Who is trying to force whom?

Who is trying to force whom?

Here’s the Truth is Simple version for those who insist that Catholics who object to violating their consciences are trying to control people’s private lives. Different issue, same principle.

Conscience Protection: Who is trying to force whom?

About the Author

About the Author: Hello, and thank you for reading. I am a wife, mother of seven, and joyful convert to Catholicism. I write from my tiny office in a 100-year-old restored Adirondack mountain lodge that overlooks a spring-fed lake. Read more about me here, with pictures. Find me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or contact me by email. God bless you! .

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  • alanl64

    I was unaware that alcohol was a prescribed drug. That only a doctor can get it for you. You don’t see the subtle difference between something that must be prescribed by a doctor and that which doesn’t?

    • G

      Nobody is making contraception illegal. That is not what Stacey is trying to say. Contraception is a personal choice that an individual makes privately. The government has no right to force us to buy or, as private employers, pay for contraception. That’s the point. Imagine what uproar there would be if the government took the opposite approach and made contraception illegal? And the reason abortion should be banned is not religious in any way. It’s about protecting a fundamental right that is guaranteed in this country, specially for those most vulnerable.

  • Stacy Trasancos

    You missed the point. There is no reason for insurance to cover contraception, there is no reason to force doctors to prescribe it. It’s as nonsense as what is portrayed in the video.

    • Mjeck

      A Strawman argument, then a bait and switch?

      Are you ever willing to have an open conversation regarding abortion and contraception? Or is it a shut and closed case for you?

      Social problems, such as unwanted babies and alcoholism, don’t go away because you make them illegal. If you ban abortion and contraception, then what are you going to replace it with? The right to free health care? free eduction? free housing? Because that is what unwanted children need ….but that’s socialism, and you hate socialism.

      Not everyone knows how to, nor has the ability to raise children. This is why abortion and contraception are available. Otherwise you have what they have in China: Babies just thrown in the dumpster.

      Maybe it is evil, but it seems to be the lesser of two. I find the problem complicated and I would love for you to put a working policy forward.

    • Stacy Trasancos


      I have changed my mind on these issues. I used to be quite the opposite. I saw the truth.

      I cannot believe you think that for something to be legal, someone else must pay for it. That’s nonsense.

      What’s the solution? Expect people to be responsible for their own actions – you know, like how you raise children.

      You do realize that contraception and abortion are WIDELY available in China, don’t you?

    • Mjeck

      How do you make people responsible for their actions and start caring for unwanted children?

    • Stacy Trasancos


      I said “expect” not “make.” You start by believing in your fellow citizen to be all he can be. You don’t coax them to dependency and laziness.

    • Mjeck

      It seems as though you’ve thought a lot about how you would like the world to be, but not a lot about a policy that would actually make that happen.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      I’m not a politician, I’m a mother with guiding principles.

    • Mjeck

      I definitely have no doubt that you are an amazing Mother. I would love to read your policies on defiant children :)

  • alanl

    point not missed at all, just disagreed with.
    should insurance cover rehab facilities for alcoholics?
    should rehab cover therapy?
    what should/should not insurance cover?

    • G

      Insurance companies should cover whatever they want to cover and we should have the choice to solicit their services. If I don’t want health insurance because I lead a low risk lifestyle, then why should I have to pay for any service/insurance? If I don’t drink, I don’t ever need rehab facilities. If I don’t have promiscuous sex, and only engage in “natural” sex with my wife, then I don’t need contraception. If I exercise regularly, then I don’t need insurance to cover my obesity surgery. Remember when it was asked of our presidential candidates whether health care was a right or a responsibility? Well, I’m of the type that believes it’s a responsibility. It is my responsibility to take care of my body and hence, not need any of those services. Now, the argument that you will make, is what of those that have pre-existing conditions or what of those that suffer some catastrophic event. There are laws that protect those already and the American people have always stood by those most vulnerable/less fortunate. But since we are on the topic of insurance, let me purchase a policy that covers catastrophic care only since that is what I need. Don’t force me to purchase a product that I don’t want and dictate what product or service I need to provide to my employees, specially when that demand includes things that are against my personal and religious beliefs.

    • Mjeck

      And then on the other-side you have health companies that pay for contraception, gay partner life insurance, and none of your money goes to schools for children that you never plan on having?

      Sounds good.

  • G

    Sounds good to me. If that makes sense for the health insurances business, then so be it. They are free to do as they choose and the government has no right to impose what they should or should not cover or provide. Let’s agree on that and tell our congressman to free up the insurance business. I’m all for that. Competition and choice of coverage would be a good thing for everyone. Let’s also tell them to free up the insurance market so that insurance companies can compete nationally. I’ve lived in 3 different states in the last 3 years and I’ve had to change my insurance everytime I move. If the key is to bring prices down, then open up the competition and allow us to select the coverage we need and watch how everyone’s insurance rates drop like a rock. Orale!

    • alanl64

      I agree G, with one basic exception. You do not get any benefits for any catastrophic events. Not purchasing insurance for them due to the fact that you feel they are unlikely does not make you less fortunate.

      So you have the opportunity to purchase insurance for what you think you will need it for. When something outside of that happens, oh well you will have to pay for it yourself. Don’t expect society to pay for it. I mean c’mon why should I have to pay for your chemo because you didn’t think you would get cancer? Or your heart attack because you weren’t obese or had any risk factors? Or for when you get run over by an uninsured driver while out jogging to be in good shape?

      Oh yeah, also lets get it so my husband does not have to pay taxes on what his company pays for my insurance simply because we are both men. Mixed married couples don’t have to pay the extra taxes. I mean you want to make things fair don’t you?

    • Stacy Trasancos

      G is right about competition bringing down insurance prices. There’s a direct correlation to cost of insurance and regulation by state.

      For any industry, some regulation is necessary to protect consumers from fraud, but heavy regulation comes with a high cost.

    • alanl64


      I will agree you are right on one thing. I should not have said answer without using religion, that was vague. I should have said answer without using a specific religion, as all religions believe in god, yet all have different doctrines and beliefs. Sometimes I don’t express myself properly and this was one of them.

      So we will try again. What are the specific rights endowed to us by god. You state life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are god endowed rights. You can’t seem to expand on that. I think we both know that no religious doctrine state that those are god endowed rights (or more so the only god endowed rights. Plus we both know that is the Declaration of Independence, not religious doctrine which predates it, nor is it the Constitution). We both know it goes so much further. So take it further.

      And yes Stacy, you and the religious wish to impede my freedom (and others) as well as my happiness with your rules, doctrines and such. You know this to be true, you are just trying to deflect. It’s a typical techinique you use with me. You know you are more than just refusing to acknowledge my marriage, but trying to stop them all. And of course there are other ways you attempt to impede others freedoms and happiness.

      I realize that you don’t like me, but your childish responses (stupid question? really?) are kind of foolish. The blog is here, you want responses, you get them. Be an adult.

  • G

    Oh and about the money not going to the schools if you don’t have kids, I’m perfectly ok with that. And while your at it, please tell your congressman that if my kids are going to a catholic school, I should not have to pay the tax either since I’m not using the service. As a matter of fact, let’s put a flat tax in place and get our federal government out of the business of education. Let our local municipalities, counties, and townships take control of those funds and use them to better represent their constituents. If you want to fight to not pay a school tax because you don’t have kids, wouldn’t that be easier to do by going to your local elected official? A federal government thousands of miles away does not understand the needs of the local communities an ends up dictating rater than representing.

    • Mjeck

      I think governments should be in the business of human rights, and the democratic voting system should be with our tax dollars.

      Human rights should be constantly updated, so that the bottom line is always raised; health care, shelter, education; these should be basic human rights.

      Come tax time, each individual is allowed to allocate where there tax dollars are to go. Politicians run campaigns for particular packages of tax allocation.

    • alanl64

      I think we agree on govt

  • G

    Rights are endowed by our Creator, not given or taken away by politicians.

    • Mjeck

      What you described previous, regarding health care and taxes seemed to be right out of the Ayn Rand, Libertarian handbook. I’m not a fan, and I think the premise is flawed; however, what rights does the Creator give? Which Creator? If it’s the Creator that gives us rights, then why are they different from Country to Country, Century to Century, Constitution to Constitution?

      As far as I can tell, the God of the OT was a punishing Oligarch. Jesus was a socialist, communist-loving hippy; giving away free food and health care.

      Mixing your religion with your politics is dangerous when you are in the minority.

    • alanl64

      ok so without including religion can you tell me exactly what rights are endowed by our creator?
      How do we know them?
      Do they change?
      I’m curious.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      Alan, it’s in our most fundamental laws. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A just government serves the people and protects those rights. That’s why the Constitution was written.

    • alanl64

      so we all have the god given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happines? Is that stated in the bible?
      But see that just opens a whole can of worms, because as we have noted before you want to impede my liberty and pursuit of happiness.
      So as you always ask people, dig deeper. What rights are we endowed by our creator? And please don’t quote The Declaration of Independence, we all know god did write that.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      You do not need me to make you happy. That is all up to you. You are free to pursue it. I’m not obligated to provide happiness for you, nor am I obligated to approve of your choices. If your happiness depends on that, you have bigger issues to deal with than picking fights on a blog.

    • alanl64

      Stacy it is still sad that rather than respond to my questions you always go for the “you are picking a fight” “I am not responsible for your happiness” “I am not obligated to approve of your choices”

      I ask a question, what rights are we endowed by god. You answer with the declaration of independence. We all know the catholic church far outdates the US, and that god is neither the US or the catholic church.

      So I ask again, dig deeper, what rights are we endowed by god. It should be a simple question to answer.

    • Stacy Trasancos

      Sorry, Alan, it’s a stupid question. “Answer without using religion, but tell me what God said.” You don’t even know what you are asking. It’s an insincere question.

      You did say I was “impeding your liberty” (good grief!), but all I refuse to do, that you want me to do, is acknowledge that you are “married” to a man. Again, you don’t need my approval to pursue your own happiness.

    • alanl64

      not sure why twice I responded it went to different comments, but not going to waste my time copying and pasting again.

      1. No such thing as a stupid question. Sorry, that is just pure childishness to say it. God is so much bigger than religion, proven by the fact that so many religions worship god, yet they all have different beliefs. So for me to ask you to explain without religion makes perfect sense. God is not catholicism, judaism, muslim, or any relgion. So I understand maybe you cannot articulate the “rights endowed by god” beyond your trite “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which is as pointed out The Declaration of Independence and I honestly don’t remember that sermon in Church about those being our god given rights from The Roman Catholic Church), but surely you understand that our god endowed rights absolutely extend beyond just those. I mean realistically with all the religions condemn it cannot be as simple as that.

      You are right, you are not any more responsible for my happiness than I am for yours. I have found my happiness and as guessed it doesn’t include you. (not being rude, just stating fact)

      But for you to think that “but all I refuse to do, that you want me to do, is acknowledge that you are “married” to a man” is a factual statement you are just being ignorant. And you know that, no doubt in my mind.

      So time for you to put up or shut up. What are our god given rights? Expand, heck even tell me what the Roman Catholic Church says (hint it ain’t life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). And please also realize you are an adult. If you don’t want to answer because a. you really can’t or b. you don’t want to because it is evident you don’t like me and consider me to not be worth your time, then just admit it like an adult should.

  • G

    I have no idea who Ayn Rand is and I don’t care for libertarian views. I’m simply expressing my personal opinions. Nobody is mixing politics with religion. If that is what you read from my statement, then I guess you would attack our founders as dangerous. Those principles are what gave birth to this country and have made it the greatest coutry in the history of the world. And Jesus Christ was not a socialist. Where did that come from? Anyway, enjoyed the dialogue. I return the the real world tomorrow so I don’t typically write. I’ve been reading Stacey’s blog for some time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have never taken the time to write because I knew it would turn into a long back and forth. My hope is that by reading this blog, one day you will understand why we Catholics have the views we have. Live long and proper my friend. In Christ, G

    • Stacy Trasancos

      G, thank you. If you ever have any suggestions for me, please feel welcome to email me privately. I appreciate your comments.

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  • G

    Thought I would check in mid-week. Well, I missed quite a bit. Sorry about that. I’m going to chime in on the “God given rights” thing. Warning – This is going to be lengthy. alan, not sure if you’ve ever studied Burke. He was a huge influence on our Founding Fathers and a huge influence in our Founding Documents. He argued that each individual is created as a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience and is bound to a transcendent moral order established by Divine Providence and uncovered through observation and experience over the ages. He said that there is one law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity – the law of nature. This Natural Law penetrates man’s being and was adopted by our Founding Fathers as the principle around which civilized American society would be organized. Our Founding Fathers were men of different religions/denominations but they were united in the belief that the Creator was the origin of their existence and the source of their reason. Are you arguing that there is no Natural Law and man can know moral order and unalienable rights from his own reasoning unaided by the supernatural or God? There are those that argue this, but that was not the view adopted by our Founders. Without those principles in place man can arbitrarily create his own arbitrary morality and rights. Right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, would be relative concepts susceptible to circumstantial applications. Some resist, as you are doing at this point, the idea of Natural Law’s relationship to Divine Providence, for they fear it leads to intolerance or even theocracy. It’s actually quite the opposite. If a man is endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, he is endowed with these rights no matter his religion or whether he has allegiance to any religion. It is the Divine nature of Natural Law that makes permanent man’s right to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” That Burke and our Founders (and a guy named Mark) were some really sharp dudes. Enjoy dissecting that one. I’ll check back on the weekend. Blessings, G. Oh, and Stacey, I would be honored to discuss ideas for your blog. We can tag up later.

    • alanl64


      First, thank you for responding in a kind way.

      You do understand that the founding fathers also wanted to be very careful about forcing religious beliefs on people right? I mean the constitution of course gives you the rights to your religious freedoms, but it also gives us the freedom from religion.

      Then you write
      “Without those principles in place man can arbitrarily create his own arbitrary morality and rights. Right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, would be relative concepts susceptible to circumstantial applications”

      You don’t think man aribitrarily creates his own morality?

      Morality is a very hard word to define. Stacy feels that homosexuality is immoral. I don’t. If you have seen me here before you know I choose homosexuality because I am indeed a homosexual.
      Is it immoral to kill? Well yes, unless of course you are protecting yourself or fighting a war. Drug and alcohol abuse are immoral, but their use is acceptable if not abused.

      So see morality is open to man’s interpretation.

      Then you say life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are god given rights. So fine, they are divined by god. So it’s ok that I am gay. And god seems to be ok with that if I go by your creator endowed rights are just those.

      See where I may have a problem with this?

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  • Borgþór

    Judging from what I gathered from the video and the article referenced, you feel that doctors being able to prescribe contraceptives infringes on you rights somehow?

    Is it not true that people are able to refuse treatment and/or prescriptions?

    Are you implying that someone offering a service you do not want, somehow impedes your freedom to choose what you want?

    • Stacy Trasancos

      No, forcing doctors to prescribe it against their conscience infringes on their rights. So does asking other people to pay for it for you.

  • David

    On a related note…Here’s a syllogism worth consideration:

    Each moral decision should be based on the nature of man and the divine law.
    Each moral decision should be unaffected by the trends of how other people make the same moral decision.
    Voting is a moral act.
    Therefore, the act of voting should be based on the nature of man and the divine law and be unaffected by the trends of how other people vote.

  • Stacy Trasancos

    David, are you basically saying, “Vote for what’s right, not for what’s popular?” :-)

  • David


    First, though, the premises are true, and the reasoning is sound. Is it not?
    That means the conclusion is true.

    Countless people are turning to Christian and Catholic voting guides that are leaving out this important bit of truth.

    More than anything else, I’m saying that reason and Catholic morality demand that our vote be unaffected by polls. So, if I believe that Mr. J is truly a better candidate than Mr. W, then I am morally obligated to vote for Mr. J, even if he is polling at 6%. And, my obligation to vote for him is unaffected by the fact that the horrible incumbent Mr. B is more likely to keep his office than if I vote for the “middle evil” Mr. W.

  • Michael

    I am a pacifist, like all Christians technically would be if they followed the teachings of their Jesus. I morally object to my tax dollars being forcibly spent on death and destruction abroad. But I have no choice do I.