Separation of Church and State

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Quote ChicagoMatt:

Here's an interesting article about how homosexuality is probably genetic:

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10443/20141118/homosexuality-gen...

And, if it IS genetic, that means it can be tested for before birth. Would a homosexual doctor be forced to perform an abortion, if the mother made it known that she wanted to abort the baby because it was gay?

In a Progressive world, yes, that doctor would be forced to perform that abortion, or close their business.

Or, what if there's a woman who has multiple sexual partners of different races, and gets pregnant. Can she then go to the doctor and request a genetic test to determine the race of the baby? And, if it's not the race she wants, have that baby aborted? Could a doctor refuse to perform the genetic test or abortion, based on moral or religious grounds?

In a Progressive world, no, that doctor would have to do whatever that woman wanted.

Two separate issues.

First, if the Human Genome Project proves that sexual orientation is genetic, the social and cultural bases for discrimination will go out the window, because if orientation is proven to be genetic, people can't help their orientation any more than they can help their skin or eye color. At that point, those who claim homosexuality is a lifestyle choice will have no further basis to make that claim, so they'll appear intellectually silly and stupid.

Abortion is a separate issue. Women should have total control of their own bodies and make their own choices about it, whatever the individual circumstances, regardless of any tangential considerations. Period.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote ChicagoMatt:
false. it is not religion.

It's a belief system. And that's all a religion is. They are equivalent.

the state under the constitution and the general welfare clause can and does pass laws as related to the general welfare.

Based upon the belief system that says that welfare is important. Just because there is no supernatural aspect to it doesn't mean it's not a religion. Suppose another religion has a belief system that says people who can't support themselves shouldn't be supported by others. The State, via the welfare clause, is forcing it's belief system on them.

furthermore the amish by not participating in social security also do not receive the benefits

Correct. I believe everyone should be able to opt-out. I don't believe that people should be forced to help others if they don't want to. But the State forces their belief system on me with every paycheck.

Yeah, and unless you're independently wealthy, when it comes time for you to retire, you won't slink up to the bank backwards with your palm turned up so the teller can put your Social Security check in your hand without anybody seeing you. And you won't turn down whatever other help the system affords you when you need it either, just like your hero Ayn Rand had the hypocritical gall to collect Social Security toward the end of her life. Damn, where do you mutants come from, do they grow you somewhere like crops, harvest you, and turn you loose every generation, and then start a new crop?

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote ljp10500:

Can't you understand it is not religion that is being legislated but freedom from it? Why am I still responding? This is ridiculous.

They hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe and they don't want to be bothered with facts. They make up their own. If they had their way, we'd all still be running around in black and white suits and burning witches. The facts show them the intellectual hollowness and inhumane outcomes of their positions, so after a point, you're wasting your time. All we can do is fight them at every turn and make sure they never gain full political power, because if they do, the immediate regression to medievalism commences.

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Ulysses
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Quote ChicagoMatt:

[quote]

Just like in Iran, where there is no room for descent from their theorcracy as well.

Could that be because they get their descent from their parents?

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote Coalage1:

I believe more in free will and freedom of choice. If there are going to be exceptions (and there are), for whatever reason, then they should apply across the board. There should be consistency in the law. You want to make drugs a different commodity subject to different rules. Why? For health reasons? I need food to survive as much as I need drugs. What the hell is the difference?

I don't see it.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." Samuel Butler

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Coalage1

Tolerating intolerance is not freedom. It's tyranny for all those individuals denied their basic human rights and the common respect due everyone in our society.

Attempting to justify such intolerance with your personal religious beliefs is illogical for the obvious reason, you would no longer enjoy your religious freedom if others adopted the same behavior towards you.

Complaining when others attack you for preaching intolerance while proclaiming your religious freedom, is the height of selfish hypocrisy, because the intolerance you are advocating destroys the very freedoms you claim for yourself. Its like a bank thief complaining because the police who arrested him emptied the bank account where he stashed the money he stole.

Since this is all rather obvious, it's reasonable to ask why these hypocritical arguments in favor of intolerance are pushed forward over and over again. What's motivating this endless concern about the private religious beliefs or lack thereof of others? Why the hell do you care what others believe, much less advocate denying them all sorts of basic rights, ranging from the petty to the profoundly destructive, because of your personal beliefs? Why don't you respect their privacy and basic right to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit, without tripping over all sorts of artificial obstacles you create?

I think I know the reason, and it's not pretty. You suffer from a gut-wrenching fear your religious beliefs are wrong. Most religious belief systems promise some sort of life after death, but only if you are among the chosen few adhering to that particular system of religious beliefs. Most of us would prefer to not cease to exist, so such religious beliefs hold a powerful and very frightening lock on the minds of those who adopt them. And that brings me to two questions.

First, if your faith is truly great, and built on your personal relationship with your chosen deity, why do you feel compelled to force those around you to prop you up by adopting exactly the same beliefs?

Second, can you appreciate the obvious secular reality that there are a great many people who, even though they share your preference to not cease to exist, are content to look at their families and all the things they have had a chance to do and create, or even just the sky on a clear night, and do not personally find it necessary to hold religious beliefs similar to yours?

ronsears
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Jun. 22, 2015 11:39 am
Public officials do not get to dictate their own ideas of morality de facto, through their actions as public officials.

Every public official who gets to make a budget, including Obama, gets to make decisions based on their morality.

To fund or not fund something cannot be separated from that person's personal belief system.

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm
First, if the Human Genome Project proves that sexual orientation is genetic, the social and cultural bases for discrimination will go out the window, because if orientation is proven to be genetic, people can't help their orientation any more than they can help their skin or eye color

People can classify it as a disease then, like other genetic diseases, and select against it if they wish.

Abortion is a separate issue.

Then why force health insurance to provide abortion services, if it's separate from healthcare as a whole?

Women should have total control of their own bodies and make their own choices about it, whatever the individual circumstances, regardless of any tangential considerations. Period.

You mean women who are already born should have control. But you would also agree then that a woman can go to a doctor, demand an abortion because their child is gay/black/white/whatever, and that doctor would have zero legal recourse to say "go elsewhere".

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm
Yeah, and unless you're independently wealthy, when it comes time for you to retire, you won't slink up to the bank backwards with your palm turned up so the teller can put your Social Security check in your hand without anybody seeing you.

As it is not, the social security I am forced to pay for won't be available to me until I am 67. With my family history, I won't make it that far. And if I do, thanks to some wise investments in my early 20s, and other wise choices I make each month, my SSI check will be a trivial part of my income at that point.

And you won't turn down whatever other help the system affords you when you need it either, just like your hero Ayn Rand had the hypocritical gall to collect Social Security toward the end of her life.

Was she forced to pay into it? Then it's not hypocricy. She was getting her money back from the place that took it.

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm
It's tyranny for all those individuals denied their basic human rights and the common respect due everyone in our society.

Liberals are really respectful of Kim Davis, aren't they.

Attempting to justify such intolerance with your personal religious beliefs is illogical for the obvious reason,

"Religion" and "belief" are synonymous. That's what Liberals don't see.

Why don't you respect their privacy and basic right to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit, without tripping over all sorts of artificial obstacles you create?

I think that's what most Conservatives wish the Liberals would do - particularly rural ones. They just wish to be left alone.

First, if your faith is truly great, and built on your personal relationship with your chosen deity, why do you feel compelled to force those around you to prop you up by adopting exactly the same beliefs?

Faith doesn't require a diety. You have your faith in a belief system that says everyone should be treated a certain way. Diety or not, this is your faith. Why do you feel compelled to make others also treat people that way?

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm

ChicagoMatt

Starting an argument with an obviously false definition invalidates the argument. "Religion" and "belief" are synonymous. is ridiculous. Religions are certainly belief systems, but not all beliefs are religions. I believe my name is such and such. I believe in stuff I see with my own eyes. I believe in the scientific method and open discussion of the evidence that supports a scientific truth. Defining that as religion is not just incorrect, it's silly.

I also noticed you were rather selective in what you copied from my post. Regards your suprise over push back against your advocacy of discrimination, may I again point out:

Complaining when others attack you for preaching intolerance while proclaiming your religious freedom, is the height of selfish hypocrisy, because the intolerance you are advocating destroys the very freedoms you claim for yourself. Its like a bank thief complaining because the police who arrested him emptied the bank account where he stashed the money he stole.

ronsears
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Jun. 22, 2015 11:39 am
I believe in stuff I see with my own eyes. I believe in the scientific method and open discussion of the evidence that supports a scientific truth.

Because you've been indoctrinated to believe in these things, and you can't see past them. You put "stuff you see with your own eyes" on a higher pedestal that anything else. That's your belief system. That what you can see and understand is more important that what others think they see and understand.

There's a lot I haven't seen with my own eyes, but I believe. The existence of Pluto, for example. I'm told it's there. Other people claim they've seen it. I can't see it with my own eyes. But I have faith in the people telling me about their experiences.

If someone thinks they see something supernatural, like an angel, demon, alien, bigfoot, whatever, would you give them the same pedestal for their "visions" as you have for yours? Or are you biggoted against their views?

Defining that as religion is not just incorrect, it's silly.

Not according to Webster's Dictionary. A religion is:

an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

(I admit that's the third definition for religion. But it's still the definition.

Liberals have an interest and belief system. Sometimes that's in conflict with other people's interests and belief systems. Liberals insist on imposing their belief system on others. You MUST see things the way we do! If you don't, you're stupid, racist, backwards, etc...

Regards your suprise over push back against your advocacy of discrimination,

I'm not advocating discrimination. I haven't said I disagee with any Progressive law. I just wish they would see how their views are just as dogmatic and belief-based as any other "religion".

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm

ChicagoMatt,

Agghh! This discussion is like being locked in a Catholic high school Theology class with a 60 year old Jesuit theologian. Been there, done that, and left screaming as soon as I was able, many, many years ago. Same old pedantic nonsense, carefully ignored arguments, and verbal games claiming the status of honest logic. Just for example, you don't get to advocate discrimination across multiple posts here and then simply claim you are not in favor of that discrimination. The proof is in your recommended actions.

By the way, telling me I can't appreciate anything I can not see, is rather insulting. I have spent 35 years plus nurturing human imagination, creativity and innovation. Admittedly, you can now touch many of the things our teams created, but they all started out as an imagined solution where none had existed.

Moving on and assuming you are serious about all this, I will try one more time. Let's change the pace and maybe I can add a bit to your understanding of the many, many individuals that happily exist outside of the dangerously blundering frozen frameworks of belief you call religions.

I believe our purpose on earth, is to move beyond the beliefs and proscriptions of any particular religion or legal system, and reach a point where we can make complex moral decisions on our own, without being told what to do. Note this idea of moral maturation floats around and is at least partially compatible with several traditional religious systems (reincarnation, judgment day, etc). Also note, at least at a private, personal level, it fits in rather nicely with what most of us would call freedom.

I came to this conclusion many years ago when I asked my college roommate what he thought about all the different organized religions. My friend was well qualified to answer this question because his Buddhist parents believed it was unethical to indoctrinate a vulnerable child into any particular set of religious beliefs. Instead, as Buddhist and generally respectful of their kid's unique personal development, they believed each of us should choose our own religious (or not) belief system as an adult, after exposure to life in general and as many different religious systems as possible. So my friend had been sent for one year each to just about every different religious affiliated school that existed back then in Hong Kong. His answer to my question was blunt. Apart from a common thread of humanistic ethics, all the rest was extraneous historical baggage.

If you want to better appreciate how someone like me sees the world, I suggest you go outside on a clear night at ~ 2:00 AM. Then look up at the sky and hold two facts in your mind at the same time. First, consider the fact you are a speck existing for a minuscule amount of time on only one layer of a very complex, but nonetheless very thin biosphere that surrounds another, relative to you at least, very large spec, that in turn is part of a small system of such larger specs, all part of an incredibly larger system, which in turn makes up only the tiniest part of another larger system, that in turn is part of a virtually infinite set of such systems, extending beyond what the speed of light will even permit you to see. Second, holding that stark understanding of your incredible insignificance firmly in mind, consider that equally astounding fact you have inherited the mind and cultural knowledge to appreciate your insignificance.

For me, all that wonder is far and away enough to set me up for a pleasant night's sleep, as well as make me comfortable with the fact that someday I won't be around to look up at the stars. For others, it's evidently not enough. To me such dissatisfaction with these wonders is both ungrateful and incredibly unrealistic.

Hope this helps your understanding a bit. Meantime, please keep your personal religious beliefs out of public policy and grant the same respect you expect to everyone else.

Signing out for the last time on this discussion. I can think of nothing else that will help.

ronsears
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Jun. 22, 2015 11:39 am
Same old pedantic nonsense, carefully ignored arguments, and verbal games claiming the status of honest logic.

You're ignoring my argument that Liberalism/Progressivism are also, be definition, religions. Literally - look up the definition of religion, and you will see "a system of beliefs". Liberals believe, for example, the income inequality is bad. I'm not saying it isn't bad. I'm just saying that it's a belief, and that when the government passes laws to help fix that problem, the government is, be definition, legislating a religious view. Someone else might hold a religious view that wealth or poverty are related to Karma or divine punishment, and to try to create a more economically equal society is immoral.

Just for example, you don't get to advocate discrimination across multiple posts here and then simply claim you are not in favor of that discrimination. The proof is in your recommended actions.

Pointing out examples is not advocating. And did I make any recommended actions? I can't remember and I'm too tired to look back at the moment. The only thing I usually recommend is some variation of "live and let live". If people want to believe something, let them.

By the way, telling me I can't appreciate anything I can not see, is rather insulting.

You're the one who said you believe what you've seen with your own eyes.

many, many individuals that happily exist outside of the dangerously blundering frozen frameworks of belief you call religions.

Not possible. Assuming that all mentally capable adults have some system of beliefs, then they all, by definition, have a religion. It might not be an ORGANIZED religion, and it might not have a diety. But it's still a religion.

I believe

So this is your religion then...

I believe our purpose on earth, is to move beyond the beliefs and proscriptions of any particular religion or legal system, and reach a point where we can make complex moral decisions on our own, without being told what to do.

That's one of the tennants of Humanism, which is an actual organized religion. You might not be part of their organization, but you share their religious views.

My friend was well qualified to answer this question because his Buddhist parents believed it was unethical to indoctrinate a vulnerable child into any particular set of religious beliefs.

Teaching students that the scientific method is the only way to find truth, or the preferred way to find truth, is religious indoctrination. Teaching them that public prayer at school is frowned upon is indoctrination. Anything you teach someone is indoctrination, because it's based on a belief system.

Then look up at the sky and hold two facts in your mind at the same time. First, consider the fact you are a speck existing for a minuscule amount of time on only one layer of a very complex, but nonetheless very thin biosphere that surrounds another, relative to you at least, very large spec, that in turn is part of a small system of such larger specs, all part of an incredibly larger system, which in turn makes up only the tiniest part of another larger system, that in turn is part of a virtually infinite set of such systems, extending beyond what the speed of light will even permit you to see.

So you've been told, because other people have done some research and you have faith in their findings about what stars are, what you're made of, how big the universe is, etc. I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm just saying your faith in those teachings is just as dogmatic as someone else's faith in different teachings.

I frequently do go out in the middle of the night, by the way. I try to take three camping trips each year for the sole purpose of stargazing. Not many stars at night here in Chicago, so I try to get as far as Iowa, where the skies are much darker at night. But that's beside the point. What if I told you (this is true), that I once saw a ghost. You might think I'm crazy, or saw something else with a more natural explanation, or maybe I've been indoctrinated to believe I saw something I didn't see. But, like you, I believe what I see with my own eyes.

Meantime, please keep your personal religious beliefs out of public policy and grant the same respect you expect to everyone else.

And the same to you and any other Liberal. Give other people's beliefs the same respect you have for your own.

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm

I unreservedly give all the reactionaries the right to hold their beliefs; I'd fight for their right to do that, although they wouldn't fight for my right to hold countervailing beliefs. That's different than agreeing with them or being willing to subscribe to those beliefs. Nor will I EVER accept their attempts to prescribe how others must live based on those beliefs. The only thing I'm intolerant of is intolerance, as personnified by the reactionaries posting here.

One of them uses tortured logic above to conflate the concept of living as one pleases and being left alone with the right to inflict one's beliefs on others. What they don't get is that if, in living as they please and being left alone, they inflict damage on others, that's intolerance, and that's what we cannot tolerate. Nobody's picking on them by refusing to allow them to intrude their beliefs into the lives of others; they can live any way they want but they cannot leverage their intolerance onto the behavior of others through law or custom, or, in the case of the pharmacies, through commerce.

Their freedom to translate intolerance into action of any kind against others stops at the ends of their noses; their so-called freedom ends at the point where it impinges on mine.

Some of their remarks above also reveal what I already surmised; they subscribe to most of the right-wing reactionary agenda, not just the aspect of it that began this thread.

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

The treaty of Tripoli states the us is not a Christian nation! This is a declaration that is not a fing wall between church and state! There is no religion within the state itself! This was a pure fact because to have freedom of religion you must first be free from religion! So there is a bloody black hole between church and state! And anyone who doesn't grasp this is a stupid fanatic should grasp all the religious middle Eastern states we are so against! Secular Government are required for democracies! Theologian Government are typically authoritative if not always!

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Toddedyer
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The government makes a lot of accomidations for government workers who don't share the government's official belief system (aka "religion"). Giving people days off for religious reasons, for example. Or providing prayer breaks for people who need to pray during work hours.

I think Thom and other Progressives support those kinds of accomidations.

Then why did Progressives come down so hard on Kim Davis, when she requested similiar accomidations. She didn't say "Homosexuality is wrong". She said that she, personally, couldn't sign the paper, because of her religious beliefs. If she was a Muslim, and requested time off during the day for prayer, would Thom support that?

In the end, she was given an accomidation. So I'm sure Progressives will accept her now, right?

ChicagoMatt
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Apr. 28, 2014 12:29 pm
Quote ChicagoMatt:
false. it is not religion.

It's a belief system. And that's all a religion is. They are equivalent.

the state under the constitution and the general welfare clause can and does pass laws as related to the general welfare.

Based upon the belief system that says that welfare is important. Just because there is no supernatural aspect to it doesn't mean it's not a religion. Suppose another religion has a belief system that says people who can't support themselves shouldn't be supported by others. The State, via the welfare clause, is forcing it's belief system on them.

furthermore the amish by not participating in social security also do not receive the benefits

Correct. I believe everyone should be able to opt-out. I don't believe that people should be forced to help others if they don't want to. But the State forces their belief system on me with every paycheck.

religion is not "just a belief system." Philosophy is a belief system, religion requires deity of some sort. Government isn't a belief system. It is both a means of organizing society and protecting rights.

Nonsensical hypotheticals are just that, nonsensical. But let us look at an extreme one. You start a religion that requires human sacrifice to your deity. Guess what? That ain't gonna fly.

As for the state you have the means of control. It is called the ballot box. And as Benjamin Rush noted that is where your control ends. You cede power to those you elect. And if the majority of elected decide that passing laws for the general welfare includes helping people you don't like or programs you don't like too damn bad. Work to elect people that believe the way you do.

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big bird
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Quote ChicagoMatt:

The government makes a lot of accomidations for government workers who don't share the government's official belief system (aka "religion"). Giving people days off for religious reasons, for example. Or providing prayer breaks for people who need to pray during work hours.

I think Thom and other Progressives support those kinds of accomidations.

Then why did Progressives come down so hard on Kim Davis, when she requested similiar accomidations. She didn't say "Homosexuality is wrong". She said that she, personally, couldn't sign the paper, because of her religious beliefs. If she was a Muslim, and requested time off during the day for prayer, would Thom support that?

In the end, she was given an accomidation. So I'm sure Progressives will accept her now, right?

. Bloody hell are you kidding me here! If a Saudi man refused to issue a woman a driver's licence over he felt it was against his religion he would be fired from the DMV and you would of supported it! Because it's Christianity and gay people and part of your culture war narrative you write this stupidity! My analogy is sound here, your argument is for denying a privilege to a citizen has because of a personal view held by a government employee! You are an idiot, enough with your stupidity here!

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Toddedyer
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Jun. 6, 2016 10:59 am
Quote ChicagoMatt:
Public officials do not get to dictate their own ideas of morality de facto, through their actions as public officials.

Every public official who gets to make a budget, including Obama, gets to make decisions based on their morality.

To fund or not fund something cannot be separated from that person's personal belief system.

Neither Obama nor any other president "makes the budget." To say that reveals your ignorance of how our government functions. If anybody makes remarks beginning from ignorance, they can't be taken seriously by thinking, informed, and educated people. Ever hear of Congress?

"Personal belief systems" and "religions" are not inextricably linked phenomena; some but not all personal belief systems have to do with religion. Budgetary decisions are not all based on religious convictions. What's the religious conviction involved in allocating money to fill potholes in streets?

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Ulysses
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

What the reactionaries don't understand is that genuine freedom of religion lies in everybody's ability to think, believe, and worship, or not worship, as they choose. That's what genuine freedom of religion is and that's where it begins and ends. It is not freedom of religion to inflict their views on others and either abet or restrain others' actions and activities based on the reactionaries' own religious beliefs. At whatever point they do that, they're denying freedom of (or from) religion to others.

People who don't want abortions are free to choose not to have any. That doesn't mean they have the right to tell others what they can and can't do, and that includes telling them de facto (by not selling to them) what they can and can't do.

Having said that, and believing the pharmacists are wrong, I still think there may be commerce based challenges based on whether the government can or cannot tell a retailer what to stock and then refuse to reimburse the retailer the wholesale cost of the item if it doesn't sell. So, if a pharmacist stocks a number of morning after pills and they don't sell and they pass their expiration date so that the pharmacist has to throw them away, will the government, meaning the taxpayers, have to reimburse the pharmacists for the wholesale costs of the drugs they couldn't move? Interesting question, and I can see that one being argued out in the courts. Don't know who'd win. Would the courts want to set the precedent that government can interfere to that degree in retail commerce, and if so, where would it end? Seems like a big can of worms to me.

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Ulysses
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Did Trump Commit Treason?

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