • Stephen Barlow

        0You’ve obviously got nothing. Post after post, you give a string of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which amount to nothing. Such assertions are inadmissible, since you did not substantiate them. So, you have yet to contribute anything to the discussion.0

      • John Masters

        Let’s see here Paul, nope, I didn’t learn my morality from those folks you named, but I also don’t need God alone to tell me what is moral or not moral.

        Also, your religious freedom is not being repressed. If you don’t believe abortion…please, don’t get one. If you don’t find that homosexual relations are of interest to you, by all means, don’t engage in one.

        That’s the the thing Paul. If gay folks were able to start marrying today in your home state, nothing would change for you. Tomorrow morning when you awake, you get to harbor the same hates in your tiny little heart that you have today. You get to say whatever prayer you want to say to whatever God you choose. You will get to go Sunday and worship (tax free) in whatever church you want to attend….NOTHING will have changed for you…so stop this oppression bull shit. You’re the one being deceived.

      • paulmurrey

        “you get to harbor the same hates in your tiny little heart that you have today.”

        What hates, exactly?

        By saying “tiny little heart”, are you being hateful?

      • Buster Baloney

        Does Paul Murrey even realize how ridiculous he sounds??? Salvation is an individual matter, and neither he nor his interminably retranslated (and mistranslated) “Holy Bible” deserves to establish the rules for everyone. Good luck on your salvation, Paul. I’d rather take personal responsibility for mine, and our Constitution gives me that right. If you like, you are free to follow your ancient book of rules, picking and choosing WHICH rules you wish to observe (as most so-called Christians do). And I am free to forsake your folly and follow my conscience, which instructs me to treat others the way I would like to be treated. I don’t set myself up as Judge the way you seem to feel entitled to do.

      • Nemisis

        James 4:17
        So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

        More appropriate to your comment is.

        Romans 6:23
        For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
        counter to your claim;
        “The idea that Christians try to lead a moral life simply for a reward in afterlife is a deception that atheist have created. ”

        Morality is not unique to the domain of theism.
        Every culture has it’s moral base.
        A social moral base is the result of people massing.
        People not exposed to other people develop their own moral codes of conduct. Strangely these codes are not so different when compared to codes of masses of people.

        What belief is being forced? The laws of man?
        The laws that collectively make up a culture are not a religious belief. They are a set of standards by which all participants in that society agree to adhere to.

        When one group decides that they no longer need to adhere to the collective group law, the group should be allowed to expel that dissenting group. That would make me quite happy in that there will no longer be fictitious complaints of a “War on Christianity.” The opening salvo of which was fired by Christians in the 1950’s as a fear tactic against communism. Every communist state mentioned in your comment has multiple religions. What they do not allow for is the elevation of one over the other. There are godless commies, but not all commies are godless and not all godless people are commies.

        Perhaps it is time for you to stop getting your information from the pulpit and research a little about the things that bother you.

        To quote you;

        “You have a right to your beliefs, but you don’t have a right to force your belief system on to other people.”

        Remember there is a difference between laws and beliefs.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        A slave to deception? and there’s your anti-God bigotry on full display. Good for you for being so open with your hatred and religious prejudice.

      • Guest

        You’re quite confused. You write “..for me, there are no sins”. That’s like saying, “…for me, there is no sky”. You don’t get to choose whether there are sins any more than you get to choose whether there is a sky. You’re living in a fantasy world, since you believe there are no sins. That makes you certifiably insane.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        “I will at the very least punish myself if I would act any differently.”; And what is that penalty for violating your moral code? If you don’t get caught, is there still a penalty? Do you give yourself absolution once you acknowledge your sin against yourself? What enforces your self-imposed penalty for your sin? Is Gov’t Law actually superior to God’s Law?

      • Joe Logue

        brilliant

      • Laura Hurt

        thank you 🙂

      • You’re quite considerably confused. You write “..for me, there are no sins”. That’s like saying, “…for me, there is no sky”. You don’t get to choose whether there are sins any more than you get to choose whether there is a sky. You’re living in a fantasy world, since you believe there are no sins. That makes you certifiably insane.

      • Laura Hurt

        As I said: wow, you were bored at work or something?
        You like going around and telling people they are ‘certifiably’ insane when they write things you don’t agree with?
        Sin is a religious invention. Since I don’t do religion, sin is as silly in my life as praying is. That does not make me insane, just like it doesn’t make you insane to believe and have sin and pray. To each his and her own.
        Please try keep discussions a bit civil. You’re not convincing when you are using such big words to scream at people who don’t agree with you.

      • Stephen Barlow

        00You’ve obviously got nothing. Post after post, you give a string of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which amount to nothing. Such assertions are inadmissible, since you did not substantiate them. So, you have yet to contribute anything to the discussion.0

      • John Masters

        Having recently finished leading an adult Sunday School study on Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and we’re now well into Kings. Let’s take a look at the claims here. First off, what might have been freedom for the Jews wound up being slavery for the Canaanites. At several points, God kept ordering Israel to kill everyone or run them out of the country, so there would be no intermingling. Freedom for the Jews, not for everyone else, and that seems to be the foundations for this “religious freedom” concept…freedom for me…not for those who believe different.

        We’re all glad you’re not a murderer, but as noted, God ordered lots of death of even women and children. All the other things you’ve chosen to “not be a slave” to are all good things, and millions of people make the same decisions to not be enslaved by those things, but they manage to do that based on their own morality, rather than having to convince themselves of some fire laden eternal damnation if they don’t abstain from those bad behaviors.

        And of course the idea that you’re not a slave to hate is just laughable. I suggest reading Micah 6:8…it’s pretty unequivocal.

      • paulmurrey

        As for Micah, I’ll repeat, for those of you who did not read my words, “My sins withstanding, I’m a slave to God.”

        As for Joshua, Kings etc. – it was another time, and another place, and another metaphor, and let’s be honest, probably another boast. We really don’t know what happened, but we do know that the Egyptians, Assyrians, and the Babylonians ran a slavery based economy. The people of Canaan/Israel escaped those powerful regimes, at least for a while. They wanted freedom. Looking at the number of people that Israel would need to make freedom happen, they would need to assimilate with Canaan rather than annihilate Canaan.

      • John Masters

        And yet @paulmurrey, the God to whom you and they were “slaves” did not tell them to assimilate, he told them to annihilate the Canaanites.

      • Marga Watrous

        I choose love, truth, beauty, and grace as well, but not because I think an imaginary entity living in the clouds bestowed it on me. I can live that way without religion.

      • paulmurrey

        Are you an atheist?

      • Nemisis

        God gives people the freedom of free will.
        To be who they want to be.
        God will not judge you on how holy you think you live.
        God will judge you on how you live as you want to live.
        If you are good by nature or evil by nature.
        It is well established that evil lurks in the hearts of those that are supposed to be the most holy of all humans.

        Judgement is the domain of god and god alone.
        That is from the Christian Bible.

        Perhaps, it is time for Christians to let that part of the bible dominate their lives.

      • Judgment is not the domain of god and god alone. The Bible teaches no such thing. Jesus Christ explicitly said to his disciples: “Judge righteously.” What is forbidden to us is unrighteous judgment, not judgment. You can see this clearly in all of the Scriptural verses which are taken out of context to try and support the idea that we are not supposed to judge. The idea that we are not supposed to judge is preposterous. One can scarcely move about without being confronted with the need to make a judgement. Oh, my dear that fellow is robbing the drugstore, but I’m not supposed to judge. So, I’ll just let him do it.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Hey Rubber stamp Fitzgerald!! You type the same garbage to EVERYBODY!!!

        You’ve obviously got nothing. Post after post, you give a string of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which amount to nothing. Such assertions are inadmissible, since you did not substantiate them. So, you have yet to contribute anything to the discussion.11 1

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Sweet words, well spoken. But truly lost on the crowd here.

      • Joe Logue

        slavery was abolished numbskull or did you no know.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Fail Ms. Hurt.

      • Laura Hurt

        Well, what a well-put argument, you convinced me completely ^ ^

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Was there even an inkling of steering you off your path to damnation? I was just looking to be counted as someone who counters your ideology. But to exhibit a venomous bigotry as you are, is very unbecoming.
        Read below my posts and respond with your best. I will be waiting.

      • Laura Hurt

        you can wait all you want.
        I reread the thread, saw your posts, hardly saw any arguments that made sense.
        “But to exhibit a venomous bigotry as you are” yeah that’s really inviting me to a new debate. No thanks.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        Seems that’s what works here. Your Stephen Barlow/Steve Brains has to be pried out of his hole to post a coherent sentence (as difficult as it is for him), and that Teabagged fellow is even harder to winch a few syllables out of.
        If you want a robust debate without the negativity as projected by the rabble here, I would be more than obliging. This isn’t my first rodeo.

    • lowdf62

      The HL decision was wrong by giving Christians the right to refuse to pay for something they do not believe but not allowing other religions the same right. That itself is Unconstitutional

      • paulmurrey

        1 – Forcing someone to pay for abortion, or contraception or anything that they find repulsive, IS slavery. The HL decision provided freedom, and removed the slavery.

        2 – I’m not sure what you mean by “not allowing other religions the same right.” That’s not true. Any and all religions can choose to free themselves from the slavery of being forced to pay for other people’s abortions. Not just Christians.

      • ThorstenVeblen

        I find it repulsive that we have a huge, bloated military that goes to other countries and kills hundreds of thousands of people for political reasons or reasons of power and hegemony. Stone cold murder of innocents. And if you think that innocent children did not get killed in the Iraq war, or the Afghanistan war that is STILL going on, then I’ve got some land in Arizona to sell ya, pal. And Obama, who I like in most things, is STILL using drones to kill people all over the world, with innocents blown up as collateral damage. More stone cold MURDER. And yet, and yet, I am still FORCED to pay for all this with my tax moneys. Is that not SLAVERY, Mr. Murrey, by your definition? I would say that it is, and that abortion is NOT slavery because abortion is NOT MURDER. The Bible says that it isn’t. WHAT? That’s right. The Bible says that fetuses are not people. WHAT? That’s right. The Bible says that people are NOT ALIVE and not people until they are BORN, and G-d “breathes the breath of life into them.” (Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4) Therefore, abortion is fine. I would especially think it is okay if the Bible says that you are allowed TO STONE YOUR CHILD TO DEATH for being disobedient. Certainly if you had that kind of power over a child, then you could wield that same power over a fetus that was not even a person.

        Two can play at this game.

      • paulmurrey

        “God breathes the breath of life into them.” (Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4) ”

        Fetuses get their breath of life via the umbilical cord, rather than a nose, but they still get the breath of life. Their blood is oxygenated from the same oxygen, made by the same God, that we breath.

        Two can play, but only one can win.

      • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

        YOU are the one saying that the breath of life is via the umbilical cord—–not everyone believes that—so does that make YOU right and everyone who believes differently WRONG? NO! Just believe whatever the hell you want and leave other people alone—don’t you have enough to do just managing your own life? I would think that would be the case in most people in the world that we live in today! I’ve gotten along quite well without someone else’s opinions and ideas telling me what is acceptable and what isn’t.

      • paulmurrey

        “not everyone believes that”

        So, other than the umbilical cord, how does a fetus get air? Do you have some other belief?

      • John Masters

        You know what she meant. Now you’re just being a turd. She certainly meant that not everyone believes God breathed life into them. Not everyone believes that God created oxygen.

        But, of course you know she means, you just don’t have a good answer, so you try to change the question to suit your reasoning capabilities.

      • paulmurrey

        Read the thread John Masters. I was responding to Thorsten. I was keeping in line with his arguments.

        If she wanted to say that, “Not everyone believes that God created oxygen,” then she should have responded to the originator, Thorsten, not me.

        You are like a child who walks into the middle of a movie….

      • paulmurrey

        “not everyone believes that”

        So, other than the umbilical cord, how does a fetus get air? Do you have some other belief?
        Perhaps Druid fairies supply air to the fetus? Maybe Harry Potter waves his wand?

      • John Masters

        What if I find it repulsive that I have to serve black folks in my restaurant Paul? By your logic, I get to refuse them service. If that’s what you believe, then you have no place in a civil discussion.

      • paulmurrey

        Nice straw man. You owe me a quarter for using my name. Instead of replying to me, why don’t you just get a second account and just argue with your self, because you obviously don’t need me in your arguments. You can build up you own weak arguments as you like, and then burn them down as you like.

    • RINOVirus

      With all the references to slavery in the bible it is not a “beacon of freedom”. It is a book of Bronze Age morality tales, written by committee centuries ago that has no relevance in today’s world. It’s funny that you talk about rights of people while giving rights to something that is not a person. You and those like you are building an abomination, a being with all the rights and freedoms of a citizen with none of the responsibilities.

    • ThorstenVeblen

      It is to laugh. The Bible is a beacon of freedom? Read it. Apparently you haven’t. It subborns slavery, says you can STONE CHILDREN TO DEATH for being disobedient (Deuteronomy 21:18), people can be stoned to death for cursing or blaspheming (there goes everyone in Hollywood that ever made a movie with G-D in it — go on, Mr. Murrey, get some stones together and head out to Hollywood — the Bible demands this! – (Leviticus 24:16), people can be stoned to death for committing adultery (there goes about 50% of the adult population)(Deuteronomy 22:23), any woman who is not a virigin when she gets married (Deuteronomy 22:13) There goes about 75% of the women in the USA; anyone who worships other gods should be stoned to death (there goes all Buddhists, Jainists, Shintoists, Hindus, Zorostrians, Wiccans, Pagans)(Deutoronomy 17:2) for doing ANY work on Saturday (Numbers 15:32)…that’s the Hebrew sabbath, not Sunday. I can continue, but I think I made my point. But you will deflect, deny, call me names, what have you. I can never turn your brain around. And that’s just sad.

    • Nemisis

      Your history appears to come directly from the bible.

      Everything about the Hobby Lobby ruling is a violation of the 1st amendment.
      Hobby Lobby owners Greene claims to be a devout Christian yet willingly violates the instructions to a Christian on how to be a Christian whenever it is more convenient or money saving for them.

      HL does not work their employees on Sunday. Except in December.
      HL keeps the money it’s employees earn each day rather than pay them each night as directed by the bible.
      HL sells blended fabrics.
      All of these things are in violation of the biblical instructions.
      Had SCOTUS taken into account the behavior and actual religious observance practices of HL they should have ruled against HL instead it looks like a pay-off. The Greene family is ChINO.
      (Christian In Name Only) as are many other so called Christians.
      Additionally, on this, the bible instructs that Christians obey the laws of man in Romans 13:1 (New Testament)
      “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no
      authority except that which God has established. The authorities that
      exist have been established by God.”

      So what HL did was petition the court to allow it to go against gods will, only the devil would do that.

      I fully expect to see a new version of the bible soon that will allow for all of these violations in order to stem the flood of souls to hell.
      In other words, to make it so it is no longer a sin to do these things.

      The bible is not a beacon of freedom, it is rather a means to get the masses to voluntarily enslave themselves to a massive pyramid scheme. Pyramid Schemes are disallowed by law. (I just realized it, no pun was intended.)

      Chariots. Egypt did not have the wheel.
      Slaves. Egypt hired the Israelites as mercenaries.
      Israel was not a mecca of freedom .

      Israel had the majority of their slaves from among themselves.

      Some sold themselves into slavery (Leviticus 25:39; Deuteronomy 15:12-17); others were sold to pay debts (2 Kings 4; Nehemiah 5:1-8). Jewish slaves could not be held for more than six years and were given a choice to leave (Exod.21:2). they could voluntarily choose to remain: (Exod.21:5-6).

      Keep in mind this information comes directly from the bible so it may be just a pack of lies.

      What scotus ruled was that the ACA provision requiring employers to provide health insurance (that the employee pays a premium for) that covers contraception was violating the presumption of religious beliefs. Numbers 5:17-31 when and how an abortion my be obtained.

      Leviticus 27:6 Life begins to have a value after one month.

      Numbers 3:15 only male babies over month old are to be considered a person.

      Hosea 13:16 more instruction as to what to do with your enemies babies and pregnant women. IE: dashed upon the ground and bellies ripped open.

      Genesis 38:24 points to the biblical value of the fetus.

      “Tamar was found to be pregnant and because she was a widow, without a husband, she was assumed to be a prostitute. Her father-in-law Judah ordered that she be burned alive for her crime. If Tamar’s twin fetuses had been considered to have any value whatsoever, her execution would have been delayed until after their birth. There was no condemnation on Judah for deciding to take this action. (Judah later changed his mind when he found out that HE had impregnated Tamar when she posed as a prostitute.)”

      Numbers 31:17-18 Indicates god’s value of the fetus.

      “Now, kill all the boys. And kill every women who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. ”

      Moses, under orders from God, ordered the soldiers to kill every boy and non-virgin woman. Many of the latter would be pregnant so their fetus was killed too. Thirty two thousand female virgins were spared because they had value to the men. The fetuses were destroyed, because they were perceived to have no value.

      Deuteronomy 2:34 God on ethnic cleansing

      “And we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed every city, men, women, and children; we left none remaining;…”

      They exterminated all of the people, including children and the fetuses of pregnant women –- under the instruction of the God.

      This is an early example of ethnic cleansing.

      So, Paul Murray, I put to you this question.

      Are you a Chino, do you know your bible?

      If you know your bible why would you, or any Christian, want to adhere to it’s instructions. The way of life that Jesus talked about would fill a tri-fold pamphlet, with illustrations.

      I will finish up here with what the bible says about being a ChINO.
      Matthew 23:23

      I am trying to shake your religious belief in that the bible is not what Christians should follow as it is not very Christ-like.

      They should follow Jesus’s word. Not what some self-serving “prophets” claim. According to Jesus, people should come to him of their own accord, willingly and not coerced or tricked or shamed or forced. That means you can not legislate Christianity onto the people. In biblical terms that is separation of church and state.

    • youcantgetridofmethateasy

      Nice retort.

  • Stephen Barlow

    What REALLY disturbs me is that they want to unilaterally apply ALL their personal beliefs to the lives of ALL others. But they are selling their BELIEFS and hallucinations AS IF they were FACTS!!!

    Tobacco has carcinogens in it. FACT.
    Smoking tobacco is a leading cause of cancer. FACT
    Praying reduces your cancer risk because my Mommy said so. HUNH????

    Alcohol is a leading cause of heart disease and diabetes. FACT
    NOT drinking alcohol increases your chances of a healthier life. FACT
    Satan owns your soul and repenting the sins My Mommy says you have and accepting Jesus will save you! HUNH??

    The point is that the beliefs they wish to inflict on EVERY single living human are ALL theoretical, hypothetical, arbitrary and the very FACT that they are screaming “Religious Freedom!” while they do this is hypocritical and malicious. Which makes it DOUBLE heretical, as it violates 2 of the commandments, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALES WITNESS and THOU SHALL HONOR THEY MOTHER AND FATHER.

    BEcause how are you honoring your parents if you are LYNG 24/7?

    The whole of religion, ALL sects and dialects, is the taking of faith, the imaginary understanding and explanation of the universe and all it’s history on the word of another who sell his crap to you.

    To have you income and healthcare DEMAND you take your Boss’ faith as your own is NOT Religious Freedom.

    • Nemisis

      WTH! Nice post Barlow. I knew you had it in you.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Took you a WHILE! TY

      • Nemisis

        Been away.

      • Stephen Barlow

        You just don’t read well all the time.

      • Nemisis

        Sometimes your a very hard read.

      • Stephen Barlow

        I know. I was reading classics in 4th grade and i always sound pompous and as hard as I try to cut My sentences in 1/3’s , I am too much like Faulkner and Dennis Miller had a baby and named him Ralph. Which is Choctaw indian for “Pukes His Words.” LOL

        I am quitting This blog because the decent people are intentionally outnumbered by the Oy’s and other holes. intentionally by the management I think. I wrote Allen and if I hear nothing about the law suit by Wednesday, I file in Federal Court for Hate Speech.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        You’re quitting? Because this isn’t a safe-haven for your baby of a political pathology?
        Gee Buddy, I’m gonna miss you not being around.
        Just don’t go away mad,,, Take care there Steve Brains.

      • Stephen Barlow

        NOpe, the Atlantic offered Me a JOB!!!!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        oink [email protected]#$%^&*()_

      • Charles Vincent

        Priceless I will be the first witness with evidence he is a lying sack of crap doling out the hate speech by the ton. And his case will get crapped on by the unclean hands rule in law.
        unclean hands
        n. a legal doctrine which is a defense to a
        complaint, which states that a party who is asking for a judgment cannot have the help of the court if he/she has done anything unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit. Thus, if a defendant can show the plaintiff had “unclean hands,” the plaintiff’s complaint will be dismissed or the plaintiff will be denied judgment. Unclean hands is a common “affirmative defense” pleaded by defendants and must be proved by the defendant. Example: Hank Hardnose sues Grace Goodenough for breach of contract for failure to pay the full amount for construction of an addition to her house. Goodenough proves that Hardnose had shown her faked estimates from subcontractors to justify his original bid to Goodenough.

      • youcantgetridofmethateasy

        But wait, the title of this web-message board is “Forward Progressives’ after all. It is run by two of the most loosely self- defined ‘Socialists’ with their own ISP in These United States.

    • youcantgetridofmethateasy

      And Stephen Hawking’s explanation that the Big bang occurred out of nothing works for you? “The universe can create itself out of nothing,” declares Stephen Hawking. So Steffy, can you quantify nothing?
      ——————————————————-
      So something for nothing just happens to fit perfectly with your ‘Entitlement’ political ideology.
      ——————————————————-
      And Commie-Please, if you want condoms and birth control pills, just buy them yourself. Are you really having Sandra Fluke quantities of sex?

      • Stephen Barlow

        Makes MORE sense than a monumental father of all father’s named Gepetto making a boy out of clay when wood lasts longer and you can PLAY with a wooden boy!!

      • Stephen Barlow

        oink____—1234567890-)(*&^%$#@!

    • TaxPaying American Voter

      Thanks Stephen, finally common ground.

      • Stephen Barlow

        yay!

    • Don’t you know that raising straw men is a moronic activity?

      • Stephen Barlow

        yeah, but they are a great desert crop. They don’t use much water and take almost zero feed as well.

        it’s Why john McCain sells them every Sunday Morning on the RED NEWS NETWORKS.

      • Well, then, your error is more egregious than I had realized. You’re not only a moron, you’re an obstinately incorrigible moron.

      • Stephen Barlow

        Thank you.The last half of that is the only honest thing you have typed since before ipods.

      • Stephen Barlow

        You’ve obviously got nothing. Post after post, you give a string of bald, unsubstantiated assertions, which amount to nothing. Such assertions are inadmissible, since you did not substantiate them. So, you have yet to contribute anything to the discussion.0 0

  • Eg Kbbs

    Some concrete examples, google Al Bedrosian in the Roanoke, VA area who won’t let non-Christians lead the opening invocation – because he doesn’t believe what they do, if “they” pray it infringes on his religious liberty.

    Can also search youtube for senate hindu prayer and see that happens to a hindu delivering an opening prayer at the US Senate.

  • u_go_guys

    ~
    As unsavory and disgusting as this might sound, the influx of the refugees from Central America may be a blessing. The Conservatives, and especially the “Christian” right, are being exposed for what they truly represent. And it is certainly not anything having to do with CHRIST!

  • Rusty Horn

    Well-stated

  • ThorstenVeblen

    The stuff about shellfish, tattoos and blended fabrics is all Old Testament stuff. Most Jews don’t even follow all that stuff, except for the Orthodox. If 3% of the world’s religious people are Jewish (and it may be less), then perhaps less than 1% of the religious people are Orthodox Jews. The Old Testament is a problem for Christians. It has all these proscriptions, but they get around all of that with the “New Covenant” brought by Yeshua Bin Yusif of Nazareth, (probably how he would have been referred to during his life, Jesus being a Greek translation — if you want to translate his name into an English format, Joshua Josephson would probably be the closest), a rebellious rabbi with a small group of followers who ended up having an outsized impact on the world. Unfortunately for The Roman Catholic Church and all other Christian sects, they can’t get rid of the Old Testament, because that has the origin story in it, and as anyone who collects comic books knows, the issue with the origin story in it is always the most valuable part.

    • John Masters

      However, the problem with the whole “New Covenant” argument is that in other places in the New Testament, Jesus explained that he wasn’t abolishing the old rules…so there is still the obligation, much to the shagrin of today’s evangelicals, to follow all the Levitical rules…which they don’t bother with…at least most of them.

      • Charles Vincent

        The old covenants were for the Jews the new covenant is for the gentiles.

      • John Masters

        So you’re saying that no Christian should ever cite the Levitical rules to support a position they take?

      • Charles Vincent

        I didn’t say that nor did I imply it I said you are conflating the two.

      • John Masters

        Well, Charles, I don’t see how anyone could read your comment otherwise. You make it very clear that you believe the old covenants are for Jews, and new for gentiles. I suspect you realized your argument wouldn’t stand up to any intellectual scrutiny, and so are now trying to back off. You cannot say the old covenants are for the Jews, and then say that Christians should also abide by them. Which is it?

      • Charles Vincent

        Not really, I was pointing to this and presumed you understood my point. Clearly I was incorrect so here is clarification for you.

        “There are three major foundations for understanding the covenants and the Old Testament law. All three give the same conclusion. They are The old covenant is obsolete, and the new covenant has been established. Christians are not obligated to keep “the law of Moses.” When Paul discussed “the law,” he was often concerned with the entire law of Moses, and he wrote that Christians were not under the authority of that law. Our obligation to obey God is defined by a different law, a spiritual law, which in some cases overlaps Old Testament laws but in other cases supersedes them.”

      • John Masters

        Which is precisely my original point, Christians should never cite any verse from the Old Testament as the foundation for a belief or behavior. The justification for said belief must first come from the New Testament (and while it might happen to correspond to a law of the Old Testament, it’s only applicable to Christians when it is also in the New. There’s no confusion here…so I ask my Christian brothers and sisters, based on your theology stated here, to please quit citing Levitical laws.

      • Charles Vincent

        You missed ë the part where it specifies the covanet overlap in certain areas. I haven’t sen any thing from you refuting that law in Leviticus are not applicable to the new covenant in any form or part thereof.

      • What you describe, Charles Vincent, is an old heresy known as anti-nomianism, which was roundly condemned a few centuries ago. Paul is very clear about that which he was talking about when he spoke about our no longer being under the law but grace. He was talking about the law of sin and death, the law that if you sin, you die. He was basically teaching the same teaching that we find when we are told that, for the Christian, there remains no condemnation. It’s the law of condemnation that we are no longer under. Nowhere, in Scripture, is the obligation to keep the moral law removed. Those who teach that this obligation has been removed are a certain brand of heretics known as antinomians.

      • Charles Vincent

        I think you need to reread what I posted. Here would be a good place to start;
        “Our obligation to obey God is defined by a different law, a spiritual law, which in some cases overlaps Old Testament laws but in other cases
        supersedes them.”

      • Charles Vincent, what you describe is antinomianism. Saying that some of the moral law is present in the New Testament is still teaching that the moral law was set aside in the New Testament. It is still teaching that the moral law is no longer in force. For, in order for the moral law to still be in force, all of the moral law has to still be in force. By the way, all of the moral law is most definitely still in force, as is made clear by several passages in the New Testament, which reiterate various parts of the moral law as still binding upon Christians.

      • Charles Vincent

        Still didn’t read it did you…

      • Yes, I read it. What you are describing is antinomianism. I have made that abundantly clear by interacting with what you wrote. Perhaps, you don’t know what is antinomianism and what the antinomians taught.

      • You’re not properly understanding the meaning of abolish. All of the ceremonial laws were abrogated with the fulfillment of Christ’s redemptive work. That is to say, we are no longer obligated to obey these laws. Their purpose was to foreshadow Christ’s work. Hence, when Christ finished his work, their purpose was fulfilled and, hence, they were abrogated, as Peter learned in his vision about the unclean foods being made clean. But the ceremonial laws were not abolished. That is to say, they were not removed from our relationship to God. They still serve the purpose of symbolizing Christ’s work. The fact that they were abrogated means that Christians are no longer obligated to follow them. But this does not mean that they serve no purpose for the Christian. They are not abolished.

      • John Masters

        Which gives you an amazing out to pick and choose the rules you want to obey, but not the ones you don’t. Like eating shell fish, which is the same abomination you claim homosexuality to be…convenient how that works out for you.

      • John Masters, you’re quite illogical. We don’t get to pick and choose anything. We are still obligated to obey whatever God says we are obligated to obey. You’re making your shit up as you go along. Your post is a straw man. The raising of a straw man is a moronic activity. All the unclean foods of the Old Testament were rendered clean in the New Testament not by man, but by God. There was no picking and choosing involved in this whatsoever.

      • When did I claim that homosexuality was an abomination? You’re putting words in my mouth. That makes you to be a very untrustworthy person. Modern scholarship has brought forth abundant evidence that the word translated homosexuality in our present day translations has nothing to do with what we know as homosexuality today, otherwise known as same-sex orientation.

    • youcantgetridofmethateasy

      ” Most Jews”?? You speak for all of them?

  • Mastafing

    Before Hobby Lobby- Employers always had the right to decide if they’d offer health benefits to an employee, or not. After Hobby Lobby- Employers STILL have the right to decide if they’ll offer an employee health coverage, or not. The problem isn’t Christians, or 5 male judges- it’s poorly informed human beings becoming propaganda tools for politicians and media with an agenda. Companies HAVE NEVER BEEN REQUIRED TO EVEN OFFER YOU HEALTH CARE….let alone abortifacients. The ACA- aka- Obamacare, only makes them pay a small tax now IF they have more than 50 employees and decide not to offer health care to employees…..

    • Laura Hurt

      get your facts straight. Those meds are NOT arbortifacients. That HL claims they are, does not make it so. They got their way on a false claim, whether they sincerely believe in it or not should not have been relevant, they should have been laughed out of the courtroom.

      • Mastafing

        Not according to their own product literature. It’s irrelevant to my main point anyway, which of course you ignored. Companies don’t have to offer ANY health benefits. They didn’t have to before Hobby Lobby, and they still don’t.

      • Laura Hurt

        Which of course i had not duty to respond to just to enlighten you to the fact that those medicines are not, in fact, arbortifacients, not even according to their own literature.
        I did not answer anything else because I have no idea what point you tried to make, plus I really don’t have a duty to address ALL of the things you are saying when I want to correct you on false information.

      • Mastafing

        “While labels of Plan B One-Step and related pills, which contain the
        drug levonorgestrel, say they work mostly by blocking the release of
        eggs before fertilization, the labels also say the drugs may inhibit
        fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.” -The NY Times.

        They even quote the labels in several articles. I’m correct- you’re the one spouting false information. Grow up and learn to do your homework before you take on someone who always does his…..

      • Laura Hurt

        which still, scientifically, is not an abortion. An abortion is ending a pregnancy, and a pregnancy starts after the egg implants in the uterus, scientifically spoken. These medicines prevent the nesting of an egg, therefore preventing a pregnancy from starting, therefore it can’t be an abortion. So, you are still the one spouting false information.

  • William Fite

    Essentially that’s what the entire Hobby Lobby case was about. A law that stated health care had to cover specific methods of contraceptives and a right-wing Christian stating that their beliefs on contraceptives should matter more than the thousands of employees who work for them. One person’s beliefs ruling over thousands.

    I would agree with this comment if it wasn’t for one pesky item that you left out. NO ONE IS FORCED TO WORK FOR HOBBY LOBBY.

  • StarrGazerr615

    In my mind, “religious freedom” means an individual can follow the religious dictates that he chooses to follow, and no one else can punish him or deny him equal rights based on that personal choice. By contrast, the repeated message of the far Right has consistently been “I don’t believe in something, so YOU cannot practice it.” Don’t believe in same sex marriage? Then don’t marry someone of the same gender. Don’t believe in abortion? Then don’t have one. Don’t believe in using birth control? Then don’t. Don’t believe in eating bacon? Don’t eat bacon. It really IS that simple.

    Personally, I think they have jumped the shark in creating the ridiculous notion that a corporation, an artificial entity that is the product of legislative construction, has religious beliefs and rights separate and apart from the individuals who own that corporation.

  • Katherine Appello

    Constitution Guarantees that one is free to follow one’s religious beliefs and it does not say only on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, only at home etc.., so that means holistically. Unless one is committing a felony killing, destroying property or such, then a business owner has every right, as does a pastor etc… to adhere to the concepts and precepts of their faith.

    Liberals trying to force them to go contrary to that and eradicate faith from public and personal life is bullying. Hands off spiritual life of anyone unless they are committing a felony, or there is proof of an actual crime.

    Hobby Lobby was providing birth control, but in no way should anyone have to pay for anyone to murder a child in the womb. With all due respect, you want to kill a child in the womb pay for it yourself.