Coakley: “You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room”

Last evening, while on Broadside with Jim Braude, I told Jim that Scott Brown was trying to prevent Nuns like the Sisters of Charity that taught me from performing medical procedures contrary to their religious beliefs.  Today Martha Coakley told WBSM Radio Host Ken Pittman that those nuns should not work in an Emergency Room.  The audio can be found here.  This exchange starts at 9:34 into the audio.

Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.

Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.

There you have it folks.  You should be denied a job because of your religious beliefs, because of laws dictated by the state. This is what Martha Coakley believes.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

20 comments

  1. As a Catholic, admittedly one with issues with the Church over issues from the past decade and the Church’s inexcusable response, or lack thereof, to the child molestation scandals, I am very offended by her taking a position that people with religious beliefs should not work in emergency medicine.  That is so preposterous as to be laughable, but I am afraid that is what she really believes.

    This from the DA who allowed a pedophile priest to stay free rather than prosecute him allowing additional children to be victimized by this priest.  This from the DA and AG who refused to prosecute Cardinal Law for his role in the cover up of the priest abuse scandal.

    Someone needs to call her on this and fast. Best would be Cardinal O’Malley, but all religious people should be concerned as she has stated her position clearly.  Your ability to do a job depends on your religious views.  Not a lawyer, thank God, but this sounds like out and out discrimination to me.

    What will she do next in advancement of her agenda, support a tax plan whereby whether you are taxed or not depends on whether you are in a union or not?  Oops, she already supports that bill.

    The more I learn about her positions the more concerned I become.

  2. Martha is obviously loosing it.  Still we can’t let up.  I just got a call from a man volunteering with Organizing for America in their Chattanooga, TN office asking me to support Martha.  I told him he had 5 minutes to convince me after which time I told him I had already voted absentee for Scott Brown.    

  3. If my understanding is correct this was proposed primarily for Catholic based hospitals..presumably for systems like the Caritas system down the street.  Do these hospitals take any federal or state funding?  And what kind of strings are attached to accepting that funding if they do?  since the state can legally say what a hospital is or isn’t, seems they could threaten to pull their licensing and so forth if they failed to comply with state regs.

    Parsing words, I think it may be a bit a stretch to say Coakley would advocate for restricting ones place of employment based on any religious beliefs.  It’s sounds more as though she said it would not be wise to do so.  Like she is putting the onus on the individual…rather like saying if you are a drunk, it’s probably not a good idea to become a bartender.  so I’m I’m prepared to give her a very strained “pass” on that one.

    That said, it does not excuse the gross misrepresentation of Brown’s position on an amendment (that failed by the way) on a bill he voted for twice (initially and after Romney vetoed it).

    Personally I don’t have a problem with the position even if the amendment passed.  The state has already gotten Catholic services out of the adoption business because they insist they allow same sex adoptions.  Catholic hospitals are essentially religious institutions..exemptions for religious reasons are given in many government policies…they can excuse one from military service, and even the Amish will be exempted from the Healthcare mandate being proposed and they don’t have to send their kids to school.  Jehovah’s witnesses are excused from saying the pledge of allegiance in schools…there are certainly exemptions from all kinds of things for religious beliefs.

  4. This may be translated as a true communist or some other secular ideological push to banish religous thought from society. Personally..I liked the “uhhs” and “ums” which preceded the thought. Beavis or Butthead?

  5. There are TWO halves to the Establishment Clause – no establishment of official church and NO SUPRESSION OF ‘THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF’.

    The phrse ‘separation of church and state is NOT in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, and is in fact from a personal letter to a friend from the noted Deist, Thomas Jefferson.  The Free Exercise Clause is why the Supreme Court sits under a SCULPTURE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS!!

    (thank you for letting me get that out…)

    At the time of the debate, it was suggested that Catholic institutions have employees on staff who would agree to dispense, similar to an Orthodox Jew who might hire a Christian to work on the Sabbath.  The amendment was proposed to protect INDIVIDUALS who could not provide the service without violating sincere belief.

    Gary – the hospital per se cannot accept state funds and entirely deny the service.  To date, no Catholic institution that I am aware of has entirely banned service.

    ULTIMATE irony – did you know Obama has proposed exempting the Amish from the national health care plan FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS????

  6. The First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    Unless we’re talking about a federally owned hospital – and I sure hope not, because that would be socialism! – I don’t exactly see how the First Amendment applies here. Congress isn’t involved here, unless I missed something. And even if its a state-run hospital, its still not clear the Amendment applies, based on everything I’ve read about the way the Supreme Court has incorporated the First Amendment.

    More broadly, and more importantly, in our free market system no one has a right to hold any particular job. To suggest that employers should be forced to employ people whose religious beliefs prevent them from fulfilling all of the duties and responsibilities of that their position requires would be to interfere with both the individual and the company’s right to freely contract. That’s not what we want, is it?

    Finally, she wasn’t saying “You should be denied a job because of your religious beliefs.” She was saying that if your religious beliefs don’t allow you to fulfill all of your job responsibilities, you shouldn’t have that specific job. That’s the role “work in the emergency room” plays in that sentence.

    Should a Christian pacifist be a police officer or a member of the military? No.

    Why? Because they might have to kill someone to protect us!

    Would it be a violation of their religious beliefs to tell them this? No. Of course not. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that pacifists have a right to join the military, lest the state us their religious beliefs as the reason for not giving them that kind of job. Yikes!

    And even MORE broadly – do we want to create a system when individual medical providers are allowed to prevent individuals from getting the legal urgent care they need? Even if its for a valid personal reason, that would seem to open the door to all kinds of crazy rationing. What if Muslim doctors decide that their religious beliefs prevent them from treating Christians? Or if liberal doctors decide that their beliefs prevent them from treating conservatives? I say NO!

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