President Obama Embraces the Fait Accompli He Wasn’t Looking For UPDATED

"I don't know what I was thinking, Your Holiness..."

“I don’t know what I was thinking, Your Holiness…” Photograph paid for with our tax dollars.

What a difference 4 and 1/2 years makes. Wait. It’s been 5 1/2 years? Has it really only been that long since I wrote the post saying that the HHS Mandate struck at the heart of religious freedom?

Has it really been that long since I climbed into a cockpit, strapped on a White House Petition, and rocketed toward the very edge of the atmosphere, hoping to send a message to the POTUS to let religious liberty be what it always has been?

Has it really been that long since, in his hubris, President Obama had his Press Secretary (poor Jay Carney) proclaim that the HHS Mandate would be a fait accompli? He had his HHS Secretary (poor Kathleen Sebelius) working for months, and months, on an accommodation that would have financially destroyed all those “not quite churchy enough” religious non-profits who refused to bow to Caesar? [Read more…]

BREAKING: SCOTUS Decides Not To Decide On The HHS Mandate UPDATED

Perhaps it’s a positive development. The Becket Fund is calling it a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor. First, the news from CNN,

Washington (CNN) The Supreme Court on Monday avoided issuing a major ruling on a challenge brought by religiously affiliated non-profit groups to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.

The justices, in a unanimous decision, wrote that they were not deciding the case on the merits but instead sent the case back down to the lower courts for opposing parties to work out a compromise.

The decision to send the case back to the appellate level appears to be a direct impact of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February. Scalia, a stalwart conservative, would likely have ruled against the Obama administration.

In its ruling Monday, the court said it is not deciding whether the religious exercise of the challengers has been substantially “burdened.”

“When all is said and done, the challengers may well get what they want — not having to directly provide contraceptive coverage against their religious beliefs,” Vladeck said. “But if the court gets its way, that will be the result of a pragmatic compromise, not a legal ruling about the balance between individual rights and religious freedom.”

[Read more…]

The Little Sisters Of The Poor Take Their Case To SCOTUS

Photo Credit: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Photo Credit: The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

A few days ago, I was going to mention that the main reason why some cases are settled justly the first time, while others aren’t, has a lot to do with which circuit court the case is heard in. When a lower court decides against a plaintiff, the next step is to appeal the judgement.

To the highest court of the land, then, is where the Little Sisters of the Poor are headed. Again. [Read more…]

Because Jesus Said Plenty About Marriage, and Other Inconvenient Stuff Too…UPDATED

"Jesus Christ and the rich young man," Heinrich Hoffman.

“Marriage? Funny you should ask about that, young man…”*

Hey y’all. Didn’t you know that Jesus didn’t say nothin about homosexuality in the Bible? True story. You ain’t gonna find Our Lord say that particular word nowheres in the Scriptures. It’s like he never heard of that situation. Heck, everbody knows that if Jesus didn’t say it, it don’t exist. Right?

Of course, Jesus said plenty about marriage, and I’m here to tell y’all, it’s damned inconvenient to the spirit of the age nowadays. [Read more…]

Thoughts On The Gay Marriage Decision From My Bishop…UPDATED

stikaut

Richard F. Stika, Bishop of Knoxville

And from the Supreme Court justices themselves. First up is the initial, and wise, reaction of my bishop, Richard F. Stika,

“Sad moment in the history of our nation. But we move on. No same sex marriages will be celebrated within the Catholic Church. Our faith teaches that marriage is a sacramental union between a man and a woman. That is our faith and our truth!!! We shall not attack the principle of same sex marriage but uphold our faith and our truths! It does not matter to the Church as marriage is a sacrament that can’t be defined by any court!”

His point is well taken. Supreme Court decisions come, and go. But the Law of the Lord is forever. Go to the diocesan website for his official response.

Next up, from the majority opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the following thoughts are crucial from the standpoint of the Catholic Church, and for all who do not dissent from her teachings, [Read more…]

The Supreme Court Unanimously Finds That Speech Is Created Equal

No biggie. Just another 9-0 decision that bolsters religious liberty.

No biggie. Just another 9-0 decision that bolsters religious liberty.

In other words, the government can’t decide that one type of speech is more worth protecting than any other. Once again, just like back in 2012 in the Hosanna-Tabor case, the Supreme Court has come out unanimously in a decision favoring a little church’s rights. In this case, it’s right to free speech.

Representing the plaintiffs in Reed vs. Gilbert, Alliance Defending Freedom scored a victory in this eight year long ordeal. Because in Gilbert, Arizona, see, somebody decided that some folks’ speech rights were more equal than others. Roll tape. [Read more…]

In D.C., The Battle Against The HHS Mandate Rages On…

FYI, the good guys took a licking in the last skirmish. You can read the details in The Register. The upshot? The Archdiocese of Washington will likely appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Likely to be used as a springboard for the appeal are the following thoughts from the dissent of Judge Janice Rogers Brown, joined by Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson. Therein are some very clear arguments regarding religious liberty. You know, the kind that are deep in history.

Take a look, [Read more…]

Archbishop Kurtz: “Marriage is and always will be the union between one man and one woman.”

Today was the day oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges came before the Supreme Court of the United States. The opening statement by Mary Bonauto made it 39 seconds before the questioning by the justices began. [Read more…]

Yet Again, The Supreme Court Hammers Away At The HHS Mandate

1200px-SCOTUSbuilding_1st_Street_SE

SCOTUSbuilding 1st Street SE” by 350z33 (talk) – I (350z33 (talk)) created this work entirely by myself. Cropped by Pine. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikipedia.

The Beckett Fund For Religious Liberty shares the news,

Washington, D.C. – Moments ago, for the sixth time in a row, the Supreme Court took steps to protect another religious objector from the contraceptive mandate. It ordered a lower court to reconsider its ruling that denied a group of Catholic ministries in Michigan the freedom to follow their faith. [Read more…]

BREAKING: SCOTUS Suspends Same-Sex Marriages In Utah

The Associated Press shared the news a few minutes ago.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has put same-sex marriages on hold in Utah, at least while a federal appeals court more fully considers the issue. [Read more…]