Hell’s Bible attacks the Little Sisters of the Poor

At NRO Kathryn Jean Lopez makes a good observation about the Hell’s Bible attack on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The New York Times position [which, if you read the piece, is factually wrong] is that the Little Sisters of the Poor are imposing their religious beliefs on Americans by wanting to operate their elderly-care homes in conjunction with their conscience. In America, though, we’ve long valued religious liberty. Is it really the American way today to say to religious sisters – the women who built health-care in America – that Catholic teaching is not just not fit for polite society but their own service work?

(And Matt Bowman preempted the Times certification argument here.) [You can find some links over there.]

Further, about the businessmen with their supposedly tyrannical, intolerant streak: The Green family that runs Hobby Lobby and religious bookstores — as with the Mennonite family that runs Conestoga Woods – seek to live integrated Christians lives, where their public witness is authentic to their private professions. That’s not some strange tick they are trying to introduce, that’s how the Gospel calls Christians to live! And there are other arts and crafts stores one can work at or shop at if closing early to get home in time for a family dinner and having Sundays off (how Hobby Lobby rolls) offends you. [The Obama Administration is determined that you not have the right to express religious views in the public square. They will fine you, through the IRS, into the stone age if you try to live your Gospel values.]

In other news, a Chinese businessman wants to buy the New York Times.  HERE  Not a moment too soon.

The “third party solution” is no solution.  The Little Sisters of the Poor would be be materially cooperating in sin.  This they will not do.  This is what the Obama Administration is trying to force them to do.

 

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30 Responses to Hell’s Bible attacks the Little Sisters of the Poor

  1. So basically, the New York Times is saying that the Little Sisters’ fight to defend their constitutionally guaranteed rights is an act of aggression against the rest of the country. How thoroughly Marxist dialectic has penetrated American culture.

  2. Priam1184 says:

    I gave up on the religious liberty thing a long time ago. That was an idea invented by men (men who, incidentally, were implacable enemies of the Catholic Church) and it can be just as easily destroyed by men.

    However I was thinking about Hobby Lobby and Sundays and sane working hours. Any of you out there who are wage earners paid by the hour in your job look at the schedule sometime. Sunday isn’t the first day of the week and hasn’t been for a while it is the last day. A small but subtle change. Sundays were in the Christian world for so many centuries a day of rest. That ended decades ago in the United States but we should really think about what that means for a second: it came from the Jewish Sabbath which was given as a gift by God to his people in the 13th century before Christ, and it is the first mention of any kind in the history of the world of an organized day off. Think of how hard it would be to live in the world with no days off. No days off equals slavery and a debilitating life. Sure one can say that we still only work 5 days a week, but that is only at the discretion of our society and our employer; it is not seen as a divine command. So if the circumstances change and society, the government, business, whoever decides that we don’t need days off anymore then they will go the same way as our ‘religious liberty’. Just a random thought as I was pondering how nice it would be to work for Hobby Lobby and automatically get Sundays off.

  3. Fr. Hamilton says:

    What cruel irony! Sr. Simone rolls around the country on her bus to promote Obamacare. She falls silent as people now have their insurance plans canceled by Obamacare’s provisions. And now we see just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act is as one of its earliest theaters of aggression is ironically (and diabolically) a religious order itself which, unlike Sr. Simone and her ilk, is actually doing good work and caring for the needy while other nuns are on the bus. I say we start calling Obamacare “The Expendable Care Act!”

    Surely Sr. Simone will speak out for her fellow Sisters, right?

  4. BigCath22 says:

    The Constitution of the United States: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING FREE EXERCISE THEREOF…

    Free EXERCISE, not just freedom of worship… Why can’t the Obama Administration understand that? Did the professors at Harvard Law teach the President an alternative verison of the Constitution?

  5. Sword40 says:

    Obama’s commie friends understand, alright. Their intent is the overthrow of our country through Marxist deception.

  6. Andrew says:

    If Obamacare is a form of tax – according to the SCOTUS – then why are the Little Sisters not exempt from it?

  7. OrthodoxChick says:

    The Little Sisters of the Poor also care for some retired priests in their nursing homes. I know of one Bishop who resides in the Diocese of Providence and is retired from the Archdiocese for the military services in the U.S. He’s a sweet, dear man. I don’t even want to think about what will happen to him and all of the people that the Little Sisters care for if they are forced to close their homes.

  8. Sonshine135 says:

    It would be interesting to hear something publicly from the USCCB across all diocese directing the flock on what to do in this matter should the ban be lifted and religious forced to offer contraception and abortifacient drugs. If the administration is allowed to impose their religion of hedonism and secularism on the free people of the United States, then what are the marching orders for the church militant in response? Standing by for orders from our Lieutenants.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Sadly, those who write in favor of these good nuns are preaching to the choir. I am right now talking with two people who refuse to read any criticisms of Obamacare. I have to control my anger and ask God for a forgiving heart. Can I say these Catholics do not know what they are doing, when they are refusing to read the Bishops’ statement or such articles as NCR’s Lopez?

    Tragically, the real Catholics are in the minority.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    Sonshine135, we know our orders already. Stand up against this and not cooperate, even though it means suffering.

  11. excalibur says:

    This is the tactic that will be used in arguing in favor of the mandate in the SCOTUS. It is all they have and who knows? Maybe they can get five in black to agree that this is imposing their faith. It is, as I say, all they’ve got and it is what they are going with. The NY Times story is their baggage carriers trotting it out to get people prepared on the blogosphere up and running with it. The left being the left they’re using all the usual tactics to whip up sentiment.

  12. robtbrown says:

    excalibur says:
    This is the tactic that will be used in arguing in favor of the mandate in the SCOTUS. It is all they have and who knows?

    I doubt that would be a tactic. More likely, Obamaco will argue that the shell game is not a violation of the Free Exercise Clause.

  13. gracie says:

    “Obamacare says that when an entity is in a self-insured plan, like the Little Sisters are, they must file a certification form. But it’s not like other certification forms that the rule requires. It does not merely express their religious objections. The form also, specifically and additionally, ‘designates’ their ‘third party administrator (TPA)’ to go get the abortifacient and birth control payments . . .

    The final language even points out that this added language is legally operative: the designation words themselves are what causes the TPA’s obligation to go get coverage. Without the designation telling the TPA to go get that coverage the TPA wouldn’t have any duty to be involved . . . So it’s important to observe that for self-insured non-profits, there’s a ‘certification’ but there’s also a ‘designation’ – The designation is, by definition, an act of contracting and arranging for the coverage.

    The government even conceded, in Cardinal Wuerl’s lawsuit, that ‘in the self-insured case, technically, the contraceptive coverage is part of the plan’. It’s not separate.”

    http://www.catholicvote.org/true-and-false-witness-on-the-abortion-pill-mandate/

  14. TomD says:

    @BigCath22: “Did the professors at Harvard Law teach the President an alternative verison of the Constitution?”

    Yes. For the most part, they don’t teach the text of the Constitution; they teach its “spirit.” The actual words of the Constitution are too constraining to the enlightened imagination, which prefers the Constitution’s “penumbras and emanations” over its actual text.

    To the enlightened imagination, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . .” means the separation of church and state, and “. . . make no law . . . prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” is, well, not applicable in the modern world.

    Many Americans are not even aware that the second part of the religion clause concerning free exercise exists . . . but many believe that the separation of church and state is “in the Constitution,” which is really a wall of separation, excluding religion from the public realm.

  15. Unwilling says:

    True, the US Constitution was written by people who were generally against the Catholic Church. However, it was written with a view to ratification by the founding states (or rather States) in which there was much scepticism and distrust. After the text was agreed to through a process of eliminating objections by conciliatory re-wordings, the show went on the road for a couple of years to win support from those States. It has turned out, in the couple of centuries since, that the conciliatory wording and the balancing of values has been able not only to win that initial ratification but also to make room (I should say “freedom”) for the various values of the great diversity of the US population. It is not so much a work of genius, of a single genius, as a happy outcome of a political process. And, compared to in Mother Britain or even pre-Constitution States, Catholicism has flourished under it.

    In addition to the Amendments, the emergence of judicial review of legislative and executive decisions by the Supreme Court has much modified the original text and its meanings. It will be modified more. Some modifications have been salutary, some not so much. But those who hold that the overall track record of the application of the Constitution has earned it a right to be deferred to in the future and for the future. Many people think that whether or not the Constitution has had a good run, wiser minds now should prevail and we ought not to be bound by the old words any more than by edicts of George III.

    Whatever he was taught at Harvard, Obama must answer for himself. For several years, he was a teacher of Constitutional Law at an American law school. He has his own doctrine. He has made it clear in his teaching and public statements that he believes the Constitution should have no particular authority in the formation of new laws and policies. It is part of his program to get rid of it. That he violates this or that part of it is consistent with his professed goals.

  16. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    I hope there are good arguments (good from the point of view of constitutional law as it is nowadays dealt with by the courts) for holding that the Free Exercise provision of the First Amendment secures for all the current plaintiffs the freedom they seek despite the Supreme Court’s decision in Reynolds v. Sims that the Free Exercise provision does not secure for the Mormons of that day freedom to enter into and live in plural marriages. Please, lawyers among you who know more about this topic than I do, give us good advice or discussion.

  17. TomD says:

    @Minnesotan in Florida: I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but I think you mean Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), where the United States Supreme Court, by a unanimous decision, upheld the criminal conviction of George Reynolds, a Morman, for violating provisions of the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (1862) for being simultaneously married to two women.

    Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have confirmed that certain actions with respect to the free exercise of religion may be regulated by the government . . . otherwise, as the Court stated in Reynolds, those who claimed human sacrifice as a necessary part of their religious belief, could claim a constitutional right to do so. The Reynolds decision also hinged, in part, on the fact that US law descended from English law during the time of King James I, and the existence of English law’s restriction of marriage to only one person.

    More recently, in the 1990 case Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872, it was claimed that smoking peyote, as part of a religious ritual, also did not qualify for protection under the free exercise clause. As with much of constitutional law, there is no bright line between the claims for the free exercise of religion that are constitutionally protected and those that are not. All the more reason, in the modern day, to ensure that sound, legal minds, who respect precedent, are on the bench, and not cultural change-agents. Ultimately, our free society, firmly based on ordered liberty and the rule of law, depends on it.

  18. happyCatholic says:

    Andrew,
    I think your comment about Obamacare being a tax, and hence the Little Sisters as a tax-exempt group being therefore not obligated to pay, is brilliant.

  19. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    TomD, Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful reply. I am nearly certain that I mean Reynolds v. Sims, which I incline to think was decided ca. 1887. If I am correct, then knowing the relation between the two cases might be further enlightening. (I am sorry for being so vague, but I am away from library or reference books, and am too nearly an Internet novice to look anything up by that means.)

    Your comment on the reasoning supporting Reynolds, and your reference to the “peyote case” (which I also am aware of and have referred to in conversations on this question with others with legal background), point to what I was getting at in my phrase “as it is nowadays dealt with by the courts.” I mean, to what extent can lawyers nowadays appeal to natural law? – in this case, to the universal rule of monogamy? This gets to the heart of our current problems.

    Again, thank you for your posting. Perhaps you join me in hoping that there will be more.

  20. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    TomD, Thank you for your thoughtful and helpful reply. I am nearly certain that I mean Reynolds v. Sims, which I incline to think was decided ca. 1887. If I am correct, then knowing the relation between the two cases might be further enlightening. (I am sorry for being so vague, but I am away from library or reference books, and am too nearly an Internet novice to look anything up by that means.)

    Your comment on the reasoning supporting Reynolds, and your reference to the “peyote case” (which I also am aware of and have referred to in conversations on this question with others with legal background), point to what I was getting at in my phrase “as it is nowadays dealt with by the courts.” I mean, to what extent can lawyers nowadays appeal to natural law? – in this case, to the universal rule of monogamy? This gets to the heart of our current problems.

    Again, thank you for your posting. Perhaps you join me in hoping that there will be more.

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  22. Geometricus says:

    The NYT editorial board, in other words: “This group of nuns taking care of the elderly are disrupting the American way of life by refusing to do something so little: offer just a pinch of incense on the altar of Eros. They refuse to fill out a little form! This blasphemy against our gods must not be allowed to stand!”

  23. robck says:

    But, honestly, I’m not quite following how the Sisters would be materially cooperating in sin by certifying their religious/moral objections to abortion and contraception, when such a statement in itself would seem to be good and true and they have already made their position formally and publicly known through the documents they have filed in open court and released to the media.

    Is the moral principle here somehow the same as in other occasions when one is not obligated to tell the truth, e.g. if a Nazi were to ask whether one is hiding Jews in the attic?

    Political/legal considerations aside, I also can’t understand why the government doesn’t just unilaterally grant the Sisters an exception whether they agree to apply for one or not, since the Sisters have already given the government all it needs to approve one, based on the court documents they’ve filed.

  24. TomD says:

    @Minnesotan from Florida: You’re welcome. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), was a 1964 United States Supreme Court case, originating in Alabama, that ruled that state legislative districts had to be roughly equal in population. Reynolds v. United States (1878) was the early case regarding bigamy and the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. If I may suggest, use Google to search for words and phrases of interest and associated “hits” will appear, using appropriate caution as to the accuracy of what comes up, of course ;) . If you feel that as an internet novice you are “internet challenged,” ask a family member, friend, or librarian to help you.

    As just one example as to the heart of our current problems, it has been recounted by witnesses to the event that Associate Justice William J. Brennan once asked his law clerks to name the most important rule in constitutional law. They struggled to quickly identify only one. Justice Brennan then held up five fingers. Gradually, they got the message. You need five votes. That is the most important rule in constitutional law. Getting five votes.

    Let’s hope that sound legal reasoning and respect for precedent are more prominently among the most important rules in constitutional law.

  25. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    Many thanks again, TomD. I had got to a little Interneting (Yahoo-ing rather than Google-ing) and had discovered the Alabama apportionment case. I guess the fame of its name had gotten subconsciously mixed up with the Utah bigamy/free-exercise case.

    There is also litigation concerning alcohol-prohibition vs. free-exercise in jurisdictions where the prohibition law made no exception for sacramental wine. I myself do not see how the “result we would want” in that situation can be reconciled with the “peyote” case, nor do I see how it can be reconciled with the Reynolds bigamy case without some acknowledgement of the objective force of natural law (something obviously not acknowledged in the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case).

    “We” think that increased understanding of embryology trumps “the wisdom of the common law” with respect to the question whether abortion is nothing, or in any event a lesser thing, in comparison with murder. Yet I suppose the “pro-choice” people think “our” view that the fetus (or even embryo or even zygote) is a human being is in about the same condition as the view of some sectarians that to consume alcohol is mortal sin – i.e., “That’s what they believe but it ain’t so and they can’t impose it on us.” In other words, what I am saying is that we have to come to a reacknowledgement that there is an objective, revelation-free, natural-reason-based natural law according to which all reasonable human beings can agree on what is and what is not (“ain’t) so.

    This may be getting to be a rabbit hole, and this thread is in any event sort of expiring, but I think you and most posters on this blog would agree that a defense of natural law as traditionally understood is important in getting to the heart of our current problems.

  26. TomD says:

    @Minnesotan from Florida: The discussion of natural law and the Constitution is indeed likely to lead down a rabbit hole :) . A very, very deep and twisted one ;) . But I offer a quote from the following source:

    http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2012/12/05/common-law-and-constitutional-law-a-response/

    “Our Constitution, however, does not task our judges with “discovering” the law or crafting the right result in accordance with “natural law or the law of reason.” Unlike the English common law system from which America derived, the U.S. Constitution confines the power to make (or “discover,” if you will) law, and the power to interpret it to the legislative and judicial branches, respectively. This separation is intentional. In Federalist #47, James Madison emphasized the centrality of separating legislative and judicial power in preserving self-rule when he quoted Montesquieu as saying: “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator.”

    “. . . the judge would then be the legislator.” That, is, the source of most of our current problems with respect to legal and constitutional interpretation. Whether from the natural law or the judge’s imagination, it is the notion that judges can/should MAKE law when interpreting the law that is the problem. Our constitutional system has a separation of powers, which judges have been violating, using a creative variety of “legal” tactics, slowly but steadily, from the beginning of our constitutional republic. And, we forget in the modern day, that most of American law was to be crafted, interpreted and enforced at the state level, not the national level.

    And finally, directly addressing the issue of natural law and the Constitution, there is this 1992 article from Robert H. Bork:

    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/01/001-natural-law-and-the-constitution-21

  27. Magash says:

    robck,
    The sisters would be materially complicent because the form authorizes a third party, the insurance company that will pay for the contrception coverage to provide that coverage. Without the sisters signature they have no authority to provide such coverage to the individuals covered by the sisters self-insurance policy.
    Note: There is no such thing as contraception coverage. Every chemical contraception will cause a spontaneous abortion by acting to prevent implantation of the fertalized egg should the chemical contraception fail to prevent fertalization. Other methods of contraception, such as the IUD, blatently prevent long term pregnancy by inducing an abortion. In other words it is a chemical abortifact. So when the media and Obama administration says “contraception” you should be thinking “abotifact.”

  28. eulogos says:

    I am also confused about what the sisters are being asked to sign. I have heard it characterized as a “permission slip” for their insurance to provide contraception etc because they won’t, but also as a simple declaration that as a religious organization, they will not do so. Perhaps it is the latter but they feel that the latter implies the former? Does it? I understand they have a grandfathered in insurance company which does NOT provide contraception and will not be forced to do so, in which case this seems like a stretch to me. But I am ready to be shown that I misunderstand the situation. Please do so if you can. I want of course, to support the sisters, but I feel I have to understand the situation to do so.
    Susan Peterson

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Decisions of the United States Supreme Court have confirmed that certain actions with respect to the free exercise of religion may be regulated by the government.”

    Well, nice for them. Before they can make such a statement, they, first, have to have some some stable notion of exactly what a religion is.

    The Chicken

  30. TomD says:

    @The Masked Chicken: “. . . they, first, have to have some stable notion of exactly what a religion is.”

    Well, yes. And . . . a stable notion of what an establishment of religion is, what free exercise of religion is, what speech is, what the press is, what to keep and bear arms is, what unreasonable searches and seizures are, what probable cause is, what cruel and unusual punishments are, what the privileges and immunities of citizens are, what due process of law is, what equal protection of the laws is . . . and on and on. We cannot escape the necessity of interpreting that which is written.

    I assume that we would agree that, in that endeavor, stability comes through the respect of precedent, the assumption that what exists is to be given the benefit of the doubt over what is new, and that local, self-government is to be preferred over centralized government by the elite, especially through judicial mandate . . . principles that are quickly losing favor in today’s legal and political environment.