The Massive Hubris of the Obama Administration…

is nowhere in more epic and Hindenburgesque evidence than when it serious essays to lecture the Little Sisters of the Poor on their own theology and moral teaching in order to declare to them that they have no complaint over being frogmarched, at gunpoint, into a total stranger’s bedroom and forced to pay for their birth control and abortifacients.  Obama is, at the end of the day, as vain and puffed up a man as has ever occupied the White House (and that is saying a lot).  God bless Sotomayor for this well-deserved slapdown and may God defend the rights of the Little Sisters and of all who object to this tyranny.

  • UAWildcatx2

    The admin is arguing for her to dissolve her stay. Let’s see if she has the guts to stand up to those who gave her her job. I’m not holding my breath. I hope I’m wrong.

    • AquinasMan

      For the record, it’s Little Sisters of the Poor 1, Bishops 0

      • UAWildcatx2

        I wonder if having a new president of the USCCB might be a catalyst to standing up for the truth?
        http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-kurtz-to-president-obama-provide-temporary-mandate-relief-for-ch/

      • Andy, Bad Person

        Really? Did the USCCB constituent dioceses drop all those lawsuits they have pending?

        • AquinasMan

          I’m sorry, I was busy reading about ++Dolan wringing his hands over Ken Langone and the St. Pat’s refurb instead of you know, using his incredibly potent bully pulpit EVERY DAY to shame the Obama administration into never uttering the word Catholic (unless they’re on their knees first) again.

  • LSUStatman

    The real problem is that the government has lost sight that the Bill of Rights are rights reserved to the people, not a list of things the people will get approved by the government after submitting a request. Thus, the government is going to all lengths to give the nuns an out “as long as they submit the paperwork.”

    The First Amendment, however, is a right reserved to the people, not organized religion. So, an individual can claim a right under the free exercise clause as long as that right does not infringe on another persons rights, and they don’t have to submit paperwork to claim it. Since, even if access to contraception is a right (as was defined in Griswald v. Connecticut, et. al.), the right to not pay directly for it outweighs any claim for having it paid for you.

    Just another example of how Obamacare is designed to fail, so that the statists can push for single-payer (which does at least solve some problems and is mostly compliant with Catholic principles).
    Peace.

  • Eve Fisher

    Except that is not what is happening to the Little Sisters of Mercy: “The Colorado nuns’ group, the Little Sisters of the Poor, is a religiously affiliated organization that is exempt from the health law’s requirement that employer insurance plans cover contraception without a co-pay. The audacious complaint in this case is against the requirement that such groups sign a short form certifying that they have religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services, a copy of which would go to their third-party insurance administrator. The nuns say that minor requirement infringes on religious exercise in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/opinion/no-burden-on-religion.html?_r=0)
    Since when is actually requiring you to say that you have religious objections an infringement of religious liberty?

    • UAWildcatx2

      My question is this: Why should one “fill out a form” to register religious objections at all? What is the point of the requirement? The NYT story you cite also has an awful lot of value statements (“audacious complaint,” minor requirement”). It seems to me that the burden is backward. Shouldn’t it be that the state should prove that the mandate does not violate religious liberty, rather than the other way around? It all seems very contrary to the Constitution. Also, just because the NYT Editorial Board says it does not make it true. FYI.

      UPDATE: The “short form” referenced in the editorial (which is exactly what this piece is: the NYT’s opinion) also “requires that a health insurance issuer providing fully insured coverage or a third-party administrator that receives certification from an Eligible Organization provide direct payment for contraceptives services at no cost to the plan or its members.” (http://bit.ly/1khbhsg) This designation by definition is an act of contracting and arranging for the coverage (http://bit.ly/JOrSTk). This would make the Sisters materially cooperating in sin.

      Also: In the original complaint, Mother Loraine Marie Claire Maguire of the Little Sisters personally signed a court statement saying “I declare under the penalty of perjury” that for the Little Sisters to participate in the accommodation would violate their religious beliefs (http://bit.ly/1hmwjUc).

      What more do you need?

      • Eve Fisher

        I would point out that, throughout our nation’s history, conscientious objectors to war have had to prove, in great detail, with supporting documentation, that they have an actual religious objection to fighting and killing in wartime in order to become exempt from serving – and even then many have ended up serving their time in prison. No one seems to have minded that. Ever. Nor said that the burden of proof is backward.

        But the whole ACA thing has everyone a little crazy, or so it seems to me. It’s all emotion (speaking of value statements, try the above – “frogmarched, at gunpoint, into a total stranger’s bedroom and forced to pay for their birth control and abortifacents.” – not exactly objective, or loaded with factual research, is it?). If there is even a hint of contraceptive coverage in any health insurance policy on offer, someone’s right there screaming, “We’re going to have to pay for birth control and/or abortion!” And a lot of people instantly believe it. (Just because Red State Nation or Fox News says it doesn’t make it true, either.) And if any peaceable alternative is provided – such as filling out a form to register religious objections and voila, no insurance with any smidgen of contraceptive care will ever be available to your employees – well, that’s not good enough. I am beginning to wonder if anything will be good enough.

        • UAWildcatx2

          Let’s look at the issue here:
          1. The Catholic Church is, has been, and always will be against contraceptives.
          2. The Administration decides on a mandate that requires employers to pay for contraceptives.
          3. Administration drafts a so-called “exception” so narrow, that nearly nobody would qualify.
          4. Little Sisters of the Poor file suit saying that they should be exempt being, you know, Catholic nuns and all.
          5. Government sets requirement for naming 3rd party to provide contraception.
          6. Sisters, being Catholic nuns and all, say that doing so would make them cooperate in grave evil.
          7. Government and NYT say, “we’ll tell you how to be Catholic, you bus-less Catholic nuns”

          Admittedly, I embellish. But the truth remains. According to the Church, contraception is a grave moral evil. The government is trying, thought intimidation (lawsuit, penalties, etc etc) to force this religious order to either a. pay for contraception (unacceptable) or (b) name someone who will pay for contraception (also unacceptable), while at the same time deigning to tell us how to practice our faith. This is nothing but intimidation.

          In addition, re: your “not exactly objective, or loaded with factual research, is it” I agree completely. Only thing is that I didn’t used Mark’s article to make my points. You cited the NYT article to back up yours. I point out that your “source” is not a reliable one, and used value-driven statements to make their point. I understand that this is what editorials do. What I pointed out, however, was that it was just that: an opinion of the paper. If I quoted Mark in my response to you, then your critique would be valid (though only slightly). But since I did not, your rebuttal doesn’t really work.

          • Eve Fisher

            Okay. Although Mark’s post is what started this whole thing off, but we’ll consider it off-limits for rebuttal. But I must say if you think this is intimidation (or persecution), well… you haven’t experienced the real thing. May it always be so.

            • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

              Intimidation and persecution? Have no doubt, they are coming. And I’m not joking. Nor am I a conspiracy theorist.

              The reason the Obama administration is refusing to yield on the HHS mandate and doubling down on their “right” to say who has First Amendment rights and who does not, is that this is just the first step in the plan to crush all opposition and get the Church into line on contraception, but especially abortion.

              What? Don’t believe me? Have you heard of the recent lawsuit spurred by the ACLU, by a woman against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which directly challenges the Church’s ethical guidelines against abortions in Catholic hospitals?

              http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/woman-claims-catholic-hospital-botched-miscarriage-treatment-article-1.1537410

              Once the principle has been established with the HHS mandate, this lawsuit will be next in line to further erode Catholic rights. If we do not hold out for a complete win on the mandate, we are sitting ducks. Catholic health care personnel will be forced to perform abortions and sterilizations in Catholic hospitals. Did I mention that the new mayor of New York (where I live), Bill de Blasio, is shooting for a law requiring all doctors in his jurisdiction to undergo abortion training before they can practice? Do you think Catholics physicians will be exempt? Ha! This is just one of many upcoming laws.

              When it comes to a serious duty we have as citizens, like military service, there might be some reason for religious objectors to distinguish themselves from the mass of mere malingerers. In the case of a totally unnecessary experiment in social engineering by an ideological clique that has somehow gotten hold of the government – not so much.

              The mandate serves no real purpose except to perpetrate a particular vision of the good society – one where the young get all their sexual needs taken care of, spending money that could best be used on real health problems for the elderly — who are going to be gently phased out so their kids won’t have to worry about their care. And yes, then the big push will begin for Catholic hospitals to offer “death with dignity” -i.e. euthanasia. It’s coming.

              Our best bet as Catholics is to hold out and not give an inch on the mandate, because miles will be taken from us later on. You might think I’m a nut, but I’m not by nature a conservative or small government person. I’m simply someone who can see the handwriting on the wall. Let the mandate be completely smashed to smthereens and let the pieces be scattered to the four winds.

            • Benjamin2.0

              That a method of intimidation or persecution (fines, jail time) is less severe than another method of intimidation or persecution (mob killings) is difference in degree, not kind. All persecutions are persecutions regardless of degree. If someone were saying that fines were murders, this would be a false statement. They differ in kind rather than degree.

        • Elmwood

          I have to agree with you that this whole HHS mandate thing seems a little overblown. I agree that it sucks, be we have always been forced to pay for things that violate our deeply held religious beliefs. Why all of the sudden is it such a big deal?

          The National Catholic Register loves to obsess over this sort of thing. Their latest paper had a horrible interpretation of our Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation, which made it palatable to the “right wing” ideologues. Which is really much of what the Catholic Media in our country amounts too: accommodating right wing politics into catholicism.

          • AnsonEddy

            This is not remotely the same thing as the tax protester’s grumble that I don’t want my tax money going to pay for [insert morally objectionable government policy here, go ahead, it's easy, there are a lot on both sides of the political aisle] therefore I’m not going to pay my taxes! Governments do morally objectionable things with your tax money, they also do morally virtuous things with it, and they do morally neutral things with it. Taxes are necessary to ensure a common good even if a portion of them are used for morally objectionable things. So paying taxes is not a matter of materially cooperating with grave evil. But in this case the Sisters note that by filling out the waiver they are directly initiating a transaction between the employee and the third party insurer that is gravely evil. There is no offsetting common good. No double effect. This they say, they can’t do.

            • Elmwood

              I guess I just don’t understand the nuances of this HHS mandate. I know our Bishops have stood up against it and i will leave it to their better judgement that it is really an attack against religious freedom and the first amendment.

              it just sounds so “legalistic” to make a distinctions between taxation, public schools, wars… etc. and contraceptives in health care. to me, the difference is only in degrees and not in substance.

        • chezami

          Eve: It’s not complicated. Contraception is not something I have to buy for you. Buy it for yourself. The Republic stood for two centuries without me having to pay for your contraception. It would not stand for two centuries if nobody was willing to defend it. I’m not imposing on your conscience and telling you you can’t buy contraceptive. I’m defending myself from you using the might of the state to force me to buy them for you.

        • Mike

          ” No one seems to have minded that. Ever.”
          !

          Really?

    • AnsonEddy

      See this doesn’t quite capture what is going on here. The sisters are not arguing that the regulation is burdensome because compliance will cost them significant resources in time and money. They argue that it is burdensome because filling out the form and submitting it requires that they materially cooperate in grave evil. So the calculation of the de minimus objection changes. Who decides in a pluralistic society how much cooperation with evil is ‘significant’? We used to leave that kind of thing for the individual to decide, not the government. After all, trampling the fumi-e wasn’t burdensome in the sense that it required a great deal of investment of time or money.

      • Eve Fisher

        How have the Little Sisters been on their tax-dollars (if they pay any) being used for war? I’m sorry, I think that calling filling out the form material cooperation with grave evil is straining at gnats while swallowing camels.

        • AnsonEddy

          Regarding the tax issue see my above answer to Elmwood. So the answer to the question of who gets to decide what level of cooperation with grave evil is ‘significant’ is Eve Fisher with her gnats and camels measuring tape.

          • Eve Fisher

            Opinion is not decision. Disagreement is not persecution.

            • AnsonEddy

              The fumi-e is such a little thing really. Nothing that should get between friends. You go ahead and trample it and we’ll agree to disagree about whether or not is was a bad thing.

              • Eve Fisher

                Sorry, I’m not Catholic, and in my church contraception is not a grave evil, so I’m not trampling on the image of Jesus Christ at all. Unless of course, you were calling me out on my judgmentalism, in which case, I agree, I need to work on that.

                • AnsonEddy

                  I wasn’t suggesting that you were trampling on the face of Jesus. I was suggesting that you are asking others to. Fine, it doesn’t shock your conscience to be forced to participate in someone’s acquisition of contraception, you find the idea silly. But there are people whose conscience it does shock. You are asking them to do something that they believe can send them to hell. You are asking them to trample the fumi-e in the name of social comity.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    I will remember that.

                • chezami

                  I don’t care if you don’t regard it as a grave evil. I do. And I see no reason in the world why I am obliged to pay for you to have it. Buy your own damn contraception.

                  • Eve Fisher

                    If I used contraception, I would buy my own.

  • Pragmatist

    This post is so lame it is mind boggling. Religion has no place in government. Our founding fathers wisely separated church and state and ignorant delusional mythologists contine to attempt to change that.


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