A Reminder: Why the Bishops Stand Against the HHS Mandate

To see the future of the USCCB’s discussion of the HHS Mandate, we need to turn back to the both the recent and the distant past. Just last year, on March 14th, 2012, the Bishops published a paper entitled, United for Religious Freedom. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, in his response to the February 1 rule proposal by the Administration, referred to that document and quoted liberally from it.

Here’s a brief refresher, [Read more…]

What if the HHS Mandate Was For Unfettered Access to Pornography?

Frank, stop. No way is the HHS Mandate’s proposal anything remotely comparable to the government providing no cost access to pornography. Because the Administration, through the Department of Health and Human Services, would never foist something as degrading to human dignity (as pornography is) on the citizenry as a “good.” Not in our Republic.

Why not, dear reader? [Read more…]

Interesting Stuff I Found While Reading the New HHS Mandate Rules

Evening folks. Sorry I haven’t posted anything until now, but I’ve been reading the 80 pages of proposed rules regarding the HHS Mandate. I didn’t really want to, because it’s not exactly Joe Six-Packs’ idea of a “good time.” But seeings how I’ve seen all kinds of reactions to the new proposals, some positive, and some negative, I figured I’d do what the USCCB recommended and read the whole thing.

[Read more…]

The Death of Christendom? December 15, 1791, when the Bill of Rights was Ratified

It being the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and Inaguration Day too, I’m taking the liberty to republish a post you may have missed the first time ’round (April 09,2012).

For those of you longing for the days of yore, when the culture was seemingly steeped in Christianity, and all acknowledged it as the one true faith, I’ve got some news for you. Though the faith is alive and well, Christendom is dead and gone. Before you fall all over yourself in consternation, fear and loathing, it’s time to have a look at that word and recall its meaning. [Read more…]

Because Saints Tell Temporal Kings “No!” When They Err

Another day, another magnificent saint for us to model our behavior after. This is one of the great things about the liturgical calendar during the Octave of Christmas. Yesterday, the Church commemorated the Holy Innocents.

For today, we have another martyr, of the type that needs not much of an introduction. You know the type, or do you? The story of St. Thomas Becket shows us that yes, people can change when they answer the call of conversion, open themselves to God, and allow the circumcision of their hearts. [Read more…]

Because When I Have To Choose Between Believing the POTUS or the Pope…

Regarding threats to religious liberty, I go with believing the Pope every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. The choice is pretty easy to make in my book. See, on the one hand we have a man who says this, [Read more…]

Abraham Lincoln on the Importance of Freedom of Conscience and Religious Liberty

Everyone knows how easy it is in the age of the internet to cobble together a saying that meshes with the popular mood of the times, and then attribute it to a giant of philosophy, art, or politics. Often times these alleged quotes seem too good to be true. And after a little cursory check, you know, actually looking for a reference that verifies said quote, you come up empty, and toss it in the trash.

This practice is so prevalent that the following quote “attributed” to Abraham Lincoln has become a joke all it’s own, [Read more…]

Thoughts on the Role of the Laity on this Feast of St. Joan of Arc UPDATED

And so we leave Eastertide behind.  Before we move on into “Ordinary Time”, recall the events of Holy Week with me. During that week, way back in the year 33 AD, the forces of human justice, lobbied aggressively by the interested parties of the Pharisees and Sadducees, convinced the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, to sentence Jesus to death on a cross. And though the whole mess was a tragic setup, it was all done officially and legally.

I can think of many things today that are both official and legal and still very tragic. Here’s an example. A friend of mine who is serving in the Army in Afghanistan sent me this message recently: [Read more…]

Quote of the Week on the HHS Mandate…


‎”We believe that this mandate is unjust and unlawful – it is bad health policy, and because it entails an element of government coercion against conscience, it creates a religious freedom problem.”

That’s the good word from the USCCB regarding the HHS Mandate. The comments of the bishops “were submitted in response to an HHS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on preventive services” by Anthony Picarello (see phot0 above), USCCB associate general secretary and general counsel, and Michael Moses, associate general counsel.

The comments outlined six points: [Read more…]

Because On this Ship, I Don’t Have to Decide Everything UPDATED

There has been a lot of fur flying around lately regarding prodigal groups (possibly) coming back into the fold, while others get a solid scolding, etc. Since the season of Advent, Catholics have endured changes to the Liturgy and a new version of the Missal, and we’ve had to relearn lines we had memorized since forever. And lately the HHS Mandate has been seen as a galvanizing moment by many, me among them, and only as a distraction by others. In the immortal words of  Rodney King, “can’t we all just get along?” [Read more…]