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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blood transfusions and religious liberty, Part II

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

A couple days ago, I addressed the troll "argument" that Jehovah's Witnesses should enjoy "religious liberty" protections regarding blood transfusions. What brought this up was a local Leftist whining after my letter to the editor calling on the city council to reject funding for Planned Parenthood. Here are a couple comments making that point:

So, you're okay with forcing Jehovah's Witnesses to subsidize blood transfusions even though it goes against their religious beliefs?

And:

I'm just trying to determine to whom, beyond those in your Christian sect, you extend "religious freedom".

Do I really need to count the ways this is stupid?

Let's start with the most obvious and most glaring flaw: I have never argued that giving Planned Parenthood funding under the Jack Hopkins grant is a violation of religious freedom under the First Amendment, or that such grants are illegal. Trying to make this an issue of "religious liberty" is a dishonest straw man argument. In fact, I did not even mention religion in my letter to the editor!

It is true that I have argued it is bad policy to force Christians to subsidize Planned Parenthood, but that is most certainly not the same thing as arguing it is a violation of religious liberty. I have argued that the council should not vote for this welfare. Yes, the city council has the legal right (unless the state prohibits it) to disburse this funding every June as they see fit. It would nonetheless be the right thing to do to end this forced donation.

Furthermore, the discussion of blood transfusions is completely irrelevant to the Hopkins funding process. One is an issue of religious freedom under ObamaCare and whether private corporations should be forced by the federal government to fund something the owners find morally objectionable. The second is a decision by a local government to offer a purely elective (and politically decided) subsidy to local charitable organizations. These are two separate and unrelated issues. They have nothing to do with each other.

I expect I will get pushback every time I write a letter opposing corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood. Leftists should at least try to present "arguments" that are actually relevant to the topic and are not based on fabrications of arguments I have never once made in support of my position.

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