February 17th, 2012
10:11 AM ET
11 years ago

Contraceptives, religious freedom: Are we in a new culture war?

Washington (CNN) - Welcome to the culture wars 2.0, where the front lines now are religious freedom and contraceptives. Abortion? Gay marriage? Those are so last year.

The White House seems to have assuaged the concerns of liberal and moderate religious voices, particularly Catholics, who complained that the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptive coverage violated religious freedom of conscience. The policy now includes a wide exemption for religious groups; requires insurance companies, instead of religious employers, to foot the bill; and still includes a year to hammer out the details.


Filed under: Health care • White House
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Republicans are simply searching for a social issue to run on because they have nothing else to run on; not the economy, not the budget, not on jobs, not on foreign policy, not on national defense, not on immigration, not on women's rights, not on children's rights, not on worker's rights, not senior's rights, not on education, not on health care, not on financial reform, ... , and my fingers are getting tired, but you get the idea. They are running on empty, searching for an issue.

    February 17, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. diridi

    Could you please stop this idiotic Contraceptive discussion. You think, church leaders are not using this contraceptive devices, and Catholic Priests are not using these. Where on earth you are. These Republicans are creating stir out of nothing. Stop this religious zealotry, and idiocy. O.K. This is a diversion. What a nasty republican drama in an uneducated nation. I pity.

    February 17, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Debra from Georgia

    They can't beat the President on the economy, now they are trying to beat him on these crazy culture wars. Boehner, where are the women?

    February 17, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. John in Brooklyn

    We aren't in a culture war. What we're in is a war on wether the government has the authority to require individuals to participate in a federal program that is desined for the collective good. Religious leaders seem to want exemption, since their view of the "collective good" runs counter to those who aren't religious. However, what these leaders need to understand is that this issue has been addressed and resolved many times over. Tax payers must help fund schools regardless of whether God has chosen them to have children or be barren. Tax money is used to build and maintain public highways...even from Amish people who don't drive. Taxes from religiously-informed passifists are used to fund the Pentagon budget. Individual religious expression is protected, but exemptions from laws that are designed to benefit the general public are not customizzed to accommodate religious indivudals nor religious groups. Beware...this is a slippery slope. Do we really want the Roman Cathholic bishops of America to have veto authority over ANY legislation that Congress considers?

    February 17, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    According to foreign owned media with a Saudi flair, Fox, seems to think Americans need to revisit the 1970s.

    February 17, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    The GOBP deathcult is so desperate it will lose because of its failed economic policies that it will instead double down on its failed attempts at social engineering and acting all victimized over a non-existent "war on religion."

    February 17, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Larry in Houston

    seems like that's what the republicans want – they constantly contradict theirselves – they constantly say they don't want government intrusion into our lives – and smaller government – BUT they want to control people who want to marry each other – they want to control the woman's rights – if she chooses to go to the hosp. after she got raped or in a case of incest, they want to TELL her that she's GOT to have that Baby. That's ridiculous !! Why don't the Republicans stay OUT of people's Lives ?

    February 17, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Dr Knowitall

    Lets get the argument back on point. This is not about a persons right to get an abortion or to use contraceptives as the leftist media milias would have you think. It is about Government force being applied against the belief sysytem of the church forcing them to pay for something they don't believe in.

    February 17, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. red1

    Half of americans? Nobody asked me. Hey where are those huge catholic families? Why are they not giving birth according to their beliefs? When you start seeing huge catholic families you can believe they "practice what they preach."

    February 17, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. red1

    Where are the large catholic families? Seems they practice "birth control" already!

    February 17, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. vic , nashville ,tn

    Is that simple Republicans anti women party

    February 17, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Our country is in desperate need of help and the GOP is focused on these issues? People still believe that The Republicans care about us? Wake up America, vote Democrat!

    February 17, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Jules

    Close to 99% of women use contraception at some point in their life. The president worked out a deal so that the Catholic Church will not have to use any of their resources to pay for this. This is not an intrusion on religious freedom, if anything the Catholic Church is placing their male manmade dictates on women. The Catholic Church, along with Rick Santorum, believe that women should not use any birth control ever other than the rhythm method. In my opinion, the Constitution comes down on the side of President Obama

    February 17, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. Tired of republican lies

    What I can tell you right now is that the GOBP is going down trying to resurrect this stuff. They are showing they want to take the country back ti the 1700's

    February 17, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Data Driven

    "Abortion? Gay marriage? Those are so last year"

    Really? I hadn't realized social conservatives had thrown in the towel on those issues. Knock off the cute so-last-yearisms and properly write about this subject, please.

    Getting really sick and tired of the 10th grade journalism.

    February 17, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The leftist Obama administration has taken the position that federal government mandates take precedence over Constitutionally guranteed freedoms in this country. First it was forcing individuals to buy a private product for the betterment of the socialist collective. Now it is forcing religious and religious affilations to buy or provide services and/or drugs that are in direct conflict with their religious values. And when the Catholic church opposed it, the federal government then violated the freedom of speech of priests in the military when they censored what they could say.

    The Obama administration has SHREDDED the Constitution in its effort to "fundamentally transform" our country. And when the USSC rules, the Obama administration oppenly ATTACKS them based on their leftist views. Obama and the Democrats have proven they are a danger to this country and its guaranteed freedoms. Four more years of these dangerous people in office and this country will be destroyed.

    February 17, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Mikey

    Where is all of this sudden religious freedom on the right coming from? We didn't see a lot of it when they were trying to build a Mosque in downtown NYC last year.

    February 17, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. cf

    Your religious freedom does not give you the right to deny me of MY rights! Why can't people get this through their head??

    February 17, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. judy

    sick of listening to these repo men talk about birth control ,planned parent hood and such. Religion should be kept seperate. Mind your own business you old trolls.

    February 17, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Obama has already shown the country where he gets his religious values. He got them sitting in the pews of an anti-America racist Rev. Wright for TWENTY YEARS. Yet somehow he never heard anything bad during that time. If you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.

    And then his statement in private criticizing Americans that "cling to their guns and religion" shows his true feelings. It seems very strange coming from a man that professes to be religious. Does he not cling to his religion? Or does he just use it as a tool to further his leftist ideology? His words and deeds clearly indicate the latter to be the truth.

    Obama is the biggest snake oil salesman this country has EVER witnessed. He has been slowly coming out of his socialist/leftist closet to reveal who he truly is.

    February 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. judy

    hey the repos don't mind screwing us just don't want to let us have birth control or abortions. I guess they would rather have us be on welfare and food stamps because you know they aren't going to take care of us. Nasty ol men Economy is improving so they are just looking for something to use against the president. Women unit against these trolls. Obama 2012 lets move forward not backward.

    February 17, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    cf - Your religious freedom does not give you the right to deny me of MY rights! Why can't people get this through their head??
    What "rights" are you being denied and by who? Birth control is freely accessible anywhere in the country and is free in many cases. So just who is denying you anything? You make no sense.

    BTW, you have no "right" to demand your employer provide you ANYTHING. If you do not like their benefit package, then seel employment elsewhere.

    February 17, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. diridi

    For your kind information, no one shredded the constitution, if fact Republicans shredded this entire nation. Learn this hidden truth, idiot. These idiots made this nation go broke, ex, Reagan and your Bush...thushhhhh...

    February 17, 2012 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. once upon a horse

    one thing is for sure, the Republicans DON'T follow the polls (unless of course they are in their favor) because it shows Americans agree with the President on this issue. Even shows a large percentage of Independents AND Republicans also do. This is a DEAD issue and it's not going to work in November. They were depending on the economy to continue to go in the wrong direction, it's not, they can't attack the president on terrorism or protecting the country. I bet if this doesn't work they will go back to the "he's not one of us and birther" issues.

    February 17, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |