Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Why we need to fight for our religious freedom

Our friend and commentor Pepe refers us to an eloquent message from Msgr. Charles Pope from the Archdiocese of Washington.

Please read it. We need to step up to defend our religious freedom, which is our first freedom and the freedom on which all others are based. 

55 comments:

  1. You're right. First step: improving the health care system for everyone. Next step: gas chambers. The link could not be clearer!

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    1. "First step: improving the health care system for everyone."

      Ha! Ha! Ha!

      Do you think they're actually trying to do that?

      Joey

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  2. You're free to worship any old imaginary friend you like - you just can't use that as an excuse to be above the law.

    Example: if your religion proscribes torturing animals, then you can't do that. That's actually a hot topic here in the Netherlands, where Muslims and Jews appeal to freedom of religion to continue to be allowed to slaughter animals in a 'hallal' or 'kosher' method.

    Likewise, you can't appeal to freedom of religion as an excuse to shove down your crazy beliefs down the throats of children in public schools. If you want to believe that a cracker is the body of your zombie savior, that's cool but don't force that crap on children whose parents don't share those beliefs.

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    1. If it's not an Establishment of Religion, it's Constitutional.

      Nothing that has ever happened in a public school even approaches an Establishment.

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  3. @troy,

    Care to comment about abortions? How do you feel about killing future children?

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    1. @Pepe,

      How do you feel about actual children? Care to comment about the fact that conservatives only want children of rich parents to have a future?

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    2. To answer your question, the greatest wealth one can have is our own children.

      Now, care to answer my question!

      How do you feel about destroying humanity future wealth, because it's not the time or your career will be in jeodardy?

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    3. Sorry if I don't answer immediately, I am going to share mucho love with my first grand child boy that nearly escape abortion. Persuading, comforting and helping his mother not to abort was the best thing I did in my life!

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    4. You didn't answer my question because you are too stupid to understand it. I feel sorry for your children.

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    5. “Sorry if I don't answer immediately, I am going to share mucho love with my first grand child boy that nearly escape abortion.”

      If I’m not mistaken, it sounds like Pepe is going to share love with an aborted fetus.

      -KW

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Troy,
      That is low and absolutely lame.

      KW,
      You're a disgusting sick fuck. To say that shit about someone's grandchild? Absolute filth. Shame on you.

      Delete
    8. Aha! So that's the reason Pepe is estranged from his eldest son. I'd thought that it was because his eldest son was an atheist and actually understood science (unlike Pepe...), explaining Pepe's hatred of Darwin.

      But it turns out that Pepe's eldest son and his wife had an elective abortion, and Pepe is just acting as the arsehole he is.

      It's sad that he's estranged from his son. Two possible solutions; 1. Stop being a serial pest and stop trying to reindoctrinate his son. 2. Pretend to become an atheist too, and make contact with his son. If God is benevolent (if he exists that is) he'll recognize the necessity and forgive him. He can always reconvert later.

      My personal opinion of elective abortions? Unfortunate, preferably to be avoided with effective contraception. Occasionally necessary as a backup. No big deal.

      Actually, I think Pepe made a typo' in his comment 'nearly escape abortion' probably should have read 'nearly didn't escape abortion'. I can't criticize typo's, but Pepe is still an arsehole.

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    9. Bach,

      There is no connection between the two events. Pépé is not talking about the same family, nor is he referencing his other son. His mistake is one of a Francophone attempting to express himself English. I make similar mistakes when I attempt to express myself in French.
      As per usual you have it all wrong.
      Pépé's grandchild did NOT get aborted despite the mothers doubts and worries, and he is currently spending time with that child and his mother.
      Your personal opinion of Pépé is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

      Pépé,
      You did a good and Godly thing when you saved your children and grandchild from the biggest mistake they could possibly make. Saving a life? Nothing in the world like it.
      I apologize for my fellow posters crass and ignorant personal attacks on you and your family.
      May God bless you and heaven reward you for the compassion and love you have shown them.
      I salute you, as do all good men and women.

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    10. CrusadeRex,

      OK, I stand corrected if Pepe confirms your explanation that his eldest grandson doesn't belong to his eldest son.

      The way he'd expressed himself made me and others think that his eldest grandson had been aborted. A little reflection at the end made me realize that it was just a typo' though.

      He's still an arsehole, wanting information from Michael on how to reindoctrinate his son (accepting as true Michael's claim that he was once an atheist).

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    11. Bach,

      It makes no difference, in reality WHICH son is the father of the child. The boy exists and is loved by his grandparents and parents. But I am pretty sure, having had civil discussions with Pépé on the subject, that Pépé has more than one child and more than one grandchild via those progeny.

      "The way he'd expressed himself made me and others think that his eldest grandson had been aborted. "
      Why on earth would they think he would bare such a scar for ridicule by people clearly contemptuous not just of him, but of his love for his family? Reminds one of salivating wolves preparing for a kill.

      "A little reflection at the end made me realize that it was just a typo' though."
      A little reflection is all it would take for the most simple of English speakers.

      "He's still an arsehole[...]"
      That is your take. I see him as a good person who is fed up with scientific pretensions on moral issues. I like Pépé. I think he is a spirited and sage soul.

      "[...]wanting information from Michael on how to reindoctrinate his son[..]"
      I think you're grossly mistaken here. I do not think he wants his son to be 'reindoctrinated' into anything. I think he feels pity for his son, and would like to see him face the world with an open mind. I am sure he would be satisfied if his son was merely to shift to agnosticism or a broad theistic or Christian viewpoint. He simply wants his son deprogrammed from materialistic and nihilistic indoctrination to improve the quality of his life and return to him some depth of perception. I believe the religious conversion is, at best, a secondary goal. I gather these inclinations because I have held rational and heartfelt discussions with Pépé on this very subject.
      He seeks to free his son, by degree, from a very hollow and potentially dangerous 'worldview' of conditioned belief. Much as one may wish to free a child from the grips of a cult (ie Scientology).
      He loves his son.
      Of that there should be no doubts.

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    12. I will add a thought here, as it is more difficult for Pépé to express. (Pépé correct me if I am mistaken.)
      I will add just this:
      Pépé's relations with his Atheistic son are not damaged due to his dislike for the philosophical stance of (Neo)Darwinism. At the time he was shocked by it, but willing to accept it.
      It was his SON who 'disconnected' (again I liken this to a cult such as scientology or the various 'new age' stuff) from him.
      He did so because Pépé would not abandon his faith and worship the words of his son's favourite Gurus.

      Pépé did not push his religion on his son, he merely responded to his son's disrespectful and immature needling of him with calm reasoning and professions of his affection. Pépé's suggestion was to live and let live. To leave religion and faith out of it, for the sake of their family. His son would have none of that. He wanted a conversion.
      His SON chose to cut ties and act like the adult brat he is (sorry Pépé, that's how I would characterize such behaviour.)
      His son's 'worldview' (beliefs) would not permit him to associate happily with his father.
      Consider how is it possible for me (a High Church Anglican) to get along with my family who range from pagan, to agnostic, to RC? Answer? LOVE.
      Or to be friendly with Dr Egnor, Pépé, or the various other sects of Christians and even Atheists that post on here? Answer: Friendship and civility.

      Perhaps aspect is that I do not accuse them of being stupid, deluded, insane, or evil for their beliefs? Nor do they make such insults and attacks on me?
      That's my reasoning, and that is the reality behind Pépé's personal pains.
      I, personally, wish him well in this and would offer my hand in friendship and for help. A father and son should not be kept apart. A father should be free to love his son along with all his imperfections, and a son to respect and love his father in the same way.
      If Dawkins and Darwin et al have been the source of such pain and separation (even if it is just in his son's mind) that explains Pépé's stance perfectly to me.

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    13. My eldest son and I are on very good speaking terms now. Like Sainte Monique, mother of Saint Augustin, I am letting God's Grace do the work.

      I also wonder if a child in the womb can perceive the mother's emotions because my grand son, having escape abortion, is the epitome of "joie de vivre"!

      Thank you crusadeREX for your kind words, you are very perceptive. :-)

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    14. ...Pepe's hatred of Darwin...

      I don't hate Darwin nor Dawkins, I just hate what they stand for: darwinism = materialism is a cancer that is slowly eating away at our youth's soul and I will try everything in my power to fight that silly worldview.

      Those who espouse this philosophy should acquaint themselves with William Lane Craig work. I can understand Dawkins' refusal to debate Craig like I would refuse to play chess with Viswanathan Anand.

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    15. Those who espouse this philosophy should acquaint themselves with William Lane Craig work.

      Craig's work is as sophisticated as a finger painting by a preschooler. The fact that you seem impressed by it is more revealing about your lack of intelligence than you realize.

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    16. Peepster: You're the one citing a fourth rate thinker like Craig. That's trolling.

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    17. Pépé,

      You're more than welcome, mate. I wish you well in your efforts. That said, I have no doubt your son will one day realize the errors of his ways. You're a sharp guy, and he is your son after all! As a father, I think your approach is both sane and commendable.


      Anon,

      Just because you don't like WL Craig's stuff does not mean you have to defame him or trash his ideas. He is a very popular writer and makes some very astute points on purpose and meaning. His work speaks to people on a profound level.
      I will admit he is not alone and there are those that make the same or similar points in a far more 'academic' and complex fashion, but that does not take away from the philosophical truth he espouses: That we have purpose, direction, value and meaning as human beings. In fact, his work is VERY accessible to many people who do not have the background in philosophy or theology to fully grasp the works of modern or ancient masters. Craig provides a great primer to the thinking of some of the greatest minds the world has known.

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    18. Pépé
      "My eldest son and I are on very good speaking terms now."

      GREAT! :D

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    19. Just because you don't like WL Craig's stuff does not mean you have to defame him or trash his ideas.

      Calling Craig a fourth-rate thinker is a compliment. His work is junk, and he's regarded as a joke in philosophical circles.

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    20. @crusadeREX,

      My friend, I found these videos on Youtube.

      I thought of you. I know you must have experienced these wonderful emotions and I wanted to share with you.

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    21. "While most of the original Enlightenment thinkers were themselves theists, the majority of Western intellectuals today no longer considers theological knowledge to be possible. The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." - William Lane Craig.

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  4. However, under the HHS mandates, virtually all Catholic hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and charitable organizations would be required to provide coverage for sterilization procedures and contraception, including drugs that may induce abortions, unless they stop hiring and stop serving non-Catholics. (fm the link)
    What about the employee's religious liberty?

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    1. The employee is allowed to purchase anything he/she wants. He/she is not entitled under law to force other people to violate their religious beliefs to purchase things for him/her.

      You want condoms, you buy condoms. You have no right to force Catholics to buy them for you.

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    2. They aren't being "forced" to by them for us (the insurance company is, which they actually like because it's cheaper for them).
      They accept public funding to provide public service. Don't accept state moneys and you don't generally have to play by the same rules.
      They do the above and provide service to groups that include more than Catholics, and employ people that aren't Catholic.
      Catholic Universities, as an example, are not the Catholic Church. "Affiliated with" is not "is". Christian Identity churches don't have to marry mixed-race couples, but public Christian Identity University (Go Wildcats!) does have to accept non-caucasian students. It's not destroying their "religous liberty" to accept them in that case because they've chosen to operate in the secular realm, giving up the right to discriminate in exchange for the sweet nectar of the public teat. An absurd example? Yes. But this and that are the same thing (as would be a Jehovah's Witnesses public adoption agency that didn't cover blood transfusions or a Jewish one that didn't cover non-Kosher heart operations or ones taking place on the Sabbath or many other odd but potentially real examples).

      And where was the faux-outrage when the 28 states that already had similar rules (some even more narrowly defining exempt groups) brought them in? How come (/me asks, again, knowingly) this only became a hissy fit inducing problem when Obama came out for it?

      Have you ever heard of severe endometriosis and one of its common treatments? Is the Catholic Church okay with funding (or being around, or near, or having the insurance company fund) that? If so, then why is this mandate a problem. If not, since when does religious liberty include the liberty to get in between a person (one who may not even be a member of that religion) and her doctor?

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    3. Why do you demand that people buy your contraception for you, even though it is against their religious beliefs?

      Bigot.

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    4. Why do you demand that your religious beliefs insert themselves in between a woman and her doctor?

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    5. What does your insistence that Catholics be forced to buy other people their contraception have to do with the physician-patient relationship?

      If someone wants contraception, they can buy it themselves, or you could buy it for them, or Planned Parenthood could give it to them, or the government could set up a program to provide it free, etc.

      It would be quite analogous to passing laws requiring all delicatessens to sell ham or cheesburgers and to be open for business from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

      It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that that would be motivated by anti-semitism, plain and simple.

      Why are you using legal force to compel Catholics to buy contraception for other people?

      Sounds like bigotry to me, plain and simple.

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    6. They aren't being forced to buy it for somebody else. The insurance industry is (and, again, they don't mind).
      And it would not be quite analagous to delicatessens. Closer, but still wrong, would be segregated lunch counters.

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    7. People can buy their own contraception, or their own insurance that covers contraception, if they choose.

      The analogy with delicatessens is a good one.

      Forcing Catholics to buy it for others is malicious bigotry. In this case, the purpose is to drive the Church out of healthcare. Just hateful shit.

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    8. mregnor "People can buy their own contraception, or their own insurance that covers contraception, if they choose."
      Exactly. And if they choose to have severe endometriosis, then they can choose to...holy crap that's a medical condition (one of several), one of several cheaply and effectively treated by the Pill! Take that, possessors of ladyparts!
      And pretend you're a Christian Scientist (or a Scientologist, etc), say roughly what you said, and see if it holds up.

      "The analogy with delicatessens is a good one."
      No, the analogy with delicatessens is a bad one. They aren't accepting State moneys to fill public contracts, then insisting that they should be allowed to play by different rules than non-Kosher associated groups.

      "Forcing Catholics to buy it for others is malicious bigotry. In this case, the purpose is to drive the Church out of healthcare. Just hateful shit."
      Again, Catholics are not being forced to buy it for others.
      Did the 28 states that had similar, sometimes with narrower exceptions, drive the Church out of healthcare? Again (/me asks knowingly), how come this only became a firey flame of ginned up outrage after Obama came out for it?

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  5. As is always the case, the religious liberty Catholics are fighting for is the liberty to discriminate against people who do not share their beliefs or meet their religious standards. They are fighting for the right to refuse perfectly legal adoptions to same sex couples and to make it more difficult for their employees to get legitimate and legal prescription drugs.

    The sexually dysfunctional old gay men that run the church hate gays and women, and it shows in everything they do. The liberty being denied is the liberty of those unfortunate enough to be under the Catholic Taliban’s financial or administrative sway.

    -KW

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    1. Is it Constitutional to force all deli's to serve ham sandwiches, including kosher deli's?

      Do you believe that Jews should be forced legally to violate their religious precepts?

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    2. Michael,

      'Is it constitutional to force all delis to serve ham sandwiches ...?'

      Now that's an incredibly stupid question. Congratulations. You're keeping up to your usual standard. It's as stupid as 'is it constitutional to force Apple stores to sell PCs?'. Actually, though I haven't looked, I wouldn't be surprised if Apple stores sold products from the Evil Empire (aka Microsoft), such as Windows Office for Mac.

      Ham sandwiches aren't a necessity. You can always eat something else in a Jewish deli, and if you want a ham sandwich, there's always the shop across the street.

      Contraception is different (and why do you have an obsession with condoms? Is it because you're a prick?). It's not easy changing your insurance to find one that covers you for this.

      As an aside, Australia treats oral contraceptives exactly the same as every other prescription. The 'insurance' for prescriptions is run by the central federal government, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which exists to cover the cost of very expensive medications, with a safety net for patients who need a lot of prescriptions within a year. Patients are required to pay around $30 or the cost of the medication (whichever is less) and as a result most women pay the full cost of oral contraceptives (having a single insurance scheme means the cost is kept low).

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    3. Mike,
      "Is it Constitutional to force all deli's to serve ham sandwiches, including kosher deli's?"
      Apparently if you call it a Kosher tax and apply punitive measures for those Deli's that do not pay it (or willingly serve the ham gratis), SCOTUS thinks so.

      Bach,

      "Ham sandwiches aren't a necessity. You can always eat something else in a Jewish deli, and if you want a ham sandwich, there's always the shop across the street."
      Contraception is not a necessity either. You can always abstain, and if you want a prophylactic you can get one free from a local sex clinic anyway... or you could buy some from a pharmacy (like the ham sandwich).

      "and why do you have an obsession with condoms?"
      The obsession with birth condoms, birth control, and other such population control methods is not Mike's or the Churches. Rather it is with the advocate groups that want such technologies and drugs to be mandated as a 'right' for those who wish to use them without cost. Personally, I would like to see beer as a right. I enjoy a cold beer (a convert), and think it would be grand if I did not have to pay for it. I know it sometimes leads to bad behaviour patterns (enables - just like contraception) but I like it, so why not provide it for me as a 'happiness' right? FREE of course...well FREE for me.

      As I understand it, Australia offers a $5000 bonus for each child born, due to a decline in population. The idea is to promote child rearing and reverse that trend.
      Sounds like common sense to me, if a little simplistic. The idea seems to be: Let the folks pay for contraceptives and other elective forms of population control, while rewarding them for child bearing and rearing.
      If what you suggest was implemented in the USA - combined with these incentives, the 'left' would say it was a 'scam' and complain it is not FREE. Further they would object to any measure that would INCREASE the rate of child birth by the use of incentives.
      Just ask them.

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    4. 'birth condoms' should read 'birth control'**

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    5. The idea seems to be: Let the folks pay for contraceptives and other elective forms of population control, while rewarding them for child bearing and rearing.
      If what you suggest was implemented in the USA - combined with these incentives,


      That's the way things are in the U.S. right now, with the reward for child bearing and rearing coming in the form of tax breaks for people with children. I haven't heard anyone say it is a scam. Your assumptions otherwise are erroneous.

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    6. Which assumptions, Anon?
      Do you mean to say that you disagree with my comparisons and conclusions?

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    7. "That's the way things are in the U.S. right now, with the reward for child bearing and rearing coming in the form of tax breaks for people with children. I haven't heard anyone say it is a scam."
      So why bother why mandate contraceptive coverage of the status quo is working and fine? It seems to me the advocates for reform think the current system is in NEED of reforming? Or is this just an exercise of power with the intent to anger and polarize the population? Perhaps to marginalize and vilify certain elements of the population? If so that would seem not only cynical, but in the long run seditious.
      Please explain?

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    8. So why bother why mandate contraceptive coverage of the status quo is working and fine?

      Because there are large numbers of people who don't think it is working and fine. There are people who believe that contraceptive coverage should be part of the regular provision of health care and that health care should be regulated in such a way that this is included.

      No one, however, is saying that we should eliminate tax breaks for families with children.

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    9. Okay Anon,
      I think I get what you mean.
      But consider it from this perspective: One one hand you will give incentives for birth, on the other you will provide free (or greatly reduced) means to prevent births. In military parlance we would call these efforts 'counter productive'. One works to cancel the other.
      Also will this not engineer a demographic gap? What I mean to say is that in a generation or two will the pro-birth folks not greatly outnumber the population control folks? This is of course assuming that the vast majority of children of the folks who produce large families (ie much of the immigrant communities) are not convinced or compelled to subvert their own cultural tendencies and practice 'family planning' or be childless themselves.

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    10. One one hand you will give incentives for birth, on the other you will provide free (or greatly reduced) means to prevent births. In military parlance we would call these efforts 'counter productive'. One works to cancel the other.

      Only if you assume the primary purpose is to have people have as many children as possible as opposed to controlling their reproduction.

      Also will this not engineer a demographic gap? What I mean to say is that in a generation or two will the pro-birth folks not greatly outnumber the population control folks?

      Doubtful. The Quiverful movement doesn't seem to have a great track record at encouraging subsequent generations to follow in their footsteps.

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    11. CrusadeRex,

      No Australia doesn't have a declining population population. Australia's population is increasing at a rate of around 2% per annum, and is one of the highest amongst developed countries. There's some concern that it's not sustainable over the long term. As cities such as Melbourne expand outwards it's removing farm land.

      The baby bonus and child care payments are a form of middle class welfare. The government takes with one hand and gives with the other. Some families as a result pay very little tax effectively, if it weren't for the GST a 10% tax on expenditure.

      Oral contraceptives aren't subsidized in Australia. Not directly. Most women pay the full price. It's only when they have an additional 6 prescriptions for the year that subsequent ones become free. Or each extra prescription causes one month's OC to become free to the woman. Effectively an 8% subsidy, but the woman needs to be paying for at least another 7 prescriptions, which is unusual.

      If Australia has a population problem, it's a skilled labor problem. Employers haven't been investing in training for years, and as a result, skilled workers have to be brought into the country temporarily to construct the mining projects in remote areas.

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  6. why do you have an obsession with condoms? Is it because you're a prick?

    Are we voting? Because I vote yes.

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    1. I vote no. A prick is useful. Egnor is a boil on the ass of humanity.

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    2. Reads like a DNC ballot.

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  7. Honestly, i had no idea that health insurance paid for condoms! I guess i have to take the opposite side here for a change and agree with the church. If thats what they preach, then why be forced to add that to their health insurance premiums?

    On the other hand, i still think thats a sneaky way to TRY to control their employees' sex lives. Again.

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    1. "On the other hand, i still think thats a sneaky way to TRY to control their employees' sex lives. Again."

      Unwillingness to pay for other people's stuff isn't "trying to control their lives".

      If you want it, you pay for it.

      I want you to pay for my car. If you refuse, you're trying to control my life!

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    2. Thats not really the same situation. Using condoms IS a preventive health measure

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