Class Warfare Blog

January 2, 2014

Slippery Slopes—Oh, My!

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently issued a temporary injunction barring the Obama administration from enforcing the birth control requirement against an order of Colorado nuns, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and related groups.

In their Supreme Court brief, the nuns said they faced huge fines if they failed to comply. They calculated that they would have to pay “an annual fine of approximately $2.5 million — for an organization that cares for 69 elderly poor people and operates with an annual budget of approximately $6 million.” Uh, that sounds like more than a little bit of an exaggeration. How could “health benefits” in their entirety constitute almost half of that organization’s annual budget, let alone the slap on the wrist fines of the ACA?

Since this group is an entirely charitable organization, associated with the Catholic Church, they fall into the middle ground between for-profit employers and churches themselves. And I think that there are discussable issues here. Are all of the employees of this organization Catholics? Are they an order of the Catholic Church or not? (If they are an order of the Catholic Church, they would be exempt, but if they are not part of that church and are independent, how do they get to claim that they are an “order of that church?”) If not, what about the rights of the non-Catholics? What happened to Obama’s sleight of hand that allows the government to pay for the contraception coverage so that the employer doesn’t have to? And the big one is 90+% of American Catholic women admit to using birth control sometime during their lives, so is the Church asking the Government to enforce a bit of their dogma that they themselves do not enforce?

And, the Supreme Court has shown more than a little faulty judgement in the last decade and a half (jumping in to decide the 2000 election inappropriately (according to Antonin Scalia), the Citizen’s United decision which was a massive reach, the Obamacare decision, etc.). I do not trust their deliberations to be enlightening.

And I am sure that the right-wing wingnuts will frame this as a “Why do nuns need birth control?” debate.



  1. They already have. I saw a post with the same question.


    Comment by List of X — January 2, 2014 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  2. Retarded.


    Comment by john zande — January 2, 2014 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  3. The SCOTUS is trying to avoid the discussion of whether churches should be excempt from taxes. If you think about it, if they are held strictly to the law for employers, tax shelters for land and buildings no longer seems appropriate… I think there is a good chance that churches could lose their footing for tax exemption based on something simple like birth control.


    Comment by myatheistlife — January 2, 2014 @ 10:28 am | Reply

    • Ah, I had not thought of that. Since so little of most churches income goes to charity, there is an argument that churches should pay taxes, like any good corporation.


      Comment by stephenpruis — January 2, 2014 @ 11:54 am | Reply

      • And if they are treated as corporations, byebye tax exemptions


        Comment by myatheistlife — January 2, 2014 @ 11:55 am | Reply

        • Part of me says that’s a good thing, and part of me says “meh.” The latter part is probably cultural indoctrination.


          Comment by stephenpruis — January 2, 2014 @ 11:59 am | Reply

  4. “And I am sure that the right-wing wingnuts will frame this as a “Why do nuns need birth control?” debate”

    An old Catholic joke:

    Three nuns went to visit the priest in his rectory but no one was home. When they walked past his bedroom one said “Oh look! A condom.”

    A second nun said “Oh look! It has a hole in it.”

    The third nun fainted



    Comment by lbwoodgate — January 2, 2014 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  5. Ironically, many orders of nuns have taken to using birth control pills to prevent breast cancer. Scientific medical research has backed the finding that women who have nursed babies have a lower rate of breast cancer. While birth control pills do not cause lactation, they do trick the body into thinking it is pregnant. The female breast does not finish developing until pregnancy triggers certain changes, these are thought to end some precancerous conditions. The rate of breast cancer among Catholic nuns was very high. Modern medicine to the rescue.

    If the only employees of the facility are nuns, they may want to rethink their position!


    Comment by mariahwindrider — January 3, 2014 @ 6:34 am | Reply

  6. Freedom of religion is protected by the 1st Amendment.

    Prove that ObamaCare and abortion are assaults on human rights their pillaging of the 1st Amendment and the right to life.

    The Bill of Rights is the standard by which just law is measured.

    Since ObamaCare makes bloody hash out of the Bill of Rights we can determine that it is unjust.


    Comment by silenceofmind — January 3, 2014 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

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