Is This Really What Jesus Would Do?

The administration presided over by our thrice-married, p***y-grabbing, porn-star-fornicating President has announced its latest effort to protect religiosity.

The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom…. The creation of the new division will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights.

The “religious freedom” being protected by the new division and rules is the freedom of medical practitioners to deny medical care if providing that care would be “inconsistent” with their religious beliefs.  (Did the Good Samaritan check the sexual orientation of the injured man he helped? I forgot that part of the story…)

The Administration is clearly unconcerned with the religious beliefs or health needs of women who need reproductive services like birth control. The new rules allow almost anyone who works in the health field to refuse to provide a wide array of services; adding insult to injury, there is no requirement that religiously objecting doctors refer patients elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood warns that the rule could allow a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription for birth control, doctors to deny hormone therapy to transgender patients, and  pediatricians to refuse to treat the child of gay parents.

An Atlantic article looked at the implications.

There are already federal laws that protect medical personnel from being required to provide abortions. In addition, nearly every state also allows health-care providers to refuse to perform abortions, and 12 states allow them to refuse to provide contraceptives. In six states, even pharmacists are allowed to refuse to fill birth-control prescriptions.

According to reproductive-rights groups, the problem is these laws often mean patients who are denied services aren’t then referred to a doctor who will provide the care. According to one poll, only 57 percent of doctors nationally believe objecting physicians must refer patients to an accommodating provider. “Only in a couple of states are patients given information and referrals,” says Elizabeth Nash of the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute.

Given the language of the new regulation, the “protection” could be extensive.

“Under the new rule, you could have translators who refuse to translate for a woman undergoing tubal ligation,” says Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Those crafting the new rules explain that requiring objecting physicians to refer patients to willing providers would also violate their tender religious consciences.

The proposed rule defines “referral” as providing “any information,” including a phone number or website on a pamphlet, about a health service that the provider disagrees with.

The Administration’s uber-solicitous concern for the religious sensibilities of providers is certainly not matched by any concern for patients, whose rights are far more likely to be violated even under current law.

In 2015, a lesbian couple in Michigan had a pediatrician decline to care for their six-day-old infant, Bay, because, as the doctor later explained to the couple, “after much prayer following your prenatal, I felt that I would not be able to develop the personal patient-doctor relationships that I normally do with my patients.”

Another case, also in Michigan, involved Tamesha Means, a woman who was rushed to her county’s Catholic hospital when her water broke at 18 weeks into her pregnancy. “Based on the bishops’ religious directives, the hospital sent her home twice even though Tamesha was in excruciating pain,” as the ACLU put it. The hospital staff did not tell her that she could, and probably should, end the pregnancy, according to the ACLU’s summary. Ultimately, Means returned to the hospital a third time, this time with an infection, and miscarried.

Critics of this new level of regulation point out that it is transparent political pandering; unlike the numerous cases where patients have been endangered, instances where providers have been discriminated against are vanishingly rare. As the article concluded,

“They’re setting up this office and using a lot of taxpayer dollars to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist,” Fogel says. “Health systems are already pretty good at accommodating people who have a genuine objection to participating in a service.”

Swartz agrees, saying the problem of conscientiously objecting physicians “is like voter fraud. Those instances are one in a million.”

Rare though they might be, these cases will now merit special attention by the U.S. government.

Perhaps this new division is protecting “Christian” doctors in return for that “mulligan” Evangelicals gave Trump…


  1. When a ‘church’ owns and operates all the hospitals in the area, one must actually act according to that religion’s tenets whether one believes them or not — even right down to the dying.
    So it goes now.

  2. This new ruling is yet another example of the corruption of the medical profession. The practice of medicine use to be about the patient; now it is all about the feelings and beliefs of the provider, and of course, the money. Disgraceful!

  3. “The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom…”

    But…exactly which denomination of which religion is the basis for protection under the “fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom”? Pence’s laws protecting his denomination of Christianity is in opposition of my Christian beliefs; both are – or were – in opposition of David Koresh at Waco and Randy and Vicky Weaver at Ruby Ridge. One a tightly organized group, the other one family with small children plus one friend; both groups heavily armed, following questionable “religious” self-ruling. All came to deadly ends under heavy, war-level, military attacks by this government who had no regard for any religious based beliefs of anyone involved on either side.

    Will hospitals resort to weaponry to uphold their right to deny treatment to specific patients; or will patients come heavily armed to demand medical treatment…which they are paying for IF they still have medical care. My questions are no less based in common sense and our rights under the 1st Amendment than this new division to allow HHS the right to “protect” the far right-wing views of religion regarding our health care and our sex lives. This new division already has the tacit approval from this government regarding use of weapons under their strong support of the 2nd Amendment, funded by the NRA.

    Meanwhile; Trump carries on his “fake news” rants as he prepares to explain his financial plans for “America First” while sucking up (and shaking all hands) to foreign leaders to further distract us and those other nations from what is going on inside Congress and the Russian investigation.

    Insanity reigns!

  4. I think it is incorrect to say the medical profession is corrupt. I don’t know how many medical professionals are currently practicing in these United States, or how many of those suffer from the disease of perverted religion. I suspect the latter are a small minority. There is a prescription for them, to heal their disease and free them of their bigotry: a strong dose of Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” followed by Thomas Jefferson’s cut and paste life of Jesus. The corruption is what religion has produced: myth and falsehood. Our history is replete with the never ending conflict between reason and religion. The evangelical leaders who, in the past day or two made it clear they accept DJT’s sins in order to get their agenda passed, are the corrupt profession. Protestant and Catholic alike are corrupt. Instead of healing they exacerbate the suffering of their flocks.

  5. As one meme put it, wait until an atheist physician uses religious freedom as an excuse to refuse to treat a Christian patient. The evangelical conservative leaders have sold their souls, and sold out their followers, to a pandering vulgarian for a few bits of sensational legislation that even the current Supreme Court should strike down.

  6. Just because Jewish controlled organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Move-on are UNDERSTANDABLY FEARFUL of using the word FASCISM doesn’t mean it isn’t so.

  7. Wayne; the basic corruption of the medical profession began long before religion entered into the equation. Primary physicians ceased “practicing medicine” and became glorified information and referral specialists. I have often wondered if the doctors themselves resent spending many years of study and being deeply in debt to only be allowed to read their nurse’s or Physician Assistant’s notes listing our “vitals”, asking if we have any problems and referring us to the correct, super expensive, specialist to decide if we actually have a medical problem. It, of course, takes a number of super expensive medical and laboratory tests ordered by the specialist, for which patients co-pay, and repeated office appointments – also with a co-pay each time. It is all about making money for the medical system in which they are employed; unless located in religious based hospitals and systems, religion doesn’t enter into medical treatment. This is a primary source of cost problems with the Medicare system; I get copies of full charges for every “treatment” I receive so I see the exact amounts. I don’t believe it is the doctors who are at fault; it is the medical system which has become big business – in collusion with Big Pharma.

  8. JoAnn,

    “Marv; aren’t “Insanity” and “Fascism” interchangeable terms?”

    You know better than that. However, creating Fascism[ in the U.S.] as Steve Bannon has planned through his puppet Donald Trump is tantamount to INSANITY. Bannon has the assumption that the African-American community is going to join in on his MASKED WAR AGAINST THE JEWS as did the Communists just before the NAZI TAKEOVER IN Germany.

    That’s never going to happen here.

    “God save the United States of America from Trump/Bannon.”

  9. If you think it’s bad now, imagine what would happen if 45 were impeached and we were dealing with President Pence.

  10. First do no harm now only applies to the tender mercies of the med professionals personal religious beliefs. The patient is on his/her own.

  11. Peggy,

    “If you think it’s bad now, imagine what would happen if 45 were impeached and we were dealing with President Pence.”

    Exactly. That’s why it’s a no-brainer that Trump/Bannon MUST be taken on RIGHT NOW while they are extremely VULNERABLE. Impeachment, as you have pointed out would make matters even worse. November will be too late.

    It appears INSANITY is a distinct possibility on both sides of the aisle…… DOUBLE INSANITY or what might better be called FUTURCIDE.

  12. Let the markets sort it out — eventually these docs, pharmacists, etc. will go out of business because the customers are not going to go away quietly – bad word of mouth travels. I always tell my friends , when they want to spend money at Holly Lobby or Chick Filet, what they’re religions tell them to do & then friends say “Forget them!” Sooner or later, “evangelicals” will it’s better to “practice” their religion than to foist it off on others.

  13. When I worked at a small, public, rural hospital a few years ago as part of the emergency room staff one doctor, who was the only one there at a time, insisted on “praying” over the patients before administering medical aid. It was a regular practice to give out private personal information to the local minister so that he could visit all of the patients whether requested or not. My point being that this sort of thing does not just happen at hospitals run by religious organizations.

    JoAnn, thanks for your input on what is truly a corrupt medical system. I agree, having experienced it too.

  14. Where is Lincoln’s legal mind when you need it?

    The issue of providing or denying service is more complicated and more subtle than posts here assume.

    Frankly, I don’t know how one rule could cover all situations regarding the denial of service. For instance, a female masseuse, whom I know, has for thirty years denied service to anyone whose grooming, body, smell, or contagious disease repulses or disgusts her. Should our rules require her to service every repulsive character who is willing to pay to have her hands on his body? Whether the answer is yes or no, the problem remains: how should the rule read?

    When the wheels and tires were stolen from my Toyota, no auto or tire service in Anderson, Indiana would sell me new ones, laughing or cursing in my face at the insult my Toyota ownership did to America. How do you write a rule that fairly covers this situation and also covers all others? I took another car, a Pontiac, to a Mercedes repair specialist who denied me service because he only worked on foreign cars. Again, how do you write a rule?

    One of my political paintings offended one individual so much that he and his wife wanted to buy it (they said) so they could destroy it. I was somewhat trapped because I had offered it for sale at a certain price; long story short, I refused to sell and the guy threatened legal repercussions. My agent put pressure on me to sell, primarily because she was caught in the middle, and her lawyer advised selling. I still refused. In the end, legal proceedings petered out. How do you write a rule? Do you write the rule and then list a thousand pages of exceptions?

    Where is Lincoln’s legal mind when you need it?

  15. Peggy – I think Trump will either be impeached or resign from Mueller heat before his term ends, that we will be “dealing with President Pence,” and that is in way good since we will know exactly who and what we are dealing with as opposed to the current psychopathic occupant of the Oval Office whose Falwell-approved conduct is all over the map ranging from pretended saint to obvious libertine.

    We have had many laws passed which implement provisions of our Constitution, of course, but I think tinkering with implementation of religion is dangerous to our unity and the underlying vision of what our Founding Fathers had in mind in 1789. Thus given the plethora of doctrinaire views, shall we implement freedom of religion from a Hindu point of reference? Muslim? Satanic? Of course not! Would India flesh out religious rights by adoption of a point of reference from a Christian point of view? Of course not!

    We will adopt points of reference in implementation of “freedom of religion” from the majority view of our citizens, just as India and other countries would do, even though some leaders of some Christian sects such as Falwell are destroying the Gentle Nazarene’s philosophy and adherence to Mosaic Commandments with his approval of whore-mongering, lying and other conduct unbecoming of anybody, much less the president.

    I for one am not interested in living in a country where my constitutional rights are redefined to suit the politics of the day by the likes of a Trump or a Falwell, and am beginning to understand what the prime minister of Norway said recently. She said that there were more people coming from the United States to live in Norway than there were Norwegians who were going to live in the United States. So much for the “shining city on a hill” nostalgia and myth. . . I am not ready to join such an exodus as an emigre just yet but could, depending largely upon the outcome of the Mueller investigation, which could yet restore our democracy and a view that we are all in this together. Philosophically speaking, we are told that “In unity there is strength.” The corollary would be “In dis-unity there is weakness.” I vote for strength

  16. The “control birthers” are after their cause every moment. It is an obsession with them. Yet, when the children are born the CBs are against providing for those children the necessary care and education that will enable them to thrive in the real world. the CBs are complete in their persuit of pseudo religion and devoid of real moral and ethical values. They should all join an organization like Alanon which is a community helping those who are trying to be in control of others, which is tyranny.

  17. The evangelicals and religious right keep trying to forcibly assert their “rights” on society while they watch citizens leave organized religion in droves.

    They are the very reason that so many of us have left our churches and why such a large percentage of the youth refuse to have anything to do with organized religion.

    It sure appears that the Puritans who came here two hundred years ago to escape religious persecution in their homeland have been persecuting their fellow citizens ever since. I can only guess that they were guilty of this back in Europe and were so hated that they had to escape to another country for their own protection. They have not learned anything.

  18. Gerald –

    You mentioned pence would be better than trump and his Falwell-approved conduct. Who do you think brought in all of those evangelical preachers as advisors to trump? They are all pence’s friends.

  19. Peggy,

    “Peggy – I think Trump will either be impeached or resign from Mueller heat before his term ends, that we will be “dealing with President Pence,” and that is in way good since we will know exactly who and what we are dealing with as opposed to the current psychopathic occupant of the Oval Office whose Falwell-approved conduct is all over the map ranging from pretended saint to obvious libertine.”

    Specifically, your statement:” dealing with President Pence,” and that is in a way good since we will know exactly who and what we are dealing with” is what I’m addressing.

    I believe Peggy and I know what we’re dealing with. As a friend, I need to remind you that you miscalculated on the presidential race. I don’t believe you know “exactly who and what we are dealing with.” I would suggest Peggy and I understand the forces behind Pence much more than you do and we know we won’t have much a chance, if any, with a Pence Presidency.

  20. This is just one of many issues the Steroid Capitalists and the bible thumpers can use the Trumpet (Agent Orange) for as a front man. The Steroid Capitalists are having their way with the environment, privatization of public education, tax laws, and corporate welfare. The bible thumpers are busy placing more restrictions on family health. I say family health since restrictions on a woman’s health automatically effects her family as a whole.

    However, our McMega-Media like CNN and MSNBC are totally focused on Trump and Russia. Hours and hours of mindless speculation by panels of “experts” bombard us day and night. These other issues receive very little coverage at all if any.

    There was another school shooting this time in Kentucky, but they are so routine these days there was little coverage. The McMega-Media it seems ignores mass shootings unless the death toll hits double digits.

  21. Does this mean white, Christian, male conservatives will finally have some protection? It’s about time. Those poor souls have suffered so.

  22. This type of policy is a result of some pact between the future POTUS and V.P. to bring those who are ultra-fundamentalist “Evangelical Christians” into the fold of Trump. I believe they were elected on one of three different social issues (or all three): Pro-Life, Anti-homosexual, Pro-white. Is anyone in Indiana surprised at Pence’s ultimate goal for society? If so, I suggest you may not have been following his career.

  23. All,

    You’ve adequately and passionately explained the absurdity of the “rule” about selective treatment by physicians. I suggest you all find and talk to a battlefield doctor who treats and heals the broke bodies of our troops coming in with horrible injuries due to Bush’s/Obama’s/Trump’s illegal wars. You will discover immediately, that religion is scoffed at by these dedicated people as a limiter of their jobs.

    I have to think that this rule comes straight from the tortured mind of Mike Pence and his Bible smashing wife. Trump is too stupid and really doesn’t care about religion or people for that matter.

    Religion in the hands of radical ideologues keeps coming to the rescue of sanity.

  24. Vernon,

    Trump gets, like you say, his religion [or cover] from Mike Pence and, I’ll add, his masked anti-Semitism from Steve Bannon. A highly effective team if you’re looking forward to a new breed of [fucked-up] fascism.

  25. Marv,

    Too true. The remnant of Bannon is Stephen Miller who is clearly a psychopath along the lines of Joseph Goebbels. This collection of idiots is so reminiscent of the evolution of National Socialism in Germany. They are not smart enough or well-enough educated to know what they’re doing in that regard.

    Meanwhile the country and democracy keep getting destroyed one brick at a time.

    I’m glad I’m old.

  26. All I’m trying to say is dealing with the truth might not be a bad idea at this point in time. I hope, by now, you’re not still expecting to hear it from the INSIDE. By the way, the OUTSIDE hasn’t completely disappeared.

  27. Vernon

    You never know, we might see the epidemic controlled in our lifetime.

    The following was released today. I had a short talk, earlier today, with the reporter from USA Today. This is another good reason we need to act now:

    Baptists Archives | Baptist Standard
    Southern Baptist layman Paul Pressler subject of sex abuse suit · Paul Pressler, a key figure in the self-identified “conservative resurgence” in the Southern Baptist Convention, is fighting a lawsuit by a former office assistant who alleges the onetime Texas appeals court judge sexually abused … By Holly Meyer / USA Today …

    Pressler was a key member of George Bush’s “kitchen cabinet.” Remember Bush and his “bull shit” COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM of 2000. Having Pressler, as one of his major insiders, let much of his constiutency be on notice as to the real direction of his presidency.

  28. The above described lawsuit hits BOTH the Center of Gravity (COG) and Ground Zero of the Religious Right/Radical Right movement led by Mike Pence.

    The time to attack Trump/Pence/Bannon is NOW. Not a day later.

  29. Vernon; what you say in your 11:16 a.m. comments is very true. The problem is that our health care systems are not staffed by battlefield doctors but by Democrats and Republicans, who, as I stated earlier, no longer practice medicine but shift that responsibility to specialists as demanded by the current health care system. Those specialists may also turn away patients using their personal religious beliefs a reason enough. The current health care system, under the guidance of our Republican controlled government, provides a legal excuse for all doctors to follow their laws as guided by their personal religion regarding who receives treatment and who can be turned away. They are not required to be speaking truth when they turn away patients stating it is for their religious reasons; they can now use that excuse to deny medical care and/or medications due to race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality or a personal dislike. We are currently on a different battlefield but I appreciate your reference to the true meaning of the honored title “doctor” as we once knew it.

  30. This is not hard to understand or to remedy. We allow maniacs to be grown and developed, turn them loose in the world, and then we worry about how to fight them. WE NEED TO RESTRICT THE GROWING OF MANIACS.

    We have to understand that freedom of religion was intended to be freedom from religion. We need to take steps to restrict religion, first at the extremes. We need to openly accept and teach that the believing in things for which there is no evidence will inevitably have dire consequences. We can’t outlaw churches, but we must be much tougher on the churches at the extreme, cults currently treated as legit religions. In particular we need to protect all women and children from abusive churches, and we need a children’s bill of rights that allows any child to refuse religion and that forces their parents to comply. And of course, most of all, we need to recognize churches as businesses and tax them.

    We also need to make mandatory K-12 public education for ALL American children. No home schooling. No parochial schooling. No private schooling. And we need to fund that appropriately at a federal level to ensure that even school systems in the poorest areas have the ability to fund their schools. We also need to set standards for those schools that prepare students not only for positive economic futures, but for actual humanities education – to create rational, reasonable citizens. We also need to make the core of our education system CRITICAL THINKING. It should be in the curriculum, part of every subject matter.

    It’s a dream, I know. But this is how a democracy could set itself up for survival. Otherwise, eventually, the dumb and the deluded will vote away the freedom of everyone. If we manage to dodge that bullet this time, they will get us the next time, or the next. The U.S.A. as we know it will end. And the the powerful elite will control the many with superstition, as they always have done.

  31. An old trick used by manufacturing process improvement people is to ask “why” at least five time trying to get to root cause rather than fixing symptoms. It a simple trick though employed by all critical thinkers (of which there seems to be a critical national shortage). What’s the root cause of our current national collapse?

    I think that the world and its technologies are changing faster than American culture can and that is threatening to unentitle many who can’t imagine living without all of the breaks going their way. They consider the prospect of a level playing field a definite threat to their ability to get the biggest slice of pie which, in their culture, they deserve because that’s what they’ve always gotten. Not a new story but a belief that eats into critical thinking abilities.

    So when TrumPence declares isolation from the world people hear lets go back to the good old days, at least the good for me old days. A snare and a delusion.

    Isolation is such blunt weapon.

    Much of our economic success has been built on waging wars and managing energy. Part of isolation assumes we will wage wars without allies and we will ignore they fact that current energy infrastructure has been obsoleted by the determination that fuel as an energy source has unaffordable downstream consequences. Rather than grab on to the future that’s coming the entitled would rather not let go of the past and risk becoming ordinary.

    Such symptom solving faith will lead inevitably to third world, the very rich and very poor, past facing, inward fixated failure for we, the people.

    Only Ds in ’18 and ’20.

  32. I continue to think that after Trump is deposed one way or another we can deal with Pence more effectively, and for several reasons, one of which is that his party didn’t select him – Trump did. He will be stuck with having been so chosen along with the massive damage Trump will have done to this country. Another reason is that I think evangelicals will finally see through his hypocrisy in greenlighting Trump’s antics and not following the religion of Jesus but rather one about him devised by medieval monks. Finally, Pence comes across as a dour old representative of yesterday and is about as charismatic as a fence post. He was ineffective in Congress and a disaster as governor. He has confounded church and state repeatedly in his tenure as governor, but few voters want to go to church (forget temples and mosques) eight days a week with fellow bigots. He is beatable, so let’s get on with it.

  33. Dear Ms. Kennedy,
    I see his pope=ness the vice Pence – broke a tie vote to create an ambassadorship of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. WHOSE religion? WHOSE freedom? I see we are at the point of having a ‘Ministry of Peace’ and NightWatch is on the prowl eh? (shades of Babylon 5 – or a ‘Fourth Reich’!???) Goddamn them all! and yes I mean that properly, because I can tell you this – if the devil walks the Earth he is residing in our White House.
    Respectfully submitted,
    Rev. Manuel Colunga-Hernandez

  34. geraldine powell, Ha-Ha, I have fish symbol t-shirt. The fish has four legs and the name Darwin is written on the fish body.

  35. Mike Pence isn’t being hurt by Donald Trump, it ‘s making him “THE NEW SAVIOR for CHRISTIANITY after TRUMP.”

    Who on this blog is going to be able to successfully fight that reality? Maybe there is a Superman out there somewhere.

  36. JoAnne,

    Yes. Rule #1 of the Hipocratic Oath is to do no harm. Ironically, most religions and, especially Christianity, foster the caring for one another. This discrimination bullshit is purely man-made and is a perversion of the First Amendment’s freedom of and from religion.

    Once again, the ideologues come to the rescue of reason at the peril of everyone not them.

  37. Vernon,

    “This discrimination bullshit is purely man-made and is a perversion of the First Amendment’s freedom of and from religion.”

    I would only add “chickenshit” to the “bullshit.”

  38. Natacha,

    I agree with you, Trump is a good candidate for the anti-Christ, however, I would recommend a more lawful approach like for example…..POLITICAL OSTRACISM. It’s more than clear that he’s a danger to humanity. Why should society wait for him to be charged with CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY as was the case with the Nazi war criminals?

    We must take CREATIVE pre-emptive action now, not later, based on the record of his actions the past year. It takes CIVIC COURAGE. However, I have to admit there’s a good chance Americans just don’t have enought of it.

  39. They are unconcerned with what Jesus did or would do as they follow the false god Republican Jesus of the prosperity gospel, where it is written that God loves you more if you won the birth lottery or otherwise managed to accumulate great wealth and will confer special privileges on you not available to others, including the poor, the sick, the non-white, the non-straight, and the non-American. .

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